Like any appliance, you’ll want to make sure that you get both a great deal and a solid product. If that’s the case for you, we recommend the Troy-Bilt Squall 2100 208cc Single-Stage Gas Snow Thrower as the best of the best in our eyes. On the other hand, brand loyalty or just plain research is sometimes the best option. If that’s the case for you, then take a look at our five favorites and then we’ll dig into the meat of the matter to make sure you end up with something which is perfect for your home.
When it’s the season, getting rid of snow can be a pain. While many of us opt to handle things the old fashioned way, with a snow shovel, even the best shovel won’t save you from manual labor. If you’re getting tired of having to dig the shovel out of the shed then it may just be time to invest in the best snow blower you can find.
If you have a regular sized yard and aren’t going to be snowed in all winter, the Squall 2100 will let you get your walkways and driveway clear with ease so long as you keep ot up.
Top 5 Snow Blowers
|Troy-Bilt Squall 2100 208cc||Single Stage||208cc Gas Engine||Check Price|
|Cub Cadet (24″) 208cc||Dual Stage||208cc Gas Engine||Check Price|
|Snow Joe Ultra SJ625E 21-Inch||Single Stage||14A Electric Motor||Check Price|
|GreenWorks Pro 80V 20-Inch||Single Stage||40V Battery Powered Motor||Check Price|
|Troy-Bilt Vortex 2490 277cc||Three Stage||277cc Gas Engine||Check Price|
1. Best Overall Snow Blower
Troy-Bilt Squall 2100 208cc Single-Stage Gas Snow Thrower
The average person is going to love this powerful, single stage blower. While we really recommend taking a look at an electric option for smaller yards, it was just too hard to pass up this Troy-Bilt snow blower.
With the addition of a super powerful 208cc motor and a push button starter this is definitely an effort saving device.
It’s also backed by a two year warranty, in case the worst happens and it’s lightweight enough to be easily handled by most people.
If you can push a lawnmower, you’ll be able to work with the Squall 2100 pretty easily.
Pros and Cons
- 2 year warranty
- Pick the direction it throws snow
- Powerful and reliable 208cc motor
- Requires gasoline
- Not suitable for snow over 8” or so
2. Best Two Stage Snow Blower
Cub Cadet (24") 208cc Two-Stage Snow Blower 524 WE
Cub Cadet puts out some pretty impressive products and this dual-stage 208cc snow blower is definitely among them. It pushes the snow back with an augur into a powerful impeller motor which scatters the snow it scoops in whatever direction you might wish.
Dual-stage blowers are rated to handle 16” or more of snow, which is pretty impressive overall. This was our favorite of the dual-stages and we found it made short work of driveways and walkways alike.
The only thing we really didn’t like was the lack of an electric start… and the price.
But if you need to handle super heavy snowfall, this is probably your best bet to ensure that you don’t have to go through back breaking labor with your snow shovel.
Pros and Cons
- Roaring 208cc motor
- Dual stages for further scattering of snowfall
- Can push the snow in any direction
- Very expensive
- Doesn’t have an electric start
3. Best Electric Snow Blower
Snow Joe Ultra SJ625E
Snow blowers don’t have to be a bank-breaking affair, but unfortunately you’ll be lacking a lot of the power which is available with gasoline models. This is a fairly low priced blower but it still is able to handle a lot of snow.
This one is powered by a 15 amp motor capable of moving 800lbs of snow per minute. While it might not work for a full snow bank, it’s more than enough to quickly and easily take care of your driveway and walkways.
Give it a good looking over to decide if the power level is right for you, however, as this definitely isn’t among our highly powered options.
If you’re dead-set on a plug in snow blower, the Snow Joe Ultra SJ625E is exactly the kind of thing you should be looking at. For heavy snow fall the only real option is still a gas model, however.
Pros and Cons
- Highly affordable snow blower
- Powerful for an electric
- Can shoot the snow whichever direction you choose
- Extremely lightweight
- Weaker than any gasoline model
- Suitable only for smaller areas
4. Best Battery Operated Snow Blower
GreenWorks Pro 80V 20-Inch Cordless Snow Thrower
Battery operated snow blowers operate within a special niche, they’re a bit weak on the power side but the improved mobility makes them a great replacement for a snow shovel for those who aren’t physically capable of carrying out the labor.
This option from Greenworks comes equipped with a 40V motor powered by a 2.0Ah battery. That gives it quite a bit of power for a battery operated snow blower.
What it can do is cut down on back breaking labor for those who are in lighter snowfall. We really don’t recommend it for those with heavy snowfall in their area, however, you’ll want something a bit bigger to take care of the problem.
But for those who can’t run a shovel, models like this one are an absolute godsend. While most battery operated models are a bit problematic, as long as you temper your expectations this one is likely to blow you away.
Pros and Cons
- Cordless operation for convenience and maneuverability
- 40V motor with 2Ah battery
- Maintenance free
- Rotating chute
- Not very powerful
- Battery life is too short for large yards
5. Best Three Stage Snow Blower
Troy-Bilt Vortex 2490 277cc Electric Start
Three stage blowers are monsters, and they’re honestly too big for most households. We had to include one however, because look at this thing. The Troy-Bilt Vortex 2490 has 277ccs of snow eating power.
This is going to be majorly overkill on both the wallet and power for the average person’s home, and even larger homes might benefit more from saving some money and going with a smaller snow blower.
If you’re in need of snow busting power over a large area, and the climate likes to measure snow in feet rather than inches where you live, you’ll find it to be a worthwhile investment.
While the Vortex 2490 is simply overkill for many people, it’s a beautiful machine that will quickly and easily handle all but the largest of yards. It really is too much for most yards, but when it’s needed… it’s needed.
Pros and Cons
- 277cc motor
- Can take care of almost any depth of snow
- 4-way snow chute
- Enormous, deep treaded tires
- Prohibitively expensive
- Simply too much machine for the majority of yards
The Advantages of a Snow Blower
Snow blowers really aren’t the best option for everyone. Think about it this way, often to use a snow blower you’ll have to dig it out, move vehicles, plug it in, unplug it, clean it, and then put everything back where it was.
This obviously takes a lot of time, and in smaller areas a good quality shovel might just get the job done a lot quicker than you’d be able to handle with a blower.
On the other hand, for larger areas you’ll find a snow blower is one of the best of the best. The extra time taken to prep things will be made up for with the ability to handle large amounts of snow in a hurry as long as you’re able to get things sized appropriately.
If you’re physically unable to shovel, they can also be a godsend in the long run. The ability to make short work of all of the snow which crosses your path without having to bend over is a pretty big advantage.
Here’s the thing: snow blowers are fairly expensive. Larger ones also are powered by gasoline which is an expensive way to get things going.
This means that you’re going to have to consider the costs compared to the amount of effort you’re saving in the long run.
Snow blowers are great for the following groups of people:
- Those who need to handle a very large area around their home will save a lot of effort by investing in a snow blower.
- Those who have trouble with the labor but don’t mind maintaining some machinery in order to keep their pathways clear of snow.
- People for whom the cost isn’t as much of a concern as the effort saved.
If none of the above sound like you, then you may want to just grab a nice shovel.
Picking a Snow Blower
There are a few things you’ll want to be aware of before you snag a good snow blower. Let’s dive right in, and we’ll help you make sure that you’ve got the best one possible for your yard.
As a general rule electric snow blowers are going to be single stage, while gas come in one, two, and three stage options.
Many people will find that single stage options are great for their home. These simple machines will make short work of light snowfall, which would generally be considered 8” and under.
Single stages are pretty simple devices, an auger pulls the snow into the machine which then blows it out into the air. It’s pretty simple and we recommend an electric unit if you’re going to be using a single stage since their maintenance is quite a bit less.
Two stage blowers are suitable for up to 16” of snow. They use an auger like a single stage blower, but also push things through an impeller fan to disperse the snow over a super wide area. They’re a bit much for small yards, and most of them will also have powered wheels to help move the large amount of weight.
Three stage blowers take things a step further, using an accelerator which moves a massive amount of snow quickly.
The more stages you have, the heavier things will get so you need to keep an eye on things. Use the smallest one you think you’ll need for your yard for the best results, it’ll save money and be easier to use.
Electric vs. Gas
Electric models really only exist for single stage snow blowers, and the choice is yours.
As a general rule, electric models will be a bit weaker but require a lot less maintenance. They’ll also not require gas, which can add up if you get frequent but light snowfall.
We recommend electric options for most home usage if you have the right territory to use a single stage blower.
Any bigger, and you’re going to have to go gas unfortunately. Electric just can’t keep up at that level of power.
The power of your snow blower says almost as much as the stages that you’re using.
Gas motors vary in size, higher CCs means more power. The bigger the engine, the more snow you’ll be able to move for the most part.
Meanwhile, electrical models will be rated by amp draw. The higher the amperage of the motor, the better off you’ll be when it comes time to move your snow.
Battery Powered vs. Electric
If you do opt for a single stage option and an electric, then you’ll have to compare battery powered versus electric models.
Battery powered models feature minimal power, but reduce setup time and are super convenient to use since you don’t have to plug them in. They’re really the best for those who just aren’t able to shovel or those with small yards.
Plug-in models are more powerful, but less convenient. They’re better for larger areas, but make sure you have an extension cord which can reach the limits of your property for the best results.
The tires play a big role in how easy it’ll be to use your blower. They’re most important on single stage blowers, where you’ll have to push the whole thing yourself, but you also need good ones on two and three stages.
For the most part, just make sure they’re rugged and of an appropriate size for the weight of the machine to figure it out.
The weight of your snow blower is a big factor, especially for single stage models which don’t have a powered drive train.
The lighter the better in all cases, but it’s particularly important for those who are opting for a snow blower because it’s physically hard for them to handle a shovel.
These machines get pretty varied, but some features really stood out to us when we were taking a closer look:
- Electric starters are available for gas models which allow you to plug in your blower to power the engine’s starter. This seems like a minor convenience… unless you’ve hand fired a small gas motor in subzero temperatures before. Look for this.
- Heated hand grips are a great touch which will make working with the blower much more comfortable. We loved them on the models we found, although gloves are still a necessity.
- Speed controls are on most quality two and three stage blowers, but not all. Make sure you have them in order to throttle up or down to match your walking pace.
Really, the machines vary quite a bit so which feature are available to you depend largely on the model and brand that you go with.
There are a lot of moving parts in a snow blower. That’s what makes them so handy.
It also means you want to ensure that you have a warranty in order to get it replaced or repaired if something bad happens to it. The longer the warranty the better, and you may want to give a pass to any blower which doesn’t have a heft warranty behind it.
We really aren’t able to recommend a “budget” blower due to the fact that… well, snow blowers are expensive and a cheap one isn’t going to last long enough to be worth the price. Instead, just make sure that you’re able to fit things in your budget.
Maintaining Your Snow Blower
Since these machines are so complex, and do quite a bit of the work for you, regular maintenance is a must.
If you’re looking to minimize maintenance, then go with an electric model. Gas motors are just more work to deal with if your area is small enough to be handled with an electric blower.
Maintaining an Electric Blower
Electric blowers are really simple: clean off the debris and store them out of the weather.
That’s really about all that you have to do with them in order to make sure that your blower is in good shape and it’s the biggest reason we have for recommending them to most people.
Static components like skid shoes and scraper bars will still need to be replaced on occasion, however. You may also want to take a look at any mechanical parts attached to the motor such as belts at the start of each season to ensure they’re functioning properly.
Maintaining a Gas Blower
Each time you pull your blower out for the first time during the winter, you’ll want to do the following:
- Check the oil and make sure it’s at an appropriate level each time you run the blower. We recommend doing a full oil change at the start of each snowy season as well to get out any particulate matter which can affect the motor’s operation.
- Inspect your belts. Over time and with changing temperatures they can crack and get pretty messed up. Replace any belts which are visibly damaged and adjust the pulleys to make sure everything is tight.
- Take a look at the scraper bar. For most people these will need to be replaced every few years as they wear down when hitting hard surfaces.
- Check the skid shoes, these will also wear down over time and occasionally need to be replaced.
- Change your spark plug when needed as well. Check it at the end of each season and slap a new one in if needed.
- Inspect the shear pins carefully and regularly. These are a safety feature, which is designed to crack up and break if you do something weird with the snow blower and it gets over-torqued.
- Drain all of the fuel out of the tank at the end of the season to keep things from getting wonky during the year.
If you’re handy at all with small motors, then most of the above should seem pretty obvious. On the other hand, you may want to pick up a book and read up on overall engine maintenance if you’re not.
Being able to repair things at home is a lot easier and cheaper than having to take them to the shop after all.
Use Your Warranty
If any mechanical failures happen despite regular maintenance within the length of your warranty use the warranty. The temptation to take care of a big repair at home can be big for many DIY-inclined people, but you both need the company to honor their warranty and give them the data in case it’s a recurrent problem with that model of blower.
There’s a big reason we recommend looking for a long warranty with a good company.
While snow blowers might not be right for everyone, they’re an invaluable tool for certain sets of people. As long as you’re willing to do the maintenance and do your due diligence about checking out which is the best for your home, you’ll be in good hands and your driveway’s snow problem will be a thing of the past. Snap one up before the next winter hits and save yourself some effort.