The 10 Best Snow Blowers
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in March of 2015. Among the least pleasant of all the experiences winter provides -- somewhere between wet socks and stalled cars - is the task of keeping driveways and walkways clear. Do yourself a favor this year by putting down that shovel and corrosive salt and picking up one of these snowblowers. Make sure to thoroughly read and review all safety procedures before operating any of the options below. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 19, 2020:
For this update, we removed the PowerSmart DB7659H 212cc and the Toro Snwthrwr, due to availability issues.
To keep a balanced selection of sizes, we added the compact Briggs & Stratton 1022EX, a light-duty model with an impressively low weight of 89 pounds. Its convenient features like electronic start and ability to adjust the snow chute as you go, make this a good option for those primarily interested in a machine that’s easy to use. It’s worth noting that although it does feature an electric start, this mechanism does require a power cord to work.
We moved the Honda Power Equipment HS720AA to the back of the list, because of its relatively small 7-inch wheels. It’s still a good machine, but may have problems in wet, sticky snow.
We attempted to find another electric model to accompany our sole battery-powered pick, the Snow Joe Brushless Variable Speed, but after extensive research were unable to find an option that met our standards.
Snow blowers are incredibly dangerous machines if the proper safety precautions are not followed. Always take the time to read the safety and operating manual before even starting to use your snowblower. Always wear stable footwear to prevent any slipping, keep children inside when operating. Gas-powered snowblowers create dangerous carbon monoxide, so always start your machine outdoors.
If the safety and noisy operation of snow blowers seem like too much of a hassle, a snow shovel might be a better choice for you. Or, if you want to split the difference, a power snow shovel could be a perfect balance of both.
November 18, 2019:
Right off the bat, we eliminated the Wen 5662 Snow Blaster and the GreenWorks 2600502 13 Amp, simply because we didn’t feel confident ranking these items based on their construction standards and performance ratings. We also eliminated the Snow Joe iON18SB and the Toro 38381 15 Amp – two lower-end options from well-reputed companies – and replaced them with Snow Joe iON100V-21SB and the Toro Snwthrwr, two machines that offered better performance than our ranking’s previous representation from those brands.
In addition to this, we added the Honda Power Equipment HS720AA to our list. With the iron-clad reputation this company has for manufacturing motors that start on even the coldest of winter days, it only seemed fitting that they should have a seat at the table for this category.
February 12, 2019:
These days, snow blowers can come in as many different shapes and sizes as there are variations of the weather they're designed to plow. That's why, in putting this list together, we made an effort to feature as diverse a selection as possible, including everything from small, corded electric models (like the Wen 5662 Snow Blaster) to industrial-grade gas-powered ones (like the Husqvarna ST224P 208cc). Overall, we judged the Toro 38381 15 Amp to be best for most people, since it handles moderate levels of snowfall with ease and doesn't require much maintenance.
Yamaha YT1332ED While the company no longer offers their snow blowers in the United States, die-hard fans of the company have been known to make the pilgrimage north to Canada to purchase one of these impressive (though, albeit expensive) machines. While such loyalists might tell you that it's unlikely you'll be disappointed with your purchase, you should be mindful that you can void its warranty by bringing it back across the border. yamaha-motor.ca
Fighting Back Against Winter's Worst: The Snow Blower
You can take heart knowing that extra large, top of the line snow blowers are not irrationally expensive; rather they are pricey because they are powerful, capable machines.
A snow blower is the ultimate tool in the arsenal of the person trying to clear lots of snow in little time. Using a snow blower means you can clear a path with a reliably even width, you won't hurt your back or your shoulders hefting a shovel, and, in many cases, you can let a self-propelled snow blower do all the work for you save for startup and steering.
You can take heart knowing that extra large, top of the line snow blowers are not irrationally expensive; rather they are pricey because they are powerful, capable machines. Many of the bigger snow blowers have engines measuring more than three hundred cubic centimeters, which is roughly the same size as the engine measurements of many compact motorcycles. What you spend in money on a larger snow blower, you will save in hours of time over the years when a single pass of a given swath of snowy ground is enough to clear it for use.
It's important to note that snow blowers of not feature a set ratio of clearing width to height. In fact, there are some units that can clear a swath of snow as much as twenty four inches wide and twenty inches in height, while others clear a path of almost the same width, at twenty two inches, yet can only handle heights of sixteen inches. So if you live in an area prone to deep snowfall and/or heavy snowdrifts, don't factor in the width of the path a unit clears alone: you can't well walk or park atop those many inches of snow your blower couldn't remove.
Whether you are considering a massive snow blower with an industrial sized engine or a smaller unit suitable for that shorter walkway or narrow driveway, make sure you note the adjustment settings of the chute and its deflector. You need to be able to send snow up and away from the unit in a manner that suits your property, not casting that wintry mess onto a neighbors yard, but enjoying enough clearance to get it all the way off your own driving and walking areas.
Safe And Proper Snow Blower Operation
According to the Center for Hearing and Communication, many gasoline powered snow blowers can have an operating volume that exceeds 100 decibels. That is enough noise to cause acute hearing damage even with a single use of a machine, and more than enough volume to cause chronic hearing problems if you regularly operate a snow blower without sufficient hearing protection. You should always be wearing earplugs or protective earmuffs when using a snow blower, and operators are wise to consider several other pieces of safety gear as well.
As a snow blower throws huge volumes of debris into the air, it's a good idea to wear some form of eye protection as well. While you don't likely need to wear ballistic safety goggles to safely operate a snow blower, if you don't usually wear glasses, a pair of sunglasses or clear protective glasses is a smart move. It only takes one gust of wind to send a chunk of ice or a bit of asphalt or wood flying in another direction, and potentially right toward your face.
Finally, make sure to wear heavy tread boots as you work with your snow blower: a slip while you operate these powerful machines could result in serious injury, costly property damage, or both.
Other Ideas For Dealing With Snow
If you only have a few square feet of area that you need to clear of snow, such as a balcony attached to an apartment or a small walkway leading from a townhouse to the street, then you may be able to handle your snow clearing needs with a basic snow shovel alone. However anyone with a larger property that requires snow clearing, or who doesn't want to deal with the strain and potential injury often caused by shoveling snow, the snow blower is the savvy move. But it's not the end of the story.
Keep in mind that the best way to clear snow is to never let it accumulate in the first place.
As with any effort, be it a battle, a marketing initiative, or the removal of snow from your property, a multi-pronged attack plan is always the best approach. A snow blower is a great way to remove huge amounts of snow from walkways, driveways, patios, and more, but few snow blowers can remove that last packed layer of snow and ice that can in fact lead to the most harm in terms of slips and falls or when a vehicle skids on frigid ground. The best way to finish the job a snow blower starts is to treat the ground with an ice melting salt that can speed the breakdown of snow, slush, and ice.
Keep in mind that the best way to clear snow is to never let it accumulate in the first place. Laying down a tarp that can be pulled aside is a great trick for dealing with lighter snowfall (heavy snows can quickly lay hundreds or even thousands of pounds across a property and will likely be more than you can just slide aside). You can also always spread down a layer of ice melt before the first snowflakes land rather than later applying it over the top of the accumulation.
One more trick to try is to apply a bit of nonstick cooking spray to the chute of your snow blower before you use it each time. This can help prevent the buildup of snow, ice, and slush that reduces the efficacy of a snow blower and leads to more time spent cleaning the unit out than using it to clear snow.