With the winter season upon us, that means snow will soon be here. Yes, it’s beautiful when it comes and it’s great for the kids, but it also needs to be cleared and sometimes a shovel just doesn’t quite do the trick. Why deal with all the struggle and the eventual back pain if you don’t need to? This holiday season, there are a number of retailers offering deals on snow blowers. Don't worry, it's not too late.
Whether you’re looking for a gas or electric snow blower, we can help you find a budget-friendly snow blower that will give you the best bang for your buck. Likewise, we can help you find a heavy-duty snow blower if you have a big property and live outside the city. You can also check out our forums on RFD to see some reviews on the best snow blowers available in Canada.
Electric & Gas Snow Blowers
There are a few slight differences between electric and gas snow blowers. The one you buy will depend on your needs at home. If you have a slim driveway and a sidewalk in front of your house, chances are an electric snow blower will do the trick. There are corded and cordless models on the market so consider that when you're buying an electric model.
Although they don't have as much power as a gas snow blower, electric snow blowers are lightweight, easy to use and easy to store. If you have a six-car driveway and walkways around your house, a gas-powered snow blower might work better for large areas where snow can pile up quickly. Whatever you decide, always consider the size of your property and judge how much you should spend based on your needs.
Editor's Pick: 1. TORO 18-in Electric Snow Blower
Pros: 30 ft. throwing distance, adjustable chute.
Cons: Battery can die faster in colder conditions
Price range: $400
The Toro 18-inch electric snow blower is an easy-to-use model that can handle up to five to six inches of snow with ease. If you have a house with a small driveway or a house with a short pathway, it's a good lightweight model that will handle all of those sharp turns and difficult angles. In one pass, the snow blower can clear a path, 18 in. wide and 12 in. deep. Just plug it in and get ready to throw snow up to 30 feet over even the tallest of snowbanks. Toro-brand snow blowers have a great reputation for being ergonomically designed to prevent back pain and correct your posture so consider this if you own a small bungalow or a mid-sized home, because you could be out there for a while.
2. Snow Joe 21-in 15-Amp Single-Stage Corded Electric Snow Blower
Pros: Powerful 15-amp motor, equipped with LED lighting for night clearing
Cons: Expensive battery to replace
Price range: $850
The Snow Joe Blower is a pretty powerful model for an electric snow blower. It can handle more than one foot of snow without issue and has a width of 21 in. so it can clear most sidewalks without having to double back too many times. As a lightweight option as well, it has the power of a gas snow blower without all of the maintenance requirements. Overall, it’s a pretty good model for a home with a single-wide driveway. It’s not necessarily built to handle double-wide or triple-wide driveways so consider the size of your home, where you store excess snow and how often you’ll have to use it. Still, for the quality, it’s hard to argue with the price as well.
3. Snow Joe 80-Volt 24-in Single-Stage Push
Pros: Comes with extra battery, cordless
Cons: 20 minutes per charge
Price range: $900
If you live in a high drift and snow area, this is a perfect model to take a look at. Although it has just 20 minutes of battery life, it can deal with heavy-duty snowfalls. This is a model that's better suited for small driveways and walkways as you don't have a ton of time to use it per charge. If you’re looking to buy a snow blower for your parent(s), it’s a reliable model especially if you purchase an extra set of batteries for the days when there's more snow than usual.
4. EGO 21-inch 56-V Lithium-Ion Cordless Snow Blower
Pros: Weather-resistant, heavy-duty steel, easy to manuever
Cons: Power varies in packing-snow conditions
Price range: $800
The EGO 21-inch cordless snow blower that delivers the power and performance of a gas model without the noise and the fuss. It can clear even the heaviest of wet snow and it comes with two 7.5 Ah lithium-ion batteries that have about 45 minutes of battery life. It also throws snow up to 35 feet and its chute can be rotated 180 degrees. The machine is made from weather-resistant, heavy-duty steel to withstand the elements and it features LED headlights and a quick-fold handle.
5. Ariens Classic 24-Inch, 2-Stage, 120V Electric Start
Pros: Six-speeds forward and two-speed backward
Cons: Loud, chute can clog
Price range: $1,100
If you live in a suburban area, the Arlens Classic will give you all the power you need. Sporting a 208cc engine, its all-steel construction frame gives you the durability to manage even the toughest of jobs. The model is easy to maintain and it comes with a cover that can protect it during the warmer seasons for the year. You can keep it safe from UV damage, rain, dirt, birds, tree sap and more.
6. Briggs & Stratton 208cc 22-in Single-Stage Gas Snow Blower
Pros: 50-min battery life
Cons: 20 minutes per charge
Price range: $700
With its battery-powered design, this Briggs and Stratton model is one of the best you can buy to handle sidewalks, large driveways and walkways. It’s one of the first dual-stage snow blowers to offer a gas-free and cord-free function. Not only can it plow through up to 1,000 pounds of snow per minute but it can clear a path that is 24 inches wide by 13 inches deep with each pass. For nighttime snow removal, the iON two-stage model comes equipped with two integrated 0.3W LED headlights that switch on for nighttime visibility.
7. Briggs & Stratton 2-Stage 306cc Gas Snowblower
Pros: Heated hand grips, LED headlight
Cons: Needs plenty oil and gas
Price range: $1,700
With all the quality parts you need to get the job done, the Briggs and Stratton two-stage gas snow blower can get you out of a bind during a heavy snowfall. If you’re trying to get to work but have been snowed in, this model can easily handle deep, heavy and wet snowfalls with ease. You can also use it for commercial parking lots and tight areas in residential housing neighbourhoods.
Snow Blower FAQ
If you're finally retiring your shovel in favour of a snow blower, first off congratulations! There might be a small learning curve but at the end of the day, life will be made easier. To help you make the right decision, we've gathered some of the most frequently asked questions people have when it comes to snow blowers. Check it out below!
What Do I Need to Consider When Buying a Snow Blower?
If you’re tired of lifting heavy snow year in and year out, it’s time to purchase a snow blower. Whether you’re looking at an electric or gas model, what you will need really depends on the size of your property and what area of the country you live in. What are your winters like? Do you get light snow or heavy snow? Is it fluffy and light? Or, is it heavy and wet? How big is your property, especially your driveways? Are you clearing snow from asphalt, cement, a wooden deck or gravel? These are all questions that are imperative for you to think about when you’re buying a snow blower for the winter season. It’s also important to consider your storage options and the size of the snow blower. If you’re older and need something lightweight, electric is probably the way to go. Many gas models can be light as well. It’s all about preference.
What’s the Best Type of Snow Blower for Gravel Driveways?
If you’ve recently moved into a new subdivision or gated community that is still under construction, purchasing a snow blower for your gravel driveway can be tricky business. It’s recommended that a two-stage snow blower is best for gravel areas. The wheels are powered and the front auger is usually equipped with adjustable skid shoes. This will ensure that there is a gap between the bottom scraper so the snow blower won’t pick up rocks and throw them through the chute.
How Important is the Snow Blower’s Throw Distance?
The longer the distance, the better — this will always be the case. There’s no point in clearing your driveway just to have to go over it again. You can create shorter piles of snow by adjusting the chute and when it melts you can mitigate unnecessary run-off flooding onto your sidewalks and pathways. Because of the cold temperatures, it could tend to freeze overnight, causing unsafe conditions for pedestrians, kids and mail deliverers.
Do Snow Blowers Work on Wet Snow?
If you’re dealing with wet snow, there’s always a chance that your snow blower will become clogged. Using a one-stage or two-stage snow blower won’t necessarily avoid clogging. Be sure to sort through the snow you’re about to plow to ensure that you’re not picking up unnecessary debris. Another way to deal with this is to start clearing snow as soon as it begins to pile up. Waiting for a complete snowfall can increase the chances of your snow blower getting clogged. There are also a variety of non-stick sprays, lubes and ski waxes that you can buy separately to prevent your chute and augers from clogging.
What is a Three-Stage Snow Blower?
For the heavier duty projects, a three-stage snow blower can be super helpful. During the first stage, the snow is crushed and picked up by the auger before it is then processed by an accelerator. In the third stage, the snow is blown out of the chute through the impeller. This is particularly useful for heavier, wet and icy snow that can occur at times during the winter season.
Are There Any Extra Features I Should Be Looking for?
Having headlights when it’s dark is a good place to start. Winter weather typically comes with shorter days so there’s a chance that you’ll be using your snow blower at night quite a bit. Another good thing to look for is heated handles, especially for heavier gas-powered snow blowers.
What’s the Best Way to Store My Snow Blower?
If you have a shed, it’s best to store it indoors, especially if it’s a gas-powered snow blower. Always look for a dry, cool and well-ventilated space to store your snow blower because moisture can cause significant damage to metal parts over time. At the same time, too much heat can cause thermal damage so it’s important to store it safely in your garage or shed to avoid unnecessary damage. Lastly, try to keep it away for other appliances or machinery.
Top Tips When Using Snow Blowers
With winter just around the corner, it’s important to be prepared for the weather conditions that will soon arrive with it. We’ve laid out some important tips and best practices for your future or current snow blower.
Always review your owner’s manual — Before you start using your snow blower, it’s important to make sure you know how it works. Improper use can lead to leaks and repair costs so make sure you know what you’re doing before operating your machine. If you’ve lost your manual, you can try to find it online or look for a helpful YouTube video for the make and model of your snow blower.
Always check your equipment — Make sure that your snow blower is switched off after you use it. Be sure to drain your gas tank after the last winter snowfall and the same goes for the oil. Check your augers to make sure they are spinning properly and free from blockage, and adjust any necessary cables or wiring.
Be prepared — Don’t wait to see what the weather is going to be like before you start getting prepared for the season. That means buy your gas; make sure you have enough oil; clear your augers and check on your parts. In the midst of a storm, you might not have an opportunity to go out and get the parts or tools that you need. This is also the case if you’re using an electric snow blower — make sure your batteries are fully charged.
Dress for the weather — You never know how long you’re going out clearing snow from your property. Make sure that you have the appropriate safety gear, a jacket, gloves and footwear that can handle cold and slippery surfaces.
Always be safe — Never put your hands inside the auger or the chute while it’s running. Use a stick or a long tool to clear any debris from your snow blower. Also, be sure to avoid snow blowing around pets and children. Don’t throw snow toward people or cars.
Start Shopping for a Snow Blower Today!
There's no time like the present. If you’re looking for a break from heavy shoveling this year, a snow blower can make life a lot easier for you this holiday season. Check out our deals and forums listed here and in the sidebar to the right. Get shopping today!
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