There are three basic types of snow blower skids: roller, metal and plastic. With the roller type of snow blower skids, a wide steel roller provides smooth operation on concrete and asphalt surfaces. The metal skid is the most common, with the flat steel ski like surface making it possible to operate the snow blower on all types of surfaces, from gravel to concrete. Poly or plastic snow blower skids are more expensive than the steel; however, they will not harm concrete and commonly last longer without fear of rusting.
The purpose of snow blower skids is to keep the auger of the snow blower from making contact with the surface it is being used on. Augers can occasionally dig into the concrete and asphalt surface that is being cleared of snow if not for the skids. Plain, painted metal skids are perhaps the most common, and since they work on all surfaces, they usually come as factory original equipment. Mounting holes in the metal snow blower skids are commonly slotted to allow different mounting heights. The metal skids provide a durable, ski-like surface on which the snow blower rides, and are adjusted so that the bottom of the snow blower's auger is positioned slightly off of the ground.
For machines that see only hard surface operation, roller-type snow blower skids are an available option; the roller skid uses a metal body surrounding or supporting a wide, steel roller-like wheel. The wheel contains a bearing that permits the roller type snow blower skids to roll over a hard flat surface without digging in or leaving a mark. This type of skid cannot be used on gravel or grassy areas without damaging the wheel. On snow, the wheel support acts much like a steel skid and easily glides across the surface, however, this type of skid is prone to rusting while sitting unused.
Another of the different types of snow blower skids are plastic skids. Manufactured from a durable plastic, these skids are of an all-surface design. Typically more expensive than the steel version, the plastic skids are usually an aftermarket add-on. The advantage that the plastic skids offer over their steel counterpart is an anti-rusting property. Also, the plastic skids can be used on concrete surfaces without leaving a scratch or rust stain.
Routine maintenance is often a consideration when selecting snow blower skids. The plastic skids can sit on a garage or shed floor all summer without rusting, while a steel skid must be painted on the worn edge to prevent rusting over the summer. A roller skid must be oiled with a thin coat of oil to prevent the wheel from seizing over the summer storage season.