See here the list of Top 10 best snow blowers. Read the buying guide and other important factors before making a selection for you or any of your dear ones[amazon bestseller=”best snow blowers”]
Are you tired of tediously clearing the snow with the shovel in the early morning? Then a modern snowblower could be a great relief for you. These modern devices are similar to lawnmowers, except that they do not cut your lawn, but eliminate the layer of snow in your driveway or on the sidewalk in front of your house. This not only saves time but also a lot of effort. So you can spend the next snowy winter morning completely relaxed.
Snow blowers are available in various designs and price ranges. To give you an initial idea of the offer on the market, we compared 9 snowblowers for you, focusing on the most important features of each model. Afterwards, you will learn in our guide how a snowthrower works, what types are there and what you should consider when you want to purchase such a device. Afterwards, we will answer the most frequently asked questions and also look into whether Öko Test and Stiftung Warentest have already carried out tests with snow blowers.
What is a snowblower?
Snowblowers are comparable to lawnmowers both visually and functionally. However, you do not trim your lawn with the snowthrower, but rather a layer of snow. In many federal states the evacuation of sidewalks and driveways is legally required. This task can be done much easier with a snowblower than with a commercially available snow shovel. In the following guide we explain everything you should know before buying snow throwers.
The construction of snowblowers
In our comparison, we use hand-held snowblowers, which are often used in the private sector to clean sidewalks or land from snow. Visually, the practical devices are reminiscent of conventional lawn mowers or tillers. They usually consist of a housing with a drive axle, a feeder screw, a snow catcher with slingshot or fireplace and grobstolligen tires and a handle.
In order to reduce the necessary effort, hand-held snow blowers usually have their own drive and heavily profiled tires. Alternatively, there are snow throwers with chain drive, which is particularly advantageous for powder snow or very thick layers of snow. The integrated engine sits mostly directly behind the snow container and drives the wheels and the slingshot.
How do snowblowers work?
When it’s snowing, you always see people shuffling around on their property with snow shovels. Although these gate valves offer you a solid opportunity to make sidewalks and exits passable again, they also require a great deal of effort and time. This is much easier with a snowblower. The snowblower usually works according to the so-called two-stage prinziep. In the first step, the snow is crushed by the auger. In the second step, it is transported to the blower wheel of your snow blower and ejected via the “chimney”. You can usually turn this around a maximum of 190 degrees to determine where the snow should land.
There are also single-stage snow blowers that do without the shredding of the snow layer and pull it directly into the housing. However, such devices are only suitable for thin layers of snow. Many snow blowers also have their own drive to assist you in pushing. This is not the case with every device. So, if you want to save muscle as well as time, you should make sure that the engine of your snowthrower not only drives the auger, but also the wheels.
The drive system of snow blowers
Snow blowers are commercially available with different drive systems, of which we know three. In the following section we will explain what makes them different.
- auger drives
- wheel drives
- track drives
The drill drive is a screw conveyor equipped with rubber nipples on the edge. The nubs are – similar to a drill – responsible for the propulsion. This drive is usually used in low-cost devices and requires a certain amount of muscle power. For more expensive models usually wheel or track drives are used. First and foremost, they offer up to six forward and two reverse gears.
The wheel drive is characterized by two grobstollige tires, which can significantly facilitate the maneuvering. Caterpillers instead of wheels have a chain that is supposed to provide better traction. With this drive, you can get along well on thick layers of snow, but also have to use some force when steering.
Fields of application, advantages and disadvantages of snow blowers
The fields of application of snow blowers are not particularly broad. As you may have guessed, the equipment will be used whenever you need to free your property, driveway, or walkway from your house of snow and ice. The big advantage is that this is much faster and easier with the devices than with manual tools. In addition, the ejection height of most snow blowers is very good; it is usually 10 meters or more. In combination with an adjustable spin, you can determine very precisely where the snow ultimately loads.
The disadvantage, however, is that many snow blowers have difficulties with hard, icy snow. In addition, the devices are usually unable to remove the entire snowpack. In most cases, a thin layer remains on the floor, which you should then remove with a broom so that it does not freeze. The bottom line is that the process should still be much faster than with a shovel or a snow shovel.
- Time and energy saving removal of snow and ice
- Uncomplicated operation
- Continue ejection
- Effectiveness is highest in fresh snow
- Partly quite high purchase costs
- Great performance differences between gasoline and electric snow blowers
What types of snow blowers are there?
As already mentioned, we basically differentiate between gasoline and electric snow blowers. In addition, there are also hybrid snow blowers, which combine the functioning of the species mentioned. The exact differences are explained in the following section.
The electric snow blowers
Electric snowblowers are particularly compact and score above all with their easy handling. Such models are usually well-suited for use in winding areas. Another advantage of electric models is their much quieter operating volume compared to motorized snowblowers. If you do not want to bother your neighbors on the weekend, an electric snowthrower is definitely the better choice. In terms of performance, however, these devices usually can not compete with gasoline snowblowers.
Electric models have a maximum working width of around 50 centimeters and work with snow layers up to 31 centimeters thick. Also keep in mind that not every electric snowthrower has a built-in battery. In this case, an extension cord is necessary, which can greatly restrict your freedom of movement.
- Compact design
- Easy handling
- Space-saving storage
- Wireless operation possible with batteries
- Quiet operation
- Performance lower than gasoline snow blowers
- Limited battery life without integrated battery
The gasoline powered snowblowers
Petrol-powered snowblowers are usually equipped with a powerful 4-stroke engine and operate in a power range of about 10 horsepower. Thus, such devices are much better suited to remove thick and icy snow layers. Petrol snow blowers usually have a working area of almost 70 centimeters and allow the clearing of a maximum of 55 centimeters high snow surfaces. The average throw is here in a range of 15 meters and is therefore much higher than in the electrically powered models.
At this point, of course, the disadvantages of gasoline snow blowers should not go unmentioned. Because of their higher weight, such models are usually a lot more difficult to handle. In addition, they are also quite noisy in operation, which can definitely burden the relationship with your neighbors. The operating costs are usually higher here. After all, gasoline is far more expensive than electricity.
- Generous clearance width
- Also suitable for clearing thick layers of snow
- High throw
- No cable binding
- Harder to handle
- Comparatively loud
- Higher operating costs
The hybrid snow blowers
Hybrid snow blowers are characterized primarily by the fact that they are equipped with both a gasoline engine and with an electric generator. The engine takes over the drive of the auger, while the generator is responsible for the propulsion.
Due to the gasoline-powered engine, the hybrid snow blowers are in no way inferior to the petrol models in terms of performance. In addition, they are usually much quieter thanks to the electric drive. All in all, they combine the advantages of electric and petrol-driven models. The only downside is that the initial costs are usually higher here than with conventional snow blowers.
- Good clearance performance
- Low operating volume
- Low operating costs
- Such models are quite expensive
Internet versus retailers – where should I buy my new snowthrower?
There are snow blowers in the specialized trade and in well-assorted hardware stores. In the first place, you have the advantage that you can get personal advice. How well the employees in the hardware store really knows about snow blowers is questionable. You also have to expect to find in the retailer only a small selection of different models. You may need to scour several stores to find a suitable device.
On the Internet, on the other hand, almost all models currently available on the market are available to you. You have optimal options to compare prices and services and can make your order easily from the sofa. The bottom line is that the benefits of the Internet are more important. If it is important for you to support the local retailers, you will certainly find a suitable snow thrower in specialist shops too.
You should pay attention to this when buying a snowthrower
With your new snow blower, it is important that it meets your personal requirements. To find this device, you should be aware of some factors before you buy. We would like to explain this to you in the following section.
- Electric or petrol engine
- processing width
- machining depth
- Ejection distance and ejection angle
- Operation and comfort
Electric or petrol drive
The drive of your new snowblower should be focused on the area you want to clear. If this is just the driveway of your garage or the walkway in front of your house, an electric snowthrower is usually perfectly adequate, which means the initial cost is also lower. If you need to clear larger areas of snow or live in higher elevations and expect more snowfall, we recommend a petrol powered snowthrower. Here, the initial cost is a bit higher, but you get a flexible usable device that reliably clears even thick layers of snow if necessary.
The processing width
As far as the processing width is concerned, gasoline powered snowblowers are generally better placed. Whether you need a machining width of 70 centimeters at all, depends again on the application of your snow blower. For the clearing of narrow sidewalks wide snow blowers can also be very impractical. For the cleaning of large areas, however, they mean a considerable time savings.
The processing depth
The processing depth indicates how high a snow layer should be at a maximum, so that it can be cleared with the respective snow blower. Here, the expected snowfall is crucial. High-quality snow blowers often offer you a machining depth of more than 50 centimeters. However, if you do not expect heavy snow, you can also opt for one of the cheaper models. These usually have processing depths of around 30 centimeters.
Ejection distance and ejection angle
The correct ejection height also depends on the area you want to clear with your new snowthrower. Many snow throwers have an ejection distance of up to 15 meters, which is not necessary for cleaning a sidewalk. Here are enough already 4 or 5 meters, as is the case with many inexpensive snow blowers. For larger areas, however, a high throw distance can be very advantageous. The ejection angle of most snow throwers is 190 degrees, which causes the snow to be thrown in a high arc to the destination. For the most flexible use, it can be an advantage if the ejection angle of your snow thrower can be adjusted.
Operation and comfort
It is also important that your new snowblower is easy and comfortable to use. First and foremost, make sure that all controls are in an easy-to-reach position. For your ease of use, an automatic shutdown function may also be beneficial. Because this ensures that it does not damage your snow blower on uneven surfaces. Even LED lights can pay off if you have to evacuate your driveway in the early morning hours. Halogen bulbs, which are often used in cheap snow blowers, are less well-suited due to their higher maintenance requirements.
Care and maintenance of snow blowers
As far as the maintenance and cleaning of snowblowers is concerned, the electric powered models have proven to be much more user-friendly. Here only in case of need a cleaning is necessary. In motorized snow blowers, however, a regular maintenance is recommended, as you can increase the life of the device significantly. Maintenance of your snow blower is primarily about the engine. This should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a year. This includes an oil change and the cleaning or replacement of the air filter. In the best case, do it right at the beginning of spring, so that you can store your snowblower dry and safe over the summer.
Overview of the best-known manufacturers of snow blowers
In the field of snow blowers, there are a number of manufacturers. We would like to briefly introduce the best known in the following section.
The company WOLF-Garten was founded in Germany in 1922, but has been part of the American MTD Group since 2009. This is one of the world’s largest producers of motorized garden utensils. Today, the portfolio of WOLF Garten includes the following products:
- mowing machine
- Riding lawn Mowers
- grass trimmer
- snow blowers
WOLF-Garten has made a name for itself especially with its high-quality snow blowers. These rely primarily on powerful Wolf Snow Thorx engines that have proven themselves in heavy snowfall. WOLF-Garten does not only produce snowblowers with studded tires, but also equipment with a special caterpillar drive. In addition to a full range of work light, joystick-controlled chimney and electric starter, many units are equipped with six forward and two reverse gears. The products of WOLF-Garten are priced in the mid to upper price range.
The German manufacturer Holzinger has been present on the market for more than 50 years and primarily manufactures agricultural and garden machines. These include above all tractors, milking equipment, chainsaws , vibrating machines and tool trolleys. The snowblowers are only a small part of the Holzinger product range, but are still very popular.
Holzinger is especially known for its HSF series . These are snow throwers, which are characterized by their special 4-stroke gasoline engines with a power of 6.5 horsepower. This is to give the snow blowers a high performance and low consumption. In terms of price, Holzinger devices are mostly in the middle range.
The German brand Hecht is a direct distributor of gardening equipment Hubertus Bäumer GmbH from Ostbevern. The product range includes snowblowers , ash cleaners , composters , lawnmowers, scarifiers, wheelbarrows, axes, high pressure cleaners garden furniture and even greenhouses. A special feature of this manufacturer are the gasoline-powered garden tools. These work mostly with Briggs or Stratton engines or internal drive units. Hecht offers wheeled and tracked snow throwers, which are available with both electric and petrol engines. Products of the Hecht brand can be found in the lower to middle price segment.
The German company Grizzly Tools GmbH & Co.KG is based in the Bavarian city of Großostheim and is one of the most cost-effective manufacturers of garden tools. The company’s product range includes not only snow blowers but also lawn mowers, foliage blowers, shredders and lawn edge trimmers.
For snow blowers, the manufacturer Grizzly relies mainly on electric drive systems. In addition to the cost-effective ESF series with an output of up to 2,000 watts, a special feature of Grizzly is the battery-powered ASF series, whose devices have a special lithium-ion battery. This allows you a flexible and wireless use of your snowblower. In terms of price, garden tools from Grizzly are mainly to be found in the lower price segment.
Also at the company Fuxtec, headquartered in Herrenberg-Gülstein in Baden-Württemberg, is a German company. The product range includes various agricultural and garden tools such as snowblowers, lawn mowers, scarifiers, power generators , field or cheese sweepers. Fuxtec offers high-quality gasoline snow blowers in various sizes. The proven SF series should be distinguished above all by its good maneuverability. In addition, Fuxtec offers custom-made solutions for very narrow clearance areas. Priced, the products of this manufacturer usually move in the middle class.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, the Japanese manufacturer Honda Motor Co. Ltd is not only one of the best-known automotive and motorcycle manufacturers, but is also represented in many different areas with its innovative engine technologies. These include motorized garden tools such as snow blowers and lawnmowers.
Above all, the devices from the HS series from Honda impress with their very high performance and are designed to completely free your walkway from snow in just one pass. For particularly narrow areas, the Honda engine hoes can turn into snowblowers, according to the manufacturer. However, Honda snow blowers are generally more likely to be found in the upper price segment.
The technology group AL-KO Kober SE. It was founded in Cologne in 1931 and since then has focused mainly on modern vehicle technology. However, there are various gardening and hobby equipment from this manufacturer. AL-KO offers snow blowers with petrol or electric motor, which impress with their solid build quality. Noteworthy features have snow blowers AL-KO not to offer. But they are already very cheap to have.
The story of the snowblower
The first snow blowers were used as so-called snow throwers in railway traffic and are based on a patent filed in 1890 in the United States. It was a parallel to the tracks mounted drum on which at least ten inclined blades were mounted.
At that time it was of utmost importance to liberate the vast railroad tracks in snowy areas from snow and ice. The drive of these slings was initially generated by steam. This equipment was used for the first time at the railway company “White Pass and Yukon Railway”. In Europe, the Gotthard and Lötschberg railways and the Bernina Railway used such snow throwers. Later, the tools were installed directly on the locomotive and could thus ensure a reliable evacuation of the tracks.
In the inner-city area, today only large clearance vehicles are used, which simply push the snow aside. In the private sector, in addition to the snow shovel, the hand-held snow blowers have prevailed as they allow quick and easy clearing of driveways and sidewalks.
Frequently asked Questions
If you have always cleared your yard with a shovel, you may have a few questions when buying or using a snowthrower. Since we do not want to let you fumble here, of course, in the following section we will give you the answers to the most frequently asked questions about snow blowers.
What is the difference between a snow blower and a snow blower?
Snow throwers and snow throwers serve the same purpose and differ mainly by their working speed. Both devices work with so-called feeder screws. However, the speed at which it moves is significantly higher with the snowthrower. A simple snow thrower is well suited for small clearing areas and light snowfall. For larger areas and thick snowpacks, however, the snowthrower is recommended.
Why are the propulsion speed and traction of my snowthrower lessening?
There are three different reasons for this:
- The drive belt is worn
- The drive belt has come off the pulley
- The Reibungsantriebsrad is worn
However, you should not solve these problems on your own. In most cases, only the transition to the responsible service partner helps here.
Why does not my snowblower throw the snow that far?
The problems mentioned above can also cause your snowthrower to knock the snow out of the way. However, even a clogged or icy fireplace can be blamed. In this case, a thorough cleaning is enough to restore the functioning of your snow blower.
How loud are snowblowers on average?
If you use a model that is intended for private use, you will move on average in a range between 80 and 90 decibels, which is about the volume of a conventional lawn mower. Larger motors, however, can be even louder. If you do not want to bother your neighborhood with the loud hum of a petrol powered snowthrower, we recommend using an electronically powered model. Such devices are basically much quieter
How many horsepower should a snowblower have?
The performance is only given for gasoline powered snow blowers in horsepower. Basically, the stronger the expected snowfall, the more efficient your snow blower should be. Snow throwers for private use usually have six to twelve horsepower. In electrically operated snow blowers, the power is expressed in watts and is usually in a range between 1,500 and 2,000 watts.
Which gas do I need for my snowblower?
Whatever petrol you need for your snowthrower depends on what type of snowthrower you buy. For two-stroke engines you need a special oil-gasoline mixture, which is usually offered in a ratio of 1:33 or 1:50. For the correct mixing ratio, you should consult the instruction manual of your snowthrower.
With a four-stroke engine, you can use ordinary super gasoline. However, the snowthrower nevertheless needs oil for lubrication. This is filled up like a car and should be checked at regular intervals. For four-stroke engines is best suited the so-called “special fuel”. This prevents the carburetor of your snowthrower from caking at longer take-off times. This of course gives you the advantage of having to clean it less often.
When is the use of a snowblower worthwhile?
Most snow blowers can be used even with snow covers of only one centimeter and make it much easier for you to clean up your property. For safety, however, you should always pay attention to the manufacturer’s information. Because with very thin layers of snow your snow blower could possibly be damaged.
Can a snowthrower be used on artificial turf?
Yes, basically that is not a problem. However, it is advantageous if you can adjust the processing height of your snowthrower. In this case, they can simply leave a 2 or 3 centimeter thick layer of snow and make sure that your artificial turf is not damaged.
Is there a snowblower test by Stiftung Warentest?
The Stiftung Warentest has unfortunately not published a snowblower test. However, we found an interesting article in which the experts comment on how best to get through the winter. For example, it is about the duties that motorists and homeowners have to fulfill in winter. You will also learn when you are obliged to clear the snow on your property and when you can safely leave your snowthrower in the garage. If you would like to take a look at the article of Stiftung Warentest, you will find it here . Apart from that, we strive to keep our comparison up to date. If Stiftung Warentest publishes a relevant snow blower test in the future, you will find out here.
Is there a snow blower test from Öko Test?
Unfortunately Öko Test has not dealt with snowblowers until now. There is, however, an article by Öko Test that may be of interest to you. It deals with road salt – a frequently used alternative to snow blowers or snow shovels. However, according to Öko Test, the use of road salt damages not only our environment, but also the animals that live in it. So here’s another good reason for using a snowthrower. If you want to know more, you can find the article here . Otherwise, it is important for us to keep our comparison up to date. If Öko Test publishes a snowblowing test in the future, we will update our comparison accordingly. So it can be worthwhile stopping by here and there.