BEST SNOW BLOWERS | NOVEMBER 2017
If you’re tired of shoveling snow by hand, a snow blower will make your job faster and easier. Our team did extensive research to help you choose the best snow blower for your needs. We looked at electric, cordless and gas powered blowers, as well as electric snow shovels, the best overall and the best value. Each blower in our list includes a review outlining its top features, specifications and other considerations. If you’re unsure what type of blower is best for you, check out our buying guide below to learn more about snow blowers, including the blower capacity, the path width, snow throwing distance, ease of use, power source and price. Read more about our methodology.
Toro is one of the best-selling brands of snow blowers in the United States, and the Toro 38381 is a top performer. This snow blower has extra functional and ergonomic features to make your snow clearing jobs faster and more comfortable.Read full review.
The Snow Joe Ultra SJ621 Snow Thrower has many features you’ll find in higher-priced snow blowers. With its path width, throwing distance and added features such as a light for night work, this is a great choice for the budget minded shopper.Read full review.
Snow Blowers BUYING GUIDE
First, you should consider the depth and what type of snow you need to clear. Gas powered snow blowers are the most powerful and can plow through a few feet of heavy snow, as well as slush. Cordless and electric blowers will typically clear up to six to ten inches of snow, but you may have to work to get them through heavier snowfalls. Electric snow shovels will clear your lighter, fluffier snowfalls.
Path Width and Throw Distance
A wider path that the snow blower clears can shorten the time of your job. How far the blower throws the snow is also important to consider. If the snow isn’t thrown far enough, you may have to take more than one pass over the area you’re clearing. Path widths range from 10 to 18 inches, and snow throwing distances range from 20 to 30 feet.
Gas powered snow blowers are a great choice if you live in a climate with heavy snowfall or have large areas to clear. The disadvantages of gas snow blowers are they require gasoline and maintenance, and they can be noisy. Electric snow blowers are quieter, they’re eco-friendly, lighter and can handle light-to-medium-weight snowfall. Cordless snow blowers are easy to use and allow you to move freely around your yard. However, you do need a battery and charger, though these are included with some models. If you have lighter snowfall and smaller areas to clear, an electric snow shovel is a great option.
The lightest and easiest power tool for clearing snow is an electric snow shovel. Corded electric snow blowers can be lightweight as well, and they’re easy to start. One disadvantage is you have to be careful of the power cord as you clear the snow. Cordless snow blowers eliminate this problem, but you’ll have a limited work time before the battery loses its charge. Gas snow blowers are heavier, and you may have to use a pull cord to start the machine. Other user-friendly features may include lights for night work, adjustable handles and push-button starts.
For under $200, you can buy a snow blower that will take on most snow clearing jobs. And many of these blowers have some of the same clearing specs as the higher priced models, as well as features such as adjustable discharge shoots and lights for night work. In the $200 to $300 range, you’ll find additional features such as ergonomic handles, anti-clogging design, lift handles to easily move the unit from driveways to decks, etc., and better all-around quality of materials and workmanship. Gas snow blowers range from $200 to over $2,000, depending on the size (cc) of the engine, whether it’s single or two stage, if it’s self-propelling and other features such as power steering and push button electric start.
FULL product reviews
We research hundreds of products in order to bring you a final, unbiased list of the very best. We also use a proprietary algorithm to score each product in terms of quality, value, and brand reputation. These subscores are then weighted to calculate our overall scores. Read more about how we calculate our scores.
The Toro 38381 snow blower has the features you need to get most snow clearing jobs done with efficiency and ease. Such features as an ergonomic handle, snow-throwing controls and a lift handle for easy transport let you work with less strain. And Toro’s unique Power Curve technology quickly clears snow and prevents clogging.
Why We Recommend It
- Blower capacity. Toro’s 15-Amp motor and Power Curve system allows the 38381 snow blower to clear up to 700 pounds of snow per minute, clearing up to 12 inches of snow down to the pavement. The Power Curve system also helps prevent clogging.
- Path width and throw distance. This blower cuts a path through the snow 18 inches wide and throws the snow a distance of 30 feet. The 160-degree adjustable chute lets you control which direction the snow will be thrown. These features ensure you won’t have to make a second pass with the blower.
- User-friendly. The Toro 38381 is loaded with features to make your snow clearing job easier. The design includes an ergonomic handle that allows you to comfortably operate the machine with either hand. With the lift handle, you can easily transport the blower to different areas of your yard. A “quick lever” and a “zip deflector” make it easy to adjust the chute left to right and lock in the angle to throw snow where you want. Large six-inch wheels help with maneuverability. And the folding handle makes the blower more compact and easier to store.
- Cord. Be sure to use an extension cord that’s rated for low temperatures and one with the proper gauge (12, 14) to draw enough power depending on how large an area you are clearing. Typically, it’s recommended to use an extension cord with a maximum length of 100 feet.
Manually shoveling snow is a tough and thankless job, but the Snow Joe Ultra SJ621 lets you clear snow with ease and at a great price. And with the SJ621, you don’t have to skimp on features. This blower has enough power for light to medium snowfall and has added features typically found on higher-priced snow blowers, such as a light for night work and an adjustable directional chute.
Why We Recommend It
- Blower capacity. The Joe Snow Ultra SJ621 features a powerful 13.5-Amp motor that clears up to 650 pounds of snow per minute. The four-blade steel rotor cuts a path 18 inches wide by 10 inches deep with each pass. That adds up to clearing 2,450 square feet per hour. This blower has a snow throwing distance of 20 feet, and the scraper blade at the base of the blower ensures that the snow is fully cleared without damaging your deck or pavement.
- Adjustable features. The Ultra SJ621 has an adjustable discharge chute that rotates 180 degrees that allow you to blow the snow in the direction you want. And an adjustable chute deflector lets you control the height of the snow stream. With these features, you’ll have a cleaner and easier snow clearing job.
- Light for night work. Sometimes you need to clear snow after sundown, and this blower is equipped with a 20-watt halogen headlight for night work.
- Maneuverability. The Ultra SJ621 snow blower’s weight of 32 pounds and the easy-glide wheels measuring 4.5 inches in diameter make this unit easier to work with. The wheels also pivot, increasing the blower’s maneuverability.
- Cord. Joe Snow recommends a minimum 12 gauge extension cord with a maximum length of 100 feet.
BEST BY CATEGORY
Best Electric Snow Blower
An electric snow blower is a great choice to clear a moderate snowfall from areas such as your sidewalk, driveway, and front or back yard. You’ll need to use an extension cord, so you’ll have to be near a power source. But electric snow blowers have their advantages: they’re easy to start, quiet, environmentally friendly and are often more affordable than gas snow blowers. An electric snow blower is an ideal choice if you don’t have a large expanse to clear and if the typical snowfall in your area is less than ten inches.
If you’re in the market for an electric snow blower, the GreenWorks 2600502 model is an excellent choice. This unit is at the lower end of snow blower prices but has a high blower capacity and throwing distance and an adjustable directional chute. And the adjustable handle and cord lock make this blower that much easier to use.
Why We Recommend It
- Blower capacity. The Greenworks 2600502 electric snow blower is a powerful unit with its 13-Amp motor that clears a path of snow 20 inches wide by 10 inches deep in a single pass. This blower shoots the snow a respectable 20 feet, and with the 180-degree directional chute, you can aim the snow discharge at the best place for a cleaner job.
- User-friendly. The GreenWorks 2600502 has design features that make it easier to use, thus reducing your fatigue when clearing snow. With the adjustable handle, you can set the handle to the height that’s most comfortable for you. There’s also a power cord lock, making the cord easier to work around. And weighing in at 30 pounds, this blower won’t wrench your back.
- Warranty. GreenWorks offers a four-year warranty, which is double the industry standard.
- Cord. GreenWorks recommends a minimum 12 gauge extension cord with a maximum length of 100 feet.
- Not self-propelling. Some reviewers noted this blower was not self-propelling, but said because of the light weight of the unit, that wasn’t a big problem.
- Meant for solid surfaces. GreenWorks recommends testing a small patch of grass before clearing the entire lawn, and they can’t predict how the snow blower will affect other surfaces that are not solid.
Best Gas Snow Blower
If you have heavy snowfall and a large area to clear, a gas snow blower is the best choice. Typically, these blowers can plow through heavy snow, slush and drifts up to two feet deep. And by clearing a wide path in one pass, you finish your job in record time. With a gas snow blower, you don’t have to worry about using a power cord so that you can clear a larger expanse of snow farther from your house or other power source.
If you have a large area of snow to clear or heavy snowfall and sludge, then the gas powered Briggs and Stratton 1696619 is a great choice to get your job done. The machine has a powerful 250cc dual-stage engine and other features to plow through even the toughest winter conditions.
Why We Recommend It
- Blower capacity. The Briggs and Stratton 1696619, part of their powerful 1150 snow series, is equipped with a dual-stage 250cc engine for 11.5 foot-pounds of torque, clearing an impressive path of snow 27 inches wide and 20 inches deep. This self-propelled unit has five forward and two reverse speeds.
- User-friendly. The Briggs and Stratton 1696619 model has many user-friendly features, including an LED headlight, oversized controls for mitten-friendly operation, a push button electric start for easy starting to as low as 20 degrees below zero, a chute rotation control on the control panel and a “Free Hand” control, which gives you a free hand to adjust the speed or rotate the chute.
- Sturdy construction. This model is constructed with a durable steel frame and notched steel auger for easily taking on heavy snow and ice. The auger gear case is aluminum; there are three impeller blades for better snow discharge, steel reversible skid shoes and a Briggs and Stratton engine—one of the most trusted names in the industry.
- Noise level. Gas powered snow blowers are noisier than electric ones.
- Assembly. Some reviewers felt the assembly instructions were difficult to understand. However, the bigger parts are already assembled, and some reviewers said it took one hour or less to assemble.
- Access to carburetor. Some reviewers said the carburetor isn’t easily accessible, but that the fuel shut off is.
Best Cordless Snow Blower
A cordless snow blower is an excellent choice for lighter-duty snow clearing jobs, such as several inches of fresh snow on your driveway or walkway. Cordless snow blowers are lightweight and are your quietest option. Also, you don’t have to worry about dragging an extension cord around your yard. Cordless snow blowers are powered by batteries, and these can be expensive. However, certain models have rechargeable batteries, making these cordless snow blowers a great choice with very little maintenance.
The Snow Joe iON18SB cordless snow blower is equipped with a rechargeable battery, which, along with the charger, is included with your purchase. For light to medium snowfall, this blower clears a respectable 495 pounds of snow per minute and has additional features to make your snow clearing job faster and easier.
Why We Recommend It
- Blower capacity. The Snow Joe iON18SB snow blower can clear 495 pounds of snow per minute, cutting a path 18 inches wide and up to eight inches deep. The snow throwing distance is rated up to 20 feet.
- Battery. This snow blower is powered by Snow Joe’s EcoSharp® technology, which uses a rechargeable 40 V 4.0 Ah lithium-ion battery. The run-time on a single charge is 50 minutes with a two-to-three hour recharge time. The battery and charger are included with your snow blower purchase.
- User-friendly. Features that put the Snow Joe iON18SB above much of the competition in cordless snow blowers include a push button start, an adjustable handle, an 180-degree auto-rotate chute to aim the snow discharge in the direction you want, and a 3-watt integrated LED headlight for nighttime use.
- Battery removal. Some reviewers said they had a difficult time removing the battery from the charger.
Best Electric Snow Shovel
Any snow clearing job can be tiring and time-consuming, even if you only have a few inches to shovel. For these jobs, an electric snow shovel is a great choice. Typically weighing less than 15 pounds, an electric snow shovel will get your smaller snow clearing tasks done with ease. These shovels are designed to clear up to six inches of light snowfall and will throw the snow approximately 10 feet. For light duty snow clearing, an electric snow shovel is a great alternative to a manual shovel.
Save your back and ease up your snow clearing job with the Snow Joe iON13SS cordless snow shovel. This unit is the perfect alternative to a manual shovel, capable of clearing a 13-inch wide path up to six inches deep. And Snow Joe’s well-respected construction and user-friendly features make this a great choice for climates with lighter snowfall.
Why We Recommend It
- Blower capacity. Compared to a manual snow shovel, the Snow Joe iON13SS cordless snow shovel will clear your snow easier and faster, cutting a path 13 inches wide and up to six inches deep. The 500-watt brushless motor moves 300 pounds of snow per minute, and the two-blade auger throws snow up to 25 feet. And a scraper bar at the base of the unit clears snow to the ground without damaging your deck or pavement.
- Battery operated. With this unit, you don’t have to worry about tripping over a cord. Snow Joe’s EcoSharp technology provides a rechargeable 40 V 4.0 Ah lithium-ion battery. The run-time on a single charge is 50 minutes with a two-to-three hour recharge time. The battery and charger are included with your snow blower purchase.
- User-friendly. This electric snow shovel’s user-friendly features include a push-button start, lightweight at 4.5 pounds, a compact design for easy storage and portability and an adjustable handle.
- No wheels. This electric snow shovel has no wheels; however, with its 14.5 pound weight (with battery), it’s easy to maneuver.