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*Last Updated: September 2021

Snow Thrower vs Snow Blower: Differences & Similarities

Top5Reviewed is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

snow blower

Winter comes with extreme cold, icy, and snowy conditions. As a homeowner, you need to be prepared adequately to keep your family safe and comfortable. That’s why you should consider ways to handle snow around your home. This is where snow thrower vs snow blower comes in.

But choosing between the two machines can be confusing since people use their names interchangeably. We’ll walk you through the basic differences and similarities between a thrower and a blower to help you make the right choice. Check out our recent review of power snow shovels, which are a type of snow thrower. 

Snow Thrower vs Snow Blower: Differences & Similarities 

The Basic Differences

A thrower is simply a single-stage machine that collects snow from the ground and tosses it away in just a single motion. Usually, the machine generates power by a horizontal spinning auger to gather and pick up the snow. The generated power also creates enough force to expel the snow via a discharge chute. In most cases, the collected snow is forcefully tossed out to a distance of up to 15 feet away to clear your path or road.

On the other hand, a blower gathers and discards snow in two stages. In the first stage, a blower uses a powerful rotating auger to collect and scoop up winter snowfall. The snow is then taken into an impeller where a strong fan blows it up to about 35 feet away. The blower spectrum uses the three-stage blowers, which feature accelerators. The main function of the accelerator in the blower is to cut through the hard-packed combination of snow and ice, crush it and feed it into an impeller to be blown far away.

Swath Widths

When it comes to the removal of swaths, the single-stage throwers remain on the smaller side than the blowers. In this sense, a thrower removes wither slush and other debris in swaths ranging from 11 inches to 22 inches wide. However, the blowers are able to clear up more than 26-inches of snow in one swath. If your area experiences heavy snow during the winter season, a snow blower will significantly reduce the clearing time by removing wider swaths.

Removal of Light Snow Accumulations

Since throwers are less powerful and smaller than blowers, they’re a perfect choice for removing light snow accumulations (about 8 and 9 inches thick). With the snow blower, the top side of the front intake chute is a little bit higher than what you will find in a thrower.

Consequently, the blower handles deeper drifts of snow and accumulations of more than 15 inches. Another notable difference is that the throwers are not self-propelled, making them a bit difficult for you to physically push them through thicker snow accumulations.

Source of Power

Throwers are usually powered via the extension cord. As such, their area of operation is limited. Also, they need access to a reliable source of electric power/outlet. The newer models of throwers come fully equipped with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries to increase their area of operation. But they will only run for about 45 minutes, which may not be enough to clear a large amount of snow. Snowblowers, however, are often powered by diesel or gasoline.

This gives them a greater advantage over throwers since they can cover a larger area.

Chutes

The chute is a device that attaches to these devices make it easy to chuck out the snow in a specified direction. The blower’s directional chute is at the bottom of the main chute and helps to direct the snow into the main chute. The blower chute is designed for easy maintenance and can often be operated by just a thumb. Some auto-rotate chutes can detect what you need when you need it with an electric chute control.

Storage and Maintenance

Thrower models are easier to store and maintain than snow blowers. These machines are small with fewer features, making them cheaper in terms of storage and maintenance including affordability. Some gas/diesel-powered snow blowers are larger with extra features, so they take up more space in the garage. They’re also likely to create fumes while using them in addition to requiring regular maintenance.

Dealing With Driveways

A lot of the time when it snows, it is difficult and time-consuming to clear it from the driveway. Clearing snow from the driveway is often such a time-consuming task because driveways are typically really huge and gravel driveways are tricky to clear, as opposed to a paved driveway.

A blower would be better for gravel whereas a paved surface can work with a thrower. Another strategy- if you are wondering how to clean snow from your driveway, throw some salt around it. The salt melts the snow and makes it easy to clean once more. Your driveway will be good as new.

Types Of Snowfall

There are many different types of snowfall. Some types of snow are granular, fluffy, and wet. Types of heavy snowfall can vary depending on many different factors such as air temperature, humidity, and more. A typical snowfall is also classified on a few different levels including dry snow, wet snow, and total amount. As the earth’s atmosphere changes, so does the types of precipitation that can occur. There are many different types of precipitation including snow. Each type of precipitation is different in origin and time of occurrence.

Summing Up

Throwers are small, cover narrow snow swaths, and can only clear thinner snow accumulation than the blowers. On the flip side, the throwers are affordable, easy to maintain, and require less storage space. Blowers are powerful and more efficient although they can be costly to maintain. Both machines are ideal for snow removal. What matters is your personal preference, the amount of snow you want to be cleared, and your affordability. A snow blower is a tool that uses a rotating impeller (also called a fan) to throw snow in a forward direction. The impeller pulls snow into the intake and throws it out the discharge chute. A snow thrower is a power tool that clears snow from flat or sloped surfaces. It uses a horizontal auger to lift and throw snow out the chute, usually at a higher speed than a snow blower. During operation it uses a combination of a rotating impeller and rotating cutting blades to throw snow at higher speeds than a snow blower. Snow blowers and snow throwers are often used interchangeably.