8 Best Snow Blowers | March 2017

We spent 32 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Every year, people have heart attacks shoveling snow off their driveways. Even if you're in the peak of health, why struggle with this winter chore? Our selection of snow blowers will make life much easier for homeowners, schools, businesses and government buildings that want to keep a clear path to their door. Skip to the best snow blower on Amazon.
8 Best Snow Blowers | March 2017

Overall Rank: 4
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 8
Best Inexpensive
The AAVIX AGT1420 Gas 87CC is a single-stage, lower budget snow thrower with a 20-inch clearing path and an 87cc one-phase engine. If you live in the arctic, consider a stronger unit. For the modest mid-Atlantic blizzard, it's fine.
The Poulan Pro 961820017 boasts a powerful 208cc engine, which is especially impressive given its moderate price. When it comes to other features though, it's a moderate snow thrower with an 8-inch auger diameter and 13-inch intake.
The Husqvarna 961830002 is an attractive, lightweight single stage snow thrower with a 21-inch clearing path and a 136cc engine. It makes the snow clearing process easy as long as you get to the snow before it piles up too much.
The Yard Machines 31A-2M1E700 is an affordable mid-powered snow thrower with a 21-inch clearing path that often means single-pass clearing for sidewalks or pathways. It has a four-cycle gas engine that ensures smooth, even running.
  • ez manual chute control
  • pull starter instead of electric
  • poor air emissions
Brand Yard Machines
Model 31A-2M1E700
Weight 76.8 pounds
The Power Smart DB7659A is a gas powered, two-stage snow thrower with a 22-inch width and 16-inch depth. It has a joystick controlled chute, and features rotating blades that scythe through and suck up snow, ice, and debris.
  • 208 cc engine with electric start
  • forward or reverse self propulsion
  • not environmentally friendly
Brand Power Smart
Model DB7659A22
Weight 154 pounds
The Murray 1695978 is a mid-tier gas powered snow thrower. It has a 205cc engine, and clears a 24-inch path up to 20 inches high. This self-propelled unit can move forward at three different speed settings.
  • fuel efficient 4-stroke engine
  • push-button start system
  • dual reverse speeds
Brand Briggs & Stratton
Model 1695978
Weight 230 pounds
The Ariens 921030 Deluxe is a two-stage snow thrower with remote control chute rotation. It clears a 28-inch path up to 16 inches deep, and is suitable for industrial-grade use. Get one for a business, school, or government facility.
  • throws snow up to 50 feet
  • 254cc engine with electric start
  • 14-inch steel augers
Brand Ariens
Model 921030
Weight 257 pounds
The Murray 1696030 1450 Snow Series is powerful 2-stage gas blower suited for the heaviest snowstorms. It offers eight forward speeds of self propulsion, and features OHV technology that increases fuel efficiency.
  • 29-inch wide clearing path
  • thickly treaded tires
  • powerful 305cc 4-stroke engine
Brand Briggs & Stratton
Model 1696030
Weight 319 pounds

Fighting Back Against Winter's Worst: The Snow Blower

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.

If you want a decent unit, you should be prepared to spend more than two hundred dollars, with most snow blowers that offer a solid level of clearing power and path size costing in excess of four hundred dollars. And for the extra large property, such as a home set well off of plowed streets or for a business with a parking lot it needs to keep clear, expect to spend well over one thousand dollars for a suitable unit.

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.

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.

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Last updated: 03/28/2017 | Authorship Information