Snow Blower Buying Guide 2022

Welcome to the ultimate snow blower buying guide for 2022. If you’re stuck and trying to figure out how to pick the best snow blower for your driveway, don’t worry.

If you are confused with some of the terminologies or anything else, don’t worry. We cover everything from single-stage to battery-powered in the guide.

If you’re sick of shoveling or tired of the overwhelm, this guide will help you pick a snowblower that fits your needs. 

Once you’re done, don’t forget to check out our reviews for the best snow blowers on the market.

Snow Blower Buying Guide: Why Listen To Me?

My name is Matthew Brown (the snow blower expert). I own a local landscaping company and have been doing all kinds of outdoor work for over 35 years.

In my downtime, my hobbies even include snow blower restoration. I’ve restored over 80 to date!

No matter what you need help with about choosing the best snow blower for you, you’re in the right place. Enjoy and if you need me for anything, feel free to contact me or reply to any page/post and I’ll reply as soon as I can!

Let’s Begin: Snow Blower Buying Guide

Now that you had a look at our favorite snowblowers, it’s time to learn how to pick the best snow blower for your home. Below is a detailed guide on how to find a great snowblower that matches your needs. 

How to Find the Best Snowblower for Your Home or Business

Picking the right size and style of a snowblower for your home is simple. You’ll want to consider how much snow you get and what type of driveway you need to clear. Once you understand this, you can look at a variety of other options that improve the basic snowblower.

Choose a Snow Blower That Fits Your Driveway

Snow Blower Driveway

You need to consider what type of driveway you have before purchasing a snowblower. 

For example, using a large three-stage snowblower on your asphalt driveway could cause damage to the area. Concrete driveways are tough and can safely handle larger snowblowers. Gravel driveways can damage rubber augers on a single-stage machine. Make sure you choose a snowblower that matches the construction material of your driveway.

If you have a larger driveway or a steep incline, you should look into self-propelled snowblowers. All you have to do is steer and the machine will handle the tough work of clearing the snow for you. 

Single-stage snowblowers or blowers that have smaller widths are fine for homeowners that have smaller driveways.

How Much Snow Do You Get?

Do storms in your area average 6 inches or 18 inches? If you only get small snowfalls in the winter you should be fine with a single-stage snowblower. However, if snowstorms in your town average 12 or more inches, you should consider upgrading to a two-stage or three-stage snowblower. 

If you experience ice storms or heavy snow, you want to invest in a snowblower that has a tougher auger or larger engine. These machines can break apart thick ice or compacted snow. They make cleaning after the snowplow passes your home easier. 

What Is the Difference Between Single-Stage, Two-Stage, and Three-Stage Snow Blowers?

Single Two Three Stage Snow Blower

When shopping for a snowblower, you’ll notice three distinct varieties: single-stage, two-stage, and three-stage. Here are the differences between these three types of snowblowers.

Single-Stage Snow Blowers

First on our list are single stage snow blowers. These machines use a single auger to break up snow and propel it out of the chute. They are the smallest type of snowblower and work best on 6 inches or less of snowfall

A single-stage snow blower can break up compacted snow but may have issues with frozen snow and ice on your driveway

Most single-stage snowblowers are not self-propelled. This makes them difficult to use on larger driveways or areas with steep inclines. If you have a steep driveway, you may want to upgrade to a two or three-stage snowblower. 

Two-Stage Snow Blowers

A two-stage snowblower uses a slow turning auger to gather snow. The snow is then moved to the machine’s center and pushed through a high-speed impeller that forces the snow out of the chute.

Two stage snow blowers are great for locations that average up to 12 inches of snowfall during a storm and on larger driveways. They are self-propelled making them ideal for steep inclines.

The larger augers make fast work of ice and compacted snow so you don’t have to rush out in the middle of a storm to clear your driveway.

Three-Stage Snow Blowers

Three-stage snow blowers are the biggest and toughest machines out there. These snow blowers use a slow auger and a second-stage auger to propel the snow into the impeller. If you want to move as much snow as possible in a short time, a three-stage snow blower is your best bet.

These machines are designed for massive amounts of snow and can clear 18 inches of snowfall in less time than any other type of snowblower.

Most three-stage snow blowers are self-propelled, so they work great on large driveways, parking areas, and steep inclines. 

Gas Powered Vs Electric Snow Blowers

Gas Vs Electric Snow Blowers

Snowblowers need power. The most common ways to power a snowblower are gasoline, electricity, and battery-powered, and as you might expect, each type has its pros and cons. 

Gas Powered Snow Blowers

Gas-powered snow blowers are the most common type of machine. These use gasoline to fuel the snowblower. Gas powered snow blowers can be any size but most larger snowblowers will use gas power.

Gas engines range in size. The bigger the engine, the more power the machine is, which means you’ll have an easier time clearing larger driveways or deeper snow. 

The biggest drawback to a gas-powered machine is the maintenance. You’ll need to perform regular oil changes and tune-ups for a gas-powered snowblower.

Gas-powered snow blowers tend to be large and heavy. Some of the best gas-powered blowers can weigh over 300 pounds! If you can’t safely move heavy equipment, you might want to avoid a gas-powered snowblower.

These snowblowers also tend to produce the most noise during operation – this means you could upset your neighbors if you plan on using the snowblower at night or early in the morning. 

Keep in mind, that if you live in an area that reaches negative zero temperatures, you’ll want to look into an electric starter for your gas-powered machine. This lets you start the snowblower quickly and easily in the harshest weather conditions. 

Corded Electric Snowblowers

Corded Snow Blower Snow Joe

The best electric snow blower is one that is convenient and ideal for homeowners who occasionally get light snowfalls. Corded electric snow blowers are ideal for smaller driveways and walkways. You can run a heavy-duty cord to the snowblower and start clearing your driveway. 

Of course, the cord can be annoying while snow blowing. You have to watch out and not cut the cord with the auger.

Corded snowblowers are the easiest type of snowblower to maintain. You won’t have to worry about oil changes or other issues associated with gas-powered snowblowers. 

Battery-Powered Snow Blowers

If you have a larger driveway and don’t want to deal with the hassle of a gas-powered snowblower, you can use a battery-powered version. These snow blowers use a rechargeable battery to supply power to the machine.

Most battery-powered snowblowers can handle medium snowfalls and larger driveways. The average battery life is approximately 30 minutes for this type of snowblower. This means you may want to invest in a second or third set of batteries if you want to use this type of snowblower. 

If you stick with the same brand of power tools, you may be able to use the same batteries for each product. For example, Snow Joe snowblowers and SunJoe tree trimmers use the same batteries. This means you can swap batteries without having to buy more batteries. 

The biggest drawback of a battery-powered snowblower is you need to ensure the batteries are charged. You’ll regret not charging the batteries if a snowstorm comes racing into town. Quick chargers are available that can charge a battery in approximately 30 minutes. 

Some batteries have issues starting in colder weather. If you have problems starting your battery-powered snowblower, most manufacturers advise bringing the battery inside for 10 minutes to warm it. 

Plastic Chute or Metal Chute?

Snow Blower Elderly Man

While you may think a metal chute is a better option for a snowblower, it’s not always the case. 

For most homeowners, a snowblower with a plastic chute is the best option. Plastic is naturally slippery and lets the snow flow freely away from the snowblower. They are less likely to jam or clog with wet snow, and plastic is flexible and won’t crack in cold weather

Steel discharge chutes are prone to chips and dents. Once chipped, rust can form and you’ll need to repair or replace the chute. Steel chutes tend to jam more often than their plastic counterparts. 

Metal chutes are better at handling rocks and gravel. So if you have a gravel driveway, you might want to check out snowblowers with metal chutes instead of plastic.

Key Features You Should Look to Find the Best Snow Blower

Modern snowblowers have a wide range of features that make cleaning up after a blizzard much easier. Below are some key features you should look for when searching for the best snow blower for your home. 

Electric Start

If you’re like me, you just want your snowblower to start so you can get your driveway clean as fast as possible. Unfortunately, starting a gas-powered snowblower in the cold can be difficult. If your snowblower does not have an electric starter you’ll waste time and energy pulling the starter cord. 

Luckily, there are plenty of electric-start snowblowers available. These machines plug into a standard AC outlet and let you start the snowblower with ease. 

Wide Clearance

A snowblower that has wider clearance will quickly clear your driveway. Most snowblowers on the market have 18 to 24-inch clearance. If you have a small driveway or walkway you should be fine with an 18” wide blower. 

Otherwise, if you have to plow a larger driveway or walkway, you’ll want to invest in a 24” or larger snowblower. The wider the clearance the fewer passes you’ll need to make while snow blowing. This means you can finish the job quickly and get out of the cold.

Clearing Depth

How much snow do you usually get during a storm? If the average snowfall is less than 10 inches, you won’t need a big three-stage snowblower. You should be fine with a compact single-stage machine. 

The biggest snowblowers can safely clear over 12 inches in a single pass. 

If you get a lot of ice or hard compacted snow, you want a snowblower that is capable of breaking through the toughest ice. 

Discharge Distance

Snow Blower Discharge Distance

When clearing your driveway the snow has to go somewhere. The discharge distance is how your chute will throw the snow away from the snowblower.

Most models throw snow from 20 feet to 50 feet. A snowblower that has a farther discharge distance makes clearing a driveway quicker since you’ll need fewer passes to complete the project. 

Power Steering and Assist

Snowblowers are heavy. This makes them extremely tough to navigate and turn. Many newer snowblowers offer power steering. Some of the newest models offer one-handed power steering controls and full 180-degree rotation with a pull of a trigger.  

Auto Chute Rotation and Pitch Controls

Don’t forget to rotate the chute on every pass otherwise, you’ll end up throwing the snow back onto your driveway. Manually turning the chute is annoying. If you have problems manually adjusting the snowblower chute, you should invest in a machine that offers electronic chute adjustments.

These types of snowblowers let you rotate and alter the pitch of the chute from a joystick attached to the handlebars of the snowblower. This makes it easy to aim the snow away from your driveway during snow blowing. 

Headlights

Snow Blower Headlights

Snowstorms often start at night or early in the morning. Unless you want to wear a headlamp, you’ll want a snowblower with headlights to make clearing your driveway easier.

Bright LED headlights make snow blowing much safer and easier. Whether you need to avoid obstacles or have a windy driveway, buying a snowblower with powerful headlights is a great idea.

Wheels or Tracks?

Most snowblowers will have wheels or tracks. Almos all snowblowers for homes have wheels. Wheels are fine for small and large driveways. They offer ample grip and traction. 

Some larger snowblowers have tracks. Tracks help you navigate steep hills and driveways. Unfortunately, they are difficult to turn and navigate. This makes them not ideal for most homeowners. 

Airless Tires

Air-filled tires cause a variety of issues during a snowstorm. Getting a flat tire will ruin your day and you might have to break out the shovel to clear your driveway. Air-filled tires can lose pressure and make steering a snowblower more difficult.

Many newer snow blowers come with airless tires. These tires never go flat or lose pressure. They are designed to flex during use and have excellent traction in deep, wet snow. Airless tires never need refilling or go flat. If you have the choice, you should always choose airless tires for your new snowblower. 

Heated Hand Grips

Many snowblowers offer heated handgrips. These grips help keep your fingers nice and toasty on the coldest days. While not a necessity, it’s nice to have the additional warmth on those subzero days

Snow Blower Accessories

Snow Blower Accessories Cab

Manufacturers offer a variety of snow blower accessories that make clearing your driveway more comfortable and quicker. 

Snow Blower Cab

A snow blower cab (like the image above) protects the user from wind and heavy snowfall. The snow cab attaches to the snowblower and creates a protective cover. If you live in an area with harsh winds or extreme temperatures, a snow cab can keep you safe and warm during the harsh climate.

Tire Chains

Tire chains improve the traction of your snowblower. The tire chains are a great safety choice as they greatly reduce slipping and loss of traction. 

Warranty

Your snowblower has a tough job and over time problems are bound to creep up. A good warranty helps you avoid expensive repairs. Most manufacturers offer limited two or three-year warranties on their products. 

Fuel Stabilizer

A fuel stabilizer helps you maintain your snowblower over the summer. Simply add the fuel stabilizer to your tank after the last use. This prevents the gasoline from breaking down. This saves you gas and money over time. 

LED Lightbars

If you need more light you can find LED lightbars that illuminate the darkness. Of course, you should consider the neighbors before purchasing the largest and brightest lightbar you find. You don’t want to get complaints about lighting up the night while you’re snow blowing. 

Extension Cord

For electric snowblowers, you’ll need an extension cord. Look for a heavy-duty and waterproof cord to ensure you’re safe while snow blowing. You’ll need a cord that reaches the end of your driveway. It’s inadvisable to connect several cords during snow blowing for safety reasons. 

Conclusion: Snow Blower Buying Guide 2022

Snow Blower Buying Guide Conclusion

Many homeowners wait till it’s too late to purchase a snowblower. They wait till the storm has already arrived and ended up buying the first snowblower they see. Unfortunately, not all snowblowers work for every homeowner. 

As you can see, there are many different factors to consider before buying a snowblower. Whether you have a small driveway or experience massive snowstorms, you’ll want a machine that is right for the job and won’t break your budget.

Our Top 3 Recommendations

Product Details Our Score
BEST OVERALL
Craftsman 208CC
  • Quiet 208cc motor  
  • 8 total speeds
  • Wide clearance
4.9
4.9/5 Stars
BEST FOR DEEP SNOW
Ariens Deluxe 24
  • 50 feet throwing.
  • 200 degrees turning.
  • 16-inch wheels
4.7
4.7/5 Stars
BEST FOR THE MONEY
Husqvarna ST224
  • LED headlights
  • Adjustable handlebars
  • Skid shoes
4.6
4.6/5 Stars

Our list of the best snow blowers for 2022 features machines for all types of homes and budgets. From gas-powered to battery-powered, there is a snowblower for everyone out there. We hope this snowblower guide helps you find the right machine for the job and you can finally put your shoveling days behind you.