Even if you’re reading this in the summer, you know that winter is (always) coming, and gas powered snow blowers are the go-to for many homeowners.
Why do homeowners often pick them and which model should you invest in? We answer all questions potential buyers may have and review some of the best models on the current market.
Gas Powered Snow Blowers: 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 kind of snow blower help you need, you’re in the right place. I’ve created a review of the best snow blowers on the market for this reason. 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!
Benefits of Gas Powered Snow Blowers
The main draw of gas powered snow blowers is that they’re more powerful than battery-powered ones and even electric blowers. You’ll get more done in a shorter time and even with less effort since some of them are self-powered. Less work is always a good thing!
There are some trade-offs though. Gas powered units are usually noisier than their electric counterparts. Also, they require some more maintenance, and storing them for the summer months requires you to empty the gas and then add a fuel stabilizer when you pour it into the tank again come winter.
Despite a few challenges, gas powered units are actually more common, proving their value.
Buying Guide: Gas Powered Snow Blowers
Make sure you get the right investment and value for money by shopping like a pro. Use the facts below to identify the best gas powered snow blowers for your use.
Single-stage vs Two-stage vs Three-stage
Make sure you understand some technical specs, so marketing jargon doesn’t confuse you.
A single-stage model simply picks up snow with a paddle and channels it outward via the chute. With a two-stage unit, you have an auger along with an impeller which helps clean up snow faster. The most powerful and fastest option is a three-stage snow blower which also incorporates an accelerator. This enhances cleaning AND enables the machine to fling the snow impressively far from you and the blower.
One type isn’t necessarily better than another. For example, if you only work with small amounts of snow, a cheaper one-stage model is more than sufficient to effectively clean up the area. Only if you work with thicker layers of snow and need to get the job done quickly, is a three-stage model really necessary.
Not sure a gas powered snow blower is for you? Check out our full snow blower buying guide to review all your options.
What Really Matters when Shopping for Gas Powered Snow Blowers?
When comparing different gas powered snow blowers, here’s what you need to consider:
- What’s your expected snowfall? This determines how thick the layers are and what clearance height you need.
- Which extras do you need? Having a light is handy, but don’t make it a dealbreaker if you know you usually don’t have to clear snow in the dark. You may also appreciate heated grips.
- Does it have an electric start? Users will quickly tell you how valuable it is to have a quick start option, rather than pulling on a cord multiple times before it stutters to life.
- Is noise an issue? When your neighbors will frown and complain every time you use your large, noisy snowblower, rather settle for a smaller, quieter model. Alternatively, look at the range of electric blower models.
- Do the wheels suit the terrain? Snow blowers with wheels are sufficient for many homeowners but if the property you clear of snow has a slope where you’ll work at an angle, tracks will provide grip for faster, efficient work. Wheels must also be large enough to navigate through layers of snow.
- How much does it clean at a time? Get the job done as quickly as possible thanks to an impressive clearing width. Also, consider if it can handle the thickness of the snowfalls your area is known for.
Now, with these tips in mind, which of the following three models do you need? We’ve tried to give a good range of different styles for you to choose from.
#1 Choice: Craftsman 208cc Snow Blower (Two Stage)
Best Overall Snowblower
First on our best snow blowers list is the Craftsman 208cc Snow Blower.
In the Craftsman 208cc, you get a good amount of power and efficiency thanks to a 4-cycle, 208cc engine. The 2-stage design makes for efficient snow removal.
One of the best things about the snow blower is the type and quality of materials the brand incorporated into the design.
This includes the housing which is made of reinforced steel and the augers made of steel that will efficiently cut through the snow.
Getting started is so easy thanks to the push-button start option.
Read Our Full Craftsman 208cc Review
This electric start is much quicker and less effort than pulling a cord, which is good news for doing chores in freezing temperatures.
The Craftsman 208cc snow blower gives you excellent options for controlling it with a total of six forward speeds and two for reverse. Many users find it fairly easy to control, even with just one hand, which means the other is free to manage other controls.
Use your other hand on the joystick for the chute. You have control over where the collected snow will fall since the chute can turn 180°. This helps you maintain a neat environment on your property without too much effort. Consider the wind and passers-by to identify the best direction.
Craftsman also considered real-life challenges when designing the wheels. Firstly, even in bad conditions, you’ll have good traction thanks to the 13” tires. In addition, when in storage you don’t have to worry about scuffs and marks on your storage room or garage floor, all thanks to the poly skid exterior of the wheels. They’re much easier on concrete than many other wheels.
Based on the size and design you can clear an area of 24” wide at a time and you can take on snow as deep as 21” high and you’ll efficiently clear it away.
Even the aesthetics are smart. Bright red is easier to notice in bad weather, so others will see you and hopefully stay out of the way.
Specs and Features
- Weight: 195lb
- Clearing width: 26”
- Clearing height: 21”
- Start type: Electric
- Number of stages: 2
What People Like
Users really enjoy how user-friendly it is in terms of operation. The ergonomic design allows for easy steering and speed adjusting while you work. Even changing the direction of the chute is effortless, which means you get more done in a short period of time.
What People Dislike
It’s well designed but still a bulky piece of equipment, and not everyone has a lot of floor space to sacrifice for this snow blower’s storage. Some also find it too heavy to control efficiently when working on an incline.
You can trust the range of Craftsman products on today’s market since the brand has been around for over a century. They understand the industry and place an extremely high value on quality. For one thing, they test items in real-life situations, so you know your snow blower will actually perform well in cold, wet conditions.
Our Thoughts: Craftsman 208cc
We consider this a wise investment since you get power and efficiency, paired with durability. The brand’s 2-year warranty is proof of the quality you’ll be buying and nifty extras like a user-friendly joystick makes it easy enough for almost anyone to use.
You can’t go wrong with the Craftsman 208cc Snow Blower.
#2 Choice: Husqvarna ST224 Snow Blower (Two Stage)
Best Value For The Money
In the Husqvarna ST224 Snow Blower, you get a machine designed with homeowners in mind.
You can try out this one no matter what type of surface you need to clear, all thanks to the adjustability of the skid shoes.
Whether it’s a grassy area or a paved driveway, this model will serve you well.
You’ll also appreciate the impressive traction the oversized, heavy tread tires provide.
You don’t have to worry too much about the snowblower damaging surfaces on your property, because the skid shoes can be adjusted.
Read Our Full Husqvarna ST224 Review
To also make it practical for different customers, you can adjust the height of the handle.
Set it to a height that offers you the most comfortable position to work in, preventing fatigue and body strain.
This design incorporates prominent headlights, which means you can work at almost any time of the day, without having to lug around other lights or torches. It’s these small but smart details that show Husqvarna does its research and knows what consumers find valuable.
To control your machine you have a friction disc and you can pick between 6 speeds—steps—going forward. Note that there’s only one setting for reversing.
You’ll see Husqvarna’s exceptional engineering in features like the ribbon auger, the muffler, and good throttle control. The brand added helpful extras that make a huge difference, such as the heated grips on the handle. On a freezing morning, you’ll be thankful for that little bit of heat. Also, you’ll find a clearing stick secured to the unit, so it’s close at hand whenever you need it.
Specs and Features
- Weight: 206lb
- Clearing width: 24”
- Clearing height: 18”
- Start type: Electric
- Number of stages: 2
- Engine: 5.9hp
- Fuel tank volume: 0.69gal
What People Like
Most Husqvarna customers appreciate the quick setup after receiving their snowblowers and find them easy to maneuver, with the power steering being a huge attraction. The lights are efficient even for working at dusk.
What People Dislike
Although the handle is adjustable in height, very short individuals may find it difficult to work with. This also means it may be a while before you can ask your children to take care of the snowdrift on the sidewalk.
Some users comment on the fact that there’s only one reverse setting and this option is a bit slow to their liking.
Husqvarna is another industry-trusted brand, producing a range of products from as far back as the 1680s. It’s impressive to see a company able to stay innovative and keep up with the requirements of the industry for so long.
Thinking out of the box has always been the main value and purchasing one of their snow blowers should give you peace of mind about quality.
You may also appreciate that buying from Husqvarna makes you part of a responsible supply chain. The company is conscious of challenges such as noise pollution. For this reason, they incorporate technology to ensure your snowblower makes as little noise as possible.
Our Thoughts: Husqvarna ST224
It’s always smart to invest in a Husqvarna Snow Blower. Just note that this one’s clearing height capacity isn’t as impressive as others on our list.
Still, if you know features like headlights and heated grips will make a difference—especially if you’re clearing snow on a regular basis during early mornings in winter—you’ll love this snowblower.
#3 Choice: PowerSmart 212cc (Single Stage)
Best for Midsized Driveways
The PowerSmart 212cc Snow Blower is attractive for many looking for a more compact design.
Thanks to being foldable, you’ll easily find a space for storage in most garages.
Also, this one weighs just over 70 pounds, making it a more manageable weight.
People with a small build appreciate this and your kids now have any reason not to help you with this chore.
Just note it doesn’t turn as easily as some other models, despite the size.
Thanks to the chute turning 180° and the snow thrown as far away as 40ft, you can easily clear even a large driveway with this model.
If you need to adjust the chute’s direction, it’s fairly easy to swivel the component around.
You can reach the rotation handle easily from where you stand while pushing the unit forward.
Your snow will be cleared away with the help of an 8” rubber auger. Make sure it’s appropriate for the amount of snow you expect in your area each year since its clearing depth is much less than our other models, rated as only 12.5”.
At the bottom, you’ll find 8” wheels that will provide a fairly decent grip and handle a bit of rough terrain. But, it’s best suited for smoother surfaces.
This is one of the models with great safety features, which is especially a selling point for households with kids. These features prevent an accidental start-up that could injure someone. Also, stopping the auger is as easy as letting go of the auger trigger, so it won’t keep running unless you’re in control of the machine.
One can appreciate small but very important details. For example, the mitten grip is designed to allow enough space to fit your hand, even if you’re wearing a thick glove.
Specs and Features
- Weight: 73lb
- Clearing width: 21”
- Clearing height: 12.5”
- Number of stages: 1
What People Like
Though you can use it for large driveways, users find it most appropriate for smaller, smooth spaces, like a deck or a sidewalk. And since it doesn’t have an expensive price tag, it’s often a more budget-friendly option than repeatedly paying others to shovel snow during winter months.
Older clients also appreciate the compact design that’s much lighter than other models in this category. It means easier handling and less back strain.
What People Dislike
Some people are concerned about the quality of components in comparison to other market-leading brands’ models. Also, it doesn’t always turn easily.
About the Brand
You may not know the PowerSmart brand as well as others on this list, but they do deliver quality equipment. PowerSmart is active in the outdoor power tool industry. Apart from snow blowers, you can also have a look at their garden tools, and equipment like generators and drill drivers.
Apparently, PowerSmart is a brand to a parent company called Amerisun. There isn’t that much information available on them, but they’ve been around since 2011. They do get some good feedback on some of the products they distribute, so it’s worth adding their snowblower to your list of considerations.
Our Thoughts: PowerSmart 212cc
The PowerSmart 212cc Snow Blower caters very well to a niche market. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly buy, simply clear smaller amounts of snow, this is your winner.
Simply make sure its capacity is sufficient for the type of snowfall you’re likely to get each year.
Final Verdict On Gas Powered Snow Blowers
You can see modern brands cater to all types of needs and preferences. This is why it’s so important to start off shopping by analyzing your exact needs. Make an informed decision by picking a model that will help you clear the property efficiently.
Gas powered snow blowers definitely carry benefits in terms of power and we are very impressed with the Craftsman 208cc and its clearance width. Also, having so much control over how fast you move forward and backward is of great help to get the job done quickly but efficiently.
We do appreciate the extras such as the headlights on our Husqvarna model and of course, this brand is always a smart investment. And of course the PowerSmart as being a powerful yet budget-friendly option.
So, now it’s time to make your list of preferences and shop accordingly. If you have a question about these or other snowblowers, let’s discuss it in the comments section.