How Does a Snow Blowers Work?

Whether your snow blower is a small unit that plugs into the power grid or a large gasoline monster, they all accomplish the same task in moving snow. An electric motor or gas engine moves an auger or blade to throw the snow a distance from its origin.

The Electric Snow Blower Blade

The smaller, electric snow thrower is just that, it throws the snow a distance from where you are using the machine. There is not much direction for the thrown snow except where you point the lightweight machine. A small paddle type blade is driven by an electric motor. The blade is either directly connected to the motor or a v-belt and pulley system is employed. The blade literally pulls the snow into the machine and is thrown out of the front top, by the curve of the rear housing. This type of snow blower works well when the snow is lightweight and not very deep, less than four inches.

The Gasoline Monster

This type of machine can come in a wide range of options, from an electric start to a rear seat that you can ride on as you blow the snow. The discharge chute can also be moved by a remote crank type handle or a small electric motor. The motor runs from the electric start battery and is charged from an onboard alternator. But whatever the elaborate setup you have, the principle is all the same when it comes to really throwing the snow. Some larger snow blowers can throw the snow as far as fifty feet.

The Auger and Chute

The gasoline model of the snow blower turns an auger through the transfer of motion from the engine to a worm gear type gearbox. The gearbox is then attached to one or two augers. The main auger will pull the snow into the machine and gather the snow in the center of the auger. In the center of the auger there is a flat piece of metal that takes the snow and pushes it into the discharge chute. From there the snow is thrown out of the chute in the direction it is pointed. Other models may have a second auger that is also driven from the gearbox. This auger is located inside the discharge chute, it is smaller and turns two or three times faster than the main auger. The discharge auger will push the snow a greater distance from the machine than a single auger type.

G.K. Bayne

G.K. Bayne is a freelance writer for various websites, specializing in back-to-basics instructional articles on computers and electrical equipment. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and studied history at the University of Tennessee.