Everybody loves the sight of a winter wonderland…until you got to dig your way out of your own home! Shoveling snow off your driveway is no fun at all. Despite the cold, you’re working up a sweat and busting up your back.
Well…the last time I battled 20 cubic meters of snow manually, I decided to do a bit of research and find the best electric snow shovel available. Throughout the process, I also stumbled across snow throwers and blowers and decided I needed to test these bad boys out to find which gave the best bang for my buck.
So, I’m going to tell you what I found, the differences between these snow removal tools, and their features and benefits. Let’s go…and help you find the best snow blower ready for winter.
- Electric Snow Shovel Vs Snow Thrower
- Best Electric Snow Shovel and Thrower Reviews
- 1. Snow Joe Single Stage Corded Electric Snow Thrower 21-Inch
- 2. Earthwise Cordless Electric 40-Volt 4Ah Motor, 18-Inch Snow Thrower
- 3. Snow Joe 11 Amp Electric Single Stage Snow Thrower 15-Inch
- 4. Greenworks 13 Amp 20-Inch Corded Snow Thrower
- 5. Snow Joe Plus 323E 10 Amp Corded Electric Snow Shovel 13-Inch
- 6. Earthwise 20-Volt 12-Inch Cordless Electric Snow Shovel
- 7. Toro 15 Amp 18-Inch Electric Power Curve Snow Thrower
- 8. Hattomen 13 Amp Corded Electric Snow Thrower, 18 Inch
- How To Use A Snow Thrower?
- Best Electric Snow Shovel Verdict
Electric Snow Shovel Vs Snow Thrower
Although they all share the common goal of removing snow efficiently and clearing your land, there are some fundamental differences between blowers, throwers, and electric snow shovels.
So, before we can get into the business end of deciding which design is best for you…first I need to explain a little bit about the options and walk you through my Snow Blower buyers guide
Okay…I am going to explain the basic setup of each of the machines below and give you an overview of any notable differences, so first up the electric snow shovel:
Electric Snow Shovel
Maybe you’ve never seen or heard of an electric snow shovel…so imaging a standard shovel crossed with a single-stage electric snowblower. They are generally lightweight, maneuverable snow blowers with a clearing area of around 12-16”, and capable of handling snowfall of around 2-8 inches. So great for clearing your walkways or paths.
Corded Electric Snow Shovel
Corded electric snow shovels are powered by mains electricity by way of a cable and plug. Whilst offering a continual supply of power they do come with some limitations, mainly being the length of the power cable.
Superb for use around the immediate exterior of your home or garage, corded snow shovels are not ideal for long driveways or paths, due to being tethered to a power socket. There can also be some restricted mobility when turning the machine and clearing the power cord from the clearing path.
Cordless Electric Snow Shovel
As you might have guessed cordless electric snow shovels are powered by lithium-ion battery cells, that you charge using a charging port. Typically, battery run-time is between 20-50 minutes depending on the battery Amp Hour (Ah) rating and the power consumption of the snow shovel.
Using an Electric Snow Shovel
Most Electric snow shovels are static, meaning they will need to be pushed manually whilst they operate to clear long strips of snow in straight lines, as you work. So, they do require a little effort, but nothing compared to manually shoveling snow by hand, which obviously fatigues your back, arms, and shoulders.
Electric snow shovels are lightweight (often under 15lbs), easy to store, and relatively inexpensive, so overall a great option if you’re on a budget or simply require a lightweight machine for clearing short runs of snow.
It is advisable to work in straight lines up and down the areas to be cleared. In a similar way that you would mow your lawn.
How Far Can an Electric Snow Shovel Throw?
Considering these tools are designed to clear snow from small areas of land such as pathways, patios, and drives, their throwing capabilities are modest. But high-quality models will throw snow up to 15-20 feet away.
The motor power rotates a corkscrew-like augur, that breaks up and gathers the snow, whilst throwing it out through an exit chute in one single action. This function is described as ‘single stage’, as the whole process is one action, scooping up the snow and expelling it using the rotating augur.
Do Electric Snow Shovels Work?
Electric snow shovels work perfectly on small areas of land such as patios, walkways, or driveways where snowfall does not exceed 8 inches deep.
They do have limitations in their clearing path width (up to 16”) and the depth of snow they throw, but they are a relatively low-cost method of clearing snow with reduced effort.
Powered by lithium battery or corded mains electric, means their run time or the distance that can be operated from an electrical point should be considered before purchasing.
Snowthrowers and electric snow shovels are essentially the same single-stage snow throwing machine. Some manufacturers prefer to use the term snow thrower, others electric snow shovel.
The main distinction between them is the size and method of powering them. Snow Throwers generally are larger single-stage machines that can be powered by gas or electricity. Whereas electric snow shovels are more lightweight electric-powered machines. These are generally considered the best snow blowers for the elderly or people who prefer lightweight and easy to maneuver machines.
There is a lot of crossover in how these products are named by manufacturers and consequently how this influences what they are referred to by retailers. So, it is better to think of them in terms of power source, weight and size, and their clearing path capabilities. These are the only things that really matter.
Look at the examples below this gives a very clear-cut distinction between what most people would consider an Electric Snow Shovel and a Snow Thrower. Both are single-stage machines, but very different in their performance and size.
Single-stage snow throwers and electric snow shovels are only suitable for clearing flat solid surfaces, such as paving, cement, or tarmac. In other words, they are not for use on gravel or other loose surfaces.
The clearing device under the thrower is called an augur, it looks like a corkscrew. It rotates to lift the snow and throw it out of the chute. This means the augur could make contact with the ground and consequently throw gravel out of the chute, creating a risk of injury or damage to property.
How Does A Snow Thrower Work ?
Snow throwers are single-stage machines; they gather snow and throw it out of the chute in one swift motion. The auger (blade) inside generates enough power to pick the snow up while simultaneously pushing it out of the chute. These machines can throw snow up to an average distance of 15-25 ft. They are essentially slightly bigger and more powerful snow shovels.
Snowblowers, on the other hand, function as two-stage machines. The auger rotates like the snow thrower, but the snow feeds into the impeller after it gets scooped up. The impeller, much like a powerful fan, launches snow as far as 35 ft, sometimes farther.
If you ever purchase a three-stage blower, you’ll experience even more power and accelerators that cut through ice and hard-packed snow. These machines can expel the snow as much as 50 ft away.
Gas-Powered Snow Throwers
You’ll typically buy a gas-powered snow thrower when you need to throw a larger amount of snow. They are great for long driveways and yards when you regularly see deeper snowfall. They resemble your standard snowblower, but also have a variety of add-on options. The only limitation is the size of the gas tank.
A gas-powered snow thrower can clear a swath width of 45 inches, and it can hold about 23 inches of snow. That means that gas-powered throwers tend to clear areas twice as fast as cordless snow shovels. It can take deep snow with no problem and can even handle icy sidewalks.
They still utilize the single-stage throwing mechanics, compared to two-stage snow blowers.
Single-Stage vs. Two-Stage Snow Blower
As I’ve briefly mentioned, there are single-stage and two-stage snow blowers. Different scenarios will determine which one will work better for you.
Single Stage Thrower
With a single-stage blower, the auger (blade) lifts and throws the snow through the chute. The augur touches the surface directly, and therefore, should only be used on paved surfaces to avoid throwing gravel or other debris.
Two Stage Blower
On two-stage snow blowers, the auger first collects the snow, and then an impeller blows the snow away at speed. It also throws it farther. Since the auger doesn’t touch the surface, you can use it on dirt or gravel surfaces.
You should consider buying a single-stage snow thrower or electric snow shovel if you just want to do small jobs around your home. Single-stage blowers are great for shorter driveways, sidewalks, and walkways leading to your door.
Ideally, if you’re looking at 8 inches or less of snow, opting for a single-stage snow blower is your best bet. They are much lighter, more compact, and easier to maneuver than their two-stage counterparts.
Two-stage blowers generally have power-assisted wheels, self-propulsion, and a whole bunch of other additional features that are fantastic, but they do bump up the price point
Track Snow Blowers vs. Wheel
When you look towards the larger-sized snow thrower and certainly with snow blowers, there are options to purchase models with wheels or tracks. When you think of a track-driven snowblower, think of it as a tank, with wheels rotating turning a track.
This technology proves the maximum contact between the machine and the ground, increasing the contact surface and therefore reducing slipping for skidding. This allows for safe use on slopes or uneven surfaces with a reduced risk of losing control of the machine.
Track-driven snow blowers are safe for use on unpaved or steeply paved surfaces since the wheels are within slip-resistant tracks. That is different from that of a wheeled model, which can sometimes slide around unexpectedly during use.
Typically, two-stage or three-stage blowers have track-driven navigation since they have powerful engines meant to withstand harsh weather conditions and heavy use.
Best Electric Snow Shovel and Thrower Reviews
After many hours of research, field testing the best snow throwers and electric snow shovels, I also analyzed the reviews of consumers across all major retail stores and forums to take a balanced consensus.
My time with these machines was helpful, but the opinion of thousands of users is also an important metric as to how these products performed over time in various circumstances. So here are my top picks for the best electric snow shovels and throwers.
- Power: 15 Amp Corded
- Throwing Distance: Up to 20 ft
- Clearing Width: 21 in
- Clearing Depth: 12 in
- Weight: 35.7 lbs
The Snow Joe SJ625E is one of three models from this manufacturer to feature on this list. The SJ625E really does offer excellent power and convenience with this particular single-stage snow thrower.
Let me address the manufacturer’s specifications first. At the business end, this snow thrower features a steal augur with two rubber blades capable of throwing snow up to 20 feet. It has a clearance path of 21 inches wide and 12 inches deep.
The manufacturer claims the 15 Amp motor has the power to move 800lb of snow per minute of operating time, as it efficiently lifts and throws the snow. I didn’t measure the volume of snow moved but it did perform exceptionally well for a machine that will cost under $200.
The Snow Joe SJ625E is what I would call a medium-sized snow thrower, weighing in at around 35lbs, it was easy to maneuver and control.
The 12-inch snow depth is an absolute maximum depth in my experience. I attempted to stack snow at 6”, 8”, 10”, and 12“depths, it handled up to 10” with ease. However, 12-inch was basically its maximum clearance height, so it became a little hit and miss as to whether I caught the full depth in the opening. So, I ran it through a second time to clear up.
I managed to throw the snow 16 feet. I know the manufacturer states up to 20 feet, but this can often be dictated by the weight of the snow. In my case throwing wet-ish snow 16 feet was plenty good enough for me.
The clearing chute located at the front of the machine can be adjusted to point across 180 degrees allowing for a quick switch each time I turned the snow thrower around for another pass. Compact wheels make it easy to maneuver around the yard and walkway, and it won’t take up too much space in storage.
Of course, with an electric machine, you don’t have to worry about tune-ups or messing with the engine, but you do still get a good amount of power from this thrower. It also features 3 W LED lights for clearing during the hours of darkness.
Overall a very accomplished performance…and good fun too! Excellent value for money, making in my view making it the best electric snow thrower on in my trials. Check the Snow Joe SJ625E latest price on Amazon.com
- Fantastic 15 Amp snow thrower for under $200
- Ideal for mid-sized walkways and driveways with a 21” inch clearing path
- An outstanding performer that moves up to 800 lbs of snow per minute
- Two Year warranty cover
- Nothing at this price
- Power: 40 Volts (4.0Ah) Battery
- Throwing Distance: 30 ft
- Clearing Width: 18 in
- Clearing Depth: 12 in
- Weight: 35 lbs
The Earthwise SN74018 Cordless Electric Snow Thrower has a powerful 40-volt motor that can handle light and medium-sized snow clearance. It made very little noise and got the job done quickly. It claims to move 500 lbs of snow per minute and throw up to 30 feet away.
The Earthwise snow thrower can clear a swath of 18 inches and work in depth of up to 12 inches of snow. It has an adjustable chute that can turn 180 degrees to either side allowing for excellent control of the snow clearance when turning.
Two powerful LED lights offer great visibility in low light conditions and a 4.0-amp hour battery and charger. Battery charge time was around 2.5 hours and offers complete freedom of movement without the tethered or a power cord. Overall making for a very good specification on this cordless snow thrower.
The high-density rubber dual auger blades protect the clearing surface if you’re working on a patio or deck, and the ergonomic handle makes working with this machine comfortable. It weighs around 35 lbs, it was super easy to assemble, and you can store it in your garage without taking up too much space.
A really good machine, that is one of the best battery-powered snow throwers I have tested. Check the Earthwise SN74018 latest price on Amazon.
- A long-lasting 4.0 Ah battery and charger included and drives 40 V of power
- You can move up to 500 lbs of snow per minute.
- You can change the direction of the chute to either side when in use.
- The blower may not be able to tackle the full 12 inches of snow.
- The wheels can slide around during use.
- Power: 11 Amp Corded
- Throwing Distance: 20 ft
- Clearing Width: 15 in
- Clearing Depth: 8 in
- Weight: 24 lbs
The Snow Joe SJ615E brings a very good compromise between power and size, with this neat 15-inch snow thrower. Designed to clear medium snowfall from patios, walkways, and driveways this machine is powered with an 11 Amp motor capable of shifting 440lb of snow per minute.
This steel augur with rubber blades can clear a 15-inch path, and it also digs into 8 inches of snow with every pass. Moreover, when you’re done with this snow thrower, the handle conveniently folds, making it very convenient to store or even hang.
Weighing in at 24lbs this mid-sized machine is nice and easy to move around on its all-terrain wheel and light enough to lift onto steps without too much trouble.
After testing the bigger SJ625E this smaller model was always going to be a slight step down, but they are largely the same design and many of the same features. This meant I was very happy with the look, build quality, and performance of this smaller snow thrower, equally capable of shifting snow a good distance.
If you liked the look of the SJ625E but felt it was a touch too big for you to handle then don’t think twice about getting your hands on the smaller brother SJ615E, another top best and definitely one of the best snow throwers in this size class available for around the $130 mark.
Check the latest price for Snow Joe SJ615E online here
- Snow Joe deliver again with this 11-amp machine perfect for clearing medium-sized walkways and driveways.
- Features dual blade abrasion with a cold-resistant steel augur
- 2 Year Warranty
- It’s not the most powerful motor, so it struggles to clear the heaviest of snow.
- It may stall if you take on too much snow at once.
- Power: 13 Amp Corded
- Throwing Distance: 20 ft
- Clearing Width: 20 in
- Clearing Depth: 10 in
- Weight: 30 lbs
If you’re looking for a simple electric snow thrower that gets the job done without the hassle, then the Greenworks 13-amp Snow Thrower is a great choice for you.
The Greenworks 2600502 13-amp 20-inch Corded Snow Thrower packs the power of a gas snow thrower coupled with the convenience that an electric unit provides. This snow thrower comes equipped with a 13-amp motor, responsible for the power that the snow thrower possesses.
Moreover, it sports dual LED lights for greater visibility whenever necessary. The 180-degree chute can turn in any direction, so you can manage where you want the snow to go. This thrower expels snow as far as 20 feet. The 7-inch wheels make maneuvering the machine very simple.
Finally, the Greenworks snow thrower can clear a 20-inch path and accommodate 10 inches of depth, which are perfect for days when the snow seems endless!
Check the latest price of Greenworks 13 Amp Snow Thrower
- It has a 180-degree directional chute that makes snow throwing very manageable.
- It has a 20-inch clearing path and a 10-inch clearing depth for clearing loads of snow quickly.
- It sports LED lights to improve visibility on days when you get out there a little late and the sun is going down.
- You have to work around the extension cord, so you don’t run it over.
- It seems to struggle a bit with the heavier snow, despite still getting the job done.
- Power: 10 Amp Corded (50ft)
- Throwing Distance: Up to 20 ft
- Clearing Width: 12 in
- Clearing Depth: 6 in
- Weight: 13.8 lbs
The Snow Joe Plus 323E is the smallest product on my list from these guys, and it is what I would class a true electric snow shovel. Ideal for clearing patios decking, steps, and walkways.
Featuring a 10 Amp motor, a 13-inch clearing path with a 6-inch depth limit this machine has limitations, but if you take it for it is then it makes a great option for clearing flat outdoor living spaces and paths.
Out of the box, it was very simple to assemble featuring an adjustable handle making it comfortable even as a guy over 6 feet tall. The handle configuration is the same as a grass trimmer which works well for this sized snow shovel. At just under 14lbs it is very lightweight and easy to maneuver using two hands.
In operation, I felt this product delivered on its promise to be compact, low cost, and effective. One of the best electric snow shovels I have used at around $80. However, at this price, it’s no surprise that the augur is plastic.
I would emphasize that this machine is for use on flat surfaces only as the augur could break upon impact with stones or other objects. But replacement augurs are available.
Check Snow Joe Electric Snow Shovel price here on Amazon
- Inexpensive, lightweight and easy to manoeuvre
- Great for use on decking, steps and other flat clear surfaces
- Snow throws forwards only, but does travel a good clearing distance
- Power: 12 V Lithium Battery 4.0 Ah
- Throwing Distance: 25 ft
- Clearing Width: 12 in
- Clearing Depth: 3.5 in
- Weight: 11 lbs
- Run Time: 2 Hours
The Earthwise 12-inch electric snow shovel is an ultra-lightweight machine weighing just 11lbs. Couple that with its cordless battery power this is a very portable snow shovel. It runs on a 12V lithium battery which offers plenty of power to throw snow up to 25 feet, but it does not feature a direction chute to aim the snow stream off to one side. Instead, it throws snow directly ahead. Having said that it will throw it a long way, suitable for clearing small areas such as decking and porches.
The 12-inch clearing path is enough scope to get small jobs done, but the 3.5-inch clearing height is an obvious limiting factor. If you need a little more capacity to handle deeper snowfall then I suggest you check out the Snow Joe 323E above or the slightly larger Snow Joe SJ615E.
But this electric snow shovel features in my top picks for those of you who are looking for the best electric snow shovel to pull out and quickly clear light snowfall from your porch or decking, if that’s you… then this is probably the best model around. No power plugs, no heavy lifting, it is kind of like a lightweight vacuum that you can use and pop back into your cupboard storage with no fuss.
Check the latest price for Earthwise Snow Shovel on Amazon.com
- Very lightweight machine at 11lbs, with a great battery run time of 2 hours
- Perfect for clearing ligh snowfall on decking and porch
- 3.5 inch clearing high leaves this suited to light fresh snowfall
- Power: 15 Amp Corded
- Throwing Distance: 30 ft
- Clearing Width: 18 in
- Clearing Depth: 12 in
- Weight: 25 lbs
The Toro 1800 Power Curve Electric 38381 Snow Blower is a solid machine for anyone looking to quickly remove snow from their decks, patios, and driveways. The Toro’s zip deflector gives you the option to choose between a high and low setting, and the 160-degree rotating chute helps aim the discharged snow away from the clearing area.
This snow thrower features an ergonomically designed handle that makes gripping and pushing the machine comfortable and easy.
The Toro Electric Snow Blower comes with a 15-amp electric motor and power curve technology. This blower can move more snow in less time while thoroughly cleaning the snow from the pavement. With only one pass, the blower can clean a path that’s 18 inches wide and 12 inches deep.
For the specification, build quality versus price, I just felt the Snow Joe SJ625E represented much better value for money around $200, compared to the $250 on Amazon for this Toro Machine.
- Features a solid 13-amp motor capable of dealing with heavy snowfall.
- Can shift up to 700lbs of snow per minute
- $50 more expensive than the Snow Joe SJ625E which has better specifications
- High density plastic augur
- Power (V): 13 Amp Corded
- Throwing Distance: 13 ft
- Clearing Width: 18 in
- Clearing Depth: 7 in
- Weight: 28 lbs
The Hattomen Snow Thrower is designed to maximize both the power of the blower and its clearing width. This machine had a 13-amp motor, well suited to clear walkways and large driveways.
A snow thrower with a durable auger made from steel and rubber blades this business end is good quality. Although it claims to move 500 lbs of snow each minute Despite a respectable 18-inch width, I felt the limitation of a 7-inch clearing height is just too small for regular snowfall.
This is a great quality machine for light snow at around $130, but it’s simply cannot compete with the Snow Joe SJ 625E 12” clearing height.
Check the Hattomen latest price on Amazon.com
- It features a 13-amp motor which is perfectly suited to clear driveways and walkways.
- The steel auger and rubber blades can handle up to 500 pounds of snow per minute.
- 7-inch clearing height is an obvious limitation for a medium-sized machine
- Heavier snow may stall the machine if too much snow is taken on at one time.
How To Use A Snow Thrower?
Preparing the Site and Snow Thrower
- Before you start plan the direction you will travel with your snow thrower. This will ensure you don’t throw snow onto areas that have already been cleared.
- Avoid throwing snow into the street, onto walkways or into roads.
- Work with the wind, throwing snow down wind is much more practical that snow blowing back into he cleared areas or towards you.
- Clear any obvious debris from the areas such as branches or pinecones.
- Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from travelling snow or debris.
- Check type pressure and fuel level so that you can operate the machine effectively and safely.
Operating the Snow Thrower
- Position your snow thrower for the first clearing, aim in a straight line.
- Position the discharge chute in the direction you intent to throw the snow.
- Power the throttle to start the augur and push the machine forwards.
- Work slowly on the first pass to prevent clogging the augur.
- Disengage the throttle and lift the augur to turn.
- Adjust the chute aiming it in the right direction.
- On the return pass, position the machine to only fill ¾ of the opening, allowing you to maintain a high augur speed.
- In deep snow or compacted icy snow, move your snow blower forwards slowly to keep up a good clearing rate and augur rotation.
How To Make My Snow Thrower Throw Snow Farther
Many factors can affect the throwing distance of snow throwers, but the most important among them is the diameter of the impeller. If you have a small impeller, you will have a shorter throwing distance, and likewise, a larger impeller will make for longer throwing distances.
Furthermore, the throwing distance is also impacted by the rpm of the impeller, the engine power, the type and depth of the snow, and the type of blower.
For starters, you can improve the throwing distance by spraying the inside of the chute and each of the auger parts, including the fan, with non-stick cooking spray. This helps prevent the snow from sticking and lets it flow out of the machine smoothly.
Additionally, to enhance the throwing distance, you can ensure that your idler pulley has and maintains the right amount of tension on the blower’s auger belt.
You can also build an impeller kit to increase the throwing distance on your machine. If you happen to be handy with tools, then this may be the route that you want to take to greatly increase your blower’s throwing distance.
Finally, having a chute that has 180-degree rotation is more efficient. With this feature, there’s less chance of rust building up. A rusty machine can cause snow to stick, hindering its throwing performance. So be sure that your impeller, chute, and drum are free of rust to maximize the throwing distance of your machine.
Best Electric Snow Shovel Verdict
Now that you’ve seen the full range of the best electric snow blowers, you should be better informed to make the best decision that’s suitable for you and your needs.
For me, the Snow Joe 625E was the best overall snow thrower by a fair distance, offering excellent performance at a great price. Capable of clearing large areas a reasonably heavy snowfall.
Remember that these machines come in many different stages and sizes and depending on the kind of snow that you have to deal with seasonally, one stage may be better than a two-stage model. This is especially true if you deal with light to medium snow. However, if you need something for heavier snowfall, then getting a 2 stage snow blower may be a better option for you.
Whatever the case may be, choose from this list of the best snow blowers and conveniently rid yourself of that nuisance called snow!