BEST SNOW BLOWER REVIEWS FOR 2018
The Husqvarna ST224 is a little brother to the Husqvarna ST224P, which comes with power steering and other fancy bells and whistles (but for more money). The ST224P has been a bestseller on Amazon for two years and is currently the highest-rated gas snow blower available.
It is capable of handling virtually any amount of snow, and is perfect for clearing out 2-car driveways. The Husqvarna ST224/P are both able to run on concrete, grass, and gravel. However, the ST224 does not come with power steering, whereas the ST224P does. It is up to you whether or not the extra investment is worth it for the luxury.
The Craftsman 88173 Snow Blower is a good all-round machine, perfect for clearing driveways and patios and for use on gravel, and we like it a lot. It is compact and simple to use, well-designed and efficient, but does lack a couple of features that other models offer.
The major factor in its favour is perhaps the price: you can find this model for under $700, which puts it a good way cheaper than some of its 24-inch rivals.
So, why is the Cub Cadet 524 SWE one of the snow blowers that we would put on our shortlist?
Quite simply, it is a compact and powerful machine, one with proven attributes (as with most Cub Cadet snow blowers), that is reliable and that comes from a known manufacturer, and it does the job it is intended for with very impressive results. It’s made by MTD, who are one of the most prolific and regarded manufacturers of these machines, and as such comes with very strong credentials.
The Toro Snowmaster 724 QXE is one of the most reliable snow blowers on the market. While its price point is great given its quality, it does have a few drawbacks compared to some of the other blowers on the list.
Most notably, while it handles smooth surfaces like a pro, it struggles when it comes to gravel and other rough areas. While it is possible to move snow from rough areas with the Snowmaster 724, it is recommended to look at other options if you are going to be in that terrain frequently. The Toro Snowmaster shines on flat surfaces like parking lots, driveways and sidewalks however. It is fast, throws snow far, and can handle 2-14 inches of snow.
Arien’s has a great reputation among consumers across North America. A simple scan of reviews online and you’ll see that this machine has great reviews and very few of them are rarely from disappointed customers.
The Ariens compact 24 inch snowblower can handle moderate to heavy snow conditions without breaking a sweat. A 24-inch clearing path means people with large driveways or a lot of sidewalks can get the job done quickly with the least amount of passes.
10 Reasons You Need a Snow Blower
Winter is a beautiful time of year – to look at! The wonderful snow-covered trees and pretty houses we see on Christmas cards are very attractive, but it is a month that also comes with some serious downsides. One is that it can be extremely cold. Nobody likes to go outside in sub-zero temperatures, yet it has to be done if we are to go to work, get the kids to school and go about our daily lives.
The romantic image of a family tucked up in front of a roaring fire, the cold kept at bay outside, may be one we all wish was reality, but in fact things can be very unpleasant indeed! Picture this scene: it’s early morning in December, middle of the week, you get up to get ready to sort the kids out and get yourself to work, and there’s been a heavy snowfall overnight.
Your drive, path and lawn have all been covered and – what’s more – the snow plough has been through, and has left a nice pile of snow at the end of your drive! In addition to making breakfast, getting everyone ready and getting yourself to work on time, you now have to clear the drive and paths to make it safe, and to enable you to get the car out. It’s no fun in the dark, on a cold and damp winter morning when you want to just get in your car, turn the heater on and go, to have to get the shovel out and dig yourself a path, but it needs to be done.
This is the other side of winter, the one that they don’t show in films and pictures, the one that is real and not very pleasant at all. So, what can you do to make it easier? After all, there’s nothing any of us can do about the weather, as it is always going to do what it wants to! The answer may be to buy a snow blower, a great piece of equipment that you will not regret owning at any point.
Now, you may be wondering why you really need one, and whether this is in fact an expensive folly that you can really do without. When we explain the benefits of a snow blower – and what they can do for you – we believe you will want one straight away, so read on, and let us show you how, for a few hundred dollars, you can save time and energy in the coldest months with a snow blower.
What Is A Snow Blower?
The snow blower is a machine that, once you have bought and used one, you will wonder how you did without! It’s a simple concept that involves a device designed to move snow from one place to another; unlike, say, a vacuum cleaner or lawn mower it does not carry the snow, but blows it physically out of the way, thus clearing the obstruction.
There are many different makes, models and types of snow blowers on the market, so we will talk you through what you need to know and look for when buying one. You should also check through our reviews of snow blowers, as we have looked at many of the top models so you can see which one is best for you. Most snow blowers are petrol-powered, are easy to use, and have many features that enable them to do the job you want.
The best are designed to be easy to handle and are very versatile, pack a sensible amount of power, and can shift a great area of snow in a very short time. The advantages, then, should be clear, but we’ll look in more detail at whether you need one right now.
Do You Really Need The Latest Snow Blower?
Do you live in an area where you experience mild to heavy snowfall in the winter months? Many areas do, and it can be very difficult to keep things moving on a day to day basis. You clear the snow away one morning, it snows throughout the day and overnight, and you have to do the same again the next morning. This happens day after day, for long periods of the winter months, and you get tired and cold every morning before you go to work.
You might think that shovelling the snow to one side is the easiest – and cheapest – option. It is certainly cheap, but it is far from easy. You might have experienced a foot or more of snow overnight; that’s a lot to move if you want to get your car out, and a massive amount if you are doing it by hand! Then there’s the neat pile left by the snowplough; it’s your responsibility to move it, as all they have to do is make the roads passable. All that shovelling, every morning, for most of winter – you’d really rather not, wouldn’t you? That’s why a snow blower is the solution!
These excellent machines are easy to use, and are not at all expensive (especially when you consider the time and effort they will save you) plus you never have to worry about shovelling snow again! No more aching back, no more having to get up extra-early to get the drive cleared – just a few minutes of your time with a machine that will not only clear as much snow as you need, but will also tackle that pile at the end of the drive!
All you need to know now is what to look for, and which one to buy, and that’s where our reviews come in handy! We have picked the very best snow blowers available that are suitable for domestic use, but before you head across to our snow blower review section, here’s a bit of info on what you need to look for when buying your snow blower.
What to Look for in Your New Snow Thrower
You want a snow blower – no, you need one to make your life easier – and we have the information you need in our reviews, so to help you further, here are a few pointers as to what you need to look for when buying one of these very useful and impressive machines: Clearing size The size of the machine you buy is important as you want one that can clear your required area quickly and easily.
It doesn’t matter whether you have a large area of driveway, paths, patio and garden that needs clearing, we recommend you choose a machine that is at or above the standard size, which is 24-inches. These models give you plenty of scope for approaching large areas safe in the knowledge you will get the job done, and do so very efficiently and effectively, too.
Most of the best snow blowers, and many featured in our reviews, use a 208cc engine that is pretty much the standard. It is a tried and tested engine that offers more than suitable power and torque to drive a snow blower through some serious depths of cover, and is known to be extremely reliable and to require very little in the way of maintenance. We strongly recommend that you choose a model with this engine – a neat and very effective design – as you get the peace of mind that it will work when you want it to.
There was a time when machines of this type had to be started by the old pull-cord method, much as you would a boat engine. In the early hours of the morning, with the snow coming down, you want a snow blower that starts quickly and easily – and first time, every time – so look among our reviews for those that have push-button electric starting. This will save you a lot of time and effort on those freezing mornings, and you will know you have a machine that is going to work every time you need it to.
Some models are single speed, but most of those we have included in our reviews feature a number of forward and reverse gears. The most versatile will offer you six forward and two reverse; this gives you the best selection of operating speeds so you can tackle any snowfall or drift at your own pace, and also means you can clear the more troublesome areas with ease.
You’re going to be using your snow blower in some pretty heavy conditions, so you need to make sure you have the one that is easiest for you to use. Many of the models that we have reviewed have power steering – some do not – so it is worth checking them out to make sure they are going to be suitable for you. Look for the ones that have single-hand control, too, as they make it easier for you to make adjustments (see below) without interrupting your work. Machines without power steering should not be written off, however, as they can still be useful for people with only small areas to cover.
Depth of clearance
There is little point in having a snow blower that can only manage an inch or snow; you need one capable of coping with small drifts – and the pile left at the ned of the drive – so look for those that offer 21inch or more in terms of how deep they can clear. Most of the best models do, so you should have no problem.
There are certain adjustments you need to be able to make to your snow blower; you need to be able to change the direction of the chute, so you can clear more efficiently, and you need to have an adjustable handle so that different people can use it comfortably when needed.
The above are some of the main features to look for in a snow blower, but there are a couple more we thought we would mention before we move on. The first is that only some of the models we review come with headlights: we think this is an important feature, as you will undoubtedly be using your snow blower in the morning and in the dark, so we recommend you look for a model that comes with lights either as standard or as an optional extra.
Also, a heated handle might also be a nice touch, and yet only a few machines we have reviewed offer this option. It’s a help on those cold mornings when you need to clear a lot of ground!
One other thing that we should mention here is cost: you need to spend a few hundred dollars – anywhere between 600 and 1000 – to get the best snow blower for you, but bear in mind that, for that money, you get a machine that you will use again and again, that will mean you no longer have to use a spade early in the morning, that will do the job quickly and effectively, and that will cost you very little to run and need only the very basics in terms of maintenance.
In short, if you have even the smallest area that gets affected by snow, a snow blower is the answer, and you will not regret it.
Which One for You?
We hope that our reviews have made it easier for you to find the best snow blower for your needs among the many on the market, and that the above guide gives you an idea of what to look out for. These machines all do the same thing but, as with everything, some do it better than others! We recommend you set your budget, check our reviews and see which one comes out on top in terms of what it offers you and how it can help you clear snow when needed quickly and easily, and you will have a much more comfortable winter every year.