Best Snow Blowers Reviews for 2018 – Which one is the right choice?
In the dead of winter, half of the world envies the other half. Those fighting through huge drifts of snow blocking their driveway are understandably jealous of those who live in warmer climes, where it’s not necessary to spend time shopping for a snowblower and then spending a lot of money to buy one for your home.
But if you live in a snowy region, a snow thrower is integral to your life for 3-4 months a year. You can survive the summer with a sub-standard lawnmower (although perhaps with some anguish and cursing). A blower that doesn’t do the job, on the other hand, can literally leave you snowed in.
Not everyone needs an industrial-strength equipment. Some areas only suffer through snowstorms a few times each year and a lightweight thrower is more than sufficient. That won’t do in areas where regular snowfalls of two feet or more require a snowblower with enough power and durability to handle large quantities of heavy, wet snow many times each winter.
Stores and online sites that specialize in outdoor equipment like snow blowers offer a surprisingly large variety of machines; some are designed to deal with light snow from decks and walkways, while others are monsters which will make relatively short work of large blankets of snowfall on driveways. The best snow blower for a single application will either be overkill or insufficient for another.
That’s the purpose of these snow blower reviews. We’ll give you a good rundown of the best snow throwers for light and heavy usage, along with a summary of their important pros and cons. The list will come right after we look at what you need to know when shopping for a snowblower.
Top 10 Best Snowblowers Comparison Table
|Product Name||Power Source||Motor Size||Clearing Width||Our Rating||Price|
|Electric||13 amp||20 inches||
|Electric||15 amp||18 inches||
|Battery||40 V||13 inches||
|Electric||15 amps||18 inches||
|Husqvarna ST224||Gas||208cc||24 inches||
|Husqvarna 961930097||Gas||254cc||27 inches||
Complete Buying Guide
The performance of a snowblower will largely depend on two things: whether it’s powered by gas or electricity and (if it’s gas-powered) how many “stages” the equipment uses to discharge the snow. (You’ll occasionally find a two-stage electric blower, but they are few and far between.) It would be natural to think that size is also crucial, but in reality a larger machine isn’t necessarily more efficient or effective in heavy snowfalls. Some smaller models actually outperform bigger ones. The only concern you should have is if the equipment is too big or heavy for you to operate.
We’ll start our buying guide by checking out electric snow throwers, which are less expensive than most gas models and come in two “flavors”. Those that plug into an outlet are a good choice for cleaning out small areas in a home like porches and patios, and can also be used on smaller walks and driveways as long as the cord reaches that far (and you don’t object to being tethered to a power outlet). Cordless snow blowers that work on battery power are naturally more convenient, and the ones now on the market often vastly outperform their corded brethren. Generally speaking, plug-in blowers are best for light snowfall up to six inches in depth, while most cordless throwers can deal with heavier fall and upto a foot in depth. Both are best used only on paved surfaces, since gravel will be a problem unless you move up to a two-stage petrol blower. Since these are electrically powered they are more lightweight and much quieter than gas snow blowers, but they normally won’t clear as wide a path.
Gas snow throwers are categorized as having single, two or three stages, and their size and capabilities increase according to the number of stages in the process. Single-stage blowers use an auger which picks up snow as it spins and then throws it out directly through a chute. Two-stage throwers add an impeller to the mix, as the auger scoops up snow and the impeller propels it out at a much higher speed. Three-stage blowers also have an interior accelerator that chops up blocks of snow and ice before feeding it to the impeller. As you would guess, these are only necessary for the toughest jobs in the most challenging weather conditions.
As you move up in stages, throwers usually get larger and heavier, are able to throw snow farther, and can deal with greater depths. Figure on a single-stage blower for 9-12″ in depth, a two-stage machine for 12-24″, and a three-stage thrower if you regularly deal with snowfalls greater than two feet.
Gas throwers also have larger clearing widths. On average, a single-stage model will clear a path anywhere from 1,5 feet , a two-stage blower is 2 feet, and you can find three-stage blowers that can handle 2.5 feet or more at a time. That’s important to consider, but so is this: if you want to remove snow from gravel, you cannot use anything less than a two-stage blower because the auger on a single-stage model touches the ground – so it will scoop up the gravel on your driveway and throw it out too.
Other considerations to look at include electric start options for petrol powered snow blowers, a discharge funnel that can rotate, power steering for larger models, multiple speeds, and niceties like heated handles. A “dead man’s switch” is crucial for any model so it immediately stops spinning if you release the safety latch.
Top 10 Snow Blower Reviews
1. GreenWorks 2600502
This GreenWorks model isn’t just our favorite corded model, but you’ll find it atop most lists of electric snowblower reviews. It’s quiet, affordable and one of the more powerful corded snow throwers available, able to discharge snow as far away as 20 feet through its 180° rotatable chute. The 13-amp 2600502 is perfectly suited to smaller jobs and has a generous 20-inch cleaning path, yet it’s compact and lightweight with a folding handle that makes storage easy. One other benefit is the plastic auger which isn’t as flimsy as it might sound, and has the added benefit of not scraping the paint off deck floors. If you don’t experience heavy snowfalls regularly, this is worth considering to buy.
2. Husqvarna ST224P
There’s a reason Husqvarna is a revered name in the heavy equipment field; the company makes reliable machinery, and Huskies are a common sight in regions that get lots of snow. The ST224P is one of the lightest two-stage throwing equipment in the market at just under 200 pounds, and the Husky’s light weight and great power steering means it’s extremely easy to manage on slopes. There’s an automatic start button as well as a traditional rope plunger, there are six selectable speeds, has a clearing radius of 24″ and the funnel has a convenient remote rotator. The adjustable, heated handles are a nice touch, but we like the ST224P best for the 208cc engine that works almost effortlessly in snow as deep as two feet. It tops our snow blower ratings for two-stage models.
3. Briggs And Stratton 1696614
The Briggs and Stratton 1696614 is almost as good the Husqvarna, also featuring two stages, a 208cc engine, a 24-inch clear out path and automatic start. There are seven speeds on this lightweight equipment(five forward, two reverse), along with a steel auger and dash-mounted chute controls. So why do rank it below the Husky? There are two main reasons: there’s no power steering, and the lower height of the intake means that its use is limited to snowfalls well under two feet. The engine puts out plenty of torque, though, so you’ll be able to blast through 12-18 inches of build up nicely.
4. Ariens Company 921030 DLX
More powerful and with extra drive features, this Ariens blower is a nice step up for those who live in severe-weather regions. The 921030 has a 254cc engine with 12 foot-pounds of torque, it covers a 28-inch swath with a larger impeller than the ones we’ve already looked at, and the Ariens’ self-propelled eight-speed drive (six forward, two reverse) with auto-turn makes it a dream to maneuver. There are other advantages as well, including a cast-iron gear case, wide Polar Trax tires and a 50-foot throwing distance. This may be too much snowblower for many people, but if you need extra power in a two-stage machine we recommend it.
5. Toro 38381 1800
When you think of Toro you probably think of lawnmowers, but the company also makes the best-selling line of snow throwers. The 38381 is a very good model, not quite up to the GreenWorks we looked at earlier in our snow blower ratings but still worth a long look for the lighter job of cleaning out decks and walkways. There’s an 18-inch clearing width and a 160° rotatable chute, although its 15-amp motor is a bit more powerful. In other words, most of the features aren’t quite as good as the competition – but it’s still a Toro and a solid snow thrower.
6. Snow Joe iON18SB Ion
Here’s the only cordless snow thrower on our rankings and it’s from a well-respected manufacturer. The iON18SB runs on a rechargeable 40-volt 4.0 aH lithion-ion battery, giving you 40-50 minutes of running time before it needs a charge. This Snow Joe weighs just 32 pounds but still features a steel auger (with rubber blades so they won’t damage decks), and it can handle up to a feet of buildup with a clear out width of 18″. The 180° rotatable discharge funnel moves with the touch of a switch and can throw snow as far as 20 feet. While battery-powered throwers like the iON18SB are usually more expensive than corded ones, this is whisper-quiet, extremely convenient, and just right for normal snowfalls.
7. Snow Joe Ultra SJ623E
The Snow Joe Ultra doesn’t quite measure up to the GreenWorks either, but it definitely deserves to be included in our rankings. The SJ623E is well-built with a heavy-grade steel auger (and rubber faces on the blades), and features a 15-amp motor and 18-inch swath along with a 180° adjustable discharge funnel. You’ll be able to clean snowfalls as deep as ten inches with the Snow Joe Ultra; the negative is that it doesn’t throw the snow as far as we’d like. A good piece of equipment, though.
8. Husqvarna ST224
We’ve already raved about the Husky ST224P. This model is quite similar, except it doesn’t have power steering; it’s also 40 pounds lighter and less expensive for that reason. Otherwise, the specs and the reliability are the same as the ST224P and we recommend it almost as highly, although you may prefer to lay out the extra bucks for power steering if you have challenging terrain to clear or if you’re not quite as strong as you’d wish.
9. Husqvarna 961930097
This Husky model is more powerful than the other two on our list. This Husky features a 254cc engine as well as a wider 27” swath, so it will get the job done more quickly than the ST224P at an extra cost and a bigger charge on your credit card. It’s a good step up if you get lots of snow, but be aware that this model does not have the power steering we loved on the smaller model.
10. Briggs And Stratton 1696619
The final model on our list a higher-level Briggs and Stratton with a 250cc engine and 27-inch clearing path, instead of the 208cc/24-inches you get on the 1696614 model we looked at earlier. That means getting rid of more snow, faster. All of the other features remain the same; what surprises us is that the more powerful engine only adds five pounds to the thrower’s total weight. It does add quite a bit extra in the way of cost, though.
Ready, Set, Blow
Unless you’ve just moved to a new area of the country, you’re already well aware of how much fall you can expect each winter – which means that you already have most of the information you need to choose the best snow blower for your home. Cordless models are the most convenient but only run for an hour or less and can’t take care of big snowfalls, and electric powered blowers force you to stay connected to a power source but are great for smaller storms or cleaning up decks and walkways. Gas-powered snow throwers require more maintenance but can usually get the job done better and larger two-stage models can take care of almost anything Mother Nature can throw at you.
Our snow blower reviews should have supplied the rest of the details necessary for choosing a winter companion which will let you get rid of all that snow that’s blocking your car and keeping you inside – allowing you to get out and truly enjoy the winter.