For most people (especially kids) the best time of the year is when it snows. The snow provides an opportunity for lots of fun activities such as skating on the frozen lake or playfully sliding downhill. However, for some, the snow can make life a tad more difficult.
From blocked driveways to slippery roads that can even cause accidents, the examples are endless. One of the tools that can help you keep the snow in check (especially if you live in a snowy city) is a snowblower.
Shopping for the best snow blower does not have to be a winter project. You can go right ahead and investigate the different factors that make up a good snowblower. After all, preparation is the best safety measure. Here are some of the factors you should keep in mind while getting a snowblower to clear up snow from your driveway or sidewalk.
- Features to Consider in Good Snow Blowers
- Top 10 Best Snow Blowers 2020
- 1. Toro 38381Electric Power Curve Snow Blower
- 2. Husqvarna ST224P Gas Snow Blower
- 3. Snow Joe iON18SB Cordless Single Stage Snow Blower
- 4. Greenworks 260050220 Snow Thrower
- 5. Craftsman 208cc Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower
- 6. Briggs & Stratton 1024Snow Blower
- 7. Troy-Bilt Squall 208cc Single-Stage Gas Snow Thrower
- 8. EGO Power+ 21″ 56-Volt Lithium-ion Dual Port Snow Blower
- 9. Honda Power Equipment HS720AA 20″ 187cc Single-Stage Snow Blower
- 10. Ariens 938033 Snow Throwers
- Guide to Buying the Best Snow Blowers
Features to Consider in Good Snow Blowers
Most snow blowers feature a gas-powered system with an electric start. The electric start system comes with the convenience of reduced stalling (plus there is no need to pull the cord). However, you can skip right ahead and get an electric-powered blower instead. These types of snow blowers can either be corded or cordless. Most of them are equipped with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery which is a plus if you are looking to cut costs. The main disadvantage of electric snow blowers is that with a short power cord, you are left with minimal options in terms of maneuverability. Plus, with a low performing battery, you might only have half an hour of runtime before the need to recharge. This can be a huge inconvenience. Gas-powered snow blowers (on the other hand) might be a bit costly but get a plus on reliability.
Snow Blower Stages
To understand the different snow blower stages, you first need to understand the basic working mechanism of a snowblower. Snowblowers are made up of different parts whose primary objective is to suck up the snow from the ground and spit it out through the chute away from your path. For the best performance, the snowblower has to throw the snow at the furthest distance or suck up larger snow volumes or have overall speedy performance. The three aspects of a snow blower’s performance are determined by three parts of the machine i.e. the auger, the impeller, and the accelerator. These, therefore, make up the three stages of a snowblower. A snowblower will either have one, two or all of the stages. These three stages include:
- Three-stage: This is a machine with a speed accelerator that helps move the snow faster.
- Two-Stage: This part of the snowblower is called an impeller. It is a fan-like part that helps push the snow further up through the chute thus increasing the speed and the volume of the snow the blower can suck up and throw out.
- Single Stage: This is usually the part of the snowblower that moves the snow from the ground. It is called the auger and it’s shaped like a corkscrew.
To move your snowblower around, the wheels on a snowblower will either be powered by the user or the onboard engine of the snowblower. Most two and three-stage snow blowers will require engine powered wheels while single-stage snow blowers will work fine with user-powered wheels. For the best performance, especially with heavy-duty snow blowing tasks, the best option is to go with a unit that has engine powered wheels.
Although snow blowers can run upwards of $500 or even $1000, you can easily get the job done even with a budget unit in the $100 to $300 range. The best way to land on an affordable but reliable snow blower is to determine the amount of snow blowing that is required beforehand. This will enable you to select a unit with the necessary features. Keep in mind that if you are going for an industrial or commercial grade electric model you might have to dig deeper into your pocket.
Top 10 Best Snow Blowers 2020
The Toro 38381 is an electric snow blower designed for walkways, patios and small driveways.
With a 12 inch intake height and an 18 inch clearance width, this unit will help you clear the snow in your walkway in the shortest time possible.
It also comes with a Power Curve technology that prevents clogging and makes clearing large volumes of snow much easier.
It only weighs 25 pounds which is sufficient weight for easy maneuverability for most users. Furthermore, the ergonomic handle has lightweight build not to mention a quick level and zip deflector for easy control and a comfortable grip.
Thanks to the zip deflector, you can easily control between high and low snow blowing. Plus, the chute sits at 160 degrees thus giving you the capacity to blow the snow in multiple directions.
In terms of performance, this unit stands out as one of the best since it can clear an 18 inch wide and 12-inch deep path in just one sweep. Since it’s an electric snow blower it is powered by a 15 amp electric motor which is powerful enough for sustainable snow blowing.
If you are looking for a maintenance-free electric snow blower, the Toro 38381 is one of the units you need to check out. It boasts of a lightweight design plus an ergonomically designed grip for easy control and comfort. You also get features that enable you to clear snow up to 12 inches in depth and 18 inches wide. If you are a homeowner with a small driveway you will enjoy moving this machine around with its lightweight build. The only problem is that it’s not directional so it pushes the snow out of the way and directly forward. However, since the chute is angled at 160 degrees, it offers an alternative which is good enough.
Husqvarna ST224P Gas Snow Blower is designed for commercial use and other heavy-duty snow blowing tasks.
It comes with a two-stage system snow blower that is built to withstand harsh environments. You can put it through the paces and it will come out even stronger on the other end. The unit also features a drive system that offers propulsion as no other snowblower can.
This makes it easy and convenient to use on slippery snow or hilly slopes. In fact, you can use the trigger control to operate each of its wheels separately. Without a doubt, this is a plus in terms of maneuverability, especially when engaging tight corners.
For easy and manageable control over the unit, the levers are within easy reach as well. Speaking of control, the Husqvarna ST224P Gas Snow Blower comes with a hydrostatic transmission and power steering unit that performs smoothly. You also get a pair of bright LED headlights that make working in the dark even easier.
A heavy-duty gas-powered snow blower is must if you live in an area that regularly gets huge amounts of snow. For the Husqvarna ST224P Gas Snow Blower, you get to enjoy the ultimate comfort since it comes with heated handle grip that makes using it much more comfortable in the winter. The onboard remote chute deflector works well to give you better control of the vertical throwing capacity of the snowblower. Also, the unit is durable with a robust heavy duty auger designed to tackle even the most extreme wet snow.
As intimidating as this snowblower might seem it is one of the easiest to assemble. Most users report that it only took about an hour to get it up and running.
The Snow Joe iON18SB is a cordless electric snow blower which means there is barely any maintenance needed apart from regular cleaning. Since it’s not powered by gas, there is no need for tune-ups and you also don’t need to worry about carbon emissions even if you start it in an enclosed garage.
The unit is powered by 4.0 Ah rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can last up to 50 minutes on run time. What’s more, you get a whisper-quiet snowblower that still performs just as good as any gas-powered snowblower.
If you need to get rid of some snow in the dark, the Snow Joe iON18SB will be up for the tasks since it comes with 3WLED headlights that increase visibility. It has an auto-rotate directional chute that does a great job of throwing snow up to 20 ft. recharging the battery on this snow blower is easy and most users report that it only takes about 2 hours.
If you need a decent upgrade from the tedium of using a shovel to clear snow on your driveways, the Snow Joe iON18SB makes a decent choice. Although it’s a single-stage snowblower, it offers reliable performance for clearing snow in small sidewalks and driveways.
The fact that it also comes with LED headlights makes it easy to use early in the morning to clear up snow in your driveway. The only problem is that if you have edges or bumps in your driveway, you might have to use a little bit more effort to get the work done.
For those looking for a budget-friendly pick, the Greenworks 260050220 Snow Thrower is designed to be a perfect fit both in quality and performance.
Weighing about 30 pounds, this unit is one of the easiest to use and fairly light in terms of maneuverability. The chute on this unit can easily be adjusted up to 180 degrees and the fact that it’s a directional chute makes snow throwing easy to control.
Assembly is also quite straight forward and you can have it ready to use in a matter of minutes. Although it’s a corded snow blower, most users found that the cord hardly got in the way.
The unit also features quiet performance since it’s an electric snowblower. This is a great feature especially if you do not wish to wake the neighbors.
Once you are done snow blowing, the Greenworks 260050220 Snow Thrower comes with a foldable handle that makes storage a breeze.
The Greenworks 260050220 Snow Thrower is such a lightweight and easy to use snow blower such that it can be used by a 10-year-old kid. It features a directional chute that is adjustable up to 180 degrees to make the snow throwing process manageable.
In terms of mobility, it comes with 7-inch wheels that offer the best mobility through the snow. It is capable of clearing up 10 inches in depth which is great for lightweight snow blowing tasks.
By far one of the most interesting features of this snow blower from Craftsman is the fact that it’s auger-propelled. Most people misinterpret this to mean that the machine is self-propelled.
However, the machine is not self-propelled. You will use some effort to move it around. However, by being auger propelled means that the rotating auger is designed to make contact with the surface you are clearing to give a boost to the movement of the machine.
This feature enables you to have better control and use minimal effort to move the machine around. Apart from easy mobility, the unit comes with an electric start system that makes it easy to start even on the coldest of days.
Add the large 15-inch tires that come with this snow blower and you have a machine that is capable of blowing snow 21 inches deep and 26 inches wide. At its price range, this snow blower is designed for durability at peak performance. You can customize the direction of its chute with a built-in joystick. And in terms of speed, it features a two-stage design not to mention a 208cc gas tank that enables quick and efficient snow blowing.
When you need a gas-powered snow blower that can handle heavy-duty snow blowing tasks, this unit is simply one you cannot miss. It comes with plenty of features that give you enough control and mobility. For instance, you get to use the zero-turn power steering to achieve precision as you move around with the snowblower. On top of everything, you get a 2-year warranty that guarantees the quality of the unit.
Briggs and Stratton are one of the leading brands in the power tool manufacturing industry. When it comes to making snow blowers, you can count on their many years of experience to come up machines built for quality performance.
Their Briggs & Stratton 1024 stands out for a variety of beneficial features. It comes with a friction disc drive system that enables exceptional snow blowing performance, especially for heavy snow conditions.
With a durable steel frame, the entire unit is designed to last meaning you can put it to the task of clearing snow and ice without worrying that it might break down. The entire unit is powered by a 208cc engine with a 9.5 foot-pound torque giving you the highest level of performance even with demanding tasks.
You will spend less effort plowing through the snow since the Briggs & Stratton 1024 comes with a steel reversible skid shows for easy mobility through any snow condition.
Dependability and efficiency are what you get when you put your hands on the Briggs & Stratton 1024. Although it’s a bit pricey, it boasts of all the conveniences of a premium quality snowblower. You will spend less effort plowing through the snow with this blower. Also, the electronic start makes it easy to use even if you leave the snowblower in a cold garage. The only qualm is that it requires regular maintenance as a gas-powered machine.
Tough snowy conditions can be an inconvenience. For a machine that will cut out most of the work on your behalf, consider getting the Troy-Bilt Squall 208cc Single-Stage Gas Snow Thrower.
It comes with a chute technology that can be controlled manually up to 180 degrees to any direction. Powered by a 208cc engine this unit is capable of providing maximum power for clearing snow up to 13 inches deep.
You won’t need to fumble around to start it since it comes with an electric start system that gets the machine started as soon as you need it to.
The wheels are 8 inches by 2 inches giving you the much-needed traction especially on slippery surfaces.
Furthermore, the handle is designed with an ergonomic grip that is comfortable and easy to use. It is also foldable for easy storage.
With over 7 decades of skin in the game, there is no denying that Troy Bilt is a tried and tested brand in the power tool manufacturing space. The quality of the Troy-Bilt Squall 208cc Single-Stage Gas Snow Thrower speaks volumes about the manufacturer.
But what most stands out is the fact that you can plow snow up to 13 inches deep with this single-stage snow thrower. On top of that, it comes with an electric start system that makes it easy to get up and running. As if that is not enough, Troy-Bilt adds a 2-year warranty on top for peace of mind.
Although it might look sophisticated, the EGO Power snow blower is designed for simplicity. It is powered by two 5.0Ah batteries that come complete with a charger on arrival.
Thanks to its simple design, you will find that it is one of the easiest to use. If you live in a place like New York where it only snows about 4 to 5 times a year, this snowblower makes a perfect fit since it is lightweight and easy to move around plus its powerful enough t throw snow about 15 feet. Plus since it’s a battery-powered blower, there is no need for gas or oil filling.
Once you are done snow blowing, storage won’t eat up much space since the unit comes with a foldable handle. You can put this blower in your SUV without any extra help.
At its price range, the EGO Power snow blower is not just a reliable unit but also a money saver. If you live in an area that does not receive a lot of snow, going with this unit will save you time and money. Not only is the EGO Power blower capable of clearing up 21 inches of width it also comes with headlights that increase visibility when used in the dark.
Thanks to the semi self-propelled auger drive, pushing this snowblower around is as simple and easy as pushing a lawnmower. In addition to the 20-inch clearance, the unit comes with a dual chute control that works well for moving snow up to 33 feet.
You can use this snow blower on both small and large patios and driveways. Although it does not feature s an electric start system is powered by a reliable 187cc engine that will start easily even in the cold weather. The machine works well even for clearing wet snow. If there is sufficient snow the machine will walk itself forward while scooping snow out of the path. You might, however, need to push the machine if there is little snow.
The handle is designed for a comfortable grip making mobility bearable task.
This snow blower is a decent choice for those who like to walk fast on clean pavements. It comes with all the necessary features users have come to expect from a reliable snowblower. Although it does not come with an electric start system, the pull to start system works just fine even if you leave the blower in a cold garage. However, it is not the best when it comes to blowing heavy or deep snow.
The Ariens 938033 Snow Throwers is not a self-propelled machine, but it comes equipped with rubber blades that pull it nicely forward making it easy to push it even if you are going uphill.
In addition to the rubber blades comes a pair of 8-inch semi-pneumatic wheels that give the machine greater traction and control on every surface.
This snow blower comes with a remote chute rotation that allows you to throw the snow in any direction. On arrival, the Ariens 938033 Snow Thrower might require some assembly however this is minor and only involved the handle, the chute, and the engine oil.
When it’s all said and done, you need a snowblower with an adjustable chute. Well, this blower from Ariens boasts of a chute that adjusts effortlessly to any direction you want. Furthermore, it features a 120v push to start button that reduces the amount of time you would spend stalling. On top of that, the unit comes with an adjustable scraper bar that makes it easy to use the machine on multiple surfaces.
1. Do I need a snow blower?
If you get snow less than two times a year, you might not need a snowblower. However, if heavy snowfalls are a common thing in your area a snow blower will save you the energy and time you would use to clear the snow with a shovel.
2. How does a snowblower work?
A snow blower works by sucking up snow and throwing it out through the chute. The snow is sucked up the blower through the help of the spinning auger. The work of the chute is to discharge the snow out of the blower’s path. The snowblower will, therefore, move snow out of the path depending on its width and height.
3. Can I blow the snow into the street?
As much as this can be a tempting alternative, it is not the right thing to do. The snow can create a hazard for passing cars. Plus the snow will be shoved right back into your sidewalk if a snowplow truck decides to sweep your street. For the best approach, create a plan of attack and decide where you will pile up your snow. This also reduces the chance of repeatedly clearing snow from the same path. Also, for safety reasons do not blow snow in the direction of other homes, people or cars.
4. What is a three-stage snow blower?
These types of snow blowers come with a third stage accelerator that is designed to take snow and ice crunching about 10X faster than two-stage or single-stage snow blowers. Basically, the accelerator on a third stage snow blower is designed for fast movement driving we and icy snow back to the impellers and eventually out of the chute at a faster rate.
5. What is the best way to store my snowblower during the off-season?
Maintenance is crucial if you are planning to use your snowblower for the long term. Start by thoroughly wiping your snowblower after use. This will go a long way to prevent a wet mess in your garage as well. You can then go further and use a cleanout to get rid of any accumulated snow from the discharge and auger housing. Make sure your engine is turned off for this. Use a nonabrasive cloth to further wipe out any snow residue. It is equally important to use a snowblower mat to protect your snow blower from any scratches and allow the mat to collect any snow that melts afterward. Compared to gas-powered snow blowers, electric snow blowers are much easier to maintain since there is no need for oil changes, filter replacement or engine checkups.
Guide to Buying the Best Snow Blowers
Width of the driveway or sidewalk
Different snow blowers are designed to clear snow in a variety of driveways and sidewalk. If you are using a snow blower designed for residential yards to clear snow in hilly landscapes, there is a good chance you might end up with a damaged snowblower. The path size of the snowblower is one of the most important factors to consider.
Size does not matter
Although it might be tempting to go with a bigger sized unit, you might find out the hard way that bigger is not always better in snow blowers. But that does not mean you should go with an inadequately small unit when the task at hand requires a big machine. The best way out is to first determine and double-check the snow blower’s clearing path before a purchase. Therefore if you only need to clear snow in your backyard or on your driveway, a small snowblower wills suffice. However, for bigger clearing tasks, go with a larger snow blower that will cut the snow blowing time significantly.
Weight of the snowblower
Although size does not matter in snow blowers weight does. The last thing you want is to have a snowblower that is too heavy for you to move around. We recommend you go with a snowblower with manageable weight so that you can get better maneuverability from it.
Range of motion
Gas-powered units offer the most range since they are only limited by the size of the gas tank. Therefore, they are ideal for those with a long driveway or in areas where an electric outlet is unavailable. If you have a sidewalk that is more than 50 feet long there is a good chance your electric snowblower won’t be able to move more than 50 feet away from its power source. You might have to get a 12 gauge extension cord or your snow blower will overheat. The only alternative for clearing sidewalks longer than 50 feet with an electric snow blower is to use a cordless battery-powered snowblower.
Beware of heavy snow on Small snow blowers
If you plan to clear wet and heavy snow with a smaller single-stage snowblower, there might be a good chance you will end up with a broken snowblower. In most cases, the engine to your snowblower can breakdown especially if you live in an area that receives this type of snow. What you need for such type of snow is a rugged heavy-duty snow blower that is capable of handling the task. However, keep in mind that most rugged snow blowers have a large clearing path, therefore, you might have a rough time maneuvering through small spaces.
Ease of use
Another factor worth considering is the ease of use of your snowblower. Since most of the work is done by the snow blower, anyway, here what you need to focus on is whether the model is easy to start. Traditional gas-powered models might require you to pull the cord. If you leave the snowblower out in the cold for long hours, it can be difficult starting it once again. The best option is to go with a model that has a quick start button or an electric ignition system that starts the engine as soon as you are ready to go.
Extra convenient features
Apart from the highlighted features, you should also be on the lookout for any other design features that will make your work easy in the long run. For instance, if you regularly clear snow in the dark it would be a good idea to go with a unit that also features headlights. Not only will this be ergonomically beneficial but it will also help you get the job done faster. Also, consider units with power steering since they tend to give you the best performance if you are clearing snow on angled and curved pathways. Also, go with units with snap-on flexible enclosures since they make snowblower maintenance much easier.
Now that you have our list of the best snow blowers out there, we hope you will be able to find a unit that suits your specific needs. Keep in mind that finding the best snow blower has more to do with the amount of snow your area receives than the actual features of a specific snowblower. There is no need to spend a fortune on an expensive heavy-duty blower when your area barely gets snowfalls. If you are planning to clear up heavy, wet and deep snow, you also don’t want to use a cheap snow blower since it probably won’t get the job done. Be sure to check out and understand the differences between a single stage, a two-stage, and three-stage blower as well to make the right choice.