Best Snow Blowers Reviewed in 2017

best snow blowers

Winter is coming! Regardless if you’re familiar with where that line came from, or not, cold times are fast approaching and with them – the snow. While snow can be romantic, and lots of fun, there’s always the “morning after” with your snow-affair, and it ain’t pretty. Snow can get dirty, frozen, or just fall in such quantities that it is an obstacle to functioning properly in your everyday life. So what to do? Well… grab a shovel and go work some muscles to become Conan the Barbarian, right?

Wrong. Grab something else. Like, the handle. Of a snow blower. Yes! Much easier, more convenient and faster than shoveling a swimming pool of snow. All right, probably more costly than a shovel. But then again – your body will thank you. Today, we’ll guide you to the best snow blowers currently on the market. But before we start our review of the best 5, a little introduction is in order.

What You Need to Know About Snow Blowers

best snow blowers

First off, snow blowers are not complicated machines as such. But they do come in a variety of shapes and models, according to different factors. According to the engine type, there are several types, those being the following: single-stage electric snow blower, single-stage gas snow blower, two-stage gas, and three-stage gas snow blowers. Each have their own advantages that warrant some explanation.

Single Stage

Single-Stage snow blowers are usually lighter, smaller and easier to use than the two-stage counterparts. Generally speaking, these snow blowers are best suited for clearing up mid-sized areas not exceeding 8 inches of snowfall. In this type of blower, the wheels aren’t engine-driven, so you have to push the machine on your own, while the auger in the front collects the snow and the machine flings it away through a discharge chute. These blowers also connect to the surface in the front, so they’re usually the best choice for clearing paved surfaces where there are no rocks or gravel. There are different types of single-stage snow blowers. For example:

Electric Single-Stage snow blowers can be started with the push of a button and generally need less maintenance than single-stage gas models. The lack of a gas tank and the heavier engine that goes with it, means these electric snow blowers are usually lighter and noticeably more compact than models that use gas. However, the downside of electric snow blowers is that they come with an extension cord, which can be a nuisance. Be sure to use a cable that remains functional and flexible in cold weather.

Cordless Electric Single-Stage snow blowers, as the name says, boast the advantage of not requiring a cord. They can be started with a push of the button as well, and this is generally a low maintenance machine. Lighter and more compact than the gas counterparts.

Gas Single-Stage have the same advantage as the cordless electric single-stage snow blowers: they require no power cables to be dragged along behind you. Running on gas, these machines are usually more powerful, which makes them capable of clearing greater areas of land, and typically have larger intakes than electric snow blowers.

Two Stage

best snow blowers

Two-Stage snow blowers are the next class – they run on gas so they’re a different beast. Bulkier and more powerful, these machines can clear a snowfall of more than 8 inches. Additionally, their wheels are engine-driven, which makes them handle much better on uneven terrains and make you sweat less. Two-stage means that it collects the snow faster and discharges it farther away than single-stage models. Also, most two-stage snow blowers feature so-called “skids” that are attached to the underside of the blower, on each side of the auger. The skids are mostly customizable and will allow you to adapt your blower to uneven terrain. Generally, two-stage snow blowers offer more features than the one-stage ones.

Three Stage

Three-Stage snow blowers are the most powerful snow blowers you can find. They run on gas, and are capable of handling much more snow in a lot less time. Three-stage snow blowers sometimes feature an “accelerator” – an addition to the auger which speeds up snow intake up to 10 times and disposes it much farther through the chute.

All being said though, chances are you won’t need anything more powerful than a single-stage snow blower if you’re just an ordinary citizen. But, to each their own.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Snow Blower

Now that we rounded up our short tutorial on the various species of snow blowers, let’s talk about the important factors that will help you choose which one to buy. It goes without saying that the machine needs to fit your needs. To figure this out, you’ll need to ask yourself some questions. For example:

  • How much snow do you need to clear?

For light snowfalls of 8 inches or less, single-stage snow blowers should do the job pretty well. However, for medium to heavy snowfalls, two-stage machines are recommended, because their larger engines and intake area are capable of clearing greater amounts of snow more quickly.

  • How large is the area you need to clear?

Again, size relates to engine type. For smaller areas, such as driveways, single-stage units are sufficient. But for driveways over 60 feet, you’d be wise to choose a two-stage or even a three-stage unit.

  • What type of snow do you need to clear?

Light snow is easy business for single-stage snow blowers. On two-stage units, the impeller prevents the clogging in of heavy, wet snow. Additionally, some models feature serrated augers that cut through hard-packed snow or ice. If you have to deal with heavy mounds of wet snow, that’s in the melting phase, three-stage snow blowers are your solution.

  • What type of terrain is it?

Speaking of terrain, this is how it goes. For level surfaces, your best option is to go for auger-assisted models that you can propel by pushing. If you are facing the ordeal of a sloped or uneven terrain however, your best bet is a model with engine-driven wheels. If ice is giving you problems, with some models you can use tire chains to enhance traction in practically all conditions.

Our Top 3 Picks

Poulan Pro 961820015
  • Poulan Pro 961820015
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Powerful engine
  • Price: See Here
Snow Joe Ultra SJ623E
  • Snow Joe Ultra SJ623E
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Good engine
  • Price: See Here
Toro 38381 18-Inch
  • Toro 38381 18-Inch
  • 4.2 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Price: See Here

Best Snow Blowers Reviewed in 2017

Wait… what? It’s snowing already? Ok, reviews time!

1. Poulan Pro 961820015 136cc Single Stage Snow Thrower, 21-Inch

best snow blowers

Features:

  • Powerful 136cc Poulan Engine for 7.11 foot-pounds of torque
  • Uses durable auger to propel the unit forward while gathering in snow then throwing it out through the chute
  • Ideal for smaller areas, paved areas, 2-4 car driveways and sidewalks
  • Controls are large and easy to operate while wearing gloves
  • Deep Tread Tires
  • 21 inch Clearing Width, 13 inch Intake Height, 8 inch Auger Diameter
  • 2 Year Standard Warranty, 4 Year Engine Warranty
  • Uses gas

PROS: Powerful engine for its class. Deep tread tires. Self-propelled auger.

CONS: For light snowfall only. The discharge chute is small but does the job.

This snow blower from Poulan gets the job done. Being a single-stage snow blower, it goes without saying that it is best used for clearing up light snowfall, for up to 6 inches. It boasts a 21 inch clearing width, which is a decent width for collecting snow, and the 8 inch auger diameter makes short work of incoming snow. This snow blower also features self-propelling, thanks to the durable auger. Due to its size and power, however, the Poulan Pro is ideal for clearing smaller, paved areas from snow, like sidewalks or driveways. Customers report a machine malfunctioning on the very rare occasion, or the dipstick being located differently than from what is shown in the manual (some have it on the oil cap, others on the bottom of the machine). Finally, Poulan offer a long warranty, so you shouldn’t worry.

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2. Snow Joe Ultra SJ623E 18-Inch 15-Amp Electric Snow Thrower with Light

best snow blowers

Features:

  • Ideal for clearing snow off mid-to-large sized driveways and walkways
  • No gas, oil or tune-ups make it effortless to start and maintain
  • Powerful 15-amp motor moves up to 720 lbs of snow per minute
  • 180° adjustable directional chute throws snow up to 25 ft
  • ETL approved; Full 2-year warranty

PROS: Good engine. Features headlight. Electric.

CONS: Power cord not included.

This Snow Joe Ultra snow blower is really something and high up on our best snow blowers list. It’s a very capable electric machine capable of competing, even outperforming gas-operated snow blowers in its class. Its 15-amp motor is to thank for this strength, which, combined with its 4-blade heavy-grade steel rotor make short work of even thick chunks of snow. However, be aware that this Snow Joe is intended for clearing up small areas and light snowfall – in these conditions, the Snow Joe Ultra can clear up to 750 pounds of snow in a minute! The discharge chute can be rotated up to 180º, which makes it very convenient. Being an electrical snow blower, it is very light and can be manually transported from one area to another. The only hassle we could think of is that it didn’t come with a power cord in the package. However, this is fairly easy to obtain, and perhaps it is best to choose the power cord on your own. While it can be annoying, with the cord dragging around you all the time, some practice will make this a non-issue. Very easy and simple to operate, which is exemplified in its press of a button turn on procedure. This machine also comes with a headlight, which is of great help if you need to work during the night or in conditions of poor visibility!

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3. Toro 38381 18-Inch 15 Amp Electric 1800 Power Curve Snow Blower

best snow blowers

Features:

  • Number 1 Brand of electric snow thrower in the United States
  • Moves up to 700-Pounds of snow per minute for efficient snow clearing
  • 15 Amp electric snow blower for walkways, patios, decks, small driveways, and other residential areas
  • 18-Inch clearance width and 12-Inch intake height for quick clearing
  • Power Curve technology cleans down to the pavement and helps prevent clogging; 160-degree adjustable chute for optimal snow-blowing control
  • Full-bail ergonomic handle, lift handle, quick level, zip deflector, lightweight design, and easy assembly

PROS: Ergonomic handle. Zip deflector. Easy to use.

CONS: Doesn’t include power cord. Doesn’t feature a headlight.

A competitor to the Snow Joe Ultra, this Toro unit doesn’t cut corners but aims to deliver. And deliver it does – as can be expected from Toro! Boasting an engine of the same power as the Snow Joe (15-amp), the Toro features an innovative design called Power Curve. Power Curve is intended to clean snow all the way down to the very surface of the pavement and prevent clogging, however, customers report this does not always work as intended. The angle of chute adjustment is also lower than on the Snow Joe by 20 degrees; this Toro allows for 160 degrees of adjustment, which, if we’re honest, is plenty enough. Adjustment of the discharge chute is further helped by the zip deflector. This single-stage electric snow blower is lightweight as expected, and is intended for clearing up light snowfall from relatively small areas, such as driveways, patios, walkways, decks and so on. However, this Toro snow blower doesn’t come with a power cord, and doesn’t feature a light, which can be very inconvenient in those long, dark winter days.

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4. Snow Joe iON18SB Ion Cordless Single Stage Brushless Snow Blower with Rechargeable Ecosharp 40-volt Lithium-Ion Battery

best snow blowers

Features:

  • Lightweight design (only 32 lbs) to easily clear sidewalks, driveways and decks.
  • 40 V 4.0 Ah EcoSharp rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides up to 50 minutes of whisper-quiet run time.
  • No pull cords, gas, oil, tune-ups, carbon emissions or tangled extension cords.
  • Steel auger with 2 rubber blades moves up to 495 lbs of snow per minute; cuts a path 18 in. wide by 8 in. deep without damaging surface.
  • 180° auto-rotate directional chute throws snow up to 20 ft.

PROS: Cordless & Rechargeable. Features headlight. Lightweight.

CONS: You might need an extra battery.

Snow Joe strike again – and we are impressed! No cords and no gas with one swift move – the Snow Joe iON snow blower is an evolutionary step in the right direction. While this is definitely a machine that is intended to use in clearing up small to medium areas of light snowfall, the machine does pretty well even though it’s run exclusively on battery. The 40 V 4.0 Ah EcoSharp battery can last you around 40-50 minutes in each session before you have to recharge it, which is usually enough. However if there’s extra snow out there and you don’t want to just sit around for the battery to regain its strength, then we recommend that you purchase an extra battery and just swap them and continue clearing snow. This is definitely such a great convenience! Additionally, the Snow Joe iON can move up to 495 pounds of snow per minute thanks to its heavy-duty, steel auger with 2 rubber blades. It also features a rubber scraper bar at the base of the auger, which makes for a really close “shave” if you catch our drift. The machine clears up full 18 inches of path for you, and is very lightweight to move to and fro. We are impressed… Say goodbye to extension cords and sticky oil! Cordless snow blowers like the Snow Joe iON are the future.

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5. Toro 38361 Power Shovel 7.5 Amp Electric Snow Thrower

best snow blowers

Features:

  • Number 1 Brand of electric snow thrower in the United States
  • 5 Amp electric snow blower for sidewalks, walkways, steps, decks, and other residential areas
  • Clears 4-Inches of snow off a 50-by-20-Foot driveway in just 20 minutes; Moves up to 300-Pounds of snow per minute and blows up to 20-Feet
  • Cleans down to the pavement; cuts up to 12-Inches wide and 6-Inches deep in one pass, cord not included
  • Lightweight at just 12-1/2-Pounds; durable plastic body; adjustable metal telescoping handle; rust-resistant; 2-year warranty

PROS: Smaller and more convenient to use. Best used for walkways. Very light.

CONS: Not suitable for wider areas. Extension cord not included.

Well, one might wonder what can Toro possibly throw in the ring to compete with Snow Joe’s iON paradigm shift? Well… We might say, no lesser paradigm shift of their own. As the name will tell you, this is not a snow blower as such, but it is a power shovel acting as an electric snow thrower. The advantages here are clear – it is smaller, extremely lightweight (well, at least regarding snow blowing machines) and very mobile. It goes without saying it is less powerful, but do you need that much power on an electric shovel? We don’t think so, and neither did Toro. Be as it may, the Toro Power Shovel will clear at least 4 inches of snow on any day, and clear up a driveway in less than half an hour. However, you will still have to drag a cord behind you, and the shovel being more mobile, it is a lot easier to get yourself entangled than other snow blowers. If you experience light snowfall and have a small area to clean – the Toro Power Shovel may be your ideal choice and certainly deserved its place on our best snow blowers list!

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FINAL THOUGHTS

Depending on your needs, you may choose either of the machines we presented and reviewed for you. There is something for everyone, and we’re confident you’ll find your ideal solution. If you have a small area to clear, then go ahead and try your luck with the innovative Toro Power Shovel. It is so light weight that it offsets its relatively weaker engine, but it gets the job done.

If you’re looking into a high-tech, best of all worlds solution, then you won’t make a mistake with the Snow Joe iON snow blower. You’ll never have to be dealing with buying extension cords again, or worried you’ll get electrified. Likewise, you’ll never have to be buying oil and gas again, nor deal with leaks and sticky parts, nor try to remember where you put the dipstick that last winter. These are small things, but they matter, and the Snow Joe iON does away with most of them. Of course, try to get yourself an extra batter.

And, if you’re looking for just an ordinary snow blower for clearing up the driveway or your pavement, don’t hesitate to go for one of the other electric or gas models we’ve included here. Be it Snow Joe, or Toro, or Poulan, these machines are reliable and will get the job done.

Now let’s whistle (or hum) to Jingle Bells and clear some snow. Ah… the festive moods of winter!

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