The best snow blowers of 2024

Snow piling up? Dig in here so you can dig out in a hurry with a snow blower to clear your driveway in no time.

Best overall

The PowerSmart Two Stage Snow Blower is the best two-stage

PowerSmart PSSAM24 Snow Blower

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Best electric

Snow Joe SJ623E Electric Single Stage Snow Thrower

Snow Joe Electric Blower

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Best budget

Greenworks 13 Amp 20-inch Corded Snow Thrower

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When the weather is nice, a snow blower sounds like a luxury. When there’s a foot of snow covering your driveway and you have to be at work soon, you’ll be truly glad you invested in some mechanical help for clearing all that pesky white stuff. While your small walkway or porch might only need a quick shovel (as long as you do it safely), in some places the task of hauling snow over your shoulder can be nothing short of back-breaking (or heart-killing). With the right snow blower, you can clear your driveway, street, or sidewalk in a matter of minutes without much more effort than pressing a button or pulling a cord. However, picking the right one can feel a little overwhelming. Luckily, we’re here to take the guesswork out of snow removal.

How we chose the best snow blowers

When selecting the best snow blowers to make winter storms a whole lot more bearable, we reviewed each unit’s cost, power source, reviews, and displacement to select only the best products. We considered over 40 products and 10 brands to ultimately narrow it down to this list of the best six. Our final range includes blowers designed for different climates—as those who only need to clear a few inches won’t need the same kind of power as those who get hit with more serious snowfall. Whether you’re on a budget or want a high-end option with plenty of bells and whistles, we’ve included a product pick for you.

The best snow blowers: Reviews & Recommendations

Snow blowers aren’t just for locations with frequent blizzards. These machines can assist in clearing everything from a dusting to a blizzard. It all depends on what you need and how much you want to spend.

Best overall: PowerSmart PSSAM24 Snow Blower

Cuts Through Tough Snow

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Why it made the cut: This powerful two-stage pick offers chute control, multiple speed settings, and a four-cycle engine to get through any storm.

Specs

  • Power source: Gas
  • Engine displacement: 212 cubic centimeters
  • Throw distance: 40 feet

Pros

  • Steel auger cuts through snow
  • 8 total speeds
  • Non-slip treaded tires

Cons

  • Heavier design

This snow blower is a reliable, durable, and powerful machine equipped to clear most snowfalls. The gas-powered, two-stage blower beats electric and one-stage models when it comes to forcing, and the steel auger slices through even heavy or icy snow buildup to provide a 24-inch wide, 20-inch deep clearing capacity. The PowerSmart has an energetic 212cc engine, 13-inch-height tires to dig deep into terrain, 180 degrees of chute control (with a 40-foot throw), and eight total speeds (six forward, two reverse), giving you a range of options to choose from when clearing your unique driveway, sidewalk, or street.

Best gas-powered: Ariens Deluxe 30-inch Two-Stage Snow Blower

Sturdy and Powerful

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Why it made the cut: This gas-powered pick can cut through even the most abominable snow buildup with snow blows of up to 50 feet.

Specs

  • Power source: Gas
  • Engine displacement: 306 cubic centimeters
  • Throw distance: 50 feet

Pros

  • Dual belts for more power
  • Auto-turn steering
  • All steel frame for durability

Cons

  • If not maintained well the steel can rust

Save yourself the hassle of making pass after pass after pass with this powerful Ariens snow blower. Capable of clearing a 30-inch-wide path and cutting through 21 inches of piled-up snow, this two-stage snow blower will make quick work of even the most sprawling driveways. Auto-turn steering also means no tricky levers or triggers to manipulate—just press the electric push button and start carving. The dual belt system also allows your engine to output more power where it matters, so clearing even heavy snowfall can be a breeze.

Best full-sized electric: EGO Power+ SNT2112 21-Inch 56-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Snow Blower

Best full-sized electric

EGO Power+ SNT2112 21-Inch 56-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Snow

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Specs

  • Power source: Battery
  • Throw distance: 40 feet

Pros

  • Strong steel auger
  • Comes with extra batteries
  • Quieter than many gas-powered models
  • Low vibration
  • Extremely easy to start

Cons

  • Not self-propelled

Electric snow blowers used to be wimpy machines that could barely handle a dusting. That’s no longer true and EGO’s powerful snow moving machine is proof. It comes with a pair of batteries and a dual-outlet charger so you can keep them both ready to go for when the snow falls. It’s electric, so it starts very quickly and easily with no cord to pull. Once it’s running, it’s noticeably quieter than its gas-powered pals.

Up front, a steel auger chops through snow and ice with aplomb. It measures 21 inches wide, which is wide enough to make quick work of a full-sized driveway, but still nimble enough to clear narrow walkways and other paths. Two charged batteries provide enough power to clear a 12-car driveway of eight inches of snow. If you want a simple, effective way to move snow without a ton of maintenance or effort, this is a great option. It’s not self-propelled, so you’ll have to push it, but the auger is so good at its job that it won’t be a heavy lift.

Best compact electric: Snow Joe SJ627E Electric Walk-Behind Snow Blower

Zero Carbon Emissions

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Why it made the cut: Simply charge up and get snow blowing with this eco-friendly-meets-affordable pick, which clears an impressive amount of snow despite its lightweight and compact design.

Specs

  • Power source: Corded electric
  • Engine displacement: 840 lbs/min
  • Throw distance: 25 feet

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Sustainable
  • Lightweight design

Cons

  • Not suited for large driveways

Powered with a rechargeable 100-volt, 5.0 Ah lithium-ion battery, this electric snow blower can clear a path that’s 22 inches wide and 13 inches high. This model comes with a battery and charger, but you can add an additional battery (sold separately) if thirty minutes of run time isn’t enough. And with dual 5-Watt LED lights, you’ll be able to see where you’re going even when the sun is down. Unlike gas models, the Snow Joe requires no maintenance, so your snow blower won’t malfunction if it goes untouched for months in the garage. Despite its more compact size, this pick can also move 840 pounds of snow per minute, making it a workhorse worthy of a try.

rounded option.

Best compact: Ariens 18S 18-in Single-stage Push with Auger Assistance Gas Snow Blower

Ariens 18S 18-in Single-stage Push with Auger Assistance Gas Snow Blower

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Why it made the cut: There aren’t many compact gas-powered snow blowers out there, but this is a very solid option.

Specs

  • Power source: Gas
  • Engine displacement: 99cc
  • Throw distance: 10 feet

Pros

  • One of just a few gas-powered compact models
  • Clever blade design gets all the way to the driveway
  • Easy to start with one or two pulls
  • High-visibility color

Cons

  • Heavier than electric models
  • Max snow clearing height of six inches so not for heavy storms

You won’t find many gas-powered compact snow blowers out there anymore with so many electric models to choose from. But, if you’re keeping a snow clearing machine at a camp or area with inconsistent access to electricity, then a petrol-powered machine may be the way to go. This 18-inch wide machine has a 99cc engine inside and a 12-inch intake height. It’s only meant to clear six inches of a snow at a time, so you’ll have to go out and clear regularly if you get a storm with more accumulation than that. But, this machine starts easily, runs relatively quietly (at least compared to other gas-powered blowers), and maneuvers deftly. Its clever auger blade design allows it to get all the way down to the bare driveway without leaving scrapes or marks or getting damaged if it hits an errant rock.

The chute turns a full 210 degrees, so you can throw snow wherever you want it as you move along. That comes in handy if you have a driveway with a lot of vehicles or picky neighbors who don’t allow your snow to touch their precious lawn.

Best two-stage: Briggs & Stratton Dual-Stage Snow Blower

Serious Snowfall, Serious Solution

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Why it made the cut: This high-quality option has a powerful motor and two-stage design to tackle the heaviest snowfalls.

Specs:

  • Power source: Gas
  • Engine displacement: 208 cubic centimeters
  • Throw distance: Up to 40 feet

Pros

  • Easy electric push start
  • Heated hand grips
  • Non-slip treaded tires

Cons

  • Heavier design

This powerful gas two-stage snow blower can easily tackle snowfalls that are up to 20 inches and move 208 cubic cm of snow, making it one of the best machines to clear areas hit with serious snowfall. While considerably more expensive than the other options in the article, this gas snow blower will cut through just about anything you put in its way and you give total control over where it ends up. The dual-trigger steering also allows you to cut tight turns and clear snow precisely, which ultimately makes for a faster process overall.

Best budget: Greenworks 13 Amp 20-inch Corded Snow Thrower

20-inch Clearing Width

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Why it made the cut: Snowblowers tend to be quite the investment, but you don’t have to spend a ton to save time clearing drifts—this Greenworks pick has quite the power, despite its more compact size and affordable pricing.

Specs:

  • Power source: Corded electric
  • Clearing depth: 10 inches
  • Throw distance: 20 feet

Pros

  • Affordable pick
  • Lightweight design
  • Easy electric start

Cons

  • Requires extension cord

If you live somewhere that only sees light, sporadic snowfall, there’s absolutely no reason to shell out big money on a snow blower with features you don’t need. This Greenworks electric snow blower will clear a path that’s 20 inches wide and 10 inches deep. Since it’s AC-powered, you’ll never run out of juice as long as you can reach an outlet. Convenient to store and easy to start, this is a great snow thrower if you don’t want to spend too much money. It’s also a great model to buy for any elderly people you may help care for since it’s light enough to handle without too much effort.

What to consider when buying the best snow blowers

They say that every snowflake is unique, and snow blowers are no different. Depending on your individual needs, you may want a fairly no-frills device or the latest technology. Check out these five things to consider before buying the best snow blower, and then let the snowfall where it may. And while you’re outfitting yourself to tackle those drifts, check out our roundups of the best snow bootsheated socks, heated insolesheated vests, and winter hats to help you get the job done more comfortably (and when you get back inside, grab your heated slippers).

For long driveways and big clean-ups, power your snow blower with gas

Generally speaking, gas-powered snow blowers tend to be more powerful than even the best electric models. So, if you have to clean up a long driveway or city block, you’ll probably want your snow blower to run on gas.

Gas models do have their downsides: for example, you’ll need to change the oil from time to time and make sure that you’re using the right type of gasoline. Other upkeep will include changing or cleaning the filters as needed and occasionally replacing a burnt-out spark plug. However, when the inches start piling up, the maintenance a gas-powered snow blower requires will be more than worth it.

For convenience and ease of use, there’s no beating an electric snow blower

In addition to being more environmentally friendly than their gas-powered counterparts, electric snow blowers are easier to use and require less upkeep. Depending on the model, all you’ll need to do is plug them in (or charge the battery) and you’ll be ready to go.

Unfortunately, electric snow blowers tend to be less powerful than gas-powered ones, so if you have a huge amount of snow to clear, you might find yourself making multiple passes or cursing when the battery runs out. “Less powerful” doesn’t mean “not powerful,” though, and a well-made electric model might be exactly what you’re looking for provided the conditions you’ll be using it in aren’t terribly inclement. There are truly burly electric models on the market, but expect to fork over a pretty penny for them. Some cost $2,000 and up.

A two-stage snow blower is the best choice for clearing large areas and really deep snow

If you live in an area that gets pummeled with snow, a one-stage snow blower just isn’t going to cut it. The difference between a one-stage and two-stage snow blower comes down to how much heavy lifting the “auger” (the part that sucks up the snow) is being asked to do—and in a one-stage model, it’s being asked to do everything.

Put simply, in a one-stage model, the auger sucks up the snow and spits it out, while in a two-stage model, the auger only has to suck it up while another part (the “impeller”) is responsible for blowing it somewhere else. If you’re looking to clear more than 8 inches of snow, a two-stage model is the only type that will get the job done. Electric models are all one-stage, so if you live in a place that gets lots of snow, a gas-powered, two-stage model is a must.

The best snow blowers will come with a few bells and whistles

Not all snow blowers are built equally and picking one with some extra features can save you a lot of time and frustration. For example, if you can’t wait for the sun to come out to clear a path to your car, you’ll definitely want to consider a snow blower with a built-in light. Want more control over where the snow you throw lands? Some models come equipped with remote chute control, so you don’t make another mess cleaning up the first one.

FAQs

Q: How long should a snow blower last?

Depending on the brand, style, use time, how they’re stored, and how well you care for the machine, snow blowers can last between 10-30 years. This means that, in order to get more winters out of your snow blower, you will need to give it some love and care in the off-season with some maintenance. This includes draining the gas, replacing sparkplugs, oiling the wheels, and cleaning it. A basic parts inspection every 20 hours of use is a good rule of thumb to follow.

Q: Do you need hearing protection when using a snow blower?

You don’t need to wear hearing protection when using a snow blower, but you should, as they can be loud. For example, gas snow blowers can reach up to 85 decibels. Eight hours of exposure to that decibel level is considered safe. However, at 100 decibels, the safe exposure time drops to 15 minutes. Although snow on the ground isn’t permanent, hearing loss is. If you’re looking for hearing protection that you can use year-round, check out our best earplugs for concerts. You can rock them under your hat when you’re outside using your brand new snow blower, and rock out with them when seeing your favorite band in town.

Q: Do snow blowers work on heavy snow?

It depends on the kind of snow blower you buy. Single-stage and two-stage blowers can handle up to a foot of snow. Three-stage snow blowers can handle 16 inches. Two- and three-stage snow blowers also remove a wider swath of snow in a pass compared to single-stage snow blowers. If you get frequent, heavy snows, a two- or three-stage snow blower is worth the investment since it will be easier—and less time-consuming—to clear your driveway.

Final thoughts on the best snow blowers

The best snow blowers vary widely in price, power, and performance. Depending on your needs, features like LED lighting and remote chute control can be extremely helpful or totally superfluous. Bottom line: the best snow blower is the one that’s suited to your area’s weather conditions and the amount of area you’ll need to clear. Think gas-powered and two-stage models for blizzard-prone climates, and smaller electric units for more fair-weather locales.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.

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Billy Cadden

Senior Director of Commerce

Billy Cadden is the Senior Director of Commerce for the science, tech, and outdoor group at Recurrent. He began working as the Commerce Editor at PopSci in 2017, where he spent 5 years diving deep into every product he could get his hands on. Cadden splits his time between Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, and Woodstock with his dog Wanda. He spends his time seeking new coffee shops and writing for his solo music project