There’s nothing more beautiful than the calm after a blizzard—until you remember that you’re responsible for cleaning it up. Thankfully, it’s easy to turn an impenetrable winter wonderland into something you can actually navigate with the best snow blower. While it can be very gratifying to get out there and shovel it yourself (as long as you do it safely), in some places you’ll have no choice but to bust out the big guns.
With the right snow blower, you can avoid paying someone else to clean up a mess that you can easily handle yourself. Whether you’re in a long-term relationship with blizzards that always seem to come back as soon as you thought they were over, or a more casual but chaotic once-in-a-blue-moon entanglement, our handy guide will help you find the best snow removal equipment whatever your needs may be.
With so many snow blowers to choose from, picking the right one can feel a little overwhelming. Luckily, we’re here to take the guesswork out of snow removal.
Ready to clear a path through the snow? Check out the best snow blowers below.
- Best snow blower overall: Toro Power Max Two-Stage Electric Start Gas Snow Blower
- Best gas-powered snow blower: Ariens Deluxe 28 in. 2-Stage Snow Blower
- Best electric snow blower: Snow Joe 21 in. Single Stage Electric Snow Blower
- Best compact snow blower: Troy Blitt Squall 21 in. Single Stage Gas Snow Blower
- Best two-stage snow blower for heavy snow: Troy Blitt 34 in. Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower
- Best budget snow blower: Greenworks 13 Amp 20-Inch Corded Snow Thrower
Features to consider when shopping for the best snow blower
They say that every snowflake is unique, and snow blowers are no different. Depending on your individual snow-blowing needs, you may want a fairly no-frills device or the latest in snow-blowing technology. Check out these five things to consider before buying the best snow blower, and then let the snowfall where it may.
Why you may want a snow blower with a few bells and whistles
Not all snow blowers are built equally and picking one with some extra features can save you a lot of time and frustration. For example, if you can’t wait for the sun to come out to clear a path to your car, you’ll definitely want to consider a snow blower with a built-in light. Want more control over where the snow you throw lands? Some models come equipped with remote chute control, so you don’t make another mess cleaning up the first one.
If you plan on using your snow blower frequently to handle heavy downfalls, you’ll want to spring for an option with a powerful engine and strong augers to prevent clogging. Some other factors to consider when buying a snow blower include how much area you’ll need to clear, what type of surface you’ll be working on, and how many inches of snow you’ll need to cut through. There’s nothing more frustrating than using a tool that can’t get the job done, so even if you don’t need something fancy like joy-stick control, make sure that your snow blower is up to the task at hand.
Best snow blower overall: Toro Power Max Two-Stage Electric Start Gas Snow Blower
This versatile Toro snow blower boasts several impressive features that will come in handy next time a big snowstorm blows your way. Self-propelled and easy to start, this model lets you clear 26 inches at a time, throws up to 45 feet, and works beautifully on both gravel and pavement. Plus, with this model you’ll never have to worry about replacing shear pins, so no need to run to the hardware store halfway through a clean-up.
For long driveways and big clean-ups, power your snow blower with gas
Generally speaking, gas-powered snow blowers tend to be more powerful than even the best electric models. So, if you have to clean up a long driveway or city block, you’ll probably want your snow blower to run on gas.
Gas models do have their downsides: for example, you’ll need to change the oil from time to time and make sure that you’re using the right type of gasoline. Other upkeep will include changing or cleaning the filters as needed, and occasionally replacing a burnt-out spark plug.
However, when the snow starts piling up, the maintenance a gas-powered snow blower requires will be more than worth it.
Best gas-powered snow blower: Ariens Deluxe 28 in. 2-Stage Snow Blower
Save yourself the hassle of making pass after pass after pass with this powerful Ariens snow blower. Capable of clearing a 28-inch-wide path and cutting through 21 inches of piled-up snow, this two-stage snow blower will be your new best friend if you have a lot of ground to cover. Auto-turn steering also means no tricky levers or triggers to manipulate—just press the electric push button and start carving.
For convenience and ease of use, there’s no beating an electric snow blower
In addition to being more environmentally friendly than their gas-powered counterparts, electric snow blowers are easier to use and require less upkeep. Depending on the model, all you’ll need to do is plug them in (or charge the battery) and you’ll be ready to go.
Unfortunately, electric snow blowers tend to be less powerful than gas-powered ones, so if you have a huge amount of snow to clear, you might find yourself making multiple passes or cursing when the battery runs out.
“Less powerful” doesn’t mean “not powerful,” though, and a well-made electric model might be exactly what you’re looking for provided the conditions you’ll be using it in aren’t terribly inclement.
Best electric snow blower: Snow Joe 21 in. Single Stage Electric Snow Blower
Zero Carbon Emissions
Runs for thirty minutes on a single charge. Amazon
Powered with a rechargeable 100-volt, 5.0 Ah lithium-ion battery, this electric snow blower can clear a path that’s 21 inches wide and 12 inches high. This model comes with a battery and charger, but you can add an additional battery (sold separately) if thirty minutes of run time isn’t enough. And with dual 5-Watt LED lights, you’ll be able to see where you’re going even when the sun is down.
Looking for a snow blower that won’t take up too much space? Compact snow blowers to the rescue!
Short on storage? Have no fear, compact snow blowers are here! Smaller and less powerful than some of the other options on the market, the right small snow blower can still get the job done without crowding your garage.
As the saying goes: it’s not the size of the boat, it’s the motion of the ocean, and many compact snow blowers still have great features like LED lights, padded handles, and remote crank chutes.
Best compact snow blower: Troy Blitt Squall 21 in. Single Stage Gas Snow Blower
With a foldable ergonomic handle, this single-stage snow blower is a great option if you don’t have tons of extra storage space. As long as the snow hasn’t climbed above six inches, this Troy Blitt snow blower will easily cut a 21-inch-wide path. It’s equipped with dual LED headlights and a 190-degree adjustable chute.
A two-stage snow blower is the best choice for clearing large areas and really deep snow
If you live in an area that gets pummeled with snow, a one-stage snow blower just isn’t going to cut it. The difference between a one-stage and two-stage snow blower comes down to how much heavy lifting the “auger” (the part of the snow blower that sucks up the snow) is being asked to do—and in a one-stage model, it’s being asked to do everything.
Put simply, in a one-stage model, the auger sucks up the snow and spits it out, while in a two-stage model, the auger only has to suck it up while another part (the “impeller”) is responsible for blowing it somewhere else.
If you’re looking to clear more than 8 inches of snow, a two-stage model is the only type that will get the job done. Electric models are all one-stage, so if you live in a place that gets lots of snow, a gas-powered model is a must.
Best two-stage snow blower for heavy snow: Troy Blitt 34 in. Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower
So much for snow days. Big, bold, and decked out with cool features like heated handles, this 2-stage snow blower can easily tackle snowfalls that are up to 18 inches. While considerably more expensive than the other options in the article, this gas snow blower will cut through just about anything you put in its way and you give total control over where it ends up.
Best snow blower on a budget: What you can get for under $200
If you live somewhere that only sees light, sporadic snowfall, there’s absolutely no reason to shell out big money on a snow blower with features you don’t need.
As we discussed earlier, a one-stage snow blower will be pretty useless if you get hit with a giant blizzard, but to take care of just a few inches of snow, a budget option might be plenty powerful.
Best budget snow blower: Greenworks 13 Amp 20-Inch Corded Snow Thrower
20-inch Clearing Width
Features a foldable handle for quick and easy storage. Amazon
This no-frills electric snow blower will clear a path that’s 20 inches wide and 10 inches deep. Since it’s AC-powered, as long as you can reach an outlet, you’ll never run out of juice. Convenient to store and easy to start, this is a great snow thrower if you don’t want to spend too much money.
Best snow blower FAQ: people also ask
Are snow blowers worth it?
Whether or not a snow blower is worth it depends on how often it snows where you live, how much snow falls when it does, and how much time and energy you want to spend cleaning it up. For some people, a simple shovel will do, for others, a powerful snow blower is a must-have.
How much should I spend on a snow blower?
How much you should spend on a snow blower depends on how much snow you’re dealing with and how much area you’ll need to clean up. There’s no need for the most powerful snow blower if it only snows a little, but if you’re caught in a blizzard, a smaller device might not cut it.
What should I look for when buying a snow blower?
When you’re buying a snow blower you should make sure that it can handle the conditions that you need to clean up. Make sure it will work on the type of surface you’ll be using it on and that it can cut through the amount of snow on the ground.
A final word on shopping for the best snow blower
Snow blowers vary widely in price, power, and performance. Depending on your needs, features like LED lighting and remote chute control can be extremely helpful or totally superfluous. Bottom line: the best snow blower is the one that’s suited to your area’s weather conditions and the amount of area you’ll need to clear. Think gas-powered and two-stage models for blizzard-prone climates, and smaller electric units for more fairweather locales.