Three best snow blowers
Most people aren't fans of winter weather. The dry, raw skin is bad enough, but when winter dumps a foot of snow in your driveway, it can be especially brutal. That's why having a reliable snow blower in your garage or shed can be such a life-saver.
But there are so many models on the market that you may be hunting for the perfect snow blower for a while. You need to figure out what type of snow blower is best for your snow removal needs, as well as the speeds and other features to make the machine most helpful on snowy days.
If you're getting a little frustrated by the shopping process, we're here to help. Our guide has the tips you need to choose the best snow blower for your home. Or check out our specific product recommendations for the fastest shopping.
Considerations when choosing snow blowers
There are several different types of snow blowers to choose from, and each type has its own advantages.
Single-stage electric snow blowers
A single-stage electric snow blower is light and usually easier to maneuver than other models. Electric models all start with the push of a button. Some must be plugged in for operation, while cordless styles don't require a power cord and provide greater mobility.
Single-stage gas snow blowers
Like single-stage electric models, single-stage gas snow blowers are lightweight. They run on gas, so they don't require a power cord. Gas snow blowers also provide a wider clearing width than electric options.
Two-stage gas snow blowers
A two-stage gas snow blower can clear snowfall that's eight inches deep and make quick work of clearing a long driveway. It also features engine-driven wheels to accommodate hilly terrain and make pushing the snow blower easier.
Three-stage gas snow blowers
Three-stage gas snow blowers are able to clear large amounts of snow in less time than two-stage models. In fact, they often operate up to 10 times faster than two-stage blowers.
If you're opting for a gas snow blower, an electric starter means you won't have to use a manual recoil starter to start up the blower. Instead, you simply plug the snow blower into an outlet during start-up and then disconnect the cord for operation.
A deadman control is an important safety feature to look for in a snow blower. It stops the blower as soon as you let go of the handlebar, so you don't have to worry about getting injured if you fall.
A multi-stage snow blower usually offers between four to six speeds when you're moving forward and one to two speeds in reverse. Single-stage snow blowers usually only offer one speed. Having multiple speeds allows you to keep the blower from getting jammed when you're dealing with heavier snow.
Some snow blowers have a headlight, which allows you to clear snow after dark. This can be a key feature since the days are shorter in the winter, which means you might have to clear your driveway in low lighting.
To make it easier to clear snow around curves, some snow blowers offer a chute control. This feature allows you to rotate the chute so you can direct where the snow ends up.
When you're removing snow, your hands can get cold even if you're wearing gloves. A snow blower with a heated handle can keep your hands warm no matter how long it takes to clear your driveway.
Q. How loud are snow blowers?
A. All snow blowers make noise, but electric models tend to offer the quietest operation. With gas snow blowers, two- and three-stage blowers are usually quieter than single-stage blowers.
Q. What type of gas should I use in a gas snow blower?
A. It may depend on the manufacturer and model, so check your owner's manual to see specific fuel requirements. In general, though, it's best to use fresh gasoline that's not more than a month old, has an octane rating of at least 87, and contains 10% ethanol or less.
Snow blowers we recommend
Best of the best: Husqvarna ST224 24-Inch 208cc Two-Stage Electric Start Snow Blower
Our take: The ideal snow blower for even the most severe winters.
What we like: Can handle large amounts of snow without slowing down, unlike most of the competition.
What we dislike: Pricier than other options, but you're paying for outstanding performance.
Best bang for your buck: Snow Joe Ultra SJ620 18-Inch 13.5-Amp Electric Snow Thrower
Our take: An excellent snow blower for mild to moderate snowfall at a budget-friendly price.
What we like: Offers lightweight construction, 13 amps of power, and durable wheels. Effectively moves snow without being too difficult to maneuver.
What we dislike: Doesn't work as effectively on heavy, wet snow. Plastic parts can feel cheap.
Our take: An outstanding snow blower if you have a higher budget.
What we like: Boasts an electric starter and easy-to-use control panel. Includes a bright halogen headlight, too.
What we dislike: Engine isn't quite as powerful as you'd expect for the price.
Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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