Outdoors

The best electric snowblowers for 2020

For many people, winter brings a lot of snow, and snow removal is a big part of their everyday lives. In some climates, it’s entirely feasible to get the shovel out and do it by hand, but that is not an option for many people. It used to be that the only options were expensive gas-powered models from big-name manufacturers. Nowadays, consumers have many more choices, both in the gas-powered and electric models.

Many buyers are opting for quieter, more environmentally friendly electric snow blowers and throwers due to their reduced cost and ease of use. Snowblowers have a wide range of capabilities useful for varying levels of snowfall, snow type, and the removal surface. There are also corded and cordless machines and machines that are suited to different kinds of snow.

Snowblower design is comprised of single-, two-, or three-stage operation. Most electric snow blowers are single-stage, which means that they scrape the snow off the ground with an augur, and that same motion sends the snow out through the output chute. Two-stage snow blowers use the augur to push the snow to the center of the machine, and an impeller to eject the snow out the chute. These machines are often self-propelled and can handle heavy, wet, and compacted snow. Three-stage snow blowers are the heaviest-duty and have two separate augurs: One to push the snow toward the center of the machine and another to push the snow into the impeller faster than a two-stage machine can. At this writing, all three-stage blowers on the market are gas-powered.

We researched several types of electric snow blowers and throwers to find the best choices to meet the different needs of our readers. Between snowfall, snow type, area to be cleared, and the kind of driveway you have, it’s essential to choose carefully to avoid disappointment in your investment and outright injury. By carefully reading reviews and checking out in-depth information about these machines, we came up with what we feel are the best range of choices for electric snow blowers.

It’s important to remember that the smaller of these electric snowblowers are not suited for heavy, wet snow and ice. And they should never be used on a steep driveway or an unpaved gravel driveway. The augur that pulls the snow into these machines scrapes the ground directly, so dirt and gravel with both destroy this part and send the same dirt and gravel flying out of the chute.

So, if your snowfall is generally light, and the area you are clearing is relatively small with a smooth surface, an electric snowblower is a perfect choice. For corded models, make sure your extension cord is heavy-duty and winter-rated. Also, it’s essential to pay close attention to your removal pattern so that you don’t run over your cord. The exception to all of these rules is our pick for the best cordless, and heavy-duty cordless snowblower, profiled later in the article.

Choosing the right snowblower or thrower will make your life much easier when the severe weather hits. Two of our top picks are the Toro 38381 18-Inch 15 Amp Electric 1800 Power Curve Snow Blower, and its smaller companion, the Toro 38361 Power Shovel 7.5 Amp Electric Snow Blower.

At a glance:

Best overall electric snowblower — Toro 38381 18-onch 15 Amp Electric 1800 Power Curve Snowblower

Who should buy this:

  • People who receive dry snowfall of up to 12 inches at a time.
  • People who have a paved or solid driveway with little to no incline.
  • People with a midrange budget who want to get the job done quickly.

This powerful 15-amp corded electric snowblower clears a swath 18-inches wide and 12-inches deep in one pass and moves snow at the rate of 700 pounds per minute. The blower chute throws the snow 30 feet away and rotates 160 degrees to allow the user full control of the output direction. And this machine is safe to use on patios, decks, driveways, and other places around the house.

This Power Curve snowblower weighs only 25 pounds, which makes handling and maneuvering easy. Toro paid attention to ergonomics by designing a comfortable handle that also allows for compact storage.

The best lightweight corded snowblower — Toro 38361 Power Shovel 7.5 Amp Electric Snowblower

Who should buy this:

  • People who receive dry snowfall of up to 4 inches at a time.
  • People who have a paved or solid driveway with little to no incline.
  • People with a smaller budget who want to get the job done quickly.

For lighter duty, the Toro 38361 Power Shovel 7.5 amp electric snowblower throws 300 pounds of snow up to 20 feet per minute and can clear 1,000 square feet of 4-inch snow in 20 minutes. This corded snowblower clears a 12-inch wide swath of 6-inch snow in a single pass. It can be used on stairways, walkways, and decks, and weighs in at a lightweight 13 pounds. The machine also features a telescoping handle that can be adjusted to fit the user’s height for maximum comfort.

Best snowblower to use at night — The Snow Joe SJ621 Electric Single Stage Snow Thrower | 18-Inch | 14.5 Amp Motor | LED lights

Who should buy this:

  • People who receive dry snowfall of up to 4 inches at a time.
  • People with mid-sized driveways with little to no incline.
  • People who need to clear snow in low light.

Daylight is a hot commodity in the winter season. Most of us work during the day, so household chores take place after that, and in the dark. The Snow Joe SJ619E Electric Single Stage Snow Thrower is a corded, single-stage snowblower that features the convenience of a 3W LED light so that you can get the job done no matter what time of day you’re tackling it.

Snow Joe is a trusted name in snowblowers, and this model adds to their excellent reputation. This machine can move up to 650 pounds of snow per minute with up to 20 feet of throw distance. Its clearing capacity is 18-inches wide and up to eight inches at one pass, and the ergonomic grip and foldable handle make using it and storing it comfortable and easy.

Best wide cordless snowblower — Snow Joe iON21SB-Pro 21-inch 40-Volt 5 Ah Cordless Single-Stage Snowblower

Who should buy this:

  • People with a mid-sized budget.
  • People looking for a cordless snowblower option.
  • People with large smooth driveways and walkways.

The first of our cordless choices is the Snow Joe iON21SB-Pro 21-inch 40-Volt 5 Ah Cordless Single Stage Snowblower. This 36-pound, single-stage snowblower is a wise choice for people with larger paved driveways. It can clear a 21-inch wide swath of 8-inch deep snow in a single pass, and the rechargeable 40-volt 5.0 Ah provides up to 65 minutes of runtime. Its 180-degree rotating chute throws snow up to 20 feet, and the steel augur with rubber blades throws up to 1,000 pounds of snow per hour.

This particular model includes both the battery and the charger kit. The 3W LED light illuminates your work area for low-light and night snow clearing, and the brushless motor allows for an ultra-quiet operation that your neighbors will appreciate. Adding a second battery completes a powerful snow-blowing package that is hard to beat.

Best budget electric snow blower — Earthwise SN70016 Electric Corded 12Amp Snow Shovel

Who should buy this:

  • People with a limited budget.
  • People who experience snowfall up to 8 inches.
  • People looking for easy snowblower operation.

Earthwise calls this model an electric snow shovel, and that’s exactly how it operates. This corded, single-stage snow blower has a 16-inch width, a 12-amp electric motor, and features an easy push-button start.

It clears up to 430 pounds of snow per minute and its adjustable chute can throw it up to 30 feet. It sports two handles, similar to a weed whacker configuration, and it weighs in at 16 pounds for easy handling and maneuvering. This snow blower can clear a 16-inch wide swath of 8” snow in one pass, and the large rear wheels make using it comfortable for people of all ages and abilities.

Best heavy-duty cordless snow blower — Snow Joe iON8024-XR 80-Volt iONMAX Cordless Two-Stage Snowblower Kit

Who should buy this:

  • People with a large budget.
  • People with extensive areas to clear.
  • People clearing heavy, wet snowfall.

This two-stage snow blower is a powerful addition to the Snow Joe portfolio of snowblowers. It has a wide 24-inch path that can remove 13 inches of snow in a single pass. The steel auger moves 1,000 pounds of snow per minute, and the thumb-controlled, auto-adjustable chute throws the snow up to 32 feet away. The digital display allows the user to easily control the three-speed drive system, and the fourth speed: Snow Joe’s patented XPORT speed for rapid return after a clearing run.

This heavy-duty, self-propelled machine runs on two 40-volt lithium-ion batteries that run in tandem, and the box includes a dual charger. The 40-volt batteries deliver up to 30 minutes of no-fade snow blowing, and an upgrade option to 6-volt batteries delivers 40 minutes. The three-watt LED headlamps allow for use in low- and no-light conditions, and the knobby rubber rear tires assist with ease of use and maneuverability.

What should I consider when choosing a snowblower?

There are several factors to choosing a snowblower. First, how much snowfall do you get in a year on average? If it’s less than 12 inches at a time, you can go for an electric snowblower.

Second, on what areas of my home will you use a snow blower? If it’s your driveway, an electric snow blower can only be used if it’s paved or has a hard surface.

Should I choose a gas-powered or electric snowblower?

If your snowfall is generally light and dry and free of ice, an electric snow blower can suit your needs well. Electric models, depending on your budget, can remove 4-12 inches of snow in a single pass, in widths from 12-24 inches.

Where can I use an electric snowblower?

Small snowblowers, or electric shovels can be used on porches, balconies, decks, and driveways. Avoid any steep hills or unpaved/gravel surfaces. The machine will throw the surface material, and the augur blade covering will be damaged by the surface itself.

Should I use a corded or cordless electric snowblower?

Your choice will depend on how long you expect it to take you to clear your snow, and if you can successfully keep your power cord safe. Corded blowers can destroy a power cord and cause electrical injury if you do not establish a safe clearing pattern that keeps the cord free of the augur blades. Corded machines are also more lightweight than cordless machines.

Cordless snowblowers offer the convenience of complete freedom of movement. The batteries add significant weight to the overall machine, and you’ll need to weigh the convenience of cordless with the operation time. We suggested purchasing an extra battery or set of batteries with cordless snow blowers to extend the machine’s operating time. And don’t forget to keep all of them charged so that you’re always prepared.

Whether you are actively searching for a snowblower, or in the early stages of consideration, you now have the information you need to make an informed decision. Our recommendations are some of the best products that the industry has to offer and include a range of capabilities to fit your specific needs and your budget. This winter, save your back and conquer your snowfall with a quality, quiet electric snow blower or snow shovel.

Editors' Recommendations