If you're thinking about buying a snow blower this winter, there are a few things to consider. A snow blower is not something you just buy on a whim, you know you need one. But what type of snow blower do you need? Here are the best snow blowers based on our research.
Do you need a snow thrower or a snow blower?
What kind of features are you looking for, and what is the difference?
Gas, electric, or battery-operated?
We’ve put together a short list of five of our picks for the best snow blowers to consider this winter. You can see some of the features, what type of snow blower it is, and get an idea of what it's going to cost.
This year is the year that you put away the shovel and find the best snow blower that meets your needs.
- A Quick Glance at our Best Snow Blowers
- Features to Consider When Shopping for the Best Snow Blower
- Our Picks for this Season’s Best Snow Blower
- Other Features to Influence Your Snow Blower Choice
- Our Verdict
- FAQ on our Best Snow Blowers
A Quick Glance at our Best Snow Blowers
|Model:||Troy-Bilt Storm||Greenworks||Toro Power Max||Ego Power||Briggs and Stratton|
|# of stages:||2||1||2||1||2|
|Clearing width:||26 in||20 in||29.5||21 in||24 in|
|Throwing distance:||30ft Max||29 ft Max||45 ft Max||35 ft||35 ft Max|
Features to Consider When Shopping for the Best Snow Blower
- Gas – Gas powered blowers are the workhorses of the three types of power sources used. Typically, they are capable of larger jobs and more severe snow and ice removal because of their higher power outputs. Durability, power, and features usually found on gas models make this feature one to consider.
- Corded Electric – Compact and lightweight, the corded electric snow blowers can be used on wooden decks and other areas where a gas-powered model might not fit. No gas or oil problems and easy to start could be seen as advantages of this type of blower. One switch start-up and the ability to handle a foot of snow make the corded electric snow blower a viable option.
- Battery – Battery-powered snow blowers are making their way onto decks, sidewalks and driveways for a few simple reasons. Less noise, no fumes, HD long-lasting batteries, and power equivalency to gas and electric snowblowers, which makes these types of snow blowers a good option.
- Single Stage – Lightweight and easy to handle the single stage blower is best used on a flat surface like pavement with light, wet snow. They are capable of handling up to 6-12 inch snowfall and can throw the snow to about 35 feet, which isn’t too shabby. The single stage blowers only use the auger for picking up and throwing the snow.
- 2 – Stage – Often self-propelled with higher horsepower engines the 2-stage can tear through snow and ice, and is capable of working on less than flat terrain. This type of snow blower can handle larger areas and comes with features that assist the operator by adding comfort, maneuverability, and functionality.
The 2-stage blower uses the auger to grab up the snow and ice and then the impeller sends it through the chute for distances up to 50 – 60ft. Generally, they have a wider clearing width as well as a higher cleaning depth than the single and some 3-stage blowers.
- 3 – Stage – The third stage is added by the addition of an accelerator that moves the snow and ice along with the auger and the impeller. The addition of the accelerator makes it easier to cut through frozen snow and has a throwing range of around 50 ft..
Clearing Width: – As you can see from the quick glance chart above the clearing width is different for each one of our picks. Deciding which snow blower would be the best fit for you might come down to the area you are wanting to clear.
You don’t want to have to make a thousand passes on a driveway or try and maneuver a big blower around on a wooden deck, so deciding on the clearing width is a good feature to consider.
Throwing Distance: – Distance matters when you're trying to clear a driveway. The throwing distance can be a feature that is taken into consideration when you're looking for the best snow blower. How far is far enough?
Our Picks for this Season’s Best Snow Blower
1. Troy-Bilt Storm Two-Stage Snow Thrower
Power Source: Gas
Size: 49 x 29 x 35 LxWxH
Horsepower: 16.2 hp / 243 cc
Clearing Width: 26
Speed Control: 8 Speed /6 forward gears and 2 reverse
Throwing Distance: 30 ft Maximum
Known for its durability Troy-Bilt always seems to sweeten the deal with added features for the operator. The 2-stage storm makes the top best snow blower list pretty easy. Powered by a 4 cycle 243 cc engine with an electric start, the Storm propelled with six forward gears and two reverse gears. This makes it a snap to clear driveways with up to 21 inches of snow while clearing a 26-inch-wide path. And it won’t take all day.
One hand operation is a game changer with Troy-Bilt’s trademarked Just One Hand operation. This featured option gives you the ability to lock in the speed and still be able to adjust the chute without stopping your forward momentum.
Traction isn’t a big issue with the 15 in airless tires gripping the snowy conditions and don’t worry if the dark days of winter limit your light, because the Storm has in-dash LED headlights.
- Electric start
- 8 speeds
- One hand operation
- Dashboard chute adjustment
- No heated hand grips
2. Greenworks 20-Inch Corded Snow Blower
Power Source: Corded Electric
Stages: Single stage
Size: 31 x 21.6 x 37 LxWxH
Horsepower: N/A (13 Amp)
Clearing Width: 20 in
Speed Control: Push with auger assistance
Throwing Distance: 20 Ft Maximum
When it comes to snow blowers, they can get a bit pricey, but Greenworks has a single stage corded electric snow blower that can take the sting out of buying one. Economical but still powerful enough to clear a 20 in path through 10 inches of snow and throw out to 20 ft.
The 180-degree directional chute helps you manage the direction of the throw and the 7-inch wheels will help with mobility, and dashboard lights make it easier to see when you’re working in low visibility. These features give this gas motor alternative a spot on our list. Not a bad little machine at all.
No gas to fill or oil to change or even batteries to charge, you just plug it in and hit the switch and away you go. This best list snow blower hits the top list because of its price and ease of use, along with a fair amount of power to get the job done.
- No gas, no batteries, no oil
- Plug and Go
- Super lightweight
- Durability over the long haul
- Not made for the big jobs
3. Toro Power Max HD 828 Snow Blower
Power Source: Gas
Stages: 2 stage
Size: 31.5 x 29.5 x 58 HxWxD
Horsepower: 16.8 hp / 252 cc
Clearing Width: 29.5 in
Speed Control: 8 Speed / 6 forward gears and 2 reverse
Throwing Distance: up to 45 ft
Toro is an industry leader when it comes to durable machinery and the Power Max is no exception when you are looking for a top list snow blower. The list of features on this snow blower are as deep as the snow it can plow through.
A 252 cc gas engine that puts out almost 17 hp is going to make short work of snow and ice, and a big 28 inch clearing width and a 21 inch clearing depth give you ample coverage for the big jobs. It is a 2-stage system that will throw the snow to a distance of 45 ft and Quick Stick® chute lets you put the snow where you want it.
The Power Max HD is self-propelled with 6 forward gears and two reverse and comes with a triggerless steering system that makes maneuverability top notch. With all the power put out by this blower Toro went with their double strength system and did away with the shear pins and put in a system that just works.
If the job takes you into the dusk hours or it's just a dark and gloomy day, light up the path with the LED headlight. Toro also thought about the amount of snow you might be encountering and designed this blower and anti-clog system so you can just keep going as you plow through those drifts and snow plow windrows.
- Triggerless steering
- Big engine for more power
- Quick Stick® chute
- Auger gear box, no shear pins
- Reviews suggest service issues
4. Ego Power+ Cordless Snow Blower
Power Source: Battery powered
Stages: Single stage
Size: 45 x 35 x 22 LxWxH
Horsepower: N/A Battery 56 volt
Clearing Width: 21 in
Speed Control: Manual push
Throwing Distance: 35 ft
Battery powered cordless tools are here to stay and for the most part have evolved into a type of equipment that can no longer be overlooked or laughed at.
Clearing 21-inch-wide paths in a foot of snow is no easy task but this battery-operated snow blower will hold its own. With a throwing distance of 35 ft and an average run time of 30 -45 minutes, you can get a lot of snow in a hurry.
Granted it’s not the most powerful one on our list but definitely deserves a place for the category it’s in. Adjusting the auger speed will determine how far the snow is thrown and if it gets too dark before you’re done you can turn on the two bright LED lights to light up the last few passes on your driveway.
The batteries are part of the multi-tool use Peak Power technology and any two of the 56 volt lithium batteries will power this snow blower as well as any other compatible tools you may already own.
- Quick-fold handle for storage
- Variable auger speed
- No Battery or Charger included in this model, but a kit is also available
- No made for the big jobs
- Multiple batteries need for bigger jobs
5. Briggs & Stratton Dual-Stage Snow Blower
Power Source: Gas
Stages: 2 stage
Size: 56x 26 x 38 LxWxH
Horsepower: 13.8 hp / 208 cc
Clearing Width: 24 in
Speed Control: 8 speed / 6 forward and 2 reverse
Throwing Distance: 35 ft Max
The Briggs and Stratton engine has for many years been known as a go to engine and still is today. While this snow blower may not have the largest of the gas engines we have added to our top snow blower list, it still has the power to work through heavy snow on medium driveways and paths.
A 208 cc engine pushing out about 14 hp turns the friction disc drive through six forward gears and two reverse while the Free Hand™ Control makes it possible to adjust the speed and the chute without shutting down the snow blower.
The notched steel auger makes short work out of winter's harsh conditions and feeds the chute for a respectable 35ft throwing distance. Traction is provided by a fairly aggressive tread on 14” x 5” tires and steel reversible skid shoes that protect your pavement and the machine from damage while you work. And don’t worry if it gets a bit gloomy and dark while you’re working because there’s an LED headlight integrated into the dash for maximum visibility.
- Free Hand™ control
- Friction Disc Drive
- Electric start
- No power steering
- It’s a bit heavy
- Assembly woes
Other Features to Influence Your Snow Blower Choice
Wheel type – Wheels, tires, tracks, or treads? The wheel type can be a feature that influences your choices when buying a snow blower, depending on the terrain, depth of snow, and severity of the weather.
Maneuverability, speed, and traction all will depend on the choice you made in wheels and tires. If you have to get the snow off a steep driveway or have some less-than-perfect terrain a commercial snow blower with tracks would be a good option.
The choices range from small solid hard plastic tires to track-driven blowers for the harshest of conditions. Flat tires and no traction make for an extra-long day behind the snow blower.
The levels of aggressiveness in the tread will also need to be taken into consideration. Tractor-type tires, steel or rubber tracks, or tires designed for a wood deck, all of these features are part of your buyer's journey to finding the best snow blower for your needs.
Speed control – Speed control is a feature that could influence your top snow blower choice. Some models come with 8 speeds. Six forward gears and two reverse gears. The lower gears would be appropriate for running through deeper snow and ice without bogging down, and the higher gears would probably be suitable for lighter snow or getting back to the garage in a hurry after the job is done.
Reverse gears will save a bunch of grunting and groaning when you need to back up and get another run at a pile or maneuver around some obstacles. In either direction, having a self-propelled snow blower is the only option in some cases and a luxury in others. But speed control is definitely a feature to be on the lookout for if you're facing some heavier snow.
Electric start – Electric start is one of those features that you don't know you need until you need it. You simply plug in your snow blower with an extension cord and push a button. Once the blower is running you unplug it and go to work.
Compared to a pull start this option an electric start will save your back when it's -20 ℉ outside and you’re needing to get your machine started.
Headlights – The headlight feature adds some illumination when the day has gotten away from you and you have a bit more of the driveway left to get cleaned.
Handle type – Handles come in a variety of configurations. From one that you might recognize as a lawn mower-type handle with the engagement bar or a two-handled version with two engage triggers. One-handed operation is an important feature, and the handle type can make moving the machine easier.
Chute control – Being able to adjust the chute as you move from a joystick lever or crank located on the dashboard might be a feature to consider. How far it swivels vertically and horizontally will determine where the snow is thrown and precision might be necessary in some cases.
- Troy-Bilt Storm Two-Stage Snow Thrower
- Greenworks 20-Inch Corded Snow Blower
- Toro Power Max HD 828 Snow Blower
- EGO Power+ Cordless Snow Blower
- Briggs & Stratton Dual-Stage Snow Blower
The list is not in a specific order but does reflect our choices for top 5 best snow blowers to consider this year.
There are three 2-stage, gas powered machines, each with similar features and reputations and features. Toro Power Max leads with the most horsepower, the widest clearing capabilities and the furthest throw as well as the highest price tag. Reputation of durability and quality come along with the Toro brand name and if it’s in your budget and you have all the right snow conditions to warrant a blower with the capabilities the Toro has, this would be a great choice.
We chose one electric corded single-stage model from Greenworks. Their 20 inch snow blower is an economical way to break free from the shovel in a lightweight package. Lightweight but also capable of clearing a 20 inch path through 10 inches of snow this corded electric model comes with an adjustable directional chute and is ideal for smaller jobs.
Battery power tools are here and making a statement and Ego Power+ snow blower brings the power along with all that battery powered equipment has to offer. It makes our top 5 best snow blower list for a single-stage blower that is affordable and functional, with all the features you need to clear the driveway and sidewalks that are covered in up to 8 inches of snow.
To get a better breakdown of what each of these blowers have to offer, check the breakdown above for a more detailed review.
FAQ on our Best Snow Blowers
Which is better: a 2-stage or 3-stage snow blower?
A 2-stage snow blower will be more than enough for the average person clearing a driveway or a sidewalk when the snowfall is up to 12” deep. However, if you live in a place that frequently receives over 15 inches of snow, have uneven terrain, or you have to deal with plow piles and windrows and the end of your driveway, or you know what a nor’easter is, then the 3-stage might be the snow blower for you.
What is a good name brand for a snow blower?
There are several name-brand snow blowers that are worth remembering. Brands like Toro, Ariens, Troy-Bilt, Briggs and Stratton all have been around awhile and have earned quality ratings and positive customer reviews. But it’s no reason to discount the kids on the block, technology is continually bringing new innovations to try out.
What is the difference between a snow blower and a snow thrower?
The difference between a snow blower and a snow thrower is generally associated with the stage type. For example, a single-stage would be considered a snow thrower, while a two-stage would be more than likely called a snow blower. Although even in this review the names have become interchangeable.
How do I store my snow blower?
Ideally, you would want to store your snow blower indoors. Folding handles on some of the single-stage models make it easier to find space inside, but if you can’t find the room a good tarp will keep it away from the elements until the next snow season.
Bear in mind that storage and maintenance go hand in hand. So before putting your snow blower away for the winter take the time to fix and replace any parts, and follow all the recommended procedures to summer your snow blower by checking your owner’s manual for your type of blower. Adding a fuel stabilizer, checking the oil, replacing skid plates, disconnecting the spark plug and so on.