Gas snow blowers are heavy, loud, and difficult to maintain. Electric snow blowers offer a reprieve from the weight and maintenance while matching power and functionality with the features needed to clear the way after a blizzard ends.
Since cord-connected electric snow blowers do come with some inconvenience, they are best used for small spaces like decks and patios where outlets are convenient. Heavy-duty single and two-stage snow blowers with battery power allow users to cut the cord and cover ground for 1 to 3 hours depending on the battery pack.
We tested eight snow blowers in a variety of conditions in more than 24 inches of snow over the course of 4 days, peaking with a massive storm in the Lake Tahoe region. Read on to see how they stacked up in everything from powdery snow to ice-crusted snow to wet snow.
- BEST OVERALL: Ego Power+ 24-Inch Self-Propelled Snow Blower
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Worx Power Share 40V 20-Inch Cordless Snow Blower
- BEST VERSATILITY: Toro 21-Inch Power Clear Electric Snow Blower
- MOST EFFICIENT BATTERY: Greenworks Pro 80V 20-Inch Snow Thrower
- BEST FOR SMALL DRIVEWAYS: Snow Joe SJ615E Electric Single Stage Snow Thrower
- BEST FOR LARGE DRIVEWAYS: Ryobi 40V Brushless Whisper Cordless Snow Blower
- BEST FOR OLDER ADULTS: Greenworks 20-Inch 13 Amp Corded Snow Blower
- ALSO CONSIDER: Snow Joe 48-Volt iON+ Cordless Snow Blower Kit
How We Tested the Best Electric Snow Blowers
We tested the snow blowers in several phases, working through a variety of conditions. In our initial test, we ran each unit through walkways, decks, and driveways where snow was several days old. With 3 to 5 inches of crusted snow on the pathways and another 8 inches piled by snow plows on the road, the test was excellent for blade strength in crusted and icy conditions.
The second test occurred through a massive storm in the Lake Tahoe region. Initially, we cleared several large driveways with 6 inches of nice powder. Then later that evening, the snow turned to rain and then sleet, and we were able to test the snow blowers in very wet snow conditions with 6 inches of accumulation. After we cleared the wet snow, another foot of heavy powder accumulated, giving us one more round of clearing.
It continued to snow all night, leaving another 1 to 2 feet of fresh snow in the morning. Again, we cleared several large driveways along with pathways and decks. This final test pushed the limits of deep snow and really showed the snow blowers’ capabilities.
While we ran each snow blower extensively, family and neighbors were all interested in the electric performance. Collectively, we tested them in the street and driveways, pitting them against heavy-duty combustion models.
During the testing of each snow blower, we monitored performance, including problems we hoped to avoid, advantages over gas-powered models, and the general expectations users have specific to electric snow blowers. Overall, electric models should deliver easy operating controls, reasonable power and battery life, durable components, and performance in a wide variety of snow conditions.
In reviewing these snow blowers, we expected that most users would appreciate electric models with adjustable chutes, powerful auger blades, substantial throwing distance, and a bottom blade that scrapes through snow and ice. We also thought that most users would appreciate a lightweight, quiet snow blower with maintenance-free operation.
Our Top Picks
Quality electric snow blowers will clear driveways, paths, patios, and decks in light or heavy snow. Made with the operator in mind, they are lightweight, have excellent maneuverability, and use LED lights to guide direction in the dark. Capable of throwing snow up to 35 feet and plowing through 12 to 24 inches of snow on each pass, electric snow blowers can serve a wide range of users. We put these models to the test in the previously mentioned heavy Lake Tahoe snowfall. Below are some of the best electric snow blowers that stand out for their quality, ease of use, and effectiveness.
Big storms call for powerful snow blowers, and in the electric market, the Ego Power+ 24-inch snow blower stands out. With a large bucket, powerful steel blade on shear pins, and adjustable skids on each side, the mechanics closely resemble high-end combustion models. Clearing snow loads in excess of 2 feet was not a problem, and we pushed the limits of depth, plowing through the street and snow plow mounds.
Heavier than other electric snow blowers, this model was still lighter than combustion engines, and the self-propelled, adjustable speed drive made it easy to maneuver in testing. We found it easy to adjust the throw speed with low settings for light snow and a turbo setting to reach up to 50 feet in distance; it launches snow. Locating controls was simple with the drive speed, throw power, chute adjustment, LED light, and power button all located on a convenient control panel.
Two 56-volt (V) arc lithium batteries deliver 7.5 amp hours (Ah) of capacity each. The unit can run on individual batteries, but using both simultaneously is suggested by the manufacturer for full power. We tested with both batteries running and the power was substantial. The self drive and auger never faltered or stalled during operation.
Light indicators on the batteries show charge levels, which was convenient for monitoring. At full speed and power, the unit ran for just over 1 hour on a single charge. At lower speeds, it may last longer, but the batteries did provide ample power to clear several feet of wet snow from a large (8-vehicle) driveway. The only downside is the need to recharge batteries, which can require a cooling period followed by several hours before they are ready to operate again. We would consider purchasing an extra set of batteries for continuous operation.
Read our full review: Ego Power+ 24” 2-Stage Snow Blower
- Type: 2 stage
- Width: 24 inches
- Power source: Two 7.5Ah arc lithium batteries
- Excellent drive power with multiple speed options on a convenient lever
- Multispeed blade controls for different snow types and chute throw distance
- High visibility with LED light and a simple button on the control panel
- Convenient controls overall with everything near the handle
- Battery life is roughly 1 hour at top speed and requires several hours to charge
- More assembly required than other models out of the box
- Batteries become hot at full operation and require a cooldown period before charging
Get the Ego Power+ electric snow blower at Ace Hardware or Lowe’s.
On first appearance, the Worx 40V 20-inch electric snow blower appeared moderately sized and sleek. It didn’t scream “power,” but when operating, it moved quickly through snow loads up to 12 inches high. We were impressed with the performance, and it worked well for a large deck, several pathways, and a midsize driveway.
Assembly was simple with a multipiece handle attachment and included hardware. Like many electric blowers, startup and operating was also a breeze with a push button and lever to power the auger. Dual LEDs lit the way and although we primarily used this model in daylight, we did test the lights and they illuminate a reasonable area. The 180-degree chute had a convenient lever to change directions, and it never jammed or stuck while operating. Twenty feet of throwing distance is ample for small to midsize areas, but shoppers might want something bigger for large spaces and deep snow. We found the 20 feet of throw distance plenty sufficient in a moderately sized driveway.
Both batteries are required to operate this model at full power as they combine for a total of 40V. A dual charging port allows for simultaneous charging, and the battery life is ample for moderate spaces at a total runtime of 30 minutes to 1 hour. We ran the unit in 30-minute segments before recharging and never killed the battery. For those looking for great performance at a moderate price point, the Worx 20-inch snow blower offers plenty of bang for the buck.
- Type: Single stage
- Width: 20 inches
- Power source: Two 20V batteries for 40V total
- Great auger speed and maneuverability in moderate snow loads
- Throws snow up to 20 feet, which is sufficient for typical driveways
- Lightweight and easy to push makes it a great choice for all users
- Limited to moderate snow loads and not designed to perform in snow over 12 inches
- Not self-propelled, so plan on pushing hard for stubborn, hard-packed snow
Get the Worx electric snow blower at Amazon, Lowe’s, or The Home Depot.
For a single-stage blower, the Toro blade was surprisingly capable of powering through crust and icy conditions with a stout, steel auger. We pushed down pathways with concrete and pavers, punching through old snow on the initial test. It then performed in fresh powder of 12 to 15 inches deep with consistent performance. This model offers a 21-inch width for working large areas, but it isn’t too big for the small stuff like the pathways we cleared. The Toro also throws snow far, making it possible to work through the center of large driveways while still moving snow to the edges. The manufacturer claims up to 40 feet of throwing distance, and we found this to be accurate, even with chunky snow.
A single 60V battery makes it easy to charge on one port, and the battery can last for 1 or more hours in moderate conditions, although we suspect that 40 to 45 minutes is more realistic while pushing through heavy snow. Starting was simple with a button and lever system, and the LED light was automatic for maximum visibility. Overall, the starting process and controls were intuitive, and we had no problems achieving an instant start.
As a push model, there’s no help from a propulsion drive system, but the Toro is very lightweight and moves through snow easily. When snow heights were significant, taking a half-bucket approach proved effective. The overall performance and design are fantastic with the chute control lever location being the only caveat. A short reach is required to adjust the chute, which is a problem that could easily be solved with a longer rod to reduce reach or a lever mounted on the handle. That said, the chute itself still functions and throws snow perfectly.
- Type: Single stage
- Width: 21 inches
- Power source: 7.5Ah battery
- Single, large battery is easy to insert and manage
- 60V offers plenty of power, which is evident by the auger power and throwing distance
- Blade excels through crusty snow, grinding it into powder and expelling it from the chute
- Lightweight and easy to push to accommodate a broad user base
- Small wheels offer limited traction with their plastic design
- Chute-adjustment handle is inconvenient and requires a reach for adjustments
- Not self-propelled, and users must push hard to break through heavy snow
Get the Toro electric snow blower at Ace Hardware, The Home Depot, or Tractor Supply Co.
With its beefy 80V battery power, this snow thrower from Greenworks delivers a surprising level of performance. The battery produces enough juice to put this cordless snow blower on par with gas and corded single-stage snow blowers, while its intake can clear a 20-inch-wide path and handle snow up to 10 inches deep. The 8-inch rear wheels provide enough height for deeper snow.
Because of its 2.0Ah battery and rapid recharging capabilities, this Greenworks snow thrower lasts up to 45 minutes on a single charge (or more as in our case) and recharges in about 30 minutes. Several features make this 33-pound model easy to use, including a push-button start, collapsible handles for easy storage, high-intensity LED headlights for nighttime use, and a chute that rotates 180 degrees for efficient snow removal. The 8-inch rear wheels provide enough height for deeper snow.
Though the manufacturer claims 45-minutes of battery life, we ran it for an hour on light snow loads under 6 inches deep. It performed very well in difficult snow conditions, although the chute did have a tendency to clog in the really wet snow. (For really big snow loads, a two-stage model would offer more power and capabilities.)
During testing, we worked on a pathway with deep snow accumulated from several storms. This model had no problem ramping up to cut through the top foot before being pulled back and pushed again to clear the bottom foot. It never clogged and showed surprising blade speed and power. The battery life was ample and lived up to spec, and the blower itself was easy to push and operate.
- Type: Single stage
- Width: 20 inches
- Power source: 80V 2.0Ah battery
- 2.0Ah battery included, providing up to 45 minutes of runtime (and longer on light loads)
- 20-inch clearing width to cover large areas quickly
- Cordless operation provides excellent maneuverability and reach beyond power outlets
- Can struggle to handle heavy or wet snow, requiring manual clearing of the blockage
- Limited power makes it less suitable for larger areas that require more effort
Get the Greenworks Pro electric snow thrower at Amazon or Best Buy.
Small but mighty sums up the Snow Joe SJ615E snow blower. At 15 inches wide, it delivers 11 amps of power with an adjustable chute. The lightweight design is easy to push and maneuver, and it fits through small doorways. The handle folds for easy storage, making it the perfect fit for homes with limited tool storage space. A two-blade plastic auger plows through snow up to 8 inches deep, and the adjustable chute throws snow up to 20 feet.
We were impressed with the throwing distance and the machine’s ability to move quickly through deep powder on a large deck. Although the width is small at 15 inches, we ramped up and cut the top 6 inches of snow then worked back through the lower layer. We were able to easily and instantly start this blower with its button-and-lever system. We also liked that we could clip the power cord so it stayed in place while we were blowing, though the cord did limit our ability to move through larger areas.
On the downside, we noticed that the chute adjustment angle could shift if the chute’s two screws weren’t tightened. While somewhat inconvenient for making quick adjustments to the throw angle, it had no impact on our ability to quickly rotate the chute to change the throw direction. Overall, we found that this easy-to-operate little blower works surprisingly well.
- Type: Single stage
- Width: 15 inches
- Power source: Corded
- Lightweight and easy to operate, giving it widespread appeal
- Folding handle makes storage and transportation easy
- Efficient for moving snow under 8 inches, but it can handle more by ramping up
- Doesn’t require a charge and runs continuously until the job is done
- Chute angle requires tight screws to hold position
- Cord limits ability to move in large areas and operate away from outlets
- Small size is not adequate for heavy and deep snow loads
Get the Snow Joe SJ615E snow blower at The Home Depot.
With its multiple batteries, the Ryobi was a long-lasting model with plenty of power and excellent snow-throwing capabilities. We were impressed with the consistent performance and auger speed. It powered through the wet stuff when other blowers clogged, and despite not being self-propelled, it was able to bust through a foot or more of snow without issues.
We found starting this model to be very easy with a push button and auger drive lever that spans the entire handle for easy grip. Controlling the chute was also easy with the control arm adjacent to the main handle. Many other single-stage models use a rod-style lever for chute controls, but the Ryobi handle-mount control is an improved and better design. During testing, the Ryobi batteries outlasted those of most other models, performing at full power for several hours of off-and-on use. We kept on pushing through snow, wondering when the batteries would finally die. They just wouldn’t quit, making the Ryobi a great option for big driveways.
The LED light was ample for low-visibility snow blowing, and while the traction was comparable to the other single-stage blowers with plastic wheels, it didn’t come close to the rubber tires on two-stage models. As a push model, it does take some manual power to push through large snow loads.
Ryobi does make a two-stage, variable-speed blower that is self-propelled, which is a definite upgrade. For large driveways and moderate snow loads, however, the single-stage model remains an impressive blower. The batteries charge quickly, but the charging port only accepts one at a time. Otherwise, the design and performance were excellent.
- Type: Single stage
- Width: 21 inches
- Power source: Two 40V 7.5Ah batteries
- Two 7.5Ah batteries for several hours of power
- Multiple blade speeds for different snow depths and density
- Convenient chute adjustment on handle so users don’t have to lean over to change angle
- 21-inch bucket with a 13-inch clearing depth for heavier snow loads
- Plastic wheels could have more traction
- Not self-propelled, so users have to exert more power to blow snow
Get the Ryobi electric snow blower at The Home Depot.
This lightweight, easy-to-maneuver Greenworks corded blower weighs a mere 30 pounds, making it the lightest pick of the bunch and the easiest to push. For light snow removal, the Greenworks snow thrower will clear away snow up to 10 inches deep and toss it up to 20 feet away.
During testing, the Greenworks zipped along with consistent power thanks to its attached cord. A simple clip secured the cord to prevent unplugging, and it stayed secure during all testing sessions. For small driveways, walkways, and decks that have a convenient outlet, the cord isn’t an issue, but it does add complications when working in large areas and spaces with obstacles. We focused on a big deck and pathways with pavers. Because an outlet was always convenient, we had no issues maneuvering with the cord.
Starting was instantaneous with a convenient push button, and controlling the chute was done with a lever centered just below the handle. Operating this snow blower in heavy snow isn’t advised, but it can certainly handle snow under 1 foot in depth while throwing it a reasonable distance. We primarily tested in snow under the 1-foot threshold but did play in some deeper snow and found the ramping-up technique effective. Our model didn’t have the LED lights, but the company does offer a version with the lighting option. Since we tested this model during the day, this wasn’t an issue.
- Type: Single stage
- Width: 20 inches
- Power source: Power cord connected
- Lightweight makes it easy to maneuver, even on rougher terrain
- Very easy controls with a simple push-start button
- Surprising power for a small snow blower and consistent performance
- Requires extension cord, limiting movement on larger areas
Get the Greenworks corded electric snow blower at Amazon.
Supplied with two rechargeable 24V batteries, each capable of 40 minutes of runtime, this Snow Joe model throws more than 10 tons of snow per charge. Weighing in at 37.5 pounds, this cordless snow blower is on the heavier side, but it’s far lighter than gas-powered options.
In one pass, the quadruple-bladed, rubber-tipped steel auger can carve a path 18 inches wide by 10 inches deep. The 180-degree adjustable snow chute throws snow up to 20 feet. A pair of LED headlights make night or morning snow clearing safer and more straightforward.
Upon the arrival of this blower, we were pleased to see that it only required a handle attachment for assembly. Within 5 minutes of opening the box, we had the snow blower assembled and ready for action.
During testing, this unit performed well in powder but struggled with wet snow. Cleaning the chute was easy with the mounted tool, but it did have a higher tendency to clog. When we used it in 10 inches or less of powder, it moved along easily and had plenty of power and long battery life. At 18 inches wide, it’s not the largest or most powerful, but it’s a good value for light to moderate snow loads.
- Type: Single-stage
- Width: 18 inches
- Power source: Cordless
- Includes two 24V batteries for longer runtimes on larger areas
- Adjustable 180-degree snow chute for better control
- LED headlights enhance visibility in dark winter months
- Very little assembly required: Attach the handle and it’s ready to operate
- Smaller size limits its capabilities for heavy and wet snow loads
Get the Snow Joe iON+ electric snow blower at Amazon.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Electric Snow Blower
There are numerous factors to take into account when deciding on an electric snow blower, including the amount and depth of snow it can move, comfort and maneuverability, and more. Read on to learn about these and other crucial snow blower features.
Corded vs. Cordless
- Cordless snow blowers offer the most convenience and ease of use. Like corded electric models, they start with the push of a button but aren’t limited by the constraints of a power cord. The compromise is with power.
- Corded snow blowers have access to a steady stream of 120V power, which makes them more powerful than cordless models, the best of which use only 80V batteries. Corded models also have a constant supply of power, whereas battery-powered snow blowers will work for only about 45 minutes before needing a recharge.
Snow blowers fall into one of three categories: single-stage, two-stage, or three-stage blowers.
- Single-stage snow blowers, the most commonly used for residential purposes, have a horizontal auger at the front of the machine that rotates rapidly to scoop up snow and throw it 15 to 25 feet through the chute. One disadvantage of a single-stage snow blower, however, is that it isn’t suitable for gravel driveways. Its auger blades are too low to the ground and will pick up the rocks and throw them.
- Two-stage snow blowers use an auger to scoop and throw snow, as do single-stage snow blowers, but they also have an impeller fan that makes them more effective at managing larger amounts of snow. They can throw snow more than 35 feet, and their auger blades sit high enough to clear gravel driveways.
- Three-stage snow blowers are generally only used in commercial and industrial settings. With an auger, an impeller fan, and an accelerator that grinds chunks of ice and hard-packed snow, these are powerful pieces of equipment that can throw snow up to 50 feet. However, the cost of these heavy-duty machines is higher than either the single- or two-stage models.
Clearing Width and Depth
When calculating clearing width and depth, think about the driveway, sidewalk, and any other areas around the home that must be cleared of snow. Some battery-powered snow blowers or throwers have small intake ports that can clear 6 inches of snow, while other models have deep 12-inch intake ports.
With snow being collected and thrown continuously with these models, a nonstick spray for the chute and mouth of the blower may be a good investment to keep clumps and ice from solidifying. When fully functional, the clearing width correlates to a blower’s number of stages.
- Single-stage snow blowers are usually sufficient for residential snow removal. Use a single-stage blower to remove snow in sections that are 11 to 22 inches wide.
- Two-stage snow blowers, well suited for small commercial locations or large residential properties, have clearing widths between 20 and 30 inches.
- Three-stage snow blowers are used for commercial and industrial applications. They have a wide intake that can clear widths of 30 inches to more than 40 inches.
Speed and Chute Control
Because snow blowers can be heavy and cumbersome to maneuver, many users want a self-propelled model. Unlike gas snow blowers, battery-powered models have a digital drive system and can be self-propelled, but they usually have a variable-speed auger to speed up snow removal. By increasing the speed at which the snow is scooped and thrown through the chute, the auger makes it easier to move the machine through a light snowfall. However, a variable-speed auger isn’t as effective when clearing heavy, packed snow.
The chute, which is a curved, hollow tube that extends from the back of the intake on a snow blower, provides a route for the snow to be thrown from the machine. On most blowers, a manual crank or lever allows users to change the angle and direction of the snow being displaced. Premium snow blowers, however, have auto-rotating chutes that users turn by pushing a button near the handle, which doesn’t require the machine to be stopped. The angle on some chutes also can be changed to allow the snow blower to throw snow even farther.
Wheels vs. Tracks
Snow blowers move via wheels or tracks. Wheeled models feature two large rear wheels that drive the snow blower forward. Tracked models have tracks similar to those found on a tank. The tracks typically have a slip-resistant covering that’s suitable for both paved and unpaved surfaces.
As a result, tracked snow blowers provide significantly better traction in the snow, making them better able to climb steep slopes without slipping backward. Most tracked snow blowers are two- and three-stage models, as single-stage models typically don’t produce enough power to drive the tracks. They also operate more closely to the surface, leaving a thinner layer of snow and ice on a driveway or sidewalk than wheeled models.
In comparison, wheeled snow blowers are easier to turn, as tracked models won’t pivot. Wheel sizes for single-stage snow blowers range from 6 to 8 inches. Larger wheels perform better in deeper snow, but smaller wheels are easier to maneuver. Additionally, wheeled models are generally faster than tracked models. That said, some higher-end tracked snow blowers offer faster speed and turn-on-a-dime technology that makes them comparable in speed and maneuverability to wheeled models.
The type of terrain will also have an impact on which of these options is best for different users. Paved surfaces, such as driveways and sidewalks, are best suited for wheeled snow blowers. Tracked snow blowers are better suited for unpaved surfaces. Grade also has a significant impact; steep driveways require a snow blower with good traction and enough power to pull it up a snow-covered slope.
Some of the best electric snow blowers come with special features designed to make snow clearing an easier and more comfortable endeavor.
- Heated handles may seem luxurious, but personal safety is an important part of working outdoors in freezing temperatures. The heat generated by the handles not only helps keep the user’s fingertips warm in the cold air, but it also makes it easier to hold and control the snow blower.
- A drift cutter helps clear deep drifts of snow. The cutter’s metal housing collects and pushes snow down into the auger for removal.
- Headlights make it easier to clear snow in dim lighting.
- An automatic safety shutoff switches off the snow blower when the user releases the handle.
Having studied the features and benefits of these tools, users may find there are still some lingering questions. The following are among those that electric snow blower buyers ask most often.
Q. What’s the difference between single-stage and two-stage snow blowers?
Single-stage snow blowers are made with a horizontal auger that scoops and then throws snow up to 15 to 25 feet away, whereas two-stage blowers include an auger and impeller to take on larger quantities of snow and throw it at up to 35-foot distances.
Q. When should you use your snow blower?
It is recommended to use a snow blower during or near the end of a heavy snowfall to prevent large amounts of snow from sticking to the ground. Multiple passes with light snow moved can be easier than removing heavier quantities of snow.
Q. How long do snow blowers last?
Single-stage snow blowers will typically last for as long as 10 years while two and three-stage blowers will typically have a lifespan of 15 to 25 years.
Why Trust Bob Vila
Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.
Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.
Bob Vila writer Zach Lazzari regularly covers travel, outdoor, and home improvement. When he isn’t pecking at the keyboard, Zach enjoys testing the limits of new products and traveling with his dog, Shale.
Additional research was conducted by Mike Bruton and Tony Carrick.