Snow days are something that most children, and some adults, wish for. It’s a chance to play outside in fresh white snow, slide down hills, make snow angels, and build snow people. The reality for those that need to get to work, check on relatives, or leave the house safely to go to the store can be a little different. Snow can make surfaces impassable and even dangerous. When this happens, you need a safe and effective way of moving the snow to somewhere less inconvenient. Investing in a snow blower is the perfect answer. Not only will it clear the path, but it will leave the snow piled up close by for someone else to enjoy. The difficulty is, with so many different snow blowers on the market, which do you choose? Our panel of machinery enthusiasts and snow blower experts have compiled a list of the top snow blowers to help point you in the right direction.
The Best Snow Blower
The Toro 18-Inch 15 Amy Electric Power Curve Snow Blower can easily move up to 700 pounds of snow per minute. This efficient snow blower is suitable for use on most surfaces and can clear desks, patios, walkways, and small driveways with very little effort. It achieves its amazing clearance rate through a combination of its 12-inch intake height and its 18-inch clearance width. Its Power Curve technology helps prevent clogging and allows it to clean right down to the pavement. The 160-degree adjustable chute gives the user complete snow-blowing control. The Toro Snow Blower comes complete with a zip deflector, quick level, and lift handle. The lightweight design and full-bail ergonomic handle make it easy to use.
- 15-amp electric snow blower with power curve technology
- 18-inch clearance width
- 12-inch clearance height
- 160-degree adjustable chute
- Lightweight design with full-bail ergonomic handle
- Brand Toro
- Model 38381
- Weight 24 pounds
The lightweight design and ergonomic handle make it easy to control and simple to use
The Power Curve technology reduces clogging and cleans down to the pavement with ease
The large clearance width and height means you can clear more snow in less time; up to 700 pounds per minute.
Finds compacted or frozen snow difficult to maneuver
Moves snow directly in front of the blower, rather than to the sides
Can have some difficulties in deep snow
The lightweight design of the Snow Joe Cordless Single Stage Snow Blower makes it easy to use to clear decks, driveways, and sidewalks. The snow blower features a lithium-ion battery that provides up to 50 minutes of run time, while the EcoSharp technology contained within the snow blower ensures that there is no fade in power during its use. The blower runs extremely quietly and can cut a path of 18 inches wide and 8 inches deep without damaging the surface underneath.
- Cordless snow blower with a steel auger and two rubber blades
- 40V rechargeable lithium-ion battery with a 50-minute run time
- Clears up to 500 pounds of snow per minute
- 18-inch clearance width
- 8-inch clearance depth
- Brand Snow Joe
- Model ION18SB
- Weight 30 pounds
The EcoSharp technology ensures there is no loss of power so that the blower always works and maximum performance
The snow blow has no pull cords or extension cords to trip over. The battery-powered unit does not create any carbon emissions either.
Wide clearance path and 8-inch depth clearance with no damage to the surface underneath
The chute can clog easily in deeper snow
Some reports of the snow blower stalling easily in heavy snow
Only moves the blown snow a limited distance in front of the blower
The Husqvarna Two Stage Electric Start Snow Blower is designed specifically for clearing larger paths and driveways. Its adjustable skid shoes mean that it works efficiently on any surface type, while its friction disc transmission ensures it always operates smoothly. The snow blower can be used on any type of snow and works in all weather conditions thanks to its electric starter motor. Its LED headlights, heated handle grips, and adjustable handle height make for safer and more comfortable working conditions.
- 24-inch two-stage, gas-powered snow blower
- 208cc Husqvarna engine with electric start
- Remote chute deflector and rotator
- 15-inch tires and adjustable skid shoes
- Friction disc transmission
- Brand Husqvarna
- Model 961930096
- Weight 198.6 pounds
The remote chute rotator gives you control over where the blown snow lands
Designed to clear larger paths and driveways efficiently
Works safely and efficiently in all weather conditions and on all types of snow
The machine is not particularly resilient, and there are several reports of it breaking easily after just a few uses
The controls on the chute are not very sturdy or easy to use
Some reports of the machine struggling in deeper snow
The Briggs & Stratton 24” Dual-Stage Snow Blower contains a powerful 950 snow series 208cc engine that provides 9.5 foot-pounds of torque. The snow blower is designed to start effortlessly using its electric start and friction disc drive system. The machine comes equipped with steel reversible skid shoes to make it easier to plow and maneuver through snow. The left side crank rotation gives complete control of the chute so that you can place the unwanted snow completely out of your path.
- Dual-stage snow blower with electric start
- 24-inch clearance width
- 950 snow series engine with 9-5-foot-pounds of torque
- Steel reversible skid shoes
- Left side crank rotation
- Brand Briggs & Stratton
- Model 1696610
- Weight 175 pounds
Extra-large clearance width for effective clearance of large spaces
It will start and work effectively in temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit
The steel revisable skid shoes give additional control and maneuverability
Struggles in wet, heavy snow
Difficult to assemble
Some problems reported with the dependability of the starter
The Greenworks PRO 20-Inch 80V Cordless Snow Thrower includes a lithium-ion battery that offers 45 minutes of efficient run time. The design utilizes maintenance-free and quiet brushless motor technology. It gives you a 20-inch clearance path and works to a depth of 10-inches; working quickly to clear most surfaces, including patios, sidewalks, and driveways. The rotational chute can be moved through 180 degrees, giving you complete control over the blown snow. The machine can be folded easily for storage or transportation.
- Cordless snow blower with 80V lithium-ion battery
- 20-inch clearance width
- 10-inch clearance depth
- 180-degree rotating chute
- Includes brushless motor technology
- Brand Greenworks
- Model 2600402
- Weight 33 pounds
Wide clearance width and depth
Offers complete control over the placement of blown snow
Can be used on almost any surface
Battery charge does not last as long as expected and greatly reduces with multiple uses
Some reports that the body of the snow blower is poorly designed and not very durable
The EGO Power+ 21” 56-Volt Lithium-ion Dual Port Snow Blower comes with two 5.0Ah batteries and a charger. The simple design means that there is little that can go wrong with the snow blower. It is designed from high-quality, rugged materials to increase its durability and use in all weather conditions. The direction of the chute and be changed manually, while the headlights increase your accuracy and safety in low light conditions. The machine operates quietly and is easy to use. The wide clearance means that you can cover even a large driveway quickly and the snow blower can deal with deep snow, even wet, heavy snow, with few issues.
- Battery operated electric snow blower
- Brushless motor and push-button start
- 21-inch clearance width
- Variable speed controls
- Multi-directional chute with 35 ft snow throwing capacity
- Brand EGO
- Model LB5302
- Weight 85 pounds
Easy to assemble and simple to use
Large clearance width and directional chute mean that you can move a lot of snow and place it out of your way
Suitable for use in all weather conditions and capable of moving wet, heavy snow
Scraper bar can catch on uneven ground
Some reported electrical issues with the power units
The Honda Power Equipment Single-Stage Snow Blower comes complete with dual chute controls that enable you to move snow up to 33 feet. The machine’s 20-inch clearance width makes it ideal for larger driveways and patios. The 187cc engine starts easily, even in cold weather and provides the power needed to churn through several inches of snow.
- Single stage snow blower
- 187cc engine
- 20-inch clearance width
- 33-ft snow throwing
- Semi-self propelled auger drive
- Brand Honda
- Model HS720AA
- Weight 90 pounds
Large clearance width makes the machine ideal for clearing large areas quickly
Powerful engine can deal with deep snow
Multi-directional chute gives you control over where the snow is blown
The chute clogs when used with wet snow
Requires a reasonable amount of effort to push through the snow
The 22-inch YARDMAX Two Stage Snow Blower includes a 196cc recoil start, making it easy to start every time. It offers multiple speeds, including two in reverse and a self-propelled drive for ease of use. The serrated steel augers make quick work of hard-packed snow and even ice, helped by the ax-shaped housing. The extended chute and high-speed impeller ensure that snow is thrown further than with many other comparable models and reduces blowback. The chute is easily adjustable through a crank control system, meaning you don’t need to stop to change its direction.
- Two-Stage snow blower with 196cc recoil start
- Five forward speeds and two reverse speeds
- Serrated steel augers
- Multi-directional chute
- High-speed impeller
- Brand YARDMAX
- Model YB7565
- Weight 125 pounds
The 22-inch clearance width clears large areas easily and quickly
Can manage hard-packed snow and ice thanks to its steel augers and ax-shaped housing
The extended chute and high-speed impeller process more snow, reduce blowback and extend the distance that the snow is thrown
Some reported issues with the starter
Concerns over the machine being too lightweight for very heavy snowfall
The Ariens Path Pro Ergo Gas Powered Snow Thrower has a 21-inch clearance width and a 12-inch intake height, making it ideal for use in deeper snow. The eight-inch semi-pneumatic wheels are designed to give superior traction and control. The machine features an adjustable scraper bar to aid with its use on different surface types and a folding handle for easy storage. The 120V push-button start reduces stalling, even in very cold conditions, while the 208cc engine provides the power you need to clear paths, patios, and driveways.
- Gas powered snow thrower with push-button electric start
- 21-inch clearance width
- 12-inch intake height
- Adjustable scraper bar
- 8-inch semi-pneumatic wheels
- Brand Ariens
- Model 938033
- Weight 109 pounds
The adjustable chute allows you to place the snow in the most convenient place for you
Large clearance width and intake height make short work of even large driveways
The adjustable scrapper bar allows you to use the snow thrower on multiple surface types without damaging the surface under the snow
Several issues with the chute, including its poor connection to the machine and rotating issues
Some reports of oil spills after the engine stopped working
The Briggs & Stratton Single Stage Snow Thrower is designed to deal with the toughest winter conditions. It includes an electric push-button start that is designed to work down to minus 20-degrees Fahrenheit. The chute is handle-mounted and rotational, giving you complete control over the direction of the snow. The distance and height that the snow is thrown can be changed thanks to the quick-adjust deflector. The auger features a wear-resistant rubber edge that allows you to clear snow down to the ground without damage to the blower or the surface under the snow. It also helps to propel the snow blower forward, taking the strain out of clearing paths and driveways.
- Single stage snow thrower with electric push-button start
- Handle mounted and rotational chute
- 208 cubic cm capacity
- Wear-resistant rubber edged auger
- Quick-adjust deflector
- Brand Briggs & Stratton
- Model 1022ER
- Weight 93 pounds
Large cubic capacity is ideal for paths, driveways, and patios
Electric start is specifically designed for easy starting even at -20 degrees
Rotational chute gives you control over the direction, height, and distance
Short life space of the motor
Unreliability is a common concern
Some reports that it is difficult to control
Snow blowers are more efficient and less labor intensive than shoveling snow. However, this only remains true if you buy one of the top rated snow blowers that is fit for its intended purpose. Reading snow blower reviews is one way to achieve this; another is to read on and discover the features you should look for in a snow blower and the different types of snow blowers that are available. In this segment of the buying guide, we also look at why you should buy a snow blower, and we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about snow blowers.
Features to Look for in a Snow Blower
The type and style of snow blower that you purchase will depend greatly on the amount of snowfall you experience and the size of the area that you need to clear. However, knowing more about different snow thrower features can help you to make a more informed decision. The key features to look for in a snow blower include:
- Single-handed operation
- Multiple speeds
- Directional chute controls
- Electric start
- Easy-turn capability
You may also want to consider the following features to ensure that you purchase the right snow thrower for your needs.
- Power source
Snow blowers are either gas or electric powered; with a growing number of gas-powered models including an electric start that removes the needs for pull cords and reduces stalling in very cold weather. Electric models can either be corded or run using rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Traditionally, gas models are more effective and are considered better in heavy snow. However, many electric models now rival the power of these traditional snow blowers. You do need to ensure that you always have a suitable extension cord if using a corded model and always be aware of its position to reduce the risk of accidents. If you choose a battery model, check the charging and usage time of the battery. You don’t want to lose power with only half your drive completed and then need to wait hours for your battery to recharge.
- Snow blower stages
At its most basic, a snow blower sucks snow from the ground and blows it out through a chute moving it out of your path. Some snow blowers, however, have other parts that help with the snow moving process, either increasing the volume of snow that can be moved, the distance it is moved, or the speed with which it is moved. The number of different snow moving parts are referred to as stages. The most common are:
Single-stage – the only snow moving part is the corkscrew-shaped auger.
Two-stage – an impeller is added to the device. The impeller is a fan that helps push the snow from the auger up through the chute. It aids in collecting snow faster and sending it further away.
Three-stage – an accelerator is added to the auger and impeller. The accelerator helps move snow from the auger to the impeller, further speeding up the entire snow blowing process.
- Wheels or tracks
Most snow blowers have wheels that are either powered by the user or by the snow blower’s engine. Most single-stage snow blowers rely on user power to maneuver them, while engine power is more common on two- and three-stage snow blower models. If you are looking to clear large areas, without wearing yourself out, then engine powered wheels are the way to go. However, other models have tracks instead of wheels. The tracks are similar in design to those found on tanks and are perfect when you need increased traction, such as on a steep driveway or hill. However, snow blowers on tracks are harder to turn and can be difficult to maneuver on more level ground.
Other features, while not necessary, are nice to have and make the job that little bit easier, especially in very poor weather conditions. These include:
- Heated handgrips
- A headlight
- Adjustable handle height
- Adjustable clearance height
Why You Should Buy a Snow Blower
If you only get a small dusting of snow once a year or even less, then you probably don’t need a snow blower. However, if you get two or more heavy snowfalls a year, then a snow blower is going to save you a lot of time and back-breaking work. Without a snow blower, you are reliant on a shovel to clear your paths and driveways. As well as being hard work, this approach is slow and inefficient.
A snow blower reduces the time it takes to clear the snow. It takes less energy, and if you purchase the right snow blower, it clears more efficiently, leaving behind little if any snow that can compact and turn to ice.
Different Types of Snow Blowers
Every brand of snow blower will be slightly different as the manufacturer puts their spin on it and adds unique features as key selling points. However, the main differences are in the power source and the number of stages. The main types of snow blower that you will see are:
- Single-stage electric (corded)
- Single-stage battery powered
- Single-stage gas powered
- Two-stage gas powered
- Three-stage gas powered
Best Snow Blower FAQ:
Q: What is a snow blower and how does it work?
A: A snow blower is used to clear snow from paths, patios, driveways, and other surfaces where snow is causing a nuisance or is a danger. A snow blower uses a spinning auger to suck snow up into a discharge chute. The chute then deposits the snow to the side out of the path of the snow blower.
The amount of snow moved by the snow blower depends on the clearance width and intake height of the machine. The wider it is, the more easily it can clear larger areas. The greater the intake height, the deeper the snow it can successfully deal with; however, this is also affected power the power of the machine, and the number of stages involved.
More powerful machines include an impeller and an accelerator that enable the machine to deal with more snow and to move it further and at greater speed.
Q: How do I maintain my new snow blower?
A: The maintenance routine that you need to follow will depend on the type of snow blower that you have purchased. Always refer to the manufacturer’s guide before attempting any maintenance. However, here are a few of the checks that you should consider before you begin moving snow for the first time each season. Some of these only apply to gas-powered machines:
- Check the spark plug. Replace if it is damaged or shows signs of deposits.
- Inspect the belts for wear and tear. Replace if you notice any wear or cracks.
- Check the auger. Replace if it shows signs of wear or if it no longer touches the ground when the snow blower is in the correct position.
- Check the shave plate. If there are signs of wear, it can often be reversed on a single-stage machine. For other machines, it will need replacing.
- If your machine has skid shoes and they are looking worn, flip them over. If you did this last year, then replace them this time.
- Check the shear pins. These are the pins that connect the auger to the gear casing.
- Change your oil
- Add fresh gas
Q: How should I store my snow blower during off-season?
A: Proper storage of your snow blower is vital if it is to work correctly when you need it the most. Regardless of whether you have a gas or electric powered machine, it should be stored in a dry place, where it is unlikely to encounter moisture or damp that could cause damage over the summer.
If you have an electric, battery-powered machine, then remove the batteries and store separately in a safe, warm, and dry environment.
Additionally, if you have a gas-powered machine, it is important to undertake the following steps:
- Drain your fuel to reduce the risk of your tank corroding or fuel lines cracking
- Seal and protect your engine by removing the spark plug and pouring a drop of oil into the combustion chamber. Pull the cord to lubricate the piston and cylinder wall. Now replace the spark plug and pull the cord again until you feel resistance. This prevents moisture from entering the chamber and reduces the risk of corrosion
- Wipe down the machine to remove salt and other deposits. Lubricate exposed metal parts to protect against rust.
- Wrap or cover your machine with a breathable cover and place somewhere safe and dry
Our Top Pick
Our top pick is the Toro 18-Inch 15 Amy Electric Power Curve Snow Blower. The machine can easily move up to 700 pounds of snow per minute. This efficient snow blower is suitable for use on most surfaces and can clear desks, patios, walkways, and small driveways with very little effort. It achieves its amazing clearance rate through a combination of its 12-inch intake height and its 18-inch clearance width. Its Power Curve technology helps prevent clogging and allows it to clean right down to the pavement. The 160-degree adjustable chute gives the user complete snow-blowing control. The Toro Snow Blower comes complete with a zip deflector, quick level, and lift handle. The lightweight design and full-bail ergonomic handle make it easy to use.