If you live in a place that witnesses heavy rainfall every winter, then you will require something that can give you more benefits than a snow shovel to clear your driveway. It is not so easy to move feet or inches of snow from sidewalks & driveways. If you don’t want to break your back with a snow shovel anymore, you have to go with best snow blowers available in the market. It can last for many winters if you can maintain it properly.
For a good snow blower, being powerful enough to clear snow quickly is not enough. The model has to be energy-efficient and trustworthy. Also, it should be simple to use. There are several affordable battery-powered models along with heavy-duty machines available in the markets that are able to cut through the deep buildup to make your winter better. In order to assist you in finding the right one, we have mentioned the best models from top brands.
When you choose the right model, you need to consider a few factors like the type of snow, the accumulation amount you want to clear & the surface type. In addition, you need to think about dealer support when it comes to replacing wearable parts & maintenance.
What is a Snow Blower?
It is a machine used to remove snow from driveways, sidewalks, roadways, railroad tracks, ice rinks, or runways. The term “snow blower” is a misnomer, it is because the snow is moved with the help of an impeller rather than being blown.
How Does a Snow Blower Work?
These machines let you remove snow from unwanted areas. In the single-stage snow blower, the auger paddle will pull snow into the machine & thereafter, it will throw the snow out of the chute. More advanced stages are there, which are mainly designed to handle more snow. When you use a two-stage snow blower, it helps to pull snow into a machine, feeds this into an impeller to break it up more efficiently, and throws this out of the discharge chute. The 3-stage models include an additional accelerator, which helps it to clear snow 50% faster than a comparable Cub Cadet 2-stage snow blower.
Benefits of the Best Snow Blowers:
The benefits of these machines are as follows:
Save You Time:
Do you live in an area where snowfall is common? If so, then you could have realized how much it may consume time to go out & shovel your path constantly. You can easily solve the problem with the help of a Snowblower. You just need to turn on this and then allow it to do its job.
Saves You Money:
Hiring someone to shovel snow can cost too much. But when you use a snowblower, you need to only pay for the initial cost & its maintenance. Therefore, you can use that money for other things rather than paying for snow removal each time.
These are used not only to remove snow but also for other purposes. For example, these help you to clear leaves, grass, and debris from the garden. So, if you are planning to clear the yard of the leaves in the fall, then it is very useful.
These can last for several years, but they must require proper care & maintenance. You don’t need to replace this machine every few years. The more you keep the machine clean, the more it will last. Parts of these machines can be found easily. So, you can replace something when necessary.
Simple to Operate:
As soon as you learn to use a snowblower, you can operate this easily. There is no need to have any special training or skills to use this machine. You only have to read the instructions which are available with the snowblower. Thus, you can use it very quickly.
What You Need to Keep Your Blower Running:
Sometimes, even a snow blower that is maintained properly can experience issues. So, you have to keep some extra items that make sure that your machine remains operational when you need it:
Belts: Belts are one of the essential parts that engage all the critical components of the machine. Users will require one drive belt for single-stage machines & two for two-stage models.
Shear Pins: In case, the auger hits something too hard, on two-stage models, these parts help to protect the engine and transmission by breaking. So, it is advised to keep extras on hand.
Fuel Stabilizer: When the snow blower will sit idle, gasoline in the tank, fuel lines, and carburetor will break down and get thickened. You need to add a stabilizer to your fuel in order to slow down this process.
Top Five Best Snow Blowers:
Ariens Classic Snow Blower:
This one of the best snow blowers on the list is very simple to assemble & you can also use this easily. So, it can be said that this model is ideal for those who are using this kind of machine for the first time. This two-stage snow blower is the best solution for those who tend to get deep snow often and need to use a powerful snow blower.
You can assemble this model quickly. Also, the instructions are very easy to understand. Besides, Ariens’ instructional videos help users a lot. After going through the instructions, you will not face any trouble to start it.
It offers a manual recoil start, and an electric push-button start, which is a must-have on winter days. Thanks to the self-propelled feature, because of which the machine is capable of tackling even deep, wet snow at the end of the driveway easily. This self-propelled feature comes with six forward speeds & two reverse. Therefore, in order to match the pace, you need to choose the right speed.
You can have total control over throwing the snow where you want, and it is possible because of the snow chute feature’s easy-to-use controls on the handlebar. These allow users to shoot the snow up to 40 feet away, up and down, or side to side. As a result, they are capable of adjusting it as they want.
A grip-activated auger control is one of the safety features of this model. Also, there is a tool used to dislodge clogs in the chute if its engine is completely turned off. Despite being a push-button start, the engine key has to be in for users to operate it. As the model is gas-powered, it’s necessary to refuel it. You should remember that the model emits fumes. In terms of price and power, this is the best pick.
- Clear & easy-to-understand instructions
- The self-propelled feature is available
- Simple to maneuver
- Tackles deep snow without chute getting clogged
- LED headlights are unavailable
Snow Joe Corded Electric Snow Thrower
When you use a corded electric snow blower, you don’t need to fuel it up or charge the battery. Besides, corded electric snow blowers require very little engine maintenance. But the disadvantages are the nuisance of the power cord. Also, these can’t create a lot of power. But if you want to clear light snowfall from a patio, deck, or small driveway, then these are good to go.
Although this single-stage corded snow blower is not as strong as the battery-powered one, it is capable of handling light dustings. This model can offer a 22-inch clearing path. Also, using this machine, you can throw snow at a distance of 25 feet. But this one is not self-propelled. You can be impressed by the 180-degree chute & the dual LED headlamps. Additionally, this model is available at a very affordable price range.
Versatile: You can use this model for picking up quick snow on mid-sized driveways & walkways.
Powerful: With the help of the 15-amp electric motor, it is possible to move up to 25 tons of snow per hour. In a single pass, it can clear snow off a 22-in x 13-in path.
LED lights: There are two 1.5 W LED lights used to facilitate night-time snow removal.
Extension Cord: Customers should use a certain gauge & length extension cord. There is no need to use an extension cord over 100 ft or 30 m.
- Affordable price range
- LED headlamps
- Quiet operation
- No need to refuel or recharge
- Not self-propelled
- A power cord is required
EGO Power+ Cordless Single-Stage Snow Blower:
If you often experience light & infrequent snowfall, then go for this battery-powered model. It weighs just over 50 pounds and is the most lightweight model on the list. The cordless design of this product allows you to use it freely without the need to be tethered to an outlet. But as it is a single-stage snow blower, you should not use it for consistent, heavy snowfall.
Ability to Tackle Snow:
This product is able to tackle dense snow. You only need a single pass to reach the ground except in those areas where the snow has piled up.
Decent Battery Life:
Each battery will take around sixty minutes to charge. When you use the model, both batteries are used simultaneously for a longer runtime. Users have found its battery life to be decent after two years of use. What makes this machine impressive is that it includes some top-quality features that you can find in the expensive models. For instance, you can enjoy features like variable auger speed control, LED headlights, a chute-adjustment lever, and a grip-activated auger.
You only need ten minutes to set up. So, stowing away the model is very simple. It comes with a quick-fold handle for compact storage. Remember that it isn’t a self-propelled machine. Therefore, you have to put some effort into moving this along, mainly when turning a corner. Although this product offers surprising power for its size, it will fall behind in competition with gas or two-stage snow blowers.
- Perfect for light, infrequent snowfalls.
- Not a self-propelled machine.
Worx Power Share 20-In. 40-Volt Snowblower
It is one of the smallest snow blowers available on the list. Because of the folding handle and its size, it becomes perfect for homes, as you don’t need plenty of storage to keep it. As it is cordless, you are able to store this at the bottom of a closet. It features LED lights to let you work before the sun to dig out. As this one is battery power, you are not likely to wake up anyone doing so.
Clear Snow Quickly:
The Power Share comes with an intake of 10″ depth and 20″ width. Although it will be difficult for the machine to clear heavy, dense & wet sawdust, this one is still better than shoveling.
Performance to Clear Snow:
This model can give you better performance in light, drier, and snow conditions. Remember that compared to the wet sawdust, real snow is more slippery. When you use the machine, you can more easily move the snow through the machine. The product allows you to throw the snow at a distance of 20 feet.
As the 4-Ah batteries last about 30 minutes, these can help to clear a sidewalk or short driveway of 3″-6″ deep snow. Therefore, once you see the snow hit 3″-4″, you should clear it quickly.
- Handle folds for storage
- Light-weight enough to move easily
- Wetter & denser snow will run down the battery quickly
Greenworks 13 Amp 20-Inch Corded Snow Blower
Do you stay in a place where light, sporadic snowfall can only be seen? Then, you don’t need to invest a lot of money in a snow blower that offers features which are not required for you. This product is able to clear a path that is 20″ wide and 10″ deep. The model is AC-powered. Therefore, you are never likely to run out of juice as long as you will be able to reach an outlet.
Simple to Use:
If you are looking for a snow blower at a budget-friendly price, it is a good-to-go option. While it is simple to start, it can be stored easily. As this product is light enough to handle and there is no need to put too much effort, it is a perfect option for elderly people.
It comes with a 13 amp motor that can provide effective results for gas alternatives.
Simple Electric Start:
With the help of the adjustable 180-degree directional chute, snow throwing can be easily managed. It can discharge snow up to 20 feet.
It has 7″ wheels for greater mobility & can work only on 120 volts.
- Budget-friendly option
- Lightweight design
- Easy electric start
- Requires extension cord
What to Look for in a Snow Blower:
These are the things you need to keep in mind while selecting a snow blower.
Snow Blower/Snow Thrower:
Sometimes, you can see that the terms “Snow Blower & Snow Thrower” are used interchangeably. But you need to keep in mind that a snow thrower isn’t as efficient as a snow blower.
Snow throwers can be powered by gasoline or electricity. These are single-stage machines that you can use for lighter snowfalls. Besides, these come with lower-rated engines. Also, these models are equipped with snow-scooping augers consisting of rubber instead of metal. These let you discharge the snow in a single operation.
On the flip side, the snow blowers are two-stage or three-stage machines. Hence, the engines are rated at higher horsepower. Also, the augers consist of metal. In this case, separate operations are used in order to collect the snow & discharge it.
Size & Weight:
Generally, gas machines are the heaviest. The weight of these machines remains between 100 and 300+ pounds. These are followed by battery-powered ones that are likely to have more weight than electric ones because of the weight of their batteries. The most lightweight one is a corded electric snow blower, which weighs around 30 to 65 pounds. Because of the presence of self-propelled transmission, it is possible to make even the heaviest snow blowers easier to maneuver.
A drive system’s major purpose is adjusting engine RPMs and converting this to an appropriate speed in order to drive the snow blower forward in several different conditions. Two fundamental transmissions are there: friction disc & hydrostatic.
Friction-disc transmissions refer to mechanical devices that can employ a rubber-edged wheel, which will press the face of a large pulley. Once you reposition the wheel and the pulley’s face, the machine is going to speed up or slow down. Snowblowers that have friction discs come with six forward speeds and two reverse. A lever controls these on the dashboard. Usually, the machines come with a live axle. It indicates that you have attached the wheels to a solid axle. Therefore, these are always going to spin at the same rate.
On the other hand, the hydrostatic transmissions are able to pump hydraulic fluid through hydraulic motors. These convert the flow to mechanical rotation. Drive speed remains independent of engine speed on those machines. Also, you don’t see any fixed number of “speeds.” Compared to the previous ones, these are capable of slower speeds.
So, it becomes beneficial for very deep or heavy snow. As there is so much complexity in hydrostatic transmissions, these are a lot more expensive than others. Two features are there that can help to improve steering. The first feature uses triggers under every handle in order to control clutches that are capable of disengaging the wheel on the corresponding side. The opposite wheel keeps on driving to turn the model in the stopped wheel’s direction. Another feature is incorporating a differential gear on the axle. It lets the wheels spin at different speeds.
It is the most durable type of snow blower. These types of machines are powerful enough to clear even heavy snow accumulations like wet snow. Several models come with an electric start button. Therefore, there is nothing to worry about using a pull-start. But remember that compared to the electric ones, these need more general maintenance. When it comes to gas machines, keep in mind that these need gasoline, occasional oil changes, filter changes, & spark plug replacement. Also, these machines are louder than electric models.
You need to plug these models into an outlet. Hence, there is no need to use gasoline, oil changes, filter changes, or spark plug replacements. Compared to the previous models, these weigh lighter and are more compact. These types of models also do not emit pollutants like gas. That’s why these are the more eco-friendly options. Although the new electric models have become very powerful now, these still lack the power that gas models have. As a result, these are more suitable for lighter snowfalls.
The battery-powered cordless models can prevent you from facing the hassle of struggling with a cord that continues to keep tripping you up. Usually, they are very simple to maneuver. But their run time is limited, generally around 30 minutes. Like the corded models, these do not come with the same power as the gas-powered machines.
Snow blowers are also categorized as single-stage, two-stage, or three-stage machines. Hence, the term “Stage” indicates how many times the machine performs to clear snow.
Single-stage Snow Blowers:
These ones are especially for those areas where you can see light to moderate snow falls— usually under 12 inches. They are the least powerful ones. These types of machines include rubber augers that are used to collect snow & blow it out their discharge chutes in one motion. These can be both gas- and electric-powered.
Two-stage Snow Blowers:
If you live in a place where heavier snowfalls are seen, up to 18 inches, then you should use these types of models. Hence, these models, which come with augers that consist of serrated steel or other metal, first scoop up the snow. After that, the machines will channel it into components which we call impellers. The job of shooting the snow out of the discharge chute is done by these impellers. The benefit you get from this type of snow blower is that you can keep the intake duct clearer. Thus, you can remove snow more efficiently. These models are available in gas- and electric-powered models. Unlike the previous type, you are able to adjust the height of the machine’s skid shoes.
Three-stage Snow Blowers:
These types of snow blowers add another element to the operation. Rather than moving the gathered snow into an impeller, they add an induction accelerator. It is a halfway component used to chop the snow up. Then, you can move this into the impeller. The design of these machines enables you to collect more snow compared to other models. Three-stage snow blowers are only available in gas-powered models.
You need to consider the width of the path the snow blower can clear with each pass. Usually, the range varies from 18-22″. But there are a few affordable options which can clear less even. Meanwhile, more powerful blowers clear 30 inches or more. Narrower clearing widths indicate that more passes are required to clean the sidewalk or driveway. However, these are equipped with smaller footprints. Also, you are able to store them in smaller spaces.
For single-stage machines, residential-use machines have a warranty for two years. Meanwhile, for two-stage and three-stage machines, the warranty is three years. When you use these machines for commercial purposes, most warranties get reduced dramatically.
Always keep in mind that the major task of a blower is clearing snow from driveways and walkways. That’s why when you plan to select the right one, you need to know how much accumulation the product is able to clear every minute. For battery-powered ones, it is a concern. These can provide around 30-40 minutes of continuous run time. Based on the model, the engine power of the machine as well as its auger’s length and diameter, the factor can vary. If you want to go with the best gas-powered two-stage machines, these can help you to clear 1,500-1,900 pounds of snow each minute.
Snow Throwing Distance:
If you use a single-stage snow blower, you will see it throwing snow aside with the auger. But for two-stage ones, there exists an impeller, which is beneficial in heavy snowfall. 30-35 feet is the normal throw distance for single-stage models. And for two-stage machines, the throw distance is 40-55 feet.
Before selecting the best model, ensure that it stands up to the tough conditions. The model you have chosen to buy has to withstand different weather conditions.
In most cases, the two-stage machines come with a self-propelled transmission. As a result, when you use them, these are capable of saving you from pushing a 200+ pound snow blower up a steep driveway. The given speed controls let you modify how fast the wheels adjust a lever near the hand grips to turn. There are a few models offering variable speeds in reverse.
A one-button starter is available in gasoline-powered machines. Because of the presence of the starter, you do not need to pull the starter cord repeatedly. To enable it, you can plug the cord into a standard outlet that supplies the power. When it comes to electric ones, you need to first press a safety switch & depress another lever, engaging the augurs to start the machine.
Several machines of these types, even the self-propelled models, come with a variable-speed control. Usually, you can get the control near the hand grips, and operate it with a thumb. A few speed controls are designated & separated by stops. At the same time, others come with continuous control. If you use higher-end models, you get to see more than one speed for reverse.
With the help of the feature, you are able to use one hand to control the auger and the wheels. Thus, you can use your other hand to direct the discharge chute.
Heated Hand Grips:
Heated Hand Grips can provide more comfort so that you can use the machine for longer needs. However, sometimes you may need to buy these separately.
Joystick Chute Control:
With the help of the handheld operation, it becomes simple to change the vertical & horizontal direction of the discharge chute.
Do you want to clear snow when it is still dark out? Then, you should go for a model that comes with headlights. These let you illuminate the path as you work. Therefore, people in cars can alert and see you while driving.
Noise is the major trade-off of powerful machines that are run on gas. As these are hard on ears, it is recommended to put on ear protection when you operate such machines. Neighbours never like it, especially when you use this early in the morning. Don’t you need to deal with a ton of wet & heavy snow? Then, you can go with a quiet electric or battery-powered snow blower.
Wheels vs. Tracks:
Most of these machines are equipped with wheels that are beneficial for simple maneuvering, mainly if they are engine powered. The same thing happens with two-stage machines. On the flip side, tracks offer greater stability & grip. These provide them the benefit on slopes or over loose surfaces. However, these are more difficult to turn.
The Bottom Line:
If you want to use a good snow blower, remember that it has to check many boxes. Ensure that it has enough power to clear and throw a lot of snow quickly. Keep in mind that the best one should always be simple to operate. Moreover, you need to check whether the model comes with self-propulsion & power steering for better maneuverability through deep snow. Additionally, the model should be equipped with other features, including heated handles, intuitive controls, and LED lights to help you see in low-light conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the best type of snow blower for residential use?
When it comes to heavy rainfall, the best option is Gas-powered two-stage machines. But for several residential areas, it can be overkill. In order to clear paved and relatively short walkways & driveways, you can get more benefits from a single-stage or electric snow blower.
- Can electric snow blowers handle heavy snowfall?
For smaller jobs, electric ones are ideal. These can clear snowfall of less than 12 inches at a time. You can use these models for sidewalks, patios, suburban driveways, etc. Also, these are useful for small- to medium-sized areas. On the flip side, you can go with a gas snow blower for larger driveways. It is useful for climates that can receive heavy snow accumulation.
- How long do snow blowers typically last?
How long the snow blower typically lasts relies mainly on brand reliability and build quality. Also, it depends on use conditions, maintenance, and so on. If you want it for regular use, you may go for a snow blower, which can last around ten years or so. There are even a few two-stage machines that can run for 20 years or more, if you maintain it properly.