Snow shovels are good enough to clear up snow-covered walkways and steps. If you want to clear a driveway or something similarly bigger, you can also opt for an electric shovel to get the job done just a little faster. If you’re clearing a bigger pile of snow and don’t want to spend the entire morning just taking on the chore, though, it might be time to invest in a proper snow blower.
Nothing beats a snow blower if you want a fast and efficient way to take snow off the driveway, patio, or sidewalk. It capably handles all the backbreaking work for you in a fraction of the time it would take you to clear the same pile with a shovel. Not only does it spare you from the physical strain, it saves you a whole lot of time, too, allowing you to get on with the rest of your day a whole lot sooner.
The best snow blowers traditionally fall in one of two categories: single-stage models for handling around six inches or less of snow; and two-stage models for clearing much heavier snowfall. Single-stage snow blowers are typically more affordable, although they’re heavily underpowered compared to double-stage models. They’re also restricted for use around hard surfaces (e.g. cement, wood), since they tend to pick up debris like rocks and gravel, which they will launch into the air along with the snow. Two-stage models, on the other hand, are more powerful and more versatile, complete with engine-driven wheels and, on some models, even power steering, although they also come with a much higher price tag.
Nowadays, we also have a number of electric snow blowers. They work similar to their gas counterparts, although they tend to struggle once faced with deeper snow. If you are in an area where you only get lighter snowfall, though, they’re definitely something to consider, since they do away with the noisy engines and all the fumes that come with operating gas blowers.
These are the best snow blowers to help you clear snow fast this winter.
Wen Snow Thrower 5670
If you only find yourself dealing with light snow a few inches thick, this affordably-priced electric corded model might be enough to satisfy your needs. It costs significantly less than every other snow blower in this list, all while making quick work of snow piles up to five inches thick. The outfit claims, it can handle up to 10 inches, although we’ve found it struggling a tad with anything over five inches, requiring you to get a bit more creative, such as doing multiple passes and drawing snow less than the full width of the auger. If you’re willing to do that, it can get the job done, albeit with a bit more time investment than other options here will require. Do note, this is corded, so you’ll have to use it within reasonable distance from a power outlet and there aren’t much in the way of features, but it gets the job done with a little extra work. Features include a listed capacity of 900 pounds per minute, a 180-degree rotating chute, and a 15-amp motor that can throw snow around 15 feet (less, if you’re clearing wetter, heavier downfall).
If you want to go electric, but don’t want to deal with cords, this battery-powered single-stage snow blower would make a good option to use for your home. It weighs slightly over 50 pounds, so while it’s not that heavy, it still offers some decent heft you’ll need to move around in the snow, since this is not self-propelled. The motor it uses is pretty powerful, able to throw light snow over 30 feet and heavier wet snow over 20 feet, so it clears as capably as many single-stage gas blowers we’ve tried over the years. It’s able to handle six to eight inches of snow without much trouble, too, while the dual 5Ah batteries should allow it to clear light snow off most residential driveways two or three times over. An integrated headlight allows you to do your clearing at night, while the motor’s whirring is low-profile enough to not annoy the neighbors when you do (well… maybe it will, but not as much as a gas motor would).
Toro is a highly-trusted as far as snow blowers go and this one is our favorite of their single-stage models. Equipped with a 252cc engine, this one handles driveways and patios with relative ease, all while scraping down the bottom of the pile pretty thoroughly. Like other Toro machines, its listed ratings are pretty accurate, so it’s able to shred through deeper piles of snow in impressive fashion, all while throwing it a good 30-plus feet away. It’s self-propelled, by the way, so you don’t have to spend any time pushing it around during clearing, while the electric start allows you to get it up and running in a pinch.
If you have a bigger driveway to clear or deal with really deep snowfall, you’ll probably want a two-stage snow blower to handle it properly. We’re very fond of this gas model, which happens to be one of the easiest blowers we’ve ever used. It offers multiple ways to start the machine (electric, recoil, and manual), so you can get it going in different conditions, while the self-propelled design allows it to tackle wet piles over a foot deep without bogging down. Speed is adjustable, too, with six forward and two reverse settings, so you can go faster on shallower snow and go slower when clearing in deeper sections. The chute’s direction was very easy to adjust, sending crushed snow a good 30-plus feet away pretty consistently, while the grip-activated auger control and quick engine shut-off make for nice features that anyone is going to appreciate.
Our favorite feature of this inline two-stage snow blower is the Personal Pace drive system, which automatically synchronizes the speed of its self-propelled wheels to your walking pace, so you don’t even have to think about any speed settings as it will adjust itself automatically. It has an intake large enough and an auger powerful enough to handle 15-inch deep snowfalls without a hitch, while the ability to adjust the chute and deflector’s direction makes even longer clearing jobs pretty smoothly. Do note, this doesn’t have a reverse, so you’ll have to drag its 131-pound frame manually if you want to back down, which is never fun in the snow. It also doesn’t handle unpaved surfaces that well, so it’s not the pick to make if you’re looking to clear a large lawn area.
Equipped with power steering and large 15 x 5 tires, this traditional two-stage gas snow blower is incredibly easy to maneuver in thick snow (seriously, you can turn with zero effort), while the seven speed settings (six forward, one reverse) allow you to dial in a comfortable clearing pace. While it doesn’t clear as fast as Toro’s 824 QXE above, it does manage to plow through the same depths of snow, while having a digital throttle that can regulate the power output based on the amount of snow it encounters, allowing your clearing jobs to go a lot smoother. This is a well-designed machine with plenty of little touches that anyone who works with snow blowers frequently are going to appreciate, although it does take a while to initially set up, since there are a lot of moving parts to handle. As far as we’ve seen, this is the only two-stage blower at this price with power steering, which really makes it an excellent value.
With its 30-inch wide intake, this gas snow blower is able to clear a wide patch of driveway in one go, while the trigger-controlled power steering easily adjusts direction with the use of just a single finger. Seriously, you can make it do a full 180-degree turn using just the power steering – it’s impressive. They recommend it for clearing 12 inches of snow or less, which it handles pretty easily with its 12-inch serrated steel augers, while the dash-mounted lever lets you easily between six forward and two reverse speeds. There are a lot of nice touches here, including polymer skid shoes to prevent scuffing, large XTrac tires, an extended chut that minimizes blowback, an in-dash headlight, and even heated grips. The 357cc engine does get pretty loud, but that’s, pretty much, expected with powerful two-stage gas models like this one.
Nowadays, there are plenty of battery-equipped options in two-stage snow blowers, making them a great pick for folks who want to clear deep snow without the noise and fumes of traditional gas models. While they can’t really match the power of our engine-equipped versions above, this cordless blower from EGO does a great-enough job that it doesn’t even matter. It has a 28 x 21 inch intake (width x height), so it’s ready to handle thick piles of powder on the driveway, all while throwing wet, heavy snow a good 30-plus feet away pretty effortlessly. Can it handle 15 feet of snow like its gas-powered counterparts? Probably, but expect it to struggle, especially with denser snowfall, as piles that high are really best handled with gas-powered blowers if you want the least work on your part. It does make pretty easy work of eight- to 10-inch piles, though, so it’s pretty capable all the same. This also comes packed with a decent load of features, including trigger-controlled power steering, a joystick-controlled electronic chute, 16 x 5 snow tires, and even heated handles. The outfit claims the dual 12Ah batteries hold enough charge to let it clear a 32-car driveway with eight inches of snow between charges and it did pretty well battery-wise in our runs, clearing a two-car space without making that much of a dent in power.