FUN FACT: Sawdust is an accepted industry analog for snow when testing snowblowers. (Photo: thievingjoker)


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  1. MiltyKiss says:

  2. cynical_bastard says:

    that makes sense…

  3. MrEvil says:

    I don’t know if there’s much else a testing lab can use to test a snowblower other than actual snow. Which is nigh impossible to do if you’re reviewing blowers during the summer and fall. The only difference between the snow and sawdust is that snow is a bit more sticky.

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      @MrEvil: Couldn’t the moisture of snow cause rusting, where sawdust couldn’t test for such a scenario?

    • hellinmyeyes says:

      @MrEvil: And that whole part about sawdust being flammable.

    • Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

      Thoroughly ridiculous!
      Sawdust doesn’t get packed down.
      The sawdust they use probably always has the same moisture content, while snow can be light & fluffy, as it was this morning in Chicago or heavy & wet as it was a couple of months ago.
      And if it’s wet, then the chute clogs up.
      And if there’s a strong wind, the snow gets a hard crust on top.

      • Rask says:

        @Greasy Thumb Guzik:
        I dunno water down some sawdust and it should be able to emulate wet snow quite well. The wood fiber should be able to absorb quite a bit or water.

        Frankly I find this quite ingenious.

      • Woot!-Off_GitEmSteveDave says:

        @Greasy Thumb Guzik: Sadly, you are wrong. I have a sawdust pit in my yard that we use for our horses’s bedding. It does develop crust when it gets cold and a little wet, when wet, it’s HEAVIER than real snow as snow is just water, and wet sawdust is sawdust and water. Our pit/enclosure is larger than the truck that delivers it, as it compacts in the bed of the truck, and expands as it falls out.

    • cmdrsass says:

      @MrEvil: damp sawdust is just as sticky.

    • Murph1908 says:


      Nobody said the sawdust had to be dry, did they?

  4. floraposte says:

    I hope those testers have damn good face masks. That’s not good stuff to breathe for a living.

  5. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:


    Froooooosty the Partical Board Man…

    It doesn’t have that same ring to it.

  6. suburbancowboy says:

    Most snow I have been around does not move as easily as sawdust at all.

  7. pb5000 says:

    I have a snow blower and I hate it, the damn thing it very difficult to push and really only works well in 4 inches or less snow. In the amount of time I’ll usually spend getting the snow blower out and ready to use, I could have just shoveled the damn driveway instead.

  8. geekgrrl77 says:

    Wouldn’t it make more sense if it were wet sawdust instead of dry?

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      @geekgrrl77: Wet sawdust absorbes water, and becomes mushy…more like oatmeal than snow.

      • failurate says:

        @AlteredBeast: I am pretty sure you can make fluffy moist saw dust. If you soak it, it will be mush, but a light mist of water and keep it aerated, it should be okay.

        • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

          @failurate: Sawdust absorbs moisture pretty quickly, and gets sticky and heavy fast. Even if left fluffy somehow, it may get mushed up in the blower, causing problems, that snow wouldn’t cause.

  9. el-brazo-onofre says:

    That would explain why I saw a snowblower freeze up in Vermont. Another analog: Training for bobsled runs on concrete in Jamaica.

  10. Traveshamockery says:

    This news blows.

  11. shadydentist says:

    So… blowing clouds of sawdust around… isn’t this a slight fire hazard?

  12. admiral_stabbin says:

    Hose that stuff down with a tad bit o’ water, and, you have a pretty decent analog for snow…albeit, the smell would be a tad different… ;-)

  13. SacraBos says:

    Do you have any idea what the street value of this mountain is?

  14. SacraBos says:

    Don’t eat yellow sawdust, either.

  15. jmndos says:

    Snow doesnt start on fire when your snowblower jams…

  16. lostsynapse says:

    At work today they had me use a leaf blower to clear snow off of sidewalks. Worked just fine on the powder snow we got today.

  17. MoebiusSK8 says:

    That looks like the pile of skin I have been saving since I started using the pedegg.

  18. RandomHookup says:

    Don’t they know you test all snow stuff at Michigan Tech?