Snow Blowers come in a lot of different sizes, colors, and various features. You're here because you are looking for the best single-stage snow blowers of 2019. Not to worry, we will have you out clearing paths in no time.
This review will take a look at the 8 best snow blowers and explain why single-stage blowers are the best option for you. We will also cover other considerations you need to have before you buy your next snow blower.
Ariens BLWR 208CC
21 Inches/12 Inches
Up to 700 Pounds per minute
Snow Joe SJ623E
18 Inches/10 Inches
720 Pounds per minute
Briggs & Stratton 1022ER
800 Pounds per minute
21 Inches/13 Inches
Up to 700 Pounds per minute
20 Inches/10 Inches
Up to 650 Pounds per minute
Ariens 938034 Path-Pro
21 Inches/12.5 Inches
700 Pounds per minute
18 Inches/12 Inches
700 Pounds per minute
Snow Joe iON18SB
18 Inches/8 Inches
485 Pounds per minute
Benefits of Single Stage Blowers
Aside from a snow shovel and elbow grease, a single-stage snow blower is the least expensive option you have for clearing the snow from your walkways and driveways. There are plenty of benefits to the best single-stage snow blowers, though. Let’s have a look.
Single-stage snow blowers are simple machines that perform a basic job function. You don’t need a lot of gimmicks and gadgets to run a snow blower, so save your money for other winter treats. Technically, a single-stage unit is known as a snow thrower while a two-stage is called a snowblower. The differences are minimal (the distance of snow being blown), so the term snow blower is often used interchangeably.
Snowblowers make quick work of troublesome walkways, driveways, and even porches. If you have freshly fallen snow or day’s worth of packed white fluff, a snow blower can have your car or doors cleared and moving again in a matter of minutes.
You also get to choose between gas and electric (covered in detail below) snow blowers. Depending on your needs and usages, the type of snow blower you purchase will benefit you for years to come.
Cost is the ultimate benefit. Single-stage snow blowers are generally quite a bit less expensive than two-stage or three-stage blowers. The low price is made more beneficial when you realize you don't really need the additional advantages of two-stage snow blowers.
Choosing a Reliable Single Stage Snow Blower
Before you settle on a particular model, you need to consider certain aspects of the operation and functionality. Below, we offer you a basic buyers guide full of items to think about when making your final decision.
The first thing you need to consider is how you want the snowblower powered. There are two types of single-stage snow blowers: gas-powered and electric. On occasion, the electric-powered blowers will be cord-free, meaning they run on a rechargeable battery source.
You may not want an electric snow blower if you do not have time to wait for a battery to charge. Also, if you don’t have extension cords long enough to reach your entire area or exterior outlets, an electrical blower may not be a wise purchase.
On the other hand, gas-powered blowers require you to keep fuel on hand and are generally louder when operating.
Motor size is measured by the amount of displacement in cubic centimeters (cc) for gas-powered motors and amperage in electric motors. The bigger the amps or cc’s, the more powerful the motor.
However, power for the snowblower is also determined by the size of the auger, the drive train (if applicable), weight, and other factors. For example, a snowblower that weighs 30 pounds and has a 175cc motor may actually produce more power than a snowblower that weighs 100 pounds with a 225cc motor.
Because the motors have to push the wheels, turn the auger, and provide the push for the snow to be moved, bigger numbers don’t always mean better performance.
While motor size is a crucial factor, more important is the clearing width and clearing depth of the snow blower auger. The auger is the metal or plastic screw-drive plates that churn to break up the ice and snow and feed it into the blower chamber.
The width is important because a wider clearance will make less work for larger areas. The depth is important based on how much snow you get in your area on average. If your auger only has a depth of 7 inches, for example, and you get 12 inches of snowfall, you will have to go over most areas twice.
Wheels vs. Tracks & Power Steering
The less expensive models will have rear wheels that aren’t connected to a drive train. The main power comes from the auger and your handling of the machine. You will need to push it forward and pull it backward. The only challenging aspect of this, though, is getting from the garage to where you begin blowing.
More advanced models will have tracks instead of wheels, and many of them are self-propelled. You will have a lever or handle to maneuver controls in the direction of the snow blower while it is running. For smaller areas with more turns or those that need to get close to sensitive areas such as flower beds or saplings, will like the benefit of the power steering options.
Speed Control & Discharging Chute Control
Some single-stage snow blowers can throw snow over 50 feet. While it may be fun to cover your neighbor’s house in a blanket of snow, you won’t always want that much power.
For most models, speed controls are installed so you can decide how much power is needed to pick up the snow and how far it should be thrown.
You will also want to find a model that has a discharge chute control. Automatic or manual chute controls allow you to adjust the angle and direction of the thrown snow. This is helpful, so you can turn 180 degrees to make another pass without throwing snow all over your porch.
Let’s face it; if there is snow on the ground that needs the assistance of a snow thrower to move, it is going to be cold outside. No one wants to be cold for very long, and starting a snow thrower should be a simple task.
Thanks to electric starters, the days of repeatedly yanking a pull string are over. Of course, you will pay more, but it is much easier to push a button once than to pull a rope a dozen times.
Type/Regularity of Snowfall
The amount of snowfall you receive (on a predictable, average basis), as well as the type of snow, will also determine the type of blower you should get.
Fluffy snow, such as that that generally falls in the Rockies of Colorado and Wyoming, don’t require as powerful motors and augers as the wetter, icier snow that falls in the North East.
There are a lot of additional features that can come with these snow blowers. Some are more of a luxury, and if you are going to spend the money, you may as well make it as comfortable and straightforward as possible.
For example, single-hand interlock controls make turning and power adjustments simpler. Self-propelled augers will also make short work of any driveway.
Some features are more for vanity and can be taken or left behind. However, you may find a need for certain vanity add-ons, so the choice is yours. Vanity features like headlights, heated handles, and airless tires might be nice to have, but may not be worth the extra cost.
Price & Warranty
As always, your budget will play a role as well. Knowing how much you can spend and staying in that range will offer you enough choices that you won’t be disappointed. You should decide on a snow thrower that will get the job done with power and time to spare, but one that you can afford without breaking the bank.
A warranty will also make the purchase better. There is no worse feeling than shelling out your money for a tool only to have it work once. Read the fine print of all warranties to make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered. Pay special attention to the claim requests and warranty period.
8 Best Single Stage Snow Blowers Reviewed
1. Ariens BLWR 208CC
Our Top Pick
36 x 24 x 23 Inches
21 "/12 "
Up to 700 Pounds per minute
Ariens Path Pro combines lightweight, power, and features to bring you the best single-stage snow blower. There are many reasons why this model is our top pick; first is the gas-powered motor. The motor produced 208cc power converting to 9.5-foot-pounds of torque to spin the auger and throw the snow up to 35 feet away.
At only 109 pounds, it is also light enough to maneuver easily. You won’t have to struggle with turns, abrupt stops, or even pushing up an incline. The drive motor pushes ever forward, allowing you to chop up the snow all the way to the pavement.
You can adjust the discharge chute 210 degrees, so you never have to worry about where the thrown snow ends up. The unit comes as it is, meaning there are no extra parts, and the handlebars need to be attached before use.
You can adjust the speed with the pull lever mounted on the handlebars, and take it anywhere as long as the tank is full. It isn’t a very quiet machine, so those early morning plows may disturb the neighbors. However, for general applications of snowfall up to 12 inches, you won't find a better model on the market for this price.
2. Snow Joe SJ623E
Best Single Stage Electric Snow Blower
45 x 19 x 26 Inches
18 "/10 "
720 Pounds per minute
Second on our list and the first of the electric models is the Snow Joe SJ623E. If you live in a residential area, this model is perfect for you. Not only will it make tidy work of your driveway and sidewalks, but it will do so at any time you wish.
The Snow Joe comes with an easy to use push-button electric start and a 20-watt halogen headlight so you early morning throwers and late-night driveway cleaners can work without interruption.
The electric motor produces 15 amps of snow throwing power to clear up to 720 pounds of snow per minute. Making short work of your driveway, the SJ623E clears a path 18 inches wide and up to 10 inches deep per pass. Being electric powered, though, there will be a thin layer of snow leftover. However, if you want to get your car out of the drive or be able to walk to check the mail, the Snow Joe has you covered.
There is a snow scraper attached to the bottom to clear the thin layer, but it will not get everything. The electric machine is designed with those that have gravel walkways in mind. Even with the 4-blade heavy-grade steel auger, it won’t disturb your gravel bed or softer pathways.
3. Briggs & Stratton 1022ER
Best Commercial Single Stage Snow Blower
47.8 x 23.1 x 40.7 Inches
22 "/12.5 "
800 Pounds per minute
If you are in the market for the best commercial single-stage snow blower, Briggs & Stratton is the answer. This gas-powered blower is equipped with a 208cc motor that can push up to 800 pounds of snow per minute. Ideal for larger drives, lots, and wide sidewalks.
The auger is wear-resistant and coated with rubber to prevent damage. Long-lasting and full of features, there isn’t anything this thrower can’t accomplish. The front-drive is auger-assisted, making it easy to push around and turn. You won’t have to worry about snow direction either.
The discharge chute adjusts on the fly with a remote handle on the handlebars. You can even change the pitch and distance of the throw with the easy-squeeze adjustable handle built directly on the chute.
With a powerful throw and an extensive 22-inch collection, your driveway will be cleared in about half an hour. There are larger models available for bigger jobs, such as parking lots or your commercial driveways. Even with the smaller, lighter 1022ER model, you can take on just about anything.
A 3-year warranty backs you, however, make sure you read all of the fine print and are prepared for a long, drawn-out claim process. Briggs & Stratton will insist on at least two quotes and inspections and make you go through a rigorous self-check before they acknowledge fault or claim viability.
4. Remington RM2120
Best Gas Single Stage Snow Blower
30 x 23.4 x 21.2 Inches
21 "/13 "
Up to 700 Pounds per minute
The gas-powered model from Remington gets our vote for the best gas single-stage snow blower. When running, the RM2120 is easy to push, pull, and turn all while performing above expectations.
The 123cc motor isn’t as powerful as some of the others higher on this list, but it doesn’t need to be. The 4-stroke engine takes regular gas with the oil separate, so no more mixing! It comes with an electric start, so it only takes three steps to get it running. However, if you don't prime the engine well enough, starting can be difficult. Prime too much, and it won't start at all.
Assembly of this unit is more complicated than the higher-ranking blowers and is the main reason it comes in fourth. However, once you have it assembled (double-check those hard to reach bolts before starting!), it will run for hours.
The auger is extra deep with a 13-inch plow depth and a 21-inch width to make short work of even the deepest snows. The wheels on this blower are also something to be proud of. The diamond-cut tread will grip any surface, including ice so that you won't slip at any time.
You can also adjust the angle of the discharge chute while on the go just by grabbing the over-sized handle that is made for hands wearing gloves. Twist to the ideal direction, up to 190 degrees, and you are good to continue plowing.
5. Greenworks 2600202
Best Budget/Cheap model
31 x 21.6 x 37 Inches
20 "/10 "
Up to 650 Pounds per minute
Greenworks offers over 170 different tools, and the 2600202 model 20-inch electric snow thrower is arguably the best one. If you are looking for the best cheap single-stage snow blower, your search is over.
This 13-amp electric motor is ultra-quiet and can be used day or night. With two super-bright LED lights on the handlebars, you can dig your car out of the driveway before heading to work early in the morning. As long as you have an extension cord long enough, you can go over your entire yard, drive and sidewalks. Weighing only 32 pounds, your wrap-around porch can be cleared as well.
The Greenworks blower isn’t ideal for heavy snowfall, as the auger will only push about 600 to 650 pounds of snow per minute. However, for light-duty and quick clean-outs of a smaller driveway or sidewalk, there is nothing better.
The Greenworks snow blower has one of the easiest to use electric starts in the industry, and you can plug in, push start, and go in less than 10 seconds. The directional discharge chute will throw snow in 180 degrees, which you can adjust on the fly with an easy-turn crank handle.
The best part is that Greenworks stands behind its products and offers a full 4-year limited warranty. Be sure to check the details for a claim, as registration is required.
6. Ariens 938034 Path-Pro
Top Of The Range
54 x 21.6 x 41 Inches
21 "/12.5 "
700 Pounds per minute
Ariens makes another entry in our top list. The engine is a little smaller (138cc compared to 208cc) and won’t push as much snow. However, if you are looking for a dependable unit, Ariens is the name of the game. This little brother of our number one pick is only slightly less adept.
The 12.5-inch intake depth will clear snow and ice down to the ground, and the snowshoe collects anything left over. Like the other model, some snow may be left behind or pushed out of the sides because of the size of the shoe.
The auger is a forward drive piece with a single speed, and it will help pull the machine as you push. You don’t need to use much force, either as this machine wants to chug along and churn out snow throws. You can angle the discharge with a simple twist of the chute, and the snow is thrown up to 35 feet.
The Path Pro 938034 is challenging to find, and for a good reason, it sells out quickly. Get your hands on one now and enjoy the Arriens 3-year warranty should anything ever go wrong.
7. Toro 38381
Best Toro Single Stage Snow Blower
36.2 x 18 x 47 Inches
18 "/12 "
700 Pounds per minute
The best Toro single-stage snow blower is easily the 38381 model. This electric model uses a 15 amp motor to produce a throw over 30 feet. It digs down deep using the 12-inch intake depth and will clear a path 18-inches wide per pass.
What you really want to know, though, is will it hold up? Yes, the electric motor is easy to start in even sub-zero temperatures. It will break up snow and fresh ice down to the pavement, but you will be left with more than a light dusting. If you have a base layer of ice under the snow, the plastic auger will grind against it.
Unless you are going too fast or pushing too hard, the auger will hold up exceptionally well; however, it can break if the ice is chunked or uneven.
Of the 38000 series, the 38381 is the biggest and toughest of the bunch, but you wouldn’t know it thanks to the minimal build and 25-pound machine. When you plug it in, it is ready to start; there are no priming, oil, or fluids to mess with. Simply push the start button, and away you go.
Maintenance on this unit is a bit much, and the chute does get clogged quite easily. For power and performance, though, it works well. AS with almost any machine moving snow and ice, there will always be room for improvement. However, Toro does an excellent job in their technology and forward-thinking, and this model comes backed by a 2-year warranty to ease your mind.
Did we mention it only weighs 25 pounds? Your porch, patio, driveway, sidewalk, entryway, or anywhere else you decide to use it will be no problem. We don’t recommend attempting to use it on top of your car, though. Please.
8. Snow Joe iON18SB
Best Cordless Single Stage Snow Blower
50 x 20.5 x 28 Inches
18 "/8 "
485 Pounds per minute
Snow Joe makes another showing to round out our best-of list. The iON18SB is hands-down, the best cordless single-stage snow blower you can find. The 40v lithium-ion battery and brushless motor produce an ultra-quiet snow throwing machine.
At only 32 pounds, you can take it virtually anywhere at any time. Even a 3 am plow to make sure you get to work on time. You can use the adjustable 3-watt LED light to see where you are going, too, so you won’t disturb anyone in the house or neighbors next door.
The battery will provide just over 50 minutes of runtime, giving you more than enough to clear off your patio, driveway, or sidewalks. The quick-charge battery charger will have you plowing again in less than 2 hours.
The downside to cordless snow blowers is their depth and width cut size. The Snow Jow will clear a path 18 inches wide, but only has an 8-inch intake. This unit isn’t designed for heavy snowfall or wet, slushy snow.
However, if you need a quiet operation, sleek design, and dependable snow thrower, it doesn’t get better. You can push up to 485 pounds of the white fluffy stuff per minute and throw it up to 20 feet away. You can do all of this while warming the car, and without waking the baby.
Single Stage Vs 2 Stage Snow Blowers
Before you buy, you should understand the difference between single-stage and two-stage snow blowers. However, this will only pertain to gas-powered blowers. If you have decided on an electric thrower, you will have a single-stage model. Two-stage snow blowers are only available in gas-powered models.
The main difference between the two options is how the auger works. As we mentioned above, the auger is the screw drive wheel that collects the snow. As it rotates, the snow is chopped up and pulled into the discharge chamber, where it is then blown to another area, clearing your path.
With a single-stage blower, the auger does all the work. It collects the snow and throws it from the machine. A two-stage blower uses an impeller to blow the accumulated snow. The auger, then, is only responsible for collecting the snow and pushing it to the impeller. A single-stage blower won’t throw the snow as far since the auger is doing both jobs.
The other difference comes in the form of ground contact. Single-stage throwers will chew up the snow and ice all the way to the ground surface. When you are finished, you will be able to see clean, snowless driveways.
A two-stage auger never contacts the ground. This is why it is best for loose gravel, rock, or softer surfaces. The trade-off is that there will be a thin layer of snow or ice left behind.
The other differences are quite minor, self-propelled options are generally only found on two-stage blowers, and single-stage snow blowers are smaller in width as a general rule. Of course, single-stage throwers are also less expensive and better for those with drier, thinner snow.
Two-stage blowers are more powerful and can handle snow depths over 18 inches, where a single-stage won’t be able to push that much snow.
Electric Vs Gas-Powered
There are a few differences between the power supply options for single-stage snow blowers. Let’s take a quick look at them now.
How to Use This Type Of Snow Blower
Single-stage snow blowers are reasonably simple to operate. After the initial assembly, you will want to check that all the bolts and lock pins are in place and tightened to specs. Refer to your particular blower’s owner’s manual as each one has different assembly instructions.
Once you have moved the snow blower into position, you are ready to start it. If you have a gas-powered motor, you may have a pull start or electric start. You will need to prime the engine before using either method, though.
Once started, the auger will need to be engaged. This is done by pulling back on the safety handle to start the rotation of the auger. Make sure you have a firm grip on the handlebar before pulling the auger lever as the machine will begin to move.
Check the direction of the discharged snow and turn or adjust the chute as needed to point the snow where you need it to go. Some machines will twist, while others have cranks or levers to adjust their discharge chutes.
Push the blower to create a path, much like mowing your lawn. Back and forth over the driveway or down the sidewalk, you can clear the snow in either direction. Just remember to adjust your discharge as needed.
To learn more or to get a visual lesson on how to use a single-stage snow blower, you can view this video:
Safety Tips and Maintenance Guidelines
Safety is an essential aspect of operating any snow blower or piece of machinery. With moving parts, you can easily cause or receive damage is safety precautions aren’t adhered to. Before you begin using your new snow blower, you need to take the time to read and understand every page of the owner’s manual (foreign language sections aside).
General safety tips include:
When it comes to maintenance, most snow blowers come in relatively low on the scale. They don’t need a whole lot of upkeep. However, there are things you need to do.
For more safety tips, check out this video supplied by Toro:
Frequently Asked Questions
Now we will answer your most common questions about the best single-stage snow blowers.
How to fix single-stage snow blowers that won’t start?
While there are many reasons a snowblower may not start, the two most common issues are fuel and clogs. If your snowblower won't start, check that there is gas in the fuel tank and replace it as needed. If your blower still doesn't start, you may have a clog in the auger.
Many snow blowers have a safety shut off to prevent the blower from operating if there is a clog in the auger. Visually check the auger and discharge chute for something preventing the auger from moving. Clear out following safety guidelines and start the snow blower.
How long do these single-stage snow blowers last?
Most single-stage snow blowers are warrantied for at least two years. However, with proper care, use, and maintenance, these machines can easily last a decade or more.
Where is the best place to buy these single-stage snow blowers?
The best place to make a snow blower purchase is through Amazon. Virtually all dealers sell their equipment on Amazon, and with Prime subscriptions, you can get free delivery and sometimes added features like professional assembly. Warranty claims and returns or refunds are also made easier, should the need arise, if you purchased through the Amazon website.
When is the best time to buy snow blowers?
The best time to buy is when the price is right for your budget and before you need to use it. Winter is arguably the worst time to buy because demand is higher, so prices increase. According to the Denver Post, research shows that March is the ideal time to buy a snow blower.
What is the most reliable single-stage snow blower brand?
Dependability is a subjective term, and most brands are durable and reliable. Currently, the best brands to shop for are Arliens, Greenworks, and Toro.
How big of a snow blowers should I get?
The determining factor for snow blower size is how much snowfall you receive on average and the type of snow that falls. Smaller blowers are better equipped for light, fluffy snow that is relatively dry. Larger blowers will more easily move thicker snow that is slushy, wet, or compacted.
However, the important dimensions are the intake depth, not the width of the auger. A taller depth will enable you to clear deeper snow with fewer passes or problems.
Where is the shear pin on a single-stage snow blower?
Shear pins or shear bolts are small bolts designed to break if there is too much torque on the auger. This prevents damage should something cause a clog or become lodged in the auger. Shear pins are located (if your blower is equipped with them) on the auger shaft. Your owner’s manual will point out exactly where they are located on your model.
Gas or electric, single-stage or two? There are a lot of questions that arise when you decide to purchase a snow blower. Our review of the best single-stage snow blowers gave you eight options to choose from. Each one is a little different than the one before. We hope that you were able to have all of your questions answered and find the perfect snow blower.
If you are still stuck on a decision, our top pick, the Ariens Path Pro 21-inch snow blower should do the trick. A light-weight model that clears paths up to 21 inches at a whack. You can throw snow up to 35 feet and tackle depths up to 12 inches, and the price makes it more of a tool and less of an investment. We are sure you will love it.
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