Ask a Canadian; are snow blowers an essential piece of equipment? Typically, you’ll get a big, fat, unanimous “no.” The snow blower has been seen as a luxury item which is meant only to make its owner’s life easier by a long stretch. As such, it’s easy to assume that they’re easy to use, no matter the given circumstance. While this is mostly true, there are, in fact, a few ways in which the standard snow shovel reigns superior over the snow blower. Really, I’m not just working for the Brotherhood of Snow Shovels; they can actually have some drawbacks. Let’s take a look at whether or not a snow blower’s ease of use is worth the money in the first place.
This is possibly the biggest downside of owning a snow blower over a shovel, though it likely won’t effect the entirety of the population. If you’ve made a habit of going down to grandma’s to relieve her of her shoveling duty every winter, you may have a harder time doing so with a snow blower, depending on your vehicle of choice. While a large pickup truck won’t be an issue in terms of lugging the thing around town, those with little cars with a small amount of space in them may not make it over to grandma’s this winter, at least not with their fancy new snow blower.
There’s a reason many of us use a bicycle – or, god forbid, even walk – to destinations which are close to home; driving just isn’t worth the fuel for the extra minute or two it will save. Snow blowers are no exception. If you find you have a small area that needs shoveling and feel it isn’t worth starting up a gas-eating machine, a snow blower may not be for you. While there are electric snow blowers on the market, these present the pain in the rear that is plugging them into a wall in the first place.
Strategic Snow Placement
You stick a shovel into the snow, pull out a couple pounds of the stuff, take a quick look around and throw the snow in the most convenient spot. With a snow blower, you’re merely displacing the snow in the same fashion as a shovel. Unlike a shovel; however, snow blowers typically shoot snow pretty far. Suddenly, you have to worry about getting snow in other people’s driveway or on your front porch. While this is easily avoidable, it adds one more degree of difficulty to the overall process.
Watch Out for Rocks
With a snow blower, you have a blind spot on the driveway. No longer can you merely flick a rock out of the way in a gentle fashion; if you don’t see a rock in time, it gets whipped across the street or even into a window. As such, those with a gravel driveway may want to be careful about how they choose to go about removing the overlaying snow. While you may be able to find a suitable snow blower with a bit of searching, the average unit may prove to be more of a burden than anything for such folks.
Are Snow Blowers Easy to Use?
Are they easier to use than shovels?
Probably. While there are a few limitations one may experience here and there, these are typically avoidable through choosing the right model and taking care to be aware of one’s surroundings. The fact of the matter is that a driveway which might take half an hour to shovel might only take a minute or two to plow through with a snow blower. This being said, it’s generally a good idea to have a shovel laying around as well, due to its light weight and the ability to more efficiently squeeze into tight corners.
All in all, snow blowers a certainly a nice bit of convenience to have laying around the house.
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