Snow Blowers: Ratings of Sources
Editors evaluate more than 85 models of snow blowers. Most are tested using both real-world and simulated snow piles, though some ratings are based on tests of similar machines. Gas, electric, single- and two-stage machines are included in this comparison. As editors test each machine, they grade how easy it is to steer, how quickly it cuts through the snow and how clean it leaves the pavement. Top performers get a Recommended label, while top values earn a Best Buy designation.
Paul Sikkema lists his top picks among two and three stage show blowers. Recommendations include best snow blowers overall and best residential snow blowers in several categories. Not every snow blower gets an extensive review, but many do, and links lead to those. A separate page lists top single stage gas and electric snow blowers. Information is more limited for these models; no best choices are named -- Sikkema simply says to steer clear of any brand not named -- though links to a few more detailed reviews are provided.
There are nearly 150 snow blowers listed at HomeDepot.com, many of which have a significant number of user reviews. Most are gas-powered snow blowers, though a few electric models have enough feedback to be helpful. Some listings include reviews from manufacturer web sites.
Marissa Munoz, the in-house snow blower expert at SnowBlowersDirect.com, provides brief reviews on models this site recommends, including electric and single-stage, two-stage, and three-stage gas machines. Many snow blowers also include owner reviews, ratings on a 5-star scale and the occasional video demonstration.
Amazon.com lists lots of snow blowers, and many have enough owner reviews to be helpful. That said, feedback is notably more plentiful for electric snow throwers than for gas models, with some garnering hundreds of reviews.
Husqvarna, Snow Joe and Troy-Bilt make up the bulk of the nearly 50 gas, electric and cordless electric snow blowers listed at Lowes.com. Troy-Bilt gas blowers look to lead the way here, however, based on user satisfaction following a large number of reviews, though some of those reviews originally appeared on the manufacturer's web site.
Sears.com is the best place to get user feedback about Craftsman snow blowers. A handful of Craftsman models get 100 or more reviews and a rating higher than 4 stars. One two-stage snow blower is singled out as a "Buyer's" Pick."
Though a few other companies are also represented, most of the snow blowers sold by Walmart.com carry the Yard Machines and Snow Joe brand. Most get good ratings, though not a lot of feedback; one Snow Joe electric model scores highly following nearly 175 reviews.
To find the best snow shovels, TheSweetHome.com talks to experts, looks at user reviews and tests snow shovels using a panel of four to clear driveways, long walkways, decks and more. One shovel emerges as a crowd favorite. A runner up has great ergonomics but isn't built to last. A top compact option -- ideal for use in the car or as an emergency shovel -- is also named. This test was originally conducted in 2014, but subsequent rounds of testing and research have re-affirmed the site's top pick.
TheSweetHome.com conducts more than 75 hours of research to find the top snow blowers. Most are not tested, but the site's top pick -- a Craftsman model -- is currently undergoing a long term test in snowy Buffalo, and this review has been updated with information on its progress.
In a free article, Ed Perratore looks at two snow shovels -- an all plastic conventional model and a snow pusher. No recommendations are made, nor are ratings provided, but the article does a good job of discussing the pros, cons and best uses for each shovel.
SnowBlowerForums.com is a user-to-user forum where members can discuss anything snow blower related. In addition to sub-forums dedicated to specific brands, you can find a sub-forum with snow blower reviews. This is also a good destination for general snow blower information, troubleshooting and more.
TopTenReviews.com offers a list of the ten best snow blowers. But while Grant Morgan provides some good overall information on the features and specification of the blowers profiled, there is no sign of any kind of hands-on testing.