Best 10 Snow Blowers
As Of May 2022
Winters in Canada can be extremely beautiful! But they can get tricky as well! Slippery streets, wet doorsteps and driveways can easily cause small accidents, if we are not prepared with the right snowblower!
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“Let it snow!”: Discover your own snow blower in our buying guide!
Winters in Canada have a captivating, raw beauty that’s hard to ignore. When the white purity of snow contrasts the magnificent Northern Lights, then all that’s left to do is to stand in awe!
And despite our serious worries about climate change that’s affecting snowfall, we do believe that it won’t be long till the first thick snow layers start piling up in our streets again this year - and we are sooo happy about that!
So, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start looking for the proper garden tools; the ones that will help us through the extreme weather conditions to come.
And a snowblower may be exactly what proactive homeowners and drivers may need to cope with their daily routine unbothered by heavy snowfall, forgetting about the need to shovel. See in our buying guide all the information you need in order to choose the best snow blower for you!
Why do I need a snow blower?
Well, as alluring as our Northern Lights Winter might be, it can also get tricky, slippery and...dangerous, if not addressed properly. Massive snowfall hits quite unexpectedly across the Canadian Peninsula, causing thousands of car accidents and pileups, each year- especially on our highways.
But even in our backyards and local sidewalks, snow removal is ultimately essential, twice a day at least! And here’s why: Slip-and-fall accidents very often lead to broken knuckles that usually take months to fully heal.
And as we hear your inner “Ouuuuch! That hurt!”, we move onto the next big reason why you can’t go without a snowblower: It’s called “liability property damage” and it means that as drivers and homeowners we are all held responsible for our fellow drivers and pedestrians, too. Hence, keeping our doorsteps and sidewalks safe will reduce the liability fee we could face, in case of an accident.
But, first things first! What’s really the difference between a snow blower and a snow thrower? Let’s find out together in the following section.
Most customers come across these two terms quite often when they decide to purchase a snow removal machine. And the way that online sellers put it, sometimes, it’s hardly a surprise that we all get confused at some point.
The truth is, they are not the same. So, what does a snowblower do that a snow thrower doesn’t - and vice versa?
Key features of a single-stage snow thrower
From what we’ve found, a snow thrower, as soon as it takes in the snow, it throws it out of the chute in one single motion. That’s why this type of machine is also called a “single-stage.” It works mostly as an advanced electric snow shovel if we might say, albeit is much more fast and convenient than the traditional shovel as we know it.
- They are designed for lighter use, up to 10 inches of snowfall.
- They are less powerful than their “cousins.”
- They are ideal for clearing spaces of smaller width.
- They are more compact and lightweight. Hence, more convenient for you to maneuver around.
- They have plastic or hard rubbered augers that contact the ground because they are made for paved surfaces like a smooth patio floor or your pavement.
Key features of a two-stage model
A snowblower, instead, is designed to remove the snow in two different stages; hence the term: "two-stage machines" that we encounter. That means that the auger first scoops up the snow in one motion and then feeds it to the impeller - which works like a powerful fan. From there, it blows it out from the chute.
- They are designed for heavier snowfall, up to10 inches and above.
- They have more powerful motors as they run on gas. Hence, they are more enduring, too.
- They allow you to blow the snow higher and at a greater distance.
- They can scoop deeper piles of snow.
- Their augers are made of steel, and they do not come in contact with the ground. Therefore, they can be used on any surface, including rough gravel.
- They are perfect for clearing larger paths and areas much quicker.
- They come with thicker, all-terrain wheels and tracks, ideal for any surface. Also, you can put a wheel chain when in extreme weather conditions.
Of course, there are the three-stage snow blowers to consider, capable of removing 50% more heavy snowfall than the two-stage ones and clear up to 18 inches of snow. These particular types, in addition to the steel augers and powerful impellers, are built with a third metal auger. This extra dicing auger allows you to break the ice as well, as you push through heavy blocks of snow.
So, next time you hear the term “single-stage snowblower” or “two-stage snowblower,” know that they are different in some respects, but they are used interchangeably by many for short!
“Yeah, but, still, how do I know what type is best for me?” The answer depends mainly on the workload you expect, the snow profile of your region and your budget. Let’s take a detailed look at the sections below.
In our opinion, the first key factor to consider is what type of snowfall you are called to tackle, depending on the area you inhabit and the typical weather conditions there. That is, single-stage snow throwers are preferable for light snowfall on paved surfaces, otherwise, they will scratch the gravel. They will do a very good job when it comes to a small to a medium backyard, even to a small sidewalk with some fluffy snow. They also are more affordable, compared to the two-stage and the three-stage snow blowers.
If, however, you are dealing with some wet heavy snow that piles up rapidly and needs urgent removal, then a two-stage snow blower would be the best snow blower for your case. And this is due to the fact that they are made for heavier winter conditions, even in rough, non-paved areas. They will cut deeply into the snow heaps and clear wide open spaces, be it your large garden or your big driveway. Their strength and reliability are worth their higher price.
Now, if you feel that you need a heavy-duty snow removal machine that will help you with extreme winter conditions that are far from safe - e.g. you live in an alpine region where there’s a risk to stay snowbound for days, even for weeks, then, you better opt for a three-stage snowblower. To remind you, this specific type of snow removal machine comes with a much needed third steel auger that dices and breaks the ice as you scoop it up. Although their high price is widely disputed, our take is that if this is what makes you feel OK and safe where you live, then so be it.
The best snow blower, after all, is the one that perfectly meets your specific requirements and compensates for the additional expense. The choice is totally up to you.
Beyond the main distinctive features we‘ve mentioned so far, there are some other key elements to check, too. Have in mind that each snow removal machine may vary in terms of function and scope. So, whether you are interested in a snowblower or a snow thrower, pay attention to the following:
A Corded Electric Snow Blower or A Cordless One?
Corded electric snow throwers are quite affordable and they have a long run time. However, they consume a lot of energy, while they are not suitable for remote working. Just like corded lawn mowers, you need to take into account the length of the cord or consider an extension cord.
Cordless snow blowers run either on lithium battery or gas and give you free rein to work remotely. They are an eco-friendly choice and they do not increase your bill costs. Nonetheless, they are more expensive and they may need extra care to be maintained during the offseason.
Electricity, Gas or Battery?
Just as a reminder, the electric snow throwers are single-stage machines that work as electric, advanced shovels. Most of them run either plugged into your main power supply, but you can also find models that use rechargeable lithium electric batteries. Besides, both of these types need little to no maintenance and they are considerably lighter and easier to carry around and store, due to their compact size. They have a long run time, too.
Now, as of the rechargeable electric models, they tend to be more expensive. But they are energy-efficient, eco-friendly and offer great benefits like a lower rise on your bills and extended remote working. Moreover, they are cordless, lightweight and powerful enough to cope even with heavier types of snowfall. With that been said, though, your run time may be restricted by the longevity of the battery.
Gas snow blowers, on the other hand, tend to be extremely powerful, compared to their electric counterparts. But they also require more maintenance and they harm the environment. However, one cannot ignore their significant benefits: Cordless function, which means remote, easy working for you. Furthermore, they are made of iron and steel, which makes them heavy-duty, robust machines and far more durable.
They often come with the extra feature of electric start, which enables you to easily start clearing large, wet snowdrifts on hard surfaces, like your gravel driveway. An extra benefit to rip with this purchase is its long warranty by the manufacturer. Lastly, the joystick chute control that some models have really loosens your hands during this daunting task.
Oh, and the heated handles, too. Nice to have, when the snow gods are not kidding, don’t you think?!
LED Lights or Halogen Ones?
Clearing away snow is not a job needed only during the daytime. Extreme weather conditions may ask for extra effort during nighttime, too! This is why you need to think proactively on this matter. Most two-stage machines provide comfortable night vision with strong LED white lights that help you see clearly your path forward. Some of the single-stage snow throwers come with halogen lights, too, so that they are competent enough to assist you in the dark. A feature not to be overlooked, in our opinion.
Wheels or Tracks?
Usually, when opting for a two-stage or three-stage snow blower, you may get a track-driven model. This is because they are built for heavy snowfall and so, the wheels are safely housed in slip-resistant tracks to prevent uncontrollable movement. In this way, you can move more steadily while working, even on hard surfaces. However, you may not find it easy to maneuver.
The wheeled snow-blowers, instead, have less traction, so you need to pay close attention to control them, as you push through a pile of snow. In fact, many electric snow throwers have rubbered wheels, as they are made to cope with lighter snowfall. Thus, if you are looking for something handy and convenient, then this might be a better option for you.
Speed and Motor
When it comes to snow blowers or snow throwers, another important feature is the maximum scooping speed they have. The strongest the motor, the highest the clearing speed. Most manufacturers determine right off the bat how many lbs per minute (lbs/min) a snowblower can provide. For homeowners, usually, a range of 400-800 lbs/min is enough even when there’s heavy snowfall. For more professional uses, there may be a need for even higher speeds, though.
Having compared the main features we typically encounter in a snow thrower and a snowblower, let’s talk about what price tags to expect as you continue your search.
A snow blower is not something to get in a hurry. Instead, you will have to sleep on it before you buy, since you will have to count on it when heavy snowfall arrives, with all its bells and whistles! It will be a one-off purchase that will determine your ability to safely move and drive during the winter months of the year. So, here we give you some average costs to better plan your next move:
- Electric single-stage snow throwers fall between a wide range of 140 CDN$ and 600 CDN$, to begin with.
- Two-stage and three-stage gas snow blowers start from 1.200 CDN$ up to 1.700 CDN$.
- Battery cordless snow blowers can be found at an average between 600 CDN$ and 700CDN$.
How do I store a gas snow blower between seasons?
Whereas electric snow blowers usually do not need any particular maintenance, this is not the case for gas-powered snowblowers. That is, during the offseason, you need to take extra care to ensure that there won’t be any gas corrosion that can cause damage. That’s why we suggest that you drain the fuel tank before storing your snowblower, or use some fuel stabilizer to keep the gas at full strength before the next winter season begins. To always be on the safe side, follow strictly the manufacturer guidelines on this matter. This way, you will be able to fully claim your warranty, if needed.
Stay calm and keep clearing! Some of the Best Snow Blowers are Here!
While we are slowly preparing ourselves for the extraordinary allure of winter, keep in mind that there’s a snowblower out there, destined to find you. It will be there in times of hardship, in freezing temperatures and in light snowfall moments to remove any blockage out of your way. It will prevent accidents and lower liability fees if something goes wrong. Invaluable? Needless to say.
Believing that is better to be proactive than reactive, we compiled this buying guide to help you choose the snow blower that best fits your needs, budget and snow profile. In the hopes we helped, it’s up to you to make the final decision.
So...let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!