This is a great year for battery powered tools as technology improves and scales upward. For 2019, Snow Joe, an industry leader, has redefined battery power with this 100V cordless snow blower. Welcome to our Snow Joe ION100V-21SB-CT review. You’re in for a treat because once you see how cool this machine is, you may need to wipe the drool off your chin. Get some Kleenex now.
Snow Joe ION100V-21SB-CT Review
The Snow Joe 100 Volt battery snow blower is a game changer for the winter of 2019. An indelible mix of engineering, convenience, power and quality, unmatched by other snow blowers in this class. Let’s get this straight from the beginning — this won’t compete with a 2-stage gas snow blower. It’s not in that class, but as a single-stage snow blower, this is a machine to be reckoned with, and certainly at the top of your list if you’re seriously considering making a purchase. Why else are you here?
Moves up to 16 tons of SNOW per charge!
The Snow Joe 100V blower is designed for light, fluffy snow, less than 12″ deep. The integrated auger assist system makes it easy to push through snow, which you’ll appreciate. Unfortunately it doesn’t have heated handles which are typically found on more expensive 2-stage models such as the Briggs & Stratton Elite 1227.
100V Battery System
When to Buy A Snow Blower?
Winter is approaching, and you better not wait till the weather forecast warns you of an upcoming snowstorm before you go out and purchase a snowblower. The best time to purchase a snowblower is before it starts snowing — which means getting one now would be a nice idea.
Demand goes up during winter, especially right before heavy snowfall. And even with those inflated prices, you might not be able to get the snowblower you desire because they are all out of stock.
When is the best time to buy a snow blower? Well, before it snows. Before the weather forecasts says a blizzard is going to blanket Buffalo in 3 days. Another advantage of buying early is you have the benefit of time, allowing you to choose exactly what you want and need. This will avoid making a bad decision or buying an unreliable product.
If a single-stage blower is suitable for your needs, I would say the Snow ION100V-21SB-CT is the best battery-powered snow blower for you in 2019, assuming it’s within your budget. Luckily, there are other options, which we’ll discuss later.
Industrial Beauty — Snow Joe 100V Blower
Power & Grace
Snow Joe consistently creates high value snow blowers, and this model is no different. It’s an evolution of their existing technology, which only gets better year after year. There’s no shortage of options for you to consider. It all comes down to your needs.
► Type of Snow suitable for : Light, fluffy (not for heavy wet snow)
Tech Specs : Snow Joe ION100V-21SB-CT
|Battery Voltage : 100 V D.C.||Battery Capacity : 5.0 Ah|
|Charging Time : 100 mins (full charge)||Plowing Capacity Max : 16 tons/charge|
|Run Time Max : 30 mins||Charger Output : 100V DC 4A|
|No Load Speed : 1000 -- 1500 RPM||2-blade paddle auger|
|Motor : 2800W Brushless||Throw Distance Max : 30 ft (9 m)|
|Clearing Width : 21″ (53 cm)||Depth of Snow Cut : 12″ (30 cm)|
|Stages : Single stage||180º auto-rotate chute|
|2X LED Lights : 2.5 watt (each)||Weight = 62 lbs (69 lbs. with battery)|
2019 Weather Forecast — SNOW!
According to the Farmer’s Almanac forecast, this Winter is going to be a wild ride. It’s impossible to know for certain what lies ahead for the upcoming cold season, but it’s best to be prepared for the worst, especially if you live in an area prone to lots of snow. In that case, you should look at a 2-stage snow blower engineered for heavy deep snow.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac / 2020
Get ready for shivers, snowflakes, and slush! Big chills and strong storms will bring heavy rain and sleet, not to mention piles of snow! Order your copy.
This winter will be remembered for strong storms bringing a steady roofbeat of heavy rain and sleet, not to mention piles of snow. The 2020 Old Farmer’s Almanac is calling for frequent snow events—from flurries to no fewer than seven big snowstorms from coast to coast…Farmer’s Almanac
Snow Blower Types
Now, there are several types of snowblowers to choose from. You’ve got electric models, single-stage blowers, two- stage blowers, etc. But first, we need to answer this question- do you really need a snowblower?
Depending on where you live, a snowblower might be an absolute necessity or a luxury item. It all depends on how cold the winter gets, i.e. are we talking Minnesota cold or Texas cold? Before purchasing a snowblower, we need to check some weather data for your area. How much snowfall do you expect during an average winter? Is it wet snow, or dry snow? That difference is very important to understand, as wet snow can be a lot harder to clear due to its heavier nature (higher moisture content).
Dry snow is light and fluffy; hence you can clear it with almost any electric snow blower. But for wet snow, you might need a two- stage gas powered model. We have an article on the best snowblowers for wet snow, you should check it out.
Video | A Closer Look at the Snow Joe ION100V-21SB-CT
Do you have a short driveway and attached garage? In that case, you might be able to get away with a snow shovel (assuming there’s less than 8” of snow). And if you live in an area where snowstorms and blizzards are extremely rare, you can even hire a plowing truck a couple of times per winter season to clear things up. However, let’s say you experience multiple snowstorms each winter season. And there’s no way you can wait for that plow truck to dig you out while you’re stuck in the house, unable to use your driveway. In that case, it’s a good idea to invest in a proper snowblower beforehand.
Quick Overview : Models We Discuss
Before we get into detailed reviews, here’s a quick rundown of what each model brings to the table in terms of unique features and value proposition. We hand- picked these 3 cordless snowblowers based on key metrics such as performance, feature set, build quality, verified user reviews, and brand reliability.
In our opinion, the Snow Joe ION100V-21SB is the undisputed champion of cordless snowblowers for 2019. You get a lot of snowblower for your money, and don’t have to deal with the hassle of operating a gas powered machine. No need to bother with chokes and primers, gasoline storage, pull cords, engine maintenance, etc. You don’t have to breathe in toxic exhaust gases, and the noise levels are much lower. Finally, a snowblower that you can operate at 7:30 in the morning without waking up your neighbors.
Best Battery-Powered Snow Blower
Snow Joe iON100V-21SB
Entry level gas performance without the hassle.
Removes up to 16 tons of snow per charge/ maximum depth of snow cut is 12” / clearing width is 21”
If you’re looking for a high- performance cordless snowblower, we highly recommend the Snow Joe iON100V-21SB. In real- world testing by various third party reviewers, it matches entry level single stage gas- powered machines. Yeah, it costs more than the other two options on our list, but you’re getting great value for your money. It uses a single 100V lithium ion battery pack, which is available in two versions- 2.5Ah, and 5Ah. You get the best of both worlds — raw speed, and lots of runtime. It packs features traditionally found only on high end gas models- LED headlights, variable speed auger, and a 180° auto rotate chute. Thanks to its incredible performance, reliability, runtime, and large feature set, we select this Sun Joe snowblower as the best cordless model.
Snow Joe iON21SB-PRO 21 | Affordable yet effective
Displaces up to 660lbs of snow per minute/ maximum depth of snow cut is 8” / intended for paved surfaces
Maybe you get around 4 to 6 inches of snow, and don’t really need the power of a heavy- duty 100V cordless model like the iON100V-21SB. Perhaps you’re even considering a corded electric snowblower, because they are so cheap. Well, check out the Snow Joe ION21SB-PRO instead. It gives you all the benefits of cordless power but doesn’t cost an exorbitant amount. With a 21” clearing width, you can handle a two or even three car driveway with this blower. Yeah, it will take a couple more passes compared to a gas- powered machine. But you don’t have to push a large, heavy snowblower around. The iON21SB-PRO weighs just 36.8lbs fully assembled, and all you have to do is recharge the 40V lithium ion battery to keep it going throughout the winter.
EGO Power+ 21″ — 56VSnow Blower
Ipx4 weather-resistant design / 5-year warranty / 13” snow cut depth
Features — EGO 56V
One of the most robust cordless electric snowblowers on the market, the EGO Power+ SNT2100 combines two 56V 5.0Ah lithium ion battery packs to generate power that rivals gas models. It even comes with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a premium snowblower- LED headlamps, variable speed settings, quick- fold handles, etc. The 21” clearing width allows you to tackle larger driveways with relative ease, and its 35- foot throwing distance is better than even the mighty Snow Joe iON100V-21SB. What really caught our attention is the 5- year warranty that EGO provides for this snowblower. For comparison, Snow Joe provides a 2- year warranty on its machines. That extra- long warranty is a testament to the faith that EGO has in its build quality.
Snow Joe ION100V-21SB
Best single-stage cordless snow blower…for now.
Ideal for: Medium to moderately heavy snowfall, can handle wet snow up to 12 inches, and is designed for paved surfaces like concrete or tarmac. Can be used on driveways, porches, walkways, and decks. Will deal with snow piles left behind by the municipal snowplow.
Pros: Similar performance to entry- level single stage gas snowblowers, extremely easy to maintain and operate, packs up to 60mins of runtime if you use the 5.0Ah battery.
Cons: Cannot clear snow from gravel pathways or steep slopes, weighs 69 pounds.
If you simply want the most powerful cordless snowblower money can buy, this is it. With a brushless motor and 100V lithium ion battery pack, the Snow Joe iON100V-21SB puts out performance that rivals entry- level gas models in the single stage category. Got a giant snow pile at the end of your driveway because the municipal snowplow drove by earlier in the morning? No need to worry, just pull out your iON100V-21SB from the garage and get rid of the obstruction within minutes.
It starts with the push of a button, there are no cords or chokes to worry about. And since it is so quiet, you can start blowing snow without waking up everybody in a 100- foot radius. The 180° digitally controlled discharge chute can rotate in any direction with the press of a button on the control panel. Snow Joe claims the iON100V-21SB can throw snow up to 30 feet away on maximum speed settings, but in reality, you will notice ranges closer to 20 feet depending on the type of snow and depth. Manufacturers often measure the throwing distance for their snowblowers with the chute pointing straight ahead, and with about 10” of dry, fluffy snow. Turn the chute to the side, switch over to wet snow, reduce the depth to 6”, and you’ll discover that your snowblower only achieves half of its rated throw distance.
Designed with a friendly face, ready to take on mother nature
The iON100V-21SB uses a dual- blade rubber paddle auger to scoop up snow, and the speed at which it spins can be easily controlled on the fly by turning a dial. One of the reasons we chose the iON100V-21SB as our top cordless model was due to its excellent battery life. The 100V 5.0Ah lithium ion battery provides fade- free power for up to 30 mins of work (according to Snow Joe’s) internal testing. And the best part is you can add a second battery for extended runtime during heavy snowfall, or if you’ve got a large area to clear. A 2.5Ah 100V pack will give you an extra 15 minutes of runtime. You can also add another 5.0Ah battery for a total runtime of 1hr. When one battery dies, the other will take over and you won’t lose any performance. The 2800W brushless motor packs enough torque to drive the auger through a 21 x 12 inch path of snow, and you can rely on this snowblower to deal with wet snow.
Weight balance feels incredibly good, since the battery packs are located right above the rear axle which places the center of gravity right in the middle of the body. Pushing it through 12” of snow doesn’t feel nearly as hard as you might expect, because of two things- auger assist, and lightweight construction. The auger assist feature uses the rotating motion of the auger to pull the entire snowblower forward. The thicker the snow, the better it works. So you don’t have to use your body weight to push the unit forwards. And the lightweight plastic construction keeps things rust- free while also retaining a high level of structural integrity. We highly recommend purchasing a 2nd 5.0Ah battery, because the unit only comes with one. And it takes about 100 minutes per charge, so you’ll be stranded in the snow for quite some time if you run out of juice in the middle of work.
Snow Joe iON21SB-PRO 21″ Snowblower
Features — Snow Joe iON21SB-PRO
Ideal for: One or two car paved driveways, wooden decks, porches, walkways. Works best with dry and fluffy snow, up to 8 or 10 inches in depth.
Pros: Extremely light at just 36.8lbs, small turning radius for superb maneuverability in tight spaces. Very easy to store and transport, thanks to the folding handles and low floor space requirements. Decent clearing speed and throwing distance, virtually maintenance- free.
Cons: Mostly made from plastic so it doesn’t feel as robust compared to larger, more expensive models like the iON100V-21SB or EGO Power+ SNT2100. Even with the 5.0Ah battery, you’ll get under 30 minutes of runtime with moderate usage. We recommend purchasing an extra battery pack if your area receives a lot of snowfall.
This is a slightly stripped- down version of the iON100V-21SB for people who want the basic functionality and feature set with just enough power to handle some light snowfall. It is good for up to 8” of snow and will clear a path 21” wide. We don’t recommend using this model for wet snow, since its 40V 5.0Ah battery doesn’t provide nearly enough power to deal with the heavy stuff. But where the iON21SB-PRO really shines, is in tight spaces like porches and narrow walkways. If you need to clear snow from a wooden deck, you would use this machine instead of a heavy 2- stage gas powered model. It is extremely easy to start, and feels light as a feather thanks to the 36.8lb weight. While its big brother is powered by a monstrous 2800W motor, the iON21SB-PRO has to make do with just 600 watts. But that is still enough to throw snow up to 20 feet away.
Snow Joe says it has a steel auger with rubber blades, which is somewhat true. You see, steel is only used at the core of the auger to reinforce its rubber paddles and provide some extra structural rigidity. But it won’t do much when you hit a nail or stone, because the blade will either bend or snap depending on how hard it hits the obstacle. We don’t recommend using this unit on gravel or similar unpaved surfaces, because the plastic scraper bar is flush with the ground and will snap off if you hit something hard. There are no height adjustable metal skid shoes, like you’d find on a heavier two- stage gas powered model. So it is not very good for uneven terrain/ slopes, even though the low weight means you can push it around pretty much effortlessly. There is no variable speed setting, and the real world battery life isn’t as high as Snow Joe claims.
This unit is available with a 5.0Ah 40V battery, so at least theoretically it stores 40 percent as much energy as the 5.0Ah 100V battery in the iON100V-21SB. Yeah, it consumes energy at a much lower rate because the motor is smaller. But realistically, you’re looking at under 30 mins per charge. The single 3W LED light located on the folding handle provides decent illumination, but is worse than the dual 2.5W LED lamps located on the front of the iON100V-21SB. Buy this if you get low to medium snowfall, i.e. 2 to 6 inches on average. Snow that is wet will be harder to clear, because the motor in this blower lacks the torque to pick it up.
EGO Power+ 56-Volt
Ideal for: Snow up to 13”, will handle wet + sticky snow and can work indoors since there are zero exhaust fumes. Perfect for 2 or 3 car driveways, patios, sidewalks, decks, etc.
Pros: Gas- like performance, extremely quiet, can be used with any combination of ARC Lithium batteries, great throwing distance, ipx4 weather- resistant design.
Cons: Won’t work well on gravel driveways because there are no skid shoes. The plastic scraper bar will catch on stones, cracks, bumps, etc. and break.
Just like the Snow Joe iON100V-21SB, this EGO snowblower accepts two battery packs and can switch between either one of them. It is loaded with some really cool features which make life easier- a variable speed auger, easily adjustable chute, headlamps, etc. To adjust the throw distance, you can ramp up the motor speed or angle the deflector on the discharge chute. Controlling the chute direction is super easy- there is a lever on the right side of the handle. Push it forward to rotate left, and pull it back to rotate right. Pretty easy huh? And you can throw in two 56V ARC lithium ion batteries. They don’t have to be rated at the same Ah; one can be 7.5Ah while the other is 5Ah.
You can purchase this snowblower as a tool only package (SNT2100), or with two 5.0Ah batteries and a rapid charger (SNT2102). And if you get a lot of snowfall regularly exceeding 10” in thickness, we recommend you purchase the kit with the snowblower + two 7.5Ah batteries (SNT2103). It will give you excellent runtime, and you can recharge the batteries really fast. Despite being called a “rapid charger”, the EGO batteries take the same amount of time to charge as Snow Joe’s batteries. Both use 5.0Ah batteries, and take around 100 minutes to charge. But you do get an extra battery with the EGO snowblower — two instead of one, which means you can work more reliably in deep snow knowing that your snowblower won’t suddenly die in the middle of work. When one battery runs low, you can pop it out for charging while the other one keeps working. The integrated digital fuel gauge helps you keep an eye on charge levels, and overload protection helps keep your snowblower’s motor safe for excessive current draw.
Choosing the Right Snow Blower
Let’s start with the basics, by explaining what the auger is. It’s the corkscrew- shaped rotating blade at the front of your snowblower, and is powered by a drive shaft that is connected to the engine/ electric motor via a system of drive belts and pulleys. When the auger spins, it scoops up snow and chops it up. This snow is then thrown out via the discharge chute, which is the chimney- like apparatus located behind the intake, above the auger.
In a single stage snowblower, the auger sends snow directly through the discharge chute. In a two stage snowblower, there is an impeller located behind the auger which accelerates the motion of snow through the chute after it’s scooped up by the auger. Due to the accelerated snow displacement, two stage blowers can move a lot more snow in the same amount of time compared to a single stage machine. They are also much better at dealing with heavy, wet snow. Three stage snowblowers take things a step further by adding an extra impeller in front of the auger, so the snow is chopped up into fine particles which makes it easier to “digest” for the snowblower.
What is an auger made from?
Augers are usually made from rubber or plastic in electric and cordless models, to keep costs down and reduce maintenance hassles. Gas- powered two stage snowblower are equipped with steel/ aluminum augers. A rubber paddle will bend when it hits a stone, so it’s less likely to break. But you lose performance with heavier snow. A metal auger with serrated edges is far more rigid which means it will shove snow into the discharge chute faster, and won’t break when it hits a stone or piece of wood hidden inside the snow. Plastic augers are more likely to break, since they aren’t as tough as metal and are also less flexible than rubber paddles.
Sizing your snowblower
The auger length and diameter will determine how wide of a path your snow blower can clear, and how deep its intake can cut through snow. A longer auger will clear a wider path, so you can cover more area in less time. Which is good if you’ve got a large driveway, because you’ll have to make fewer passes. Faster spinning augers result in more performance, since they can scoop up more snow per minute. Ideally, you’d want the largest possible auger which spins really fast. But larger augers require more space, and a powerful engine to drive them. Which increases weight and decreases maneuverability. You end up with a larger (and more expensive) machine that is harder to push, turn, and store. Which is why, a lot of the 2- stage snowblowers are equipped with self- driving wheels that are driven by the engine.
Features to look out for
Heated handles are amazing if you’ve got a very large area to clear. Long driveways will take more time to plow through, and those freezing temperatures will take a toll on your hands even through really thick gloves if you stay outside long enough. But heated handles are a feature you find only on premium two- stage models. Oversized controls are good to have, since you’ll be operating the blower while wearing winter clothing. Tiny switches and knobs are hard to see, and even harder to press when you’re wearing goggles + winter gloves.
Having a gas-powered snowblower with electric start is very desirable, especially since pull cords can be quite exhausting to operate. Often, your gas snowblower will fail to start even after 10 or 12 pulls when the engine is cold. A snowblower with multiple speed settings will allow you to decide how far you want to throw the snow. LED headlamps help you work in low light conditions, and will illuminate hidden obstacles in the snow before you accidentally blow a shear pin.
Easy-turn capability is another great feature to have. With easy turn, the outer wheel spins faster than the inner wheel when you make a turn. This means you apply less force while turning, and the turn radius is also reduced significantly. Single- handed operation and handlebar mounted chute controls are good to have, if you value operator comfort and ease of use.
Electric vs Gas Snow Blowers
It comes down to convenience vs performance — which attribute do you value more? Gas snowblowers are going to be heavier, and will require regular maintenance. You need to add fuel stabilizer, store the gas in special containers, prep your snowblower for storage when winter ends, and jump through a lot of hoops just to get it started. Pull the cord, prime the fuel system, set the choke, and make sure that you’re using gasoline with no more than 10% ethanol content. And after 2 or 3 years, starting the engine will be even harder because the ethanol will have taken its toll on the carburetor and fuel lines. If you accidentally let the snowblower sit for several months with gas inside, you’ll have to clean the carburetor and fuel lines because they will be gummed up.
With an electric snowblower, you just push a switch and get to work. If it’s a corded model, you need an extension cord and power outlet. For a cordless model, you just need a charged battery. No fumes, less noise, and even your 60 year old grandma can start it up. But you lose one thing- performance. It’s amazing to see the advances in lithium ion battery technology give birth to extraordinary machines like the Snow Joe iON100V-21SB. But even the best cordless snowblowers can’t match up to a premium two stage gas powered unit like the Husqvarna ST224P.
For the average homeowner who wants to clear snow off a paved driveway, any decent cordless model will do. But if you plan to work on uneven terrain like gravel or steep slopes, a self- driven two stage gas powered unit is the only choice you have. Adjustable skid shoes, power steering, metal scrapers, heavy duty axles and large wheels, heated handles- all these are features you won’t find on an electric single stage model. But there are areas where a lighter and cheaper electric model actually performs better than the more powerful gas option. Like wooden decks — you wouldn’t want to ruin your deck by running a 125 pound Yardmax YB5765 on it. On the other hand, a compact 20” cordless snowblower like the Greenworks PRO 80V will clear snow off your deck without damaging it. Narrow sidewalks are another place where you’ll appreciate the compact nature of cordless snowblowers.