The Best Snow Blower: Identifying The Right One For You

For many homeowners, the winter season means hours spent to keep the driveways free of snow. A snow blower can certainly reduce fatigue, but how to choose the best unit for residential use?

On the market, there are many types of snow blowers that differ in terms of technology and performance. This guide aims to show you what to consider before buying.

However, if you don’t feel like reading, click on the links in the table below and find out which is the best snow blower out there.

Product Price Rating
HD Cub Cadet 3X Snow Blower $$$$$ Star rating 5 of 5
WEN 5662 Snow Blaster 13.5-Amp Electric Snow Thrower $ Star rating 4.5 of 5
Snow Joe iON18SB Ion Cordless Snow Blower $$ Star rating 3.5 of 5
Briggs and Stratton 1696619 Dual-Stage Snow Thrower $$$$ Star rating 4 of 5
Snow Joe ION8024-XR Cordless Two Stage Snow Blower $$$ Star rating 3.5 of 5

Snow Blower Vs. Snow Thrower

When searching more information about the snow blowers, you might notice that people often call these power tools either blowers or throwers. Many homeowners find this confusing, and many wonder if there is a difference between the two.

While both machines do essentially the same thing, namely removing the snow from your driveways or yard, they are not the same.

A snow thrower is a small blower designed to do a single operation, which is picking up snow and throwing it out of the way. Snow throwers are often called single-stage snow blowers and most residential users prefer them over the real, two-stage snow blowers.

A snow blower is a dual-stage machine designed to scoop the snow and throw it out more effectively than the throwers. They are usually larger and work faster than the throwers, but are more expensive and harder to maneuver. For this reason, many homeowners prefer the simple snow throwers despite the lower performance.

Since many people use the names interchangeably, we’re going to compare both types of machines in this article, referring to them as snow blowers.

What To Consider Before Buying A Snow Blower

Size Of The Property

The first thing to consider before buying a snow blower is the size of the area to clean. Large gardens and long driveways require more power than a small backyard. Along with the size of the property, you should also consider the snowfall pattern in your region.

A powerful snow blower that covers a wide surface at a time will help you finish work quicker, especially if you live in an area renowned for heavy snowfalls. Yet, if your property is small, a decent snow thrower should do the job wonderfully.

Thrower Or Blower

Another thing to consider is whether to invest in a one-stage or two-stage machine. The one-stage snow blowers, or snow throwers, are ideal for small yards and for areas with dry and powdery snow. Two-stage models are excellent solutions for the areas where the snow is heavy and compact. On a large property, a two-stage blower will help you clean quicker.

But choosing one over another is also a matter of the type of ground. The snow thrower’s drill comes in contact with the ground, therefore it can’t be used on gravel surfaces.

When it comes to the size, one-stage blowers are smaller, easier to store and lighter than two-stage machines.

Starting, Steering, And Storage

Often overlooked but important characteristics to consider are the starting ease, the steering and the storage of the unit.

Like their name suggests, snow blowers are machines used in the cold weather, therefore gasoline-powered units might be harder to start than electric or cordless ones. Apart from the technology, you should also check how well you can control the unit while wearing gloves.

Steering is another thing to check, as maneuvering a power tool on a snowy surface is not always easy. Some models are equipped with hydraulic power steering and they are very easy to maneuver. These snow blowers are perfect for those who have intricate driveways and winding paths.

Storage space is also a thing to consider. Snow throwers are smaller and easier to store in sheds or on the porch. However, when the storage space is really limited, the snow blower can be stored outdoors provided that is covered with a waterproof material.

Safety

Snow blowers are powerful machines, so considering safety is very important. Make sure the unit is easy to turn on and off, that it is equipped with a child protection and that it’s easy to maneuver. Also, remember that these units are noisy, therefore it is recommended to use protective cuffs when using them.

Since light might be an issue in winter, choose a snow blower equipped with headlights.

Wheels

The size of the wheels determines the stability of the unit. If you live in a region known for intense snowfalls, or if your property has irregular surfaces, consider buying a snow blower with large wheels and a crawler system that increases traction.

If the unit is equipped with suspensions and rubber tires, it’s even better. These elements increase traction and the vehicle’s stability on all surfaces.

The Best Snow Blower For Residential Use

1. HD Cub Cadet 3X Snow Blower

HD Cub Cadet 3X Snow Blower

Cub Cadet is renowned for its excellent power tools, and the manufacturer boasts one of the most popular snow blowers on the market. Its HD Cub Cadet 3X Snow Blower impresses with a large clearing width, a great clearing depth, and outstanding drive system.
In detail, the snow blower impresses with its 28-inch clearing width that is comparable with professional tools. Moreover, the cleaning depth of 18 inches allows you to remove deep layers of snow at a comfortable pace.

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The unit is equipped with a 12-inch heavy-duty serrated auger made of steel that lifts snow in a breeze. The remote-controlled steel chute with 200° rotation, on the other hand, will allow you to control the direction and distance of throwing the snow.

The Cub Cadet snow blower is powered by a 357cc 4-cycle engine and comes with heated hand grips, a trigger control steering, and a push button electric start. Headlights will help you see regardless of the atmospheric conditions while the compact dimensions will allow you to store the tool with ease.

Things We Liked

  • Clearing width: the 28-inch clearing width will allow you to remove snow from your driveways in a breeze. The clearing depth is also impressive.
  • Auger: lifting the snow is easy thanks to the 12-inch heavy-duty serrated steel auger. The power tool works wonderfully on almost all surfaces.
  • Chute: the steel chute is controlled remotely from an in-dash controller. The chute rotates to 200° and you can choose the throwing direction.
  • Heated grips: holding and maneuvering the machine is easy and comfortable, thanks to the heated hand grips.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The unit is very expensive.

2. WEN 5662 Snow Blaster 13.5-Amp Electric Snow Thrower

WEN 5662 Snow Blaster 13.5-Amp Electric Snow Thrower

WEN 5662 Snow Blaster is an affordable snow blower that replaces with success the old rusty shovel and helps you clear the driveways and yard paths in no-time. The unit boasts a lightweight design and is able to obliterate snow from all surfaces.This walk-behind unit has a clearing width of 18 inches, wide enough for most residential applications. Moreover, the clearing depth is 7.8 inches, which is enough for most areas. And in terms of performances, the snow blower throws up to 490lbs of snow per minute.

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WEN 5662 is powered by a 13.5 Amp motor and it plugs into any regular outlet. This limits the freedom of movement but it’s easy to extend the range with an outdoor cord extension. Yet, the motor is powerful enough to provide 2000 rotations per minute to the auger and blast snow up to 20 feet away.

Another great feature is the fully adjustable chute that rotates to 180° with a simple turn of the crank. This will allow you to control the direction of the snow.

Things We Liked

  • Performance: despite its tiny size, the blower is able to throw up to 490lbs of snow per minute. It has an 18-inch clearance width and handles snow up to 7.8 inches deep.
  • Electric: powered by a 13.5 Amp motor, the unit is quiet and doesn’t produce any noxious fumes.
  • Wheels: stable on most surfaces, the unit is equipped with 6-inch wheels designed to increase the maneuverability of the blower.
  • Warranty: the unit is backed by a 2-year warranty. The customer service is friendly and a nationwide network of technicians offers prompt assistance.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The unit is made of plastic and has a flimsy look.

3. Snow Joe iON18SB Ion Cordless Snow Blower

Snow Joe iON18SB Ion Cordless Snow Blower

For those who love the convenience of cordless operation and the absence of fumes, the Snow Joe iON18SB Ion Cordless Snow Blower might be the best option. This is one of the first battery-powered snow blowers on the market and it comes with awesome advantages.The unit works wonderfully on paved surfaces and boasts a lightweight design. It is easy to maneuver and is suitable to clear snow from sidewalks and driveways, decks and other pathways.

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The unit is powered by a 40-volts 4.0Ah EcoSharp lithium-ion battery that provides up to 50 minutes of continuous power. Moreover, the unit has an ultra-quiet operation and the battery recharges fast.

Among the advantages this unit provides, we can mention the operation ease, while the steel auger with two rubber blades can move up to 495lbs of snow per minute. The clearing width is 18 inches and the clearing depth is 8 inches.

Things We Liked

  • Cordless: the iON18SB is a cordless electric unit powered by a 40V lithium-ion battery. It has a 50-minutes autonomy and the battery recharges quickly.
  • Performance: the blower has an 18-inch clearing width and an 8-inch clearing depth. It can lift up to 495lbs of snow per minute.
  • Design: the unit boasts a lightweight design, it is easy to maneuver and easy to store. The overall weight of the unit is 32lbs.
  • Steel auger: another thing we like is the sturdy steel auger equipped with rubber blades. The unit operates without damaging the surface.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Depending on the amount and type of snow, the battery can drain very quickly.

4. Briggs and Stratton 1696619 Dual-Stage Snow Thrower

Briggs and Stratton 1696619 Dual-Stage Snow Thrower

Briggs and Stratton is another famous power tools manufacturer. Specialized in producing commercial-grade lawn mowers and weed eaters, the manufacturer also produces a line of dual-stage snow blowers. A great one to consider for residential use is the 1696619 Dual-Stage Snow Thrower.This gasoline blower is powered by a 250cc engine that provides 11.5-foot-pounds of torque. The engine is powerful enough to rotate a large blade for a 27-inch wide clearing path. The clearing depth, on the other hand, is 20 inches.

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Another great feature of this machine is the friction disk drive system equipped with an electric start for effortless starting. This means that you’ll not have to worry about the cold and can forget the hassle of rope pulling at low temperatures.

The tool is backed by a 3-year limited equipment warranty and a separate engine warranty. The friendly customer service is helpful and offers plenty support.

Things We Liked

  • Engine: powered by a 250cc engine, this dual-stage snow blower is one of the most powerful tools for residential use.
  • Electric start: the unit is easy to start despite the freezing temperatures. The electric start allows you to forget about annoying rope pulling.
  • Clearing width: designed to help you finish work in a breeze, this snow blower boasts a 27-inch clearing path and a 20-inch intake height.
  • Warranty: the unit is backed by a 3-years limited equipment and engine warranty.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The unit is not easy to put together and the instructions could use some improvement.

5. Snow Joe ION8024-XR Cordless Two Stage Snow Blower

Snow Joe ION8024-XR Cordless Two Stage Snow Blower

Snow Joe ION8024-XR is a wonderful snow blower to consider if you like the cordless convenience and love gas-powered reliability. This powerful machine is powered by two 40V 5.0Ah batteries for a total of 80V. This provides up to 30 minutes of whisper-quiet runtime.The unit is easy to operate, thanks to a LED display. The push-button control panel lets you to adjust the direction and speed, and monitor the battery power level.

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The performance, on the other hand, is unparalleled. The unit has a cutting-edge 4-speed drivetrain with 3-speed XPORT for rapid return at the end of a snow-cleaning run. Moreover, the unit is equipped with a 2-stage heavy duty serrated steel auger and a powerful impeller which lights up to 1000lbs of snow per minute.

Another exclusive feature is the 180° thumb-switch auto-rotating chute that directs the snow up to 32 feet away.

Things We Liked

  • Headlamps: the snow blower is equipped with powerfully integrated headlamps that light the way for safe nighttime snow clearing.
  • Wide tires: the TracAssist tires provide maximum traction even in the most challenging conditions. This increases the tool’s performance of sloppy terrains.
  • Clearing path: designed to clear snow in a breeze, this snow blower boasts a 24-inches wide and 13-inches deep clearance.
  • Batteries: the blower is powered by two 40V lithium-ion MAX batteries which are compatible with other power tools in the system.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The runtime is very short considering the power of the batteries.

Conclusion & Final Pick

It may be expensive and produce noxious fumes, but HD Cub Cadet 3X Snow Blower is still the best on the market, at least according to us. There are many positive traits about this blower. A thing we like is the impressive clearing width of 28 inches, while the clearing depth of 18 inches allows you to deal with all types and amounts of snow.

The unit comes with a heavy-duty serrated steel auger and a remote-controlled chute that adds versatility to this performing unit. And thanks to the electric start button, the unit is easy to operate in all weathers.

Other amazing features are the heated grip handles, the trigger control steering, and the powerful headlights. All these makes us consider this snow blower the best one could find!

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