If you want the best 2 stage snow blower under $1000 then it has to be the new Briggs and Stratton 1696619. At the moment there’s a good deal on this model that brings it in just under a $1000. Click here to check the latest price.
If you’re looking to save one or two hundred dollars more then coming a close second is the Husqvarna ST224 24-inch snow blower.
We’ve put together some 2 stage snow blower reviews below where we list the 5 best two stage snow blowers under $1000.
Any one of the top rated snow blowers reviewed below are a solid choice if you’re dealing with some thick, wet snow that needs clearing fast.
Best 2 Stage Snow Blower Under $1000 Reviews
Briggs and Stratton snow blower reviews keep rating this beast as one of the best snow blowers on the market.
The 27” clearing path is wide enough to have you clear snow in fewer passes without sacrificing maneuverability.
This is easily the best two stage snow blower under $1000 and if you want to knock another $100 off the price you can go for the 24” model with the 208cc engine.
The 250cc engine in this unit packs plenty of power and delivers 11.5 foot pounds of torque. It offers 5 forward and 2 reverse speeds. The push button electric start makes starting it up a breeze and it’s rated to start in temperatures down to -20 deg F.
There’s no battery so you simply plug it into a 110V outlet, push the button and it starts. Unplug the cord and you’re good to go. The pull start gets it started pretty easily too if you feel that’s more manly.
We really liked the free hand control. This feature means you can operate the controls with one hand while driving the snow blower wheels and auger with the other. The chute direction and deflection are easily controlled from the dash and panel mounted controls.
The 14-inch by 4-inch tires give you good maneuverability and offer great traction for those steep hilly sections while the LED headlights light the way.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
The bright pink scoop means you’ll be easy to spot while clearing your drive but it’s the amount of snow that it shifts that will really grab your neighbor's attention.
With a 26” clearing width and a 212cc engine this snow blower will be up to some of the heaviest snow you’re likely to encounter.
For under $1000 you’re unlikely to find another snow blower at this price point with similar power.
The remote chute control allows for 180 degrees rotation and you’ll want to aim it carefully because it’ll throw snow up to 30 feet!
As with the other snow blowers reviewed in this post it comes with the choice of electric or pull start and both work first time.
It doesn’t have power steering but it’s still pretty easy to turn as it has decent sized tires.
The drive system gives you 6 forward and 2 reverse speeds which are easily selected via the solidly constructed controls.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
If you’ve got a narrower drive and want a 2 stage snow blower under $1000 that will still get the job done then this Husqvarna snow blower is a solid choice.
At 24” the clearing width is narrower than the other snow blowers we reviewed so you may need to make an extra pass on wider driveways.
It has a 208cc engine that has plenty of grunt with the built-in reliability that you’ve come to expect from Husqvarna products.
What it lacks in clearing width it makes up for in ease of maneuverability. At 240 pounds it’s not the lightest snow blower but the 15-inch tires make it a breeze to turn in spite of the lack of power steering. (If you absolutely have to have power steering then you’ll need to add another $200 to the price to get the ST224P model.)
The easily adjustable skid shoes make this an ideal snow blower for gravel driveway clearing.
Starting it is equally easy using either the electric start (plugin) or the pull cord.As with most other snow blowers the control on the left handle is your wheel drive and the one on the right controls the auger drive.
We really liked that the ST224 has a free hand control. When you press both handles down the auger drive handle locks into place and you can let go of it which frees up one of your hands. When you let go of the wheel drive control both controls disengage.
The tire tread offers plenty of traction but for really steep sections you may need to put some snow chains on.
Assembly was pretty easy but we’d suggest that you throw the included multi-tool away and just use your own sockets and tools. The assembly instructions weren’t great but it's pretty simple to put together.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
When we put together our reviews of the best dual stage snow blowers under $1000 this beast was on sale and just scraped in under a grand.
With a 254cc engine it’s the most powerful snow blower in our list and it also has the widest clearing width at an impressive 30”.
It uses a friction disc transmission that offers 6 forward speeds and 1 reverse speed.
The controls on the console allow for simple adjustments of the chute direction and deflection.
It comes with decent size tires with deep tread that combine with the power steering to make maneuvering fairly easy. In this updated model they’ve made the handles adjustable to 4 different positions for added comfort.
They’ve also added clear lens headlights that do a great job of lighting up the path on those dark mornings.
We really like that they’ve gone with durable plastic skids. They may need to be replaced more often than steel ones but they don’t scratch up your drive like some snow blowers do. If you want the most powerful dual-stage snow blower on the block then grab this one before they up the price again.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
We just love anything that comes from the Yard Machines range of products and this snow blower is no exception.
For under $1000 you get a 208cc engine with 6 forward speeds and one reverse as well as a respectable 26” clearing width.
The clutch lock option also allows for single handed operation.
We like the extended chute rotation which offers 200 degrees of rotation controlled from the crank on the console. The chute deflector needs to be manually set though.
The 15” by 5” Snow Hog tires offer excellent traction on steep inclines and slippery surfaces. This snow blower is built really tough and if you do your routine maintenance you’ll probably get decades of use out of it. That being said the chute is plastic and we would have preferred a steel one. The fuel consumption is pretty good too so you’ll get around 2 hours of use on a single tank.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
Two Stage Snow Blower Under $1000 - What To Look For?
Snow Blower Grades
Not all snow blowers are created equal. In simple terms they can be categorized as Entry level, Mid-grade and Professional grade.
Entry Level Snow Blower - Your entry level two stage snow blower is going to be better than any electric, single stage gas or cordless snow blower but don’t expect it to perform well in moderate to heavy, wet snow and ice. It’s also going to be missing some of the conveniences of the upper end units but it will be a few hundred dollars cheaper.
Mid-Grade Snow Blower - These are more likely to come with interlocking controls and headlights. Some of the better models will come with durable steel components and gear cases made from strong aluminum and not cast iron like you get on the cheap snow blowers. These units also generally come with all-steel chutes and nice to haves like remote chute rotation and deflection controls and heated handles. Husqvarna have some great models in this grade.
Professional Grade / Commercial Snow Blower - If you have serious snow to shift and deep pockets then these are the best snow blowers you can buy. The components and chassis are all made from commercial grade solid materials that will last a lifetime. They cost a lot more than the entry level and mid-grade snow blowers but they come standard with lighting, interlocking controls and throw snow like nothing else will. These heavy duty snow blower models will also generally come with power steering.
What Kind Of Snow Blower Do I Need?
Let’s for a moment assume that you’re already settled on buying a gas powered snow blower. The kind of snow blower you need really depends on the kind of snow you get. Here’s a general guide that can help you choose.
Single Stage Snow Blower - Suitable for up to 12-inches of light to moderate snow
Two Stage Snow Blower - Suitable for up to two feet of moderate to heavy snow
Three Stage Snow Blower - Suitable for up to two feet of heavy, wet snow
If you’re considering getting going electric then make sure you get the best electric snow blower for the money and don’t count on shifting anything more than up to 6-inches of light fluffy snow.
If you're really on a budget and can only afford a cheap snow blower you might be better off buying the best gas powered snow shovel instead.
Snow Blower Engine Capacity And Type
Whether you call it a snow thrower, snow blower or gas powered snow shovel, just forget about getting a 2-stroke engine. The increase in power just isn’t justified when you consider the extra noise, fumes, maintenance and need for mixing fuel and oil.
A 4-stroke engine is just fine and most of the best 2-stage snow blowers under $1000 will be 4-stroke units. If you’re getting one with an engine capacity of above 200cc then you should be fine for most applications.
Here are a few other things to look out for when you're shopping for a snow blower:
The wider the clearing width, the quicker you’re going to clear your drive because you’ll need less passes to get it all done. A wider scoop is going to collect more snow and will require a more powerful engine to shift it which makes it more expensive.If you’re after speed or have a large area to clear then wider is better. If you need to move around some obstacles then rather get a narrower width for better maneuverability.
Friction Disc Transmission vs Gears / Belts
Many of the best 2 stage snow blowers on the market now come with friction disc transmission instead of gears. This transmission isn’t as efficient as the geared version but it offers far less issues with maintenance and is much less likely to break. If you’re worried about fuel efficiency then go with a gear and chain / belt transmission but if you want less problems then stick with the friction disc transmission.
Electric Start vs Pull Start
Some of the better snow blowers will have an electric start as well as a pull start as a backup. The electric start requires plugging into a 110V outlet and then pushing a button. If you’re trying to start a snow blower in very cold weather this can really help. If you get one of the best 2 stage snow blowers then the pull start will generally get you going with the first pull.
Drive - Wheels Or Track
Most dual stage snow blowers under $1000 will have driven wheels while some of the more expensive units may have driven tracks. The tread on the wheels is usually plenty good enough for decent traction but if you’ve got very steep terrain that needs clearing then you may need one with tracks. For most situations wheels with snow chains will do just fine.
Chute Direction Control
You want to be able to rotate the chute at least 180 degrees so that you can send the snow where you want it. The cheaper snow blowers will require shifting the chute by hand while the better units will have a crank mounted on the console that you turn to rotate the chute.
The angle of the deflector at the top of the chute determines the angle (and distance) that the snow is released at from the snow discharge chute. Some of the better snow blowers will have a control to set this on the panel.
Sometimes referred to as differential drive. Normally you’d have to wrestle with the snow blower to get it to turn which is a little difficult with the bigger units. Power steering frees (or freezes) one wheel while driving the other so that you manage to turn the snow blower sharply without having to push and pull it into place.
Snow Intake Height
The height of the intake of the scoop determines the maximum height of snow you’re going to be able to deal with. Even if your engine is powerful enough to shift 2 feet of snow it doesn’t help if your intake height it only 18-inches.
This may sound like a bit of a gimmick but after 30 minutes of being out in the cold you’ll be so glad you bought a snow blower with heated handles.
You could hook a torch up on the snow blower if you really need to but most of the good snow blowers these days come with bright LED lights for clearing on those really dark days.
Single Stage Snow Blower vs 2 Stage Snow Blower
A single stage snow blower has only one auger that breaks up the snow and then sends it through the chute. A 2 stage snow blower, sometimes called a dual-stage snow blower, has both the auger to break up the snow and get it to the entrance of the chute as well as an impeller that forces the snow through the chute.
The main benefits of a 2 stage snow blower are that it breaks and clears thicker snow faster and will throw the snow further and quicker too. For light, fluffy snow 16-inches and less a single stage snow blower is usually ok. If you’re trying to clear wet, heavy snow that gets up to around 18-inches deep then you’re going to need a 2 stage snow blower.
The faster you can shift snow into and out of the chute, the quicker you’re going to be able to clear that drive. For really thick snow it helps to have a 3 stage snow blower. In addition the the auger and impeller these have an accelerator that helps the impeller throw the snow faster and further.
The other benefit of a two-stage snow blower is that the auger doesn’t come into contact with the ground. This is important if you want to use a snow blower on a gravel driveway without throwing a rock through a window. The wheels of a 2-stage blower are also powered by the engine so you can walk behind it instead of having to push it.
Snow Blower vs Snow Thrower
A snow thrower is essentially a single stage machine that has an auger that pulls snow into the chute and throws it out the other end in one motion. The term “snow blower” refers to a two stage (or three stage) machine that uses the auger to break up the snow and pull it to the entrance of the chute where an impeller then forces the snow up through the dispersal chute. So technically there’s no such thing as a single stage snow blower because we should call it a snow thrower but really that’s just semantics. People in general just use the term snow blower whether they’re talking about a single stage, 2 stage or 3 stage snow blower.
If you’re looking for the best two stage snow blower under $1000 then any one of the units we reviewed above will be a solid choice. If you don’t mind it being just barely under a grand then the Briggs and Stratton would be our first choice.
If you want a slightly cheaper option then go for the Husqvarna or Yard Machines. You’ll sacrifice some optional extras and a little power but they’re still great products.
Ideally we’d recommend spending a little more to make sure you get a snow blower with heated handles, good lights and chute controls on the panel. While we’d love to have one of the professional snow blowers it really isn't necessary to spend a lot of money. For under $1000 you can get a great snow blower that will get the job done quickly.
Product Images Sourced From Amazon.com