Scores calculated from 3906 reviews
|Manufacturer:||Briggs and Stratton Power Products|
|Manufacturer:||Briggs and Stratton Power Products|
Almost no one enjoys shoveling mountains of snow. Besides simply being a boring chore, exerting yourself too much in cold weather can pose some serious health hazards. Snow blowers help many people remove snow in a safer and faster way.
To make selecting the best blower easier, we’ve selected three models that stand out from their competitors. If you want more information on how to buy the best machine for you, head on down to our buying guide. If you're searching a high-end snow blower to buy in 2019, this is the best place to look!
This snow thrower from Snow Joe is the best overall on our list, earning a perfect 10.0 rating. This machine is perfect if you have a mid- or large-sized space to clear. This Snow Joe can throw up to 720 pounds of snow in a minute! Coupled with the fact that this blower can throw snow up to 25 feet, you’ll be able to clear your driveway in no time. Need to clear something up some steps? That’s not a problem either, as this powerful yet compact machine weighs roughly 34 pounds. You can also easily throw the snow where you want with the adjustable disposal chute.
The only possible downside to this model is that it is corded, so you’ll need to plug it into a power source. However, with proper extension cords, using this machine shouldn’t be a problem. You can grab one of these incredible throwers on Amazon for just $150.00.
This gas snow blower from Briggs & Stratton is a heavy-hitting machine that will clear your driveway in no time! It's easy to get started with this dual stage with its electric start button, so you’ll be able to easily throw snow and ice from most places. This machine is easy to maneuver with reversible steel skid shoes, 6 forward speeds and 2 reverse speeds, and a rotational snow chute. It’s also quite easy to see what you’re doing--in even poor weather conditions--with this model’s LED headlights.
This powerful machine does require gas, so it won’t be the most eco-friendly option on the market. It currently goes for $689.99 on Amazon, so while it isn’t cheap, it is a great price for the high-quality blower you’ll get. All in all, we give this snow thrower a 9.5.
This electric snow thrower from Snow Joe is the best-priced item on our list of the best snow throwers, going for only $119.00 on Amazon. With this tiny but efficient machine, you’ll be able to remove up to 440 lbs of snow in a minute. Its lightweight design makes it great for clearing steps in addition to mid-sized walkways or driveways.
This corded-electric machine requires an outlet in order to work, so you will need weather-proofed extension cords in order to use it. If finding a power source isn’t a problem, this could be a great little machine to clear small- to mid-sized patches of snow.
Now that you’ve seen some of our top picks, check out our in-depth buying guide to learn everything you need to know before buying the best high-end snow thrower for you.
There’s a long list of things people dread about winter, but at the top of that list is shoveling out the driveway and sidewalk after heavy snowfall. Nothing is worse than getting out in the frigid pre-dawn darkness so you can drive to work. Fortunately, modern technology has given us machines that can do most of the heavy lifting and in a much shorter amount of time than we could do otherwise.
This handy guide will teach you everything you need to know about snow blowers and how to pick out the best snow blower to lighten your cold, snowy load this winter.
All snow blowers, regardless of stage, come equipped with a component called an auger. As the auger spins, it picks up snow from the ground and passes it through a funnel-like device called a chute. Single-stage devices use a single auger, while two- and three-stage models will have more complex designs that enable them to pick up more snow and throw it with greater force.
There are several reasons why a snow blower is superior to the ol' shovel. Some of the best reasons to own one include:
Snow blowers can move snow at a much faster rate than shoveling. They take a job that would normally take hours and reduce it to mere minutes. This way, you can instead spend that time inside where it’s warm, doing something that is likely a lot more fun than moving snow.
Shoveling snow is incredibly taxing on the body. The combination of heavy lifting in subzero temperatures is unforgiving on your muscles, joints, and circulatory system. In recent years, experts have linked snow shoveling to increased risk of heart attack. About 100 people die each year in the United States from snow-shoveling activities. Many deaths result from increased physical exertion, coupled with constricted blood vessels due to the cold.
Letting a machine take care of the heavy lifting for you will take a lot of that physical strain off your body. Instead of risking heart attacks, achy joints, and sore muscles, you can glide easily down your driveway with a motorized snow blower. (Note that you still must be cautious when using a snow blower. The CDC, for example, lays out some recommendations for preparing to shovel snow.)
Before you buy a snow thrower, you should consider the different types of snow throwers available on the market so you can get the one that best fits your needs. There are a few factors to consider, including:
To determine which snow blower is best for you, you’ll need to consider how you will power your snow thrower. There are two main way to power this machine: with electricity or gas.
Electric snow blowers have a reputation for being lighter, quieter, easier to maintain, and more affordable than gas-powered blowers. To get started, all you have to do is plug your blower into an outlet with a cold-weather extension cord.
They’re great for clearing snow from small- to mid-sized areas like driveways, patios, and walkways. Since many blowers need to be plugged in at all times, the length of your extension cord will determine your maximum plowable distance. This alone could be a deal breaker for people with large properties. There are, however, cordless battery-powered options available, so there are more mobile electric options for those who need them.
On the plus side, maintenance is fairly easy for electric blowers, and they don’t need fill-ups or oil changes like gas-powered models. In addition, their lightweight build makes them easier to carry if you need to clear a raised deck or patio.
Electric snow blowers pack less power than gas blowers, so they’re ideal for areas that receive low to moderate amounts of snow. For snow levels over 12 inches deep, a gas snow thrower would do best. Less snow blower power also means these models can struggle with hills and steep inclines. Electric blowers perform best on flat, smooth surfaces like paved driveways, sidewalks, and roads.
There are two main types of electric blowers: corded and cordless. Corded snow blowers plug directly into an exterior electrical outlet and are powered through a cold weather extension cord. Fueling your snow blower with electricity is simpler and cleaner than using gas. Plus, some people are simply not comfortable with handling gas cans and storing a volatile liquid in their shed or garage when the blower is not in use.
If you choose this corded option, keep in mind that your snow blower can only move as far as the extension cord allows. For this reason, smaller areas or those directly adjacent to your home are ideal for electric blowers. Taking your blower down the sidewalk in front of your house or onto the street may not be possible with a corded model.
Cordless blowers don’t have the limited maneuverability of corded models. If you know you have a large area to clear snow from, like a long driveway, or you want to clear areas far from the nearest electrical outlet, like sidewalks and pathways, a cordless model would make that possible. Gas-powered models are cordless, but battery-powered electric options are also available.
The smallest of the cordless models is the handheld snow thrower, carried much like a leaf blower. These devices are great for people with a limited amount of storage space and only need to clear a small area. As such, they are perfect for residents of condos or townhomes. Their light carrying weight also makes them great for seniors.
If you're looking for a powerful snow blower, opt for a gas one. Its powerful design means it is more effective when you're clearing away deep snow. Since the fuel-powered engine doesn’t require the blower to be plugged into an outlet, you’re not tethered to an extension cord and can move freely over vast distances. If you have a long driveway or sidewalks that need plowing, a dual- or triple-stage gas snow blower would be your best option. Keep in mind that these benefits do come at a higher cost than electric blowers, which are significantly cheaper.
As the fuel used to power gas blowers burns, it creates fumes that are harmful to the environment (and also don’t smell too pleasant). If you’re sensitive to fumes or want to be eco-friendlier, a gas snow blower may not be your favorite option.
Snow blowers can come in three stages. The general principle to keep in mind is that the more stages a snow blower has, the more snow it can handle, the faster it can clear the snow, and the farther it can throw snow.
Single-stage snow blowers are the simplest in terms of design and utilize only an auger to collect and remove snow. This design is opposed to double- and triple-stage blowers that use additional components to facilitate snow removal.
Single-stage snow blowers are smaller, lighter, and easier to maneuver than larger multi-stage models. Both gas and electric blowers are available in the single-stage design, so you can choose whichever works best for your needs. Some can weigh well under 50 pounds. So, there are lighter options that you can also carry up steps if you need to clear snow from elevated decks and porches. Single-stage models also work great on flat, paved surfaces like cement driveways and sidewalks. Keep in mind that the auger blade comes in contact with the ground as it’s rotating. As such, it will pick up rocks from gravel driveways, so single-stage blowers are not recommended for this type of environment.
These models perform best with mild to moderate levels of lighter, powdery snow. So, if you live in a far northern state where it snows more than 9 inches at a time or you are dealing with wet heavy snow, a single-stage blower would not be your best option. They’re also less powerful than multi-stage blowers and can usually only project snow up to 20 feet from their chutes. The most common option for a single stage is electric, although there are single-stage gas snow thrower options available.
For heavier snowfall, a two-stage snow blower gives you an extra boost of power. In addition to the auger, these two-stage machines also use a powerful fan to draw in snow, churn up any wet and heavy snow, and hurl it out of the chute. With its more powerful build, two-stage blowers can throw snow longer than single-stage units, and can typically clear a patch of snow between 1 to 2.5 feet wide.
Two-stage snow blowers are typically gas-powered, but you may be able to find a couple of electric options on the market if you have a strong preference for them. With their larger wheels, they’re also able to handle bumpier, uneven surfaces much more effectively than the smaller single-stage machines. Their higher ground clearance also means their auger doesn’t touch the ground, so this one is better if you have a gravel driveway or rocky property.
The larger size and higher power do come at a cost, though. Two-stage blowers are significantly more expensive than single-stage ones and also much larger, so you’ll need to have enough room in your garage or storage shed to house one. Falling anywhere between 150-200 pounds, they’re a bit heavier than their single-stage counterparts.
Three-stage blowers are the biggest and strongest members of the snow-blowing family. Much of their strength comes from an accelerator and a third auger that drills down into the deepest, heaviest drifts of snow and reduces them to a slush. Snow ejected from multi-stage chutes can travel as far as 50 feet!
Weight can run between 250-300 pounds, so they can be tough to push, especially through deep snow or on steep inclines. Some snow blowers come with a power-steering feature to help make the heavier weight easier to maneuver. They can eat up a lot of space in a garage, so consider the amount of room you have available for storage before you make your purchase. Standard models are around 30 inches wide, but compact models are available at a width of roughly 24 inches.
In addition to being the biggest and strongest snow blower on the market, it’s also the most expensive. For the average consumer, a three-stage is probably more than you need. However, if you live in a heavy-snow area where you expect 18 inches of snow or more, or have a lot of ground to cover, a three-stage is probably is needed.
Modern snow blowers come equipped with lots of cool, helpful features to make working in the cold a little easier. Some of these features include:
Headlights make it easier to see where you’re going in the darkness. Depending on where you live, the winter sun may rise late in the morning and set very early in the afternoon. If you live in such an area, a headlight can be a handy addition to your snow rig.
Gas snow blowers have traditionally used a pull cord to get started, which can sometimes be unreliable. Many modern blowers are equipped with an electric start button that you simply have to push in order to begin the snow removal process. Most models outfitted with this feature also have a plug-in for an extension cord if you’d like to use it near an outlet. Even gas options often come equipped with an electric start button.
A gear stick allows you to choose (usually) between 4 to 6 speeds going forward as well as backward. This is helpful for dense, thick snow drifts that require you to move at a slower speed.
This feature lets you adjust the angle of the chute, so you can decide exactly where the snow is going to fall. They are available in both joystick and crank control. Remember to use thick gloves, as some people find the joystick hard to operate without them on.
Keep your hands nice and toasty while you work! Even with gloves on, brutally low temperatures and wind chill can take a toll. Heated handles will protect your fingers against the worst of winter’s wrath.
This is a great feature for heavier snow blowers. If you have a large snow blower, like a two-stage or three-stage model, power steering makes it easier to maneuver.
You'll want to make sure that the tires on your new machine have good traction, especially if you're experiencing a lot of snowfall or plowing after an ice storm.
If you have a corded electric model, you'll need weatherproof extension cords. Note, however, that some machines may not have too long of a maximum extension length. Check that the maximum extension length of your new device is long enough to make it the end of your driveway. Cordless electric snow throwers are available, but they are less common.
The price of one of these machines will vary depending on several factors, including brand, power, stage, and whether it is gas or electric. The cheapest options on the market can be a little under $200, while the most expensive ones can be several thousand dollars. Generally, however, the price ranges are as follows:
Most people dread shoveling snow from the driveway. Not only is the task tedious and boring, but it can also pose serious health hazards for some people. As such, a snow blower is a great, safe solution for removing large amounts of snow in a shorter amount of time. Less time spent shoveling means more time spent inside the home where it’s nice and toasty!
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to replace the advice of a licensed medical professional. Always consult your doctor before engaging in any strenuous physical activity.