The 10 Best Snow Blowers for Driveways and Sidewalks, Tested and Reviewed

We tested several top snow blowers to help you choose a model that suits your driveway-clearing needs as well as your budget. Move snow quickly and easily with one of our picks.

Best Overall

The Best Snow Blower Option: Troy-Bilt Storm 26-Inch 208cc Gas Snow Blower

Troy-Bilt 2890 Storm Tracker Snow Blower

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Snow Blower Option: PowerSmart Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower

PowerSmart Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower

Upgrade Pick

The Best Snow Blower Option: Cub Cadet 2X MAX 30-Inch Snow Blower

Cub Cadet 2X 30u0026quot; Max Snow Blower

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When there’s snow on the ground, it can be tempting to run out and buy a snow blower. After all, they do make short work of clearing driveways and walkways. But before investing, it’s important to learn about the key features of these machines to select a model that fits the bill.

Choosing the best snow blowers for various properties depends on typical snowfall levels, how much sidewalk or driveway needs to be cleared, and whether the area is flat or sloped. Keep reading to learn the top tips and recommendations for choosing the right model, and see the hands-on testing results of each.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Troy-Bilt 2890 Storm Tracker Snow Blower
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: PowerSmart Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Cub Cadet 2X 30″ Max Snow Blower
  4. BEST BATTERY: Ego Power+ 24″ Snow Blower With Peak Power
  5. BEST SINGLE-STAGE GAS: Troy-Bilt Squall 208E Single-Stage Snow Blower
  6. BEST SINGLE-STAGE ELECTRIC: Snow Joe 48V 18″ Ionmax Single-Stage Snow Blower
  7. BEST TWO-STAGE ELECTRIC: Toro 24″ Power Max e24 60V Two-Stage Snow Blower
  8. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Toro Power Max HD 828 OAE Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower
  9. MOST VERSATILE: Ryobi 40V HP Two-Stage Self-Propelled Snow Blower Kit
  10. ALSO CONSIDER: Troy-Bilt Storm 2600 Two-Stage Snow Blower
The Best Snow Blower Options
Photo: Tom Scalisi

How We Tested the Best Snow Blowers

Because we were testing some serious machines for this guide, we needed to wait for a real winter storm to try them out. With about 10 inches of heavy, wet snow on the ground, we cleared two 75-foot-long 4-car driveways, about 200 feet of sidewalk, several small walkways, and the plow-piled snow at the ends of both driveways. We also ran the snow blowers on a loose gravel driveway and a compact gravel road to test their abilities on challenging terrain.

First, we tested how easily these models started. We used the pull cords to see how difficult they were to start by hand. Next, we hooked up each one to an extension cord to test their electric starters. Then, we ran these snow blowers over rocky, uneven terrain. The recent thaw before the storm caused several deep mud ruts, which were perfect for the test and allowed us to determine which models were the best for rough areas.

We then cleared the driveways and sidewalks, using each model in a side-by-side test to see which were most effective and how far each threw snow. Finally, we used the two-stage versions on the packed snow left behind by the snowplows. We also noted each machine’s maneuverability, power, control, and any added features such as heated grips and LED lights.

Our Top Picks

When evaluating snow blowers, we considered typical annual snowfall, the machine’s fuel source, and ease of use. Since individual conditions and snowfall depths vary widely, we included models for varying precipitation in our picks. To ensure they’re high quality and worthy of their price and your consideration, we included our insights based on hands-on testing for each of the following snow blower models.

Best Overall

Troy-Bilt 2890 Storm Tracker Snow Blower

Product Specs 

  • Type: 2-stage
  • Width: 28 inches
  • Self-propelled: Yes


  • Track-style drive provides better traction on loose and icy surfaces
  • Cuts a broad 28-inch-wide swath of snow with each pass
  • Trigger-controlled Touch N’ Turn power steering makes changing directions quick and easy


  • This model’s track system makes it more expensive than other similarly sized snow blowers with wheels

Clearing snow on paved and gravel or dirt surfaces has never been easier than with the Troy-Bilt Storm Tracker. With 28 inches of clearing width, a powerful auger and drive system, and tracks for superior traction, this machine is an absolute beast in big storms. We did some of this model’s testing on pavement, but after seeing how well it performed, we moved to gravel and pushed it hard for the rest.

On loose substrate, the tracks maintained excellent surface contact and pushed forward with ease. The same was true on icy surfaces. It has adjustable skids to set the lower blade height, and its settings adjust even further with a lever that quickly raises or lowers the blade. When working through gravel and rocky areas, this user-friendly system was a huge benefit.

The Troy-Bilt’s 272 (cubic centimeter) cc motor has plenty of power for big jobs, and the many drive settings allow for perfect speed control. The pull-cord start required only one or two pulls on each start, and the electric start fired immediately. With its heated grips, trigger turn tabs on the handle, and easy chute controls, this model is a win in every area.

Read our full review: Troy-Bilt 2890 Storm Tracker Snow BlowerGet the Troy-Bilt 2890 snow blower at The Home Depot, Northern Tool + Equipment, Walmart, or Troy-Bilt.

Best Bang for the Buck

PowerSmart Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower

Product Specs

  • Type: 2-stage
  • Width: 24 inches
  • Self-propelled: Yes


  • Great price point when compared with other 2-stage models
  • Powerful enough to clear driveways large enough for 10 parked cars covered in 6 to 10 inches of snow
  • 180-degree chute allows for moving snow greater distances
  • Packed with features, including an easy-to-use push-button electric start, anti-clogging system, and self-propelled design


  • Narrower intake requires more back and forth when clearing large areas
  • Traction and power are less capable on steep inclines and icy surfaces

Budget-minded shoppers will want to take a hard look at the PowerSmart two-stage snow blower. It has many of the desired features found in more expensive models at a more modest price. It’s plenty capable in big storms, with an intake height of 20 inches and a high-speed impeller that works well in dense snow. It also performs mightily on uneven surfaces and inclines with a quality drive system that includes reverse options.

We had great results with this model and think it’s an excellent fit for moderate-size properties. There are better options for extreme conditions, but this one can handle the occasional big storm and all light-to-medium snow loads. It fires up easily, especially with the electric start option, and its 208cc engine ran great through all of our testing. It even threw snow through the chute with power that matched models costing twice as much.

While there are certainly upgraded options on the market, this budget-friendly snow blower easily beats even the

best electric snow shovel

, and it’s more than adequate for the average driveway. It feels durable and built to last as well.

Get the PowerSmart snow blower at Amazon, Walmart, or PowerSmart USA.

Upgrade Pick

Cub Cadet 2X 30u0022 Max Snow Blower

Product Specs

  • Type: 2-stage
  • Width: 30 inches
  • Self-propelled: Yes


  • Powerful 357cc gas engine is capable of propelling dense snow with ease
  • Heavy-duty construction; this machine is built to last
  • Power steering for easy maneuvering; ideal for uneven terrain
  • Cozy hand warmers in the grips for more comfortable use in extreme temperatures


  • Heavy-duty option is better for those needing to move lots of snow; not a budget-friendly model

For those with consistently high snow removal needs, Cub Cadet’s 2X 30-inch snow blower might be the answer. This large model is equipped with a 357cc gas engine, a two-stage removal system, and self-propelled wheels, allowing it to burrow through heavy snow. Its heavy-duty construction has a rotating steel chute with easy-access angle controls built into the top panel. The Cub Cadet also features onboard headlights for safety and visibility during snowy nights or early mornings.

Yes, the Cub Cadet is expensive, but what a powerhouse it turned out to be during testing. We pushed this thing through our heaviest snowdrifts and banks to see how it would do. Its power steering and 16-inch knobby tires make it easy to manipulate, even in deep snow, and the large engine gives it power far beyond every other model we tested. We also really like the heated hand grips, but who wouldn’t?

For property owners and managers who need a capable snow blower for big jobs and deep snow, the Cub Cadet is an excellent option.

Get the Cub Cadet snow blower at The Home Depot or Cub Cadet.

Best Battery

Ego Power+ 24u0022 Snow Blower With Peak Power

Product Specs

  • Type: 2-stage
  • Width: 24 inches
  • Self-propelled: Yes


  • Powerful yet quiet; ideal for use in busier areas without disturbing neighbors
  • Throws snow every bit of 50 feet; great for shifting heavy precipitation
  • User-friendly operation; features large tires for easier maneuvering and control


  • Can stall if overloaded too quickly while moving extremely heavy piles of snow

Whether snow is piling up on a sidewalk, patio, or even a gravel driveway, this two-stage snow blower is powerful enough to push through. We were initially concerned about its abilities as a battery model, but its two-stage system can scoop and throw snow up to 50 feet, and its self-propelled wheels make for easy pushing.

This battery-powered model runs for up to 135 minutes before the batteries need recharging. The Ego’s biggest drawback is that it weighs more than many other electric models, but the powerful drive system handles the weight easily. It also has a generous 200-degree adjustable chute and a 50-foot throwing distance. The bright onboard headlights add a bit of safety and visibility in poor conditions.

As a result of our testing, we’re big fans of the Ego Power+ 24-inch snow blower. First, we like that this thing is so much quieter than a gas-powered model and even easier to use (though the throttle and auger controls are reversed from a typical model, which took us some getting used to). Also, we found that this model threw snow so far that we truly had to be careful where we aimed it. It has a throttle that adjusts the machine’s overall output from “eco” to “turbo,” but we found it could handle everything on eco, which helped maximize the runtime of its rechargeable batteries. One heads-up: The machine stalled when we buried the auger in extremely heavy snow too quickly. At low speed, however, this rarely happened.

For folks who want a quiet yet capable two-stage snow blower with the low-maintenance benefits of being battery-powered, this is a great choice.

Get the Ego snow blower at AmazonLowe’s, Ace Hardware, Northern Tool + Equipment, or Acme Tools.

Best Single-Stage Gas

Troy-Bilt Squall 208E Single-Stage Snow Blower

Product Specs 

  • Type: Single-stage
  • Width: 21 inches
  • Self-propelled: No


  • Engine fires right up, runs efficiently, and is surprisingly quiet
  • Auger works great for forcefully throwing snow through the chute
  • Affordable option for a high-quality gas-powered snow blower


  • Wheels are smaller than expected, which isn’t ideal for deep snow

We tested numerous single-stage gas models that performed exceptionally well, so selecting this model for the award wasn’t easy. The Squall is a smooth-running unit with an efficient 208cc 4-stroke engine. We really enjoyed how quietly it ran and how easy it was to push around. The electric start fired up on the first push, and the pull cord also worked without issue. The cord sits in a nice, easy-to-access position as well.

While many traditional designs use 2-stroke engines, this model features a 4-stroke engine, making the mixing of oil and gas unnecessary. The gas fill neck is easy to access, and the oil fill doesn’t require any manipulation of the machine or leveling to fill. We simply unscrewed it, filled it with the correct oil and volume, and the machine was ready to blow snow.

We found the auger speed and position fixed in a way that virtually vacuumed snow, then projected it through the chute at high speeds. Though it pushed along easily, the wheels are smaller than we’d hoped and, in testing, weren’t ideal for deep snow. Overall, however, this gas snow blower proved to be perfect for moderate storms and snow loads under 12 inches. Our single tank of gas lasted a very long time as well, making it possible for us to work through multiple properties efficiently.

Get the Troy-Bilt Squall snow blower at The Home Depot.

Best Single-Stage Electric

Snow Joe 48V 18u0022 Ionmax Single-Stage Snow Blower

Product Specs 

  • Type: Single-stage
  • Width: 18 inches
  • Self-propelled: No


  • Comes with 2 rechargeable 24-volt batteries, each with 40 minutes of runtime
  • Quadruple-bladed steel auger carves a path 18 inches wide by 10 inches deep
  • Capable of moving up to 10 tons of snow per charge
  • Features a 180-degree adjustable snow chute for user versatility


  • Plastic blade can chip when processing hard objects such as gravel and debris

The Snow Joe has plenty of power from two rechargeable 24-volt batteries, each capable of 40 minutes of runtime and throwing up to 10 tons of snow per charge. Weighing about 39 pounds, this cordless snow blower is easy to push around and manage. It doesn’t have a drive or propulsion system, but the auger helps it move forward while working through snow.

The 18-inch auger is rubber-tipped, and it cuts a 10-inch-deep path noticeably faster than some other models we tested while throwing snow surprisingly far. In some instances, it exceeded the 20-foot mark claimed by the manufacturer. It also has a helpful set of LED headlights to increase visibility in dark conditions.

As an affordable, electric single-stage model, the Snow Joe was very functional and consistent in a variety of conditions. The batteries also charged quickly (taking about 2 hours), making it possible to get back up and running without long delays. We didn’t need to wait through a recharge during testing, however, because the batteries lasted through each full session.

For shoppers seeking an economical single-stage snow blower with plenty of power, simple operational features, and great performance, this model is a clear favorite.

Get the Snow Joe snow blower at Amazon, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Best Buy, or Snow Joe.

Best Two-Stage Electric

Toro 24u0022 Power Max e24 60V Two-Stage Snow Blower

Product Specs 

  • Type: 2-stage
  • Width: 24 inches
  • Self-propelled: Yes


  • Modeled off of gas version to create consistent performance and features
  • Auger doesn’t use shear pins, minimizing the potential for damage
  • Option to purchase a third battery extends use time for larger properties


  • Will require recharge between uses, which can take hours

The body, auger, and overall design for this model is the exact same as other gas-powered models in the Toro lineup. The only difference is that this one is electric, meaning the exceptional controls, durable steel auger, and great features and functions of the gas versions carry through to this electric model.

This Toro all-electric motor is powered by up to three batteries. It runs on a single battery, but two batteries provide over an hour of runtime, or users can add a third to really extend its capabilities. We tested the snow blower with a single battery, and it performed exactly like the gas model for over 30 minutes before requiring a recharge.

This electric machine from Toro offers reliable performance and an impressive ability to churn through snow while being significantly quieter than its gas counterpart. Its features are similar to many of the other quality electric snow blower options available on the market, but this Toro does offer a couple of distinct advantages. First, its all-steel auger doesn’t require shear pins. Instead, it has integrated protections to prevent overloading and damaging the auger and mechanical components without requiring the replacement of broken pins. Second, the option to purchase a third battery for the tray makes this model among the longest-lasting electric snow-clearing machines on the market.

Get the Toro e24 snow blower at Ace Hardware, Tractor Supply Co., Acme Tools, or Toro.

Best Heavy-Duty

Toro Power Max HD 828 OAE Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower

Product Specs

  • Type: 2-stage
  • Width: 28 inches
  • Self-propelled: Yes


  • Cuts a broad path with each pass, making quick work of clearing
  • With large 16-inch tires, this snow blower can handle deep snow and slick surfaces
  • Joystick-like control lets users quickly and easily manipulate the steel chute’s direction


  • Must manually adjust skids to compensate for different surface types

With its joystick-like controls, wide coverage, and ability to handle deeper snowfall than many other two-stage models, Toro’s Power Max 828 OAE snow blower is ideal for climates that see heavy precipitation every winter. Its large intake sits above the ground, enabling use on gravel and uneven surfaces. With a broad 28-inch swath, it clears substantial snow up to 21 inches deep with each pass, throwing it an impressive 45 feet.

During testing, this model performed exceptionally well. Its Quick Stick controls and power steering made one-handed turning easy, and its knobby 16-inch tires provided ample traction in slick conditions. The anti-clogging system efficiently managed snow intake to prevent delays, and its LED headlight was helpful for nighttime snow blowing. It also has solid skids to adjust blade height above the ground, making it suitable for rough terrain.

It’s hard to overstate how nice the joystick controls were for moving the chute throw direction and angle. Between the joystick and all its other features, this Toro was a very close second to our top pick, and only because it was pitted against a track system with height-adjustment control. Otherwise, this model is an absolute beast that can charge through the biggest storms.

Get the Toro 828 snow blower at The Home Depot or Acme Tools.

Most Versatile

Ryobi 40V HP Two-Stage Self-Propelled Snow Blower Kit

Product Specs 

  • Type: 2-stage
  • Width: 22 inches
  • Self-propelled: Yes


  • Cuts a reasonably wide path but also changes direction easily
  • Plenty of power for moving through deep and difficult snow
  • Intuitive controls and powerful drive system are great on gravel


  • Batteries only run for 30 minutes before requiring a full recharge

Driveways come in a number of shapes and sizes, and they don’t all call for an extra-large snow blower. With a 22-inch-wide cutting path, this Ryobi is not as big as some of the other models we tested, but it still makes a substantial dent on each pass. In fact, this two-stage brushless snow blower was such a big surprise in our tests that we were reminded just how valuable hands-on testing is. This model has a ton of power and an impressive overall performance that we just wouldn’t have believed had we not experienced it ourselves.

The tires on the Ryobi have great traction, and the machine also has a steel auger, speedy drive system, and skids for raising the blade over gravel. According to the manufacturer, the batteries last up to 30 minutes, but ours went even longer in light snow. For the average driveway, they were more than sufficient to get the job done on a single charge.

In testing, the Ryobi’s ease of use and ability to maneuver in tight spaces were a bonus. It turned and pivoted without resistance, and the drive system was powerful enough that we didn’t need to push much. Its only limiting factor is the battery life, which may not be sufficient for larger jobs with heavy snow. For the average user, though, the Ryobi will provide everything they need in a snow blower.

Get the Ryobi snow blower at The Home Depot or Ryobi.

Also Consider

Troy-Bilt Storm 2600 Two-Stage Snow Blower

Product Specs 

  • Type: 2-stage
  • Width: 26 inches
  • Self-propelled: Yes


  • Electric-start feature is very easy to use compared with other more-cumbersome options
  • Chunky tires offer plenty of grip; great for working on uneven or slippery surfaces
  • Chute control can be easily accessed from the control panel


  • Does not throw snow as far as the other models we tested

Anyone on the hunt for an all-around capable snow blower may want to check out the Troy-Bilt Storm 26-inch snow blower. This gas-powered model can handle small properties while being heavy-duty enough to hold its own on large ones. It features two self-propelled drive wheels with big, chunky tires for plenty of surface grip. Also, the electric start makes firing it up a breeze.

Overall, we enjoyed using the Troy-Bilt Storm. We liked that the chunky tires offered plenty of grip—even on loose, grainy snow. We also liked that the chute controls, including angle and trajectory, were easily accessible from the control panel. While it doesn’t seem to throw snow as far as other models, it was very effective at removing plowed snow from the end of a driveway. Also, starting this model was very easy; it started on the first pull almost every time.

Get the Troy-Bilt 2600 snow blower at The Home Depot, Walmart, or Troy-Bilt

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing a Snow Blower

In addition to choosing between single-, two-, and three-stage snow blowers, there are other factors for shoppers to consider. Considering how much room is necessary to store the machine, whether a gas-powered or electric model best suits the property’s needs, and the amount of snowfall in the area can help narrow down the choices.

Types of Snow Blowers

Many people first think about snow blowers in terms of the path width they can clear. That’s important—especially if it’s a large area that needs clearing—but the real challenge is finding the snow blower most suited for the amount and type of snow the region is likely to experience.

Manufacturers describe snow blowers as “single-stage,” “two-stage,” or “three-stage,” and these designations refer to how the snow blower removes the snow.

Single-Stage Snow Blowers

Single-stage snow blowers (also called “snow throwers”) feature a horizontal auger at the front of the machine that rotates rapidly, scooping up snow and tossing it out the chute. The motion of the spinning auger creates the force that blows the snow from the chute. While this is a simple design, it has its limitations: Single-stage snow blowers generally do not generate sufficient power to blow the snow more than 15 to 20 feet away, meaning they aren’t ideal for wide driveways.

The auger blades on a single-stage snow blower skim the ground during operation to clear flat and smooth paved areas effectively. Because the blades are so low, however, they tend to pick up small rocks and toss them out the chute, making single-stage blowers unsuitable for gravel driveways. Most single-stage blowers can clear an 18- to 21-inch swath of light, fluffy snow, and they’re available in both gas- and electric-powered models.

Two-Stage Snow Blowers

Two-stage snow blowers feature a powerful impeller fan that works in combination with an auger to draw in snow and forcefully throw it out the chute. A two-stage snow blower can shoot snow over 35 feet, depending on the power of the fan on a particular model and the weight of the snow.

In addition to handling fluffy snow, two-stage blowers can also handle wet snow and clear a swath ranging from approximately 20 inches to 30 inches (or more). Unlike their single-stage counterparts, two-stage snow blowers are suitable for use on gravel driveways because their auger blades don’t touch the ground.

Three-Stage Snow Blowers

Three-stage snow blowers are the big boys in the snow removal world. In addition to an auger and impeller fan, they feature an accelerator that grinds chunks of ice and powerfully expels snow and slush from the chute. It’s not unusual for a three-stage blower to throw lightweight snow a distance of more than 40 feet.

These muscle-bound machines can clear paths as wide as 30 inches depending on the specific model. For those with truly heavy-duty snow removal needs, a three-stage blower might be the machine for the job. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that these models are often very expensive.

Size and Weight

Corded electric snow blowers are typically the lightest, generally weighing between 26 to 38 pounds, followed by cordless snow blowers at anywhere from 30 to 69 pounds. Gas-powered snow blowers are in the heaviest category and can weigh 100 to 350 pounds or more.

Terrain Type

Removing snow from flat sidewalks and driveways is a straightforward process with most snow blowers, but trying to push a heavy snow blower up an incline can be a workout for even the most physically fit.

If there’s a slope to maneuver, consider buying a self-propelled snow blower. With this snow blower type, the wheels pull the machine forward, so all that’s necessary is to guide the machine and follow along. If a gravel driveway needs to be cleared, make sure the machine is a two-stage or three-stage snow blower to prevent throwing rocks.


Like most outdoor-maintenance machines, snow blowers might run on electricity, gas, or diesel. Each option has its benefits and drawbacks.

  • Electric-powered snow blowers are typically small, affordable single-stage machines intended to clear light snow up to about 12 inches deep. They need to be plugged into an outlet with an extension cord. This limits their performance and range, making them best suited for those who receive minimal snowfall and have relatively short sidewalks and driveways.

Electric-powered snow blowers are also handy for clearing snow from decks and steps because they’re lightweight enough to lift and move. A bonus: These machines don’t create fumes and don’t raise concerns about where to store fuel.

  • Gas- and diesel-powered snow blowers boast a lot more power than electric blowers, and they don’t restrict their operators to the length of an extension cord. With a blower like this, it’s possible to clear deep and heavy snow all along a driveway and then continue down the sidewalk to clear a neighbor’s drive as well.
  • Battery-operated cordless snow blowers are relatively new to the snow removal market and quite promising. They benefit from fume-free operation as with an electric blower, but they don’t need an extension cord. That said, the runtime is usually limited to around 30 to 40 minutes before the high-capacity battery needs recharging. But in many cases, they can continue past 30 minutes if the user swaps in a spare battery.

Clearing Width and Depth

Single-stage snow blowers (also known as “snow throwers”) are designed to remove snow in swath widths ranging from around 18 inches to 21 inches. Two-stage snow blowers will clear snow in a swath up to 30 inches wide, and three-stage snow blowers stay consistent at 30 inches wide, though they move faster thanks to their accelerators.

Wheels vs. Tracks

Snow can be slippery, especially if it has a chance to melt slightly and then refreeze. This can make it hard for even self-propelled snow blowers to power through, but this is where track-drive snow blowers shine.

Instead of wheels that can lose traction when maneuvering through heavy or slippery snow, the tracks on a track-drive model dig in and help pull the machine along. Another difference is in price: A gas-powered snow blower runs an average of $499 to $1,899, with track-drive blowers in the upper end of that range and extending beyond.

Additional Features

Some of the best snow blowers include extra features that make the work easier and more comfortable. Accessories designed to elevate the experience of using a snow blower include:

  • Heated handles to keep cold hands warm in frigid temps;
  • Lights, which enable snow clearing to begin before dawn or after dark;
  • Speed controls to adjust how quickly the self-propelled wheels turn;
  • Automatic safety shutoff for when the handles get released to prevent a loss of control; and
  • Electric starters, which allow for pull-free starts and less strain.


We’ve covered a lot of information about the best snow blowers, and it might feel as if your wheels are spinning on ice when trying to make a decision. The following section aims to answer the most frequently asked questions, so be sure to look for answers to additional questions below.

Q. What is the difference between a snow blower and a snow thrower?

The terms “snow blower” and “snow thrower” are used interchangeably, but there are some technical differences. While both clear away snow, a snow thrower is a single-stage machine, and a snow blower can be a single-stage, two-stage, or three-stage machine. Generally speaking, snow blowers clear a wider swath and are better suited for heavier snows, while snow throwers work best on light snow.

Q. How do you use a snow blower?

A good snow removal tip is to use a snow blower just after the snow has stopped falling when it’s still light and fluffy. Make uniform passes down and back on the sidewalk or driveway, adjusting the discharge chute as necessary to toss the snow off the surface.

Q. How do you start a snow blower?

You may have to pull a manual recoil cord to start a gas snow blower, although many have a push-button start these days. Cordless and electric models start at the push of a button.

Q. How do you clean a snow blower carburetor?

It’s necessary to maintain a snow blower, as a dirty carburetor can keep a gas-powered snow blower from starting or cause it to emit dirty, smoky exhaust. A carburetor cleaner will dissolve the gunk and debris so your machine will run more smoothly. To clean the carburetor, you’ll need to remove its cover, a process which may be different depending on the make and model. Consult your owner’s manual to find out how to reach the carburetor.

Q. How do you store a snow blower?

The best spot to store a snow blower is in a garage or storage shed during the summer and when it’s not in use. If you don’t have the extra space, you can store it outside under a waterproof tarp—or you can consider using one of the best snow removal services to avoid the issue altogether.

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.

Meet the Tester

Zach Lazzari is a freelance writer splitting time between the great outdoors, travel, and DIY projects ranging from camper builds to home renovations and maintenance. His home base in Montana is the perfect testing ground for winter products and snow equipment. With over a decade of professional writing experience, he also covers a variety of other projects and maintenance topics for

Additional research provided by Glenda Taylor and Tom Scalisi. 


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Glenda Taylor

Staff Writer

Glenda Taylor is a staff writer with a background in the residential remodeling, home building, and home improvement industries. She started writing for in 2016 and covers a range of topics, including construction methods, code compliance, tool use, and the latest news in the housing and real estate industries.