Best Electric Snow Blower Reviews for 2017
If snowfall routinely falls in your area, then it’s high time to invest in a high-quality snow thrower. With this type of machine, the front portion scoops up the snow, while an internal auger breaks it down and “throws” it away from the path you are clearing. Even the smallest machines are capable of clearing up 650 pounds up snow in just one minute. By investing a half to an hour of your time clearing your driveway, sidewalks, and patios, you are minimizing the possibility that one of your family members having a slip and fall accident in unsafe conditions, and you’ll also be equipping yourself to get out of your house more quickly each morning.
With such a huge variety of models on the market today, it can be downright confusing to know which one you should choose. Here, we’re going to take a look at some of the best models available and teach you what to look for (and what to avoid!) during the shopping process.
My Top 5 Best Electric Snow Blowers
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Snow Joe Ultra SJ623E
4.5 out of 5
4.5 out of 5
Snow Joe Ultra SJ625E
4 out of 5
HOW TO USE A ELECTRIC SNOW BLOWER
If you have never used an electric snow blower before, here are a few tips to get you started!
The Importance of the Precheck
Before using your snow blower, make sure to check the following:
Create a Plan of Attack
Before you rev up your snow blower, you need to decide where you want the discharged snow to pile up. Having a plan of attack also reduces the chances that you’ll need to clear snow from the same area twice. For safety reasons, you should never blow snow in the direction of cars, homes, or other people.
It might be tempting just to blow the snow into the street, but this isn’t a good idea. First and foremost, it creates a hazard for any passing cars. Secondly, if a snow plow truck decides to sweep your street, it’s just going to shove the snow right back up on your sidewalk.
Never Start Your Snow Blower In a Poorly Ventilated Area
Before turning on your snow blower, you should always ensure that the drive clutch and auger are disengaged. Ideally, you should always turn on your snow blower outside, or with your shed or garage door wide open. Else, you run the risk of becoming overwhelmed by fumes.
If you plan on using your snow blower with an extension cord, make sure to pull out your owner’s manual and read up on the manufacturer’s extension cord recommendations.
A Few Don’ts….
How to Choose the Best Electric Snow Blower to Buy
You don’t have to wait until winter arrives to start shopping for the perfect electric snow blower. When choosing a new model, there are a number of considerations to take into account. Naturally, the first factor is the average snowfall for your geographic region. The average electric snow blower is ideally suited for areas that receive an average of four to six inches during a typical snow storm; however, heavier duty models can be found for deeper and heavier snowfalls.
Driveway and sidewalk width is another factor that will need to be considered. The path size cleared by an electric snow blower will vary by model. Terrain must also be thought of as longer pathways, and hilly landscapes will require stronger equipment than the average residential yard.
The weight and size of a snow blower are also important. It won’t do anyone much good if you purchase a snow blower that you cannot maneuver.
In addition to these basic considerations, there are several optional extras to contemplate. Flexible enclosures, power steering, headlights, heated handles, and electric starters are just a few of the extra features you’ll have to decide if you want and are willing to pay for.
In particular, power steering is an excellent feature to have if the pathways you are clearing have a lot of angles or curves. If the idea of wrestling with a pull start each time you need to turn on your snow blower doesn’t appeal to you, then you’ll appreciate the convenience that an electric starter offers. Likewise, if you regularly find yourself clearing snow in the dark, having headlights can be enormously beneficial. Snap on, flexible enclosures and heated handles will make cleaning your snow blower a much simpler experience.
Ideally, you should look for a snow blower that offers multiple speeds and a “dead man’s switch”. A dead man’s switch is a safety feature that automatically shuts off the auger if the user releases the snow blower’s handle.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I EXPECT TO PAY?
Most (but not all) electric snow blowers will range from $100.00 to $300.00 in price, but it is not uncommon to see them run upwards of $450.00. Of course, commercial grade electric models are going to be more expensive. The power and number of extra features a model has will also affect how expensive it is.
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a New Electric Snow Blower
In the minds of many consumers, a higher price tag automatically equates to better quality, but this isn’t always true. There are times when it is simply not worth spending your hard-earned money on the most expensive model you can buy. If you are preparing for the winter and looking for a snow blower, here are 5 common mistakes to avoid during the buying process:
1) Size does matter.
Bigger is not always necessarily better, but on the other hand, purchasing an inadequately sized snow blower is a sure fire method of driving yourself crazy. Make sure to double check the clearing path and size of a model before committing to it. Consider the size of the pathways you’ll be clearing before making a buy. A small snow blower is ideal for a backyard or driveway. If you’re regularly clearing parking lots, or have a lawn that is over ½ an acre in size, go for the bigger model.
2) Not all models are suitable for clearing steep terrain.
Terrain is one of the frequently overlooked considerations when it comes to shopping for a new snow blower. Not all models are built for rugged terrain. Because most electric blowers are limited by the length of their extension cords, you may need to switch over to a gas-powered model for hilly landscapes.
3) Wet and heavy snow can damage smaller snow blowers.
Especially heavy or wet snow can damage your snow blower. It can cause the engine to become clogged and stop – or even breakdown altogether. If you live a region that is prone to this type of snowfall, you’re going to need a heavy duty snow blower, but it is important to make your selection carefully. You will not be able to use most rugged snow blowers in small spaces because they tend to have larger clearing paths.
4) Avoid hard to handle models.
It is imperative to look for a snow blower that is well-designed and that handles easily. The bulkier your snow blower is, the harder it will be to maneuver. Look for models that have specific features, like power steering, that are designed to make them simple to operate.
5) Opt for a model with a quick start button.
If your pull start snow blower is stored out in the cold, it is going to be difficult to start it. Even if yours is stored in a garage or shed, it can still be susceptible to the cold. To avoid this problem altogether, choose a model that has a quick start button.
Do I Need a Gas Snow Blower Instead?
Both gas powered and electric snow blowers have their strengths and weaknesses. Although each type is capable of moving a significant amount of snow, they each operate in different manners. Knowing how each type differs will enable you to gauge which option is right for your unique needs.
If your driveway or sidewalk is longer than 50 feet, an electric snow blower may not suffice for clearing it. If your electric model moves more than 50 feet from its power source, a 12 gauge extension cord will be needed to avoid problems with overheating. However, if you select the proper gauge and size of power cord, overheating will not be an issue.
Gas powered models are ideal for bigger jobs. The only limit to how long you can use it is the size of its gas tank. For sidewalks, long driveways, and other areas where an electrical outlet is not readily available, gas powered snow blowers are the way to go.
On the whole, electric snow blowers are thought to be easier to maneuver because they are smaller in size and more lightweight; however, gas powered models are typically self-propelled. Many newer models are outfitted with power steering. You’ll be able to control and steer the blower via levers. In some instances, gas powered blowers are easier to maneuver than their electric cousins.
If you live in a region where the average snowfall generally produces more than 6 inches of snow, a gas powered snow blower is recommended. Two stage, gas powered snow blowers are equipped with an impeller that is designed to eject snow much more quickly. Three stage blowers go a step further with an additional auger that speeds the flow of the snow even quicker.
Because of their larger intake height and clearing width, gas powered snow blowers are designed for deep snow. The average electric snow blower has an intake height of 13 inches and a max clearing width of 24 inches. This means that they are not designed for use in snow that is deeper than 13 inches. They cannot clear a path wider than 24 inches.
By comparison, gas powered snow blowers have a max intake of 24 inches and a clearing width of 45 inches. Because of their increased clearing width, they can clear snow twice as quickly as an electric blower.
In terms of cost, electric powered snow blowers run the gamut from $100.00 to upwards of $450.00. Gas powered models can run anywhere from $350.00 to several thousand dollars. Gas powered snow blowers also require more maintenance, like spark plug replacements and oil changes, that must be factored into their overall cost.
Of course, the cheapest option isn’t always the right one, nor is bigger always better. Whether you need a gas powered or electric snow blower will depend on your property size, geographic region, and general weather patterns.
Differences Between Electric Snow Blowers and Electric Snow Shovels
Snow blowers and snow shovels are each designed to remove unwanted snow from a variety of surfaces, but that is where the similarities end.
An electric snow shovel is designed to remove light snowfall from small spaces, like decks and patios, outdoor staircases, and short walkways. Although available in a wide variety of sizes and styles, snow shovels follow the same basic principle. As the operator moves the shovel forward, the auger scoops up the snow and throws it forward – usually around 20 feet. On average, an electric snow shovel has a clearance width of about 12 inches and can operate in snow between 5 and 8 inches deep. However, snow shovels become less efficient in deeper snow or in wider areas.
Electric snow blowers are designed to use in larger areas, like driveways, sidewalks, and yards. With a snow blower, the auger makes direct contact with the ground, which makes it suitable for use on unpaved surfaces, and pulls the snow inside of the machine. It is then directed out of a discharge chute. The average electric snow blower has a max clearing width of 24 inches and can be used in snow up to 13 inches deep.
How to Maintain Your Snow Blower
To ensure that your snow blower provides you with many years of faithful service, proper after care is essential. After each use, and before putting your snow blower away, it should be thoroughly wiped down. This prevents a wet mess from forming in your shed or garage.
After the engine has been turned off, a cleanout tool should be used to remove any accumulated snow from the discharge chute and auger housing. Any remaining snow should be wiped off with a clean, nonabrasive cloth. If you have a snow blower mat, put it down to protect your snow blower from scratches and to collect any melting snow.
One of the advantages of using an electric snow blower is that maintenance is simple. There is no need for oil changes, replacing filters, or replacing engine parts.
Electric snow blowers offer a number of advantages. While you might have to invest a bit more time into snow blowing, it is balanced out by the minimal amount of maintenance they require. They are affordable, and you’ll spend less on maintenance. They’re also less noisy than their gas powered cousins, so there’s less of a risk that you’ll annoy your neighbors. Although there are a number of factors to consider before making a purchase, with a bit of research, it is guaranteed that you’ll find the ideal model that will provide you with many years of service.