As seen in:
Husqvarna
24-Inch 208cc, Two-Stage, Electric
GreenWorks
12-Amp, 20-Inch Corded
Toro
18-Inch, 15-Amp Electric
Poulan Pro
27-Inch, Two-Stage Electric
Ariens
2Stage DLX Sno Thro
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Good

Can clear huge amounts of snow in conditions that would, quite literally, choke many competitors.

Lightweight; easy to maneuver; very affordable.

Features Power Curve system which greatly reduces clogging.

All major functions are easy to access via the control panel mounted between the bars.

Features include electric starting, a convenient control panel, and a powerful halogen headlight.

Bad

One of the more expensive machines on the market, but you definitely get what you pay for.

Short cord limits range; owners typically have to buy an extension.

Lacks powered drive to the wheels.

At 240 pounds, it is relatively more difficult to operate.

For the price, we wish the engine had a little more get-up-and-go.

Bottom Line

If you are expecting a harsh winter, this is the machine you want in your garage.

An unbeatable choice if you live in a light-snowfall area.

The advantages it offers over the GreenWorks might not be worth the higher price tag.

It's is a middle-of-the-road model with middle-of-the-road quality.

If you have over $1500 to spend on a snowblower, this is your best bet.

How we decide
BestReviews is committed to providing comprehensive and trusted reviews for products that matter to consumers. We do the research to help you save time and money.
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Products received from manufacturers
83
Models Considered
38
Hours Spent
2
Experts Interviewed
204
Consumers Consulted

Best Snow Blowers

The best snow blowers on the market can handle varying amounts of snow, from a light powder dusting to several feet of precipitation. The following highly rated machines all qualify for our top-contender list.

Products we Considered

Husqvarna
24-Inch 208cc, Two-Stage, Electric
GreenWorks
12-Amp, 20-Inch Corded
Toro
18-Inch, 15-Amp Electric
Poulan Pro
27-Inch, Two-Stage Electric
Ariens
2Stage DLX Sno Thro

Considerations

Snow Clearing Ability

A snow blower’s clearing ability is measured by the efficiency and thoroughness with which it moves snow. Machines come in several forms: single-stage (a simple auger cuts snow and discharges it into a chute), two-stage (an additional impeller fan boosts snow removal), electric (better for lighter work), and gas-powered (better for heavier loads.) The best machines are the ones that get the job done with minimal user effort. The distance that a snow blower is able to throw snow is also critically important because the last thing you want is to have blown snow land so close you have to move it all over again!

Ergonomics and Maneuverability

Ergonomics and maneuverability is a snapshot of a machine’s ease of use, especially in cold and hazardous weather conditions. When it's cold outside and slippery underfoot, you want to know that moving your snow blower around isn't going to cause you problems. You're also going to be well wrapped up and wearing gloves, so you need controls that are easy to use.

Features

Additional features to consider when purchasing a snow blower include durability over time, the “green” factor of eco-friendliness, and add-ons like heated handles, control panels, and halogen/LED lighting.

Price

Snow blower prices run the gamut from $150 electric models to $5,000+ industrial models. Our review focuses on quality snow blowers that are suitable for the average home owner.

Considerations

Snow Clearing Ability

GreenWorks 26032

The GreenWorks 26032 boasts a 20-inch clearing path with a maximum depth of 10 inches. Our research indicates that this smaller model can move an impressive 850 lbs of snow per minute. Throw distance reaches up to 25 feet - an important feature for those who need to clear snow far from their intended path. Greenworks owners are generally satisfied with the snow-clearing ability of this product, but potential buyers should note that this is a corded machine, and corded machines simply do not deliver the same amount of power as their gas-driven counterparts.

Toro 38381

The Toro 38381 offers an 18-inch clearing path with a maximum depth of 12 inches. This model moves up to 750 pounds of snow per minute with a throw distance of 30 feet. As with other electric snow blower models, the Toro’s ability to clear snow varies with weather conditions, but we found the vast majority owners of this machine to be satisfied with its results.

Poulan PRO PR270

Unlike our first two electric models, the Poulan Pro PR270 is a gas-powered machine with an electric start. The Poulan delivers an impressive 27 inches of snow clearing width and 23 inches of snow depth, a clear cut above the GreenWorks and Toro in terms of snow-clearing efficiency. According to the manufacturer, it is intended mostly for users who live in regions with light to moderate snowfall. Although we don't have accurate figures for volume moved or distance thrown, the two-stage action is a considerable advantage over the electric models as far as this aspect of the ratings are concerned.

Husqvarna ST224 - 24-Inch 208cc Two Stage Electric Start Snowthrower

Husqvarna upholds its reputation as a quality manufacturer with the Husqvarna ST224. This machine carves out a 24-inch clearing at a depth of up to 23 inches and can throw snow up to an astonishing 65 feet. One impressed customer noted that the Husqvarna “goes through snow like a hot knife through butter.” Enough said.

Ariens 921030

The Ariens 921030 Deluxe Track Two-Stage Snow Thrower clears a 28-inch wide path at a maximum depth of 21 inches. Snow throwing distance reaches up to 50 feet and while Ariens doesn’t quote volume figures, we are unable to find any owners who are dissatisfied with it.

One impressed customer noted that the Husqvarna “goes through snow like a hot knife through butter.”
Considerations

Ergonomics and Maneuverability

At just 37 pounds, the GreenWorks 26032 is easy to maneuver and has a feel that’s similar to mid-sized lawn mower. The handle height adjustment feature adds extra comfort. Our biggest concern with this machine is its lack of powered drive to the wheels; in heavier snow, any extra required force would fall on the shoulders of the user. However, for lighter snowfalls, this machine is your best friend.

Just like the Greenworks Electric, the Toro Electric lacks powered drive to the wheels. To be fair, neither machine is really designed to be used in snow that's deep enough to make this a problem. At 25 pounds, the feather-light Toro is assisted by Power Curve technology that is designed to clear snow at a faster pace, thereby reducing the amount of physical energy required.

There's no doubt that two-stage snow blowers move snow faster and more efficiently than their single-stage counterparts, but there's a considerable weight difference as well. At 240 pounds, the Poulan Pro PR270 Snow Thrower is a substantial piece of equipment. Fortunately, ergonomically designed handles, large wheels, and an efficient drive system that offers six forward speeds, plus reverse, help overcome this.

At 240 pounds, the Husqvarna outweighs smaller machines like the Toro and Greenworks by a considerable amount. Its overall dimensions are greater, too. We give the Husqvarna a high rating for the superior conveniences it offers, including Hydrostatic powered drive to the 'go anywhere' track, giving excellent control through almost infinitely variable forward speed and reverse. There's no denying its size, but this is a fair trade-off for the machine’s level of snow clearing ability. There's also the option of power steering and owners report that, with practice, it becomes much easier to maneuver than might be expected.

Like the Husqvarna, the Ariens 921030 Deluxe is a hefty piece of equipment. At 275 pounds, it offers six forward speeds and two reverse speeds. A two-stage machine, the Ariens operates on tracks instead of wheels, giving it superior handling on difficult surfaces.

At just 37 pounds, the GreenWorks 26032 is easy to maneuver and has a feel that’s similar to mid-sized a lawn mower.
Richard
Expert Consultant
Richard
Hardware Store Owner, Do-It-Yourself Guru

Richard is a seasoned small business owner in the hardware industry. He also owns a pool maintenance business and serves as an advisor on groundskeeping committees for a number of prominent organizations. He’s a regionally renowned safe cracker/locksmith expert, and in his spare time, he renovates and repairs vaults, safes, appliances, and a number of other products.

Considerations

Features

GreenWorks 26032

As an electric machine, the GreenWorks 26032 creates zero emissions - a benefit to those who prefer an eco-friendly snow removal system. It offers an easy-start push button and a cord lock for safety. Most owners who have a lot of area to cover end up buying an extension to compensate for the short cord. One of this machine’s greatest advantages is its light weight; at 37 pounds, it’s a breeze to maneuver.

Toro 38381

The Toro 38381 Electric offers the same zero-emissions benefit as the GreenWorks. It comes with a useful zip deflector to adjust snow throwing height and a handle that allows for easy direction change while the machine is in motion. Toro’s Power Curve system claims to clear more snow in a single pass and reduce clogging, and most of the owners we surveyed found it to be as good as advertised in this department. Like the GreenWorks, an extension cord is recommended for maximum efficiency.

Poulan PRO PR270

A common complaint about gas-powered snow blowers is the tricky pull-start mechanism, but the Poulan Pro overcomes this with optional push-button electric starting. All major functions are easy to access via the control panel mounted between the bars. An adjustable skid plate is useful for handling various surfaces. Unfortunately, the Poulan Pro's 208 cc gas engine, while effective, is not CARB compliant and cannot be sold in California.

Husqvarna ST224 - 24-Inch 208cc Two Stage Electric Start Snowthrower

We absolutely love the Husqvarna’s 208cc LCT motor. It's a powerful, durable unit with a tremendous reputation; the only drawback is that it’s not CARB compliant and, like the Poulan Pro, cannot be sold in California. The Husqvarna offers a control panel, electric start option, comfy heated handles, and ultra-convenient LED headlight for early-morning and late-night jobs.

Ariens 921030

Like the Husqvarna, the Ariens 921030 Deluxe sports a reliable Briggs & Stratton engine, albeit a less powerful one with only a 254cc unit. Features include electric starting, a convenient control panel, and a powerful halogen headlight that enables users to clear snow day or night. For the price, we wish the engine had a little more get-up-and-go, especially considering that the Husqvarna offers a more powerful model for considerably less.

One of the Greenworks 26032's greatest advantages is its light weight; at 37 pounds, it’s a breeze to maneuver.
Considerations

Price

GreenWorks 26032

At a cost of only $179, the GreenWorks is a popular, lightweight machine that easily gets the job done in milder weather. The construction isn't quite as solid as some of the bulkier, higher-priced models, but considering the low cost of this machine, we find it to be an adequate investment for those with minimal snow blowing needs.

Toro 38381

For almost twice the cost of the GreenWorks, the Toro 38381 offers slightly more power than its lower-priced competitor. We rate this model as a “light to medium duty” machine. At $363, it’s a solid investment, but our research suggests that the advantages this model offers over the GreenWorks might not be worth the higher price tag.

Poulan PRO PR270

Moving up to gas-powered machines means moving up in price range. At $1041, the powerful Poulan Pro is a considerable step up from the Toro and Greenworks machines. If there is a criticism from some owners, it's that this machine falls between two types: it's neither a cheap, light-duty snow blower nor an expensive, heavy-duty one. Rather, this is a middle-of-the-road model with middle-of-the-road quality.

Husqvarna ST224 - 24-Inch 208cc Two Stage Electric Start Snowthrower

At a price of $969, the Husqvarna ST224 reflects a huge price increase. You get what you pay for with this machine, however, and we give the Husqvarna top ratings for its powerful and durable motor, phenomenal snow clearing ability, and the special “extras” it offers - like the cozy hand warmers and the LED headlight. If you are expecting a harsh winter, this is the machine you want in your garage.

Ariens 921030

The $1247 Ariens 921030 is an impressive machine at an impressive price. One of this model’s greatest advantages is its go-anywhere tracks. Customers love the fact that this machine comes from the renowned Ariens company, but for a price tag over two grand, some users question the adequacy of this machine’s power output in tougher weather conditions.

If you are expecting a harsh winter, the Husqvarna ST224 is the machine you want in your garage.

Best of the Best

The Husqvarna ST224 stands out as the best of the best. This exceptional machine can clear huge amounts of snow in conditions that would, quite literally, choke many competitors. It has all of the engine power you need for serious snow clearance. It's predecessor was nicknamed “The Snow Beast,” and this one out-performs it. Thanks to its mighty engine power, the Husqvarna’s heavy-duty auger and impeller can churn through snow of all densities like a “hot knife through butter,” as some owners have said. It’s true that the it is heavy, but our research indicates that the machine’s variable gearbox and power steering are invaluable in navigating the bulk. If you need to shift some serious snowfall this winter, the Husqvarna ST224 is a must-have.
Best of the Best
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The Husqvarna ST224 can clear huge amounts of snow in conditions that would, quite literally, choke many competitors.

Best Bang for your Buck

Choosing the best value snow blower from our top five is a bigger challenge because we have machines with distinct capabilities. "Value" for someone living in a state that gets hundreds of inches of snow a year is going to be very different to that for someone who will use a snow blower two or three times all season. In making our decision, we've taken into account what most people need, most of the time.

For just $179, the GreenWorks 26032 wins our award for best value for the money. This machine is quiet, light, and perfect for its intended purpose: light snow clearance. It certainly isn’t a commercial-grade machine, nor is it meant for those living in heavy snow climates with a need for dense snow clearance. Nevertheless, it is adequate for the job for which it was intended. We tip our hats to the GreenWorks 26032 and strongly recommend it to those who live in light snowfall areas and are on a budget.
Best Bang for your Buck
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Great for those who live in light snowfall areas and are on a budget.
The team that worked on this review
  • Bob
    Bob
    Writer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Editor
  • Jess
    Jess
    Researcher
  • Jimi
    Jimi
    Product Analyst
  • Ben
    Ben
    Operations