As winter rapidly approaches, it’s never too soon to start thinking about ways to deal with these harsh elements.
In much of the United States, snow is an inevitability, and some places must cope with several inches or more of snow each year. It’s certainly a beautiful sight to see across the landscape when you first look out the window in the morning but then comes the time to actually go outdoors.
You may have watched your neighbors with envy as they quickly clear out their driveway with a snowblower in half the time and even less effort than it takes to shovel. If this sounds like you, then it sounds like it’s worth investing in your own.
It’s a common belief that these products are too expensive to justify buying, assuming that the cost must be well beyond their budget. In truth, there are more affordable models than ever before.
The single stage snow blower is an oft-overlooked type of snow thrower, even though they’re pretty powerful for their compact size. Whether you get one powered by gas or electricity, the best products stands up to their marketing claims and help you get through the long, snowy winters.
Don’t let yourself get snowed in because you waited too long to pick up your own snow blower. Weather is unpredictable, and it’s always worth protecting yourself against the unexpected if you can help it. If you’ve read our reviews, you know we love our top lists. So, we’ve rounded up our seven favorite single stage snow blowers and ranked them!
1. Power Smart DB5023
The first single stage snow blower on our list comes from Power Smart. It immediately stands out in a crowd thanks to its sheer size.
It’s not as compact as the other products on this list, built more like a lawnmower than a snowblower. You can modify the pram-style handle to feel comfortable for your height. Underneath the hood is a 13-amp motor that has more than enough power to blow out heavy snowfall.
Because of its size, though, the Power Smart isn’t as light as the others on this list. Weighing in at nearly 40 pounds, it’ll take a little muscle to keep the power running. That said, if you have a large property to clear out, then this is more than capable of getting the job done.
What else can it do? This model clears out snow blocks as wide as 18 inches and as deep as 9 inches thanks to its powerful auger. Clearly, it’s one of the most powerful units you’ll find for its size — and it is a big one, ready to tackle heavy snowfall in most areas of the country.
Finally, the steel blades come with rubber tips to protect them from wearing down too quickly. All in all, it’s a worthy investment that will last for years.
Easy to use
Simple to start up
Handle is low if you’re tall
Some problems handling wet snow
2. Briggs & Stratton 1222EE
This powerful model by Briggs and Stratton is both compact and very capable of handling large snow banks. It’s a single stage snow blower that nearly rivals the Power Smart and the Toro SnowMaster.
This model can clear snow blocks a foot deep and as wide as 22 inches, but we’d recommend only tackling eight inches or less. If you must clear out a whole foot, then work slowly and pay attention to the unit. If the snow is heavy, then you will probably only be able to clear out about five inches at a time.
This unit has impressive throwing power, though, capable of tossing lighter snow as far as 30 feet away. Even if the snow around you is wet, you should still be able to clear 15 feet with the model. These numbers work perfectly for anyone with a typical 2-car driveway in the suburbs.
All in all, we like this unit for those who have to deal with ice and heavy snow and who cannot spare more budget for a two-stage blower. The auger is great and can handle slightly sloped driveways, though not as well as paved, flat surfaces. Be sure not to use this on gravel.
Serrated steel auger
Powerful workhorse of an engine
Electric chute rotation reduces the effort
The chute is an expensive repair
3. EGO Power+ 21″
Over the last decade, the Ego company has focused on developing the reliable Power+ Platform, which delivers a cordless power experience to the toolbox. It’s the same platform that the company uses for its lawnmowers and chainsaws, now found on its powerful single stage snow blower.
Another new design choice for this particular model is the inclusion of two lithium batteries to help the blower run for over one hour per charge. It’s about as powerful as a gas engine, which is one reason it’s so exciting to see; soon, electrical snow blowers will become just as abundant and affordable as gas blowers.
With a single push button to start, the truly cordless snow blower gets roaring the first time you press it. No longer do you have to recharge the start button or deal with the cord found on gas products.
This Ego blower can handle 21 inches of snow width that is up to eight inches in depth. Compared to other snow blowers, this is an average amount of intake chosen so that the motor doesn’t become overworked and worn out. This intake should work for moderate snow falls, but heavier snow loads will take a few charges.
Fully charges in just 40 minutes
Easy to start
Runs for an hour between charges
Easy to store
Wet snow makes the battery run out faster
Blades wear fast
4. Remington RM2120
Speaking of gas powered snow blowers, Remington takes the next spot with this model. It does come with an electric start function, though, so you won’t break your shoulder trying to start with a cord.
Although it’s smaller than some of the other blowers on this list, it’s still a heavy beast weighing in at nearly 90 pounds. You’ll need the muscle to carry it around for a while, but it’s powerful enough to get the job done fast. Luckily, it’s another blower that comes with the pram-style handle, so you can adjust it to your preferred height.
Inside, there is a durable and powerful auger capable of clearing out snow as deep as 13 inches and as wide as 21 inches in a single pass. That means your extra-large property will get cleared out in no time at all. Plus, you can use a remote to move the chute, allowing you more flexibility in where exactly you throw the snow along the way.
Like other models on this list, this blower comes with 7-inch wheels that make it easy to navigate heavier snowfalls. All in all, it’s just the right balance between power and budget.
Large wheels make it easy to plow through heavy snowfall
Not too expensive
Durability is questionable
Not cheap to repair
5. Ariens Path-Pro
Ariens is another company that produces a gas-powered single-stage snow blower worth looking into.
This one is the heaviest on the list, weighing in at over 100 pounds. It’s not all wasted weight either as it’s one of the most powerful units on this list. The 208cc engine gives you more than enough clearing force, but you are going to need the muscle to get this beast rolling.
Again, you get the pram handle with full adjustment options, plus a chute that you can angle to the degree you desire.
The numbers are more or less the same as the other snow blowers, capable of digging out snow 12 inches deep and 21 inches wide with a single pass. Here, though, you can sweep up the snow all the way down to the ground if you’re careful, but typical use still leaves behind a slight layer.
The power of the engine shows off in terms of throwing snow, hauling it over 35 feet in 210 degrees of directions. Snow wheels are included to make it easier to get through heavier piles of snow.
Finally, the price is squarely in the middle of the spectrum, making it a step up from beginner blowers but hardly the priciest.
Snow Joe is one of those companies that we’ve started to see pop up over and over again in this market. Today, there are so many different models you can pick from that it’s actually overwhelming to try and pick just one. This particular model pushes the limits in terms of what electric snow blowers can handle.
Most electrical models come with plastic augers that make it difficult to handle the same load. Snow Joe, on the other hand, has always used steel augers. They’re not as thick as what you’d find on higher-end gas models, but they’re still great for the cost of the product and should hold up over the years.
The auger blades themselves are made of rubber, and the company sells replacements for when those wear out. Unfortunately, it’s no easy task to replace them.
If the extension cord doesn’t get in your way, then the thrower works excellently. There’s no power steering available, but it’s a lightweight unit and most people will not have a problem steering it anyway. Eight-inch tires give you some traction, but you shouldn’t rely on them on icy days if you are looking to clear a sloped surface.
The single stage snow blower by Toro perfectly blends value with speed and performance. It’s an excellent choice for anyone who has a medium-sized driveway to clear out every winter.
Although the 24-inch model is a single stage blower, it makes use of a hybrid platform that makes it closer to a two-stage in terms of power. That makes it lighter than some of the other models on this list while making it just as or more efficient at clearing the snow.
According to Toro, the SnowMaster can throw snow as far as 40 feet from the blower. In practice, we find this to be true unless you’re working in heavy snow.
Likewise, you should only use this blower on a paved surface and not on gravel. The SnowMaster uses an auger that touches the ground, so it’ll kick up that gravel and turn the stones into little weapons. The speed of the auger moves so fast that this is especially concerning.
As stated, this is a great choice for a typical two-car driveway. Keep in mind that this unit can handle sloped surfaces but it becomes harder to use at steeper angles.
Joystick is one of the best experiences on the market
Very good engine
Easy to turn with automatic steering
Learning curve makes it difficult for beginners
Not suitable for sloped surfaces
At the end of the day, we love the Power Smart single-stage snow blower for what it can do for its price.
The company is well known for its ability to produce compact snow blowers using electric motors that rival gas-powered competitors. This model is no exception thanks to its 13-amp motor. The only real limitation we can see with this model is how long your cord reaches from the outlet.
The model can move snow up to 8 inches in height in a single pass, throwing it up to 30 feet away with little effort.
It’s also compact, measuring just 21x21x21 inches and weighing under 40 pounds. That makes it easy to stow after you have finished the effortless process of using it to clear out your driveway.
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