Winter is upon us, and if you live in a colder region, that means waking up to the scene that we all dread: multiple inches of snow. It may be tempting to climb back into bed and hibernate till spring – maybe those bears are onto something?
The sad human reality is that before anyone can get to school or work, like it or not, that white stuff will have to be dealt with. Now, you could put in some hard labor and shovel it all off the drive (cheaper than going to the gym for a workout). But there is a better way: why not invest in a cordless battery-powered snow blower?
Back in the day, there was no alternative to shoveling. Then came the advent of cumbersome, noisy, smelly, temperamental gas snow blowers, which had a tendency to let you down when you needed them most. Electric snow blowers certainly filled a gap in the market for something more user-friendly and dependable, but now, thanks to great leaps forward in technology, we have the convenience of cordless snow blowers.
Goodbye to the limitations and impracticalities of long electrical cords trailing from the house and hello to the freedom to clear the snow from your deck, yard, or driveway. All you have to do is switch on and start clearing – it really is as simple as that.
You may have your doubts about the viability of battery power for such a heavy-duty piece of equipment. However, there have been technological leaps over the past decade or so with the development of lithium-ion batteries producing sufficient power for a longer duration.
These days, big tools, machines, and appliances are running for as long as an hour on one charge. This means that the current generation of battery-powered snow blowers really are a viable alternative to their predecessors.
If you invest in a high-quality battery-powered snow blower, you’ll be able to get this unavoidable chore done efficiently and effectively.
To save you endless trawling the web for the best one to suit your needs, we’ve selected 5 of the best cordless snow blowers. We’ve also put together a buyer’s guide to battery snow blowers to answer some of the questions you may have about these products.
Benefits of Battery-Powered Snow Blowers
The burning question here is likely to be: are cordless battery-powered snow blowers any good?
Well, with the technological advances mentioned above, there are several reasons why someone would choose a battery-powered snow blower over traditional options. Gas snow blowers require regular maintenance and are not eco-friendly.
Electric snow blowers require a long extension cord, which is a hassle to work with, limits your range, and has safety implications too. With a cordless, you have the best of both worlds. They are maintenance-free, environmentally friendly, and easy to operate as they’re light and maneuverable.
Of course, there are limitations. These machines are primarily built to handle light, fluffy snow in regions like Kansas, Kentucky, and Missouri that typically get less than 25 inches of snow each winter. If the region where you live gets massive amounts of heavy, wet snow, a cordless won't be up to the task.
Our advice for those areas is to invest in a gas-powered model. Perhaps the next time you’re in the market to purchase its replacement, technology will have moved on sufficiently to give you the power you need to handle quantities of wet, claggy snow.
So, with the limitations out of the way, let's take a look at the many benefits of these machines.
Apart from the environmental benefits and convenience offered by cordless technology, you'll find that battery-powered machines are generally less expensive than their gas-powered cousins. The cost is similar to electric models, but cordless is so much more convenient to use.
One of the most significant advantages is the lack of maintenance required for cordless machines compared to their gas-powered counterparts.
The bottom line is that you'll save money, time, and all-around hassle by opting for a battery-powered blower over the more traditional models. To summarize the pluses and minuses of cordless snow blowers:
Limited battery life
Not as robustly built as gas-powered machines
Expensive to replace batteries
Easy to use
Buying a Quality Cordless Snow Blower
Battery Power/Life (Run time)
In their early days, cordless snow blowers were not powerful enough to be considered serious rivals to traditional gas blowers. That's been turned on its head by recent advances in battery technology, and this is no longer the case.
For example, a model with a 2500W motor has similar performance to a 5/6 HP gas blower, and a 2000W motor compares favorably to a 4 HP gasoline engine. The important factor to consider is the ability of your blower to complete the job on a single charge.
The average runtime is around 30 minutes, depending on the depth of the snow and other factors. Typical recharge time is two hours or more, so if you have a larger area to clear, it’s worth considering investing a second battery to allow you to get the job done.
However, bear in mind that replacement batteries can cost in the region of $200, so this can get expensive.
The physical size of the machine may be important, especially if you have limited storage space. Some models offer space-saving features for storage, such as a folding handle. Likewise, you may prefer a lighter weight machine to reduce the amount of physical effort involved in getting this chore done. One of the significant benefits of cordless over gas-powered blowers is that they are all much lighter.
Clearance Rate (Width and Depth)
You need to consider how much snow you need to clear and how quickly. Typically, the models we have reviewed can clear between 300 and 500lbs of snow a minute. For domestic use, 300lbs per minute is considered more than adequate.
In terms of clearance width, the models feature a range between 13 inches and 21 inches, so it's worth thinking about the area you need to clear and how many times you want to go back and forth before the job is done.
The depth of snow which each model can handle varies, and it's worth bearing in mind that the heavier the snowfall you experience, the greater depth you need your cordless snow blower to clear. Our top picks vary between 6 and 12 inches capacity, so you need to select according to the typical conditions in your area.
Most cordless snow blowers and throwers rely on you providing the power to push it. Yes, it does get some traction from the motor, but the majority of the pushing power comes from the operator. However, some include digital drive power and variable speed to increase the pace a little and reduce the amount of effort you have to put in. If you have a steep driveway, then you really will feel the benefit of a self-propelled machine.
Discharging Chute Control (auto-rotating chute)
This isn’t a standard feature as most chutes are designed to be moved manually to change the direction the snow blows out. Some models include an auto-rotating chute that changes direction at the touch of a button.
Different machines offer a variety of additional features, including headlights, drift cutters, large tires, folding or heated handlebars, single hand interlock control, airless tires, skid shoes, drift cutters. These features may be more or less useful depending on the conditions you're working in, but it's worth checking out what specific features each model offers to make sure it's the best choice for your circumstances.
Warranty & Coverage
As with most purchases, having a warranty gives excellent peace of mind, but the scope of the warranty will vary from model to model, and it's always a good idea to check the small print to find out what is (and is not) covered.
5 Best Cordless Snow Blowers Reviewed
1. EGO Power+
Snow Chute Height
Yes – 5 years
When you have to get yourself out of bed early in the extreme chill of a snowy morning knowing that you have the chore of snow clearing ahead of you, what you want is a dependable and efficient machine to get the job done with minimum effort. In our opinion, the EGO Power + fits the bill. Simply put, it’s the best cordless electric snow blower on the market. Here’s why:
It has a powerful 56V lithium-ion battery, which gives enough power to clear your driveway, sidewalk, deck, or patio of snow with minimum fuss. The EGO Power + is easy to maneuver in the snow and clears an impressively wide path of 21 inches meaning fewer passes to complete the job. It can handle a depth of up to 10 inches. The chute rotates through 180 degrees and can throw dry snow up to 35ft away from the area you are trying to clear. If you need to clear snow on dark early mornings or late at night (as is often the case), the two bright LED headlights give good visibility. This model is robustly built from weather-resistant composite materials and heavy-duty steel.
This is what reviewer Alex Hernandez had to say about the EGO Power +. "The 21″ inch intake plows through 6-8″ of snow without an issue. When you get to the deeper and heavier stuff it does just as well, you just need to go slower and allow the auger to plow through it. I had zero issues moving 16″ of heavy wet snow at the end of my driveway that the snowplow pushed up. This snow also contained road salt, brine, rocks and was very heavy. It took a few pushes to get through all of it but the snow blower made quick work of it."
The only negative we could find with this product is that it is its weight (60lbs), which could lead to fatigue if you have to use it for more extended periods.
2. Earthwise SN74018
Snow Chute Height
Yes – 2 yrs
This model is a reliable and high-quality snow thrower that you can depend on to do the job efficiently. The Earthwise SN74018 really is the ideal choice if you're looking for an efficient battery-powered snow blower to clear snow from your yard, driveway, or sidewalk.
Best suited to dry powdery snow, it has an 18-inch clearing width and can shift up to 500lbs of snow per minute. It comes complete with a 40V battery and charger, and its average runtime per charge is 20-25 minutes. Its recharge time is relatively quick compared to some models. You'll be hard-pressed to find a machine offering the same level of performance for less money.
The SN74018 is built with sturdy materials, designed to cope with the demands of the job. It features an ergonomic design that includes a 180-degree rotating chute, operated by one hand, which is capable of throwing snow to a distance of 30 feet. It has 2 LED headlights for illumination, and the 6-inch tires give excellent traction in the snow.
Although some users report that it lacks efficiency in clearing large chunks of snow, overall, we feel it offers excellent value for money and performs well.
3. Snow Joe iON18SB
Snow Chute Height
Yes – 2 yrs
There’s no doubt that Snow Joe is an excellent brand and a leader in the field, producing some of the best cordless snow blowers on the market. The iON18SB is a trendy and well-reviewed model and is one of the best in its class. Although it may not be perfect, it offers a great combination of performance/features vs. price.
The iON18SB is built to last, and its 40V battery has a run time of up to 50 minutes – the longest of any product on this list – although you should bear in mind that heavy snow and difficult conditions will reduce that to more like 25 minutes. The steel auger has 2 rubber blades that clear effectively down to the surface, and it can move around 500 lbs of snow per minute, throwing it up to 20 ft. It handles a depth of about 6-8 inches of light snow in a single pass.
The Snow Joe iON18SB is packed with features you won't find on other cordless models. For example, it has a mechanical chute control that can be operated without stopping – a unique feature among cordless snow blowers.
The 3W LED single headlight could be more powerful, but the motor is incredibly quiet – your neighbors will thank you for that!
4. PowerSmart DB2401
Snow Chute Height
Yes – 1 yr
Reliability, versatility, and ease of operation are the key features of the Powersmart lithium snow blower. It can clear up to 11 inches depth of snow, which is impressive for a model of this stature and type. It has a clearance width of 18 inches. The chute rotates smoothly through 180 degrees and throws snow up to 30 ft.
Weighing in at just 18 lbs, the DB2401 is easy to maneuver and flexible to operate. Assembling it for use and folding it up for storage is very easy and can be done in just a few minutes.
The 40V battery gives around 25 minutes of run time on a full charge, which should provide plenty of time to clear your driveway or path. Its recharge time is approximately 70 minutes.
Featuring push-button start and an ergonomically-designed handle that can be adjusted to suit the size of the operator, this really is one of the best battery operated snow blowers for home use, offering excellent value for money and dependability. And, for peace of mind, it is protected by a 1-year warranty.
While the DB2401 may not have the power of some of the other models on this list, it does offer exceptional value for money.
5. GreenWorks 2600402
Snow Chute Height
Yes – 4 yrs on machine, 2 years on battery and charger
There are many features of the GreenWorks 2600402 cordless snow blower which make it stand out from other models in its class. Most notable is the 80V motor, which is substantially more powerful than other models on our list.
The overall view of cordless battery-powered tools is that they lack power compared to their mains-powered counterparts. This is definitely not the case here, with more than enough power to do the job efficiently and effectively.
The powerful motor gives an average run time of 45 minutes at full power, sufficient for most situations. Should you need more running time for the area you have to clear, then we recommend buying an additional battery and charger.
The auger housing is a generous 20 inches wide, meaning fewer passes needed to get the job done, and it's capable of clearing snow up to 10 inches deep. Unfortunately, the chute only throws the snow up to 20 ft, and it's possible that this may not be sufficient in some situations. Be sure to consider this factor before you buy it.
Overall, this model does a great job, and it's very lightweight, making it easy to maneuver. As with most snow blowers, cordless or not, the chute can get clogged with thick, wet snow. This will need manual clearance, which will slow you down and is frustrating. There is an auto-cutout feature to protect the motor when it’s too clogged with snow.
GreenWorks offer a generous 4-year warranty on the machine, and 2 years on the battery and charger, so you are protected from big bills to pay if things go wrong.
Snow Blower Accessories
If you live in an area with substantial amounts of snowfall and you’re looking for personal protection from the worst of the weather while you clear the snow from around your home, then perhaps you should think about investing in a snow thrower cab.
It provides heavy-duty protection from snow and blowing wind and also protects you against snow blowing back from the discharge chute. These items have a heavy-duty fabric shell with freeze-resistant, super-clear vinyl windows to ensure good visibility. Check this link for a universal lightweight snow cab.
If you’re working in extreme conditions, then giving your snow blower additional traction by fitting snow chains makes sense. Take a look here for some suitable products.
If you want to keep your unit performing at its best, be sure to take a look at the area you want to clear before you get started and pick up anything that may be in your clearing paths such as kids' toys or the morning newspaper.
In case you miss something, snow blowers are equipped with shear pins that attach the auger to the shaft and are made to break off so as to prevent damage to the motor from items getting pulled in. It’s also a good idea to keep extra shear pins on hand for this very reason – follow this link to find some spares to keep in your tool kit.
Your snow blower may come complete with a compatible charger – some models do, and some don't, and that is usually reflected in the price. If they're not included, or you need a replacement, be sure to check for compatibility with your machine before purchase.
For maximum efficiency, it's wise to have at least one spare battery for your snow blower, so that one can be charging while you're using the other. You may also prefer to have an additional spare stashed away just in case. However, bear in mind that these batteries are still on the pricey side, so this can get expensive.
How to Use Cordless Snow Blowers
The best way to understand how a snow blower works is to compare it to a lawnmower. Instead of blades cutting the grass and collecting it into a bag while you follow along behind, a snow blower takes the snow and shoots it away to the side.
The snow is lifted mechanically by a series of blades. Some machines can shift several hundred pounds of snow a minute, so it’s surprisingly quick to clear a reasonably large area. A snow blower doesn’t make the snow disappear, it just moves it from one place to another, clearing a path to get yourself, your kids and your car out of the house. Essentially, it does the same job you would with a shovel but in double-quick time, with minimum effort.
All you have to do is remember to keep the battery charged, so it's ready for use when needed. Operating the machine is simplicity itself. You set it up, start the machine and create a path through the snow by pushing it forward (or just guiding it along if it's a self-propelled model). With a few sweeps back and forth, you can clear a whole section of your property in double quick time with minimal effort.
While most battery-powered snow blowers work in essentially the same way, there are plenty of differences between models that make them more suitable for one situation or another. For precise instructions on how to operate each individual machine, we recommend you study the operating manual before use.But to get the general idea of how they function, take a look at this video.
As with most things, it's a lack of common sense which leads to the Emergency Room. When working with any large piece of mechanical equipment, it's essential to put safety first. Each model will have its own safety guidelines, so it's crucial to refer to the manual before you operate the blower and follow the instructions carefully.
You'll need to wear hearing protection, gloves, and sturdy boots, and thermal clothing is recommended. Avoid wearing loose clothing that could get trapped in the auger.
Never allow children to operate the blower.
When aiming the chute, consider the direction carefully as blowers can pick up small items like gravel and other small items and hurl them quite a distance. So, always be aware of pets, windows, cars and especially people who are in the area.
Overall, shoveling snow leads to way more injuries than operating a snow blower, but it's still important to consider safety. Also, it’s important to appreciate the effects of the cold and the exertion required to operate the machine in harsh conditions.
When trying to clear a jam caused by frozen, compacted snow, always use the tool provided with the machine. And always always make sure the machine is switched off before attempting to clear a blockage in the auger or chute.
You can read some common sense tips for safer snow blowing from Consumer Reports here.
One of the key benefits of a battery-powered cordless snow blower is that they require very little in the way of maintenance compared to their gas-powered cousins. We recommend following the guidelines in the owner’s manual for your particular model but here are a few maintenance tips which will help to extend the useful life of your blower:
Follow this link to a short video showing just how easy it is to maintain your cordless snow blower.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my snow blower has been subject to company recall?
The most effective way of finding out is to check the latest information at the Consumer Product Safety Commission website before buying any large, expensive, or potentially dangerous product.
How do you fix a cordless snow blower that won’t start?
This is most likely due to a lack of charge in the battery, so the first thing to do is to swap the battery for the spare. If that doesn’t do the trick, the best advice is to check the manual for troubleshooting tips.
How long do these cordless snow blowers generally last?
If you take good care of your machine, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for operation and maintenance, you should get many seasons’ use from it. You will need to replace the batteries from time to time during the life of your machine. Buying a machine with a good warranty will protect you if things go wrong during the warranty period.
How do battery-powered brands compare to electric models in terms of performance?
The performance is generally similar for models with similar engine power. The benefit of the cordless models is, of course, the freedom to do the job without power cables, extension leads, etc., saving time and hassle.
Where is the best place to buy battery-powered snow blowers?
You’ll find a wide range of the best cordless snow blowers on the market on Amazon, where you can easily compare performance/cost/suitability/etc.
When is the best time to buy cordless snow blowers?
The time when we’re usually looking for such items is in the depths of winter, of course, when our daily routine is compromised by dealing with large quantities of snow on the driveway. It’s also the time when the prices are likely to be higher. That’s not always the case, though, and there are often bargains to be found, even in peak season.
Now that the technology has advanced this far, you’ll find it hard to beat the convenience of a battery-operated cordless snow blower or thrower. Quiet, lightweight, and efficient, a cordless battery-operated snow blower really is an upgrade from getting up an hour early - more sleep and less work!
All you have to do is charge the battery or batteries after use, and it's ready to go the next time you wake up to large volumes of the white stuff. There's no fuel to get from the gas station, no engine oil to buy, no mixing, and no maintenance program at the end of the season. It's clean – you won't get grease all over your hands from maintenance work - so it will save you time, and it’s better for the environment, without gas emissions.
If you live in a colder region, the question is: can you really afford NOT to have a cordless snow blower this winter? Our top recommendation for the best rated cordless snow blower that offers a dependable, efficient and affordable solution to clearing snow from around your home is the EGO Power +.
Happy snow blowing!
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