Gas powered snow blowers are’t climate friendly and are disastrous for air quality. So, which electric snow blower is right for you? We break down the pros and cons of our top 5 models.
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Winter weather tends to hit at the least opportune times, and a snow-filled driveway can pose problems when you have places to go. Heck, we are headquartered in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, so we know a thing or two about snow. When it dumps 500 plus inches of snow in the Tetons, the best way to quickly clear a path for your car is with a snow blower, but using one can lead to unintended environmental consequences.
See also: the best sustainable ski brands
Best lightweight snow blower
Is an Electric Snow Blower Right for You?
Despite their environmental benefits, electric snow blowers aren’t the optimal tool for every winter task. Here are some of their main pros and cons to consider compared to gas.
Electric Snow Blower Pros
- Will start immediately on cold days
- No pull-start
- Lightweight, many fold up for easier storage
- Less long-term maintenance responsibilities (no winterization or gas and oil to replace)
Electric Snow Blower Cons
- (Most) models are not as powerful as gas (see our review on the EGO Power+ for an exception)
- Should only be used on flat surfaces
- Most models work best on pavement
- Dependent on batteries or an extension cord
- Not necessarily more environmentally sustainable, depending on your electrical power source
The best electric snow blowers: our top picks
Below, you’ll find our rankings for the best electric snow blowers. We believe every model on this list is a smart buy.
Note that the best choice for your situation might not be the model we ranked the highest, so pay attention to the differentiating features between them instead of taking our rankings at face value.
Best Battery Powered Electric Snow Blower: EGO Power+ SN2102
Highlights: The EGO Power+ packs a serious snow blowing punch. The company wins points for its rugged design, batteries that are interchangeable between products, and the ability to move massive amounts of snow without burning gasoline.
- Clearing width is an impressive 21 inches
- Capable of handling heavy and wet snow, unlike competitors more aimed at fluffy downfall
- Batteries last long enough to clear a ten-car driveway covered in eight inches of snow.
- At 55 pounds it may be difficult for some to maneuver
- Extra power and features over competitors comes with a higher pricetag
|EGO Power+ SN2102
|56-volt ARC lithium batteries
|Snow Moved Per Minute
If you want the full power of a gas engine in an electric snow blower, the EGO may suit your needs. To regular readers of LeafScore, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise, seeing as EGO products have been a go-to for us winning placement in both lawnmowers and chainsaws. If you already have EGO products at home, you’ll find the batteries working between products with no issues, and the company’s eco-credentials make it one we’re happy to support and recommend.
The EGO Power+ is advertised as the only cordless snow blower that can compete with gas and packs an impressive 56-volts of snow removal potential in its two ARC Lithium batteries, which are designed for use within any EGO product. This purportedly makes it capable of clearing heavy, wet snow, rather than just the fluffy downfall that’s all most other electric snow blowers can handle. The unit also includes LED lights for easier use in all weather conditions.
The EGO Power+ boasts an impressive 21-inch clearing width and can throw snow up to 35 feet for efficient clearing. It also contains many more steel components than its competitors, and each battery charge will purportedly last long enough to clear a ten-car driveway covered in eight inches of snow. However, these robust features don’t come cheap, as you’ll pay over $600 for the machine.
This company has recently gained attention for its commitment to creating environmentally friendly products. In 2019, Home Depot named EGO as its Environmental Partner of the Year due to its commitment to developing lithium batteries that reduce the amount of carbon generated from using lawn care equipment.
The EGO Power+ may be overkill for most people looking for an electric snow blower, but it compares well to similarly-priced gas-powered units. Even better, it does so without the loud noise and toxic fumes. Just keep in mind that this machine weighs a hefty 55 pounds, which means you need some muscle to maneuver it successfully.
Runner Up Electric Snow Blower: Toro Power Clear 60-Volt Cordless Electric Single Stage Snow Blower
Highlights: Powerful and efficient, the Toro Power Clear is built for big snow-clearing tasks and compares favorably to gas-powered counterparts.
- Compares favorably to its gas-powered competitors
- Panoramic LED light allows for use during times of lower visibility
- Company is working to make each of its manufacturing facilities more eco-friendly
- Best on concrete and asphalt, may struggle somewhat with other surfaces
- May be a bit heavy at 55 pounds for some people to use
|Toro Power Clear 60-Volt Cordless Electric Single Stage Snow Blower
|Cordless electric, 60V battery system, Brushless DC Motor
|Snow Moved Per Minute
Looking for all the power of a gas model without the maintenance? The Toro Power Clear gives you the same performance with an electric motor without any compromise. It’s built to throw snow over 40 feet and comes equipped with a panoramic LED light so you can plow in any weather conditions.
This snow blower’s included battery is designed for use within various Toro products like lawnmowers and string trimmers. That’s a win for the environment because it cuts down on single-use items within your garage. Best of all, it’s lightweight enough for most people to handle it on their decks and stairwells. And, without a gas motor, it’s quiet enough to use without the worry of waking your neighbors.
The Power Clear can clear all kinds of snow, but it’s best for use on concrete or asphalt. Expect to clear the space equivalent of a 12-parked-car driveway with 2-9 inches of snow per charge (and, if you’re tackling a bigger task, keep a backup battery on hand). This powerful machine is built for precision with a locking deflector that lets you aim the shoot exactly where you want to throw the snow.
As a company, Toro claims to be working towards improving the environmental footprint of each manufacturing facility. For example, the Riverside, CA irrigation testing facility has implemented a closed-loop system that relies on recycled water. Its Bloomington, MN engineering test facility has installed exhaust-scrubbing equipment to reduce carbon monoxide production by up to 90%.
The Toro’s price point and power capacity make it a smart mid-range option for an electric snow blower. You’ll get a lot of use out of it if you have a lot of driveway to clear, so long as you have outdoor outlets accessible.
Best Lightweight Snow Blower: Snow Joe iON18SB 40-Volt Cordless Electric Snow Blower
Highlights: This Snow Joe snow blower is lightweight and efficient, but don’t expect to get much power from its limited runtime.
- Lightweight – much more so than some of its more powerful counterparts on this list
- Great for removing fresh powder at a fast rate
- Energy-Star Certified
- May not be powerful enough to handle larger driveways and sidewalks, or heavier/wetter snow
|Snow Joe iON18SB
|Battery-powered, 40 volts
|Snow Moved Per Minute
This single-stage snow blower works to remove fresh powder fast. It runs off a 40-volt lithium-ion battery system that gives you up to 50 minutes of runtime with a motor quiet enough you won’t worry about waking the neighbors. Making morning clearing even easier, it comes equipped with 3-watt LED headlights.
The 32 lb frame is easy to maneuver, meaning you can take it up and down steps for easier access to hard-to-reach snow piles. Despite its small size, the blower can clear snow up to eight inches deep and will remove close to 2,500 square feet of snow within an hour. Adjust the snow chute 180 degrees to put snow precisely where you want it, up to 20 feet away from the action.
Thanks to its fully electric engine, the Snow Joe iON18SB is Energy-Star Certified as part of the brand’s commitment to environmental sustainability. Just keep in mind that its small size means it offers a relatively limited runtime compared to other electric models, meaning this snow blower works best for small to medium-sized driveways and sidewalks. In fact, it might be too lightweight for your needs, as many customer reviews indicated that it didn’t seem capable of handling much more snow than they could remove in the same time with a shovel.
Best Corded Electric Snow Blower: Snow Joe SJ627E Snow Thrower
Highlights: This corded electric version of Snow Joe’s snow blower won’t leave you without power—so long as you stay within access of outdoor outlets.
- Thoughtful safety switch is a welcomed level of protection against accidents
- No need to worry about gasoline, or your batteries running out
- Another lighter option, which makes for easier maneuverability
- While free from gasoline and the worry of batteries running out, you’ll have to manage and work around a cord
- Small chute size can lead to frustrating compacting
|Snow Joe SJ627E
|Corded electric, 15-amp motor
|Snow Moved Per Minute
Trying to clear snow from your driveway without the hassle of gas? The Snow Joe SJ627E will make quick work of the task without making you break a sweat. Weighing just 35 pounds, the snow blower is ultra-versatile and easier to maneuver than most gas models. The discrete safety switch offers an extra layer of protection against any accidents.
It can handle up to 840 pounds of snow per minute, tossing it up to 25 feet away. This makes it ideal for clearing large driveways and walkways, though it may be too small for spaces any larger. Likewise, this corded model must always be used within range of an outlet.
Note that its small chute size means heavy snow might build up inside, so this snow blower tends to work best when the downfall is light and fluffy. If snow does start compacting, the included clearing tool lets you break up any obstructions fast. Low light conditions aren’t a concern, as the dual integrated LED headlights will keep things illuminated.
The Snow Joe brand is transparent about making a moderate commitment to environmental sustainability. The company offers many Energy Star certified products and provides ways to recycle your spent rechargeable batteries.
- Capable of moving 850 pounds of snow a minute, which is more efficient than many competitors
- Weighing in at just 30 pounds, it’s the lightest on our list
- Struggles with bigger driveways or longer sidewalks thanks to its 10 foot throwing distance
- Must be within range of an outlet to plug it in
- Materials overall seem cheaper, but expected of the budget option
|Greenworks Snow Thrower 2600502
|Corded electric, 13-amp motor
|Snow Moved Per Minute
The Greenworks Snow Thrower is a quiet machine that packs a lot of power. It runs with a 13-amp motor and includes dual LED lights for easier use in pre-dawn conditions. Though its small size makes it look unassuming, this snow blower can move 850 pounds of snow per minute, making it the most efficient model on our list. And at just 30 pounds, it’s maneuverable enough for almost anyone to use.
You can rely on this machine to remove snow up to ten inches deep in a twelve-inch path. While the company claims it can throw snow up to 20-feet, the 13-amp motor is less powerful than most of its rivals and means many people find it throws snow about ten feet at best. This makes this model best for smaller yards or relatively narrow driveways. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself blowing the same snow around several times.
Delving further into its quality, some customers complained that the Greenworks snow blower seems to be made from cheap plastic that struggles to break through compacted snow unless you chop it up with a shovel first. Others found it easy to damage when using on non-flat surfaces or gravel roads.
Greenworks doesn’t seem to have much publicly available information about its environmental standards, besides the fact that the company has fast become an industry leader in electric-powered personal yard equipment. Many of the brand’s products run on the same batteries, meaning that you can easily replace them and swap them out between devices.
Overall, the Greenworks Snow Thrower seems best suited for clearing fresh snow off relatively small, paved driveways. Those with more extreme snow-clearing needs may require a higher-powered machine.
Note that you will need to purchase an extension cord separately to run this snow blower, so factor that into the pricing.
Gas powered snow blowers are not eco-friendly
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), using an average gas-powered snow blower for an hour will generate about a pound of carbon monoxide emissions. That’s the equivalent of driving your car for 70 miles! The lesson is clear – gas powered snow blowers are not climate friendly.
So what’s the solution? Short of shoveling out your driveway by hand, consider investing in an electric snow blower instead. These plug-in or battery-powered machines create fewer emissions—especially if your home’s electricity comes from renewable energy—and they tend to be lighter, quieter, and easier to maintain than their gas-guzzling counterparts.
Electric engines have come a long way in recent years, and many electric snow blowers are just as powerful as gas models.
Cordless Battery or Plug-In: Which Electric Snow Blower Style is Better?
One of the first choices you must make before deciding on the best electric snow blower is deciding whether you want a cordless or plug-in model.
Battery-operated models give you the flexibility to use them anywhere, but they require charging before use, and most last only around an hour. This might lead to problems if you’re unprepared for the first snow of the year, or if your driveway requires more than an hour’s worth of attention. Some brands sell spare batteries for their snow blowers so you can have a backup on hand, but this will add to your total cost.
A plug-in electric snow blower will never run out of power, but it also restricts your usage range to the length of the extension cord. This can pose significant problems if you have a long driveway or don’t have any convenient outdoor outlets.
Which design is best? That clearly comes down to your personal needs. It’s important to note that there is little functional difference between the two. While battery-operated machines have a reputation for putting out less power than plug-in units, advances in lithium-ion battery technology in the past few years have all but negated the difference between the two.