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If you’re planning to shop for a snow blower there are a few things you need to know. First of all there are two main types.

The single stage machines will clear a path about 16 to 18 inches wide with the help of an electric or gasoline motor. The motor turns paddles which scoop up the snow and force it aside. In most cases the paddles will also help pull the machine forward through the snow.

The two-stage models are larger and besides the paddles, they also have an impeller, or fan, which blows the snow out of a movable chute. Most also have mechanically driven wheels to pull them through the snow.

The two-stage models move more snow, but they also cost more, so the size of your property and your budget will play into your choice.