Snow blowers, or snow throwers as they are sometimes called, can make fast work of clearing snow from your porch, deck, sidewalk, or driveway. They work by scooping up snow through an auger mounted in the front of the machine and blowing it out a chute to wherever you aim it. There are three main types of machines – two-stage gas snow blowers, single-stage gas snow blowers, and electric snow blowers.
Two-Stage models are the biggest, heaviest, most expensive, and able to move the most amount of snow. They are called two-stage because first the auger shovels snow into the intake, then secondly an impeller shoots the snow out the chute up to 50 feet away. Powered by a gas engine, they typically cost between $600 to as much as $3000 or more. They are best used for very large areas that receive lots of heavy snow as much as 20 inches deep.
Single-Stage models are lighter, cheaper, don’t move as much snow, and usually have a smaller gas engine than two-stage models. They do not use an impeller, instead the auger scoops up the snow with enough force to blow it out the chute. Typical prices range from about $300 to $800. They are preferred for medium to large sized areas or smaller areas that receive large amounts of snow up to about 12 inches.
Electric models use an electric motor and need an extension cord in order to work. They are quieter, cheaper, and require no oil or gas to operate. However, they do not have the power of gas-powered engines so they cannot clear as much snow. In fact many struggle with snow over 6 inches deep or very wet snow. They typically cost between $100 to $300. These should only be used near to the house in small to medium sized areas.
Below we review the best snow blowers from all three categories. For this topic we primarily focused on models that cost less than $1500, with a few exceptions, which is enough money to spend to get a quality unit for home use.
We also have a spec comparison chart at the bottom of this article.
Best Two-Stage Snow Blowers
The 926060 was designed for professionals but can also be used by homeowners who have a large driveway or area to clear. With a 28 inch width, 23.5 inch intake height, and a 420cc engine it can clear deep and wet snow better than any other model on this list and throw it up to 60 feet away.
We only recommend the Ariens 926060 Professional 28 Hydro Rapidtrak for extreme circumstances due to the price, but make no mistake you will not find a better snow blower.
Powered by a 306 cc engine this unit is self-propelled with six forward speeds and two reverse speeds. Maneuvering is made easy by an auto turn system. Other features include a 30 inch clearing width, 21 inch intake, 50 foot max throwing distance, headlight, and heated hand grips.
There are other comparably performing snow blowers available for cheaper, but none that provide the worry-free starting power of the Ariens 921049.
We would not hesitate to recommend the Troy-Bilt Arctic Storm 30 since it can handle heavy duty usage for any size driveway or any amount and type of snow.
With a 306 cc engine and a 21 inch intake height the Ariens can throw compact snow and ice up to 50 ft. It is another outstanding choice for anyone with a large driveway or space that they need to clear of deep snow, but it might be overkill for smaller areas.
The Cub Cadet 2x 28 HP has electric start and a headlight but does not have heated hand grips. The only slight problem with this unit is that it doesn’t quite scrape a surface completely clear leaving a thin dusting behind.
Push-button starting, six self-propelled speeds, large 15 inch airless tires for better traction, and simple one hand chute controls make this thing a joy to use.
About the only weakness we found was that it doesn’t quite throw the snow as far as other models at about a max of 30 feet.
The 921046 can tackle the worst winter weather by clearing large areas of heavy wet snow and is an excellent alternative to the 921047 since it costs $300 less.
The 921045 uses a 254cc engine with six self-propelled forward speeds and 2 reverse speeds. It has automatic power steering – with no triggers needed, simple crank chute control, electric push starting and a headlight.
The Ariens 921045 makes a perfect choice for anyone wanting a 24 inch wide model who has a somewhat large driveway and receives lots of heavy wet snow.
The 2x 26 HP has a 21 inch intake and a 12 inch impeller and auger which doesn’t quite handle wet snow as well as some of the other higher-rated models on this list. However, it is still a worthwhile choice for anyone who wants to save a few hundred dollars.
The main negative of the 2460 is the lack of power steering but it uses new 15 inch airless tires to give you traction so you can still turn easily.
Best Single-Stage Snow Blowers
The 724 QXE features an electric start 212cc engine, 24 inch wide clearing path, 18 inch intake height, and a 10 inch auger. It has an intuitive Personal Pace drive system that matches the speed of its wheels with how fast you are walking and has easy to use joystick chute control.
Because it’s so lightweight, you actually might have problems going up a steep driveway or getting traction in icy snow. It’s also not the best for unpaved surfaces, so if you have a gravel driveway you might want to consider a different option. However, the Toro 36002 Snowmaster 724 QXE is perfect for anyone with a paved flat driveway.
The 721 QZE only has one speed that propels the unit forward, but it does have excellent handling. It has a quick chute control while in the operator position.
The snow throwing distance, like all single-stage models compared to two-stage, is only mediocre. The HS720AS has electric start, but does not have a headlight. The controls are also a bit difficult to use.
The 93803 has average snow removing capabilities and only one speed.
Best Electric Snow Blowers
The Power Curve 1800 works well in less than 8 inches of snow, but more than that can cause problems for this machine. It is also the most expensive electric model on our list, but it is still significantly cheaper than gas-powered units.
It is also available at Amazon.
Specs on the WEN 5662 include an 18 inch wide clearing path, 7.8 inch intake height, 7 inch auger, and a 13.5 amp electric motor.
At this price this electric single stage blower is a very good option for someone needing a cheap snow thrower.
The SJ623E is powered by a 15 amp electric motor and has an 18 inch wide clearing path with a 10 inch intake height.
If you only need to clean off a patio, deck, or small driveway that is covered in less than 5 inches of snow then you should consider buying the Toro 38361 Power Shovel because it is the cheapest snow thrower on our list.
Snow Blower Comparison Chart
|Snow Blower||Rating||Style||Best Price||Width
|Ariens 926060||9.5||Two-Stage||$3,099.00||28||23.5||14||16||60||420cc||4-Cycle||Yes||Yes||Yes||3-year residential warranty, 1-year commercial warranty|
|Ariens 921049||9.3||Two-Stage||$1,699.00||30||21||14||14||50||306cc||4-Cycle||Yes||Yes||Yes||3 year consumer / 5 year gear case|
|Troy-Bilt Arctic Storm 30||9.3||Two-Stage||$1,499.00||30||23||14||14||30||357cc||4-Cycle||Yes||Yes||Yes||3-year limited and 5-year limited auger gearbox warranty|
|Ariens 921047||9.3||Two-Stage||$1,399.00||30||21||14||14||50||306cc||4-Cycle||Yes||Yes||Yes||3 year consumer / 5 year gear case|
|Cub Cadet 2X 28″ HP||9.2||Two-Stage||$999.00||28||21||12||12||40||272cc||4-Cycle||Yes||Yes||No||3-Year Limited Residential, 1-Year Limited Commercial|
|Troy-Bilt Storm 2890||9.1||Two-Stage||$999.00||28||21||12||12||30||243cc||4-Cycle||Yes||Yes||No||2-Year Limited Warranty|
|Ariens 921046||9.1||Two-Stage||$1,099.00||28||21||14||14||50||254cc||4-Cycle||Yes||Yes||No||3 year consumer|
|Ariens 921045||9.0||Two-Stage||$999.00||24||21||14||14||50||254cc||4-Cycle||Yes||Yes||No||3 year consumer|
|Cub Cadet 2X 26″ HP||8.9||Two-Stage||$899.00||26||21||12||12||40||243cc||4-Cycle||Yes||Yes||No||3-Year Limited Residential, 1-Year Limited Commercial|
|Troy-Bilt Storm 2460||8.8||Two-Stage||$699.00||24||21||12||12||30||208cc||4-Cycle||Yes||Yes||No||2-Year Limited Warranty|
|Toro 36002 SnowMaster 724 QXE||8.8||Single-Stage||$749.00||24||18||NA||10||40||212cc||4-Cycle||Yes||No||No||3-year limited|
|Toro 38744 Power Clear 721 QZE||8.7||Single-Stage||$729.00||21||12.5||NA||8.5||35||212cc||4-Cycle||Yes||No||No||2-Year Full Warranty; 2-Year Guaranteed to Start|
|Toro 38742 Power Clear 721E||8.7||Single-Stage||$599.00||21||12.5||NA||8.5||35||212cc||4-Cycle||Yes||No||No||2-Year Full Warranty; 2-Year Guaranteed to Start|
|Honda HS720AS||8.4||Single-Stage||$699.00||20||12||NA||9.5||33||190cc||4-Cycle||Yes||No||No||2 year warranty|
|Ariens 938032 Path-Pro SS21E||8.2||Single-Stage||$513.97||21||12.2||NA||8.375||35||208cc||4-Cycle||Yes||No||No||3 Year Consumer, 90 Day Commercial|
|Toro 38381 Power Curve 1800||8.2||Electric||$229.00||18||12||NA||7||30||15 amp||Electric Motor||Yes||No||No||2 year warranty|
|WEN 5662||7.9||Electric||$109.18||18||7.8||NA||7||20||13.5 amp||Electric Motor||Yes||No||No||2 year limited warranty|
|Snow Joe Ultra SJ623E||7.8||Electric||$147.00||18||10||NA||10||25||15 amp||Electric Motor||Yes||Yes||No||2 year warranty|
|Toro 38361 Power Shovel||7.7||Electric||$99.00||12||6||NA||6||20||7.5 amp||Electric Motor||Yes||No||No||2 year warranty|
|GreenWorks 2600502||7.6||Electric||$100.86||20||10||NA||10||20||13 amp||Electric Motor||Yes||No||No||4 year warranty?|