Best Snow Blower Reviews
The best snow blowers -- also called snow throwers -- remove snow and ice much more quickly than a shovel. Well-balanced machines are easy to maneuver, even if they weigh a couple hundred pounds. Ergonomics count for lightweight electric blowers, too, which are small and light enough to tote with you if the handles are in the right place. Electric models come with the hassle of juggling a long extension cord, plus its added cost. Although the cord limits your range, it means you don't have to deal with adding gas or changing oil.
Electric snow blowers are much quieter than their gas-powered counterparts, and are favorites with seniors for their light weight and maneuverability. Be advised, however, that even the best electric blower will bog down in a few inches of wet snow. If you're willing to baby it along and help out with a shovel, you can probably get the job done. But if you regularly deal with heavy snowfalls, you'll likely want to skip the electric models.
Gas snow blowers come in single-stage and two-stage configurations, and those in this report all use four-cycle engines that don't require users to mix oil and gas together. Single-stage blowers generally cost about $400 and up; they use a spinning, rubber-tipped auger that both scoops the snow and ejects it through the discharge chute. Because the auger blade scrapes the driveway or sidewalk -- which some blowers use as a method of self-propulsion -- single-stage models are only suitable for use on flat, solid surfaces like pavement. Using such a blower on uneven, loose surfaces like gravel could draw stones or other debris into the machine and damage it, or launch said objects out of the chute.
Two-stage snow blowers are larger than single-stage and electric models, and cost anywhere from about $700 to well over $1,000. They use a slow-turning auger to scoop up snow and a fast-spinning impeller to launch it out of the chute; some of the most powerful models can lob snow up to 50 feet. Many are self-propelled, with multiple gears for forward and reverse.