8 Best Snow Blowers for the Elderly | Gas, Electric, Battery

After living in the snowiest parts of the United States, I’ve had my fair share of experience owning snow blowers for more than 17 years. 

When it comes to snow-blowing, senior citizens can have a tough time handling the physical work needed to control a heavy snow blower.

The purpose of this piece is to offer my experience of snowblowers and shortlist the best snow blower for the elderly and senior consumers looking to stay active and clear their own yard…whilst doing it comfortably and safely. 

Best Snow Blowers for the Elderly

he Best Snow Blowers For The Elderly

Best Self-Propelled Snowblower

Toro Power Clear 712R 21” Gas

Powerful 212cc OHV engine clears 1900lb of snow per minute. This self-propelled machine is easy to steer and throws snow 35 feet.

the Best Snow Blowers For The Elderly

Best Snowblower For The Money

Snow Joe Corded 21-inch

For under $250 the SJ625E offers great value. It clears 800lb p/min of snow with a throwing distance of over 25 feet.

the Best Snow Blowers For The Elderly

Best Lightweight Snowblower

Toro Power Shovel 12 in. Battery

Ultra-lightweight, portable, 60V battery-operated snow blower. Weighing 25lbs this is perfect for clearing 4 car driveway, decks, paths, and steps.

By the way, our site is supported by visitors like you. Some links on this page may be affiliate links which means if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support! You can find out more here.

Choosing Best Snow Blower for Elderly & Seniors

When it comes to choosing a snowblower, it’s easy to find the technology confusing, but it’s important to get a basic understand of the different machines and what differentiates one from the other. So, let’s look at the options available.

Single-Stage vs. Two-Stage Blower

Single-stage snowblowers throw the snow in one motion. They take in the snow and move it through to the exit chute and throw it in a single action by way of an auger.

It is a great lightweight option for anyone living in areas with light to moderate snowfall. The equipment is simple to use and can often be folded into a relatively compact unit for storage.

Single-stage blowers are less complex machines than two-stage blowers. Less complex in terms of easier to operate and less technology and materials used to build them, and this is usually reflected in a more affordable price.

Their limitation is generally the size of the clearing path and the types of snowfall they are comfortable clearing. Light fluffy snow up to 10 inches deep is usually thrown comfortably with a good quality single-stage machine.

I would recommend a single-stage machine where you are clearing relatively flat surfaces such as driveways, paths, or decking.

However, you should not be using this type of machine on gravel as its single auger mechanism turns and touches the ground as which can pull gravel straight through the machine and throw it from the chute.

How It Works

A single-stage snow thrower has a single auger which is a corkscrew-shaped blade that rotates and drags in the snow. The auger has two functions: 

  • To draw the snow into the machine 
  • Then throw it out through the chute, away from the cleared path

The only major drawback of a single-stage machine is the power it has relative to a two-stage machine. They are just different animals. But what you lose in power you get back in maneuverability and a lower price.

Two-Stage Snow Blower 

The two-stage blower is a more robust snow thrower because it handles all wet, ice, and heavy snow types. This machine can take tall wet snowbanks and mow through the ice. The drawback with this machine is the cost and weight that come from housing this extra power. 

The two-stage snow blower is ideal for sidewalks, driveways, large expanses of land. The two-stage snow blower also has a design that will operate safely on gravel driveways. The machine has a clearance between the auger and the ground, ensuring it doesn’t pick up gravel.

You can even get 3-stage snow blowers with an accelerator to increase the speed of the impeller and potentially half the it takes to cut through snow and clear it.

How It Works

The name “two-stage” comes from the augers and impeller combination housed inside the blower. The auger has the job of cutting, chopping, and taking in the snow while the impeller, throws out the snow from the cleared surface and expels it from the chute.

Single Stage

Single Stage
  • Excellent for light to medium snow
  • Compact, lightweight machines
  • Cheaper than Two-Stage machines


  • Ideal for deep, wet, heavy, or icy snow
  • Can be used on gravel driveways
  • Much larger machines in excess of 120lbs

Gas vs. Electric Snow Blower

Traditionally snowblowers were designed with gas-powered 2-cycle or 4-cycle engines. But as technology evolves most machines today have 4-cycle engines due to their better performance and simplicity. No need to mix gas and oil as you would on a 2 -cycle machine.

In more recent years electric snowblowers have gained significant popularity. They are powered by brushless motors that run on lithium batteries instead of gas.

So, what’s the difference?

Well, there are many differences between gas and electric-powered snowblowers.

Gas Snowblower

Gas blowers will bring several maintenance requirements that you don’t get with electric motor-driven machines. The engine will need servicing, the oil will need replacing, spark plugs, and air filters will need checking.

Gas engines also create a lot of noise, vibration, and emissions. But they will also deliver a great deal of power.

You will also find a broader range of gas-powered snow blowers on the market to choose from. But they will be heavier and often more expensive than their battery-powered counterparts.

Gas Snow Blower Maintenance

Gas snow blowers require a lot more TLC than the electric version. Some of the things you need to do to keep your blower in tip-top shape include:

  • Regular Oil change
  • Inspecting and replacing the auger belts
  • Inspecting the skid shoes and scraper bar
  • Changing the spark plugs
  • Replacing the cord starter
  • Replacing the shear pin
  • Fuel system maintenance
  • Bolt tightening

Electric Snowblower

Electric snow blowers are cleaner, do not require engine maintenance, and will generally be a lot lighter and quieter than gas machines, making them a great choice for residential use.

These snow throwers are ideal for areas with a low level of snowfall and a small surface area for cleaning. 

Even the best electric blowers are not as powerful as their gas counterparts, but they are lighter and easily stored. Often with a folding handle making them a convenient option.

Electric blowers are push-to-start, avoiding the risk of injury by pulling a start cord. However, many gas-powered machines also now feature electric-start buttons.

The electric snowblower uses electrical power from your home. Either through a power cord or rechargeable lithium battery cell. So let’s take a deeper look at batteries used in battery-powered snow blowers.

Lithium Battery Run Time (Ah)

Snowblower batteries can clear snow anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes on a single charge.

The run time of a lithium battery is determined by its ampere-hours (Ah). This simply refers to how many amps the battery can discharge per hour.

The higher the number the longer the battery will last. Generally, a 2.0Ah battery will last about 20 minutes whilst a 5.0Ah battery 45 minutes.

snow blower lithium battery cell
Lithium-Ion Battery

Battery Recharge Time

The time it takes to recharge a lithium battery is not likely to be your main decision-making criteria, but it’s perhaps worth knowing that you can expect to wait anywhere between 45-120 minutes for a lithium battery to recharge.

Often time people choose to buy a spare battery allowing for backup or extended use of your snowblower when one battery is not enough.

Corded Electric Snow Blower

Corded electric snow blowers are easy to use, very lightweight, quiet, and will never run out of charge. But clearly, a powered cord will limit your maneuverability.

Be sure to check the power cord is long enough, or at least check that you have an extension cord available.

Easy to Use Lightweight Snow Blower for Elderly

The chances are you’re looking for a snowblower that’s relatively lightweight, has good maneuverability, and performs well at clearing snowfall. But how do you know what this all means and if the manufacturer’s specification list will fulfill these requirements?

I know…there’s a lot to take in so let’s break down what each of the snowblower functions means in practice. Then you can decide how important they are to you.

What Is Lightweight?

The weight of a snow blower is a critical factor for seniors, and many cordless and corded snowblowers weigh between 30 and 40 pounds, while battery-powered or gas single-stage snow blowers are slightly heavier at 50 to 60 pounds.

This may not sound ‘lightweight’, but in terms of snowblowers, a 30-pound machine is super lightweight.

Remember you are not going to be lifting a 60-pound machine, it’s a bit like a lawnmower, you can push it around so long as it has good maneuverability.


A snow blower is a piece of heavy machinery, there is no getting away from it. So its design and therefore mobility plays an important role in your decision here.

Throughout my reviews if I refer to ‘good maneuverability, it will be drawing reference to how easy it is to handle, control, turn and push the snowblower.


Some blowers are what’s called self-propelled. This simply means the wheel turn and produces propulsion so you don’t have to push the whole weight of the snowblower.

Self-propulsion is particularly important if you choose to go for a Two-Stage snowblower due to its weight.

Chute Control

The chute is responsible for controlling the direction you throw the snow. It’s basically where the snow leaves the machine.

Each time to start a clearance path you will move the direction of the chute to aim the snow. Allowing it to pile up in a convenient location away from the area you are working on.  

Manual Chutes

Manual chutes have no mechanism to ease your workload. You will have to turn around the chute by hand each pass. This method can be an inconvenience for seniors making the task more complicated than it already is. However, manual cheats are less expensive than their crank or lever cousins.

Crank Chutes

Crank chutes, as the name implies, operate with a crank. You need to keep turning it clockwise or anti-clockwise to make the chute turn from one direction to the other. Crank chutes still require a bit of labor, but it is more convenient, but also more expensive than the manual model.

Lever chutes 

Lever chute is the easiest chute and version I would recommend. The chute consists of a lever that you push or pull to turn it right or left. It is simple to use and ensures you blow snow in a fluid motion and without breaking your rhythm. 

Quick Start

Pulling a snowblower cord in frigid temperatures is a bad idea for seniors, and that is why many gas-powered and electric snow blowers have an auto-electric start button. 

Compact Size for Storage

If you intend to store your snow blower in a cupboard in your home, or in your garage, then you need to be sure the machine you buy accommodates this requirement. Folding handles, or simply a smaller lightweight machine may be a priority.

Gas-powered snow blowers will be too heavy and smell of gas to be suited to storing anywhere other than in your yard or in a large garage.

Low Maintenance & Good Warranty

Electric snow blowers, especially cordless electric throwers, need minimal care. The only major maintenance is to charge or replace the batteries.

Cordless snow blowers often have a charger that plugs into an electrical socket, and so long as you charge the battery fully, you’ll be able to clear the snow from your driveway at the push of a button.

Look out for a good period of warranty cover, at least 2 years.


In all my seventeen years of clearing snow, I have never bought a gas-powered snow blower that cost less than an electrical thrower, and this without adding maintenance costs. 

Gas-powered snow blowers cost between $500 – $1500, while electrical throwers cost around $200 – $500, making them preferable for anyone facing anything other than the heaviest snowfall.

Reviews: Best Snow Blower for the Elderly

In this section I review each snowblower in detail, sharing testing experience and practical insight. I will also detail manufacturer specifications with adjustments made., where they under or overperformed during field testing.

My criteria for judging the snowblower on the test included ease of use, maneuverability, low maintenance, performance, value for money.

1. Toro Power Clear 712 R 21” Gas Snowblower

Best Self-Propelled Snowblower

Best Self-Propelled Snowblower
  • Stage Type: Single
  • Engine: 4-cycle 212cc OHV
  • Power: Gas
  • Drive: Self Propelled
  • Throw Distance: 35 feet
  • Clearing Width: 21-inch
  • Clearing Height: 12.5-inch
  • Throwing Capacity: 1900 lbs p/min
  • Chute: 210 degrees handle
  • Weight: 80lbs
  • Warranty: 2 year


  • Despite it power, this is a self-propelled snowblower that’s easy to control
  • Compact machine with a fold-away handle allowing for easy storage
  • Premium machine, from a manufacturer with an outstanding record


  • Recoil pull cord start

Toro is renowned for being America’s #1 snowblower manufacturer and for good reason. Their product is very well designed and extremely reliable with most gas-powered models lasting 10-20 years.

This Toro Power Clear 712 R is the best option in their range for anyone who needs a powerful snowblower capable of handling heavy, wet snowfall. But requires the machine to be self-propelled and not too heavy.

At 80lbs it’s not likely you will be picking this thing up and throwing it in your store cupboard, but it has great maneuverability so the machine’s self-propulsion drive does the hard work for you.

That leaves you to steer it and weighing 80lbs that is pretty easy to do with the machine well balance so it pivots on the rear wheel when turning.

It’s built with the Toro Premium 212cc 4-cycle OHV engine as standard, and the drives Power Curve augur. A nice feature is a scraper that is located just behind the auger, which runs across the floor and clears any residual snow leaving a snow-free surface with a single pass.

The only downside I found with this snowblower is the recoil start mechanism. I would have liked to have seen it fitted with an electric push-start button, but it’s no deal-breaker as you are getting an extremely reliable machine that can last 15 years.

When you take the exceptional build quality, Toro’s proven reliability, and the self-propulsion and volume of snow this machine can clear, it is my clear winner as the best snow blower for the elderly.

Toro Single-Stage Snow Blowers 2018

2. Snow Joe Corded Electric Snow Thrower 21-inch

Best Snowblower For The Money

Best Snowblower For The Money
  • Stage Type: Single
  • Engine: 15 Amp Motor
  • Power: Corded Electric
  • Drive: Manual
  • Throw Distance: 35 feet
  • Clearing Width: 21-inch
  • Clearing Height: 12-inch
  • Throwing Capacity: 800lb p/min
  • Chute: 180 degrees handle
  • Weight: 35lbs
  • Warranty: 2 year


  • Electric corded snowblower that has a great performance for under $250
  • Compact, light machine east to handle and store
  • 800lbs of snow per minute with a 35 feet throwing distance


  • Trevel limited by the power cord. Needs as extention cable

Snow Joe is a popular brand but I had some reservations as to how well it would perform given the entry-level price. Well..the SJ625E 21-inch electric snow thrower ended as my top-rated product based on value for money. It’s no match for the performance and quality of the Toro Power Clear, but it offers something for a different type of consumer, who are more price-conscious.

This machine is powered by a 15 Amp brushless motor, giving it a low-maintenance approach to snow clearing. It is relatively quiet and but still has sufficient torque to continue running through moderate snowfall. Where the Snow Joe gets exposed is in wet, heavy snow conditions where it doesn’t perform so well. Pushing too hard may overheat the motor. 

This Snow Joe thrower can plow up to 800lbs of snow per minute and in my test, it was achieving a throwing distance of 25 feet, not the 35 feet claimed by the manufacturer. However, this may be possible with fluffy snow.

I particularly like the steel auger, which is significantly better than most plastic augers in its $250 price range. This snow blower will do an exceptional job on asphalt and concrete driveways, also great for wood decked areas. It also featured 3W LED headlights, which is a nice touch.

If your budget is tight, then this lightweight electric snow blower would be an excellent option for you. Compact and easy to store, great maneuverability with the best performance I have seen at this price level. I can highly recommend the Snow Joe SJ625E.

Best Lightweight Snowblower
  • Stage Type: Single
  • Engine: 60V Motor
  • Power: Lithium Battery
  • Drive: Manual
  • Throw Distance: 25 feet
  • Clearing Width: 12-inch
  • Clearing Height: 6-inch
  • Throwing Capacity: not specified
  • Chute: Forwards
  • Weight: 25lbs
  • Warranty: 3 year


  • Toro’s fantastic quality in a pocket size snow thrower
  • Ultra-light weight hand-held, clears 4 car drive on a single charge
  • Perfect for light to medium snowfall


  • No ratating chute control, snow blows 25 feet in a forward direction

For the folks who want an ultra-lightweight portable snow shovel then this is as good a machine as you will find. Just 25lbs in weight it’s possible to carry this machine up steps, down paths, and onto garden decks for clearing. The battery-operated Toro Power shovel could be thrown into your car trunk and taken across town if you wanted to…

The 2.5 Ah lithium battery neatly clicks into the housing located at the top of the handle keeping it well balanced with the auger end staying lightweight, allowing for easy control. It’s obvious to see the compact nature of this machine, meaning if you are short of storage space it would literally fit into a broom cupboard or spare room.

Toro’s Snow shovel is available in a corded model, but I would not recommend it over the battery-powered version and the advantage this brings with maneuverability. If you want a corded machine then opt for the Snow Joe SJ625E it represents better value for money.

Toro Power Clear 518 ZR 18” Gas Snowblower
  • Stage Type: Single
  • Engine: 4-cycle 99cc OHV
  • Power: Gas
  • Drive: Rotor Propelled
  • Throw Distance: 25 feet
  • Clearing Width: 18-inch
  • Clearing Height: 12-inch
  • Throwing Capacity: 1100lbs p/min
  • Chute: 210 degrees handle
  • Weight: 54lbs
  • Warranty: 2 year


  • Excellent performance 1100lbs p/min, with rotor propelled drive
  • Built to last over 15 years with the right maintenance schedule
  • A premium option, just one step down from the Toro 712R


  • Recoil pull cord start

I have included the Toro 518 ZR as it offers the same outstanding build quality as the Toro 712R but lacks a few of the features, such as self-propulsion. But what you lose in features you get back in value at around $100 cheaper.

The 518ZR will move 1100lbs of snow per minute, through an 18″ clearing path. Its 99cc 4-cycle engine helps create auger-assisted drive, whereby the rotation of the auger pulls the plow through the snow as it turns. This provides a helping hand in moving this 54lb unit, but it doesn’t quite have the lightweight feel of true self-propulsion.

On a like-for-like basis, this snowblower significantly outperforms the Snow Joe SJ625E. It throws snow further, clears faster, is built better, and has auger-assisted drive. But it is approximate twice the price.

Is it worth it?

Well yes and no…If you have heavy snowfall or wet snowfall then the Toro 518 ZR will eat it up with ease, but personally, if I was spending around $500 on a snowblower I would go up to the Toro 712R and get the self-propelled model for an extra $150, that I know would last a lifetime.

Ryobi 40V Single-Stage 18" Cordless Snow Blower
  • Stage Type: Single
  • Engine: 40V Motor
  • Power: 6.0Ah Battery
  • Drive: Manual
  • Throw Distance: 35 feet
  • Clearing Width: 18-inch
  • Clearing Height: 10-inch
  • Throwing Capacity: 1300lbs p/min
  • Chute: 180degrees handle
  • Weight: 46lbs
  • Warranty: 3 year


  • Impressive 1300lbs of snow per minute
  • Excellent 6.0Ah battery shipped as standard


  • Heavy for a manual drive snowblower

If you have read the review above for the Snow Joe SJ625E, this is a very similar product…the difference being the Ryobi is a battery-powered snow blower. This model is shipped with an impressive 6.0Ah lithium battery providing 45 minutes of continuous power. The build quality is similar but the Ryobi does offer a little bit more. 1300lbs of snow per minute compared to 1100lbs from the SJ625E, but that comes at a weight disadvantage, with the Ryobi being an extra 10lbs heavier.

The auger is metal with rubber paddles and is built well and feels robust. The chute has 180 manual control which is perfect for directing the snow onto a single location and you complete each return on your driveway. The LED headlight is a useful feature too.

But overall for what this machine delivers in performance…it is very good, but just not as good value for money as the Snow Joe SJ625E.

If you are fixed on a battery-powered in the $400 price range then the Ryobi is the best option. It is also compatible with all other 60V Ryobi power tools allowing you to battery share. But I just feel at 46lbs in weight, the trade-off is just not worth it. I strongly advise the elderly citizens looking for a powerful machine with great maneuverability are better off choosing Toro Power Clear 712 R or the cheaper Snow Joe SJ625E.

Snow Joe 15 Inch Electric Snow Thrower
  • Stage Type: Single
  • Engine: 11 Amp Motor
  • Power: Electric Corded
  • Drive: Manual
  • Throw Distance: 30 feet
  • Clearing Width: 15-inch
  • Clearing Height: 8-inch
  • Throwing Capacity: 441lbs p/min
  • Chute: 180 degrees handle
  • Weight: 24.3lbs
  • Warranty: 2 year


  • Lightweight electric corded snowblower weighing just 24.3lbs
  • Clearts 441 lbs p/min


  • Not much cheaper than the Snow Joe SJ625E

Snow Joe SJ615E is the smaller sibling of the SJ625E. It combines powerful performance with an eco-friendly design. It has the power of a gas blower, throwing up to 441lbs of snow per minute thanks to its 2-blade abrasion-resistant auger. 

As we move down into the smaller and lower-priced snow blowers the auger is plastic which can lead to a shorter lifetime. However, it also leads to a lighter machine. This model weighs just 24lbs, but still houses an 11Amp motor that drives the cold-resistant paddle for a clearing path 15-inch wide and 8-inch deep. This thrower is extraordinarily light and easily maneuverable for seniors with a throwing distance of 20 feet.

You can pick up the SJ625E for about the same price as this lower specification SJ615E, so check the latest price before you purchase to be sure you are getting the best option.

Greenworks 20-inch Corded Snow Thrower
  • Stage Type: Single
  • Engine: 13 Amp Motor
  • Power: Electric Corded
  • Drive: Manual
  • Throw Distance: 10 feet
  • Clearing Width: 20-inch
  • Clearing Height: 10-inch
  • Throwing Capacity: lbs p/min
  • Chute: 180 degrees handle
  • Weight: 32lbs
  • Warranty: 4-year


  • Excellent value for money for under $200 this is a good buy
  • Easy to assemble and fold-away handles for storage
  • Surprisingly good performance even in wet snow


  • Shorter throwing distance than other models

This Greenworks 2600502 snow thrower is one of the cheapest on the market at just under $200. The 13 Amp motor generates good power to keep the auger turning even in reasonably wet snow, which impressed me. On the downside, the design does not create a great deal of throwing capability with around 10 feet being the limit.

The clearing path is 20 inches wide and 10 inches high, but in practice, this snow blower is capable of working with snow up to 4-6 inches, then it begins to struggle.

Snow Joe 13 Inch Corded Electric Snow Shovel
  • Stage Type: Single
  • Engine: 10 Amp Motor
  • Power: Electric Corded
  • Drive: Manual
  • Throw Distance: 20 feet
  • Clearing Width: 13-inch
  • Clearing Height: 4-inch
  • Throwing Capacity: 400lbs p/min
  • Chute: Forwards
  • Weight: 13.8lbs
  • Warranty: 2-year


  • Ultra-lightweight at just 13.8lbs, ideal for steps, paths and decks
  • Very easy to store in the garage


  • Build quality no where near comparible to the Toro Power Shovel

This Snow Joe Snow Shovel is a powerful machine for its size and you can pick one up for under $100. It can clear an impressive 400lbs of snow per minute with the ability to lift 4 to 6 inches of light snow in a single pass. It doesn’t have the build to handle wet or heavy snow, but for light fluffy snowfall, it does a really good job. The 13-inch clearing width throws snow far enough to get it out of your way, making it great for paths and walkways.

The very low price makes it excellent value for money so needs to be included on my list. However, it may not be the best snow blower for elderly citizens, but it’s right up there with the best snow shovels. If you’re are looking to keep costs down and need a small lightweight snowblower for occasional use on decks, steps and paths then consider this machine. Or alternatively go for my ‘best in class’ choice the Toro Power Shovel, which is twice the price, but will last twice as long.

Verdict: Best Snow Blower for the Elderly

If you’re looking for the overall best snowblower for the elderly then the Toro Power Clear 712R is a self-propelled power-house. This is by far the most powerful blowers on my list, but its self-propulsion also makes it one of the easiest to maneuver and control. It has a premium price tag with the right maintenance it will last a lifetime.

toro Power Clear 712 R 21 Gas Snowblower 1

Best Self-Propelled Snowblower

Toro Power Clear 712R 21” Gas Snowblower

Powerful 212cc OHV engine clears 1900lb of snow per minute. This self-propelled machine is easy to steer and throws snow 35 feet.

FAQs Snow Blowers For Seniors