Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Review: How to Choose the Best Snow Blower for Your Needs

Winter is Here!  Just in case you didn't know it yet.

While we have yet to experience our first big snowfall, I know it's coming!  So I want to be prepared!  There is nothing worse than waking up one morning to find that your car has disappeared under a mountain of snow.  Hopefully, this Review will help you figure out what your needs are and help you make an informed decision!
cars and street covered in deep snow
Last year we decided we had had enough of shoveling out our driveway. After the snow fall, we just sighed at the thought of having to go out there to move it all. We watched our neighbor quickly and easily get his snow removed with the use of an Electric Snow Shovel. While my husband and I were looking for our hot water bottles to place on our aching backs, he had his driveway done lickety split! It didn't take long for us to decide that this was what we needed. Our driveway isn't too long, so a huge snowblower is not a requirement. But, we do need help moving what we have. Our bodies are not as limber and youthful as they once were. 

How do you decide what kind of Snow Blower you need?

Choosing a snowblower is a matter of really assessing your own personal situation.  There are 3 basic matters to consider before buying a snow blower.

  • The area that needs to be cleared
  • How much snow needs to be moved
  • Your own terrain.  Are you on level ground or do you have hills and valleys to worry about?

If you have a long driveway with lots of snow to be removed, you will need something more powerful than my electric snow shovel.  If you live in a snow belt, then you know you will be using the snow blower frequently.  These are two of the first considerations to make when deciding to purchase a snowblower.  The third consideration is your terrain.  Many people forget to take that into consideration.  If you need to remove snow from a hilly area, you will need more power and possibly some added traction for the snowblower. If you only have a few inches of snow a year, then stick with a shovel.  They are environmentally friendly and give you some exercise at the same time.  Snowblowing if you have lots of snow and a long driveway with a hilly terrain, will give you a good work out too.

snowflake banner

There are several different types of Snow Blowers let's take a quick look at them here.

For small jobs, a single stage motor will suffice quite nicely.  This is for areas that get less than 4-6 inches of snow at one time. You will have to help the snowblower by pushing it forward, but it will shoot the snow away quite nicely.  

For more snow and a larger area to clear, a two stage motor is recommended.  If you consistently have more than 6-8 inches of snow in one snowfall, the two stage motor will make removing the snow easier and quicker too. Two-stage snowblowers have the auger to pick up the snow and an impeller that helps to blow the snow into the chute and away from your driveway or walk.  The two stage blowers also have a drive to help push the snowblower forward.  

For really large areas where the snowfall is greater than 8 inches at a time, the three stage* snowplows are great.  They have an added impeller that brings the snow to the auger and then, the second impeller to move the snow to the chute and out.  Again, this is only for really large areas with lots of snow fall.  Most people in the city will do quite nicely with either the one or two stage snowblower. (*three stage snowblowers are really a two stage blower with an added impeller, some say it's a two stage blower on steroids)

For your convenience, you can check out consumer reports for their unbiased opinions on the best snow blowers on the market.  You can check out their link right here : Consumer Reports, Snow Blowers Buying Guide

What can you expect to pay for a Snow Blower?

That will all depend on what features you want on your machine.  Snow Blowers come with all kinds of added features, from heated hand holds, to power chute manipulation and more.  Some of these bells and whistles are nice to have and others are just extras that you can do without.  Prices for a good machine will run from $2,000.00 at the top of the scale to a mere $100.00 for an electric Snow Shovel.  You have to decide what your needs are and then make an informed choice. 

My Conclusions

For years we have shoveled our snow by hand.  We are now in our late 60's and find that shoveling by hand is no longer what we want to do.  Having said that, we purchased an Electric Snow Shovel for our needs. We have a short driveway on level ground so this more than fits our needs.  If it snows a lot, we will go out two or three times.  For our area, the amount of snow we get and our conditions, this is more than enough for us.  Whatever your needs may be, I would highly recommend listening to the Consumer Reports and reading through some of the comments below it.  Without a subscription to Consumer Reports, I could not see the ones that they recommended, they want you to purchase a subscription before they give out that information.  Having said that, it is still full of very useful information.

This is the power shovel that we purchased...
On Sale right Now!

I hope this review has helped you to make a better and much more informed decision on which Snowblower you need for your own particular circumstances.

Happy Winter!
person snow shoveling in deep snow

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Living in the American South, we don't get snow very often and when we do, the ice that accompanies it is the danger. Therefore, I honestly know nothing about snowblowers or snow shovels, but I would imagine it would be extremely hard work to clear a driveway of deep snow with a shovel. I am a firm believer it making those types of backbreaking jobs easier on yourself when you can. A snow shovel sounds like an excellent suggestion! I shall kept that in mind if I ever move north!

    1. Glad to hear that you don't have that "snow-belt" problem. It truly can be back breaking work. Think twice before you move

  2. Snow is the reason I retired to the South! :-) Seriously, my 'kids' still live in snow country and in regions like where my son lives in Iowa, a snow blower is definitely a plus. Besides being a time-saver, it is a back-saver and really necessary on any given early morning when two adults and one teenager need to get out of the driveway quickly for work and school.

    1. You can say all of that again. Glad it's not something that bothers you, though. We are not in the snow belt, but when we do get a heavy snow fall this electric shovel is a life/back saver for sure.

  3. I am happy to be included among those in the Southern U.S. who rarely get snow. When we do get it (and I'm knocking on wood here), it usually goes away on its own within a couple of days. I'm glad to know there's an electric snow shovel that meets the needs of those, like you, who do get snow but don't have a whole lot of driveway or sidewalk to concern yourself with. I'm sure if we were to relocate to where both sets of our relatives live we would be thrilled to know that a tool like this is available. Great review, with great considerations listed!

    1. Thank you Susan, and if you ever move, put that Electric Snow Shovel on your must have list. It really does work quite well for minor snowfalls. Even those can make your back sore....

  4. We measure snow here in Western New York in feet!! We could wake up with 18 to 24 inches on the ground. We have a gravel driveway so I think I would be breaking mine and the neighbors windows. Our problem is the end of the driveway when they plow the street, the snow just piles up because they keep plowing. We no sooner get it cleared and they come down the street for another pass. We ended up hiring a guy to plow our driveway it's much better than all that work. I never never knew there were so many options to snowblowers.

    1. Well neither did I, when I started researching. Gravel driveways are not a problem for SnowBlowers, they have a "shoe" on the bottom that raises them a little higher off the ground so that gravel doesn't get picked up and shot out of the chute. Bet you didn't know that either! I've become an expert, I could have a job selling snowblowers on the street corner after a bad snow fall. What you get in Western NY is what we used to get in Toronto. Since they started building like crazy, I think the city has heated up and the snow stays south of us....

  5. So glad I don't have to worry about snow where I live - although in the south of the state they saw snow last year for the first time since 1984, but certainly not enough to need a snow blower!

  6. I am very thankful we don't have to deal with snow here on the California Central Coast. I do know I would not be in any shape to shovel it. I'm still not sure how an electric shovel works. Have you thought of posting a video of one in action?


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Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner

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