5 Best Snow Blowers of 2023 – Review & Buying Guide
Climate change is leading to bigger and colder snowfalls. What do you do in such snowstorms? If you hire a snow clearing professional to clear your yard, walkways, and driveways, that will cost you $70 a day.
But if you invest in a reliable snowblower, you can do the work yourself in a matter of minutes, saving time and money. Here are the five best snow blowers of the year to consider in 2020.
The Buying Guide
I have owned many snow blowers before, but the 2019 polar vortex confirmed that I needed to reassess my purchase decisions. Auger blades and shafts broke, blowers clogged, and motors huffed and puffed with no success in the big, hardened mounds of snow in my yard.
That’s when I wished I had a two- or three-stage gas-powered snowblower with a wider shoveling capacity and a greater digging depth. In retrospect, here is how my pre-purchase analysis would have looked like:
Get fuel or gas blower for heavier snow storms
In regions with heavier snowfalls, gas and or fuel-powered blowers are more reliable than electric models. You need a machine that can dig out hardened snow to a depth of at least 12 inches.
A larger torque is needed for that, and an electric or battery-powered motor might not be up for the task. A gas or fuel-powered snow blower can help you clear out large areas much faster.
Consider an electric-powered model for easier usability
Gas-powered snow blowers might pack more power, but they have the typical issues such as troublesome start and the demand for regular oil changes and fuel tuning. If you need something to work easily and quickly, electric models come highly recommended.
In my case, I should have gone for a gas-powered model with an electric start. These babies are designed for power and efficiency, while the electric start function helps you get the engine roaring without breaking a sweat.
Bigger wheel sizes is a must
Minnesota gets snowfalls of up to eight inches at a time. It’s no surprise, then, that I struggled with my smaller snowblower model. Looking back, what I needed was a model with large wheels to help with maneuverability.
I needed balance and traction, and big airless tires would have delivered that for reliable and stress-free snow clearing.
Consider the snow clearing capacity
Analyze the snow clearing capacity of your ideal snow blower before you buy it. This is the rate, in pounds per minute, at which the machine can remove snow. It is a direct indicator of power and performance.
The most reliable and powerful snow blowers can remove snow at rates exceeding 800 pounds/ min.
Go for a wider blade for faster snow clearing
The auger or blade width of a snowblower determines the efficiency of your snow clearing operations. Go for models with wider blades if the job ahead of you entails clearing a big area.
A wider auger makes it easier to clear snow faster from driveways and walkways. A 22-inch wide blade comes highly recommendable, but top snow blower models have blade widths of up to 24 inches.
The cutting depth matters too
The cutting depth is the same as the intake height of the snowblower. For heavy snowfall, your ideal snowblower should have a cutting depth of at least 18 inches. A large cutting depth leads to better snow clearing performances.
Choose a double or three-stage blower for a superior experience
A single-stage snow blower works well for small jobs such as clearing snow from walkways and sidewalks. These models don’t have the mechanism for throwing snow out of your path, so your work may be challenging when dealing with more than eight inches of snow at a time.
Double-stage blowers have a fan and impeller that work synergistically with the auger to throw the snow far away from the path for faster clearing. Three-stage models have an accelerator feature that pushes snow faster into the impeller for optimal performance in commercial settings.
The Best Snow Blowers of the Year
SaleSnow Joe SJ625E Electric Walk-Behind Single Stage Snow Blower, 21-Inch...
- [LED LIGHT:] 3 W LED light for safe nighttime clearing
- [VERSATILE]: Ideal for quick snow pickups on mid-sized driveways and walkways
- [POWERFUL]: 15-amp motor moves up to 800 lbs. Of snow per minute
Last update on 2023-03-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Snow Joe SJ625E is an electric model with a single-stage design that leads to easier usability. Single-stage snow blower models are the least expensive, and this Snow Joe SJ625E Snow Thrower lives up to that low-cost expectation.
Nonetheless, this snow removal machine packs a punch—it runs on a 15 amp motor. The electric motor is designed for smoother operations and has a 2-year warranty. The motor powers a 21-inch wide auger, a size meant to help you clear large areas of snow quickly.
The machine slashes through the snow to a depth of 12 inches. Combined with its wide cutting blade, that leads to a large snow moving capacity for faster operations. The product specs state 800 pounds per minute as the machine’s snow moving capacity.
I like the way the blower is made with large 8-inch wheels. These wheels significantly promote maneuverability in deep snow. The wheels have a thickness of 2.5 inches, which minimizes the machine’s chances of getting stuck in the snow.
Additionally, an electric snow blower tends to be more low-maintenance than its counterparts. It doesn’t require you to change or tune-up oil or gas. Start time is fast and easy, as is the norm with electric snow blowers.
- Ergonomically designed
- Large snow moving capacity
- Digs deep and scoops wide
- It is not ideal for unpaved surfaces
- It uses an electric cord that can get in the way
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The main difference between the Briggs & Stratton 1696614 Dual-Stage Snowblower and the Snow Joe Blower earlier reviewed is that this is a two-stage model. The design features an auger that scoops up the snow and a fan that sends the snow to a chute that throws it farther away.
Unlike the single-stage Snow Joe SJ625E Snow Thrower, the Briggs & Stratton 1696614 Dual-Stage Snowblower can be used on unpaved surfaces. It doesn’t make contact with the ground.
The Briggs & Stratton S1024 runs on a 950 Snow Series 208-cc Engine that delivers 9.50 foot-pounds of torque. You might find this to be just the right amount of power needed to eat through your mounds of snow.
It’s not a surprise that Briggs & Stratton 1696614 Dual-Stage Snow Thrower is a powerful snowblower. It is a gas model that might offer you dependability where electric models cannot make a dent. That’s especially the case when you have hardened snow “mountains” in your yard.
Its clearing path is 24 inches wide, and the auger can dig up to 20 inches deep. You could live through a blizzaster with this snow blower/snow thrower. It is equipped with an electric start feature that solves the start issues typical of all gas-powered machines. You can get the engine rolling fast and easy by plugging the blower in a 110V outlet.
Despite its desirable features, you may face assembly challenges with this model. You might also have to deal with bogs, broken belts, and cracked augers.
- Designed for heavy snow removal
- Electric start makes it user friendly
- Wide and deeper snow clearing capacity
- Difficult to assembly
- Bogs in wet snow
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The Power Smart DB7651 has almost similar capabilities to the Briggs & Stratton S1024. They are both gas-powered and feature a two-stage design. They are reliable for power and efficiency after big snowfalls.
The Power Smart DB7651 blower uses a 208cc LCT engine that reportedly delivers superior performance. The engine is said to be fuel-efficient, and it runs faster and cooler than other models; for you, that could be an indication of reliability in the toughest kinds of snowy weather.
This snow blower/thrower has a 24-inch clearing width and can dig to depths of 20 inches. The clearing capacity of this snow blower is an exact match to what you get with the Briggs & Stratton S1024. With this machine, you should never have to employ a shovel in the snow clearing task.
You might also appreciate its 4-speed settings for forward and two for reverse movements. These offer a better handle of the machine. You should be able to work with ease on undulating landscapes and successfully leverage the powerful engine and auger to remove dry, crusty snow.
Beware, though, that the reverse speeds can be extremely slow. The other issue here is that the engine coughs up lots of smoke, which may not be good for your health. You have to maintain the oil levels at all times.
- Easy start
- Works well on hills and slopes
- Is effective on icy snow
- It blows out lots of smoke
- Quality control issues including broken parts
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Another equally powerful electric snow blower is the Toro 38381. Like the earlier reviewed Snow Joe SJ625E Snow Thrower, this is a single-stage model that falls lower on the price spectrum. Nonetheless, you can expect all the versatility and conveniences that are typical of electric powered machines.
The Toro’s 38381 snowblower runs on a 15-amp motor that delivers similar power levels to the Snow Joe SJ625E Snow Thrower earlier reviewed. This snow clearing machine has an 18-inch wide blade and clearing depth of 12 inches. It’s a snowblower meant for small jobs, in my opinion.
The snow clearing capacity with this machine is 700 pounds per minute. You might find that sufficiently useful for home use if you are dealing with light-duty snow.
The machine features a power curve technology that makes it easy to adjust the motor’s power based on the nature of the task at hand. It leads to optimal performance and lowers the chances of clogging.
The 160-degree chute at the front of the snowblower is adjustable and throws snow faster and farther. You will likely also be pleased with the ergonomic full bail handle and the lift handle, both of which promote usability in difficult conditions.
- It is considerably powerful and easily maneuverable
- Clears large amounts of snow at a go
- Intelligent power control
- Fragile parts
- Made for light-duty snow jobs
SaleSnow Joe SJ623E 18-Inch 15-Amp Electric Walk-Behind Single Stage Snow...
- [DIRECTIONAL CHUTE]: 180° adjustable directional chute throws snow up to 25 ft.
- [VERSATILE]: Ideal for clearing snow off mid-to-large sized driveways and walkways
- [POWERFUL]: 15-amp motor moves up to 720 lbs. of snow per minute
Last update on 2023-03-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Snow Joe SJ623E Snow Thrower is the precursor of the Snow Joe SJ625E Snow Thrower model reviewed earlier. This version is compact and has a slightly smaller snow clearing capacity. It is an electric model nonetheless and offers assurances for efficiency and user-friendliness.
The Sow Joe SJ623E electric snow blower runs on a 15-amp motor that may only be enough for clearing mid to small-sized driveways and walkways. It is a single-stage model, so you must be ready to deal with cleared snow remaining in the way.
The farthest the chute can throw snow is 20 feet … and that’s on a good day. Forget about the manufacturer-indicated 25 feet—that’s hot air. The performance is impressive in considerable ways, but again, the power cord gets in the way to an exasperating degree.
Nonetheless, I find the machine’s 18-inch wide auger fairly efficient in my Minnesota snow-covered yard. The snow here is cold and icy, and your snowblower needs to be up to the task … the job is harder when it’s icier. In my environment, the ten-inch cutting depth on this model could get you somewhere.
The total snow clearing capacity for the Snow Joe SJ623E Snow Thrower is 720 pounds a minute. Not bad, if you ask me.
- Designed for easy usability
- 720 lbs/minute snow clearance capacity
- Halogen lights for working at night
- It clogs more frequently than other models
- The design does not safeguard the motor from snow and water
The Best Pick
For power and a larger snow clearing capacity, I recommend the Briggs & Stratton 1696614 snowblower. You can work faster and efficiently with this model as it’s designed to clear 24 inches wide and 20 inches deep of snow at one go.
The snowblower uses a diesel-powered engine with a 9.5 ft pound of torque. This means that you should be able to successfully work on big, hardened heaps of snow without tearing your hair out.
Most importantly, this is a two-stage snow blower that shovels up snow faster and throws it farther away. With this machine, snow clearing might just turn into the kind of job you look forward to.
Last Updated on September 22, 2020 by Tom Bradly