Top 5 Best Snow Blower Reviews for Jan. 2017
People who live in South Florida or Southern California have no idea how easy they have it. Not only do they have a life without snow, they have a life without having to buy and maintain snow blowers (otherwise known as snow throwers). Those of you reading this know, dealing with snow blowers in zero degree weather and heavy winds is a whole lot tougher than mowing the lawn and then settling down with a beer.
Snow Blower Buying Considerations
The key factors the GroomNStyle review team considered when investigating the best snow blowers were their snow blowing abilities, quality, maneuverability and additional features.
Snow Blowing Abilities & Performance
There are two main types of snow blowers, those with single stage and two stage systems. Single stage machines have one auger that cuts the snow and discharges it into the chute, dual stage machines have an additional fan which makes for a more powerful snow throwing performance. Dual stage machines are more expensive and are a worthwhile investment when you have larger areas to clear and expect heavier snow fall.
Snow throwers can be either electric (corded or rechargeable) or gas powered. Electric machines are generally better for lighter snow and smaller areas. Gas powered blowers would be better suited when there are larger areas to be cleared, and for compact heavier snow.
Ease of Movement & Quality
When its cold the last thing you want to be doing is fighting with your snow blower, so its worthwhile considering how maneuverable the snow blower is and how well it is constructed. If you have a driveway that is on an angle or slope then it is even more important to invest in a machine that you can move easily through the snow.
Additional Snow Blower Features – Nice To Haves
If you have some money saved up then you can look for snow blowers with heater grips, LED lights for those early morning or later evening sessions (well it will be winter so with days being shorter there is a good chance you will be clearing snow at dusk or in the dark) and of course an electric starter.
If you do need a snow blower, the very least you can ask for is one which is reliable, simple to use and doesn’t require an enormous amount of maintenance. Ask and ye shall receive – here is GroomNStyle’s list of the top 5 best snow blowers you should consider.
1. Husqvarna ST224 – 24-Inch 208cc Two Stage Electric Start Snowthrower
When looking for a top quality powerful snow blower that is capable of clearing large driveways (and maybe your neighbors as well) easily, and you are willing to pay for that quality then the Husqvarna ST224 is the snow thrower to consider. This gas-powered, two stage machine is capable of throwing snow upwards of 60 feet and is designed to work in all types of snow conditions.
Considering the 240 pounds of weight, Husqvarna have done everything in their power to ensure this blower is as maneuverable as possible. It has large 15 inch tires with oversize tread and thanks to the adjustable skid shoe it will work on any surface. The Husqvarna is powered by a 208cc motor with infinite hydrostatic drive and has large tracks, which means you can go forward or backward, uphill or down, fast or slow, all with perfect control. It is self propelled and comes with a friction disc transmission which allows for easy speed changes depending on the snow conditions. If you are concerned by the size of this machine you have the option of paying $100 more and buying the model with power steering – model ST224P.
The snow throwing part of the equation is handled by a high-speed 12-inch impeller with serrated auger and a high-arc steel chute, which regulates the snow intake perfectly to prevent clogs and lets you aim the snow anywhere you want it to go.
There’s an enormous list of features on this machine, as you’d expect in this price range. Some of the best are snow chute extensions, adjustable drift cutters, electric start, heated hand grips, large controls (so you can move them easily while wearing gloves), and bright LED headlights to light your way.
Key specifications for the Husqvarna ST224 – 24-Inch 208cc Two Stage Electric Start Snowthrower:
2. Poulan PRO PR270 27 Inch Two Stage Electric Start Snow Thrower
For those who want a bit more power and clearing width than the Husqvarna ST224 has to offer, the Poulan PR270 is a brilliant option – particularly since Husqvarna makes the Poulan line, so they feature the same high quality.
The PR270 is gas-powered with a two-stage machine with ribbon augers (spinning bits in front) powered by a 254cc LCT engine with electric start. The ribbon augers enhance the mixing of air and snow which in turn reduces clearing time. This model doesn’t have power steering (the only missing option which would really be a nice thing to have) or all of the other bells and whistles like heated handles – you can upgrade to the PR271 or PR300ES model if these features are important to you.
Once again you should have no issue maneuvering this blower through you backyard or driveway – there are six forward speeds and one reverse speed, and the chute rotates 180 degrees with a remote deflector. From a usability perspective the control panel has been improved and redesigned (from older models) which makes for easy operation with thick gloves. Flood lights come as standard with this snow blower – they turn on immediately when the snow blower starts.
Please note – older models which came with the 13inch wheels had some issues with the auger and belt drives, but this has been corrected with the newer 15inch wheel models.
A high quality snow thrower which has a bit more power and clearing width than the Husqvarna ST224.
Checking the specs of the Poulan PRO PR270 27 Inch Two Stage Electric Start Snow Thrower:
3. Snow Joe iON18SB Cordless Snow Blower
Now, for a machine that most of us can afford – especially those of us who hate fussing with gas, oil, tune-ups and noise. The Snow Joe iON18SB is a battery-powered, lightweight yet durable snow thrower which is perfect for smaller jobs like driveways and sidewalks covered in fluffy snow. Even though it’s small, this machine can move nearly 500 pounds of snow per minute, cut an 18 inch path that’s eight inches deep, and toss snow up to twenty feet thanks to a steel auger with two rubber blades. That’s more than enough for most homeowners.
The Snow Joe is powered by a 40-volt lithion-ion battery, which will last almost an hour of operation before needing to be recharged. It has some nice extras, like a chute that rotates 180 degrees at the push of a button and an LED headlight.
The main attraction is that this machine needs almost no maintenance while being able to quietly clean a driveway in a jiffy, for less than $400.
Looking at the details of the Snow Joe iON18SB Cordless Snow Blower:
4. Toro 38381 18-Inch Electric Power Curve Snow Blower
Some people prefer corded electric snow throwers to rechargeable ones, particularly if they have a large area to clear and don’t want to do the job piecemeal. In that case, the Toro 38381 is the machine for the job. Everyone knows Toro for their outstanding lawnmowers and snowblowers, and the Power Curve has all of the company’s trademark quality and attention to detail.
This corded blower can handle up to 700 pounds of snow per minute (8 inches of light snow or 4 inches of the wet stuff), but it’s lightweight enough that it feels like pushing a lawnmower even though it doesn’t have power drive capability. The Power Curve technology on this machine is interesting; the curved rotor and the housing in the shape of an inverted funnel are designed to move snow efficiently and prevent clogs, allowing the snow thrower to clean an area more quickly than you would expect.
The Toro 38381 has an ergonomic handle, a zip deflector to throw snow in your choice at high, medium or low heights and the chute rotates 160 degrees.
For about $250 it’s the best choice in the corded electric category.
The key specifications of the Toro 38381 18-Inch Electric Power Curve Snow Blower:
5. Toro Power Clear 721E 38742 Single Stage Snow Blower
It’s not easy to find a gas-powered, low-priced snow thrower; you’re going to end up spending at last $400-600 for any machine that’s worth investing in. In that price range the blowers are all single-stage machines suitable for smaller jobs, and the GroomNStyle review team recommend the Toro Power Clear 721E. As we’ve already mentioned, you’re not going to go wrong with any Toro equipment, and this one more than holds its own.
The 721E has “Power Propel” with an integral scraper (auger-assisted drive, not self-propelled) to make it easy to push and maneuver while staying low to the pavement to clear everything in its path, and it has the same power curve system as the Toro electric snow blower we reviewed above so it clears lots and lots of white stuff without clogging – as much as 1800 pounds of snow per minute at depths up to 9 inches – and throw it as far as 35 feet. The clearing width of 21 inches is more than you’ll find on comparable machines.
The 721E is loud, and it won’t compete with the top models on this list. But it will do a great job on your smaller property and won’t break the bank.
A check on the specs of the Toro Power Clear 721E 38742 Single Stage Snow Blower:
You can always decide to clear the area around your house with a snow shovel but the team at GroomNStyle promises you that there is nothing more satisfying than playing with one of these powerful toys – well maybe a pressure washer comes close!