Buying a snow blower is a serious investment, and you need to inform yourself about existing options on time. Be aware that no one unit is perfect and you should make a list of features that are essential for your needs. Choose carefully and enjoy your new device. Let's see the best options!
The Snow Blower Buying Guide
It can sound strange to you, but some models of snow blowers work well regardless of the fact they don't have all the features you listed. Also, some models seem perfect, but for some reason, they won't suit you.
My advice is to determine a couple of features that are crucial for you, find models that fit your criteria and choose between the selected devices based on the characteristics you have identified as secondary.
The elimination system is often a good way to make an adequate choice when the offer of similar models is too large, as is the case with snow blowers.
Which type of snow blower right for you?
The type of snow blower you choose should depend on the kind of snow, the type of area you need to clean, and the storage space you have on your disposal. There are three types of snow blowers:
1. Single-stage electric
This light machine is easy to use, intended for mid-sized areas, and it clears snow quickly. It is capable of removing snow less than twelve inches (30.5 cm) thick. There are two disadvantages of this device. Firstly, it has a limited reach because it requires an electrical plug. Secondly, it doesn't have wheels, and you should push it manually.
2. Single-stage gas
This gas-powered unit is more powerful and heavier. You can use it for clearing snow from mid-sized driveways. If you live in a suburban area where moderate snowfall is usual, this unit will be an excellent choice for you. Expect that it has useful features and comes with basic accessories. Avoid using it on gravel surfaces because its auger is in direct contact with the ground.
3. Two-stage gas (dual-stage snow blower)
This powerful model is equipped with engine driven wheels, and it eliminates 18+ inches (45.5+ cm) snow during a two-step process. When you live in the area where the thick, heavy snow regularly appears, this machine is definitely what you want. Plus, you can use it on any surface, including concrete and gravel, since its auger is not in touch with the ground.
4. Three-stage gas
This professional snow blower is definitely the most powerful and efficient machine you can find on the market. This unit can handle 20+ inches (51+ cm) high heaps and eliminate any amount of snow you have to deal with.
The most important technical factors
a). An electric starter
This is not a necessary part of a snow blower, but can be helpful. It will make starting the engine more comfortable to you. You won't go wrong if you buy a model with manual recoil-starter, but an electric starter will save you both, the time and effort. Nowadays, most of these machines come with this feature, but some low-priced models may not have one.
b). Plastic chutes
They are a better choice than steel ones due to the fact they are flexible, don’t crack in cold weather, and consequently, they last longer. Plus, these units work better since they are slippery and snow hardly sticks to them quickly.
c). Large tires
This feature shouldn't be on the top of your list of desirable characteristics because it is not really necessary. However, the truth is that this type of tires will make your work much easier because of better traction and steering. Consequently, you will remove the snow quicker, especially during a harsh winter.
d). Airless tires
These tires will help you keep your machine driving straight, they never go flat, and you won't have any problem with refilling and repairing. One more thing! Airless tires are entirely maintenance-free.
e). Heated grips
This feature is important unless you don’t mind the low temperatures. Having heated grips will make your work more comfortable while the weather is icy.
They don't determine the level of the quality of the device, but will allow you to work in the dark. You need to admit that it is helpful when you need to clean the snow after you get back from work late, especially during short winter days. The great thing is that headlights won't affect the price of the machine.
The Best Snow Blower on the market 2019
1. Toro SnowMaster 724 QXE
If you live in a region with the average snowfall, Toro SnowMaster 724 QXE snow blower can be the right solution for you. This uniquely designed machine with an excellent auger and top-rated drive control can work faster than more high-priced and larger competitors.
This two-stage snow blower is on the top when we talk about speed. It is claimed that this device works 30% faster than other models with similar characteristics. Also, it is not complicated to adjust the speed of this machine. You can quickly speed up or slow down it to adapt your course when needed.
This snow blower has a winning combination of a powerful gasoline engine and premium electric start. That means you will get the unit which is ease of use and convenient at the same time. All you need to do is to push of a button.
Since this model doesn't include an impeller, it can't throw snow as far as the other competitive snow blowers can. However, it ejects snow at approximately 40 feet (12 m) if you move strictly forward. Avoid using this unit if your yard is unpaved.
Toro replaced a little bit painful but commonly used manual speed controls with its so-called 'Personal pace'. This revolutionary movement system harmonizes the speed of the machine with your own walking pace.
Believe it or not, you can handle this machine with only one hand. That makes it convenient for everyone's use. You will entirely control the direction of cleared snow by using a single-lever joystick. Moreover, you can easily modify both vertical and horizontal discharge of snow as needed.
2. Toro 38381 (My Top Recommended)
I have a lot of nice things to say about entirely reliable, top efficient and amazingly powerful Toro 38381 snow removal. It is definitely one of the best snow blowers you can invest in. When I saw it for the first time, I was astonished by an incredibly fast pace this machine moved up.
The reliable data shows that its highest setting is up to 700 pounds (317.5 kg) of snow per one minute. It clears a path of 18 inches (46 cm) wide and 12 inches (30.5 cm) height which are remarkable results for all your snow clearing needs. Can you believe it?
This electric, small sized snow blower is pretty light and weighs 26 pounds (12 kg). Plus, this machine is surprisingly easy to handle, and even females and teenagers can effectively use it.
This fantastic 15 Amp electric machine comes with a lightweight design as well as a full-bail ergonomic handle and lifts handle. All these features make them an ideal solution for various residential areas, including patios, walkways, small driveways, and decks.
The new Power Curve technology is probably the most notable characteristic of this machine. It allows this unit to clean down effectively, quickly move a lot of snow, and easily prevent any clogging. Also, thanks to 160-degree adjustable chute, you will have optimal control over the direction of snow ejection.
I want to draw your attention to another innovative feature - Zip deflector. Every time you change its direction, you will adjust it to throw snow at a different height. Zip deflector can throw the snow on three different levels (low, medium, and high) which suit you the best at that particular moment.
3. Troy-Bilt Arctic Storm 34XP
If your yard is huge and you live in an icy region with high average snowfall, Troy-Bilt Arctic Storm 30 is a perfect choice for you. It is intended for the cleaning of snow depths of 15 inches (38 cm) or even more.
For a snow blower to be as powerful and useful as possible, it can't be light. However, perhaps something could have been done about the size of this model. The fact is that it will hardly go through a standard door of 34 inches (86 cm). You should check your garage door before going shopping!
A big, 357 cc engine of this snow blower can handle over 16 inches (40.5 cm) snow. There are some respectful data that this high-capacity machine can clear snow cover of 30 inches (76 cm). It is unbelievable to me that you can control this heavy-duty unit by using just a tiny thumb joystick.
It has a heavy-duty, metal chute, practical power steering, and an excellent thumb-operated chute control which is powered by a joystick. I really adore its heated handles which are extremely practical during long-lasting cleaning the thick, massive snow.
This massive machine is well-balanced and unexpectedly easy to use. However, it is not profitable to buy such a powerful device if you have a small backyard or live in a state where the snowfall is scarce and rare. This large, robust, two-stage snow blower with a power steering and a big engine is an excellent choice if you have a gravel or paved driveway over 70 feet (21 m) long.
4. Ariens 921046 Deluxe
If you prefer self-propelled electric snow blower which is entirely accessible to work, you should opt for the Ariens 921046 Deluxe unit as an excellent investment.
This reliable snow blower is built from high-quality, powerful and durable materials. It features halogen headlights which will allow you to finish the entire job during whatever time frame convenient for you. I recommend you to purchase snow chains with the device because they will solve every possible problem with uphill power while your snow blower works under load.
This two-stage gas machine with electric start has a powerful 254cc engine. Believe it or not, it can clear up to 65 tons of snow per only one hour. You will respect auto-turn steering without trigger this unit provides and a possibility to operate it with one hand.
The excellent thing is that this machine is simple to manage and have impressive eight operational speeds (six forward ones and two reverse). They will allow you to quickly and effectively finish the job.
By using this device, you will be able to clear an impressive 21 inches (53 cm) by 28 inches (71 cm) of snow from your driveway. Its superior design will allow you to remove even the extra heavy snow effortlessly. Its clearing distance is up to 50 feet (15 m). Plus, thanks to its remote chute control which rotates 205 degrees, you will be the one who controls the direction of the snow ejection.
5. Husqvarna ST224 Two-Stage Snow Blower
Thanks to its big and powerful motor, the Husqvarna ST224 snow blower can clear a significant drift of snow in the blink of an eye. This durable machine is intended for removing medium and heavy snowfalls on any type of driveways.
It is true that its adjustable skid shoes and ribbon auger make clearing the snow a comfortable and quick process regardless of the surface state. This self-propelled model comes with a seven-speed drive system, including six forward and one reverse speed. Additionally, it has LED headlights, adjustable handle, and heated handle grips.
Its powerful 208cc motor makes this snow blower a real beast. Thanks to the electric start, it is very easy to handle model, and a power steering will make maneuvering more comfortable. Its two-stage system is efficient and can throw a huge amount of snow. Plus, you can control a direction of snow ejection thanks to a 180-degree-ranged rotating chute.
This device is a perfect choice for you if you have large patios and driveways up to 24 inches (61 cm) wide and live in the region with regular snowfalls. It is incredibly efficient when you need to remove wet, slushy, and even partially frozen snow, but keep in mind that it can be damaged if there are too many rocks on its path. Since this unit has solid 15 inches (38 cm) tires, it is reliable even you are faced to huge, up to two feet (61 cm) drifts of snow.
6. YARDMAX YB5765 Snowblower
If you have a limited budget but need a high-quality snow blower, the Yardmax YB5765 model is built for you. This machine features a durable engine which is powerful enough to blow away a large amount of snow.
This two-stage snow blower can clear a path 22 inches (56 cm) wide. Thanks to its control crank, you can quickly change the direction of snow throwing. It is an ideal choice for you if you prefer powerful machines, but you actually live in a region without regular massive snowfalls.
You can quickly start this strong, 196cc engine. The unit is self-propelled and features five forward and one reverse speed. A pin-lock axle is standard and allows two-wheel drive when you need better traction and the one-wheel drive when you want better mobility.
This machine is a perfect combination of excellent performances and high value. Except for a convenient dashboard and a well-designed ax-shaped housing, this snow blower features heated grips too.
I like its aluminum gear case, and you will be surprised how much alloy steel gears positively affect the performance of this unit. Thanks to high-quality augers, this machine allows you to work efficiently through thick snow and even ice.
If you don't mind a quite complicated assembly, you should consider this unit and enjoy an ideal combination of distance of the snow throwing and its minimal blowback. Anyway, if you have the necessary experience with tools, this tiny 'flaw' won't be a big deal.
7. Snow Joe iON8024-XRP
The features of the new Snow Joe iON24SB-XRP snow blower are really unbelievable. It comes with a dual port charger and two extra powerful 6.0 Amp batteries.
This machine is made of three different materials and features a metal body, steel auger, and adjustable, plastic chute. What I like the most is that you can adjust the height of its skid shoes which makes this adaptable device a perfect choice for various surfaces.
Characteristics of this device are fantastic. It offers three forward and one reverse speed (unfortunately, all of them are quite slow), as well as manual pitch control. While throwing snow 32 feet (9.7 m) away, it can clear 1000 pounds (454 kg) of snow per minute. If you live in a region with heavy snow, and your yard is sloped or full of obstacles, this cordless, noiseless machine is the right choice for you.
This revolutionary machine is the first electric, battery-powered snow blower based on a principle of two-stage functioning. It is a self-propelled unit which relies on the powerful brushless engine and two 40 Volts Lithium Ion batteries. That means considerably increased power and consequently larger clearing path.
Its powerful batteries provide extra power, multiple speeds, and dual-stage functioning to this device. They have an awesome run time of 50 minutes, but their charging takes approximately three hours. Unfortunately, included dual-port charger hasn't got an option for automatically cutting off when batteries are wholly charged.
The Snow Blower Maintenance Tips
Once you buy the best snow blower for your needs, you will discover that regular instructions on using are sometimes not enough to figure out how to get the best results.
The weather conditions in your area and even type of snow will affect the performances of your machine. Let me give you some basic tips which will help you manage the snow blower as a pro.
- You need to wear adequate winter clothing while operating a unit
- Choose to run the machine when visibility and light are appropriate
- Avoid cleaning the snow across the slopes and be careful while changing direction on uneven surfaces
- Adjust your speed while coming across deep, heavy, wet, or freezing snow
- Increase your efficiency and start removing snow early in the morning or immediately after it falls
- Don't hurry! That way you can overload the device capacity and risk the appearance of unnecessary damage
- If you strike any foreign objects, immediately shut off the engine and check for any possible damage before restarting the machine
- Dry and clean your snow blower after each use
If you maintain and clean your snow blower adequately, you shouldn't experience any significant problems with this machine. Generally, these units are usually very reliable and durable and spoil rarely.
Check the service network for the type of snow blower you want to buy. In this way, you will effectively eliminate any possible issue which could appear in the future.
Sometimes it is tough comparing different types of machines. As I have already said, which device you will buy directly depends on your needs, including the level of snowfalls, the kind of your driveways, and the quality of the terrain.
Anyway, if I have to decide which of the above models I consider to be the best snow blower on the market, I will choose Toro 38381 Electric Snow Blower. It is not closely related to specific weather conditions and has the broadest range of use.
It is an ergonomic designed, power machine which can clear an incredible amount of snow per minute. Power Curve technology and Zip deflector are useful innovations I appreciate.
Working with this unit is pleasurable, easy, and comfortable, plus you have perfect control over it. Except for minor technical disadvantages, I consider this device worth your attention.
My name is Peter Weeks, Writer of The Daily Gardener. Gardening has always been my passion, nothing gives me quite the satisfaction that feeling the soil sift through my fingers does. Give me a spade, a shovel, and a rake, and I can happily while away the day transforming a patch of land into a beautiful oasis. To me, gardening is life. It’s not a career. It’s not a job. It’s something that I truly love doing. It’s a way of life, a passion that I’ve no intention of ever giving up.