The Best Single-Stage Snow Blowers of 2022

A nimble single-stage snow blower is just the right size for clearing moderate snowfall from a driveway or sidewalk.

By Tony Carrick | Updated Oct 4, 2022 7:54 PM

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The Best Single Stage Snow Blower Option

Photo: amazon.com

Clearing a snow-covered sidewalk or driveway after a fresh snowfall can be a back-breaking chore. While a full-size, two-stage snow blower is an option, these large and expensive machines are overkill for smaller properties.

A smaller and lighter single-stage snow blower is easy to manage and more affordable than its larger cousin. These slow clearing machines use gas, a standard power cord, or batteries to power an auger that sucks up snow and shoots it up to 25 feet away.

This guide digs deep into the features to consider when shopping for the best single-stage snow blower and reviews some of the top models on the market.

  1. BEST OVERALL ELECTRIC: Snow Joe SJ627E Electric Snow Thrower
  2. BEST OVERALL GAS: Toro Power Clear 18 in. Single-Stage Gas Snow Blower
  3. BEST LIGHT-DUTY: Wen Blaster 13.5-Amp 18-Inch Snow Thrower
  4. BEST MEDIUM-DUTY: Snow Joe 48-Volt iON+ Cordless Snow Blower Kit
  5. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Briggs & Stratton 22-Inch Single-Stage Snow Blower
  6. BEST LIGHTWEIGHT: Greenworks 20-Inch 13-Amp Corded Snow Thrower
  7. BEST BATTERY LIFE: Ego Power+ SNT2102 21-Inch Cordless Snow Blower
The Best Single Stage Snow Blower Option

Photo: amazon.com

Before You Buy a Snow Blower

Like many outdoor maintenance tools, snow blowers can be powered by electricity or gas. Compared to electric blowers, gas-powered options are more heavy-duty machines. If you have an average-sized residential driveway or walkway to clear, a gas snow blower would likely be overkill, and an unnecessarily large expense.

Gas-powered engines also produce noise and air pollution. Their emissions contribute to global warming, which is part of the reason these outdoor power tools are starting to be restricted in numerous communities.

Fortunately, manufacturers are making note, and more eco-friendly electric models are appearing on the market with comparable power and quality. Keep reading for more differences between these power options and how to choose the right one for you.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Single-Stage Snow Blower

There are numerous factors to take into account when deciding on the best single-stage snow blower for a property, including the amount and depth of snow it can move, the power source, comfort and maneuverability, and more. Read on to learn about these and other crucial snow blower features.

Type/Power Source

Snow blowers come in electric, battery-powered, and gas-powered varieties. Each source of power has its benefits and drawbacks.

  • Electric snow blowers are typically designed to clear light snow up to about 8 inches deep. They need to be plugged into an outlet with an extension cord. This limits their performance slightly, making them best suited for those who receive minimal snowfall and have relatively short sidewalks and driveways. They’re also handy for clearing snow from decks and steps because they’re lightweight enough to lift and move.
  • Cordless snow blowers are relatively new to the market and quite promising. Run time is usually limited to around 30 minutes before the high-capacity battery needs to be recharged. But in many cases, you can continue past 30 minutes by swapping in a spare battery. Generally speaking, cordless snow blowers are typically single-stage models and are best suited to clearing away light snow.
  • Gas-powered snow blowers boast a lot more power than electric and battery blowers, and they don’t restrict their operators to the length of an extension cord. With a blower like this, you can clear away deep and heavy snows all along your driveway, and then you can continue down the sidewalk and clear your neighbor’s drive as well. They’re generally more expensive and louder tools, and also require more maintenance.

Size and Weight

Most single-stage snow blowers range in width from 15 to 22 inches and can handle a depth between 7 to 12 inches. A larger snow blower is more difficult to turn but will clear a driveway in fewer passes than a smaller snow blower; the trade-off is maneuverability.

Weight also plays a significant role in how easy it is to push or turn a snow blower. Most corded and cordless snow blowers weigh between 35 and 40 pounds, while single-stage gas snow blowers weigh between 50 and 60 pounds.

Clearing Width and Depth

It’s important to consider the width and depth of snow that a snow blower can clear in a single pass. A single-stage snow blower can typically clear a path between 15 and 22 inches. The width determines how many passes are required to clear a driveway or sidewalk.

The snow blower’s intake height determines the depth of snow it can remove with each pass. Most single-stage snow blowers have an intake depth between 7 and 12 inches. A good rule of thumb is to choose a snow blower with an intake depth 2 inches higher than the area’s average snowfall.

Wheels, Tracks, and Terrain Type

Wheeled snow blowers feature two large rear wheels that drive the machine forward, while tracked models have tracks similar to those found on a tank. Consider the features of wheeled versus tracked blowers:

  • Tracked snow blowers provide significantly better traction in the snow, making them better able to climb steep slopes without slipping backward. Most tracked models are two- or three-stage snow blowers, 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.
  • Wheeled snow blowers are easier to turn, since 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, while smaller wheels are easier to maneuver. These blowers are generally faster than tracked models. That said, some higher-end tracked blowers offer faster speed and turn-on-a-dime technology that makes them comparable in speed and maneuverability to wheeled models.

The terrain type will also influence which of these design options is best for you. 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.

Speed Control

Since 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.

Chute Control

The chute, 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 further.

Additional Features

Single-stage snow blowers often boast numerous additional features to improve ease of use.

  • Electric start is a useful feature for gas snow blowers. This typically involves a push-button ignition that replaces the standard pull start and choke.
  • 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, it also makes it easier to hold and control the snow blower.
  • Drift cutters help clear deep drifts of snow. The cutter’s metal housing collects and pushes snow down into the auger for removal.
  • Headlights make it easier and safer to clear snow at night or in dim lighting.
  • Automatic safety shutoff shuts off the snow blower when the user releases the handle.

Our Top Picks

Just ahead are some of the best single-stage snow blowers in a variety of categories. Any of these snow blowers are capable of clearing driveways and sidewalks after moderate snow events.

Best Overall Electric

The Best Single-Stage Snow Blower Option: Snow Joe SJ627E Electric Snow Thrower
Photo: homedepot.com

The Snow Joe blower can make short work of a snow-covered driveway. Powered by a 15-amp electric motor, the Snow Joe throws snow up to 25 feet via a single-stage auger system. At 35 pounds, this blower weighs about half the weight of a gas-powered blower, making it easier to maneuver.

The factory lubrication of the auger and motor lasts the blower’s lifetime, cutting down on maintenance costs. At 22 inches, the Snow Joe snow blower has one of the larger mouth openings in the electric blower market. This model can hurl up to 840 pounds of light snow per minute. Heavy and wet snow may get stuck in the chute, but the included clearing tool helps break up obstructions without risk to the operator.

Product Specs

  • Type: Cordless electric
  • Clearing Width: 22 inches
  • Weight: 35 pounds

Pros

  • Can throw snow to a 25-foot distance
  • Wide clearance moves snow efficiently
  • Moves up to 840 pounds of snow per minute
  • Clearing tool helps remove obstructions in the blower’s path

Cons

  • May require an extension cord for long driveways
  • May not be suitable for heavy or wet snow

Get the Snow Joe SJ627E on Amazon or at The Home Depot.

Best Overall Gas

The Best Single Stage Snow Blower Option: Toro Power Clear 18 in. Single-Stage Gas Snow Blower
Photo: homedepot.com

It’s tough to beat a gas-powered engine when it comes to raw snow-blowing power. This formidable model from Toro is compact enough for easy maneuverability while boasting impressive power. The 18-inch-wide intake will blast through snow up to 12 inches deep, sending it up to 25 feet away. And the narrow profile and large 8-inch tires allow this cordless model to move efficiently through that deep snow.

This snow blower also offers attractive options that make it easier to use, including a pull-start that works with one or two pulls and a 180-degree deflector for depositing snow in the desired location, regardless of which direction the blower is moving. A foldable handle allows this snow blower, which weighs 58 pounds, to break down into a smaller size for storage.

Product Specs

  • Type: Gas-powered
  • Clearing Width: 18 inches
  • Weight: 58 pounds

Pros

  • Clears snow up to 12-inches deep
  • Throws snow to a 25-foot distance
  • 180-degree deflector clears snow in the preferred direction
  • Foldable handle allows for more compact storage

Cons

  • Gas emissions are harmful to the environment
  • May not be suitable for use on steep slopes
  • Expensive compared to similar models

Get the Toro single-stage snow blower at The Home Depot or Acme Tools.

Best Light-Duty

The Best Single-Stage Snow Blower Option: WEN Blaster 13.5-Amp 18-Inch Snow Thrower
Photo: walmart.com

If you’re in the market for a good snow blower but your budget is a bit tight, the Wen Blaster might be for you. This single-stage electric blower is a lightweight 28 pounds and cuts an 18-inch swath through light and medium snow accumulation up to 7.8 inches deep with a 13.5-amp motor. The 180-degree rotating chute can be adjusted to throw snow in the proper direction.

Through a rotating chute, you can toss the snow wherever you want it to go. You’ll need a heavy-duty 12- or 18-gauge exterior extension cord (not included) to power the 13.5-amp motor, but for those with modest snow removal needs, this is a small but mighty machine. This snow blower is capable of throwing over 490 pounds of snow per minute.

Product Specs

  • Type: Corded electric
  • Clearing Width: 18 inches
  • Weight: 32 pounds

Pros

  • Suitable for light to medium snowfall
  • 13.5 amp motor capable of clearing snow up to 7.8 inches deep
  • Moves up to 490 pounds of snow per minute

Cons

  • Requires some assembly and an extension cord
  • Not meant for deep snow removal

Get the Wen single-stage snow blower on Amazon or at The Home Depot.

Best Medium-Duty

The Best Single-Stage Snow Blower Option: Snow Joe 48-Volt iON+ Cordless Snow Blower Kit
Photo: amazon.com

Made to have the same power as typical two-stage snow blowers, this model has two rechargeable 24-volt batteries, each capable of 40 minutes of run time, this Snow Joe model throws up to 14 tons of snow per charge. Weighing in at 40 pounds, this cordless snow blower is on the heavy side but far lighter than gas-powered options.

In one pass, this Snow Joe’s quadruple-bladed rubber-tipped steel auger carves 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 on this Snow Joe makes night or morning snow clearing safer and more straightforward.

Product Specs

  • Type: Cordless electric
  • Clearing Width: 18 inches
  • Weight: 40 pounds

Pros

  • Comes with 2 rechargeable 24-volt batteries, each with 40 minutes of run time
  • 18-inch swath per pass
  • Moves up to 40 tons of snow per charge
  • 180-degree adjustable snow chute

Cons

  • Some users have reported difficulties with battery life
  • Expensive and a bit heavy compared to similar models

Get the Snow Joe 48-Volt single-stage snow blower at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Lowe’s.

Best Heavy-Duty

The Best Single-Stage Snow Blower Option: Briggs & Stratton 22-Inch Single-Stage Snow Blower
Photo: lowes.com

For an efficient and dependable product for clearing snow on paved driveways and sidewalks, look no further than the Briggs & Stratton snow blower. Designed with the same power as most three-stage snow blowers, this model has a 22-inch-wide swath of snow in a single pass, this gas-powered blower comes with a push-button electric start. Its auger-assisted drive system is designed so that the movement of the rubber-edged auger helps pull the machine along.

It features an adjustable discharge chute that can be moved from one side to the other with a directional crank located near the handle. The snow blower’s intake chute will handle snowdrifts up to 12.5 inches high and toss the snow up to 30 feet. It’s designed to clear paved surfaces only—no gravel drives for this one.

Product Specs

  • Type: Gas-powered
  • Clearing Width: 22 inches
  • Weight: 93 pounds

Pros

  • Clears medium to heavy snow in a single pass
  • Handles snow up to a depth of 12.5 inches and a width of 22 inches
  • Adjustable discharge tosses snow up to 30 feet
  • Easy push-button electric start
  • Auger-assisted drive system propels the blower

Cons

  • Gas emissions are harmful to the environment
  • Some assembly required
  • Not suitable for gravel surfaces

Get the Briggs & Stratton single-stage snow blower at Lowe’s.

Best Lightweight

The Best Single-Stage Snow Blower Option: Greenworks 20-Inch 13-Amp Corded Snow Thrower
Photo: amazon.com

No need to store fuel with Snow Joe’s corded electric snow blower. This 30-pound unit is powered by an electrical outlet and connected with a 12- or 14-gauge exterior extension cord (not included). It comes with a push-button start and LED headlights for clearing snow at night.

The lightweight blower features a powerful 14-amp electric motor and will clear a 21-inch swath of snow in a single pass. This machine will clear to a depth of almost a foot and the adjustable discharge chute throws the snow up to 20 feet away.

Rubber auger blades on the Snow Joe make contact with the paved surface, leaving it snow-free. An ergonomically designed handle reduces hand and wrist fatigue, with a safety switch that shuts down the snow blower if you release your grip.

Product Specs

  • Type: Corded electric
  • Clearing Width: 21 inches
  • Weight: 30 pounds

Pros

  • 14-amp electric motor clears a 21-inch swath of snow in a single pass
  • Discharge chute moves snow up to a 20-foot distance
  • Built-in rubber auger blades make contact with pavement without damage
  • Affordable price point

Cons

  • Only works on 120 volts of power
  • Requires extension cord, which is not included

Get the Greenworks single-stage snow blower on Amazon or at Lowe’s.

Best Battery Life

The Best Single-Stage Snow Blower Option: EGO Power+ SNT2102 21-Inch Cordless Snow Blower
Photo: lowes.com

While battery-powered lawn tools offer the convenience of cordless technology, low-maintenance, and ease of use, the compromise in power and runtime can make them impractical. Not so with this snow blower from cordless tool specialists Ego Power+. This model, weighing 43 pounds, is powered by two stout 5.0Ah batteries, which provide enough power for up to 60 minutes of use.

With a 21-inch-wide intake and the ability to handle up to 8 inches of snow, this snow blower is on par with many gas-powered and corded single-stage snow blowers. And, it will hurl snow up to 35 feet, making it easier to clear wide driveways. The snow blower also includes features that make it easy to use, including a push-button start, variable speed control, and LED headlights for nighttime use. The charger gets the batteries back to full power in about 45 minutes.

Product Specs

  • Type: Cordless electric
  • Clearing Width: 21 inches
  • Weight: 43 pounds

Pros

  • Includes two 5.0 Ah batteries and a charger
  • Runs for up to 60 minutes and recharges in about 45 minutes
  • Easy push-button start
  • LED headlights enhance visibility at night and during heavy storms

Cons

  • Heavyweight construction can be hard to maneuver

Get the Ego Power+ single-stage snow blower on Amazon or at Ace Hardware.

Our Verdict

While there is no shortage of single-stage blowers on the market, the best ones should have the power and clearing swath for your driveway or walkway. One of the best models available is the electric Snow Joe SJ627E with its 22-inch clearing width and affordable price tag.

How We Chose the Best Single-Stage Snow Blowers

The right single-stage blower can tackle light to heavy snow removal on your driveway, walkway, or sidewalk easily and effectively. Selections for the best single-stage snow blowers on the market depended upon power source and capacity, clearing width and depth, maneuverability, and added special features included.

Each of the featured products comes with powerful torque as either electric or gas-powered snow blowers. Though select options are corded electric with unlimited runtimes, other picks run on lithium-ion batteries that last for 45 minutes to an hour. These models are also made with ample 18 to 22-inch mouth openings for more snow removed per pass.

As for clearing depth, options range from 7.8 to 12 inches deep for light to heavy and wet snow. Though some options are heavy and tougher to maneuver, many of these picks are lightweight or have auger-assisted drive systems for hassle-free movement. We also factored in useful extras including adjustable discharge, dual-battery power, and convenient electric start buttons for gas-powered tools.

FAQs

If you’re wondering how a single-stage snow blower differs from a two-stage snow blower, then read on for answers to this and other frequently asked questions.

Q. What’s the difference between single-stage and two-stage snow blowers?

The biggest difference between single-stage and two-stage snow blowers is power. Most single-stage snow blowers handle snowfall up to about 8 inches, whereas two-stage snow blowers can tackle up to 2 feet of snow. The “stage” term refers to how each blower removes snow.

A single-stage snow blower has an auger that both gathers and blows away the snow. A two-stage snow blower, in comparison, has an auger that sucks up the snow and an impeller that launches it into the air. In addition to being able to remove deeper snow, two-stage snow blowers also have larger intakes that range in width from 20 to 36 inches.

Q. What size cord is suitable for a single-stage electric snow blower?

The length of the extension cord depends on the gauge of the power cable. A 12-gauge cord will work up to 100 feet, while a slimmer 14-gauge cord only extends about 50 feet.

Q. How do I start a single-stage snow blower in the cold season?

Getting a snow blower started depends on its power source. Keep these tips in mind for electric and gas-powered machines:

  • Corded electric: Simply plug the unit into an outlet and press the start button. These models take their power from an AC power source, so there are no issues with low-temperature start-ups.
  • Cordless electric: On the other hand, some electric snow blowers will not start if the battery is too cold. It’s a good idea to store lithium-ion batteries at room temperature.
  • Gas-powered: Gas snow blowers with a pull-start motor may be challenging to start in low temperatures. Make sure to use lightweight motor oil, such as 5w30, which is designed to operate at these temperatures.

Q. How do I change the fuel filter on a single-stage snow blower?

Periodically changing the fuel filter ensures contaminants won’t find their way inside the engine and negatively impact performance. The fuel filter is usually located between the fuel pump and fuel tank.

Change the filter by removing the two hoses that connect to it, making sure to keep the hoses pointing upward to prevent fuel from leaking out of the tank. Install the new filter by attaching the hoses to the line leading from the fuel tank and the line leading to the engine.

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