5 Snow Blowers that Get the Job Done Right

Winter’s almost here, and it’s time to start thinking about how to keep the driveways and sidewalks clear.

Want to be a snow clearing pro this winter? A snowplow is the answer. But which one to buy? Our buying guide can help: https://gardenerspath.com/gear/snow-blowers/buying-guide/ #snow #snowblower #buyingguide

We’ve reviewed 5 snow blowers with exceptional features for making a dreaded cold weather task not only easier, but maybe even a little bit fun!

In my neighborhood, when the first flakes are predicted, the tarps come off the snow blowers. Soon they’re gassed-up, recharged, plugged in, and prepared for Mother Nature’s worst.

Gas-powered is the fashion here, with freedom to roam from house to house unencumbered by a cord or battery life. The big boys on the block (sorry, no women that I’ve seen yet!) spend hours deftly guiding their gleaming machines, lifting and releasing snow in great clouds of white.

We’ve reviewed 5 snow blowers with exceptional features for making this cold weather task not only easier, but maybe even a little bit fun!

First, let’s look at our top pick for all-purpose power. Next up is our bargain pick, a light-duty model with a reasonable price.

Stay with us for three additional models well worth your consideration, and then, we’ll break it all down, to help you chose the model or models that will serve you best.

Here we go, starting with our top pick:

Top Pick Up Front: Husqvarna 24-Inch Two-Stage Electric Start Snowthrower with Power Steering

Expertly crafted to handle snow from two to 12 inches, this self-propelled model is our recommendation for the best all-purpose machine. From the lightest to the heaviest precipitation – including ice – this dual-stage machine boasts power steering and is made for the job.

Husqvarna 24-Inch 208cc Two Stage Electric Start with Power Steering Snowthrower, available on Amazon

An electric ignition starts the 208cc Husqvarna engine with ease. It has a friction disc transmission, aluminum gearbox, and a 2.7-liter fuel tank.

Key features are its 180-degree remote chute rotation and remote chute deflector, for making adjustments without having to step out from behind the machine. Fifteen-inch tires and a 12-inch improved performance steel ribbon auger make clearing a 24-inch path a breeze.

An LED headlamp and heated comfort grips complete the package.

Some assembly is required. A three-year limited warranty is included, with five-year coverage for the engine and auger gear box.

Replacement Parts and Supplies

A few products are available on Amazon, including the Husqvarna Snow Thrower Replacement Shear Bolt Kit, and a Shear Bolts and Nuts Kit.

You can also purchase replacement OEM Snow Blower Shear Pins, and a Snow Thrower Drift Cutter Kit.

Husqvarna Snow Thrower Drift Cutter Kit, available on Amazon

Overall, verified purchasers on Amazon.com are highly satisfied with this product. It delivers as promised in all types of snow, and the 24-inch path is more than adequate.

Features

  • Gas powered
  • 208 cc Husqvarna engine
  • Handles 2 to 12 inches of snow
  • 25.75 x 22.75 x 41.75 inches
  • 198.6 pounds
  • Power steering
  • 24-inch path
  • 12-inch steel ribbon auger
  • 15-inch tires
  • 180-degree remote chute rotation
  • 2.7-liter fuel tank

Pros

  • All-metal housing
  • All-purpose
  • Electric start
  • Expansive remote chute rotation
  • LED light
  • Ribbon auger
  • Self-propelled

Cons

  • Large machine to store
  • Requires gas, oil, and engine maintenance

Check current prices on Amazon.

And now, our choice for excellent value at an affordable price, our bargain pick.

Bargain Pick: Snow Joe Ultra 18-Inch Electric Snow Thrower with Light

Our bargain pick is well built for light duty, providing exceptional service for a reasonable price.

A bit larger than average electric models, the Snow Joe Ultra weighs 33.3 pounds and measures 45 x 19 x 38 inches. It is equipped to handle mid-sized driveways and walkways, giving the power of a single-stage gas model, with the convenience of an electric style unit.

Snow Joe Ultra 18-Inch 13.5-Amp Electric Snow Thrower with Light, available on Amazon

Its 13.5-amp motor and 4-blade steel auger clear up to 650 pounds of snow a minute, making a path 18 inches wide, and expelling up to 20 feet away.

Intended for use on level paved surfaces or decks, the scraper blade at the base of this unit clears the ground efficiently.

ETL-approved, this model has been independently tested for safety. A safety switch button prevents accidental starting.

With a manually adjustable discharge chute for a 180-degree rotation, an adjustable chute deflector, and compact easy-glide pivot wheels for comfortable steering, this model has much to offer.

Some assembly is required. A full two-year warranty is included.

Verified purchasers on Amazon.com note that the deeper the snow, the harder you must push, as with all manually operated products.

Some say that having to use a thick, cumbersome extension cord is a bit of a nuisance.

Among the buyers who are dissatisfied with the product, the main issue is that it is not intended for use on heavy, wet precipitation.

Features

  • Electric
  • 13.5-amp motor
  • Moderate to heavy snow, mid-sized property
  • 45 x 19 x 38 inches
  • 33.3 pounds
  • Adjustable chute deflector
  • 18-inch path
  • Steel auger
  • 180-degree manual chute rotation

Pros

  • Compact storage
  • Compact wheels that glide easily
  • Environmentally sound
  • Halogen headlamp for nighttime use
  • Instant start
  • No maintenance
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Distance limited by length of cord(s)

Replacement Parts and Supplies

Snow Joe offers replacement parts and supplies, including their Universal Snow Thrower Clean Out Tool and Auto Joe Track Assist.

Read customer reviews and check prices now on Amazon.

Next up, here are three additional models that are well worth considering.

Additional Models Reviewed

Toro 18-Inch Electric 1800 Power Curve

This electric model from Toro starts instantly. It is intended for use in light snow, and for clearing small paved or decked areas.

Toro 38381 18-Inch 15 Amp Electric 1800 Power Curve

Toro 18-Inch Electric Power Curve, available from ACE Hardware

It has a 15-amp motor that may move up to 700 pounds of snow per minute. With an auger made of rigid plastic, it also has 6-inch gripping wheels for firm traction.

This unit weighs 26 pounds and measures 36.2 x 18 x 47 inches. Its shovel is 18 inches wide and 12 inches high.

In light, fluffy precipitation, you may expect to clear a path 18 inches wide in snow up to 10 inches deep, and toss it 30 feet away.

A unique aspect of this model is its “Power Curve” technology, in which a curved rotor and inverted funnel housing move more snow in less time, to help prevent clogging, and clean right down to the pavement.

This product has a plastic chute that adjusts manually in a rotation of 160 degrees. The chute has a quick lever that lets you adjust it left to right for efficient throwing. There’s also a locking ratchet zip deflector to set for high, medium, and low angle expelling.

Additional features include a lightweight design and an ergonomic grip handle for comfort and leverage.

This unit requires an extension cord for use, and has a cord lock system to keep the plug secure. You may use up to 150 feet of cord for operation.

This model is manually propelled and recommended for use on flat, paved surfaces. It is not intended for heavy, wet precipitation, and if used for such, it may perform unsatisfactorily.

In addition, be sure to use the correct amp power cords, or the unit will not operate at full capacity. Unplug after use, and carefully dry all parts before storing in the garage, shed, or basement. This product’s handle folds for compact storage.

Some assembly is required. A two-year warranty is included.

Features

  • Electric
  • 15-amp motor
  • Light duty, small spaces
  • 18-inch path
  • 12-inch intake
  • 36.2 x 18 x 47 inches
  • 26 pounds
  • Plastic auger
  • 6-inch wheels
  • 160-degree turning radius

Pros

  • Ergonomic handle
  • Handle folds for compact storage
  • Instant start
  • Lightweight
  • May be taken to an authorized Toro dealer for service
  • No maintenance
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Distance limited by length of cord(s)

Check current prices at ACE Hardware now!

 

Cub Cadet 26-Inch 3-Stage Electric Start

This three-stage, 357cc electric start model from Cub Cadet has a powerful 4-cycle OHV engine, and stands up to every kind of winter precipitation from packed, wet flakes to thick ice. An overhead valve engine operates more quietly and efficiently than traditional side-valve models.

Cub Cadet 26-Inch Gas Snow Blower with Power Steering and Heated Grips in Yellow, available on Amazon

Push the button to start. Clear a 26-inch swath at an intake height of 21 inches with the ease of fingertip trigger controls and power steering, while your hands stay warm on the heated grips.

Four-way pitch control and 200-degree chute rotation help you plow your way through drifts, and expel up to 50 feet.

From six to 16 inches of precipitation, you have nothing to fear. Flat paved ground, gravel, and even a slight incline are no match for this beast. And with its new 3X induction accelerator, it boasts the ability to move snow 50 percent faster than those with 2X capacity.

This model has 15 x 5-inch X-TRAC tires and blue skid shoes to protect your surfaces from rust and damage.

The product comes prefilled with oil. Type 5W-30 is recommended when a refill is required. It also includes a clearing tool. Some assembly is required.

There is a 3-year limited residential warranty provided, a 1-year limited commercial warranty, and a 5-year limited auger gearbox warranty on this product.

Features

  • Gas powered
  • 357 cc OHV 4-cycle engine
  • All-purpose
  • 49 x 28.5 x 34 inches
  • 260 pounds
  • 6 forward speeds, 2 reverse speeds
  • 26-inch path
  • 21-inch intake
  • 12-inch impeller
  • 15-inch tires with skid shoes
  • 200-degree chute rotation

Pros

  • Heated hand grips
  • One-hand operation
  • Powerful and quiet OHV engine
  • Wide tires with skid shoes

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Large to store
  • Requires gas, oil, and engine maintenance

Check current prices and read reviews on Amazon.

 

EGO 21-Inch 56-Volt Lithium Ion Single Stage

This cordless model from EGO is a single-stage lithium ion battery-powered unit for moderate to heavy precipitation. It performs best on paved surfaces, and can handle slightly sloping ground.

EGO 56-Volt Lithium-Ion Single Stage Electric Snow Blower, available on Amazon

Measuring 52 x 22 x 38 inches and weighing a little under 61 pounds, it is a compact model with a steel chassis.

A high-efficiency brushless motor puts out 56 volts, to clear a path 21 inches wide. With an intake height of 13 inches, it can remove precipitation up to 10 inches deep.

It throws to 35 feet via a variable-speed steel auger, a chute with a handle-mounted adjustment lever, and manual pitch control. According to the manufacturer, this model can move up to 45 tons per hour.

The auger is 7.5 inches with replaceable rubber paddles. The chute may be adjusted manually for 180-degree rotation.

Included with this product are two EGO 56-Volt ARC lithium batteries and a rapid charger that provides a full charge in 40 minutes.

This model has two LED lights and a handle that folds for storage. Some assembly is required.

A 5-year limited warranty is provided on EGO outdoor power equipment, and 3-year limited warranty on EGO Power+ System battery packs and chargers.

Again, efficient removal with this product all depends on the snow. Some note that it works best in lightweight precipitation, and may clog in heavy accumulations.

Features

  • Battery powered
  • 56 volts
  • Moderate to heavy duty
  • 39 x 24 x 20 inches
  • 70 pounds
  • 21-inch path
  • 13-inch intake
  • Steel auger
  • 180-degree chute rotation

Pros

  • Cordless
  • Environmentally sound
  • Handle folds for storage
  • No maintenance
  • Quiet
  • Two EGO 56-Volt ARC lithium batteries included
  • Lithium ion battery charger included

Cons

  • Work sessions defined by battery life

Additional Models

EGO also offers this product without the battery and charger included. They must be purchased separately to operate this version, which may be a good choice if you already happen to have these items on hand.

Check current prices on Amazon now.

Now that we’ve introduced you to some of today’s top snow blowers, it’s time to have a look under the hood. We take a closer look at the finer details of this type of equipment below.

Power It Up

The first thing you need to know about snow blowers is that they are powered in one of three ways:

  • Gas
  • Electricity
  • Battery

All snow blowers are operated by standing behind them and pushing forward, so parts called augers can slice into the snow, churning it up and forcing it out through a chute.

On lower-end models, augers are paddle-type and made of rubber or plastic. Higher-end models have serrated metal ribbon-like augers that can handle ice. Models in between may have both.

Keep Your Sidewalks Clear with the Best Snowblower | GardenersPath.com

Gas-powered products are rated in cubic centimeters, and electric models, in amps. Battery-operated types are rated in voltage, and operate with rechargeable lithium ion batteries. You’ll find there is quite a bit of variation from product to product.

Another area in which products are different from one another is in their clearing width and intake height. Widths range from approximately 12 to 40 inches, with intake heights that vary accordingly.

The models you’re going to see as you shop also vary in how they start. Some must be pulled like lawn mowers, with a manual recoil system. Others start with the turn of a key.

Wheels differ, as well. Some rotate with the force you exert to push the machine. Others are engine-driven and operate in a self-propelled fashion, like a self-propelled lawn mower.

Let’s look deeper into the three types.

Gas Powered

Traditional gas-powered models are workhorses that handle heavy wet precipitation with relative ease. They come in three grades:

Single Stage

The single-stage model is so named because as you push it forward, the auger scoops up snow and throws it – once.

Equipment of this grade is considered “entry level.” Augers of rigid plastic paddles or metal blades scrape the ground, and are not intended for use on uneven or unpaved surfaces.

Clear Driveways and Sidewalks with the Best Snow Blower | GardenersPath.com

Wheels are not engine-driven, so clearing slopes is ill advised. Starters are usually manual recoil.

Models of this type have basic components made of plastic, aluminum, and steel. They are intended for light to moderate precipitation, and small to mid-sized paved driveways and walkways. They are not recommended for unpaved surfaces, as they may scoop and throw gravel.

Dual Stage

A step up from single-stage is a dual- or two-stage. The upgrade to this “mid-level” product is the impeller fan, which assists the auger in expelling snow, so that it is thrown twice.

Best Snow Blowers Reviewed | GardenersPath.com

This model is faster and suitable for use on irregular and unpaved surfaces, as the auger does not touch the ground. At this level, wheels are engine-driven, making use on slopes possible. And starters are electric.

These models usually include power steering, and shear pins protect the engine by breaking off as a warning when something hard is struck in the working parts.

Three Stage

At this stage, we’re talking about an upgrade to “professional level.” This is the holy grail, intended for the prosumer.

An accelerator moves snow up to 10 times faster than the augers of a dual-stage model. A metal auger channels snow to the accelerator for chopping, and the impeller forces it through the chute.

Everything You Need to Know to Buy a Snow Blower | GardenersPath.com

Models of this type have top of the line commercial-quality parts like cast iron gear cases and steel frames. Features like engine-driven wheels, halogen lights, interlocking controls, power steering, and heated handgrips are usually standard.

They can cut through winter’s worst, throwing snow a whopping 50 feet away.

Snow Blower Maintenance Tips | GardenersPath.com

Unlike electric and battery models, gas-powered units require maintenance. If you choose this type, you’ll soon become well-versed in the gas, oil, fuel stabilizer, spark plugs, belts, and pins that this equipment requires.

Electric

Electric types require a power cord, and care must be taken not to push over and sever it while operating the unit.

Power cords are not usually included with these products. If you purchase this kind of tool, you will need to purchase the outdoor, low-temperature rated extension cord recommended by its manufacturer. It’s crucial that the correct cord is used; otherwise, the unit will not operate at full capacity.

Plan to add up to $50 to your total cost for the purchase of an appropriate power cord, or cords, depending upon the length you need.

Snow Blower Power Sources | GardenersPath.com

If you’re considering an electric model, remember that if your power goes out, you won’t be able to use it.

Electric models operate in a single stage, making one pass and expelling through a chute. The auger touches the ground, making this model best for paved surfaces.

These environmentally friendly models are for light-duty snow removal. They start with the push of a button, and operate quietly, requiring no maintenance.

This type of unit is useful in light, powdery precipitation where you need to clear a deck or short walkway.

Battery Powered

Unlike electric models, you do not need a cord attached to a power source with battery-operated units.

They run on lithium batteries that need several hours to charge, and operate for approximately one hour. Batteries and chargers are usually included. If not, plan for an additional expense of approximately $200.

Want to find the best snowblower in terms of durability and bang for your buck? Read our review: https://gardenerspath.com/gear/snow-blowers/buying-guide/ #snowblower #reviews

These models are also single-stage, making one pass that scoops and throws.

Battery-powered snow removal tools are like electric types, in that they are environmentally sound, run quietly, require no maintenance, and are suited for small jobs.

Which Type to Choose?

Isn’t it funny how when we carry an umbrella, it never seems to rain?

Some of you are undoubtedly thinking that with your choice to invest in a beast to clear the walks and driveway, it probably won’t snow this year!

But I’m of the opinion that it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and you better believe your top choice will be on backorder once the blizzard hits.

So, how do you decide which model to get?

Snow Blowers that Get the Job Done Right | GardenersPath.com

First and foremost, keep the size of your property in mind.

If you have a few small areas to clear, like a deck, pathway, and parking space, an electric or battery-powered model may be just right, especially for light precipitation. And for heavy use, you may find using a shovel to be better than either option.

If you have a larger area to clear that includes a long driveway and front sidewalks, consider a single-stage or dual-stage gas-powered style. You may find the single-stage perfect for lighter precipitation, and the dual-stage great for both light and heavy snowfall.

For the largest jobs, like expansive properties with multiple parking and walking areas, as well as for commercial use, the three-stage is the machine for you. It can handle any type or quantity of flakes.

Bring on the Snow!

There you have it – our review of the top-rated snow blowers to consider as you decide how you’re going to keep your property clear this winter.

Snow Blower Purchasing Tips | GardenersPath.com

Whether you go with an electric, gas-powered, or rechargeable battery model, be sure to select a product from a reputable company that stands by its merchandise.

As with any tool, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for routine maintenance. Replace parts as needed for efficient operation.

And, in addition to power equipment, you’ll probably want to have a few sturdy shovels at the ready. Check out our review of the best snow shovels and stock up.

An investment in good equipment affords years of practical use. And don’t forget the fun factor when you take it out to play!

How will you deal with the chores of winter this year? Let us know in the comments section below.

Product photos via Husqvarna, Snow Joe, TORO, Cub Cadet, EGO. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock.

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About Nan Schiller

Nan Schiller is a writer with deep roots in the soil of southeastern Pennsylvania. Her background includes landscape and floral design, a BS in business from Villanova University, and a Certificate of Merit in floral design from Longwood Gardens. An advocate of organic gardening with native plants, she’s always got dirt under her nails and freckles on her nose. With wit and hopefully some wisdom, she shares what she’s learned and is always ready to dig into a new project!

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I really liked this article. It laid everything out very logically and covered all the important things about snow blowers.