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If snowfall routinely falls in your area, then it’s high time to invest in a high-quality snow thrower. With this type of machine, the front portion scoops up the snow, while an internal auger breaks it down and “throws” it away from the path you are clearing. Even the smallest machines are capable of clearing up 650 pounds up snow in just one minute. By investing a half to an hour of your time clearing your driveway, sidewalks, and patios, you are minimizing the possibility that one of your family members having a slip and fall accident in unsafe conditions, and you’ll also be equipping yourself to get out of your house more quickly each morning.
With such a huge variety of models on the market today, it can be downright confusing to know which one you should choose. Here, we’re going to take a look at some of the best models available and teach you what to look for (and what to avoid!) during the shopping process.
Quick look: the best electric snow blowers that I found for 2020:
- Greenworks 2600502: the best overall electric snow blower that I researched – you can’t go wrong with the model
- Toro 38381: highly reputable brand, good power & easy to handle –
- Snow Joe Ultra SJ623E: lightweight, easy to store and move around, good for smaller driveways/sidewalks
- Worx WG650: good thrower from a
high qualitybrand, could use a bit more power, but still great value
- Snow Joe Ultra SJ625E: big brother to the SJ623E, powerful and good for larger driveways
How to Use a Electric Snow Blower
If you have never used an electric snow blower before, here are a few tips to get you started!
The Importance of the Precheck
Before using your snow blower, make sure to check the following:
- If you have a
two stagesnow blower, are the skid shoes, scraper blades, and shear pins properly installed? Haveall foreign objects been removed from your home’s sidewalks and driveway?
- Are you wearing safety glasses and gloves? Weather appropriate clothing?
- Do you fully understand how to all of the levers, buttons, and other controls on your snow blower?
Create a Plan of Attack
Before you rev up your snow blower, you need to decide where you want the discharged snow to pile up. Having a plan of attack also reduces the chances that you’ll need to clear snow from the same area twice. For safety reasons, you should never blow snow in the direction of cars, homes, or other people.
It might be tempting just to blow the snow into the street, but this isn’t a good idea. First and foremost, it creates a hazard for any passing cars. Secondly, if a snow plow truck decides to sweep your street, it’s just going to shove the snow right back up on your sidewalk.
Never Start Your Snow Blower In a Poorly Ventilated Area
Before turning on your snow blower, you should always ensure that the drive clutch and auger are disengaged. Ideally, you should always turn on your snow blower outside, or with your shed or garage door wide open. Else, you run the risk of becoming overwhelmed by fumes.
If you plan on using your snow blower with an extension cord, make sure to pull out your owner’s manual and read up on the manufacturer’s extension cord recommendations.
A Few Don’ts….
- Never leave a running snow blower unattended – even for just a minute.
- Don’t use your hands or feet to clean out the augers or the chute.
- Never point your snow blower at other people, cars, or dwellings.
- Don’t leave the engine on while you’re refueling your snow blower.
- Never use your snow blower to clear anything but snow.
How to Choose Which Electric Snow Blower to Buy
You don’t have to wait until winter arrives to start shopping for the perfect electric snow blower. When choosing a new model, there are a number of considerations to take into account. Naturally, the first factor is the average snowfall for your geographic region. The average electric snow blower is ideally suited for areas that receive an average of four to six inches during a typical snow storm; however, heavier duty models can be found for deeper and heavier snowfalls.
Driveway and sidewalk width is another factor that will need to be considered. The path size cleared by an electric snow blower will vary by model. Terrain must also be thought of as longer pathways, and hilly landscapes will require stronger equipment than the average residential yard.
The weight and size of a snow blower are also important. It won’t do anyone much good if you purchase a snow blower that you cannot maneuver.
In addition to these basic considerations, there are several optional extras to contemplate. Flexible enclosures, power steering, headlights, heated handles, and electric starters are just a few of the extra features you’ll have to decide if you want and are willing to pay for.
In particular, power steering is an excellent feature to have if the pathways you are clearing have a lot of angles or curves. If the idea of wrestling with a pull start each time you need to turn on your snow blower doesn’t appeal to you, then you’ll appreciate the convenience that an electric starter offers. Likewise, if you regularly find yourself clearing snow in the dark, having headlights can be enormously beneficial. Snap on, flexible enclosures and heated handles will make cleaning your snow blower a much simpler experience.
Ideally, you should look for a snow blower that offers multiple speeds and a “dead man’s switch”. A dead man’s switch is a safety feature that automatically shuts off the auger if the user releases the snow blower’s handle.
How Much Should I Expect to Pay?
Most (but not all) electric snow blowers will range from $100.00 to $300.00 in price, but it is not uncommon to see them run upwards of $450.00. Of course, commercial grade electric models are going to be more expensive. The power and number of extra features a model has will also affect how expensive it is.
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a New Electric Snow Blower
In the minds of many consumers, a higher price tag automatically equates to better quality, but this isn’t always true. There are times when it is simply not worth spending your hard-earned money on the most expensive model you can buy. If you are preparing for the winter and looking for a snow blower, here are 5 common mistakes to avoid during the buying process:
1) Size does matter
Bigger is not always necessarily better, but on the other hand, purchasing an inadequately sized snow blower is a sure fire method of driving yourself crazy. Make sure to double check the clearing path and size of a model before committing to it. Consider the size of the pathways you’ll be clearing before making a buy. A small snow blower is ideal for a backyard or driveway. If you’re regularly clearing parking lots, or have a lawn that is over ½ an acre in size, go for the bigger model.
2) Not all models are suitable for clearing steep terrain
Terrain is one of the frequently overlooked considerations when it comes to shopping for a new snow blower. Not all models are built for rugged terrain. Because most electric blowers are limited by the length of their extension cords, you may need to switch over to a gas-powered model for hilly landscapes.
3) Wet and heavy snow can damage smaller snow blowers
Especially heavy or wet snow can damage your snow blower. It can cause the engine to become clogged and stop – or even breakdown altogether. If you live a region that is prone to this type of snowfall, you’re going to need a heavy duty snow blower, but it is important to make your selection carefully. You will not be able to use most rugged snow blowers in small spaces because they tend to have larger clearing paths.
4) Avoid hard to handle models
It is imperative to look for a snow blower that is well-designed and that handles easily. The bulkier your snow blower is, the harder it will be to maneuver. Look for models that have specific features, like power steering, that are designed to make them simple to operate.
5) Opt for a model with a quick start button
If your pull start snow blower is stored out in the cold, it is going to be difficult to start it. Even if yours is stored in a garage or shed, it can still be susceptible to the cold. To avoid this problem altogether, choose a model that has a quick start button.
Do I Need a Gas Snow Blower Instead?
Range of Motion
If your driveway or sidewalk is longer than 50 feet, an electric snow blower may not suffice for clearing it. If your electric model moves more than 50 feet from its power source, a 12 gauge extension cord will be needed to avoid problems with overheating. However, if you select the proper gauge and size of power cord, overheating will not be an issue.
On the whole, electric snow blowers are thought to be easier to maneuver because they are smaller in size and more lightweight; however,
Heavy Duty Operation
If you live in a region where the average snowfall generally produces more than 6 inches of snow, a gas powered snow blower is recommended.
Intake Height & Clearing Width
Because of their larger intake height and clearing width, gas powered snow blowers are designed for deep snow. The average electric snow blower has an intake height of 13 inches and a max clearing width of 24 inches. This means that they are not designed for use in snow that is deeper than 13 inches. They cannot clear a path wider than 24 inches.
The Cost Factor
In terms of cost, electric powered snow blowers run the gamut from $100.00 to upwards of $450.00. Gas powered models can run anywhere from $350.00 to several thousand dollars. Gas powered snow blowers also require more maintenance, like spark plug replacements and oil changes, that must be factored into their overall cost.
Of course, the cheapest option isn’t always the right one, nor is bigger always better. Whether you need a gas powered or electric snow blower will depend on your property size, geographic region, and general weather patterns.
Differences Between Electric Snow Blowers and Electric Snow Shovels
Snow blowers and snow shovels are each designed to remove unwanted snow from a variety of surfaces, but that is where the similarities end.
An electric snow shovel is designed to remove light snowfall from small spaces, like decks and patios, outdoor staircases, and short walkways. Although available in a wide variety of sizes and styles, snow shovels follow the same basic principle. As the operator moves the shovel forward, the auger scoops up the snow and throws it forward – usually around 20 feet. On average, an electric snow shovel has a clearance width of about 12 inches and can operate in snow between 5 and 8 inches deep. However, snow shovels become less efficient in deeper snow or in wider areas.
Electric snow blowers are designed to use in larger areas, like driveways, sidewalks, and yards. With a snow blower, the auger makes direct contact with the ground, which makes it suitable for use on unpaved surfaces, and pulls the snow inside of the machine. It is then directed out of a discharge chute. The average electric snow blower has a max clearing width of 24 inches and can be used in snow up to 13 inches deep.
How to Maintain Your Snow Blower
To ensure that your snow blower provides you with many years of faithful service, proper after care is essential. After each use, and before putting your snow blower away, it should be thoroughly wiped down. This prevents a wet mess from forming in your shed or garage.
After the engine has been turned off, a cleanout tool should be used to remove any accumulated snow from the discharge chute and auger housing. Any remaining snow should be wiped off with a clean, nonabrasive cloth. If you have a snow blower mat, put it down to protect your snow blower from scratches and to collect any melting snow.
One of the advantages of using an electric snow blower is that maintenance is simple. There is no need for oil changes, replacing filters, or replacing engine parts.
Electric Snow Blower Reviews
1) Greenworks 2600502 13 Amp 20-Inch Corded Snow Thrower
- The 13 amp motor offers a powerful alternative to traditional gas engines.
- The directional chute is adjustable and can be rotated up to 180 degrees.
- Snow can be discharged up to 20 feet away from the thrower.
- The extension cord that comes with the snow thrower is short.
For a lightweight, corded machine, the Greenworks 2600502 13 Amp 20 Inch Corded Snow Thrower offers an impressive amount of oomph. This model has a clearing path of 20 inches, and it is capable of working in snow blankets up to 10 inches deep. The 13 amp motor enables this model to move 850 pounds of snow per minute. The snow thrower has an adjustable handle that can be set to one of three different heights, which provides a more comfortable and safer user experience.
The Greenworks brand is synonymous with safety, and the 2600502 does not disappoint here. A safety corded lock has been included in the design, and the 6-inch pneumatic tires offer better mobility and easier access. In addition to being lightweight, the
For all of its positive attributes, reviewers have expressed concern over the longevity of this snow thrower. The durability of the plastic components used in its construction has been called into question multiple times, and users have disliked the fact that its accompanying extension cord is so short. Despite these concerns, the affordable price tag of the Greenworks 260502 makes it an attractive option and our top pick based on value and price.
2) Toro 38381 18-Inch 15 Amp Electric 1800 Power Curve Snow Blower
- The 15 amp electric motor enables this snow blower to move 700 pounds of snow per minute.
- The ergonomic, handle mounted controls make this snow blower easy to use.
- The directional chute can be adjusted 160 degrees.
- When wearing gloves, users have found it awkward to activate the safety and the start at the same time.
- It is not designed for use in heavy snow.
The newly redesigned Toro 38381 18 Inch 15 Amp Electric 1800 Power Curve Snow Blower is best suited for small snow clearing applications, like walkways, patios, and small driveways. It can move 700 pounds of snow per minute and can throw snow up to 25 feet away from itself. Even with its more powerful 15 amp motor, this snow blower clocks in at only 25 pounds, making it lightweight enough to maneuver easily. Its clearing path measures 18 inches, and it has an intake height of 12 inches.
Reviewers have praised this model for its ease of assembly, and its handle-mounted controls are simple to use and intuitive for each hand. An added zip deflector can be easily adjusted so the snow can be directed where you would like. The convenient chute lever enables you to set the chute’s angle, while a rear handle allows you to alter the horizontal rotation. Toro’s patented Power Curve technology, which helps prevent clogging and cleans down to the pavement, has been included in the design of this snow blower.
The Toro 38381 has fared well in both professional and consumer written reviews. The primary complaint reviewers have had against the machine is that, when an operator is wearing gloves, it’s hard to turn on the safety and start at the same time. Despite this singular flaw, this snow blower has become one of a customer favorite.
3) Snow Joe Ultra SJ623E 18-Inch 15-Amp Electric Snow Thrower with Light
- The powerful 15 amp motor can handle up 720 pounds of snow per minute.
- A chute clean out tool comes with the snow thrower to help clear a clogged chute in the event of a
- The bright, 20 watt halogen light, located on the front of the snow blower, enables an operator to use this snow thrower in dim lighting safely.
- The snow thrower does not work well with wet snow.
The Snow Joe Ultra has a lot to offer for the homeowner who needs a tough machine at an affordable price. With its enhanced power, this model is designed for medium to large sized residential applications. Because it is an electric model, there is no need for oil, gas, or regular tune-ups. This model is powered by a 15 amp motor that can displace 720 pounds of snow each minute. While the auger blades are powerful, they are also gentle, so you don’t have to worry about scraping your sidewalk or deck while using the snow thrower.
This snow thrower has a clearing path of 18 inches and a max snow intake clearance of 10 inches. The discharge chute can be rotated up to 180 degrees, and it can throw snow up 25 feet. One unique feature of this snow thrower is its 20-watt halogen light. This bright light makes it much easier to work in the dim lighting of early dawn or late evening. The Snow Joe Ultra is ETL approved and is covered by a comprehensive, 2-year warranty from the manufacturer.
The primary downside to the SJ623E is that it may not work well in wet snow. A small percentage of reviewers have had the engine clog, or quit working altogether when using it in wet snow. For those whose models were still under warranty, Snow Joe was quick to replace the defective snow throwers; however, those whose models were no longer covered by the warranty were left to their own devices when it came to replacing it.
4) WORX WG650 18-Inch 13 Amp Electric Snow Thrower
- This model can throw snow 30 feet away, which is a longer distance than other comparable models.
- The chute’s directional control is mounted to the handlebar, which makes it simple to use.
- The adjustable handlebars have three different height settings.
- For an electric snow thrower, this model is loud.
- This chute tends to clog when the snow thrower is used in wet snow.
The WORX WG650 is unique in that it generates sufficient power while remaining exceptionally easy to handle. Equipped with a 13 amp motor, it has a clearing path of 18 inches wide and a snow intake clearance of 9 inches. It has a maximum throwing distance of 30 feet. Unlike other snow blowers in its class, the WG650 has a handlebar with three different height settings and an oversized directional chute that can rotate 180 degrees as needed. “Quick clamps” make assembling and adjusting this unit a hassle free experience.
Lauded for its versatility, the WG650 features a compact design, and it is easily collapsible, which minimizes the amount of storage space it requires when not in use. Because it weighs in at only 32 pounds, this snow thrower is easy to both handle and maneuver. It can even be hung up on a garage wall if needed. The steel auger is rubber tipped, which not only makes throwing snow an easier task but also protects the surface that is being cleared.
User’s primary complaint against the WORX WG650 is the fact that it is noisy, and many operators have opted to employ hearing protection while using the snow thrower.
5) Snow Joe Ultra SJ625E 21-Inch 15-Amp Electric Snow Thrower
- The Snow Joe SJ625E is designed for
medium sizedresidential applications.
- A built-in bright LED light makes it safe to use in dim lighting conditions and at nighttime.
- This snow thrower can move 800 pounds of snow a minute.
- This snow thrower does not work well in heavy or wet snow.
Hands down, the Snow Joe Ultra SJ625E is one of the most powerful electric snow throwers on the market today. Powered by a 15 amp engine, it is capable of displacing 800 pounds of snow each minute. It has a clearing path of 21 inches and can cut up to 12 inches deep with each pass. It is ETL-approved and is backed by a two-year warranty from the manufacturer. The adjustable discharge chute rotates 180 degrees to provide the operator with complete control over the snow stream’s direction. The chute deflector can also be adjusted to control the snow stream’s height as needed.
All terrain wheels make it simple to maneuver this lightweight machine, including on turns. The scraper blade, which is located at the base of the unit, scrapes snow efficiently and will effectively scrape the ground while protecting the surface it is clearing. This model is designed to provide the power of gas with the convenience of electric. A small percentage of users have had their units clog when used in wet or heavy snow, but these complaints have largely been few and far between.
Electric snow blowers offer a number of advantages. While you might have to invest a bit more time into snow blowing, it is balanced out by the minimal amount of maintenance they require.
They are affordable, and you’ll spend less on maintenance. They’re also less noisy than their gas powered cousins, so there’s less of a risk that you’ll annoy your neighbors.
Although there are a number of factors to consider before making a purchase, with a bit of research, it is guaranteed that you’ll find the ideal model that will provide you with many years of service.