Snowblower yard machine

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Selecting the best snow blower for you and your particular snow throwing requirements boils down to several factors including engine power, the type and consistency of snow your region receives each year, the amount of space you have to store a machine, and more.

All these snow-chomping Yard Machines do a great job clearing snow, but one stands machine stands tall compared to the others (at least to us!).

The Yard Machines 357cc 30-Inch Two-Stage Gas Snow Thrower is a two-stage blower, with the heart of a full-blown three-stage snow thrower. It has a big 30-inch wide mouth and a powerful 357cc engine that makes quick work of sidewalks, driveways, and snowdrifts.

But, don’t just take our word at face value. Read on and make your own decision after going over our guide that discusses what to consider before buying a snow thrower, our picks for the best Yard Machine snow throwers, snow blower FAQs, and more.

6 Best Yard Machines Snow Blower Comparisons

Top 6 Best Yard Machines Snow Blower Reviews

Best Yard Machines Snow Blower for Sidewalks and Driveways

Yard Machines 208cc 22-Inch Two-Stage Gas Snow Thrower
  • Type: Gas
  • Electric start: No
  • Self-propelling: 6 forward speeds; 2 reverse speeds
  • Width clearance: 22 inches
  • Depth clearance: N/A
  • Weight: 177 pounds
  • Chute material: Plastic
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This Yard Machines snow thrower does a great job with small piles of snow of under three feet in height. In other words, if you live in a region that receives little snow, this machine will more than handle your driveways and sidewalks.

The two stage snow-eating and throwing machine has a wide enough snow shovel to clear walkways in a single pass, and smaller driveways in as little as three to four passes. Further, it makes short work heavy wet snow so you can forget about breaking your back shoveling snow to get down your sidewalk.

Another great benefit of using a machine like this is that you can break right through ice build-up and keep throwing snow without missing a beat. Even more, because the snow chute is made of high-end plastic, it is rust-resistant and doesn’t chip as metal ones can.

  • Two-stage snow thrower
  • 208cc gas engine
  • 22in-wide scoop
  • Self-propelled
  • High-end plastic snow chute
  • Takes a bit of extra maintenance

If you’re looking for the right outdoor power equipment that can handle cleaning your walkways and parking spots after a snow storm blows through, this machine might be for you.

Best All-Purpose Yard Machines Snow Blower

Yard Machines 208cc 26-Inch Two-Stage Gas Snow Thrower
  • Type: Gas
  • Electric start: Yes
  • Self-propelling: 6 forward speeds; 2 reverse speeds
  • Width clearance: 26 inches
  • Depth clearance: 21 inches
  • Weight: 222 pounds
  • Chute material: Plastic
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One common issue people have with snow blowers is a lack of traction while moving along icy surfaces. That said, you shouldn’t have those sort of issues with this Yard Machines snow thrower due to its 15in by 5in “Snow Hog” tires. This machine offers more than enough traction to dig into snow and ice with no slip.

This snow thrower also offers a powerful engine and self-propulsion. That means it is easier to push up sidewalks and drives with steep inclines. The 26in wide intake means fewer passes are required to completely clear your walkways and parking places of snow.

Additionally, this blower comes with an electric start, which means it’ll start right up every single time. Also, if you have a driveway made of dirt or gravel, this blower includes adjustable metal snowshoes that help get even heavy wet snow off the ground without picking up stones and pebbles along the way.

Even more, there is still the option of setting it flush with the ground as well. So you can clear the snow completely on even ground as well. This machine is a gas powered snow blower too, so it is going to take more maintenance than an electric snowblower.

  • 208cc gas engine
  • 26in-wide scoop
  • Large durable tires
  • Electric start
  • Adjustable snowshoes
  • Needs cleaned well after/before use

If you’re looking for a “big” gas powered snow blower, but you don’t want to invest in a huge triple stage “beast”, this two stage snow thrower could be your new best friend when wintertime hits your neighborhood.

Best Yard Machines Snow Blower for Snowdrifts

Yard Machines 357cc 30-Inch Two-Stage Gas Snow Thrower
  • Type: Gas
  • Electric start: Yes
  • Self-propelling: 6 forward speeds; 2 reverse speeds
  • Width clearance: 30 inches
  • Depth clearance: 21 inches
  • Weight: 250 pounds
  • Chute material: Plastic
Check The Price

It’s not often you find a machine as powerful as this Yard Machines two stage snow throwing machine, but it does happen, and here we are. This big bad machine has the umph to power-through snowdrifts and snowbanks as high as 5ft tall.

Sure, you may have to help it out a little going forward, and then backward, even knock a bit of snow off the top of it, but you’ll get through even the worst snowdrifts with the iciest buildup. Even more, the impeller will throw the snow far out and away from your sidewalks and driveway.

Another great benefit of this snow machine is the extra-wide mouth. At 30 inches in width, you’re bound to breeze through driveway clearing with no problem. This machine is self-propelled, which is necessary, considering this big boy weighs right around 250 pounds.

The two augers are fast and effective at eating and removing snow. Even more, the snowshoes make it possible for you to lift this snowblower off the ground a bit so you can safely clear snow even on unpaved surfaces.

  • 30in extra-wide snow shovel
  • Powerful 357cc 4-cycle engine
  • 5ft intake height
  • Works well on and off the pavement
  • Eats through banks of snow with ease
  • Takes some extra maintenance before/after use
  • Heavier than other same-class snow throwers

This snow blower could be the best bet for you, whether you need to clear snow from a gravel driveway, or you just need something with a large clearing width and enough power to break through and chew up snowdrifts and tall banks of ice and snow.

Best Yard Machines Snow Blower Alternative

Troy-Bilt Squall 2100 208cc Single-Stage Gas Snow Thrower
  • Type: Gas
  • Electric start: No
  • Width clearance: 21 inches
  • Depth clearance: 13 inches
  • Weight: 97 pounds
  • Chute material: Plastic
  • Warranty: 2 years
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Even if you had your eyes set on a bigger snow blower, it may behoove you to consider the Troy-Bilt Squall 2100. An impressive single stage snow thrower, this little machine is a real snow-eating beast.

Typically, single stage blowers are meant for the dry, fluffy snow that some regions get, and only for light snowfalls. However, this little guy can clear heavy wet snow, light fluffy snow, or small snowdrifts, as long as you’re patient with it and you don’t mind putting in some effort on your part as well.

This snow thrower has a big wide snow scoop, so you won’t have to make too many passes to clear a one or two-car driveway, but the 13-inch intake is misleading, as many people report that the machine handles much taller drifts of snow and icy snow banks.

A downside is that this snow thrower isn’t self-propelled outdoor power equipment, but the spinning action of the auger can help pull you into the snow – especially when the snow is extra deep. It’s smaller in size and lighter in weight than most two stage blowers, which means it’s easy to move about and easy to find a spot in your garage or a shed to store this during the rest of the year.

  • 208cc gas-powered motor
  • 21in-wide snow shovel
  • 13in intake height
  • Gas-saving features
  • This machine is not self-propelled
  • There is also no electric start on the machine

This snow blower may be the best bet for you, whether you need to clear light snowfalls on sidewalks and driveways, snowdrifts, or heavy wet snow from gravel walkways and driveways.

Best Gas-Saving Yard Machines Snow Blower

Yard Machines 24-Inch 179cc OHV 4-Cycle Gas Powered Two Stage Snow Thrower
  • Type: Gas
  • Electric start: No
  • Width clearance: 21 inches
  • Depth clearance: 13 inches
  • Weight: 97 pounds
  • Chute material: Plastic
  • Warranty: 2 years
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When you’re faced with a big dump of snow, you want a blower that’s going to tackle it head-on. That’s precisely what this Yard Machines 24-inch 179cc OHV 4-cycle gas-powered two-stage snow blower does. It may not be as powerful as some other two-stage blowers, but you wouldn’t know it as you use this to knock out the banks the city plow leaves at the bottom of your driveway.

It can take on snowbanks that are even taller than its intake. Plus, it’s self-propelled, so you can trust it to pull you along for the ride. You’ll have to give this snow-munching machine a bit of love when the season is over. Plan to drain the tank of gas and oil to prevent any issues when the next winter rolls around.

It’s also best if you store this indoors. It’s compact enough that you should be able to find space for it. You can adjust the height of the auger if you have unpaved surfaces you need to clear. Should you break a shear pin, though, extras are included, and they’re easy to replace.

  • 179cc gas engines
  • 24in-wide snow shovel
  • Reliable electric start
  • Self-propelled machine
  • Efficient on fuel
  • Requires more maintenance than many Yard Machines

If you’re looking for an easy-to-handle two stage snow blower that doesn’t burn through gas like crazy but can still handle clearing moderate snowfalls, drifts, and icy build-up, this one could be the machine for you.

Best Compact Yard Machines Snow Blower

Yard Machines 123cc 21-Inch Single Stage Gas Snow Thrower
  • Type: Gas
  • Electric start: No
  • Width clearance: 21 inches
  • Depth clearance: N/A
  • Weight: 58 pounds
  • Chute material: Plastic
  • Warranty: 2 years
Check The Price

The reason we love a single-stage gas thrower like this one from Yard Machines is that it can handle up to a foot of dry, fluffy, lightweight snow, and up to 6 inches of heavy wet snow, and in reality, the machine can probably handle even more than that if you go slowly and don’t push it too hard.

Plus, operating this snow thrower is super easy, thanks to its incredibly low weight. That said, it does not have self-propulsion. It’s important to remember that this is a gas-powered machine, so it’s going to require some maintenance. Make sure you drain the tank after each season, and it shouldn’t give you any issues by the time snow falls again next winter.

Unfortunately, there’s no electric start, but once you get the hang of the pull-cord start, you shouldn’t have any problems getting it going. The auger touches the ground, so it’s great for clearing snow all the way to the pavement, but you shouldn’t use this for gravel driveways or unpaved/uneven surfaces.

  • 123cc gas engine
  • Extra compact and lightweight design
  • 21in-wide snow shovel
  • This machine has no electric start
  • Requires a bit of upkeep (gas and oil)

If you’re looking for a lightweight, small thrower, this could be a good one for you.

Who Produces Yard Machine Snow Throwers?

Yard Machines 24-Inch 179cc OHV 4-Cycle Gas Powered Two Stage Snow Thrower

Yard Machines may not be as well-known as their parent company, MTD. Founded in the early 1900s, MTD has been producing tools and outdoor power equipment for homeowners for around a century. That said, not only does MTD still make tools and power equipment to this day, but they also continue to invest in new and innovative tools and equipment for its customers and homeowners in general.

For decades, homeowners have trusted Yard Machines’ outdoor tools and outdoor power equipment to help them keep their yards, sidewalks, driveways, and property in general maintained. That includes their snow blowers.

The Yard Machines blowers and throwers come in single stage and dual stage versions, which makes these ideal for homeowners. They’re powerful enough to handle almost any kind of snow but still affordable for most families. Even more, they are designed in a way that allows you to put the snow where you want it, easily.

There’s Another Brand Under the Same Umbrella

Troy-Bilt Squall 2100 208cc Single-Stage Gas Snow Thrower

In addition to their Yard Machines brand, MTD also manufactures the even more popular brand Troy-Bilt. Further, MTD now owns Cub Cadet, Bolens, and Remington.

That’s why you saw the Troy-Bilt snow thrower review above and why you might notice similarities between Troy-Bilt and Yard Machines products.

Troy-Bilt has been around since the early 20th century as well, and provides the same type of tools and outdoor power equipment as the Yard Machines brand.

What is the Difference Between a Single Stage and Two Stage Snow Blower?

You won’t find a triple stage blower from Yard Machines, and there’s a good reason for that. Yard Machines snow throwers are designed and manufactured to be affordable and effective for all home owners. Designing and producing triple stage snow blowers results in a much higher cost, a price that not all homeowners can afford.

Single Stage Snow Thrower

Yard Machines 123cc 21-Inch Single Stage Gas Snow Thrower

This is the entry-level snowblower. Single stage snow throwers are usually enough for most homeowners with smaller driveways and less sidewalk space to maintain. They are designed especially for dealing with only small amounts of food at a time.

These machines are doing a great job clearing a path after basic snowfall. Driveways, porches, sidewalks, decks, and even parking lots are all maintained easily with a single stage snow thrower, so long as the snow is not tall, heavy, or wet.

But, what actually defines a single stage snow blower? Single stage snow throwers work with a single auger that spins and collects snow, and then shoots it into an impeller and up and out a chute. Single stage snow blowers can throw snow as much as 30 feet or more away. That means you pick up snow and throw it exactly where you want it with ease (snow fort building, anyone?).

Often, single stage snow blowers are smaller in size, weigh less, and are easily stored on porches, decks, or sheds. These little blowers are also easier to maneuver in tight places and come with a wide variety of mouth widths and depth clearances. Yard Machines outdoor power equipment generally run on gas, but they’re quite fuel-efficient. One tank of gasoline may be enough for the whole winter.

Two Stage Snow Blower

Yard Machines 208cc 26-Inch Two-Stage Gas Snow Thrower

A two stage, or dual stage, snow blower typically offers a bit more power than its single stage snow throwing counterparts. Naturally, they’re a bit heavier, and usually (but not always) include self-propulsion. Self-propulsion is especially helpful when you have a long driveway and walkways to maintain, or when you’re dealing with heavy wet snowfall and tall snowdrifts.

That means, if you live in the snow-belt, you’ll need a two-stage blower to properly clear two and three feet of snow at a time, especially when the snow heavy and wet. These snow blowers are able to chew through globs of snow, break up chunks of icy snow, and handle snowdrifts.

The dual augers of two stage snow throwers work together to quickly and easily suck up and move the snow through the impeller and up and out the chute. That said, wet and heavy snow isn’t going to fly as far as fluffy snow, so don’t expect to throw snow 30ft away like single stage snow blowers do with light snow.

What Features Make a Great Snow Blower?

All these snow throwers and snow blowers are great for the snow clearing jobs they’re designed for. Sure, some may be a bit better than others, but that’s based mainly on what’s most important to you. That said, there are certain features included on some machines, like headlights, self-propulsion, or a super-wide mouth, that could make a big difference to you.



A built-in headlight can be an immense help when you need to clear your driveway or sidewalks in low-light conditions or during a snow storm. Because, after all, Mother Nature isn’t always as cooperative as we’d like, and sometimes you have to get rid of all that snow before the sun rises, or when the sun hides all day long.

Snow Shoes

Snow Shoes

Typically, snowshoes are usually included on two stage blowers (and sometimes three stage) and not on smaller machines because the single stage throwers aren’t used in environments that need them. Single stage machines are not ideal for all types of surfaces, regardless that they will glide along picking up snow with ease from sidewalks and pavement, which is why they usually don’t come with snowshoes.

Two stage snow blowers usually have metal shoes, on the other hand,  which help to elevate the snow blower as much as necessary to scoop snow and avoid gravel and dirt.

Electric Start

Electric Start

All the snow-eating machines in this guide are gas-powered, which means they usually require you to pull a cord to get them started. This works very much like the pull-start lawn mowers you may be familiar with.

Some of the machines include an electric push-button start, however, which means the snow blower will start right up the first time, every time, with no pulling involved. In the morning, or late at night, that could make a big difference.


Self Repulsion

Lighter machines don’t really need a built-in self-propulsion system. You can easily push and maneuver them without the extra help you’d get from a machine with self-propulsion. Heavier machines though, like two stage and three stage blowers, usually include some sort of self-propulsion system, which helps save your back (and possibly bottom) when you’re clearing snow after each storm.

Which Yard Machine Snow Blower is Best for You?

Picking the best Yard Machine snow blower doesn’t have to be rocket science.

So, whether you worked your way through our information-packed guide, or simply scrolled down here for the bottom line, here are our picks for the best Yard Machines for throwing snow.

Best Yard Machines snow blower for sidewalks and driveways: Yard Machines 208cc 22-Inch Two-Stage Gas Snow Thrower

Best Yard Machines snow thrower for snowdrifts: Yard Machines 357cc 30-Inch Two Stage Gas Snow Thrower

Best compact Yard Machines snow thrower: Yard Machines 123cc 21-Inch Single Stage Gas Snow Thrower


Categories Reviews, Snow BlowersSours:

Snow Blowers

The Yard Machines 31AM6CFG752 is part of the Snow Blowers test program at Consumer Reports. In our lab tests, Two-Stage Gas Snow Blowers models like the 31AM6CFG752 are rated on multiple criteria, such as those listed below.

Width The snow blower's clearing width, or swath, in inches.

Removal speed How quickly models could remove snow without laboring; We push single-stage machines as quickly as possible before the machine labors.

Plow pile removal How quickly the snow thrower can remove a simulated pile of snow left by a municipal plow at the end of a driveway.

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What Kind of Oil Does a Yard Machine Snow Blower Use?

The Yard Machine brand line of snow throwers, manufactured by MTD Products, includes single- and two-stage snow throwers with manual or electric starters, different clearing widths ranging from 21 to 30 inches and intake heights ranging from 13 to 21 inches. These snow throwers use Powermore or MTD brand overhead valve horizontal shaft engines, ranging in size from 123 to 420 cubic centimeters, which require a high-quality 5W-30 or synthetic 0W-30, 4-cycle motor oil.

Making the Grade

MTD recommends using a high-quality, 4-cycle or similar high detergent motor oil that meets or exceeds the SF or SG service classification. Higher service grades, such as SJ, SL or SM, are also acceptable. Motor oils with the recommended viscosity, 5W-30 or synthetic 0W-30, keep the engine running smoothly in the coldest winter conditions. The manufacturer warns that non-detergent or 2-cycle motor oils will damage and shorten the life of the engine.

Know Your Limits

The oil capacity of the snow thrower’s engine depends on the engine size. The 123cc, 179cc and 208cc engines have a 20-ounce oil capacity. The 277cc, 357cc and 420cc engines have a 37.2-ounce capacity. Overfilling will cause hard starting, excessive smoking and spark plug fouling.

Timing Is Everything

Check the oil each time you use the snow thrower and after every five hours of operation, when the engine is still warm. If the snow thrower is brand new, check the oil before you ever start the machine, as some models are shipped without oil. Starting the engine with no oil or letting the oil level fall under the low mark will cause serious engine damage and void the warranty.

Caps Off

Yard Machine snow thrower engines, depending on the model, have either a quarter-turn oil fill cap or a threaded oil fill cap. The type of cap determines how you will check the oil level in your machine. Before checking oil, make sure the snow thrower is sitting on a level surface with the engine turned off. For quarter-turn caps, remove the cap by turning it to the left. Wipe the dipstick clean with a paper towel or shop rag, reinsert the cap into the oil filler neck and turn the cap to the right until it is properly tightened. Remove the cap again, and look at the level indicator at the bottom of the dipstick. MTD recommends adding oil if the level falls below the center point between the high and low marks. For threaded caps, unscrew the cap and wipe the dipstick clean and then reinsert it into the oil filler neck but do not screw it in. Remove the cap and check the oil level, once again ensuring the level rests between the high and low marks on the end of the dipstick. After checking the oil, replace the cap and tighten it completely before turning on the machine.


Writer Bio

Based in Ohio, Deborah Waltenburg has been writing online since 2004, focusing on personal finance, personal and commercial insurance, travel and tourism, home improvement and gardening. Her work has appeared on numerous blogs, industry websites and media websites, including "USA Today."


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