Manageable, but not without issues. At 31.5 pounds, the Snow Joe SJ620 is one of the heavier electric snow blowers whose reviews we evaluate, but many owners say they love its light weight. While it's still a feather compared to gas-powered blowers -- the lightest of which weighs close to 100 pounds -- it comes with the added hassle and expense of buying and handling a long electrical cord.
Although most users purchase electric snow blowers to avoid the lifting associated with shoveling, many end up lifting these lightweight machines to maneuver them anyway. Some who use the SJ620 miss the convenient lift handles found on Toro models like the 1800 Power Curve (Est. $320). Others gripe about design issues like a chute control that won't hold position on its own; you must keep it in place while steering with the other hand.
Good for light, dry snow, but wet stuff is a problem. Owners say the 18-inch-wide Snow Joe SJ620 does well in up to about 6 inches of dry snow. One writes at Amazon.com, "I was able to clear out my driveway of 4 inches of snow in about 10 minutes." However, like most electric blowers, the SJ620 bogs down in wet snow: "When the snow is a wet, heavy one, the snow collects in the chute and plugs it up... dry snow exits like a charm," says another poster.
Other users say the blower can handle wet snow if you take multiple passes. "We had 6 inches of heavy snow/sleet, and it saved a lot of energy and pain. I had to swipe it through twice," says one. Sometimes that involves manual effort, as described by a Walmart.com poster who had to push snow into a cleared area with a shovel before he could blow that snow away. The general consensus is that it's best to start clearing wet snow when it's 2 or 3 inches deep, and opinions vary on how well the SJ620 clears down to the pavement; some say it leaves a thin layer behind.
Light-snow solution that's popular with seniors. An unusual number of reviewers of this model claim ages of 60 and older, saying they purchased this blower because they were tired of shoveling. They love not having to worry about gas or oil, but often find themselves breaking snow with a shovel or making multiple passes with the SJ620 when confronted with wet, heavy snow. Even the best-reviewed Toro 1800 Power Curve (Est. $320) bogs down in wet snow, but it's lighter and has better design features.
Good We place slightly more emphasis on the Amazon.com reviews of the Snow Joe SJ620 than the Walmart.com posts simply because Amazon.com sells many more snow blower models. The SJ620 gets 4.4 stars out of 5 from about 80 owners.
Review: Snow Joe SJ620 18-inch 13.5-Amp Electric Snow Thrower, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of September 2012
Good More than 80 users chime in on the Snow Joe SJ620 here, giving it a score of 4.3 stars out of 5 and making it one of the most popular machines sold on the site. That said, Walmart.com sells only a few brands of snow blowers.
Review: Snow Joe Ultra SJ620 13.5 Amp Electric Snow Blower, Contributors to Walmart.com, As of September 2012