Take your Pick! Something for everyone — any budget.
Welcome to our guide on the Best snow blowers on the market for winter 2020 (January onwards). The snow blowers above are only a few of the best snow blowers we review and discuss in this guide. One thing you should know now — there is no perfect snow blower. Every type has there own strengths and weaknesses. There’s no ‘one size fits all!’ Sorry. We walk you through the factors you need to consider before choosing.
Snow Blowers | What you Need to Know
2-Stage Model : Husqvarna ST224P
Let’s get started on our journey of the best snow blowers for the winter of 2019/20. Winter is unpredictable. Nobody knows what will happen, let’s be honest, but if you live in a region historically prone for cold and snow, you know the odds are against you. For example, if you live in the Northeastern part of the US — You will get snow! If you live in Seattle, probably not, but you might. The question, are you ready for the next major snowfall?
So, your old snowblower finally gave up the ghost after two decades, and you need a new snow throwing buddy to dig yourself out of the blizzard. You take a look at the latest models online, and they seem to have some pretty neat features — electric start, heated handles, LED headlamps, etc. Where were all these features when you were shopping for a snowblower 20 years ago? We believe that features are what make or break the deal. Unless you live in an area which receives over 50” of snowfall on average, any decent two stage gas powered model will get the job done. In fact, you might even be able to get away with a cordless electric snow thrower (single stage).
Our guide focuses on giving you practical tips and helpful information which will make the process of choosing a perfect snowblower easier. Everyone has varying needs, which is why we came up with the following 5 factors you need to consider before making a decision:
VIDEO | How to Choose A Snow Blower
Path Size: The typical homeowner rarely needs more than 24” of clearing width on their snowblower, which is why a single-stage machine such as the Snow Joe iON100V-21SB will be more than enough. Most of us have one or two car driveways, so we’re looking at anywhere from 10 to 20 feet of width which will take 5 to 10 passes on a 24” snowblower. If you have a larger two- stage gas powered model with a 36” clearing width, a two car driveway will take around 4 to 7 passes. But you’ll be hauling around a much heavier and noisier machine.
Single stage snow blowers are lighter, easier to store, and can be used on areas like walkways, ramps, and sidewalks since they are so maneuverable. Try turning a 160lb two- stage model on a narrow sidewalk without any power steering, and you’ll understand why we recommend smaller models for most people. Focus on the features instead- folding handles for easier storage, electric chute control, polymer skid shoes that won’t scratch your driveway, etc.
Quality Matters : Two-Stage vs Single-Stage Snow Blowers
Gravel vs Pavement: For paved driveways, you can use any type of snowblower- all the way from small single stage machines to gigantic three stage beasts. However, stay away from single stage blowers if you have a gravel driveway. They lack skid shoes, which means snow is picked up straight from the ground with zero clearance. Any rocks, bolts, wooden splinters, etc. on the ground will be scooped up by their rubber paddles and flung at extremely high velocities from the discharge chute, possibly hitting bystanders.
Unless you want a snowblower that doubles as a potato gun, get yourself a two- stage model for gravel driveways. You’ll be able to adjust the height of the front intake, so the auger spins a couple inches above the terrain instead of making direct contact.
Snow type and amount: A bigger engine isn’t the only thing that makes a snowblower better for thick snow, but it certainly plays a major role. If you want to clear thick and heavy snow with high amounts of water content, you’ll need an auger that doesn’t lose speed while moving through all that increased resistance. And slushy snow often freezes overnight, which makes it harder to chop up and throw for your snowblower.
We recommend two-stage and three-stage models for removing wet snow that is over 10 inches thick. If you’re dealing with light, fluffy snow, a single- stage model will suffice.
For Blizzards : Track Snow Blower — Honda HSS928AATD
Maneuverability: Single-stage snowblowers have something called “auger assist”, which uses the spinning motion of their augers to pull the snowblower forward. It is not the best method of propulsion, and the only reason they don’t feel super cumbersome to push around is because of their relatively low weight compared to two and three stage models. If you spend a little more money, you can get a 2-stage snowblower with self driven wheels and power steering. These are must- have features if you live on a ranch or own a really large property.
There’s no way you’re pushing a 100+ pound snow blower manually through almost a foot of snow for hundreds of yards. And on slopes/ hilly terrain, self-propelled snow blowers are your only option. Just know that single stage models are easier to maneuver in tight spaces such as decks and sidewalks. So choose based on the size of area you plan to clear, as well as the slope.
Noise Level: People often take the noise produced by snowblowers for granted, since it is something you’ve come to expect while operating any gas powered tool. But while you’re plowing through the snow on your driveway with earmuffs on, your neighbors don’t appreciate the fact that you ruined their sleep. And this is a huge deal in most residential areas, where houses are close together and you might have to abide by the rules on noise levels. The solution? Go electric- corded or cordless. It’s way less maintenance, doesn’t pollute the environment nearly as much, and your neighbors won’t file a noise complaint.
Bite-Sized Pieces of the Top Rated Snow Blowers
More indepth reviews later in the article. For now, here are some bite-sized pieces of a much bigger pie. And who doesn’t like pie!
Best Snow Blowers on the Market
Best Cordless Snow Blowers
The ultimate in convenience — no fumes, no cords, no maintenance. Turn it on, and go. The future is powered by batteries.
💡 Released in 2019 : Snow Joe iON100V-21SB-CT — 21″ / 100V
Snow Joe iON100V-21SB-CT – 100V: Arguably the most powerful cordless snowblower money can buy, Snow Joe’s iON100V-21SB is powered by a 100V lithium ion battery pack. Its 2800W brushless motor drives rubber augers, which spin fast enough to deal with snow up to 12 inches deep and 21 inches wide. While you can operate the iON100V-21SB with either of two options- a 2.5Ah battery or 5Ah battery, we understand that there are several customers out there who already own Snow Joe iON battery packs. For those people, we recommend the tool- only version, i.e. the iON100V-21SB-CT where the CT stands for “Core Tool”. It costs over 400 dollars less than the complete kit with a 5.0Ah battery and rapid charger.
Snow Joe iON18SB — 18″ / 40V
Snow Joe iON18SB : There are homeowners who may not need the massive snow clearing power of something like an iON100V-21SB, which is honestly overkill if you have an attached garage and single- car driveway. Plus, if your area receives around 6 inches of snowfall on average, there’s no point in buying an expensive top of the line battery powered snowblower designed to deal with up to a foot of snow. That’s where the iON18SB comes in- it weighs just 32lbs which is perfect for clearing sidewalks and decks. Everybody from children to senior citizens can operate one of these, since the controls are so basic.
GreenWorks Pro 80V / 20″
Greenworks PRO 20-Inch 80V 2600402: One step above an electric snow shovel, the Greenworks PRO 20-inch battery powered single stage snowblower is perfect for localities which experience light, fluffy snowfall under 6 inches. It will clear a path 20 inches wide, which is great for single or dual car driveways. You’ll be able to clean out the deck and sidewalk within minutes on just a single charge of its 80V 2.0Ah battery (included in the package, along with a charger). It has a 180° rotating chute, LED lights, folding handle, and operates quietly thanks to a brushless DC motor.
EGO Power+ : 56V Cordless / 21″
EGO Power+ 21″ 56-Volt: It has all the raw power of the Snow Joe iON100V-21SB, plus some really smart battery power sharing technology. You can operate this snowblower with any combination of 2 ARC LITHIUM batteries- 5Ah + 5Ah, 5Ah + 7.5Ah, 7.5Ah + 7.5Ah, etc. It accepts any 56V EGO battery pack. So if you’re already invested into the EGO Power+ lineup of tools, this snowblower will fit right in. It notifies you via the built-in digital display whenever charge levels start dropping low on one battery pack (or both). And the onboard electronics will automatically switch between batteries depending on which one has more charge. This ensures fade- free power, for dealing with thick wet snow.
2-Stage Snow Blowers
These models have an auger + impeller, which breaks up the ice and snow before sending it out the chute. In addition, they are self-propelled.
Craftsman 208cc | CMGSB26208 — 26″
Craftsman 208cc CMGSB26208 26- inch: Everything you could possibly desire from a snow blower is present in this amazing Craftsman 2- stage model. Powered by a 208cc 4- stroke engine, it runs quieter and cleaner than older snowblowers which used 2 stroke gas engines. The best part about this Craftsman snowblower is the fact that it has electric start. A must- have on any snowblower that is intended to function in the harshest winters. It is big, bulky, and powerful. Yet surprisingly easy to maneuver thanks to the single- hand control design and variable drive speed settings (4 forward, 2 reverse).
YARDMAX YB5765 / 22″
If you want a cheap 2-stage snow blower, this is it!
YARDMAX YB5765 22- inch : Just like the official YARDMAX product page describes this machine- “simple buy mighty”, we found the YB5765 to be a very user friendly gas powered 2- stage blower which also packs a serious punch. With a 196cc 4- stroke engine and 22” clearing width, it’s definitely one of the smaller 2- stage models on the market.
For reference, premium cordless snowblowers like the EGO Power+ 56- Volt have 21 inch clearing widths. So, is it worth dealing with the hassle of gas for that extra 1 inch? More than worth it, if you’re looking to clear some seriously heavy wet snow since the serrated steel augers and powerful 6.5hp engine ensure that you clear your driveway faster than any single stage model on the market. Width isn’t the only metric by which to judge a snowblower’s performance, as the YB5765 will comfortably chomp its way into snow over one foot deep.
Briggs & Stratton 30″ / Elite 1530 (1696828)
Briggs & Stratton 30″ Elite 1530 (1696828): There’s a reason this is called the “Elite”. You’ll find all the bells and whistles we’ve come to expect from a prosumer grade 2- stage snowblower. And that 30” clearing width will help you clear out all the snow from a 3- car driveway under 5 minutes. Heated grips keep your hands warm during sub zero temperatures, and are an essential feature to have when your property is really large (since you’ll be out longer). Power steering is controlled with a simple trigger pull, so driving this 200+ pound heavyweight is easy as playing a video game.
Briggs & Stratton | 27” Elite 1227 (1696815)
Briggs & Stratton 27” Elite 1227 (1696815): Want prosumer-grade features like heated handles and power steering, but don’t wish to operate a bulky 30- inch snowblower? No problem, Briggs & Stratton has you covered. One step down from the Elite 1530 is the Elite 1227, a 27” 2- stage snowblower. Since it is part of the “Elite” lineup, this model gets all the goodies such as LED headlamps, special 16” x 5” snow tires, extra durable steel frame, etc. It is also cheaper and more manageable than its larger 30- inch cousin.
Poulan Pro PR241 : 24″ / 2-stage
Poulan Pro PR241-24-Inch: Poulan Pro’s contender in the 2- stage 24 inch gas powered snowblower segment. The PR241 is aggressively priced and comes with everything you need. Minus some luxury features such as power steering and heated handles but hey- for the price, we can’t really complain too much. It has a 24- inch clearing width which is 2 short of the Craftsman, but makes up for that by increasing the intake height- 23 inches vs 21 on the Craftsman.
Best Single Stage Gas Snow Blower
More power than electric or battery-power. Housing made of steel, not plastic.
Craftsman 88780 / 21″ / 179cc
Craftsman 88780 21″ 179cc: You don’t find single- stage gas powered snow blowers very often. And when you do, they aren’t the most well designed or feature packed. However, Craftsman has managed to create something truly unique with their single stage 21” snowblower. It boasts similar clearing width and intake depth as that of a premium electric snowblower. But since this is powered by a 179cc 4- stroke engine, you’ll actually get superior performance in wet snow that is over 8 inches thick. Especially the kind with high water content that freezes overnight, and gathers at the edge of your driveway. You don’t have to worry about starting this snowblower with a pull cord, because it has electric start. And it’s the most portable gas-powered snowblower we’ve reviewed.
Best Corded-Electric Snow Blowers
These are the cheapest types of snow blowers. Ideal for light-duty snow clearing. Hope you don’t mind managing an extension cord.
Snow Joe SJ625E / 21″ / 15 Amp
Snow Joe SJ625E: Is it a snow thrower? Snow blower? A lot of small single- stage snowblowers (especially the electric ones) are classified as snow throwers because they “throw” the snow with their paddle augers instead of “blowing” it out the chute with an impeller. But technicality aside, the Snow Joe SJ625E is an excellent corded electric buddy for when you have light, fluffy snow that is under 10 inches deep. Or wet snow under 8 inches deep. It clears a path 21 inches wide, and the 15amp motor generates enough torque to move 800lbs of snow per minute. No need to worry about purchasing batteries or charging them, as long as you have an outlet within 50 to 100 feet of the machine.
Greenworks 2600502 / 20″ / 13 Amp
Greenworks 2600502: Unlike the Snow Joe SJ625E, the Greenworks 2600502 is driven by a 13amp motor which means you lose a little performance. But you are less likely to trip the breaker in your home. Or the breaker in your portable generator, if you’re driving this snowblower off one during a power outage. Despite its tiny size and plastic construction, the Greenworks 2600502 is surprisingly durable and can actually move snow more than 15 feet away in the real world (marketed figure is 20 feet). Just make sure you don’t use this for wet snow, or anything thicker than 8 inches. Because it will bog down hard, and you might overload the motor.
Snow Joe SJ623E / 18″ / 15 Amp
Snow Joe SJ623E: The SJ625E’s little brother, with slightly less of everything. It clears a path 18 inches wide and 10 inches deep, which is perfect for usage on single car driveways or narrow walkways. Designed for mild snowfall and dry snow only, the SJ623E is a solidly built machine which is incredibly maneuverable. Storing this machine is very easy, since it barely takes up floor space thanks to the compact frame and folding handles. And the controls are so simple that a child could learn to operate it within 5 minutes.
Best Electric Snow shovel
Snow Joe 323E / 13″ / 10 Amp
Snow Joe 323E: For when you want to clear some snow off the steps, but don’t want to pull out the snow blower. The Snow Joe 323E is an electric snow shovel. Basically a little single- stage snow blower, minus the wheels. It has one stick like handle, resembling that of a broom and is incredibly lightweight (just 13.8lbs fully assembled). You can used it to clear a 13 inch wide path in snow that is up to 6 inches deep.
Track Drive / Two-stage / Gas
Honda HSS928AATD — Heavy-duty snow blower / 270cc / 28″ Clearing Width
Honda Power Equipment HSS928AATD: Snow blowers with rubber tracks are much better at pushing through heavy, densely packed piles of snow. If you have a steep driveway or sidewalks that get filled up with snow from the city plow, check out the Honda HSS928AATD. Remember that track drive snowblowers have a lower maximum speed compared to wheeled units, so they aren’t the best choice for really long driveways. But they are exceptionally good on inclined or uneven terrain where wheels struggle to find traction.
Snow Joe iON100V-21SB-CT — 100V / 21″
Ideal for: Two or three- car driveways between 20 to 30 feet wide, and under 30 yards in length. Will work great on wooden decks, backyards, and sidewalks due to its 21” clearing width and compact frame which makes the Sun Joe iON100V-21SB very maneuverable.
Pros: Intuitive dash controls, anyone can learn to operate this snowblower within minutes. Electrically controlled discharge chute, so you can easily change throwing direction and distance on the fly. LED headlamps allow for easier operation in low light conditions. Folding handles make storing and transportation much easier.
Cons: Plastic scraper bar will get cracked very easily on uneven terrain/ gravel, fortunately it is pretty easy to replace. No skid shoes, so you can only use this cordless snowblower on paved surfaces. Replacement 5.0Ah 100V battery is very costly, and takes a fair bit of time (over 100mins) to charge.
We wholeheartedly recommend the Snow Joe iON100V-21SB for 90 percent of homeowners who own either a 2 or 3 car driveway and want a quiet, gas- free snowblower capable of tackling up to 10 inches of wet snow. It will fit into tight spaces easily and is extremely maneuverable due to the low weight + intuitive control scheme. You can control the discharge chute (180° rotation) with a simple dial located on the dashboard. That’s right, no more leaning down to access the chute. No need to turn a crank, like you would on many large 2- stage gas snowblowers.
Since the chute is small and made from plastic, it is light and can be moved electronically with great precision. And snow is thrown up to 30 feet away, so you don’t have to worry about shoveling anything after you’re done running the snowblower. When the wind changes direction, you just turn that blue dial on the dash and move the chute to adjust accordingly. Reached the end of a path and need to make a turn? Once again, the electronically adjustable chute comes in handy. Trying to get some work done but the sun is going down? Days are pretty short in winter, so Snow Joe made sure to include a pair of LED headlamps on the front which will provide illumination and prevent you from accidentally running the auger into any obstacles on the ground.
Talking of obstacles, we suggest you stay away from dirt and gravel driveways with this snowblower. Its rubber augers scoop snow straight from the ground, making contact with the surface. They will also pick up loose objects like stones, newspapers, etc. so make sure to inspect the driveway and clear it of visible obstacles before proceeding. Keep a cleaning tool handy, never shove your hand into the chute. Not even when the machine is off. This snowblower doesn’t have an onboard mounting bracket for a clearing tool, nor does it come with one. But you can purchase the Snow Joe Universal Snow Thrower clearing tool separately.
One more thing to note, the iON100V-21SB is available in two versions- one with the battery and charger, and one without. The one we are reviewing here is the “Core Tool” only model, i.e. it doesn’t include the battery and charger. You can operate it with any combination of two 100V batteries. They are available in both 2.5Ah and 5.0Ah versions, the 2.5Ah battery gives around 15mins of runtime while the 5.0Ah battery gives you 30 mins.
Snow Joe iON18SB — 18″ / 40V
Ideal for: Light snowfall under 8 inches, dry snow only. Perfect for paved 1 or 2 car driveways, as well as decks and sidewalks.
Pros: Extremely light and very easy to operate. Near zero maintenance costs, one of the most affordable cordless snowblowers. Integrated LED headlights and electronically controlled discharge chute.
Cons: Doesn’t work too well with more than 3 or 4 inches of densely packed wet snow, and has a relatively short throw distance of 20 feet (that’s official figures tested with optimal snow thickness and dry snow).
Want to clean a rocky garden path or short driveway, but don’t think an electric snow shovel will be enough? Buy the Snow Joe iON18SB instead- this little 40V snowblower is so light you can carry it back up with your hands after you’re done cleaning the steps. Got some snow around the hot tub or pool? Unfold the handles on your iON18SB, pop in a freshly charged battery, and enjoy up to 50 minutes of gas free snow clearing action. No fumes, no maintenance, and controls that are super easy to learn. Perfect for family members who aren’t too familiar with outdoor tools. It is equipped with the standard rubber auger paddles that have a steel core at the center for structural support. Auger assist will relieve some of the burden involved in pushing this snowblower forward, but you shouldn’t have much trouble anyways since it only weighs 32lbs.
It is available in 3 flavors- complete kit with battery, tool, and charger (iON18SB), core tool- only (iON18SB-CT), and a hybrid version (iON18SB-HYB). The hybrid version is quite interesting, since you can choose between two different operating modes- cordless with the 40V 4.0Ah battery, and corded which results in a performance boost thanks to the 13.5Amp electric motor. The hybrid model gives you more options to work with. You can now plug the snowblower into an outlet while its battery is charging. And when you need to clear some corner at the far end of your yard where an extension cord won’t reach, you’ve got the portability of cordless power. Note that the iON18SB-HYB costs slightly more than the regular tool- only model which functions in cordless mode only.
Greenworks PRO — 20″ / 80V
Ideal for: Short one and two- car paved driveways, that are covered with up to 10 inches of loosely packed snow. Perfect for areas which receive less than 50 inches of snow on average per year.
Pros: Amazing snow clearing performance considering how light and compact this single stage snowblower actually is. Replacing a broken drive belt or scraper bar is extremely easy, and the throwing distance isn’t too bad.
Cons: Uses plastic augers which tend to scrape and wear down quicker compared to rubber ones.
Greenworks introduced their 20- inch 80V single stage cordless snowblower back in 2014, when lithium- ion outdoor tools were only beginning to catch people’s attention. It has been an extremely successful product due to its simplistic design and more than adequate performance for the average homeowner. If you have a one or two car driveway that is less than 50 feet long, one of these will get the job done quite comfortably. Just pop in a charged battery, push a button, and start blowing snow. It isn’t designed for tightly packed snow, but you can blow some wet snow as long as it’s under 6 inches in thickness. For slopes and uneven terrain, the auger assist feature can actually cause trouble by inducing a sideways drift in the machine as you attempt to push it up an incline. Which is why we recommend you stick to level paved driveways with this one (like most single stage snowblowers).
One disadvantage of this Greenworks snowblower is its usage of plastic paddle augers. These are going to scratch your wooden deck and scrape on the paved driveway, loosing material over time and wearing out within a couple seasons. Not only do you run the risk of damaging your deck, but it also diminishes the performance of auger assist over time. Since there is no self- driving feature, you’ve got to push this snowblower forward. It actually relies on the contact made by the spinning auger with the snow and ground to propel itself. When that auger starts thinning out at the bottom (due to scraping), it will become harder to push this snowblower.
Other than that, we’ve got no major complaints regarding the Greenworks PRO 80V. It is a solidly built little machine, light enough to carry with your hands when you’re done working. And small enough to stow away in the corner of a tightly packed one- car garage. You get the snowblower, a 40V 2.0Ah lithium ion battery, and rapid charger- all for a very reasonable price. It also comes with some nice quality of life features such as a dash- mounted chute control and LED headlamps.
EGO Power+ — 21″ / 56V
Ideal for: Light to medium snowfall, 2 and 3- car driveways up to 60 feet in length. Will deal with snow piles left behind by the city plow. Paved, level surfaces only.
Pros: Will work with any combination of EGO 56V lithium- ion batteries, performance is virtually identical to that of a gas powered single stage snowblower. Throwing distance of 35 feet is the longest we’ve seen on a cordless model.
Cons: Unreliable on dirt or gravel driveways, as well as sloped terrain. Also, it doesn’t clear snow up to the officially stated depth of 13 inches unless you are dealing with loosely packed dry snow (which still feels difficult).
One of the highlight features on this EGO Power+ snowblower is its variable speed auger, which can spin faster or slower depending on the type of snow you’re dealing with. Trying to clear wet, heavy snow? Spin the auger at a slower pace to prevent the machine from clogging, or damaging its auger. Wet, slushy snow that has frozen overnight will require you to turn the auger at a slower pace since you need to chip away at the pile instead of blowing straight through at max speed. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to select a higher speed setting while clearing light, fluffy snow that isn’t too densely packed. You’ll be able to breeze through work at a much faster rate with a higher auger speed. And the EGO Power+ 56V snowblower gets plenty of juice to work through all that snow, thanks to its dual battery design which lets you use any combination of two EGO Power+ 56V lithium ion batteries.
Controlling the discharge chute is very easy, all you have to do is pull a lever on the right side of the operator dash. And the handle height can be adjusted between 2 positions, depending on your physical build and personal preference. EGO POWERSHARE technology ensures fade-free performance by cleverly alternating between battery packs depending on which one has more charge. It will also draw power from both packs at the same time if needed, and uses onboard electronics to prevent voltage drop as the charge levels go down. IPX4 weather- resistance construction keeps the internals safe from water and small debris that can be flicked up by the spinning auger. And you get an amazing 5- year warranty, which is 2 more than what most manufacturers offer.
For Deep Snow — 2-stage Models
Craftsman SB615 — 208cc / 26″ ( CMGSB26208)
- Powered by a 208cc 4-cycle OHV Craftsman® Quiet engine giving you more power, a longer life and improved fuel economy
- 110V electric start and recoil
- Power steering allows you to turn with the touch of a finger
- 26-in. clearing width and 21-in. intake height
- 6 Forward and 2 Reverse Speeds
- 200° extended rotating chute with 4-way control
- 12″ steel auger and 12-in. impeller help to break up and move heavy, wet hard-packed snow
- Made in the USA with Global Materials in Willard, OH
- 2 year limited warranty
Ideal for: 3- car driveways up to 150 feet long, thick slushy snow, large properties, ranches, etc.
Pros: Serrated steel augers which slice through the toughest snow piles, sturdy construction which will last decades with proper maintenance, multiple forward and reverse speeds, single- hand operation, adjustable poly skid shoes.
Cons: Electric start feature requires you to plug in the starter cord to an outlet, since there’s no built-in battery. Also, the choke + engine start/ stop controls aren’t located in an easily accessible spot and have labels that are hard to read.
Need something big and rugged for your long multi- car driveway? Check out this 26” 2- stage gas powered Craftsman. It has got the power you need, along with plenty of features. All packed into a durable steel body that can take tons of abuse before you have to replace something. This snowblower will endure the harshest snowstorms, and make you feel completely at ease while operating it. One of the ways it makes life easier for you is through the single- handed drive mode. Press the auger and drive levers simultaneously to enter this mode. You can now lift your hand off the auger lever (left one), and the snowblower will keep moving forward with a spinning auger as long as you have your right hand on the drive lever. Press either trigger underneath the handles to turn the snowblower left or right, it has got power steering. Which means the outer wheel spins faster than the inner wheel while the snowblower is turning. This reduces the amount of force you have to apply in order to turn the machine, since it basically turns itself around for you.
Here’s another cool feature- 4 way joystick assisted chute control. This isn’t electronic, which means it is slightly more taxing on your hand and might need some oiling from time to time. But it is more reliable than a system which depends on complex electronic circuits and an internal battery. It’s pretty simple, you move the joystick left or right when you want to turn the chute around. And you move the joystick up or down when you want to adjust the deflector angle. Combine this with the single- handed operation mode, and you don’t have to make a stop whenever you wish to change the chute orientation. You can do it on the move, with just one hand on the drive lever.
Let’s say you are dealing with light and fluffy snow in the yard, but the end of your driveway is packed with a dense pile of wet slushy snow that is partially frozen. No problem, this Craftsman snowblower has multiple speed options- 6 forward, and 2 reverse. Select a pace you feel comfortable at. Go faster through light snow to get the job done quicker. Or slow down in heavy wet snow, to prevent the blower from clogging or overloading itself. In case it does clog, Craftsman has included a handy little clearing tool right behind the intake housing.
Make sure you turn off the engine before cleaning that discharge chute, or else you risk losing a couple fingers in there. And if the serrated steel augers catch on a bump in the terrain or a large rock, the first part to break will be disposable shear pins which connect the auger drive shaft to the transmission. You can easily tap out the old pins and throw in some new ones, there is even a spot built into the dashboard for carrying spare shear pins. Just make sure you get the right kind of shear pins for your particular snowblower.
YARDMAX YB5765 / 22″ / 196cc
- Solid Steel Construction including extended chute & auger.
- Multiple Speed Transmissions with reverse.
- Ideal weight balance for operator comfort.
- Easy to use crank chute control.
- LCT electric start engine (24 inches and 26 inches).
Ideal for: Heavy snowfall, densely packed snow with high ice content, large driveways, any areas that receive up to 60 inches of snow on average
Pros: Extremely affordable 2- stage gas powered snowblower with a reliable engine, sturdily built, comes with all the essential features you’ll need.
Cons: Lacks electric start, power steering, and headlamps.
The YARDMAX YB5765 is a great 2- stage gas snowblower for people who have never operated one before. Its design is pretty basic and easy to understand, everything is mechanically controlled which increases reliability and decreases maintenance costs. Plus the engine is very well built which means the core of this snowblower is going to last for a very long time with regular maintenance. The serrated steel auger cuts a path 22 inches wide, which is more than enough for large multi- car driveways. And it digs nearly 1 foot deep into the snow, if you adjust the polymer skid shoes properly. It will work on gravel and dirt driveways, something that electric snowblower are incapable of.
You do compromise on certain quality of life features when you purchase a 2- stage snowblower this cheap. There’s no power steering, which means turning the YARDMAX YB5765 will take more effort than usual. It features a pin lock axle which alternates between 2 wheel drive and single wheel drive. Select 2 wheel drive for going in a straight line, or when the snow is really thick. It will give you maximum traction, in combination with those thick winter tires. But if you want to take a turn, the 1- wheel drive should be engaged as it will allow you turn easily in the opposite direction of the wheel that is being driven.
Construction is pretty highly quality; all the framework is made from stamped metal. Including the discharge chute, which is controlled by a hand crank. The augers are great for cutting through icy snow, and the transmission is built tough with an aluminum housing + steel gears. There are 5 forward speeds and 2 reverse speeds, so you have plenty of control on the pace at which you work. Since there’s no electric start, you’ll have to get the engine going by hand. Fortunately, the recoil starter isn’t too bad. It gets the 4- stroke 196cc motor spinning within a couple pulls. Just make sure you’re using fresh gas and set the choke to the right position for cold starts.
Briggs & Stratton 30″ Elite 1530 (1696828)
- Solid Steel Construction including extended chute & auger
- Heated hand grips with an on/off switch keep
- Multiple Speed Transmissions with reverse.
- Ideal weight balance for operator comfort.
- Easy to use crank chute control.
- LCT electric start engine (24 inches and 26 inches).
- 30″ Dual-Stage Snow Blower with Heated Hand Grips
- Dual-Trigger Steering / LED headlight
- 306cc Cold Series Engine designed to start strong (down to -20F)
- Push button electric start
- Durable steel frame and chute and notched steel auger
- Oversized controls are easy to use with gloves on
Ideal for: Large driveways, yards, walkways, lawns, etc. Best used in areas that experience winter storms and over 50 inches of snow per season on average. Designed to go through densely packed snow over 15 inches deep.
Pros: Includes all the cool stuff- heated grips, power steering, multiple speed settings, a powerful dash mounted work light, one handed operation, electric start, crank operated chute, etc. And it performs like an absolute beast, with the highest clearing width of any snowblower on our list.
Cons: While that 30” clearing width is awesome, it can cause some trouble when you’re trying to take tight turns around obstacles. Especially on uneven terrain.
There are some areas where Honda’s 2- stage models best it, and there are other areas where it is beaten by smaller electric snowblowers. It isn’t the fastest, nor is it the most maneuverable. And it certainly isn’t cheap. But you don’t have to the best at everything. You just have to be really good, at a lot of things. And that’s what the Briggs & Stratton Elite 1530 represents- a complete package which will handle everything you throw at it, with no missing features. Heated handles? You got it. Remote controlled chute and deflector? Yep, this one has it. Variable forward and reverse speeds? Yep. Power steering? Yes, and it’s super easy to control thanks to the triggers which let you steer on a dime with just one finger pull.
Equipped with a commercial grade engine (series 1450), this snowblower is designed to operate in the coldest winters. Blizzards, snowstorms, ice, it doesn’t care- just engage the serrated steel auger and watch it dig into giant snow piles without even trying. But this snowblower isn’t all about clearing snow, it even takes care of you. No matter how much you cover up your body with winter clothing, the two parts which stay the coldest are your hands and face. And the heated handles are super useful, for they keep your hands warm when it matters the most.
Briggs & Stratton Elite 1227 — 27” / 250cc (1696815)
Ideal for: Driveways over 50 yards long, densely packed snow, wet slushy snow, areas that received moderate to heavy snowfall. Works great on large properties, and can even handle slopes.
Pros: Commercial grade 4- stroke Briggs & Stratton engine, boasts an extremely long lifespan and starts up easily even in the coldest weather. Packs plenty of torque to turn the serrated steel auger through thick snow piles filled with icy snow.
Cons: The electric start function requires an external outlet and power cord in order to work, there’s no onboard battery.
Basically, this is a smaller version of the 30” Briggs & Stratton Elite model with all the same features and goodies onboard. Minus some clearing width and equipped with a smaller engine. It is a lighter and more maneuverable package overall, compared to its big brother. While the Briggs & Stratton Elite 1530 could actually be used for some small scale commercial snow clearing applications, this one is perfect for homeowners and farmers who need a snowblower capable of clearing snow off large spaces. It uses the Briggs & Stratton 1150 Snow Series engine which is no ordinary 4- stroke motor. It’s optimized for cold starts, which means this amazing engine can start up in temperatures as low as -20°F.
There are several changes made to the external housing which allows you to operate the snowblower more effectively while wearing winter gloves. For instance, the choke and start/ stop switch are oversized. Even the fuel tank cap is oversized and has grooves in it so you can get a solid grip in the snow. One thing that is the same between this snowblower and its 30” big brother is the tires. Both Elite models use the same 16” x 5” pair of ginormous snow tires. These are going to help the Elite claw its way up slopes and through densely packed snow piles. But make sure to monitor tire pressure every time you take it out. If one tire has less pressure than the other, it will cause an imbalance in traction on either side resulting in the snowblower “drifting” off course even when you try to move it in a straight line.
Poulan Pro — PR241 24″ / 208cc
Ideal for: Slushy snow, as well as snow with high ice content. Can handle snow over 20 inches deep, which makes it perfect for heavy duty applications on fields and ranches. Use it on extremely long multi car driveways, as it moves quite fast.
Pros: 208cc OHV 4- stroke engine, designed by LCT for optimal efficiency and reliability in cold weather. The throwing distance is pretty impressive at 50 feet, and it has 6 forward speeds.
Cons: No power steering, only one reverse speed.
While it isn’t as expensive as the 30” Briggs & Stratton Elite 1530, this Poulan Pro 2- stage snowblower packs quite the punch. It is loaded with a commercial grade engine and boasts a clearing width of 24 inches which is perfect for multi car driveways and long walkways. Experience particularly heavy snowfall this year? The Poulan Pro PR241 can dig into snow that’s over 20 inches thick, thanks to the massively oversized auger which almost feels a tad too big compared to the frame of this machine. The top edges of the intake scoop are rounded off to cut through snow more easily, and serrated steel auger blades slice through icy snow with complete ease.
While the Poulan Pro PR241 has 6 forward speeds, it only has a single reverse speed. Which means you can’t choose how fast you want to go in reverse. Not a big issue, since you aren’t blowing any snow while moving backwards. But it will make things harder if you’re trying to back off a slope. The chute is made from stamped metal, and controlled via a dash mounted stick. Like all two- stage snowblowers, this Poulan has dash mounted LED work lights. They will save you from running into a rock and blowing a shear pin. You can use the interlock to operate this snowblower in single hand mode, leaving one hand free to adjust the chute. It has electric start, but no power steering or heated grips. If you want those features, check out the Briggs & Stratton 27” Elite model. It costs nearly the same as the Poulan Pro PR241, but is packed with more features and has a larger clearing width.
Lightweight & Affordable / Gas : Single Stage
Craftsman 88780 — 21″ / 179cc
Ideal for: Single and double car driveways up to 20 yards in length. Light to medium snowfall only, will handle wet snow up to 6 or 8 inches. Can be used on decks, patios, and sidewalks, as well as stone walkways in the garden.
Pros: More powerful than a corded or cordless electric snowblower, and is definitely one of the few single stage machines we actually believe to be capable of handling wet snow that is densely packed. It is built more ruggedly than your average electric snowblower, and is better if you live off- grid where the electricity isn’t too reliable.
Cons: A bit lacking in terms of features- no headlamps, and you must control the chute manually. No variable auger speed settings either, something you do get with premium cordless snowblowers like the EGO Power+ SNT2100.
On the surface, it doesn’t seem that different from any of the electric single- stage snowblowers we’ve reviewed, except for the fact that this one is gas powered. But that’s actually the difference maker right there- the 179cc 4- stroke gasoline engine will beat a 15amp electric motor or even a high power brushless DC motor. It isn’t exactly easy to maintain, but you’re getting performance that is a step above electric models. Yeah, it is noisier and emits fumes. And there’s no electric chute control, so you’ll have to bend down in order to grab the handle and turn the chute manually, which can be tedious if you’re a really tall person, or suffer from back problems.
Its compact design and light weight makes this blower extremely easy to use for members of the family who normally aren’t comfortable with large 2- stage snowblowers. This Craftsman is a fairly low- profile gas snowblower, and as a result it is also the lightest gas powered snowblower on our list.
The controls are fairly basic, and starting up this snowblower won’t be an issue as long as you’ve got an extension cord lying around. Yes it has electric start, but you’ll need to plug it in first since there’s no internal battery. And even if you’re far from an outlet, the recoil starter isn’t that bad. As` this is only a 179cc engine, it usually starts up within a couple pulls as long you’ve got the choke set. The airless all- rubber 8” low profile tires are great. They provide great traction and keep the snowblower moving in a straight line. Airless tires require no refilling, and you don’t have to monitor pressure levels all the time.
Corded Electric | Light to medium duty
Snow Joe SJ625E — 21″ / 15 Amp
Ideal for: Patios, walkways, pool decks, 2 and 3- car driveways, etc. Paved surfaces only, light to medium snowfall.
Pros: Powerful 15amp electric motor, remote chute adjustment, decently wide clearing path, performs better than most cordless models in wet snow.
Cons: Won’t work on gravel or rocky terrain. Its plastic scraper bar will crack, and the rubber paddle auger will throw rocks out of the chute. This isn’t an issue specific to the SJ625E (happens with all single stage models), but its super light design and tiny wheels compound the problem.
The Snow Joe SJ625E is very much like any other electric single- stage model, except it is even lighter than what you’d expect from the standard 21” electric snowblower. At just 35.7 lbs. fully assembled, this is one of those snowblowers you can pick up like a briefcase and walk out of the house to wherever it is that you need to get snow cleared from. The design is bare-bones — a paddle style dual blade rubber auger with a metal core, housed inside a plastic intake scoop. The body doesn’t extend too far behind the scoop, and the handles are thin as twigs (but quite sturdy). You can fold up the handles whenever you aren’t using this machine, and there’s a nifty little hook type contraption for hanging your 12-gauge extension cord (maximum 100 feet). A small LED headlamp underneath the dash provides illumination for low- light conditions, and that switch to the right is actually for safety. Not for turning the chute.
The chute is mechanically controlled, with a simple hand crank. Which isn’t the most sophisticated method of rotating a discharge chute, but it is simple and reliable. Plus, you don’t have to bend over in order to access the chute whenever you approach a turn or feel a change in wind direction. For wet snow you might something a little bigger, maybe one of the entry- level two stage gas powered snowblowers. But as long the wet snow is under 4 inches thick, this Snow Joe will do just fine. If it’s too slushy, the throw distance will be reduced to around 5 or 6 feet. Which is quite a ways below its claimed 20 ft. throw distance, but you must understand that companies measure throw distances in optimal, highly- controlled conditions. With dry, fluffy snow that is the perfect thickness, with the chute pointed straight ahead and not to the side.
So, who is this electric snow blower for? It will be a nice addition alongside your heavy duty Craftsman or Honda 2- stage blower for when you need to do some quick spot cleaning. Or if you need to clear out the snow around your pool deck/ garden walkway. Pushing this snowblower forward in densely packed snow thicker than 8” will be extremely tedious, so if you receive heavy snowfall and your driveway is more than 100 feet long, we suggest something a little more powerful. And more mobile, because the effective range of this snowblower is only as long as the cord (100 feet).
Greenworks 2600502 — 20″ / 13 Amp
Ideal for: Light snowfall, dry and loosely packed snow only. Best used on 1 and 2- car driveways, steps, decks, etc.
Pros: Extremely affordable, costs less to operate per hour compared to a gas powered snowblower, virtually maintenance- free, ultralight + super compact design.
Cons: A bit on the weaker side in terms of power, and it uses a plastic auger which will wear out faster compared to a rubber one.
The Greenworks 2600502 is for folks who want something light and agile to clear snow from the patio or deck, but aren’t too confident in the power of an electric snow shovel. Well, this Greenworks single- stage model is more powerful than a snow shovel and it clears a path 20 inches wide so you can even use it for the driveway. In fact, its 13amp motor isn’t too bad and can generate enough torque to deal with up to 3 or 4 inches of wet snow. But the throw distance won’t be too great, as its augers don’t spin all that fast to begin with, even when you’re blowing dry snow. It has a bit of a power problem, so we suggest you refrain from using this snowblower for heavy snow or densely packed piles like the ones left behind by the city plow. There are some redeeming qualities though, like its incredible 4- year warranty which is an indicator of the trust Greenworks has in their products. Even the cheapest, smallest ones.
Despite being constructed from lightweight plastic, this snowblower doesn’t feel flimsy and manages to incorporate a couple of really useful features. Like the crank controlled chute, and folding handles. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have an onboard LED light, so you’ll have to arrange your own light if you intend to work after the sun goes down. And the plastic auger will scrape on concrete or asphalt driveways, since it sits so close to the ground. Unlike rubber augers, plastic won’t bend and give way when it hits a rock or piece of wood. Combine that with the tiny 7” wheels, and you start to understand why using this snowblower on unpaved surfaces is a huge hazard. Especially to bystanders who might get hit by rocks flying out from the chute.
Snow Joe SJ623E — 18″ / 15 Amp
Ideal for: Two and three-car driveways up to 100 feet long, wet/ densely packed snow up to 8 inches deep, residential areas with strict noise limits.
Pros: Powerful 15amp motor, throws snow up to 25 feet away and is highly maneuverable due to its narrow 18” clearing width. Bright LED headlamp for better visibility, and a fast spinning auger which gets the work done quick.
Cons: Once you start digging into wet or slushy snow, the throw distance is reduced significantly.
Despite being equipped with an 18” auger, the SJ623E is actually just as powerful as its bigger brother- the SJ625E which uses a 21” auger. And what really surprised us is the auger design- it is unlike anything we’ve ever seen on similarly sized electric snow blowers, even ones from Snow Joe. The SJ623E uses a metal backplate, with rubber padding attached on the front face through bolts and washers. Most single stage snowblowers use dual- blade rubber paddles, with only the center and ends being made out of metal.
The SJ623E has a more rigid, 4- blade auger picks up wet snow better and won’t bend as much when spinning at high speeds. As a result, it can move up to 720lbs of snow per minute. Zero load auger speed on this unit is 2450rpm, significantly higher than even the larger SJ625E (1800rpm). Which doesn’t tell us if this model has more torque, but at least it can deal with light dry snow just as fast as its bigger brother despite having a smaller auger (18” vs 21”).
Another really unique feature of this snowblower is the massive 20W halogen work light on the front, which only activates when you turn on the unit. It is several times brighter than the tiny 2.5W dual LED setup you’ll find on Snow Joe’s own iON100V-21SB. Which by the way, is a much more expensive snowblower. The SJ623E is light, at just 33.7lbs. It does tend to bog down a bit in densely packed wet snow, but will keep on crawling as long as the thickness is under 8 inches. For dry snow, you can use this machine at its maximum rated intake depth of 10 inches.
Best Snow Shovel
Snow Joe 323E
Ideal for: 1- car driveways, sidewalks, steps, and narrow walkways. Good for loosely packed dry snow, up to 6 inches deep.
Pros: Fast and easy to deploy, barely takes up any space and can be handled with just one arm. Despite its tiny size, it is capable of moving up to 400lbs of snow per minute (provided it is the light and fluffy kind).
Cons: Not very useful if you don’t have access to an outlet nearby, and you’ll constantly have to deal with a heavy cord dragging behind you while operating this electric snow shovel.
We find it quite hard to describe the Snow Joe 323E because it’s some sort of weird mix between a small single stage snowblower and a shovel. Guess that’s why it’s called an electric snow shovel. Think of it as a tiny snowblower without any wheels, and a handle that resembles a broomstick. Even though it only digs 6 inches deep into snow, you can make multiple passes to take out deeper piles. Just like a shovel, keep swinging at the pile until you’ve reached the bottom. The path cleared by one of these is about 13 inches wide, which makes it the perfect choice if you want to clean up some steps. Or any narrow spot where even an 18” single stage snowblower wouldn’t fit. The Snow Joe 323E is designed for quick deployment, when you don’t want to deal with the hassle of starting a gas powered snowblower. It is corded, so all you need is an outlet. And it won’t scrape your wooden decks like a traditional snowblower. It’s so light that you can carry it around with one hand, and an adjustable handle ensures that people of all heights from 5 to over 6 feet can operate this machine comfortably without having to hunch over too hard. If you want one of these, but in the wireless format, we suggest checking out the Snow Joe iON13SS which is a 13- inch snow shovel that’s powered by a 40V lithium ion battery. It even has a hybrid version which works in both corded as well as cordless mode.
Track Drive : 2-stage
- Engine : Honda GX270
- Displacement : 270 cc
- Starting System : Recoil (AT); Electric (DC)/Recoil (ATD)
- Fuel capacity : 1.3 gal
- Drive Mechanism : Hydrostatic, Infinitely variable
- Clutch type : Hydrostatic
- Steering System : Steering Clutches
- Auger Overload Protection : Shear Bolts
- Auger Height Adjustment : Thumb Operated Gas Strut with Infinite Adjustment
- Stages : 2
- Work Light : LED – 12V-6W
- Chute Adjustment System : Remote Electric Joystick
- Chute Deflector Articulation : Single Articuled
- Chute Turning Radius : 198°
- Clearing Width : 28.0 in.
- Clearing Height : 21.7 in.
- Max. Discharge Distance : 52 ft.
- Max. Discharge Capacity : 1900
- Dimensions (L x W x H) : 58.5″ x 28.9″ x 43.5″
- Dry Weight : 265 lb. (AT); 276 lb. (ATD)
- Residential Warranty : 3 years
- Commercial Warranty : 3 years
Ideal for: Rough, unpaved driveways and yards with steep inclines. Works great on densely packed wet snow with high ice content, left behind by powerful blizzards and snowstorms. Built for 3- car driveways longer than 70 yards, and snow over 12 inches thick.
Pros: Hydrostatic transmission eliminates traditional shifting and allows you to seamlessly transition between a range of speeds depending on snow thickness and your personal preference. A four- way joystick gives you complete control over the discharge chute and deflector, while auger height adjustment can be made with the press of a thumb.
Cons: You’ll need some deep pockets to purchase this one, as it’s one of the most expensive 2- stage snowblowers on the market. Maximum speed is a bit slower compared to wheeled 2- stage models, but that’s a weakness found in every track drive snowblower.
A real snowblower for real jobs. We are no strangers to Honda equipment on this website, they make some of the best portable generators and commercial grade 4- stroke engines. We’ve reviewed their products before, and have come to expect nothing short of the absolute best in terms of quality and performance from Honda products. Are they a bit on the expensive side? Yes, of course. Nobody can deny that Honda equipment costs more than products from competing manufacturers with similar specifications. But specifications are only one side of the coin. Real world performance and reliability is a whole different story.
Ever heard tales of snowblowers which don’t want to start after the first couple seasons of work, no matter how many times you pull the cord? Now, a lot of those cases are caused by customers using old gas or not winterizing their machines properly. But with Honda, you’ve got a lot more headroom to make errors before things are permanently messed up. Not saying you shouldn’t follow proper maintenance procedures just because you’ve got a Honda, but it is capable of taking more abuse and will keep working like new for an eternity provided you know what you’re doing.
If you’re a regular visitor, you’ve probably read our glowing reviews of Honda portable generators. Particularly the EU series of inverter generators. Today, we’re looking at something different- a two stage gas powered snowblower. With tracks! That’s right, this is designed for deep and densely packed wet snow with high amounts of ice content. The augers aren’t made from rubber like what you’d find on single- stage electric models. No, that won’t be enough to chip away at heavy wet snow that is partially frozen. Instead, Honda outfitted this snowblower with special “ice- breaking” serrated steel augers. The auger shaft is bearing supported to reduce friction and increase lifespan of the unit. All of this is surrounded by a housing made from automotive- grade steel. And in case your auger hits something hard, the shear bolts will blow before any damage is done to the drive shaft or transmission.
GRIP : Pliable, low temperature rubber tracks with sure-gripping cleats
The auger is driven by a commercial grade Honda GX270 4- stroke OHV (overhead valve) engine which is top of the class in terms of efficiency and emissions control. It is guaranteed to start even in the coldest of weathers, and will keep working for decades if you maintain it properly. Electric start is present so you can get your HSS928AATD started with the push of a button. And no, this isn’t one of those cheap electric start implementations which requires you to plug in an extension cord. There is an onboard battery in the snowblower, to assist the automotive style key starting. And in case the battery isn’t charged, you can always fallback on the good old recoil starter. Talk about reliability through redundancy.
Unlike lesser 2- stage snowblowers which utilize friction disk transmissions, this Honda is equipped with a state of the art hydrostatic transmission. Like CVTs, these are continuously variable which means you theoretically have an infinite set of speeds to choose from. And the transition is seamless, there are no gears to shuffle through. It is just like pressing the throttle on a car, one continuous creep in power. While hydrostatic transmissions are easy to use, the real benefit comes from the fact that you’ve got less to worry about. No drive belt changes, no clutch disks to replace. And adjusting the speed is easy as pie- push the lever forward to keep increasing speed, and pull it backward to reduce speed. There are three zones- Forward, Neutral, and Reverse.
Electronic chute control is standard on a lot of premium cordless snowblowers like the Snow Joe iON100V-21SB. Some gas powered 2- stage models have hand crank operated chutes. But with the Honda HSS928AATD, you get the absolute best stuff- a 4 way joystick which gives you precise control over both the chute (198° rotation) and deflector. Oh, and this snowblower can throw snow up to 52.5 feet away. There is a heavy duty LED work light mounted next to the steel fuel tank, which is fitted with a glove- friendly cap for easy refueling. Another standout feature of this snowblower is its pneumatic strut height adjustment system for the auger housing. With the push of a button you can lower or raise the auger. Working on gravel and dirt? Increase auger height to prevent the snowblower from sucking up stones. Switched to an asphalt driveway? Lower the auger for closer contact with the surface to get a perfect finish. And Honda has equipped the HSS928AATD with reversible skid shoes so you can simply flip them when one side wears out.