Best Snow Blowers for 2020
Winter days are short, and when it snows, most of us don't want spend what daylight we have clearing our driveways and sidewalks. Here's our guide to a variety of the best snow blowers out there.
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A Shovel Just Isn’t Gonna Do It
Winter days are short, and when it snows, most of us don’t want spend what daylight we have clearing our driveways and sidewalks—one of the biggest reasons people shop for a snow blower. So if you’ve reached that point where you’re ready to trade your shovel for a faster, easier way, here’s our guide to a variety of the best snow blowers out there.
Best Corded Snow Shovel
The Earthwise Corded Electric Snow Shovel claims it can move 430 lbs. in a minute. Regardless of whether or not it lives up to its claim, this electric shovel definitely moves a lot more snow in 60 seconds than you and your uncorded shovel ever could. It has a similar feel to a classic shovel, but operates more like a mini snow blower of sorts. Plug it in and the 12-amp motor cuts a 16-in.-wide swath through about 8 in. of snow. The compact, light design is perfect for sidewalks, walkways, steps, decks and other small snow-removal jobs. This is a very popular and affordable electric snow shovel, perfect for a micro abode or a great complement to a larger snow blower on a larger property.
Best Corded Snow Blower
Even though cordless is all the rage these days, you still can’t beat the price point of a plug-in electric snow blower. Besides, if you have a small driveway and/or a limited amount of sidewalk, it’s not that difficult to manage the long extension cord. This Ryobi Corded Electric Snow Blower has a 13-amp motor that will clear a 20-in. path up to 10 in. deep. The easy-to-reach chute rotates a full 180 degrees to throw the snow where you want it, up to 25 ft. away, and the folding handles easily collapse for storage. The best part is there’s no gas, no batteries with limited run-time and hardly any upkeep. Just plug it in, press a button and go. Ideal choice for a city dweller.
Best Single-Stage Snow Thrower #1
With the largest engine in its class, the Simplicity Single-Stage Snow Thrower goes through snow and ice like a larger dual-stage blower, but maintains the handling ease of a single-stage machine. Its 22-in.-wide auger has multiple serrated steel blades that combine with rubber sweeps to shred any ice or snow and throw it efficiently out the chute. There’s an easy-to-reach push button that controls the chute rotation electronically so you can keep your hands on the handlebar, plus dual incandescent headlights to help if you’re working in the dark. This is a compact, powerful snow blower that will muscle through where most other single-stage blowers won’t.
Best Single-Stage Snow Thrower #2
The Toro Power Clear Self-Propelled Gas Snow Blower is an ideal pick for a small-to-medium driveway or walkway—one of the most proven and popular single-stage blowers out there. It has a 21-in. width and an intake height of 12.5 in. Despite its smaller size (only 87 lbs.), this machine packs a punch with its 221cc 4-cycle motor and can handle that heavy plow snow left at the end of your driveway. The auger system leaves a clean surface and is designed to self-propel the machine, allowing you to simply guide it in its path. The chute is no frills, so you do have to stop to redirect trajectory and radius, but the operation is smooth and requires little effort. Toro has a full two-year warranty that includes a GTS (Guaranteed To Start) promise. If it fails to start in two pulls, they’ll fix the issue for free. (They make an electric start model, too.)
Best Battery-Powered Snow Blower #1
Last decade, manufacturers of single-stage blowers moved from fussy, noisy, polluting 2-cycle motors to quieter, easy starting, less polluting 4-cycle motors. This decade, I’m pretty sure the move will be towards battery-powered blowers like the Ego 2100 series. With two 56-volt lithium ion batteries driving its brushless motor, the Ego Cordless Electric Snow Blower gives you the same performance as gas without fumes, noise and maintenance. This blower has a steel chassis with a 21-in.-wide intake, a chute that swings a full 180 degrees from a handle-mounted adjustment lever and two bright LED lights to help at night. The package comes with two 5.0 Ah batteries and a charger that has you running in 40 minutes. The batteries and charger are compatible with all other Ego cordless power tools, so it’s a great base purchase if you want the full Ego boost. We’ve had this particular snow blower in-house for about a year now and it’s impressed all editors who’ve used it.
Best Battery-Powered Snow Blower #2
The Snow Joe Cordless Electric Snow Blower may be one of the most powerful cordless single-stage snow blowers out there. It has a 2880-watt brushless motor that’s driven by one 110 volt 5 Ah battery, providing you with about 30 minutes of run time. There’s room for a second battery, too, which you can buy to get up to a full hour of operation. Its variable-speed auger is capable of moving literally tons of snow and also propels the machine forward along its path. A push-button console mechanically controls the chute and dual LED lights atop the 21-in.-wide housing shine directly on your path. The 5.0 Ah battery is a bonus of sorts, with a handle, two USB ports and an LED light, perfect for power outages or other unplugged adventures. You’ll spend a bit more on the Snow Joe than a comparable gas machine, but you’ll save on gas, maintenance and carbon footprint.
Best Two-Stage Snow Blower
Cub Cadet is known for making great riding mowers, and their snow blowers keep with that tradition. The Cub Cadet Gas Snow Blower has a clean-burning 243cc 4-cycle motor that provides plenty of power. The four-way chute control changes the pitch and direction of the snow with one hand, while its power steering allows you to effortlessly turn on a dime with the other. There are six forward speeds and two reverse speeds, so you can set your own pace as the 16-in. tires keep you moving with solid traction. A pair of composite, no-rust “blue shoes” smoothly glide along as the 12-in. auger and steel shave plate cut through tough snow and ice. Other features include an electric start and a pair of bright LED headlights. If you have a long driveway and live in a state that averages over 48 inches of snow a winter, you’ll be content to know this loyal Cub Cadet waits in your garage.
Best Overall Snow Blower
There’s good reason that Toro is the #1 selling brand of snow blowers. They’ve proven themselves by constantly revising their single-stage blowers to reach best-in-class status. The SnowMaster 724 ZXR is the most recent evolution of Toro’s ever-evolving auger designs. This new helical auger spins ten times faster than their other single-stage blowers and its shape quickly moves snow up and out of the chute. Another design innovation: Toro’s personal pace system, which reacts to hand pressure on the handlebar. Push hard, and the drive train moves you along faster. Back off, and it’ll slow down for you. The 212cc engine clears a 24-in.-wide lane up to 16 in. deep, and at 131 lbs., there’s no need for power steering, as with larger two-stage blowers. Control the chute with a joystick that quickly adjusts both angle and height. Toro claims this is an easy manual start, but you could also opt for the QXE model with electric start (for about $150 more). If you have a large driveway and don’t want to waste too much precious free time clearing it, this is the machine to get.