Electric Snow Blowers

This site presents the latest information available—updated for 2012-2013—on a broad range of electric snow blowers currently being manufactured.

Electric Snow Blowers have greatly improved in recent years and their popularity has expanded accordingly as more manufacturers have developed new models.

This website presents descriptions, specifications, and current prices on (30) thirty different makes and models of electric snow throwers.

These are only the most popular however, as there are several other lesser-known brands on the market—plus several private label brands for some of the machines described here.

The big attraction of electrics over the gas models is in the ease of operation.

Unlike their gas-powered brethren, electric snow blowers do not have to worry about; hard starting in cold weather, tune-ups, oil changes, mixing gas and oil, and storing flammable gas cans in the garage.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the electric models are maintenance free. They have things that wear out and break just like the gas models. Actually, some of the lighter weight models may not stand up to very hard use at all.

Consumer Reports rate all electric snow blowers quite low for “speed of clearing” and “handling compacted snow.” Electric blowers all have rubber, or rubber-tipped augers, and although they do a thorough job of cleaning concrete, they do have an occasional problem with compacted snow, or ice.

It should also be noted that electric models scrape directly on the surface below the snow, and therefore, are not a good choice for gravel drives and walkways, regardless of size.

Descriptions of Electric Snow Blowers

Except for the Ariens AMP battery-powered machine, all the electric models run on 120-volt household electricity. The smaller models are for fairly light, or occasional, use, while the larger models can compete with many single-stage gas-powered machines.

Regular electric models range in maximum capacity from a 10-inch swath in 4-inch snow, to a 20-inch swath in 10 inches of snow. They have motors from 7.0 amps, to 15 amps, and weigh from 12.5 lbs. to 35 lbs. The lighter weight models are great for clearing stairs and raised decks—anywhere they need to be carried, or manually moved around. That is why the smaller models are referred to as “electric shovels.”

The notable exception in electric snow blowers is the Ariens Amp 24 2-stage battery operated machine. This is the largest electric snow blower and weighs 240 lbs. It has a run time on each charge of 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the workload and clears a 24-inch swath in 20-inch snow.

The typical cost (street price) of the regular units run from well under $100 for the smallest, to over $300 for the larger models. However, the MSRP price tag for the Ariens Amp 24 model is $1,699, with the nominal street price generally under $1,500.

Things to Look For

Of course, the main thing is to match your electric snow blower to your snow clearing requirements. If you live in an area of frequent and heavy snow falls, you would want a far bigger machine than would a person living in an area of one or two light snowfalls a year.

However, many people use a large machine for general clearing, and buy a smaller electric snow blower just to clear stairs, raised decks, and other hard to reach places.

Also, the surface beneath the snow is important. Not everyone has concrete driveways and paths, and most electric snow blowers simply do not work well in gravel.

The discharge chute is keenly important. This is one of the things that typically breaks down on smaller machines, and some models are not that easy to adjust with heavy gloves or mittens on. The smallest machines do not have an adjustable chute and discharges the snow straight ahead.

This is fine for stairs and small areas, but can become problematic if you’re trying to move snow from a larger area.

Accidentally disconnecting the electric cord from your electric snow blower is a common problem, so you want a model that has a good place to physically anchor your electric cord.

Running over your electric cord is also a common problem and this is a definite disadvantage of electric snow blowers. All the more reason to have a good anchor point high on your machine’s handle.

Then, of course, you want your machine to have an adjustable handle that can be set for operator height. There is no such thing as one size fits all. Your back will attest to that.

Summary

That should give you some things to think about when considering electric snow blowers. I believe for certain conditions, an electric machine may be superior to a gas model. Light snowfall, stairs, small-uncovered decks, short walkways, and the like, are ideal conditions for electric models.

Actually, the large Ariens 2-stage battery powered snow blower can be competitive with many gas 2-stage machines, and may be the pioneer of new battery-powered models to come—who knows?

On the other hand, a very high initial cost and expensive batteries, plus only a 45 to 60 minute (or less) run time, may hurt the sales of this model of electric snow blower at first. But then, on the other hand….

To get a good comparison of various models of electric snow blowers, I have provided a short description and technical specifications of each of the (30) most popular models. You can start first with the Toro lineup–click here.

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11/4/12

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