At this guide you will find up to date information about the best snow blowers. We created this article to help you determine exactly which type of snow blower you need this winter. There are a variety of options available across a wide range of price points. It is important to make sure that you understand the specific application for which the equipment will be used before finalizing your selection.
This decision is important as a snow blower is a great investment and can make managing winter much easier for years to come. We hope that after reading through our information and reviews, that you will be able to comfortably purchase a snow blower knowing that it will be the perfect fit for your garage.
What Type of Snow Blower Should I Purchase?
There are four major categories of snow blowers. You can choose from single stage, two stage, three stage, and electric or gas. The type that you want to consider will depend on several key variables that are beyond the product itself. The first consideration should be your climate. If you are in a more southern region with light and fluffy snow below 12 inches at a time, then a smaller single stage unit will be the best choice for you. If your snow banks get bigger than that a two stage machine will be a necessary choice. Few people need a three stage snow thrower, but the option is available if you live in an arctic environment like northern Wyoming.
Once that is decided you can choose between which machine is easiest for you to use. The operators individual size and strength comes into play greatly when jamming a snow thrower into a tall snowbank. While a single stage can handle up to 12 inches of snow it gets hard to manage around 8-10 inches when the snow becomes dense. While a larger two stage unit may be a good idea it’s not the extra power you really need so much as a little assist from a single-speed transmission. Self powered units are a huge advantage for smaller operators. After you gauge your climate and strength, you can choose between electric or gas models. Only single stage models come in electric and all self powered and transmission based snow blowers use gasoline.
How To Buy A Snow Blower
From here it comes down to cost and extra features like pivot-able chutes, tire sizes, auger dimensions, and more. The best snow blowers will all be rated on their ability to clear snow, ease of use in clearing snow and value. Cost takes into consideration both the cost of the machine and the cost to maintain and keep running. This includes things like gas or extension cords.
To be determined as worthy of being on our website, all of the models examined have a few basic features that are a necessity for modern snow blowers to have. Gone are the days of pull to start stroke engines and sharp rusty blades. The refinements over the years and advent of technology have given even the gas powered engines the added benefits of an electric start and safe to use materials. The difference is huge in both user experience and safety. For that reason, all models on this list implement the electric start feature. In addition, stainless steel or reinforced rubber augers are used on all the units to guarantee high quality and time durable products. To backup this durability claim, all of our reviewed items come with a 2-3 year warranty offered by the factory. The total improvement in user experience, warranties, free information, and free shipping all combine to make this the top rated snow blower reviews website online.
1. Electric Snow Blowers
- Low cost
- Fast and easy to use
- Not combustible
- Limited to shallow and light snow
- Needs an extension cord
- Not self propelled
To be considered the best in the electric snow blower category you need to stand above the rest in capabilities for your size. The single stage category has models ranging from 25 pounds to 100 pounds. Their total snow depth is all the same at around 12 inches. However, their clearance which is the area width wise that the unit can clear in a single pass varies greatly. The smallest single stage unit can have a narrow clearance as small as 14 inches. The largest in comparison can go up to 22 inches.
Electric engines though are by definition a little smaller in form. Instead of being as heavy as the 90 pound gas machines, they settle for a lighter 35 pound form factor. This can mean both good and bad things for the operator. Lighter machines are harder to push through the snow. You want to have the largest clearance you can to reduce the work as much as possible. The top electric models can have a clearance as high as 18 inches. A little shy of the wider gas engines.
The benefits though come in cost of operation and storage. Without expensive gas to fumble with in the cold, the electric engines are cheaper and faster to operate. You will need a solid extension cord that won’t freeze that can cost about $40. Besides that they are usually limited by nothing more than the distance of your cord and depth of snow.
2. Gas Snow Blowers
- High mobility
- Use in deep snow
- More features available
- Large and heavy
- More expensive
- Can be hard to use by smaller operators
The best reviewed snow blowers in the gas field came down to cost and extra features. Gas engines start at the higher end of single stage units and up. This equipment can come with self propelled transmissions, hand warmers, headlights, and sometimes even a remote start. The more CC’s in your engine, the more they start to feel like cars it seems as features increase. The main benefits of gas snow blowers is the mobility. Gas can go anywhere without worrying about extension cords. It can also do it at deeper depths. Anything above 12 inches and you’ll need a gas engine on a two stage model. The added benefit of the gas models is that since most are two stage systems, their auger doesn’t scrape the ground. This allows you to clear rocky or gravel covered areas where the single stage can not.
Snow Blower Manufacturers
There are a few big names in lawn equipment. Some have been around for most of the last century while others are new and upcoming shinning stars. The majority of the reviews here will be from the long standing and reliable companies with large product lines and plenty of real world experience.
Ariens is one of those old names in the industry. Getting their start from the great depression with a $3000 loan and 3 men, the company has been in business for more than 80 years. Their claim to fame was the advent of the rotating tiller and the industrialization of farming using large machinery. In 1950, they made the riding lawnmower when they entered the home and gardening markets. They have been making amazing things every since. Their Ariens 938031 Path-Pro is the latest in this long line and it’s experience shines through quality manufacturing and a feature set higher than the average in it’s category.
These guys are one of the oldest companies in the world. Originally founded as “Jönköping Rifle Factory” in 1620, they were directed by the Swedish king to make 1500 muskets. Their great addition is the design that has led to the gun sight. A history that lives on in their gun sight logo. In 1850, the company officially became Husqvarna rifle factory and by 1872 the company began tinkering with new markets. In 1918 they entered the lawn and gardening industry with their acquisition of “Norrahammars Bruk” and their lawn mower. Shortly after, Husqvarna began making their own engines and now dominate the lawn care machinery industry. From dirt bikes, to lawn mowers to the Husqvarna 961930096, the company is as sturdy as it’s long warranties.
Snapper hails from the humble city of McDonough, Georgia. Their roots though go as far back as 1894. They even claim to have invented the first self-propelled rotary lawn mower. The best part about every Snapper models is that they all feature the same high power engine that drives at least a single gear transmission like the Snapper 1696168. They are compact and easy to maneuver for any size operator.
As the second eldest company, Toro began in 1914 in the lawn care field making 2014 Toro’s 100th anniversary. Over the last century the company has become involved in many types of lawn care areas including Golf lawn mowers, professional contracting bids, sports, agriculture, construction, and private homeowners. Their experience in leading innovative engineering solutions is embodied in their Toro 38381 Snow Blower. This machine is the best electric snow thrower on the market due to it’s light weight, dependability, and huge clearance for it’s category.
5. Troy Bilt
This is another example of one of the ancient mega companies of America. Also getting their start in the 1937 post depression era, the Troy-bilt family consists of a huge array of lawn care products. From their first rotary tiller to their Flurry 1400 Snow Blower, their experience speaks volumes. Their electric models are the lightest and most compact on the market without sacrificing material quality. Built to endure, they are all backed by a 2 year warranty from the factory.