If you live in an area that gets several feet of snow each winter, a snowblower will likely be a beneficial purchase for your home.
Snowblowers normally cost several hundred dollars, but they may save you hours of backbreaking labor by rapidly and easily moving even the heaviest snow.
However, there are numerous snow blowers to pick from. You must choose between gas and electric models and whether you want a one-stage or two-stage design.
Gas snow blowers are more powerful, but they also require more maintenance, as do other gas tools. You should also consider how much snow you regularly get, how heavy the snow is, and how much space you need to clean.
Here are the best snow blowers in the market.
Top snow blowers pick
Best overall: Troy-Bilt 28 in. 277 cc two-stage gas snow blower with electric start
The Troy-Bilt Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower includes serrated steel augers that break up ice and snow. Its two-stage snow thrower is simple to operate owing to the remote chute control.
This lets you regulate where the snow is flung from a control near the handle, allowing you to swap directions while you plow easily. The model has reinforced gears and includes an in-dash headlight, heated hand grips, trigger control, power steering, and other features.
- Crank chute control
- The track drive system improves traction
- Can be difficult to turn
Best gas: Ariens deluxe 28 in. two-stage electric start gas snowblower
This gas-powered snow blower includes a 254cc engine and 14-inch steel drills that allow you to quickly and efficiently move through snow up to 21 inches deep.
It is self-propelled, with six forward and two reverse speeds, and its auto-turn steering makes navigating your driveway and sidewalks a breeze.
The snowblower is fueled by gas, but a 120-volt electric push-button start ensures that it starts quickly—regardless of how cold it is.
- Metal chute with adjustable spout
- Push-button electric start
- Small gasoline tank with difficult-to-read gauge
- Auto-turn steering is difficult to use
Best electric: Snow joe 40-volt 18-in single-stage cordless electric snowblower
Electric snow blowers, such as this cordless model from Snow Joe, have less power but require far less maintenance. This battery-powered snow blower has a 40-volt battery that provides up to 50 minutes of operation time per charge and an 18-inch clearing width that is great for small driveways, walkways, and sidewalks.
Its 180-degree chute can throw snow up to 20 feet, and the entire apparatus weighs only 32 pounds, making it portable.
- Long battery life
- Lightweight at under 32 pounds
- The rotation of the chute is limited to 180 degrees
- It is less effective in wet, heavy snow
Best compact: Troy-Bilt squall 21 in. 208 cc single-stage gas snow blower with electric start
The manual pitch E-Z Chute control on this snow blower lets you alter the spin up to 190 degrees. The ergonomic handle folds down for simple storage, and the dual-LED lighting improves visibility in low-light circumstances.
- 4-cycle engine removes the need to mix gas and oil
- Ergonomic handle and design elements
- Dual LED headlights
- Rubber augers are better suited for fresh snow
- There is no reverse speed
- Only for use on paved surfaces
There are numerous basic categories into which snow blowers can be classified: the power source, the number of stages of operation, whether it has tracks or wheels, and the intersections of all of these variables.
We’ll go over the definitions of each category so you can decide which type of snow blower is ideal for you.
You’ve probably come across the terms “two-stage” and “single-stage” in our assessments of our best picks. The “stages” of a snowblower refer to the number of moving parts used by the equipment to fling snow. Stages are classified into three types:
Using a drill, a single-stage snow blower scoops snow from the ground and directs it into the discharge chute. It only has one stage because it only has one moving part — the drill — for this procedure.
Single-stage snow blowers are the least expensive and least efficient. They are best suited for smaller areas with little to no heavy snow.
A single-stage snow blower should not be used on gravel surfaces since it picks up and throws the gravel along with the snow, which can harm the mechanics.
Two-stage snow blowers, like drills, use a drill to pick up snow, but they also have an impeller (similar to a fan) that drives more snow through the discharge chute faster. The impeller in question is the second stage.
These versions are far more prevalent in places that get a lot of snow each year since they clear snow faster and cleaner than their single-stage counterparts.
Models with two stages are substantially larger and more expensive. Because they are often very heavy (over 100 or even 200 pounds), every two-stage snow blower is self-propelled, which means you only need to guide it rather than push it.
The skid shoes on most two-stage variants can be changed for either gravel or paved conditions.
More luxury three-stage snow blowers are available for a premium fee. They employ the same auger and impeller as two-stage machines but add an accelerator (the third stage) that carries snow faster from the drill to the impeller.
Three-stage snow blowers are far less prevalent than the other two varieties (and so do not appear in our top recommendations).
Like their two-stage counterparts, three-stage snow blowers function on both paved and gravel driveways and other surfaces; they are usually self-propelled due to their weight.
What to look for when buying a snow blower motor
Snowblowers are driven by both gas and electric motors, with electric motors only available in lighter-duty single-stage variants.
Choose between the convenience of electric operation and the extra power of a gas motor, which also requires regular maintenance and fuel.
On whatever snow blower you’re considering, pay attention to how much power any type of engine is rated for. Gas engines are measured in horsepower, whereas electric engines are measured in amps.
Consider the width of the path that the snow blower will clear with each pass. Clearing widths are typically between 20 and 25 inches. However, some budget models may clear even less, while other more durable machines may clear up to 30 inches or more.
Narrower clearing widths may necessitate more passes to clean the driveway or sidewalk, lengthening the time you’ll be out in the elements. A greater clearing width will allow you to clear snow more quickly and get inside sooner.
The “clearing depth,” also known as the “intake height,” indicates how deep the blower’s snow patch can clear. If you get many feet of snow at once, you’ll want to be sure your blower has a large clearing depth.
Many snow blowers operate at a constant speed. However, if you want a machine with a bit more oomph, search for one with variable speed control. Speed control, typically available in two-stage and three-stage snow blowers, allows you to travel quicker by simply adjusting a lever near the handgrips.
Also, look for the location of the speed control lever and check if it is in a comfortable position for you to change. If it’s out of reach or difficult to operate, you won’t appreciate the convenience it provides nearly as much.
Choose a snowblower with an electric starter to make it easy to get started quickly. The machine will be ready to use at the push of a button, eliminating the need for a difficult manual pull-cord start.
Electric start is offered on both electric and gas-powered vehicles. If you want to get up and running faster when the snowflakes fall, or if you dislike fighting with a traditional starter, you should strongly consider an electric starter.
Tracks vs. Wheels
Wheels propel the majority of snow blowers. These wheels are typically huge and have deep treads to stabilize the machine on slick, icy surfaces. For the vast majority of homes, wheels should suffice.
If your property is on an incline, you might want to select a model with tracks (like those on a tank). Tracks are more effective at ascending slopes, but they might be difficult to turn and handle on level ground.
That is why the option to switch between tracks and wheels (like the Ariens Professional Rapidtrak does) may be so beneficial.
The prices of the various models of snow blowers range from roughly $100 to $5,000 or even more. Setting a budget before you go shopping will help you reduce your options dramatically.
Two- and three-stage versions are substantially more expensive than single-stage devices since they perform much better and more efficiently. More powerful engines, wider cutting widths and depths, and additional features will also cost more.
While all snow blowers include an auger that churns and collects snow to be ejected, certain models have extra functions that make clearing an ice road or sidewalk easier.
A spinning fan chute changes the direction of the discharged snow, heated handle grips protect your hands from the weather, and electric start capabilities let gas-powered engines function in harsh temperatures.
Accessories and Warranties
While the snow blower will handle most of the work, extras and accessories are available to make the job easier or more comfortable. Some of the most popular choices to consider are listed below.
When the wind blows, you may expect more than a light coating of snow as your equipment tosses snow out of its path.
Blowback is an unpleasant element of the snow-clearing operation, and a snow cab will reduce your exposure by providing a clear, portable windscreen. It might also help to keep any frigid breeze from blowing your way.
Slippery conditions are commonly associated with snowfall, so the tires on your snowblower may slip and lose traction while you operate.
By adding a set of tire chains to your snow blower’s tires, you can avoid this safety hazard while improving machine handling.
If you choose a gas-powered snow blower, you must either drain the fuel or devise a strategy for keeping the fuel stable during the warmer months. Rather than squandering it, putting a fuel stabilizer in the tank can keep the gasoline ready and prevent it from deteriorating over time.
Follow the manufacturer’s directions for operation; they will most likely include filling the gas tank to avoid moisture build-up and condensation.
When shopping for a snowblower, it’s not uncommon to see two or three years of warranty coverage.
Single-stage snow throwers typically carry a two-year warranty, while two-stage and three-stage equipment may receive an additional year of coverage.
It’s critical to understand that most warranties are significantly reduced if you utilize the snowblower for business activities. The warranty period may be as low as 90 days in rare situations.
However, if you only intend to use the equipment around your property or clear the pavement in front of your house, you will have many years of warranty coverage to keep you safe.
What’s the difference between a snow thrower and a snow blower?
A snow thrower is another name for a snowblower. Snow throwers are, in fact, merely snowblowers with single-stage motors.
This is because single-stage snow blowers do not truly blow the snow; instead, an auger scoops and literally “throws” the snow out of the chute.
More powerful two- and three-stage snow blowers feature an impeller to help blow snow out of the chute, but they are still marketed as snow throwers.
What is the difference between a single-stage, two-stage, and three-stage snow blower?
A single-stage snow blower operates in a single motion, using a scoop-like auger to shovel snow and funnel it out the chute.
In addition to the drill, a two-stage snow blower contains an impeller fan, which helps accelerate the snow into the intake chute and boosts the snow’s overall clearing power and throwing distance.
A three-stage snow blower produces the maximum power because it incorporates an accelerator into the auger and impeller fan, resulting in faster snow removal, larger clearing capacity, and longer throwing distances.
Finally, your decision will be based on how much power you require, primarily determined by how much snowfall you need to clear.
How should I keep my gas snowblower between seasons?
It is critical to store a gas-powered snow blower properly in the offseason since gas can corrode and muck can build up and cause harm.
You should probably drain the fuel tank before keeping it for months at a time. You can also add a fuel stabilizer to the tank to keep the gasoline ready and protect it from deteriorating over time.
For the best results, follow the manufacturer’s directions for your specific equipment.
Are snowblowers hazardous?
Snowblowers operate by churning snow and directing it via a chute. This procedure has the potential to launch ice shards and other accumulated projectiles into the air.
Before clearing a driveway or walkway, be aware of any debris on the ground to avoid running over large rocks or things that could cause harm to property or other persons.
It is also critical to do regular snowblower maintenance, such as oil changes and belt inspections.
How effective are electric snow blowers?
Because electric snow blowers are easier to use than gas snow blowers, it is a gadget that one of your children may use to clear snow from a deck or driveway after a less severe storm.
Lighter storms are unlikely to create enough snow to necessitate the use of a large two- or three-stage snowblower.
While shoveling is a decent alternative at times, it may get monotonous, even in a location that receives moderate snowfalls regularly.
It is convenient to have a dependable electric snow blower that you can plug in to clear a patch of snow before heading to work quickly.
How do I use a snowblower to clear snow from a gravel driveway?
A person might hesitate to use a snow blower on a gravel driveway. It appears improbable that you could successfully remove snow without gathering a lot of gravel and potentially harming or damaging someone or someone’s property by tossing boulders through the chute.
On the other hand, snow on gravel can be safely removed with the appropriate snowblower and properly calibrated. A snow blower with plastic skids around the bottom of the auger housing is required.
This raises the blades off the ground, preventing gravel from being stirred up and thrown into the drill.
Next, set the lock to the highest position, sometimes referred to as the Transport position, so that the auger housing is at an angle above the gravel.
Ideally, you’ll also want a snowblower with tracking wheels rather than standard tires. This enables you to keep the snowblower at a constant upward angle over the gravel.
To clear snow on gravel terrain, only two- or three-stage gas snow blowers are available. This method will leave a thin layer of snow on the ground, which will melt after a few hours in the sun.
Can a snowblower be used on wet snow?
A powerful snowblower will sweep away wet snow, but excessively wet snow can become blocked in the chute, particularly in the plow pile area at the bottom of the driveway.
This isn’t to say it’s simply because this type of snow tends to jam the chute. This is especially true if you live in a high snowfall area and have to clear a large amount of heavy, wet snow.
Last update on 2022-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API