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
- Gas powered snow blowers are not eco-friendly
- Overall Winner for Best Electric Snow Blower: EGO Power+
- Is an Electric Snow Blower Right for You?
- Cordless Battery or Plug-In: Which Electric Snow Blower Style is Better?
- Best Electric Snow Blowers—In-Depth Reviews
- Best Battery Powered Electric Snow Blower: EGO Power+ SN2102
- Best Plug-In Snow Blower: Toro 1800 Power Curve 38381
- Runner Up Battery Powered Electric Snow Blower: Earthwise SN74018 Cordless Electric
- Best Mid-range Electric Snow Blower: Snow Joe Ultra SJ621
- Runner Up Mid-Range Electric Snow Blower: Greenworks Snow Thrower 2600502
- Best Lightweight Electric Snow Blower: Toro 38361 Power Shovel
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. However, not all electric snow blowers are created equal, so we’ve ranked some of the best models available today to help you decide which one is right for your needs.
Already settled on getting an electric snow blower? Click here to jump to our top picks.
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
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.
Keep reading to learn about our top picks for electric snow blowers for a variety of different usage goals. Learn about our methodology here.
Best Electric Snow Blowers—In-Depth Reviews
Below, you’ll find our rankings for the best electric snow blowers. We believe every model on this list as 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.
|Model||EGO Power+ SN2102|
|Battery Type||56-volt ARC lithium batteries|
|Adjustable Shoot||180 degrees|
|Snow Moved Per Minute||Not specified|
|Throwing Distance||35 feet|
|Height Clearance||20 inches|
|Clearing Width||21 inches|
If you want the full power of a gas engine in an electric snow blower, the EGO may suit your needs.
It’s 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 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 $800 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+ is likely 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.
|Model||Toro 1800 Power Curve 38381|
|Power Type||Corded electric, 15-amp motor|
|Adjustable Shoot||160 degree|
|Snow Moved Per Minute||700 lbs|
|Throwing Distance||30 feet|
|Height Clearance||18 inches|
|Clearing Width||18 inches|
As America’s self-proclaimed #1 electric snow blower brand, the Toro 38381 packs a lot of power for a gas-free model while still operating less loudly than a vacuum cleaner. It includes a 15-amp motor (the maximum amount of power available for electric snow blowers in the US) that can purportedly handle up to twelve inches of snow in a single pass.
The Toro comes with a patented Zip Deflector that lets you control the trajectory of the tossed snow so that it goes low, high, or in-between so that it collects where you want it. Its ‘Power Cord Technology’ refers to the curved shape of the rotor, which prevents snow from clogging in the chute, so you don’t have to slow down in the middle of the job.
Expect this corded electric machine to clear up to 700 pounds of snow per minute, making a quick job of removing snow from most flat, paved driveways. It can shoot snow up to thirty feet away to ensure it ends up well past your driveway. And for all its power, this blower weighs only 25 pounds.
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.
|Model||Earthwise SN74018 Cordless Electric Snow Blower|
|Battery Type||40-volt brushless motor (4Ah battery and charger included)|
|Adjustable Shoot||180 degrees|
|Snow Moved Per Minute||500 lbs|
|Throwing Distance||30 foot|
|Height Clearance||12 inches|
|Clearing Width||18 inches|
This Earthwise cordless electric snow thrower lets you remove snow from anywhere—no gas or power cord necessary. It’s powered by a 40-volt motor and a 4Ah battery and claims to move up to 500 pounds of snow per minute in optimal conditions. Expect it to run for several hours per charge (though some customers complained of just a 30-minute runtime), and for the battery to recharge in 2.5 hours.
Despite being a relatively slim unit, the Earthwise is slightly heavier at 35 pounds than other electric snow blowers, primarily due to the battery. Even so, most users should be able to maneuver it without a problem. Adding to its functionality, the unit features two LED spotlights for use in sub-optimal lighting conditions.
Many customers praised the Earthwise’s durable plastic construction, especially regarding the snow blades. Even so, this unit is meant only for flat, paved surfaced and shouldn’t be used around rocks and gravel.
This brand has been around since 1895 and claims to take a strong stance on the importance of innovating personal lawn equipment that is low maintenance and has a low carbon footprint. From my research, however, Earthwise is a little light on the specifics of what this means beyond selling equipment that doesn’t run on gasoline.
Overall, the Earthwise Snow Thrower is a reliable battery-operated snow blower option for those who don’t want to be tied down to a cord. Just don’t expect it to handle huge projects.
|Model||Snow Joe Ultra SJ621|
|Power Type||Corded electric 13.5 amp motor|
|Adjustable Shoot||180 degrees|
|Snow Moved Per Minute||650 lbs|
|Throwing Distance||20 ft|
|Height Clearance||10 inches|
|Clearing Width||18 inches|
This mid-range electric snow blower is well suited for most winter snow clearing tasks. It has a commendable 13.5-amp motor that will move up to 650 pounds of snow per minute. Price and specs-wise, it’s very similar to the Greenworks Snow Thrower, though it offers a slightly smaller clearing width and max snow removal capacity.
Even so, it’s considered by many reviewers to be a more rugged machine overall that’s capable of dealing with frozen snow banks as well as freshly fallen snow. Many also appreciate its included LED lights for early morning snow removal. As with other plug-in snow blowers, you’ll need to provide your own power cord.
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.
If you’re trying to decide between the Snow Joe and the Greenworks model, it’s probably worth paying slightly more for the Snow Joe’s more powerful motor and more rugged build.
|Model||Greenworks Snow Thrower 2600502|
|Power Type||Corded electric, 13-amp motor|
|Adjustable Shoot||180 degrees|
|Snow Moved Per Minute||850 lbs|
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.
|Model||Toro 38361 Power Shovel|
|Power Type||Corded electric, 7.5 amps|
|Snow Moved Per Minute||300 lbs|
|Throwing Distance||20 feet|
|Height Clearance||6 inches|
|Clearing Width||12 inches|
For those who only require minimal snow clearing capabilities, the Toro Power Shovel will save your back compared to a standard shovel. This ultra-lightweight device checks in at under 13 pounds, and it can clear four inches off 100 square feet within twenty minutes. Its twelve-inch width lets you clean your walkways within a pass or two, and the 7.5 amp motor is capable of moving 300 pounds of snow per minute.
What’s great about this machine is how low maintenance it is. As an electric model, you won’t have to worry about dealing with a pull start or replacing or winterizing any gas and oil. It’s also slim enough for easy storage in small garages and lightweight enough that almost anyone can use it, even the elderly.
At $120, the Toro isn’t much cheaper than the Greenworks Snow Thrower, and it offers far less functionality. This makes it ideal for small projects, but those with larger driveways or who expect more than four inches of snow to fall at once will do better to invest in a snow blower with a little more power.
However, if you really want to make an ecologically-conscious decision, consider sticking with a standard snow shovel instead of this electric snow blower. So long as you have the physical stamina to scoop snow, this is a zero-emissions strategy that gives you a workout in the process.