Snow blowers can be major investments, but for those who only need to clear small areas or who live in regions with infrequent snowfall, a lighter-duty cheap snow blower can fit the bill. They can easily handle a few inches of snow, and some can even plow through larger loads. Savvy shoppers will find cheap gas-powered models and electric models that are more than capable of serving their needs. The best cheap snow blowers are ideal for clearing decks, walkways, and small driveways.
How We Chose the Best Cheap Snow Blowers
A number of factors were used to determine the best cheap snow blowers. We looked at brand reputation, price, power sources, design, and weight. The overall features, capabilities, and performance, according to user reviews, determined the rankings. Considering quality snow blowers that move large volumes of powder can cost around $1,000, we kept most of these snow throwers in a more modest $100 to $600 range.
Overall user-friendliness and clearing capacity for light snowfall and heavy snowfall were also major considerations. In addition, as many snow throwers are moving toward battery and electric-cord power sources, eco-friendly design also factored into our decision-making. Gas-powered models do remain relevant, however, and are especially useful for constant use without a need to recharge.
Taking first place for value and performance is the Worx Nitro snow blower. The Nitro features a brushless motor for optimized runtime and comes with two 20-volt (V) 4-amp-hour (Ah) batteries. As long as the batteries are charged, this snow blower can work anywhere. Plus, its 180-degree rotating chute throws snow up to 20 feet away and is controlled by a one-touch deflector. Dual LED lights illuminate darker areas when needed, and its handle folds down for compact storage.
I tested this snow blower against several cordless and corded models, and it performed very well with moderate snow loads up to 12 inches high. It also has surprising auger speed, and it zips along quickly. Overall, the snow blower is lightweight; easily maneuverable; and offers simple, user-friendly controls. As a single-stage blower, it’s best for paved surfaces and will serve the average property very well. It will not track on steep surfaces, however, and the ability to power through large volumes of snow is limited.
At around $450, or even less when on sale, the Nitro has more battery power and performance capabilities than many snow blowers in the same class. Because it’s a budget snow blower, it shouldn’t be used to clear big driveways with deep snow, but it can handle the light to moderate stuff with ease and will outperform most snow blowers in the same price range.
- Weight: 35.7 pounds with batteries
- Power: Two 20V 4Ah batteries
- Throwing distance: Up to 20 feet
- Easy to maneuver and make quick turns in tight spaces
- Batteries are compatible with other Worx tools
- Assembly is very easy and takes less than an hour
- Collapsible handle makes it easy to store in small spaces
- Chute control is a lever located below the handle, so it’s less convenient to engage
- Plastic wheels have little traction on slick surfaces
Get the Worx Nitro snow blower at Amazon, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, or Worx.
More Cheap Snow Blowers Worth Your Money
- Greenworks 13-Amp 20-Inch Corded Snow Blower, available at Amazon or Walmart.
- Snow Joe 48V IONMAX 18-Inch Cordless Snow Blower, available at Amazon, Lowe’s, or The Home Depot.
- Greenworks 80V 20-Inch Cordless Battery Snow Blower, available at Amazon, Best Buy, or Greenworks.
- Toro 18-Inch Power Clear 518 ZE Gas Snow Blower, available at Tractor Supply Co., The Home Depot, or Acme Tools.
- PowerSmart Gas-Powered 21-Inch Snow Blower, available at Amazon or Walmart.
- Wen 5664 Snow Blaster 18-Inch Electric Snow Thrower, available at Amazon or Lowe’s.
What to Consider When Choosing a Cheap Snow Blower
Budget-friendly snow blowers may sacrifice some of the bells and whistles found on high-end models. That said, you can still find feature-rich models with convenient controls and even LED headlights. Focus on power, size, maneuverability, storage, and performance offered to pin down the best snow blower for your property.
Power is supplied by either gas, batteries, or a power cord, with each one having its own pros and cons. For those who have off-grid properties or have to clear areas with limited power access, gas-powered snow blowers are usually the best bet. Battery power is ideal for those who don’t mind a reasonable charge time, and corded options are also convenient and effective when outlets are readily accessible.
Battery-powered corded and cordless models have significant weight savings over models with combustion engines. For instance, the Toro model on our list weighs in at 58 pounds, while our Best Overall is just 35.7 pounds.
Although the market is moving toward more electric models, gas power remains relevant, especially in areas where long runtimes and minimal power access require snow blowers with combustion engines.
Single-Stage vs. Two-Stage
The difference between these two styles is important for those who are shopping for cheap snow blowers. Many cheap models are single-stage, which are great for paved surfaces and light to moderate snow loads. Two-stage blowers add an extra step to break down then throw snow in a two-step process.
Single-stage models use a single sweeping motion to throw snow. The rubber-tipped auger churns snow and kicks it up through the chute. The auger is located close to the ground so it can scrape against smooth surfaces.
Two-stage models are ideal for heavier snow loads, gravel driveways, and steep inclines. The auger is typically a serrated steel design that churns and breaks down snow. The snow is then filtered to an impeller that ejects into the chute.
Clearing Width and Depth
Width and depth determine the amount of surface area you can cover and the amount of snow you can move. A snow blower with a smaller design means you will need more passes to clear an area. Smaller boxes are great for pathways, decks, and spaces requiring quick turns. A large box is better for clearing big driveways and covering ground quickly.
For the cheap snow blowers, the width is generally 18 inches or 20 inches with a 10-inch height. The size standards shift as you move toward large, more expensive two-stage models. Still, you can expect to clear several inches of snow easily with the 18- to 20-inch models. As snow accumulates beyond 4 inches, clearing becomes more difficult.
Most cheap snow throwers are designed for flat, smooth surfaces. Paved driveways, paths, and patios fall within the performance capabilities. Single-stage snow blowers aren’t meant for tackling heavy snow loads across steep and rugged terrain. These push-style models tend to have small tires and drive systems that simply can’t handle difficult surfaces.
If you plan on clearing gravel driveways and steep inclines, consider upgrading to a two-stage model with a self-powered drive system. Ideally, these will have rubber tires with great traction rather than the slick plastic wheels often found on cheaper models. Both gas and battery-powered two-stage blowers can handle challenging terrain.
While the controls are simple on most cheap snow blowers, the placement and functionality of specific features are important considerations. Chute controls are different on many models, and it’s nice to have a control system on the primary handle. With this type of system, you can spring the chute and quickly adjust the chute angle.
When the chute control is a lever that requires reaching to access and adjust, it becomes a slight inconvenience. You must stop, release the handle, and lean over the bar or walk around to make an adjustment. This slows the process and is a bit of a pain.
Other important features include chute-speed controls, easy-start systems, and folding handles for space-saving storage. Look for these features to find increased functionality on snow blowers at any price point.
Are you asking the right questions to filter through your cheap snow blower options? These common questions can help you determine such things as the benefits of electric compared to gas, expected lifespan, and must-have features. After sorting through common misconceptions and answering the big questions, you can make an informed buying decision.
Q. Are electric snow blowers good?
Electric snow blowers are lightweight and offer high performance without the maintenance requirements that come with combustion engines. (See our favorite electric snow blowers.)
Q. How long do snow blowers last?
With proper maintenance and storage, snow blowers can last a very long time. Multiple decades of use are possible with some snow blowers.
Q. Is a wider snow blower better?
Not necessarily. Wider is better for throwing more snow in a single pass. While a wider snow blower makes it possible to cover more area quickly, narrow models are more maneuverable in tight spaces.
Q. Do I really need a two-stage snow blower?
Two-stage blowers are better for heavy snow loads and challenging terrain. Single-stage models are sufficient for light to moderate storms and paved surfaces.
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