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Snow Blower Reviews, Buying Guides and Best Picks

It’s always tough making a major purchase decision, and a snow blower definitely qualifies. It doesn’t make the situation any easier when you discover all of the different options available to you, but with a little patience and sound reasoning you’re bound to make the right decision. On this site we break down your choices for you, using comprehensive and straightforward reviews. You’re still going to have to make the final decision, but at least it will be an informed one based on all of the information available to you.

You’ll find there are basically two types of articles on this site – reviews and information articles. Feel free to hop around and use the pages here as you see fit. You certainly don’t have to look at them in any particular order, as all the articles here are individually contained. If you want to dive right into the reviews to find out our take on each machine, go right ahead. You may also want to take a look at our detailed information articles, which outline different features you may find on snow blowers in order to help make your buying decision easier. If you’re like me, you likely believe that a big advantage of the information superhighway is that what you choose to read is entirely up to you – the choice is yours.

Reviewing the Reviews

Before we jump right in to the articles I just want to give you a quick overview of what you can expect in each review. You’ll find each review has some common themes, and I’ve included these themes because they help to differentiate the different power snow removal options available to you. Some subjects that you’ll see consistently touched upon throughout our reviews are how wide of a path each machine clears, how much snow it can actually handle depth-wise, whether it’s electric or gas-powered, and its average price point. There are certainly other things to consider, and we do touch upon them from time to time in each review, but these are the main themes that you’ll find discussed in each review.

In our information articles I look at some individual characteristics of each machine and how they might affect your purchasing decision. I tried to keep these as straightforward as possible; I know from personal experience there’s nothing I hate more than looking for a good information article and then finding it’s full of technical language that makes it difficult to understand. These articles are designed to help you, not hinder you.

The Top of the Snow Thrower Pile

I could take the easy way out and leave you with just the reviews to explore without sticking my neck out and telling you my favorites, but I think that would be a bit of a cop-out. That’s why I decided to put together a sort of “best of” list which includes my personal picks for which machines should be considered the best choices in their category. These aren’t necessarily the most expensive models – they’re just the machines that I believe offer the best value for the money.

Snow Joe SJ618E 18” Electric Snow Blower

The first choice on my “best of” list is the Snow Joe SJ618E 18” AMP Electric Snow Thrower. This machine doesn’t make my list because it’s the most expensive, with all of the bells and whistles, but rather because it does a surprisingly good job at a very affordable price. The Snow Joe SJ618E is a powerful little machine that’s capable of handling snow that’s up to 10 inches deep.

Perhaps the best part about this machine is that it’s electric. If environmental considerations are important to you this snow blower is one of the best options available. You don’t have to worry about gas emissions polluting the environment, but you still get a capable snow removal machine. Not only does it handle snow that is up to 10 inches deep, it also cuts an 18-inch wide path with every pass of your driveway. Best of all, it retails for under $200, so it won’t take a big bite out of your wallet.

Ariens 921024 Deluxe Two-Stage Snow Thrower

Our second choice for the “best of” list is at the opposite end of the snow blower spectrum. It’s definitely what you’d call a high-end model and has a high-end price tag in excess of $1000. If budget isn’t your main concern then this is a machine that will definitely appeal to you; if you’re more concerned with getting the best machine to clear your driveway in the harshest snowstorms then this machine should definitely make your list.

The Ariens 921024 has a fully-automatic chute that can throw snow up to 30 feet in any direction you choose, and it has great traction with tires that are built to grip the ice and snow. It also has an excellent electric start feature which will help save your back from the traditional recoil pull method common on many machines. It’s a sturdy, well-made machine that will last you through many snow removal seasons.

Yard Machines 30-Inch 357 cc Self-Propelled Snow Thrower

When you’re putting together a “best of” list there’s always one or two items that stand out from the rest, and in this case the Yard Machines 30-Inch 357cc snow thrower definitely qualifies. This is one big, competent machine that’s built to clear snow without any trouble at all. It will cut a path through the snow on your driveway that’s 30 inches wide and up to 21 inches deep. There is no doubt that this machine will help cut in half the time you spend shoveling snow. There aren’t too many snow storms that it can’t handle.

This snow blower is a heavy machine at well over 200 pounds, but it’s also self-propelled, so you won’t have to worry about pushing it under your own power. To top it all off, it has a set of headlights to light your way. They’ve pretty much thought of everything here and, if you can afford it, it’s definitely a great choice.

Poulan Pro 961820015 136cc Snow Blower

If you’re looking for a good compromise between budget concerns and power, then the Poulan Pro 961820015 should definitely make the top of your list. This is a fine machine that’s capable of plowing your way clear through some of the toughest snowstorms, and it’s priced very reasonably at well under $600. It is a gas-powered model, so you’ll still get the luxury of being cord free.

As far as a snow-clearing capability goes, it does a pretty good job with snow falls of up to 1 foot – for most people that’s more than enough power. It also has a manual chute with a full 180-degree range of motion which will let you easily redirect the snow in any direction you like. It’s also fairly lightweight for a gas-powered model, coming in at about 85 pounds – it’s not easy to lift, but it is manageable.

Husqvarna ST224 24-Inch Electric Start Snow Thrower

Sometimes an item makes a list because of its innovative properties, and that definitely had a major impact on my decision to include the Husqvarna ST224 on this list. I mean, this machine has heated handle grips – what a fantastic concept! I don’t know about you, but I love the idea of keeping warm while I’m plowing through the cold, deep snow. Don’t get me wrong, it’s also a pretty powerful machine with some great snow clearing features.

This machine will cut through snow like butter, clearing a path that’s 24 inches wide and up to 12 inches deep; it will throw it up to 50 feet in the direction that you choose. Those are some pretty impressive statistics in and of themselves, and when you throw in the fact that it’s self-propelled you’ve got a package that couldn’t be left off this list.

Power Smart DB7651 208cc LCT Gas Powered Snow Blower

The Power Smart DB7651 is another reasonably-priced snow blower model, at well under $700, that packs a fair bit of punch. This machine also has the ability to cut a 24-inch path and has a huge 21-inch intake for handling extreme snowfalls. You won’t have to worry about any snow being left behind on the driveway either, as this snow blower is capable of throwing snow up to 40 feet, making sure it clears your drive with ease.

What really makes this machine stand out, though, is its sturdy construction – in a world where plastic has become the norm, this machine stands out because of its strong metal design. When you get a chance to see this machine in action you’ll be impressed by its construction. It also features a powerful two-stage design that ensures it cuts through snow smoothly and efficiently. There are certainly more powerful machines out there, but this Power Smart snow blower is definitely one of the better machines in its price range.

Briggs & Stratton 1696610 Dual-Stage Snow Thrower

If you’re familiar with the Briggs & Stratton name then you’re probably not surprised to find one of their machines on this list. They are pretty much the undisputed King of small engines – in fact, they’re found in lawnmowers and snow blowers everywhere. There’s no doubt that this machine can move some serious snow, and it’s built to last.

This snow blower by Briggs & Stratton doesn’t play second fiddle to any other when it comes to clearing a path through the snow in your driveway – it’s capable of clearing a 24-inch wide path with every pass. It also comes equipped with an electric start so that you don’t have to worry about throwing out your shoulder while trying to yank on a cord. When you combine all that with its solid construction and excellent traction, you get a winning package that’s built for clearing snow.

GreenWorks 26022 16” Corded Snow Shovel

To finish off this “best of” list, it seemed appropriate to include another snow removal machine that’s built to do its part for the environment. The GreenWorks 26022 Snow Shovel is a simple electric model that’s built to handle light to moderate snowfalls. If you consistently get snowfalls greater than 6 inches this may not be the machine for you, but for everyone else it does a pretty good job. It can actually clear up to 600 pounds of snow per minute, which is quite impressive.

What really impressed me about this machine was its attention to the little details. It comes equipped with a simple cord lock device that prevents the extension cord from coming loose while you’re in the middle of clearing your driveway. It’s a nice little feature that addresses one of the concerns that many people have with electric snow removal equipment.

Haven’t Found Your Best Yet?

If you’re not quite sold on any of the devices on our “best of” list, perhaps you’ll find one of the other machines we’ve reviewed here a little more interesting. The best advice I can give you is to really take your time with your decision as this is a major purchase. I can only hope you find these reviews helpful in your own personal quest to find the right snow removal machine for your family.

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