Remote Control Snow Blower. Snow blower for mower

Remote Control Snow Blower

remote, control, snow, blower

It is a intelligent remote control machine. People also name it remote control snow thrower or snowplow. Operator use remote control to control it for snow removal work.

it can clear out snow from driveways, sidewalks, and parking lots with ease.

Why use remote control snow blower?

We don’t like the backbreaking labor of shoveling snow, especially in sub zero temps. Outdoor snow removal work may frostbit us. Besides possible frostbite, there are many bad effects. When we use traditional snow removal machine, we need to hold the machine behind it. The vibration, noise and exhaust gas of snow removal machine directly affect our health. So robot snow blower should do these snow removal works.

How does it work?

It equips gasoline engine, battery and electric motor to supply power for whole machine. Gasoline engine provides power for the front-end snow removal device. The snow removal device rolls up the snow on the ground. Then it throws the snow far away by the wind power of machine. At the same time, gasoline engine charge the battery. The battery provides power for electric motors. Electric motors drive the snow blower to travel. In this way, the snow blower throws snow while travelling.

User does the entire snow removal work through the remote control. The remote control controls the walking direction and steering of the machine.

Where are the markets for remote control machine?

Besides remote control snow thrower, we also manufacture remote control lawn mowers.

This type of remote control machines are very popular in America, Canada, Europe, Korea and Japan. We can provide door-to-door service for the above countries. If you are a retailer in the above counties, we can be your reliable partner.

Our Advantages:

  • China’s first and leading remote control snow blower manufacturer.
  • Experienced designers, skilled workers and professional sales experts.
  • Competitive price advantage and best sales-service.
  • We accept OEM orders to help build your brand.

If you order 1 set, we usually ship it within 3 days.

Our lawn mowers are very popular in the following countries and we can provide door-to-door service for the following countries:

Europe, America, Canada, Australia, Japan and Korea.

Packing: plywood box suitable for seaworthy.

Q1: Are you the manufacturer or retailer?

A1: We are the real and original remote control lawn mower manufacturer. In China, many trading companies sell our lawn mowers. If you find the same mower as ours, it is made by us.

Q2: Door-to-door service?

A2: Our lawn mowers are very popular in the following countries and we can provide door-to-door service for the following countries: Europe, America, Canada, Australia, Japan and Korea.

A3: Minimum order quantity: 1 set. quantity can get more better price.

Q4: Terms of payment?

A4: T/T, L/C, Alibaba online payment.

Q5: Delivery time?

A5: It will takes about 3-20 days depending on the order quantity.

Try these DIY troubleshooting tips before the next storm to get your snow blower going again.

By Glenda Taylor and Bob Vila | Updated Feb 24, 2022 6:00 PM

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

Q: After our first snow of the season, I got the snow blower out of the shed but the darn thing wouldn’t start. It ran fine the last time I used it, about nine months ago. Any tips or tricks to get it running again myself, or do I have to take it in for service?

A: Like all motorized equipment, snow blowers require periodic maintenance in order to operate efficiently. Yet because yours ran well when you last used it, there’s a good chance the problem is something minor that you can fix yourself.

Before trying the troubleshooting tips below to fix a snow blower that won’t start, pull out your owner’s manual (or download a copy from the manufacturer’s website). While virtually all snow blowers feature the same components—valves, filters, gas tanks, carburetors, fuel lines, and switches—their configurations vary by brand, so the manual will help you locate and identify them. All tools required can be found in any auto-supply store if you don’t already have them on hand.

Make sure all switches and valves are in the correct starting position.

Today’s snow blowers have many switches, buttons, and valves that must all be in the correct position for the machine to start. Your manual may call for the throttle to be in the “High” position, the fuel shut-off valve in the “Open” position, the choke in the “Full” position, and the run switch set to “On.” Some snow blowers even use images instead of words. Check to make sure all of switches and valves are set according to the manufacturer’s specifications, or else your snow blower won’t start.

Drain and replace old gas in the tank.

Since your snow blower has sat idle for months, the gas could easily have developed gummy residue, which can make starting the machine difficult. Siphon out the old stuff with a small siphon pump, and follow these steps for how to dispose of the gasoline. Then, fill the tank with fresh gas and try starting it again.

Add fuel stabilizer to the gas tank.

Even if you’ve drained and refilled the gas tank, residue from the old gas could be clogging the carburetor. To dissolve it, try adding a fuel stabilizer, a gasoline treatment product that helps liquefy residue.

Add fuel stabilizer to the snow blower’s gas tank at the rate specified on the container, and then try to start the machine. Even if it doesn’t immediately start, keep cranking—by pulling the starter cord repeatedly—to help work fresh fuel and stabilizer through the carburetor.

If the snow blower won’t start up, wait an hour or two to allow the fuel stabilizer more time to dissolve residue, and then try again.

Prime the engine to force fuel into the carburetor.

Gas engines are often slower to start in cold weather (precisely when you need your blower!), so your next move is to give it a little boost of fuel.

First, prime the engine by pressing the flexible primer bulb, a small rubber or silicone bulb located on your snow blower near the carburetor, three to five times. This will force a small amount of fuel into the carburetor where it can more easily ignite.

Immediately after priming, try to start the blower. Since it hasn’t been operated for months, it could take three or our attempts before it kicks on.

Clean or replace the spark plugs.

Three things must be present in order for your snow blower to run correctly: fresh fuel, the proper amount of compression in the engine, and a spark to ignite the fuel. To satisfy the third requirement, your lawn mower’s spark plugs must be in working order. If your machine refuses to start up properly, cleaning or, if necessary, replacing its spark plugs could do the trick.

  • Use a socket wrench and a spark plug socket to remove the plugs.
  • Clean any built-up carbon deposits from the electrodes, located on the threaded end of the spark plugs. To do so, use carburetor cleaner and a wire brush.
  • Dry the plugs and reinsert them.

If the snow blower won’t start even now, the spark plugs may be beyond repair. Inspect the porcelain sleeves for cracks. If you find a crack, replace the spark plug with a new one.

Examine the fuel line for damage.

The fuel line, which runs from the gas tank to the carburetor, should be flexible and pliable. Over time, fuel lines can harden, and a brittle line is prone to leaking fuel, either from a crack or around the connections where it meets the gas tank and the carburetor. A leak can prevent fuel from reaching the carburetor and keep the snow blower from starting. If the line is hard, cracked, or kinked, replace it with a new one.

Clean the carburetor.

If none of the above steps have gotten your snow blower going, you may need to clean the carburetor more aggressively to dissolve gunk and residue. A carburetor’s purpose is to combine air and fuel in a precise ratio for efficient combustion, so if it’s clogged with residue, it can’t do its job.

Check your owner’s manual for instructions on how to access the carburetor, located beneath the air filter. After removing the air filter cover and the air filter, you’ll be looking at the carburetor (a metal case with a cylindrical opening).

Carb cleaner is a solvent that comes in an aerosol can with a straw that fits on the nozzle to deliver a forceful shot of gunk-dissolving spray directly into the carburetor.

Where the air filter was connected to the carburetor, you’ll see an open cylindrical valve. This is the air-intake valve. Spray the carb cleaner inside the air-intake valve (instructions on the can will specify how much to use).

Replace the air filter and filter cover and then try to start the snow blower.

remote, control, snow, blower

Call a service technician.

No luck? Troubleshooting beyond this point may require dissembling parts of the machine. If your snow blower is still under warranty, contact the manufacturer or the store where you bought it for instructions on how to proceed.

If it’s an older machine, take it to a small engine repair shop. Alternatively, stores that sell lawn mowers, snow blowers, rototillers, and other small equipment often also offer repair and maintenance services. Having a service technician repair your snow blower could cost between 75 and 300, depending on the extent of the problem. This is about as much as it would cost to replace the snow blower with a budget-friendly pick.

If repair estimates wind up on the higher end of that range and your machine has quite a few years on it, now might be the time to upgrade. Check out our buyer’s guide to the best snow blowers on the market for key considerations to choosing your next outdoor tool as well as some top-of-the-line recommendations.

The 7 Best Snow Blowers of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

Ira Lacher brings to The Spruce a lifetime of writing and editing for newspapers, magazines, books, and marketing and ad agencies. As a senior editor, he writes, edits, and fact-checks roundups and reviews of garden, outdoor, and home improvement products.

Rich Scherr is a seasoned technology and financial journalist who spent nearly two decades as the editor of Potomac and Bay Area Tech Wire. The Baltimore native also covered the technology scene for and has been a regular contributor to the sports pages of The Baltimore Sun and The Washington Post.

remote, control, snow, blower

If you find yourself digging your sidewalk and driveway out from many snowstorms each winter, you may want to put down the shovel and get a snow blower. A great snowblower takes care of the backbreaking work for you, moving even the heaviest snow quickly and easily, so you can keep the shovel around for handling smaller tasks.

To help you select the best snow blower for your needs, we extensively researched the most popular two-stage, single-stage, gas, and battery-operated models. We also reached out to Cheryl Higley, Education and Content Director at SIMA Snow and Ice Management Association, for insight. She noted, “When choosing a snow blower, consumers should consider: the type of snow (heavy/wet, powdery, etc.); the accumulation amount they plan to clear; and the surface type they’ll be clearing (not all snowblowers should be used on gravel surfaces for instance). Also, understand dealer support in terms of replacing wearable parts and pre- [and] postseason maintenance.”

After all of our research, we tested seven snow blowers on our own driveways and sidewalks after snowstorms, evaluating them on their design, performance, size, usability, safety, and value.

Best Overall

Ariens Classic 2-Stage 24-Inch Snow Blower

remote, control, snow, blower

  • Simple to assemble and use
  • Easy to maneuver, especially with self-propelled feature
  • Several safety features
  • Can tackle deep snow without chute getting clogged

The best snow blower we tested is the Ariens Classic 2-Stage 24 in. Snow Blower. We found it incredibly easy to assemble and use—even for first-time snow blower users—and an excellent value for its power and maneuverability. While it is a two-stage snow blower and might be more than you would need for a small driveway, we think it’s a great solution if you tend to get deep snow fairly often and require a powerful snow blower.

We were able to assemble it relatively quickly and found the instructions to be clear. We also found Ariens’ instructional videos to be extremely helpful. Once we had it ready to go, we had no trouble getting it started! This gas-powered snow blower offers both a manual, recoil start and an electric, push-button start (a must-have on cold days!). And thanks to the self-propelled feature, we found that this blower tackled even deep, wet snow (over a foot deep) at the end of our driveway with ease. In fact, we didn’t insert the wheel pin at first (one wheel must be locked for the self-propelled feature to work), and we used it without the self-propelled feature and noticed a difference once it was self-propelled. The self-propelled feature includes six forward speeds and two reverse, so you can pick the right speed to match your pace.

We also noted that we felt fully in control of where we were sending the snow, thanks to the snow chute feature’s easy-to-use controls on the handlebar. They let us shoot the snow up to 40 feet away, up and down, or side to side, allowing us to adjust as we went. While it doesn’t include some features that would be nice to have (headlights or heated handles, for instance), we were also impressed by all of the safety features, including a grip-activated auger control, a tool for dislodging clogs in the chute when the engine is fully turned off and stops, and a quick engine shut-off. Although it is a push-button start, the engine key must be in for anyone to operate it. Keep in mind that since this is a gas-powered model, you will need to refuel it, and it does omit fumes. However, for the power and price, we think it’s worthy of our top pick.

Price at time of publish: 1,519

Clearing Width: 24 inches | Power Type: Gas | Stage Type: Two-stage | Maximum Throwing Distance: 40 feet | Number of Speeds: 6 forward, 2 reverse

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remote, control, snow, blower

remote, control, snow, blower

remote, control, snow, blower

Best Budget

EGO Power 21-Inch Cordless Single-Stage Snow Blower

remote, control, snow, blower

  • Cordless and battery-powered
  • Fold-down handle for compact storage
  • No smelly fumes
  • Two LED headlights
  • Not the most powerful option for deep snow falls
  • Both included batteries need to be used at the same time
  • Only one battery can be charged at a time in the included charger

After using the EGO Power Auger-Propelled Snow Blower on our own two-car driveway and sidewalk with 4 inches of snow and 7-8 inch snow drifts, we found it to be an excellent, budget-friendly, battery-operated model. Even for a first-time snow blower user, this model was easy to set up (it only took us 10 minutes), easy to start (thanks to the electric, push-button start), and easy to operate with intuitive controls. It’s a single-stage electric model, so it’s less powerful than the two-stage options on this list or some gas-powered models. Since it is not self-propelled, it had trouble with some turns and deeper snow. However, this is the best choice if you don’t need to clear feet of snow often (or ever!) and don’t have the space to store a big bulky snow blower.

We appreciated that the augur’s speed could be easily adjusted to handle heavier snowfalls and that the discharge chute could be turned 180 degrees to control where and how far the snow is thrown (up to 35 feet away). When the wind chill was below 25, we found that adjusting the chute lever required a bit of effort, and we had to keep our fingers firmly on the handle as we turned it to prevent the device from turning off (which took a little practice to do). Thanks to the push button, if it did turn off, it was easy to restart.

The mower comes with two 5.0Ah batteries, both of which are used at once during operations. We found that the included battery charger swiftly replenishes the battery, but it only has one slot, so you can only charge one battery at a time. However, this may not be an issue if you have other EGO tools that use the same type of battery and have an extra charger (or battery). When we tested the snow blower, each battery drained to half-capacity after about 15 minutes of constant use. This model also has two LED headlights for low-light visibility and a 5-year warranty.

Price at time of publish: 699

Clearing Width: 21 inches | Power Type: Electric | Stage Type: Single-stage | Maximum Throwing Distance: 35 feet | Number of Speeds: Variable

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remote, control, snow, blower

remote, control, snow, blower

Best Splurge

Ariens Deluxe 28 SHO Snow Blower

remote, control, snow, blower

  • Efficient on heavy snowfalls
  • Eight speeds, including two reverse
  • Electric push-button start
  • 55-foot distribution
  • LED Headlight

After we tested the Ariens Deluxe 28 (an older version of this model), we were so impressed with its performance that we decided to test this newer version in our latest testing round. While we love both models, we recommend the Ariens Deluxe 28 SHO as our best splurge because it continues to offer the same features with a few upgrades for only a few hundred dollars more. Those include an extra 5 feet of snow-throwing distance (55 feet, compared to 50 on the older model) and a more powerful engine. However, you can’t go wrong with the Deluxe 28 model if you don’t need those updates.

While testing this gas-powered, self-propelled, two-stage model, we were impressed with its ability to easily turn around corners and power through many snow storms, including those with deep, heavy, wet snow. It cleared our three-car driveway, sidewalks, and walkways easily. The snow chute also stood out for being incredibly easy to operate, allowing us to direct where the snow was thrown, which was especially welcome on a windy day. We also appreciate the included ice scraper—although the chute hasn’t gotten clogged yet, the scraper will be handy in clearing out ice and snow from the chute (once the machine is turned off). We also tested the LED headlights and found them very useful at night or with dim light.

Overall, we feel like all the features make this snow blower more than worthy of its higher price tag. However, like all two-stage models, if you don’t have large spaces to clear, don’t get a lot of snow each year, or don’t have the space to store a clunky snow blower, you will want to go with another option on this list. Also, keep in mind that this is a gas-powered model, and you will need to add fuel when needed.

Price at time of publish: 1,840

Clearing Width: 28 inches | Power Type: Gas | Stage Type: Two-stage | Maximum Throwing Distance: 55 feet | Number of Speeds: 6 forward, 2 reverse

remote, control, snow, blower

remote, control, snow, blower

remote, control, snow, blower

remote, control, snow, blower

remote, control, snow, blower

Best Self-Propelled

Cub Cadet 2X 26-Inch IntelliPower Snow Blower

remote, control, snow, blower

  • Self-propelled
  • Electric quick starter, LED lights and other helpful features
  • Multiple speeds, including reverse
  • Powerful, durable and reliable

During testing, the Cub Cadet 2X 24″ INTELLIPOWER Snow Blower stood out for being easy to maneuver, which is a welcome feature when cleaning up after a snowstorm. The seven drive speeds—six forward and one reverse—on the self-propelled snow blower allowed us to plow through any snow thickness without trouble, and the steering assists allowed the machine to turn on a dime with almost zero effort. We could propel the machine without engaging the augur, a welcome touch; letting go of the handles stops the machine. (The machine also has a “kill” key that turns the whole thing off when pulled out, which is very nice for peace of mind.) The 5-inch-wide tires had plenty of grip on ice, slush, and snow and never slipped.

The motor was loud but not unbearable, as with nearly every gas-powered snow blower. And for those concerned about emissions, we didn’t note a lot of noxious exhaust. We were also impressed with the uber-adjustable snow chute, which even allowed us to throw snow slightly behind. The little things impressed us, such as secure caps on the oil and gas tanks and their internal indicators that let us know when they were filled.

However, we had no issues with clearing a five-car-wide driveway and 60-foot-long sidewalk, even in minus-25 wind chill. The electric start instantly fired up the snow blower, and the choke was easy to adjust and forgiving. We never worried about killing the motor accidentally, which we experienced with other snow blowers.

We do need to note that we did struggle when initially setting up this snow blower, which had a 45-minute setup time and included unfolding, levering, and securing the tube frame containing the controls; shifting control wires so that they didn’t catch on anything; and having a tough time telling when the oil pan was filled adequately. As long as you don’t mind the setup time, this is, in our opinion, an excellent option for its performance and ease of use (it helped us clear out even after a blizzard!).

Price at time of publish: 1,299

Clearing Width: 26 inches | Power Type: Gas | Stage Type: Two-stage | Maximum Throwing Distance: 40 feet | Number of Speeds: 6 forward, 1 reverse

remote, control, snow, blower

remote, control, snow, blower

remote, control, snow, blower

Best Cordless Electric

EGO Power 24-Inch Cordless 2-Stage Snow Blower

remote, control, snow, blower

  • Self-propelled and powerful with a long run time
  • Easy to assemble and use
  • Included battery charger charges both batteries at the same time
  • Throws snow up to 50 feet away

For a powerful yet easy-to-use battery-operated snow blower, we recommend the EGO Power 2-Stage Snow Blower. This self-propelled, 24-inch model stood out for its random variable-speed control and ease of assembly. Plus, we appreciated the included dual-battery charger for the two 7.5Ah batteries that give the machine a long operating span. In fact, we tested this self-propelled, 24-inch machine on a short driveway and about 60 yards of smooth and bumpy sidewalk, some of which had a 30-degree slope. After 45 minutes, we still had half power left in both batteries.

Similarly to our best budget pick, also by EGO, setting up and assembling the machine took 10 minutes—less time than uncrating it! All we needed to do was attach the handles, with the supplied bolts and knobs, and the disposal chute, which was neatly attached via a perfectly fitting strut. (The only tool we needed was a 19/32 wrench to adjust the skid shoes for optimum elevation of the scoop on the pavement.) Within 15 minutes, we were ready to tackle the snow.

This SNT405 model operates similarly to the manufacturer’s self-propelled lawn mowers by simultaneously holding down the centrally located safety button and the augur control lever on the right side of the operation handle. The variable-speed motor, which is not governed by defined stops and is controlled by a thumb-operated lever on the left side of the handle, gave us fine-tuned control, making it easy to travel uphill and down. (The machine can propel itself with the augur off.) Turning it on a narrow sidewalk was easier than its 145-pound weight would have led us to believe.

A central lever on the operations handle let us swivel the chute for putting the snow where we wanted it. An additional lever enabled us to adjust how far we threw the snow (up to a huge distance of 50 feet away). It took a little elbow grease to do this in sub-freezing temperatures, but not enough to call it an issue. Overall, we think this is a great two-stage snow blower that provides enough power for those with many surfaces to clear or experience more or heavier snow each year. If your needs are less, you may want to consider EGO’s 21-inch, single-stage model, our best budget pick, which costs nearly 1,000 less for many of the same features.

Price at time of publish: 1,600

Clearing Width: 24 inches | Power Type: Rechargeable battery | Stage Type: Two-stage | Maximum Throwing Distance: 50 feet | Number of Speeds: Continuous

remote, control, snow, blower

Best for Long Driveways

Toro Power Max HD 30 in. 302 cc Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower with Electric Start

remote, control, snow, blower

  • Triggerless steering
  • Remote chute control
  • Easy to use in tight spaces
  • Self-propelled

A long driveway requires a snow blower with a large clearing width so that you can cover more ground with each pass. It also helps if the unit is self-propelled, so you don’t have to continuously push a machine that can easily weigh hundreds of pounds. The self-propelled Toro Power Max HD Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower satisfies both of these needs, with a 30-inch clearing width and variable speeds to maneuver the 300-plus-pound machine.

The snow blower came almost fully assembled except for the handles, and removing it from its wooden crate took far longer than setting it up. After we did so, we realized that a snow blower intended for long driveways has a huge footprint. It’s about 3-4 feet wide and 5-6 feet long, fully occupying a quarter of a single-car garage. It can only be made smaller by disassembling it to some degree, which is only feasible when the season is over.

We powered up the machine’s 302 cc (20 HP) engine with the electric start, which needed an extension cord to an outlet. Curiously, the snow blower started quickly on the fastest of the six forward speeds (there are also two reverse speeds), and it then slowed down. On the one hand, that can be considered a safety precaution, preventing the snow blower from taking off. However, we discovered that even its fastest speed was slower than the other machines we tested, and its lowest speed was impractically poky. However, under constant speed, the machine distributed the snow where we wanted via the onboard joystick.

We also found the Toro somewhat difficult to operate continuously because of its somewhat curiously designed handles. One side, controlling the gas flow, stayed down by itself, but the other, controlling the augur, needed constant pressure and may be difficult for some to keep it depressed. We did appreciate that the handle had a warming function—a nice touch missing from many snow blowers we tested. There’s also an LED light for lower-visibility conditions. Those who prefer a gas-powered machine for its greater power than an electric also should appreciate that the manufacturer specifies the snow blower to be CARB compliant, as it relates to emissions.

Price at time of publish: 1,999

Clearing Width: 30 inches | Power Type: Gas | Stage Type: Two-stage | Maximum Throwing Distance: 49 feet | Number of Speeds: 6 forward, 2 reverse

remote, control, snow, blower

remote, control, snow, blower

remote, control, snow, blower

remote, control, snow, blower

Best Single Stage, Gas

Toro Power Clear 18 in. 99 cc Single-Stage Gas Snow Blower

remote, control, snow, blower

  • Budget-friendly
  • Electric start
  • No need to mix oil with gas
  • Compact design

Although we haven’t tested it ourselves, the Toro Power Clear Single-Stage Gas Snow Blower may be a good choice if you’re shopping on a tighter budget and don’t need as much power as some of the other options on this list. Ideal for smaller driveways and snowfalls, this option has a 7-inch auger diameter and an 18-inch clearing width, and its 99 cc engine can move 2 to 9 inches of snow.

With a locking deflector, the mounted chute lever allows you to aim the snow exactly where you want, blowing it up to 25 feet away. This helps you quickly and easily clear sidewalks, paths, and other small areas. We also appreciate its electric starter, which avoids pulling a cord perhaps several times to fire it up. Unlike many gas-powered snow blowers, you do not mix oil with gas to fuel this machine.

Price at time of publish: 599

Clearing Width: 18 inches | Power Type: Gas | Stage Type: One-stage | Maximum Throwing Distance: 25 feet | Number of Speeds: Not applicable


remote, control, snow, blower

remote, control, snow, blower

remote, control, snow, blower

remote, control, snow, blower

remote, control, snow, blower

remote, control, snow, blower

remote, control, snow, blower

Our best overall pick is the Ariens Classic 2-Stage 24 in. Snow Blower. After testing, we think this 2-stage, gas-powered model is a great value for its performance, power, and features. However, if you don’t have the storage space, budget, or need for a two-stage gas model, we recommend the EGO Power Auger-Propelled Snow Blower. Single-stage and battery-powered, this model is more affordable, and a great choice for moderate snow falls, and small- to medium-sized driveways and walkways.

How We Tested the Snow Blowers

remote, control, snow, blower

After researching the top battery-operated, electric, and gas-powered picks on the market, we tested seven snow blowers in our own driveways, sidewalks, and walkways each time after several storms. First, we unpacked and assembled each snow blower, noting how long it took, what tools were required, and how clear the instructions were. After ensuring we fully understood the instructions, charged the batteries, or added the fuel, we tested these snow blowers in conditions of four inches of snow or more and larger snow drifts. We timed and evaluated each snow blower’s performance, design, and ease of use, including how easy it was to turn on (via choke or electric start), maneuver through the snow and when turning, and how easy each feature (including the snow chute) was to use. We also used any included ice scrapers to clear any clogs (always turning the machine off completely before using) and noted their helpfulness. We also noted whether the snow blower’s handles folded for easy storage or if it was bulky and required more storage space.

What to Look for in a Snow Blower

Snow blower/Snow thrower

You may see these terms used interchangeably, but the key to remember is that a snow thrower is not as powerful or efficient a snow remover as a snow blower. Snow throwers, whether powered by gasoline or electricity, are single-stage machines designed for lighter snowfalls. They have lower-rated engines, snow-scooping augers made of rubber instead of metal, and, most important, scoop up and discharge the snow in a single operation. Snow blowers invariably are two-stage or three-stage machines. They have engines rated at higher horsepower and augers made of metal and use separate operations to collect the snow and discharge it.


You can find snow throwers and snow blowers powered by gasoline or electricity (corded and rechargeable battery). Gas-powered models, such as our Best Overall pick, the Ariens Classic 2-Stage 24 in. Snow Blower, generally are more powerful than electric snow blowers but emit fumes. Also, they require engine oil, which must be mixed with gasoline. Some models may need to start by means of a choke. Gasoline-powered snow blower engines are rated in horsepower or cubic centimeters (cc); a higher number indicates more power. If you prefer to know the horsepower of a product rated in cc, divide by 15. A medium-sized machine, for instance, might have a rating of 300 cc, which translates to about 20 horsepower. Electric models are lighter and quieter than gas-powered products but generally are better suited for lighter snowfalls and for clearing narrower spaces. Two-stage electric snow blowers, such as our Best Cordless Electric choice, the EGO Power 2-Stage Snow Blower, are rated in amps. According to Cheryl Higley, Education and Content Director at SIMA Snow and Ice Management Association, you should also consider the type of surface you will be clearing when choosing gas versus electric. She notes, “Concrete and asphalt driveways can be cleared with any snow blower; however, if you’re clearing a gravel driveway, you will need to choose a 2-stage blower. The paddles on electric and 1-stage blowers make contact with the surface, so you risk throwing rocks and gravel with these machines. This poses a hazard to anyone who might come into the path and will also damage the paddles.”


Snow blowers, whether gasoline or electric powered, are designed as single-stage (sometimes known as “snow throwers”), two-stage, or three-stage machines. “Stage” refers to the number of operations the machine performs.

Single-stage snow blowers are the least powerful and are designed for areas that experience light to moderate snowfalls, generally under 12 inches. These machines have rubber augers that collect the snow and blow it out their discharge chutes in a single motion. You can find single-stage snow blowers in gas-powered, as well as electric-powered models such as our best budget choice, the EGO Power Auger-Propelled Snow Blower. Two-stage snow blowers, such as our top choice for long driveways, the Toro Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower are designed for heavier snowfalls, up to about 18 inches. These machines, equipped with augers generally made of serrated steel or other metal, scoop up the snow and channel it into components called impellers, which shoot the snow out the discharge chute. The advantage of this type of snow blower is the intake duct can be kept clearer, assisting in more-efficient snow removal. Two-stage machines come in gas- and electric-powered models. Another facet to note about two-stage snow blowers is that, unlike single-stage models, you can adjust the height of the machine’s skid shoes. This can get the scraper bar low enough, even at surface level, to scoop off as much snow as possible. Three-stage snow blowers add another element to the operation: Instead of moving collected snow into an impeller, these models add a halfway component called an “induction accelerator,” which chops the snow up and then moves it into the impeller. These machines are designed to collect more snow than other models, potentially getting surfaces to a stage where the sun can melt what’s left before it re-freezes, making the surface slick. Three-stage snow blowers only come in gas-powered models.

Clearing width

Consider how wide a path the snow blower clears with each pass. Typical clearing widths range from 18 to 22 inches, but some budget models may clear even less, and some more robust models may be able to clear 30 inches or more. Narrower clearing widths mean you may need to make more passes to clean the driveway or sidewalk. But they also have smaller footprints and can be stored in smaller spaces.


Manufacturers commonly warrant residential-use snow blowers for two years for single-stage machines, or three years for two-stage and three-stage machines. Most warranties are dramatically reduced if you use the snow blower for commercial purposes.

Electric start

Increasingly, gasoline-powered snow blowers come with a one-button starter that avoids the need to pull the starter cord repeatedly. Generally, this is enabled by plugging the cord into a standard outlet, which supplies the power. Many of the gas-powered mowers on this list have this feature in addition to a choke, including both our best splurge pick, the Ariens Deluxe 28 SHO Snow Blower, as well as our best single-stage, gas pick, the Toro Power Clear Single-Stage Gas Snow Blower. All electric snow blowers generally start by pressing a safety switch and depressing another lever that engages the augurs.

Variable speeds

Many snow blowers, including self-propelled models, have variable-speed control. Typically, this control is found near the handgrips and operated with a thumb. Some speed controls are designated and separated by stops; others have a continuous control. Higher-end models also may have more than one speed for reverse.

One-hand operation

This feature allows you to use one hand to control both the auger and the wheels, so your other hand can direct the discharge chute.

Heated handgrips

These provide added comfort so you can use the machine for longer periods. (You might be able to purchase them separately.)

Ultimately, your decision comes down to how much snowfall you typically need to clear. A single-stage snow blower may be sufficient if your area is prone to light snowfalls of 12 inches or less and your home faces a narrow sidewalk or lacks a driveway. Two-stage snow blowers also can handle snowfalls of a foot or less. Opt for one of those if you wish to purchase an electric model since three-stage snow blowers are only gas-powered. We recommend spending the money on such a product if you wish to scoop as much snow off surfaces as possible, since two-stage models have adjustable skid plate heights.

That depends on the width of the surface to be cleared and how much time you wish to spend doing the chore. We recommend blade widths of 20 to 38 inches, which are typically found on two-stage snow blowers, if you have a fairly wide or long driveway or wide sidewalk.

All internal combustion engines, including those driving snow blowers, require lubrication to keep the engine from overheating. Whether you need to mix oil with gasoline depends on whether the engine is a two-cycle or four-cycle design. (The “cycles” refer to how many piston strokes, two or four, it takes to initiate engine operation: intake air and fuel, compress the air and fuel, initiate combustion, and exhaust the fumes.) Most older snow blowers have two-cycle engines, while most products manufactured within the last five years or so have four-cycle engines. Generally, a two-cycle engine has just a single tank, requiring oil to be mixed with the gas in carefully prepared ratios, depending on the product’s make and model. Four-cycle engines have separate tanks for gas oil and oil, so mixing the two isn’t necessary. In any case, it is important to add the correct weight of oil to your snow blower to make sure it can start in cold weather. Read the owner’s manual for the recommended oil weight, such as SAE 5W-30.

What Is The Spruce Approved?

Here at The Spruce, we want to ensure we fully stand behind every product we recommend and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all these products ourselves, though occasionally, we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the best-of cut.

Why Trust The Spruce?

Ira Lacher, based in an ordinarily snowy Des Moines, Iowa, conducted product research and pored over results from our real-world tested products. He also personally tested the EGO POWER Peak Power 56-volt 24-in Two-stage Self-propelled Brushless Cordless Electric, our best cordless electric choice. Jenica Currie, Associate Commerce Editor for The Spruce added additional testing insights and products. She also added insights from Cheryl Higley, Education and Content Director at SIMA Snow and Ice Management Association, an expert our team interviewed when researching products.

The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

​The Best Snow Blowers

remote, control, snow, blower

After another round of research, we remain confident in our picks. We have added test notes on the Toro SnowMaster 824 QXE’s work on 16 inches of wet snow in a New Hampshire storm.

Shovels work for snowy stairs and walkways, but on a wide-open driveway or patio, you can’t beat a fast, effective, easy-to-use snow blower. After seven New England winters of testing, the Toro SnowMaster 824 QXE 24-inch snow blower is the first tool we reach for, even with larger, pricier machines in the same shed. Its speed blows away everything else we saw in our tests, and its simple, intuitive controls make clearing deep snow a job you can (almost) enjoy.

The best snow blower

Two unusual features—a high-capacity auger and a drive system that matches your pace as you walk—make the SnowMaster faster and easier to maneuver than any other snow blower we’ve tested.

Buying Options

At the time of publishing, the price was 999.

The Toro SnowMaster 824 QXE even worked faster—and did a better job—than larger, more expensive competitors, thanks to the distinctive design of its auger and drive control. Unlike the cumbersome manual-shift speed controls of typical blowers, Toro’s intuitive Personal Pace drive system synchronizes the speed of the blower’s wheels with how fast you’re walking. This model also has a convenient electric start and a smooth joystick chute control that lets you easily direct snow where you want it. It can toss snow up to about 40 feet, and it’s the ideal machine for a paved two-car driveway (up to about 80 feet in length) and for snowfalls that are consistently in the range of 6 to 18 inches. It does not have a reverse drive, so it requires more physical maneuvering than more traditional two-stage snow blowers. It’s also not the best pick for unpaved surfaces, so if you have a gravel driveway or a large lawn area to clear, the Cub Cadet, an also-great pick, is a better option.

Almost the best snow blower

Like our pick but with a slightly smaller engine, the 724 QXE shares the other unique snow-clearing abilities that make the 824 QXE so effective.

Buying Options

The Toro SnowMaster 724 QXE, a slightly smaller version of the 824 QXE, was our previous top pick. The 724 QXE is a great machine, and the only difference between it and the 824 QXE is that it has a 212 cc engine instead of a 252 cc engine and it costs a little less. In our tests it could easily handle up to 12 inches of wet snow with little issue. It can fit the needs of many, and is a great option if our top pick is sold out.

Better for gravel driveways

This traditional two-stage blower, ideal for 6- to 12-inch snowfalls, is heavier and slower than our pick but offers a great combination of features for the price.

Buying Options

At the time of publishing, the price was 1,300.

If the Toro SnowMaster 824 QXE is not available, or if you have a gravel driveway (up to about 80 feet in length), consider going with the more traditional Cub Cadet 2X 26 IntelliPower Snow Blower. It’s not as fast or intuitive as the 824 QXE, but this 26-inch model is a well-done version of a standard two-stage blower, and it stands out for offering nice features at an excellent price. It has power steering—a must for a heavier two-stage blower like this one—a durable metal chute, a convenient electric start, and large, 15-inch tires that help give it good grip in the snow. This combination of features is usually reserved for blowers costing hundreds more. This replaces the Cub Cadet 2X 26 HP, our previous 26-inch pick, which is being discontinued. The new model has a digital throttle that matches the engine output with the task at hand, making for a more efficient engine and less bogging down. This new model costs about 100 more than the older one.

A cordless option

The battery-powered Ego SNT2405 eliminates the need for gas and engine maintenance. It’s quiet and easy to use, but it will struggle in deeper, heavier snows.

Buying Options

At the time of publishing, the price was 1,300.

If you would rather avoid the use of a gas-powered engine and all of its noise, exhaust, and maintenance, we recommend the Ego Power SNT2405 24-inch Self-Propelled 2-Stage Snow Blower. Although it’s not strong enough for every situation, it should be sufficient for anyone who deals with lighter snowfalls and doesn’t have an extensive amount of clearing to do. In our tests, the Ego SNT2405 provided about 26 minutes of run time, which was enough for us to clear a 150-foot driveway in addition to a three-car parking area. We used the Ego SNT2405 in 6 inches of light and fluffy snow—a forgiving test—and we would not expect the same performance if the snow were wet, heavy, and dense. The controls are nice, and the adjustments are easy. Compared with the other cordless snow blowers we’ve tested, the SNT2405 is easier to use and has a longer run time.

The best snow blower

Two unusual features—a high-capacity auger and a drive system that matches your pace as you walk—make the SnowMaster faster and easier to maneuver than any other snow blower we’ve tested.

Buying Options

At the time of publishing, the price was 999.

Almost the best snow blower

Like our pick but with a slightly smaller engine, the 724 QXE shares the other unique snow-clearing abilities that make the 824 QXE so effective.

Better for gravel driveways

This traditional two-stage blower, ideal for 6- to 12-inch snowfalls, is heavier and slower than our pick but offers a great combination of features for the price.

Buying Options

At the time of publishing, the price was 1,300.

A cordless option

The battery-powered Ego SNT2405 eliminates the need for gas and engine maintenance. It’s quiet and easy to use, but it will struggle in deeper, heavier snows.

Buying Options

At the time of publishing, the price was 1,300.

Why you should trust us

We’ve been testing snow blowers for multiple winters in New Hampshire, the Hudson Valley, and Buffalo, New York. I’m a lifelong New Englander, and I’ve spent countless hours operating snow blowers—both in clearing my own rural property and in cleaning up construction sites during my 10 years as a general contractor.

Snow blowers are complicated, feature-laden machines, so to wade through the technicalities, we spoke with Paul Sikkema of, an independent website dedicated to all things snow blower. Sikkema has been using snow blowers for the past 50 years and has been kind enough to share his expertise on numerous occasions since we first published this guide. Since founding in 2008, Sikkema has written more than 350 snow blower reviews. Here’s more info about how he operates his site and about his interest in snow blowers.

To get technical details on a few models, we also interviewed Toro marketing manager Christine Cheng and senior design engineer Derek Duchscherer, as well as Troy-Bilt brand marketing director Megan Peth.

Plus, we read everything we could about snow blowers, spending hours scouring the reviews of current models at as well as many on the Home Depot website. We also found the website of retailer Snow Blowers Direct useful for researching and comparing models.

Who this is for

Unless you look forward to a heavy snowfall as a way of getting a good workout with your trusty snow shovel, you’ll likely welcome the convenience of a good snow blower. With a blower, you can clear a large area and deeper snow much faster, which is especially important if it’s frigid out or you have to drive somewhere quickly. Using a snow blower is also much easier on your body, minimizing muscle and back strain. Everyone has heard stories of people ending up in the emergency room after a session of strenuous shoveling.

With a good snow blower, clearing your driveway and walking paths is almost like, well, mowing your lawn. (Okay, clearing heavy snows might be more akin to mowing a field.) You simply fire up the engine and direct the blower through the area that needs clearing, aiming the blown snow off to the side and out of your way. The better models are equipped with electric start, so getting the machine going takes only the push of a button (and plugging an extension cord into a nearby outlet). Thanks to power steering, you can move the blower through the snow with minimal effort—no pushing, pulling, leaning, or tugging. And a four-way chute control lets you change both the direction and distance of the thrown snow without stopping the machine.

But a full-size snow blower is a big investment that not everyone needs to make. If you need to clear only a walkway, a few front steps, or a single parking space, a snow shovel might be a better fit.

Another consideration: As expensive as a full-size snow blower is, over time owning one is likely cheaper than hiring a plow—in New England, we’ve seen local plow services charge 50 to 75 each time they show up, and sometimes it’s more than once during a big storm. With even six or eight snowfalls per winter, it doesn’t take long to add up to the cost of a nice snow blower that should last at least 10 years.

The downsides? Maintenance and storage. Maintenance for gas models involves oil changes, belt tightening, and off-season storage. Many may not want to deal with that, and ignoring it will reduce the machine’s lifespan. As for storage, a full-size snow blower takes up as much space as a particularly bulky lawn mower, so plan for it to occupy a big corner of the garage.

How we picked and tested

remote, control, snow, blower

Snow blowers have traditionally fallen into two categories: single-stage models for places with minimal snowfall—up to about 6 inches at a time—and two-stage models for heavier-snow areas. As a guideline,’s Paul Sikkema writes, “if you live North of Interstate 70 you should not consider a single-stage snow blower for your primary snow removal tool.”

Two-stage blowers are the type that most people who truly need a snow blower have traditionally owned. These designs have both a front auger (the first stage) that feeds snow into the machine and an impeller (the second stage) that tosses it out of the chute. Two-stage blowers are heavy, and as Troy-Bilt’s Megan Peth told us, they have “engine-driven wheels that can handle uneven terrain and reduce the amount of effort it takes to remove snow.” We looked for models with power steering to assist with maneuvering these heavy machines.

Quality 24- to 26-inch two-stage models start around 1100, and they tend to include features we think are worth the investment: easily adjustable throwing chutes, larger wheels that can gain traction, intuitive controls, an effortless electric start, a reverse gear, and good service support, in addition to power steering. Of course, you can skip that stuff and pay less. But as Sikkema told us, “You can’t imagine all of the people who write me and the first thing they say is, ‘I don’t want to spend more than 500, but I also want it to last 20 years like my old one.’” Unfortunately, that’s not realistic.

A two-stage blower that’s 24 to 26 inches wide is typically best for handling about 6 to 18 inches of snow on an area that Sikkema says maxes out at roughly an 80-foot-long, two-car driveway. Larger models, with a width of 28 to 30 inches, are good for consistent snows of 15 to 20 inches or more, on driveways up to 150 to 200 feet. We didn’t look at anything over 30 inches. As Sikkema told us, “30-inch is the practical limit of residential snow blowers.” Recently a number of companies have released cordless electric two-stage snow blowers. They’re not as strong as gas-powered blowers and usually only come in a 24-inch width.

Single-stage gas blowers are less expensive but not as powerful, and they have other limitations. As Sikkema said, “People buy single-stage snow throwers because of the price, not because it is the right snow blower for them.” He said single-stage blowers “will only work on a hard surface like blacktop, cement, or a patio.” A single-stage blower has one front paddle that, as Toro’s Christine Cheng told us, “scoops up the snow and throws it out the chute in one motion.” The paddle is typically designed to hit the ground so that it propels the blower forward as it’s moving snow. This design eliminates the need for engine-driven wheels, but as Cheng warned, they’re not recommended for gravel driveways (unless you want to pick up and launch every loose rock you come across). These smaller blowers start to lose their effectiveness at around 6 to 8 inches of snow.

Corded and cordless electric single-stage blowers are similar to gas models but tend not to have any kind of propulsion and reach their limit around 5 inches of snow. The paddle typically doesn’t hit the ground, so moving the blower is all up to you. But for small, flat, paved areas, electric models can work as long as you can get everything cleared while the machine is tethered to an outlet. Cordless models have the limitation of run time and a fairly high cost, but we’re always on the lookout for a good, balanced cordless alternative.

Last, the unclassifiable Toro SnowMaster design, introduced in 2015, combines elements of single- and two-stage models; we’ve found it to be extremely successful, and you can read more about it in the next section.

Also know that gas snow blowers require ongoing maintenance, including oil and filter changes. The owner manual will have a maintenance schedule (not following it can void your warranty), and you can find more advice from Repair Clinic and Jack’s Small Engines. If things do go wrong, you should know how you’ll get parts and service. All quality blowers have at least two-year warranties, and some companies and retailers sell extended service plans for in-home service and coverage of wear and tear. We recommend purchasing from a service-oriented store such as Home Depot or a local power-equipment retailer.

When you’re shopping for a snow blower, it’s important to know that there are only a few manufacturers. A company called MTD makes Craftsman, Cub Cadet, and Troy-Bilt models. The Husqvarna company makes units under the Husqvarna, Jonsered, and Poulan Pro brands. Ariens makes Ariens and Sno-Tek models. In many cases, these brands indicate quality differences (Ariens, for example, represents a step up over the budget Sno-Tek). But in other instances, the distinctions are less clear: Troy-Bilt and Craftsman, for example, have many blowers that are nearly identical and simply sold at different retailers. In contrast, Toro makes only Toro blowers.

For our hands-on testing, we’ve spent the past seven winters using a number of snow blowers in Buffalo, New York, and in rural New Hampshire. Most of this testing time has consisted of simply using the snow blowers in a normal fashion: clearing the driveway, the walkway, and the frozen plow mess out by the mailbox. This extended testing has allowed us to use the snow blowers in everything from deep, fluffy drifts to slushy, sloppy, day-after melts. Having several of the best-rated machines on hand for multiple seasons has allowed us to do thorough side-by-side comparisons, a process that has revealed key distinctions in performance and has helped us determine the best snow blowers for multiple situations.

Our pick: Toro SnowMaster 824 QXE

remote, control, snow, blower

The best snow blower

Two unusual features—a high-capacity auger and a drive system that matches your pace as you walk—make the SnowMaster faster and easier to maneuver than any other snow blower we’ve tested.

Buying Options

At the time of publishing, the price was 999.

After all of our research and years of testing, we’ve found that the Toro SnowMaster 824 QXE 24-inch snow blower is the best fit for most snow-covered driveways, and without question the fastest snow blower of all the models we looked at. The SnowMaster design is a unique hybrid style, combining elements of single-stage and two-stage models. We’ve used a SnowMaster through four New Hampshire winters, and we continue to be impressed with its snow-clearing abilities. We even put it head-to-head against a 30-inch two-stage Troy-Bilt behemoth, and in each test the smaller SnowMaster got the upper hand. In fact, with this machine in the shed, we haven’t seriously considered using any of our bigger, pricier snow blowers.

What makes the SnowMaster so fast is the combination of a distinctive single-auger design and Toro’s Personal Pace drive system. The auger, while technically a single-stage design, is atypical of those smaller machines in two ways: speed and shape. According to Toro marketing manager Christine Cheng, the SnowMaster’s auger spins 10 times faster than that of the company’s compact two-stage snow blower. It has the same turning speed as a regular single-stage version, but “it has a 25 percent higher tip speed due to the larger-diameter rotor, which provides greater throw distance versus the single stage.” That means it throws snow faster and farther. As for the shape, the sides are designed to pull snow toward the center portion, which then throws the snow. A regular single-stage design has a more “gentle curve,” which results in “a portion of the snow that does not go up the chute,” Cheng said.

remote, control, snow, blower

Toro’s Personal Pace drive system, popularized in the company’s mowers, is the other part of the speed equation. The speed of the wheels reacts to the amount of pressure you put on the handlebar—the faster you walk, the harder you press, and the faster the SnowMaster goes. If you slow down, reducing the pressure on the grip area, the speed of the wheels slows as well. The entire time, the machine is matching your pace, and because of the fast-spinning auger, the SnowMaster is clearing snow as quickly as you can walk.

In testing the SnowMaster, we were always very comfortable at the higher speeds, because we knew we could slow down in an instant. We could also fly over lightly snowed areas and promptly slow down when the snow got thick. With a regular two-stage machine, we usually defaulted to a moderate speed and kept it there because the manual shift to slow down or speed up was too tedious to bother with for a short stretch.

We tested the SnowMaster 824 QXE head-to-head against the 30-inch Troy-Bilt Storm 3090 XP, using each machine to clear a 100-foot-long, 4-foot-wide path through 8 inches of snow. The SnowMaster did the work in half the time of the Storm even though it’s 6 inches (20 percent) narrower. Not only was it quicker, but it also cleared down to the ground better.

remote, control, snow, blower

We also ran the two blowers on 4 inches of soaking-wet driveway slush (the kind that’s more water than snow), and again the SnowMaster 824 QXE did a better job. The lumbering two-stage Troy-Bilt Storm 3090 XP constantly clogged up at the chute, so we had to keep stopping and shutting it down to clear it. The auger of the SnowMaster, in contrast, was fast enough to keep the slush flying through the chute, prohibiting any blockage.

The SnowMaster 824 QXE does not have power steering like most two-stage blowers do, but due to the hybrid machine’s light weight, it is still a maneuverable snow blower. The SnowMaster weighs only 131 pounds, nearly a hundred pounds less than a comparable two-stage machine like the 215-pound Cub Cadet 2X 24. Because the SnowMaster maneuvers like a lawn mower, you don’t have to shift constantly between forward and reverse when clearing a tight spot—you just pull the unit backward. Doing so is impractical with heavier two-stage units, which need power steering and a reverse gear in order to be maneuverable; we didn’t miss those features at all on the SnowMaster.

remote, control, snow, blower

The SnowMaster also has a nice joystick-style chute control that you can operate on the fly as the blower is moving—an invaluable feature when you’re blowing, say, the area between a house and garage, or any other tight space where you have to continually move the chute and deflector to drop the snow right where you want it. We like that the same joystick controls both the chute and deflector; many other models have two separate controls.

We looked for the ceiling of the SnowMaster 824 QXE’s capabilities and discovered that at about 16 inches of heavy, wet snow, the engine starts to bog down. It’s a clear sound, and once we recognized it, we simply eased off a little and started taking smaller passes or going a bit slower. As this video shows, the machine still clears the snow, but with the deeper drifts it goes at a normal pace rather than at the race-car speed you might be used to. The most difficult part with this kind of snow is making the first pass, when the machine is dealing with a full load of snow. After that, it’s much easier because it’s only taking off as much snow as the blower can handle.

We’ve relied on a SnowMaster through five New Hampshire winters, and in that time we haven’t had any real issues with its capabilities, even with the frozen plow mess at the end of the driveway. In a heavy snowfall in early 2023, we again had great results with a SnowMaster we’ve been testing for two years. As with any snowblower, it’s about being aware of what the machine can handle and moderating what goes into the chute.

The truth is, after using the SnowMaster, we have completely changed the way we view snow clearing. In the past, moving snow was something we had to do after a storm, maybe even the next morning. It took hours, and it was drudgery we didn’t look forward to at all. But because of the SnowMaster’s sheer speed and ease of use, the task is now something we can dash through in less than an hour. Because the SnowMaster is so fast, we also have the option to do a quick mid-storm pass with larger snowfalls, when the snow is still fluffy, rather than waiting until the next day. By taking this approach, we’re hardly spending any more time snow blowing, and we’re also not stressing the SnowMaster with an inordinate amount of snow.

We’re not alone in our high opinion of the SnowMaster design. Paul Sikkema thoroughly tested the SnowMaster 824 QXE and came away impressed. You can read his detailed walkthrough for even more info.

After using the SnowMaster, we have completely changed the way we view snow clearing.

Finally, Toro covers the SnowMaster machines with a three-year limited warranty (PDF); the chute is guaranteed for life.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

Toro recommends that the SnowMaster be used only on paved surfaces, because the speed at which the auger moves leaves the possibility of launching a rock. “We’re being cautious,” Toro marketing manager Christine Cheng told us. We did much of our testing on a smooth gravel driveway and didn’t notice any more rock ejections with this model than we did with any two-stage blower. The machine comes with adjustable skid shoes that raise the scraper bar off the ground and make it harder for loose gravel to get caught in with the snow. If you adjust these pieces higher, there’s less likelihood that stones will get jettisoned, but it also means a thin layer of snow will remain on the driveway, which is par for the course no matter what kind of snow blower you’re using.

But we did find other reasons to stick to a flat surface (even if it’s a flat gravel driveway). The Personal Pace system can have difficulty on uneven ground such as a bumpy lawn. If the front of the snow blower jams on something, you naturally end up pressing in the Personal Pace handle, which gives the wheels a burst of juice—and that causes the SnowMaster to be a bit herky-jerky. If you’re just clearing a quick path to the woodshed or a dog run, it’s something you’ll likely learn to deal with, as we did. Still, if you have a lot of lawn clearing to do, we suggest considering the Cub Cadet 2X 26 HP.

Also, while the lack of a reverse gear wasn’t a problem for our testers, it does take some strength to maneuver the machine. We think that anyone in moderate physical condition should be able to handle the SnowMaster, but if you’re concerned about your strength, the Cub Cadet will be a less strenuous option.

Steeper inclines can pose a problem for the SnowMaster 824 QXE, as the combination of the small tires and the light weight can lead to a loss of traction. The driveway we used for testing has a 5.5 percent slope throughout much of it, and we never had any problems, but if you have notably steep areas to clear, you may end up putting more push into the machine than you’re used to. The heavier Cub Cadet 2X 26 HP is a better option for steep inclines.

Although the SnowMaster 824 QXE is a fast snow mover, its weight and size impose some limitations. Because it’s so light, we found that the machine sometimes rode up over packed snow rather than knifing under it. In one instance, 5 inches of especially heavy snow didn’t cause issues for the SnowMaster, but it struggled on the tire lines where a car had driven out—those took a few passes to break up and remove. The crusty, crunchy next-day plow mess at the end of the driveway sometimes needed a little busting up with a shovel before the SnowMaster (or any other two-stage blower) could blow it away. At around a foot of heavy, wet snow, the SnowMaster starts to bog down.

We also wish the chute could turn a wee bit further. Up at the end of the driveway by the road, it’s nice to be able to toss the snow to the side and a little behind. The SnowMaster 824 QXE can go a few degrees more than 90, but hardly enough to make a real difference in that regard. Our other picks all go further, allowing you to throw the snow a little to the rear of the blower.

Finally, this model has no headlight. Although that’s a relatively minor feature, we appreciate any added illumination, even if it’s just so that passing cars can see us better at the end of the driveway. But the lack of a headlight in no way offsets all of the benefits of the Toro SnowMaster 824 QXE. And over the years, we’ve actually found that wearing a good headlamp is much better for snow blowing than depending on a machine’s headlight, because a headlamp lets you put light anywhere you want, not just in front of the blower.

Runner-up: Toro SnowMaster 724 QXE

Almost the best snow blower

Like our pick but with a slightly smaller engine, the 724 QXE shares the other unique snow-clearing abilities that make the 824 QXE so effective.

Buying Options

The Toro SnowMaster 724 QXE, a slightly smaller version of the 824 QXE, was our previous pick. We recommend getting it if you can’t find the 824 QXE—as is often the case once December hits.

The 724 QXE is a great machine, and the only difference between it and the 824 QXE is that it has a 212 cc engine instead of a 252 cc engine. In our tests, the 724 QXE could easily handle up to 12 inches of wet snow with little issue, so it should fit the needs of many people.

With only about 100 to 150 separating the two models, all other things being equal, we think most people would be happier over the long term with the more powerful version. But when the slightly more powerful 824 QXE is not an option, look at the 724 QXE before any alternatives, because it shares so many of the unique snow-clearing abilities—the same chute control, Personal Pace system, and electric start, as well as the 24-inch clearance width of the auger itself—that make the entire SnowMaster design so effective.

Also great: Cub Cadet 2X 26 IntelliPower Snow Blower

Better for gravel driveways

This traditional two-stage blower, ideal for 6- to 12-inch snowfalls, is heavier and slower than our pick but offers a great combination of features for the price.

Buying Options

At the time of publishing, the price was 1,300.

If the Toro SnowMaster 824 QXE is not available or if you have a gravel driveway (or you clear a lot of lawn area), we recommend the Cub Cadet 2X 26 IntelliPower Snow Blower. This model is good for regular snowfalls of roughly 6 inches to 1 foot on a two-car driveway that’s up to about 80 feet long. The Cub Cadet is a reliable machine with a well-rounded feature set. Like all good-quality two-stage blowers, it has an electric start and no-mar skid shoes—these features make the machine easy to get running and make it safe to use on a deck or patio without leaving scratches. It also has power steering, large tires, and a durable metal chute. This is an upgraded version of our previous pick. The major improvement is the addition of a digital throttle which regulates the power based on the task at hand. This works to prevent the engine from bogging down.

Because it’s a two-stage model, the Cub Cadet 2X 26 IntelliPower Snow Blower is much heavier than the SnowMaster 824 QXE, so the power steering is crucial. A small trigger at each handle stops the corresponding wheel, which causes the blower to turn on a dime (or a slow arc, if you’re just intermittently tapping the trigger). After having gotten used to a two-stage blower with power steering, we can’t imagine going back to the days of wrestling one around at the ends of the driveway. (Although the trigger system is an essential feature for a two-stage blower, at the same time it feels tedious compared with the far more maneuverable design of the SnowMaster.)

In fact, power steering is a major reason this Cub Cadet is special: Many other high-end two-stage blowers have power steering, but most of them cost hundreds more. In fact, most blowers in this price range don’t have power steering.

Two other features distinguish the Cub Cadet 2X 26 IntelliPower Snow Blower from other 26-inch machines. First, it has two headlights, one on each side of the control area, facing forward. Many blowers have only a single light in the center, which does more to illuminate the back of the chute than the driveway. Although we recommend wearing a headlamp if you’re clearing snow in the evening, the Cub Cadet’s two lights do offer increased visibility and a better chance that passing drivers will see you if you’re cleaning up the end of the driveway.

Second, the Cub Cadet has 15-inch tires, which are at least an inch larger and provide better traction than those on many 24- and 26-inch blowers.

A hand crank below the dashboard controls the side-to-side movement of the chute, and a joystick at the controls operates the up-and-down movement of the deflector cap. As on the SnowMaster 824 QXE, you can make adjustments while the blower is moving, but doing so with these controls is not as easy as using a four-way joystick.

Being a traditional two-stage blower, the Cub Cadet uses shear pins. These pieces hold the auger blades to the auger axle, and they’re designed to break if the auger gets jammed, preventing damage to the blades or engine. The blower will likely come with a few extras, but we recommend checking the owner manual for a part number so that you can order more.

Cub Cadet covers the blower with a three-year limited warranty and a five-year limited warranty on the auger gearbox.

Also great: Ego Power SNT2405

remote, control, snow, blower

A cordless option

The battery-powered Ego SNT2405 eliminates the need for gas and engine maintenance. It’s quiet and easy to use, but it will struggle in deeper, heavier snows.

Buying Options

At the time of publishing, the price was 1,300.

For a snow-blowing experience that is free of exhaust, gas, maintenance, and the noise of a small engine, we recommend the cordless Ego Power SNT2405 24-inch Self-Propelled 2-Stage Snow Blower. Although it does not match the Snow Master 824 QXE—or any of our other recommended gas models—in clearing ability, speed, or overall power, it does perform well with lighter snowfalls and has the run time to handle a decent-size driveway. Just know that it might not be strong enough to handle the crusty plow mush at the end of the driveway, so you may need to do some shovel work there.

We tested the Ego SNT2405 on 6 inches of light, fluffy snow—basically, the easiest kind of snow to clear. Under these circumstances, it worked great with about 26 minutes of run time, but we would expect more of a struggle and a shorter battery life with heavier snows. Under these conditions, it cleared the plow mess at the end of the driveway but still struggled a little, and we expect that with denser snows it would have much more of a problem or simply wouldn’t be able to do the job. We performed our testing in New Hampshire, and for areas that get snows at the northern New England level, we recommend either sticking with a gas snow blower or understanding that a big, wet, heavy snow might outmatch the Ego SNT2405—and with many snows, you’re likely to end up clearing the end of the driveway by hand.

In our nearly half hour of battery time, we were able to clear a 150-foot driveway and a three-car parking area. We even had enough juice left to blaze a 75-foot path to a chicken coop. This experience amounted to about eight minutes more run time than we got from the Ryobi RY40870 40V HP Brushless 2-Stage Snow Blower, which we also tested. The Ego SNT2405’s charge time is about two hours, less than that of any competitors.

The Ego SNT2405 runs on two 56-volt 7.5 Ah batteries. We like that it comes with a dual-port charger, which reduces downtime by requiring only one charging session to get the snow blower back up to full capacity. The Ryobi RY40870, in contrast, comes with four batteries but only a two-port charger, so in order to get that model to full capacity, charging is a two-step process that, if efficiently done, takes four hours (two hours for each pair). The SNT2405’s batteries are compatible with the rest of Ego’s lawn and garden tools, but keep in mind that the 7.5 Ah batteries are pretty large and will add weight to a handheld tool such as a leaf blower or a string trimmer. Ego is also in the process of releasing a version of the snow blower that comes with two 10 Ah batteries, which will likely have an even longer run time but be even heavier.

The controls on the Ego SNT2405 differ from those on a gas snow blower, but they’re familiar enough that we didn’t take long to get accustomed to them. The biggest change is that you can control the auger speed as well as the drive speed. In our tests, this meant we could dial down the auger speed (saving battery life) to match the snow conditions and the speed we were moving. For safety reasons, starting the auger is a two-handed process, which is awkward at first, but eventually we were doing it without much thought.

This snow blower has no power steering, so it does need to be muscled around a little. The self-propelled drive can go in reverse, though, which helps with turning it around at the end of a driveway.

You control the SNT2405’s chute with two joysticks, one to adjust the rotation of the chute and the other to raise and lower the hood. This arrangement is a little tedious and made us appreciate the smooth, single joystick of the SnowMaster 824 QXE.

We found other minor touches that we liked about the SNT2405, such as the handle height adjustment. Because this Ego model is so easy to use, you might distribute snow-blowing duties among multiple people in a household, and raising and lowering the handle is a relatively simple process that does not require removing the entire handle, as it does on the Ryobi.

One downside of the Ego SNT2405, aside from its general limitations on power and run time, is that it doesn’t have much in the way of a battery-indicator light. You can sort of look in the battery compartment and see the indicator lights on the individual batteries, but the lid of the compartment quickly gets covered with snow. Because we succumbed to the trance-like nature of snow blowing, we ended up with a dead snow blower positioned pretty far from our garage. Instead of muscling it back, we ended up deserting it for a night while we charged up the batteries.

What to look forward to

For the 2022/2023 winter season we’re testing two new cordless snow blowers. The Toro Power Max e24 60V Two-Stage Snow Blower (also available in a 26-inch version) is more expensive than the Ego Power SNT2405, but it has a couple of features that we’re curious to test now that we have the SNT2405 to compare it with. First, the chute control looks similar to the (very successful) one on the SnowMaster 824 QXE, an area where the SNT2405 felt a little clunky. Also, engaging the auger looks a lot simpler, which, again, was a little awkward on the SNT2405. The Toro cordless blower needs two batteries to run but provides a third port for added run time if you own other tools in Toro’s 60-volt system. It comes with two single battery chargers, which means you can fill both batteries at once, but you need two plugs to do so.

We’re also looking at the Ryobi 40V HP Brushless 18-inch Single Stage Cordless Snow Blower. This is a nicely-priced single-stage blower that runs off the Ryobi 40-volt platform. We’re looking at it as a possibility for people who have only small areas to clear.

The competition

The other cordless model we tested in our latest round, the Ryobi RY40870 40V HP Brushless 2-Stage Snow Blower, is priced on a par with the Ego SNT2405 but has a shorter run time and lacks some of the finer touches. In fact it wasn’t until we used the Ego that we realized how frustrating some aspects of the Ryobi are.

The Ryobi RY40870 needs two batteries to operate, but it has room for four and comes with four. With all of them engaged in the snow blower, you get increased run time. But the battery life with all four batteries still falls short of what we saw from the Ego’s two batteries. In our tests, we got close to 20 minutes with the Ryobi, short of the Ego’s 25 to 26 minutes. That 20-minute stretch was enough for us to do quite a bit of clearing, but the real difficulty lay in the charging. Like the Ego SNT2405, the Ryobi RY40870 comes with a two-port charger, but with four batteries, this means that you need to swap out the first two once they’re full. We found this step easy to forget, and during one snow we realized that we had only two fully charged batteries because we hadn’t put the other ones on the charger. It’s unfortunate that Ryobi offers no onboard charging system that would allow you to just plug the snow blower in and know that the next time you need it all four batteries would be filled.

We found a number of other inconveniences in the RY40870, too. First, the handles were uncomfortable to hold, as the ends of the drive and auger levers flare slightly outward, and that’s right where we naturally placed our hands. Even with gloves on, we felt the odd shape of the levers press into our palms, and they wore our hands right out. Had the batteries not died, we probably would have had to take a break just to rest our hands. We started the process of lowering the handles to see if that would remedy the situation, but to do that, we discovered, we needed to remove and readjust the entire control console, a time-consuming and awkward process (on the Ego SNT2405, the control console can slide up and down while remaining attached). In trying to disengage the Ryobi control panel, we realized that we were unable to remove one of the holding bolts because it was blocked by the wiring harness. Frustrated, we gave up.

Another inconvenience of the RY40870 is that the lid to the battery compartment is spring-loaded to the closed position. This design choice is understandable considering the amount of snow that is likely to be around when you’re moving the batteries in and out, but it also creates a true annoyance while you’re dealing with the batteries. The batteries click into the snow blower with some force, so getting them out can take two hands—not an easy task while you’re also trying to prop the spring-loaded door open.

While trying to assemble the RY40870, we realized that a bolt had not been shipped with the snow blower. We read some reviews on the Home Depot site indicating that other people had had the same experience.

Previously, we tested the Ego Power SNT2102 Snow Blower which usually costs around 650 and does not have any kind of self-propulsion. This omission is something we would be willing to forgive with a 200 snow blower, but it’s a lot more difficult with a model that is priced well over 500.

The Troy-Bilt Arctic Storm 30 was our previous upgrade pick, but because of a production delay, it will not be available for the winter of 2021/22. It looks to be back in stock for winter 2022/23, and is a good choice for someone dealing with a lot of snow. It’s a great snow blower and we’re going to watch for any stocking issues this season before fully recommending it again.

We tested two power shovels, the electric Toro PowerShovel 38361 and the cordless Snapper XD 82-Volt Max Snow Shovel. These models had no problems clearing 5 to 6 inches of snow in our tests, but the issue is that they offer no way to direct the snow; it just flies forward. Each machine could throw the snow quite far, but we found it a challenge to maneuver the shovels in a way that put the snow where we wanted it (and not in the neighbor’s yard). Also due to their minimal width, 12 inches, both power shovels required a lot more passes than a regular single-stage blower. Last, the Snapper is quite heavy to use for any extended period of time, due to the battery.

The Ryobi RYAC803 20 in. 13 Amp Corded Electric Snow Blower, is another blower we recommended, but that is no longer available. The similar Snow Joe Ultra SJ623E Electric Snow Blower will be available, but it has a much shorter warranty compared with that of the Ryobi (five years versus two years).

We researched Cub Cadet, Troy-Bilt, and Craftsman blowers, all made by MTD Products, and for the most part found similar builds and warranties. The feature sets vary from model to model, as does availability. Although they’re priced on the more affordable side of the snow blower spectrum, we’ve never had any issues with their performance or reliability. Of the MTD-made 26-inch, two-stage models we researched, the Troy-Bilt Storm 2665 typically costs 100 less than the Cub Cadet 2X 26 HP but doesn’t have power steering. We’ll stick with the Cub Cadet.

Cub Cadet and Troy-Bilt offer models (manufactured by MTD) that they refer to as “three-stage” blowers. In this design, a third impeller located at the center of the front auger feeds snow rapidly into the throwing impeller. These machines are great for moving massive amounts of snow quickly, but with smaller snowfalls, Sikkema told us, they “throw snow out the front all over the place.” The Home Depot customer feedback on these models isn’t as good as on traditional two-stage blowers.

At this time, we don’t feel confident recommending any Craftsman blowers. Previously, the Craftsman Quiet 208cc Dual-Stage Zero-Turn Snowblower (88694) was a pick of ours, but with the recent purchase of the Craftsman name by Stanley Black Decker, plus the continued financial troubles of Sears, we think the brand is in too much transition for us to recommend such a big-ticket item. We don’t know what will happen in the future, and Craftsman representatives have told us that the blower will continue to be supported, but in thinking of the large investment required for a snow blower, we feel more comfortable steering you toward a more stable company, especially when you can find other brands offering similar models.

Ariens is a highly regarded manufacturer of blowers. Their Deluxe 30 is usually a little more expensive than our previous pick, the 30-inch Troy-Bilt, and the engine is not as big.

The less-expensive Ariens Compact line lacks power steering, a feature we see as essential for a two-stage blower. The snow blowers in the Ariens Platinum series are simply too pricey, 2,000 for a 24-inch snow blower is asking a lot. These machines are designed for professionals, and given the impressive performance of the less-expensive models we’ve tested, we don’t think it’s necessary to invest this kind of money into a residential snow blower.

Toro blowers are typically more expensive than MTD-made blowers. Some Toro models have trigger power steering as the MTD blowers do, but others have a system similar to Ariens’s Auto-Turn, where the machine responds to your movements (if you tug the handles, the wheels react accordingly). Smaller Toro models, such as the Power Max 826 OAE, don’t beat out the Cub Cadet 26-inch blower in terms of value and features.

The 24-inch Husqvarna ST224P comes with hand warmers and an adjustable-height handlebar. It costs roughly the same as the 26-inch Cub Cadet and has a less powerful engine and smaller tires. The company’s 27-inch version splits the difference in size between the smaller 24- to 26-inch models and the larger 28- to 30-inch models, but it still has only 15-inch tires. Sikkema specifically does not recommend the Husqvarna ST230P, writing, “I feel there are better value 30 inch machines.”

Honda’s snow blowers are highly regarded, but they come with an extremely high price tag. The 24-inch model, the HSS724AW, typically costs 2,500, about twice the cost of the Toro SnowMaster 824 QXE. After having experienced the reliability and usability of our picks over multiple winters, we don’t see the need to invest that much in a snow blower.

We avoided any blowers priced under about 700, so we didn’t spend much time on lesser brands like Murray, Poulan Pro, and Yard Machines. Sikkema, for his part, has given Power Smart and Snow Devil a “Do Not Buy” designation, writing, “If you want the cheapest snow blower, if you don’t care if you can easily get it repaired, if you don’t care how long it will last. This is the snow blower for you.”

Tracked blowers such as the Troy-Bilt Storm 2690 XP are also available. These models are like regular two-stage machines but with tank tracks instead of wheels. Tracked machines sit on the periphery of the snow-blowing world—as Sikkema told us, they’re helpful for steep driveways or “large areas of gravel or turf,” but in the end “most people don’t need tracks.”

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