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Expert Shopper Lawn & Garden

The best electric snow shovels and how they compare to snow blowers

Alvina Wang/BestReviews

Make your job easier

Technology has made the days of shoveling heavy snow by hand in the winter a thing of the past. Snow blowers have been clearing driveways and parking lots for decades. The newest innovation for smaller jobs is the electric snow shovel. 

Still boasting impressive power and features, the best electric snow shovels can move heavier snow quickly without a lot of manual effort. Understanding the differences between snow blowers and electric snow shovels can help you make the best decision for your home or business. 

In this article: Snow Joe Cordless Snow Shovel, SuperHandy Snow Thrower Power Shovel and Greenworks 12-Inch Electric Snow Shovel

How much area do you need to remove snow from?

Electric shovels for snow have a 10- to 12-inch swath that makes them ideal for a small driveway, deck, patio or sidewalk. Their maneuverability makes hard-to-reach areas accessible. Cordless models have a limited battery charge that may not last long enough for heavy snowfalls.

Snow blowers are best for long driveways and parking areas that require a longer operation time. They can remove snow in paths that are 18 to 38 inches wide. Gas-powered snow blowers operate longer than battery-powered units.

How much do you want to exert yourself?

Electric snow shovels are easier to operate than snow blowers and require less physical exertion. They typically weigh less than 20 pounds, and many have ergonomic handles to protect your lower back. 

Snow blowers can weigh over 100 pounds, and even with self-propelled models and wide tires, they can be a workout to operate for extended periods. 

Both styles are less taxing physically than using a manual snow shovel, but anyone with physical limitations will be best served by an electric snow shovel.

How much storage room do you have?

If you don't have a storage shed or wide space in your garage, electric snow shovels are best. They are narrow and can fit just about anywhere. Snow blowers need a larger storage area because the wider auger is rigid and made from steel.

How much can you afford?

Electric snow shovels are less expensive than snow blowers. The smallest, least powerful ones start at $100 and can reach $300 for those with multiple batteries, lights for nighttime snow removal and other features. Basic snow blowers begin at $250 to $300 and can push $700 to $1,000 with larger sizes and more powerful engines. 


Q. Will I need an extension cord for a corded snow shovel?

A. Most corded electric snow shovels require an extension cord. Measure your farthest point from the electrical outlet to make sure you have enough slack when operating it. 

Q. Are there gas-powered snow shovels?

A. No, there are only electric snow shovels, either corded or battery-powered. This is because electric snow shovels are similar to single-stage snow throwers that lift the snow and launch it aside in one motion. Gasoline engines are best suited for two- and three-stage motors that drop the snow into an impeller, which blows the snow long distances. 

Best electric snow shovels

Snow Joe Cordless Snow Shovel

This ultra-quiet cordless electric snow shovel works great on sidewalks and decks, and it has a rechargeable lithium battery that runs for over 20 minutes. The 400-watt motor throws over 1,600 pounds of snow per charge.  

SuperHandy Snow Thrower Power Shovel

The 20-volt motor can remove a 10-inch swath of snow, while the push-button start and ergonomic handle make it easy and comfortable to use. It is designed for light commercial use. 


Greenworks 12-Inch Electric Snow Shovel

With a push-button start and a 14-pound weight, this electric snow shovel is easy to maneuver. It is one of the least expensive too, making it ideal for anyone with a limited budget.

Prices listed reflect time and date of publication and are subject to change.

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