Cordless, electric or gas…Oh My! Before we get into this guide, you need know one thing — snow blowers are selling out and fast, becoming harder to find in stock as we move deeper into winter. It’s Dec 29, 2019 as I write this and with every winter storm, stock dwindles.
Please, don’t wait until the weatherperson announces a major snowfall before buying — it’s too late by then. Everyone else gets the same idea. Alright, let’s look at my recommendations for the best single stage snow blowers.
Another season of snow is here and with that, we get the arrival of a few excellent single-stage snow blowers that are actually worth the price. Imagine that! This 40V from Snow Joe (iON15SB-LT) is a great buy. Ideal for smaller areas as it has a 15″ clearing width and 8″ clearing depth. Designed for light, fluffy snow; no more, no less.
Need more power, we look at gas models later (skip to gas if you wish).
Here’s another new single-stage model from Snow Joe. It’s true, they own the market for light-duty snow blowers. They know how to make them for cheap, which is what customers want.
This is a more powerful (& affordable) 48V cordless model from Snow Joe (24V-X2-SB18). It can clear snow up to 10″ deep and 18″ wide in one single pass; ultra-lightweight at 37½ lbs., starts instantly, and has an LED headlight. A good basic snow blower for light, fluffy snow. Sorry, not for blizzards.
This is easily one of the best single stage snow blowers relative to what you pay. Yes, there are more capable models, including the Snow Joe 100V, but I’m evaluating the full package — in other words, for most homeowners, this accomplishes the goal for little money.
Of course, if you need to clear deep wet snow, you need a different type of snow blower. Match the tool to your need. Overall, this is hard to beat. It can run up to 40 minutes on a single charge, which is enough for the average sized yard.
Don’t worry, keep scrolling because you are about to catch a glimpse of a catalog of the best, brightest and most effective snow blowers with respectable and reliable representatives from each power type — battery-powered, corded-electric and gas.
The Age of Battery-Power is Here
We start this journey with two of best new cordless single stage snow blowers released for winter of 2019/20. The overall quality of snow blowers has skyrocketed over the past couple years due to increased competition and the rapid rise of battery power. It seems engineers become inspired when it comes to designing new cordless tools (Thanks Apple). Don’t worry, we also recommend gas, and corded-electric models. I know, they’re not as sexy as batteries. Technology + inspiration = Powerful snow clearing machines. What’s your preference?
New — Cordless Single Stage Models
Battery vs Corded-Electric vs Gas
Battery power is by far the most convenient, allowing you to work with an extension cord, not subjected to inhaling fumes from gas, or being burdened with maintenance that goes along with a combustion engine. Battery snow blowers are straightforward to use, just push a button and go. They are lightweight and easy to maneuver through snow. The batteries are expensive which is why powerful models such as the ones above are fairly expensive, but they do provide you with all the benefits of clean technology.
Other than price, they are also less capable than gas snow blowers, which are able to handle heavier snow, coupled with the better build quality as they are made with steel to support the weight of the combustion engine. Your decision as to which type you buy should begin with how much snow you expect and the type of snow.
For example, for heavy wet snow then a gas is the power type you need. If you live in an area with expected heavy snowfalls then you really should buy a two-stage snow blower, which includes an impeller designed to move the snow quickly through the chute and throw it further away.
Top 2 Gas — Single-Stage
We’ll take a look at my top two recommendations for corded-electric models next, but before I get to that, have a look at what the 100V Snow Joe snow blower can do. It seems that every year battery capacity is increasing dramatically. Batteries are one of the most challenging things for scientists to improve upon as current technology is close to its theoretical maximum. All things considered, at least we have the option. Nobody in the 1960’s had a cordless snow blower. Think of it that way.
VIDEO | How Good is the Snow Joe 100V? (Read full review)
There you go. Are you impressed? If not, what’s wrong with you? Seriously. The only real criticism against it is the price, which is not to be overlooked, but in terms of capability and convenience, it doesn’t get any better than this at this moment in time (Jan 2020). You can save a little money if you purchase gas snow blower. Buy what you can afford. You’ll have fewer regrets down the road.
There are limitations as to what an electric model can do whereas gas snow blowers are as powerful as the engine running it, making them scalable in terms of the ability to match the needs of the user. For example : If you need more power, buy a model with a bigger engine. If a single-stage model isn’t enough, buy a 2-stage snow blower — and if for reason you need more power because you live at the top of Mount Everest, in that case, get a three stage snow blower. (📒 Read : 2-stage vs 3-stage snow blower)
Top 2 : Corded-Electric — Single-Stage
What’s the Best Single Stage Snow Blower?
Why buy a single stage snow blower in the first place? How do they compare to 2-stage snow blowers?
The weather is and will always be unpredictable. I’m not here to frighten you or to create a false sense of worry. We need to be honest with ourselves and be prepared for the inevitable. Don’t kid yourself hoping it won’t snow if you live in Buffalo, NY — that’s foolish in the truest sense of the word. If there’s one little piece of information you should remember about the weather in this day and age is this; this one simple but terrifying fact — the gap between the extreme ends of the weather spectrum is increasing and the likelihood of “once-in-a-lifetime” weather events are becoming more common.
In other words, when it’s hot, you’ll get scorching heat, unbearable in some parts of the world like Africa and Egypt. Inversely, when it’s cold or when it snows, it’s more likely that there will be a blizzard rather than a snow storm. The likelihood of extreme weather events is increasing at an exponential rate. Don’t be afraid, be prepared and if you have a child, nudge her towards science so they can contribute to finding solutions to our human-made dilemma. But i digress. For now, you just need a good single-stage snow blower to help you get through another winter.
If you’re wondering about the long-term weather forecast for 2019/20, here’s a quote from the Washington Post :
It’s too soon to tell whether this will be a winter to remember or an enormous loser in the snow department, but there are plenty of opinions out there about what the season has in store for our region.
I’ve reviewed the winter expectations from forecasters from the media, private companies and the National Weather Service. There is no strong consensus among these predictions, but there is a gentle lean toward above-average snow amounts and near-normal temperatures.Washington Post, Dec, 3/19, Jason Samenow
Let’s get back to looking at my recommended single-stage snow blowers ;
Recommended Electric — Snow Joe SJ627E : 15A / 22″
Fast Facts (more later):
Look, another Snow Joe. This is a brand that dominates the snow blower market as they’ve managed to perfect the art of clearing snow, creating reliable and affordable models that customers appreciate. This model has a 15-amp motor, which is as powerful as a corded-electric gets. Engineered with an all-steel auger capable of clearing snow 22″ wide and 13″ deep. Can throw snow up to 25 feet. Dual LED headlights help you see at night (or early morning). Includes a chute clean-out tool. Another inexpensive option for light, fluffy snow.
Prepare for Snow Ahead of Time
My first bit of advice for you if you live in an area of expected heavy snowfall – don’t wait to purchase a snow blower because once the snow starts falling everybody wants one and you’ll have to wrestle people to the ground at your local Home Depot. Putting off the decision is not a good idea when it comes to single stage snow blower (or air conditioners). When you need it, they won’t be available so think ahead.
The same holds true for a shovel. Get your snow shovel early, if that’s all you need.
If you live in an area where snow is a guaranteed then a snow blower is something you need to seriously consider. Shovels are fine if you live in a state like Oklahoma or Kentucky, but when you live in a city or town where the snowfall is expected to be heavy and deep then a snow shovel just won’t do.
Let’s face it, shoveling snow is hard on the back, and the body in general, especially if you’re not physically fit. If you attempt to shovel too much snow you’re vulnerable to injuring yourself, or worse. On the other hand, if you’re elderly or have ongoing health conditions, shoveling snow could be deadly.
Single Stage Snow Blower vs Two Stage Snow Blower
There are two types of snow blowers: single stage snow blower or two stage snow blowers. This article is focused on finding you the best single stage snow blower your money can buy, but first, let me explain the differences between the two types of snow throwers just in case you’re not familiar with them.
At the end of the day they both accomplish the same thing — to clear areas of snow, such as a driveway, sidewalk, roadway, patio or garden. Wherever there’s snow to be cleared, a snow blower can be your best friend.
A single stage snow blower uses an auger system, comprised of two or more metal, plastic, rubber (or combination of) blades that spin quickly and collects the snow as you pass over it, which then gets directed out via the discharge chute. The auger does double-duty in a single stage snow blower, both collecting and discharging the snow. Single stage blowers are best used on smooth surfaces and for clearing snow up to a depth of about 12-inches.
Excellent Value | WEN 5662 Snow Blaster : 18-Inch
Two Stage Snow Blower
You can probably guess what I’m going to say next but I’ll say it anyway. In a two stage snow blower, two mechanisms are used. One (the auger) to collect the snow and the second (the impeller) to throw the snow through the discharge chute. The impeller essentially acts as a pump, pushing it through the chute at a rapid speed.
VIDEO | Snow Blower Buying Guide
If you determine that you need a more powerful snow blower then read our comprehensive article on 2-stage snow blowers — we review many of the best snow blowers for your heavy-duty snow clearing needs.
Two-stage snow blowers are typically self-propelled making it easier to move and maneuver through the snow. These snow machines can throw snow very long distances — up to 50 feet with some models. The two stage snow thrower is designed to handle deeper snow than the single stage blowers and much larger clearing areas. They can be either small units for homeowners or large and powerful snow blowers for industrial purposes, like clearing airport runways.
Powerful Battery Snow Blower | EGO Power+ 56V
It’s important to buy the right size snow blower for the area that you live in. If you expect to get large snowfalls over 12″ then I recommend that you purchase a two-stage snow blower. For example, if you live in Boston, or New York — skip the single stage snow blower and get a two-stage machine. Trust me, you’ll need it.
If you live in Seattle, then get a single stage snow blower — or a really good snow shovel, like the Snow Wolf. Don’t spend money on equipment that you won’t need, but the opposite is also true. If you need to clear deep snow all winter long, don’t buy a snow shovel or a single stage snow blower.
Snow Blowers have Come a Long Way!
Snow blowers have only been available to consumers for a short period of time. William P. Murphy invented the first gas snow blower in 1941. He purchased a Briggs & Stratton engine and engineered a working snow blower. Shortly after he sold his design to a company in Columbus, Ohio.
But it was years later when Toro manufactured the first consumer snow blower in 1953. It cost about $200 and it was called the Snowhound. It was fairly impressive back in its day. Capable of plowing through snow 12″ deep and 17″ wide. It had a 2.5 hp engine and a two-cylinder motor. And it could throw snow 15 feet away from the machine. Pretty good.
VIDEO | 50+ Year Old Snow Blower : Toro Snow Hound
Single stage snow blowers have evolved since the forties and fifties. Modern snow blowers are made from lighter materials, efficient motors, and streamlined engineering. Let’s have a look at the best snow throwers for homeowners.
GreenWorks 80V Pro Snow Blower
📝Put this on your list of one of the Best Single Stage Snow Blowers for light-duty snow clearing.
- 80V Li-Ion Systems delivers greater efficiency
- Up to 45 minutes of run-time under load and fully charged 2.0AH Battery (included with Model 2600402)
- DigiPro digital controlled brushless motor offers reliability while delivering greater torque and efficiency
- It’s quiet. Your neighbors won’t complain.
- 20″ clearing width. Ideal for your driveway, patios and walkways.
- Clears snow up to 10″ high.
- 180° Rotating Chute for desired snow displacement.
- Throws snow up to 20 feet.
- Dual LED Lights enable you to see at night.
- Easy Fold System for storage or compact transportation.
- 6″ rear wheels.
- Rapid Charge of 30 minutes for 80V 2AH battery and 60 minutes for 80V 4AH battery
- Compatible battery and charger models : GBA80200 (2Ah battery), GBA80250 (2.5 Ah battery), GBA80400 (4.0 Ah battery), GBA80500 (5.0 Ah battery), and GCH8040 (Rapid Charger)
Released in the winter of 2014, this GreenWorks 80V snow blower is the ultimate snow machine for homeowners. Powerful, dependable, and lightweight. It gives you the freedom to clear snow without an extension cord and without the fumes and high maintenance of a gas snow blower.
A year ago this was the most powerful battery powered snow blower on the market, and it’s still an excellent snow blower, but newer more powerful models have come out since. It’s actually a good idea to buy older models if you want to save money. The newest technology always costs more and generally you won’t notice the differences.
VIDEO | Cordless vs Gas Snow Blowers
Read our full review of the GreenWorks 80V model It’s a good value overall and customers are quite happy with it (on average). There’s no perfect snow blower so stop looking for it.
Alternative — Electric Snow Shovel
If you want something even smaller and more compact and you don’t get a lot of snow then maybe all you need is something like the Snow Joe iON13SS Snow Shovel (40V Battery) which can clear snow 13″ wide and 6″ deep. It’s obviously less powerful than a regular single stage snow blower but it might be perfect for your patio or deck – or if you have a very small yard. Just something to consider.
Nobody ever taught me about extension cords when I was younger. I always thought they were all the same, but that’s not true, although not an uncommon thought. Here’s a simple overview : The higher the amps of a tool, the lower the gauge of the cord required. A low gauge means a thicker wire. I know, counter-intuitive. A 15 Amp snow blower requires a minimum 12-gauge extension cord at 100 feet; 10 gauge is even better.
The reason for all of this is that a high amperage tool draws more electricity, which requires a thicker wire to carry it through the cord. If the inner wire is too thin (high gauge), and the electricity demands are high —
the wire is unable to handle the load on it, causing the extension cord to heat up, limiting the amount of energy the tool can use, which translates to sub-optimal performance and may even damage to the tool. More importantly, can be a fire hazard. Read our extension cord guide to learn more.
Snow Joe iON18SB / 40V / 18″
Lithium-ion Battery / Single Stage Snow Blower
- Lightweight (32 lbs) and easy to maneuver. Perfect for clearing sidewalks, driveways and decks.
- 40V (4.0 Ah) EcoSharp rechargeable lithium-ion battery lasts up to 50 minutes.
- Whisper quiet.
- Steel auger with 2 rubber blades. Can move up to 500 lbs of snow per minute.
- 18-inch clearing width. Clears snow up to 8″ deep without damaging surface.
- 180 degree auto-rotate directional chute throws snow up to 20 feet.
- 3-watt LED headlight is will illuminate your path for night-time clearing.
For more details, read our dedicated article on the Snow Joe iON18SB — Full Review.
OVERVIEW : Snow Joe iON18SB / 40V (single-stage)
The Snow Joe iON18SB single stage snow blower is a classic model as its been on the best selling list for many years — consistently since its release. Over the years the price has gone down with newer models coming out, but it’s an excellent buy even in 2020. No cords. No gas. No mess. Very quiet. Highly mobile at only 32 lbs making it easy to navigate your sidewalk, driveway, walkway or patio deck. This blower is perfect for clearing 6″ to 8″ of snow. It’s light-duty and wasn’t designed to tackle massive snowstorms so don’t expect it to.
It’s ability to clean surfaces of snow is excellent and it’s also very easy to use for anybody. It has an electric start as well as a headlight for improved visibility at night. This is excellent for smaller areas around the home. The battery lasts up to 50 minutes (depending on conditions) which is good considering how much power it’s generating. Realistically, it will last (on average) for about 40 minutes.
Blowing snow requires a lot of energy so to be honest with you I’m impressed that Snow Joe even designed a capable single stage snow blower that gets the job done.
Consider Getting an Extra Battery
I definitely recommend you buy an extra battery with this machine to make your life easier when it actually does snow. It’s a worthwhile purchase if you decide to go with this particular model.
I always buy extra batteries for my equipment because the biggest drawback to a battery-powered snow blower is the battery. So, if you want to make sure that you’ll finish your snow clearing then a 2nd battery is a smart decision. The last thing you want is to be “almost done” and have the battery die on you.
I understand it can be hard to justify purchasing an extra battery. Thankfully, you can purchase one later when you’ve had a chance to test under real-life conditions to see if you need one or not.
It comes with a headlamp mounted on the handle for increased visibility at night. Also has an easy-to-adjust 180 degree directional chute to guide the snow up to 20 feet away from you. This is a highly rated snow thrower on Amazon at 4.6 (out of 5). Based on the overall ratings of this machine, it’s clear that this deserves to be considered one of the best snow blowers.
As far as battery powered blowers, this is definitely deserves to be at the top of the list for: the best single stage snow blower.
It can move up to 500 lbs of snow per minute, in comparison, the 100V Snow Joe can move up to 16 tons every 30 minutes. That gives you some idea as to the power of this model. Obviously not as powerful as new models. It’s average as far as snow clearing nor is it the fastest blower you can buy but you’re trading in convenience for power in this case and only you can decide what’s more important to you.
Snow Joe also makes electric single stage snow blowers that can ordered in a variety of engine sizes and features. To be more specific, there are four models and they are all very similar. A more affordable model for homeowners is the the Snow Joe Ultra SJ623E which is shown later in this article.
It a highly regarded corded Snow Joe snow blowers and it won’t break the bank. Truthfully, Snow Joe really does provide great value for all of their snow blowers, so it really depends on what’s suitable for your needs, but I digress.
Back to the iON18SB.
It’s a 15 Amp blower — the maximum power you can generate from plugging it into a regular power socket. If you need more power you’ll have to buy gas.
The other three corded electric Snow Joe single stage snow blowers models are:
The Snow Joe iON18SB is one of the best single stage snow blowers powered by batteries but the GreenWorks 80V beats it in overall power (rated at 80 volts). The Snow Joe iON18SB single stage snow blower is perfect for moderate snowfall but I don’t recommend it for heavy snowfall regions because it simply doesn’t have enough power to clear over 8-inches of snow. I know it’s tempting to save money and buy a smaller snow thrower but if you routinely get big snow dumps every winter then you’d be much better off purchasing a 2-stage snow blower. We cover those in a separate article as they are distinct and are intended for heavy-duty snow clearing.
If you push it beyond it’s limits it will bog down and burn through your battery power much quicker. That’s another variable that people don’t consider is how battery power correlates to how far you push the snow blower. The harder it works the shorter the battery life. This is an excellent machine for clearing snow up to 8-inches — but not higher than that.
All I know is that your neighbors will be jealous because of the convenience that this machine provides you. The ease of operation makes snow clearing look effortless. Which snow blower is best for you? Well, that depends on where you live, how much you want to spend, and your physical fitness level coupled with your overall health. Consider every factor before making a purchase.
View or download the MANUAL for the Snow Joe iON18SB.
Snow Joe iON21SB-PRO | Wider Model
If you like all the features of this model but you need something bigger then you’ll be happy to know that Snow Joe has a larger version of the same model except that’s its clearing width is 21″ (instead of 18″) and it comes with a bigger battery (5.0 Ah).
For Bigger Yards
A battery powered snow blower can’t compete with a gas snow blower so please re-adjust your expectations. Also, they are best used on freshly fallen snow, when it’s still light and fluffy. The advantages of owning a battery powered snow blower is that you don’t have to wrestle with an extension cord while your working and you don’t have to be a technician to perform the maintenance the you typically have to do with a gas snow blower.
What you give up for convenience is power. It’s that simple. If you live in an area where snowfall is under 8 inches then this is an excellent choice. If you need a more powerful battery snow blower that can handle more snow (up to 10-inches) then I suggest you purchase the GreenWorks 80V.
Overall, the Snow Joe iON21SB-PRO is a well-constructed snow blower that’s super easy to to use. It’s very lightweight so anybody can handle it effectively. All you do is turn it on and go. If you live in Buffalo then you need a two-stage snow thrower, which are much heavier but they are also made from steel, not plastic. Big difference for durability.
- Lightweight design only 36 lbs. to easily clear large driveways and walkways
- 40-Volt 5.0 Ah battery provides lasts up to 65 minutes.
- Steel auger with 2 rubber blades.
- Moves up to 660 lbs. of snow per minute.
- Clearing width: 21-Inches. Clearing depth: 8-Inches.
- 180° auto-rotate directional chute throws snow up to 20 ft.
- 3-Watt LED headlight provides increased visibility for nighttime snow removal
- 600-Watt brushless motor provides improved battery life, maximizes motor performance, decreases noise and vibration and extends motor life.
Snow Joe Ultra SJ623E | Best Single Stage Snow Blower
18-Inch / 13.5 or 15 Amp / Electric
The Snow Joe Ultra SJ623E is fantastic single stage snow blower that can clear snow 18-inches wide and 10-inches deep with every pass. It’s lightweight at 34 lbs and comes with an easy fast electronic starting system. It can throw up to 720 lbs of snow per minute which is relatively close to the new 48V Snow Joe (Snow Joe 24V-X2-SB18), which moves snow at around 700 ft./per.min.
It’s somewhere in-between the two as far as speed goes. This model also has a 20 Watt halogen light for easy night time snow clearing. Yes, it often snows at night and having a light will make your life much easier if you happen to start using your snow blower in the evening.
Built with a heavy-duty steel 4-blade rotor this snow thrower will clear snow 18-inches wide and 10-inches deep with every pass. Very maneuverable with easy-glide wheels and a convenient scraper blade at the base of the SJ623E scrapes the snow off the surface being cleared without causing damage. This is the most powerful Snow Joe single stage snow blower that they make, capable moving snow up to 25 feet away from the unit, and the 180 degree adjustable chute puts you in control of where to direct the snow. Snow Joe has kindly added a chute cleaning tool mounted to the snow blower.
The main advantages of electric snow throwers are many, including: no maintenance, quieter than gas, no emissions, no mess to deal with, environment friendly and less expensive than buying a gas single stage snow blower or a battery operated machine. The drawback of buying an electric blower is they have limited power when compared to gas snow blowers.
Electric models are limited by the amount of current that can be drawn (15 amps) from a home power socket. Gas snow blowers come in a variety of engine sizes that range from light-duty to heavy-duty, all the way up to large industrial machines. When you get into heavy-duty snow blowers they’re always two stage snow throwers.
The Snow Joe Ultra SJ623E is very well reviewed as well on Amazon with a rating of 4.3 (out of 5) with over 150 reviews. If you’re looking for a quality electric snow blower with a moderate amount of power, from a manufacturer with a good track record then this is a great option for you.
As far as extension cords go you’ll need a good quality 12 gauge cord. The US Wire 99100 Extreme Weather Extension Cord (100 feet) is a great choice for cold weather and challenging conditions. They also sell a 50 foot version if you prefer something shorter: US Wire 99050 12 gauge extension cord.
This is an impressive electric snow blower made by Sun Joe, capable of handling wet or dry, but it will definitely be slower clearing if the snow is wet, but that’s to be expected. This unit is very easy to move if you happen to get stuck in the snow. This model is well suited for clearing snow up to 8 inches in one pass.
The best way to use a snow blower is to prevent the snow from piling up instead of waiting until all the snow has fallen, start snow clearing after 6 inches have accumulated — unless you have a heavy-duty gas snow thrower that’s self-propelled. With light to medium duty snow clearing it’s best to clear in stages because once the snow starts piling up it gets more difficult to move through the snow. The best single stage snow blower if you’re in need of an inexpensive electric machine. A great choice for homeowners.
- Perfect for driveways and walkways.
- Can discharge snow up to 25 feet.
- Instant start will make your life easier.
- Easy push button switch.
- Adjustable discharge manual chute can rotate 180-Degrees.
- Rotor is comprised of 4 steel blades.
- 20 Watt halogen light for night time snow clearing.
Toro 38381 Power Curve | Best Single Stage Snow Blower
18-Inch / 15 Amp / Electric
- Patented curved rotor and inverted funnel housing, moves snow quickly and reduces clogging.
- Powerful 15-amp motor for walkways, patios, decks, small driveways.
- 18″ clearing width and a 12″ intake height.
- 160-degree adjustable chute for optimal snow-blowing control.
- Ergonomic Handle allows you to easily move it around.
- Quick Lever allows you to adjusts the chute wherever you want it.
- Zip Deflector: Change the direction and lock in the angle to throw snow where you want.
- Large 6-inch wheels for excellent maneuverability.
- Moves up to 700-pounds of snow per minute.
The Toro 38381 is a hugely popular electric single stage snow blower on Amazon. With over 1200 reviews it carries a rating of 4 (out of 5). That’s an excellent track record that goes to show that this unit will stand the test of time and endure the wear and tear that you’ll put it through when clearing your driveway, walkway, patio or sidewalk. It’s a powerful machine with a 15-Amp motor, equivalent to the Snow Joe Ultra SJ623E.
This Toro model comes in three different sizes: 12-inch 7.5-Amp, 15-inch 12-Amp, and the one I recommend is the most powerful and widest 18-inch 15-Amp — unless you have a small area to clear then choose your size accordingly but generally speaking electric snow blowers bog down if pushed too fast and you can avoid slowing down with the most powerful blower you can buy.
Extremely easy to handle and excellent and cleaning snow covered surfaces. Toro claims that this snow blower moves up to 700 lbs of snow per minute which is decent but not excellent for a 15-Amp electric snow blower. A great machine for moderate snowfall in the 3″ to 8″ range but don’t expect it to clear 12-inch high snow without problems. It’s simply not built for that and it’s ultimately limited by its power source. The volume of snow you need to clear should determine the type and model of snow blower you buy (2-stage vs 1-stage). Think long-term.
VIDEO | See it in Action
This is a well-designed unit with an ergonomic handle and large wheels, with a 160-degree adjustable chute. A lot of these features are standard on snow blowers. What it comes down to at the end of the day is the following: reliability, ease of use, power and cost, and this Toro has it.
Is it the best single stage snow blower? Well, it’s on my list for a reason and customers also seem to love this well-made machine.
Documents for the Toro 38381:
An inexpensive and popular snow blower well-suited if you live in an area where the snowfall is light. In other words, if you live in New York this isn’t for you, but if you live in Seattle, it’s perfect.
- Capacity per Minute — Up to 700 lbs / 318 kg*
- Clearing Width — 18″ (45.7 cm)
- Directional Control — Adjustable Chute (160 degrees)
- Double Insulated — Yes
- Drive System — Poly-V Belt
- Motor Amps — 15.0 Amp
- Motor Type — Series-Wound
- Rotor Style — 1 Piece, 2-Blade, Curved Rotor
- Safety Key Lock — Yes
- Throw Distance — Up to 30′ / 9 m*
- Tires — 6″ x 1.5″ (15 cm x 4 cm)
- Warranty — 2-Year Full Coverage
- Weight — 25 lbs. / 11.3 kg
Snow Joe SJ625E | Best Single Stage Snow Blower
- Ideal for quick snow pickups on mid-sized driveways and walkways
- No gas, oil or tune-ups make it effortless to start and maintain
- 3 W LED light for safe nighttime clearing
- Powerful 15-amp motor moves up to 800 lbs of snow per minute
- Steel auger with 2 rubber blades cuts 21″ wide and 12″ deep in one pass
- 180° adjustable directional chute throws snow up to 20 ft
- Compact wheels for easy maneuverability
- ETL approved; Full 2-year warranty
Powerful 15 Amp Electric Snow Blower
The Snow Joe SJ625E was specifically designed to handle heavy snowfall for medium sized clearing areas, such as driveways and walkways. They created this machine to harness as much electrical power possible to rival a small gas snow blower.
Maximizing your household current, this single stage snow blower is driven by a robust 15-Amp motor. It can move up to 800lbs of snow per minute, which is impressive for an electric snow blower. Engineered with tough steel augers, with two rubber blades that can clear snow 21″ wide and 12″ deep. And, to top it all off, it’s very affordable. What more do you want?
In addition to its impressive snow clearing capacity, the Snow Joe Ultra has an 180º adjustable discharge chute which you control. You can also control the chute deflector to control the height of the thrown snow.
It’s easy to maneuver through varying types of terrain with its easy-glide all-terrain wheels. It has a scraper blade at the base of the unit to scrapes the snow right to the ground without ruining (or scratching) your deck or pavement. Because it’s electric means that it’s quiet, clean and lightweight.
The Snow Joe Ultra SJ625E is easy to start and maintain. No maintenance required. No gas to fill or oil to change, or tune-ups. An electric single stage snow blower is ideal for medium to heavy-duty snow clearing. The unit is ETL-approved and carries a full two year warranty.
Overall, this is a very capable snow blower that you’ll grow to love and appreciate over time.
View or download the MANUAL for the Snow Joe Ultra SJ625E.
You can learn more by reading our comprehensive article on the Ultra SJ625E.
Related Articles : Snow Blowers
Note : Older ‘Not Recommended’ Snow Blowers Below
We started this article many years ago with many snow blowers coming and going. Generally speaking, the remainder of this article is for reference only. Having said that, there are a few 2-stage models that are still recommended but we have dedicated articles if you need more power.
Poulan Pro Pr100 (961820015)
21-inch / 136cc / Gas — Average Single Stage Snow Blower
- 136 cc storm force 4-cycle engine.
- 21″ clearing width & 13″ intake height.
- Durable rubber auger.
- Capable of throwing snow up to 30 feet.
- Manual chute control. 180 degree rotation.
- Folding handle for compact storage.
- Semi-pneumatic tires for increased maneuverability.
- Wide discharge chute.
- Weight: 95 lbs.
The Poulan Pro PR100 has a 21″ wide clearing capacity and capable of clearing up to 10″ of snow via its 13″ intake height. Poulan Pro is quality brand for budget-minded consumers. This single-stage snow blower is well-suited for clearing your sidewalks, driveways and other areas around the home.
It’s snow throwing capacity is excellent, able to toss snow up to 30 feet, depending on the type of snow it is. It’s fairly easy to maneuver with its 7″ tires, depending on the conditions of course, and it’s not too heavy at 95 lbs. The controls on this snow blower are large which makes them very east to operate when you’re wearing gloves.
This particular model is ideal for light-to-medium duty snow clearing. It’s powered by a 136cc engine.
Unfortunately this model doesn’t come with an electric start so you’ll just have to get used to using the pull start. It’s a little more effort but you’ll get used to it.
I should mention that in the manual it shows a dipstick attached to the oil cap but there’s no dipstick on the actual snow blower. Seems odd. An oversight for sure. Just make sure you keep topping up the oil.
Read or download the manual.
Troy Bilt Squall 2100 | Single Stage Snow Blower
Discontinued : 21-inch / 208cc / Gas
Troy-Bilt has an excellent reputation for making quality products in the lawn and garden consumer market. The Troy-Bilt Squall 2100 is no exception. This is a powerful 208cc single-stage snow blower that’s very well engineered and perfect for homeowners.
This snow blower has many great features that will make your life easy, such as the the electric start, eliminating the need to wrestle with a pull start. The push button start will just make your life a little easier when it’s time to get to work.
It also has a feature that are typically only found on 2-stage snow blowers — drift cutters. They help direct the snow into the auger for improved efficiency.
The chute control is placed in a convenient location facing the operator, making it easy to adjust the direction of the chute as you work.
It has a 4-cycle engine, which means you don’t have to worry about mixing fuel and oil, as you do with 2-cycle motors.
It has a 21″ wide clearing area with a 13″ intake height capacity. Expect to be able to clear about 10″ of snow in one pass. It’s lightweight at 89 lbs making it easy to handle and navigate through snow. Its snow clearing abilities are excellent due to the advanced auger design that grips the ground as you push the snow blower.
Unfortunately this machine doesn’t have a headlight and its snow clearing speed isn’t as good as it should be at this price point. Also, it’s quite loud so you’ll definitely want to buy hearing protection (3M H10A Peltor Optime 105) for this snow blower.
Video Review: Troy-Bilt Squall
Overall, this is a well-constructed single-stage snow blower that’s well-made and easy to use. It’s backed by a 2 year warranty and if you take good care of it you should expect it to last you many years.
- Reliable & powerful 208cc 4-cycle OHV engine.
- Push button electric start for instant starting.
- 4-cycle engine eliminates the hassle of mixing oil and gas.
- Drift cutters will remove taller drifts of snow for speedier clearing.
- Cutting-edge auger design grips ground for optimal clearing power.
- Remote chute control.
- 6″ wide chute opening reduces clogging & increases flow.
- Best for snow up to 8 inches.
- Clearing Width : 21″
- Intake Height : 13″
- Ergonomic grip and folding handle.
Learn more about the Squall 2100 on the Troy-Bilt site.
18-Inch / 13 Amp / Electric — Best Single Stage Snow Blower
The WORX WG650 is a good little snow blower that can throw snow up to 30 feet away, which is a great distance for a 13-Amp electric machine. It has a good sized 18-inch clearing path and a highly convenient handlebar mounted chute control. It has a 9″ intake height. This is one of the lightest snow throwers on the list at 26.5 lbs – light enough to hang on the wall.
If you’re looking for a well-designed snow blower that you can rely this might be the one for you. The handlebar has three adjustable heights allowing you to cater it to your height. If you live in a city or town that gets snowfall under 7-inches then you’ll be happy with this WORX single stage snow blower. It will bog down if you attempt to clear too much snow and some customers complain that the adjustable chute handle tends to come loose and has to be tightened regularly.
- 13 Amp motor with an 18″ clearing width and 9″ deep, capable of throwing snow 3 to 30 feet.
- 180-degree adjustable chute.
- Quick clamps for handlebar adjustment and assembly
- Easy to adjust the chute via a handlebar mounted mechanism.
- Collapsible tool-less handlebar.
- Durable rubber tipped steel auger won’t damage your walkway or driveway.
- Compact storage.
A well-made product but made with a lot of plastic, which is common for more inexpensive snow blowers. As you move into the gas snow blowers you’ll see the quality and durability of the snow throwers increase dramatically because more steel is incorporated into the overall design, increased clearing width, more powerful motors, which adds to the overall weight and size but that’s what you need in order to clear a lot of snow with minimum effort.
The WORX WG650 is loved by many as you’ll see if you read all the reviews on Amazon. It’s a lightweight single stage snow blower that will get the job done when the snowfall is light. You’ll need something more heavy-duty if you live in the North East area of the US. I hate to sound like a broken record but if you don’t have the right extension cord then either get one at your local hardware store or purchase one online. If you don’t need to clear snow too far from the house then you can get the 50 foot extension cord 🡇
WORX is a great consumer brand, meaning they make affordable chainsaws and products in general, that are durable, full-featured, reliable and fully supported by the warranty. In general, your money is well spent if it’s a WORX product. Additional products we’ve written about :
You get a lot of value with the WORX WG650. I highly recommend this for homeowners and I think that after using it a few times you’ll agree that it deserves to be considered as the best single stage snow blower.
21-Inch / 208cc / Gas — Best Single Stage Snow Blower
Note : This is an older model, which is still available on Amazon and other online retailers, just be aware that it’s at the end of its retail life, which also means you can get a good deal if you find it. Just something you should be aware of. This article is updated as often as necessary, but for now, I’m leaving this on. If nothing else, it’s good reference. It’s still a great model but there are better values to be had in 2019, which we’ve shared earlier in the article.
- Powerful 208cc SnowKing gas engine
- Can clear up to 21-inches of snow.
- Auger driven speed drive for greater efficiency.
- Easy to start clearing snow with an electric Start.
- LED headlight will make night time clearing easy.
The Husqvarna ST121E is another powerful gas snow blower that you’ll love if you get a lot of snow where you live. This is an excellent machine by Husqvarna that will easily chomp through 12-inches of snow. This is what you need if you live in the Buffalo area. Husqvarna makes excellent products and has a fantastic reputation for building long-lasting durable products for consumers and professionals.
Gas snow blowers are more complicated than electric snow blowers so expect to do maintenance with this model, because if you don’t, it won’t run optimally. Think of a gas snow blower as you would your car: every once-in-a-while you have to give it a tune-up, spark plugs to replace, carburetor to clean, etc. When Winter is over you’ll need to drain the fuel so it doesn’t gum up, etc. Not everyone wants, or knows how to do these things which is why a gas model isn’t right for everyone.
There’s a lot of power in this machine with a 208cc SnowKing engine and a 21-inch clearing path, expect to do some serious snow clearing. It also has a convenient LED headlight to brighten your pathway when the snow hits at night. Also, it has an auger assisted drive system making it easier for you to push it through the thick snow.
MTD 31A-050-706 / Electric
14-inch / 11 Amp / Best Single Stage Snow Blower
The MTD 31A-050-706 is great electric single-stage snow blower that costs very little to operate and requires no maintenance, unlike gas models. This is very easy to control because it only weighs 29 lbs. Anybody can handle this lightweight snow blower.
Don’t expect this model to clear heavy snowfalls — it’s not that powerful but you can comfortably clear up to 6″ of snow. Any more than that amount of snow and you’ll find that the engine will start to bog down.
It will only throw snow about 6 feet because it just doesn’t have enough power to throw it any further. Unfortunately, electric snow blower just don’t have enough power to throw long distances and this model is only an 11 Amp. Also, you’ll have to get used to managing the extension cord as you work but you’ll quickly get used to it.
This Coleman 16-gauge extension cord is a good choice if you don’t already have a cord.
Overall this is a decent and cheap single stage snow blower. Customers are fairly happy with it as it has a rating of 3.9 (out of 5) on Amazon with over 30 reviews.
- 11 Amp motor.
- 14″ clearing width. 9.5″ intake height.
- Easy to adjust chute.
- Folding loop handle.
20-inch / 87cc / Single Stage Snow Blower
This product is not recommended any longer. For reference only.
Editors Note : Another older model still available as of Dec 2019.
The AAVIX AGT1420 is probably not a brand that you’ve heard of before, including me. It’s made by a company called Warrior Tools America, but to be honest there’s almost no information on this company.
This is a single-stage snow blower that can confidently clear up to 10-inches of snow, although the height intake is 12-inches high, I wouldn’t to push this snow thrower too hard. It has a reasonably powered 87cc engine and it’s very lightweight so you’ll have no problem maneuvering it.
It has a 20″ clearing width with easy to operate controls. The maximum angle for the lower chute is 180 degrees and 60 degrees for the upper chute.
If you live in an area that gets moderate snowfall this might be a good option for you, but it’s not the best snow blower on the list. I’m always hesitant to recommend a product that hasn’t been proven in the marketplace. You do get a lot for your money considering this is a gas model so if you’re on a budget then this might be a good option for you.
The manufacturer is very new to the market. They began in 2014 and have now disappeared. Another cheap brand that has come and gone. Every company has to start somewhere and very often new companies provide lower prices to help them penetrate the market. Whether or not the AAVIX brand will endure remains to be seen (Editors’ note : this brand has disappeared but their products still remain, for now). If you decide to purchase this snow blower please contact me and let me know what you think. I’d love to publish user opinions here.
It comes with a one year warranty.
- Single stage, 4-stroke, 87cc engine.
- Recoil start.
- 7-inch wheels.
- Perfect for snow removal on sidewalks, driveways and decks.
- Dimensions: 26 inches high x 20 inches wide x 22 inches deep.
- Weight: 66 pounds.
- Made from steel.
Power Smart DB5023 | Electric Snow Blower
18-Inch / 15 Amp
This product is No longer available. No longer recommended. For reference only.
The Power Smart DB5023 is (was) a quality snow blower powered by a moderate 13 amp electric motor; capable of clearing snow 18 inch wide and 8 inches deep. It’s can throw snow up to 30 feet with an efficient steel auger with rubber tips. Not bad for an electric snow thrower. But the same holds true for this machine as with the other electric snow blowers: it’s designed for light to medium duty snow throwing.
It has comfortable foam coated hand grips making it comfortable to use in the cold. Wearing gloves is always a good idea when throwing snow around. You’ll appreciate the over-sized chute handle attached to the handlebar; allowing you to easily rotate the chute 180-degrees allowing you to throw snow in the direction you need.
The Power Smart DB5023 is a good choice for homeowners who live in areas where the snowfall is moderate and is best used with snow up to 6-inches. It’s a very mobile single stage snow blower, as many of the electric snow blowers are due to their light weight. This Power Smart model only weighs 31 lbs so it’ll be easy for you move around. I couldn’t find any numbers for how much snow it throws per minute, but if I find it, I’ll add it to the article.
If you don’t already have a 16-gauge extension cord then I suggest you purchase this Coleman 16-gauge cord. I recommend a 100-foot extension cord because typically snow blowers are used quite a distance from the home, especially if you intend to clear your sidewalk. But if you know that you’ll be sticking close to the house then a 50 feet extension cord will suffice.
Overall this is a quality product at a very reasonable price (under $200) and I’m comfortable labeling it as one of the best single stage snow blowers on the market. It’s well-rated on Amazon at 4.1 (out of 5) with over 75 reviews. It’s not as popular as some of the other snow throwers on this list but don’t let that sway you. It’s underrated.
Unfortunately, no longer the best single stage snow blower.
- 13-amp electric motor.
- Clears snow 18-inch wide and 8-inches deep in one pass.
- Rubber-tipped steel auger throws snow up to 30 feet
- 180-degree adjustable chute with over-sized handle.
- Can throw snow up to 30 feet depending on the type of snow.
- Comfortable foam-coated hand grip.
Poulan Pro PR521
21-Inch / 136cc / Gas / Single Stage Snow Blower
Get the Poulan Pro PR100 instead of this model.
This product is No longer recommended. For reference only.
The Poulan Pro PR521 is the last snow blower in this article and it’s very similar to the Yard Machine model as it’s lightweight, compact and powerful, as far as gas single stage snow blower are concerned. It’s driven by a 136cc 4-cycle engine and can move up to 1100 pounds of snow per minute. Very impressive for such a small machine.
It weighs 81 lbs so if you’re elderly this might be too much for you to handle, but otherwise, it’s quite easy to move considering the weight of it. It’s fairly easy to assemble with only a few parts that you’ll have to bolt on yourself, but that’s to be expected with such a machine. You should be happy it’s not made by IKEA, otherwise you’d be assembling it for weeks in frustration.
There’s not a lot of information on this snow blower which I find frustrating as a consumer. I honestly don’t understand why manufacturers don’t have better product information online as we now live in a world where everybody expects top notch media and information to help them make a buying decision. Unfortunately Poulan is lagging behind in that department. But you can read the manual to find out more: Poulan Pro PR521
Although this Poulan is well-constructed, it is the lowest rated snow blower on my list at a rating of 3.3 (out of 5). If you’re going to spend your money, choose one at the top of the list in the category you require to meet your needs.
- 136cc 4-cycle engine.
- Can move up to 1100 pounds of snow per minute.
- Auger driven speed drive makes it easier to move this single stage snow blower.
- 13-inch intake height enables you to clear snow after a blizzard.
- Throws snow up to 25 feet.
- Fast electronic start.
Best single stage snow blower on the Market
Selecting the best snow blower is always a tricky decision because most people aren’t subjective enough to make the best choice. Sometimes you have to decide with your head and not your heart. But it really depends on several factors, such as:
- Where you live
- Your health
- Your budget
If you live somewhere where you get a lot of snow then you must buy a gas snow blower to get the job done. It’s not even something to think about. You must buy gas. On the other hand, if you live in a place where you get moderate snowfall than any of the electric snow blowers on this list will get the job done, and for optimum convenience then the Snow Joe iON18SB is a great choice, albeit more expensive than an electric snow blower.
More Power | Best Two Stage Snow Blowers
For the latest two-stage snow blowers read our in-depth article which we’ll continually update throughout the years: Best Two Stage Snow Blowers.
Husqvarna ST 224 | 2-Stage Snow Blower
Husqvarna ST 224 has been developed for homeowners who need a high-performing snow blower to clear snow from large garage driveways and paths. It works regardless of surface type thanks to the adjustable skid shoes. Husqvarna ST 224 has been designed for occasional use in all snow conditions. It has an efficient two-stage system with high throwing capacity. The handle has adjustable height for comfortable use. Friction-disc transmission ensures smooth operation. Features heated handle grips, LED headlights and electric starter for work in all weather conditions.
- 24-in clearing width, 23-in clearing height and 208cc engine
- Adjustable handles with heated grips are comfortable and ergonomic for all operations
- Easy-to-adjust speed; 6 forward, 1 reverse
- Bright LED headlights for night time clearing.
- Fast electronic start.
- Standard non-marring skid shoes will not damage driveways or sidewalks.
Poulan PRO PR270 (961920090) | 2-Stage Snow Blower
A wide 27″ working width makes the PR270 perfect for large 3+ car driveways. Dual stage snow throwers use a two step process to clear snow -- powerful ribbon augers break through snow and ice and propel it back into the impeller blades which then push the snow up and out of the chute. Getting started with the PR270 is easy…just plug it in to a power outlet and start the engine by pushing a button and you’re ready to go.
- 208cc Poulan PRO engine.
- Remote Chute Deflector/Remote Chute Rotator.
- 2 Year Limited Warranty and 4 Year Engine Warranty.
- Electric Start.
- 27-Inch Two Stage.
Briggs & Stratton 1696610 | 2-Stage Snow Blower
- 24″ wide clearing path with a 20 in. intake height for clearing snow from sidewalks and other outdoor surfaces.
- 950 Snow Series engine powers through heavier snowfalls and comes equipped with electric start so when it’s time to start your thrower it’s as easy as pushing a button.
- Friction disc drive system with 6 forward and 2 reverse speeds and a 12 in. steel scroll auger.
- An aluminum gearbox provides long-life against the elements.
- Steel reversible skid shoes make plowing through the snow easy taking less effort to maneuver this snow thrower though any condition of snow.
- Left side crank rotation and a manual chute deflector make it easier than ever to remove unwanted snow from your yard along with a set of heavy-duty tires.
Ryobi RY40811 | Single Stage Snow Blower
This product is no longer recommended in 2019 For reference only.
- Ryobi 40V single stage snow blower.
- 20″ clearing width / 10″ clearing depth.
- Brushless motor optimized for power and efficiency.
- Push button start.
- Load sensing technology automatically adjusts power for optimal performance.
- Convenient on-board LED headlights.
- 5 year warranty.
- Weight: 35 lbs.
- Some Assembly Required.
The Ryobi RY40811 is a 40V 20″ Cordless Snow Blower engineered to remove snow quickly from patios, decks and driveways. Made with a powerful brushless motor with Load Sensing Technology, providing consistent quiet power that efficiently throws snow up to 25 feet.\
It has a push button start and twin LED headlights. Easy to use and operate. Moves well when traveling through snow.
The 180° directional chute offers ultimate snow-throwing control. For added convenience, the Ryobi Snow Blower is equipped with one 40-Volt 4Ah High Capacity Lithium-ion battery that provides up to 40 minutes of run time. Backed with the Ryobi 5 Year Limited Warranty. This single stage snow blower should provide you with many years of trouble-free snow clearing, and if there’s a problem, the warranty will cover it.
Average snow blower
Documents for the Ryobi ZRRY40811:
Save Money | Factory Reconditioned Snow Blower
If you want to save some money you can sometimes purchase a reconditioned snow blower. I know most customers want a brand new item but if you want to save a few dollars this is an excellent way to do so and still get a great snow blower.
Reconditioned units are not always available, but if you see one, consider buying it to save yourself some money.
What does factory reconditioned mean?
This is a factory reconditioned product. Reconditioned generally means that the product has been returned to the manufacturer, who brings the product back to like new condition. Some products may contain cosmetic blemishes.
- Clearing Width: 20″
- Clearing Depth: Up to 10″
- Clearing Distance: Up to 25′
- Ideal Snow Type: Light, Fluffy
- Lights: 1.4 Watt LED Lights
- Impeller: 17″ Dual Auger
- Battery: 40V High Capacity Lithium-ion (1)
- Charge Time: 90 Minutes
If you have a large area to cover or your old batteries no longer hold a charge then you can always purchase extra batteries for your Ryobi snow blower.