The Best Corded Electric Snow Blower – 2017
Are you sick of shovelling snow from your driveway & sidewalk? Don’t want the hassle & expense of a gas snow blower? Maybe a corded electric snow blower will do the trick – simply plug it in, pull the trigger, and off you go – much less work than shovelling!
After many hours of in-depth research & discussion with experts and home users, we believe the Snow Joe Ultra SJ625E is the best electric snow blower for most domestic situations.
It’s not expensive, especially compared to gas snow blowers, and it’s capable of cutting a 21-inch wide, 12-inch high path through the snow on your deck, driveway or sidewalk, with the minimum of hassle.
The Best Corded Electric Snow Blower In 2017 - Comparison
Electric Snow Blowers - Advantages
Electric snow blowers have most of the same advantages as cordless blowers. They are lighter (than both cordless and gas snow blowers) and quiet (significantly quieter than gas snow blowers).
There shouldn't be any expensive ongoing maintenance.
Electric blowers don't have the limited run time between charges that cordless blowers suffer from.
Also, some electric blower models are more powerful than any cordless blower on the market – if you’re like most domestic users, a corded electric model can be more than adequate for clearing your driveway and sidewalk.
You don’t have to worry about storing, charging and replacing expensive Lithium-Ion batteries after a couple of years (or worse, having to replace a perfectly good blower because the manufacturer has changed the battery style and no longer supports your model!).
Storing the blower for the summer months is also less of an issue than with a gas blower - there's no gasoline tank to empty, no fuel stabilisers to worry about, and the blower itself will take up less space in your shed or garage.
Starting an electric blower is a breeze - just pull the trigger and you're away - no pulling the starting cord of a reluctant gasoline engine!
Finally, they are the least expensive type of blower to buy.
Electric Snow Blowers - Disadvantages
The main downside of a corded snow blower is the power cord. If you have a long driveway, you may not be able to reach the farthest extents, even with a 100’ extension lead (100’ is normally the longest recommended extension lead for the high-power requirements of a snow blower).
Also, the cord gets in the way & if you’re not careful, it can potentially become tangled in the mechanism of the snow blower.
One final word about extension cords - make sure the cord you buy is rated for winter conditions. Standard PVC cable insulation becomes hard & brittle at low temperatures, and may even break.
The other disadvantage of an electric snow blower (both cordless & corded) is the lack of power & clearing ability compared to gas snow blowers. If you have a large area to clear, or you get regular heavy snowfalls (in excess of 12" of snow lying), you should consider a gas snow blower.
#1 - Snow Joe Ultra SJ625E - Our Choice
The Snow Joe Ultra SJ625E is, overall, the best corded electric snow blower we have seen on the market. We believe it has everything most people will ever need in a <item type>, at a reasonable price.
If you're after something a bit smaller & lighter than our first choice, you could do worse than the Snow Joe Ultra SJ621 (basically a slightly less powerful 18" version of the same snow blower).
The SJ625E is lightweight for a snow blower at a little over 35lb. Though (like all the electric snow blowers we're aware of) it's not self propelled, most owners find it easy enough to maneuver.
This snow blower cuts a 21" wide path through snow up to a claimed 12" deep. In reality you will get better results with this blower if you don't go any deeper than 6-8" - the SJ625E is no better or worse than any other 12" deep blower in this way though.
The 15-amp motor is more than powerful enough for most domestic work, unless you live in an area with the most extreme snowfall.
One thing you should make sure of is to use the correct power lead with this snow blower. 15 amps is close to the most powerful portable device power rating for home use, and you can't necessarily use any extension cord you have lying around. Also, it's not advisable to join to extension cords together if they're not long enough, as they may not be rated for the combination of power and distance.
Snow Joe recommends using a 12 gauge extension cord for distances over 50', and 14 gauge for under 50'.
The SJ625E will move around 800lb/min of snow. While this doesn't compare with the 2000lb/min+ some of the larger gas blowers will move, this humble blower costs a small fraction of their price too.
Assembly is simple, 5 minutes from opening the packaging you should be ready to go.
Hearing protection is recommended as with all power tools, but owners suggest it's so much quieter than a gas snow blower that you don't really need it.
Snow Joe is a US company, based in Edison, New Jersey, and has been around since 2004. They are rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau. User feedback suggests they take customer care seriously.
This snow blower comes with a 2 year warranty from the manufacturer.
One issue users have noted with this blower is that the chute doesn't throw snow very far if you have it turned 90 degrees to the left or right. The suggested solution is to angle the chute a bit more forward, you'll find it throws snow much further this way.
Like all the electric blowers we're aware of, this model is not self propelled, but as mentioned above, its light weight minimises the problem.
Here's a short video showing the SJ625E in action:
WE DON'T LIKE:
#2 - Toro 38381 - Slightly Smaller, More $$
The Toro 1800 Power Curve Electric Snow Blower is both smaller than our no.1 choice, and it's also generally more expensive. That said, Toro claim to be the no.1 brand of snow blower in North America (though it's unclear what the basis of this claim is).
Having said that, the 15-amp motor is just as powerful as the Sun Joe's, and it is significantly lighter than our first choice (26lb vs 35lb) - this could be a deciding factor for you, as (like most electric blowers) this model is not self-propelled.
The chute doesn't use a hand crank like older snow blowers, you move the lever to adjust the chute direction, and you can do this on the move.
This snow blower is capable of throwing snow up to 30 feet (depending on many factors such as snow type, snow depth, direction of the chute etc.)
The lighter weight of the 1800 Power Curve can be both a blessing and a curse - while it needs less strength and effort to push, ultimately resulting in less fatigue, some users report it's actually too light to cut into the snow. Instead it can sit on top of the snow in some cases.
It's an ideal tool for urban locations with a bit too much driveway, deck or sidewalk area for hand shovelling, but not enough to justify a bulky $1000+ gas blower.
Toro backs their electric snow blowers with a two-year warranty.
WE DON'T LIKE:
#3 - GreenWorks 2600502
The GreenWorks 2600502 fits in between our no.1 and no.2 choices in many ways.
It's relatively light at 30lb, between the 26lb and 35lb of the Sun Joe and the Toro.
The deck width is 20", again falling between the two main contenders.
However the maximum depth is only 10", and the 13-amp motor is less powerful than competing snow blowers.
Maximum throwing distance is stated as 25', though this would be reduced if you direct the chute to the side, and if the snow is wet.
The chute can be adjusted using a lever, similar to other modern snow blowers.
The main benefit this blower offers is a 4 year warranty, which is by far the best in class.
WE DON'T LIKE:
#4 - Snow Joe 323E - Compact Snow Shovel
The Snow Joe 323E is a motorized snow shovel, a different type of snow clearing device.
Of all the corded electric snow shovels available, we think this one is the best option.
While technically a motorized snow shovel still moves snow by blowing it to another area, there are a few differences between a motorized snow shovel and a snow blower:
The main differences are:
- A power shovel has no wheels, so you have to push it through the snow like a manual shovel
- Power shovels are smaller than snow blowers, which means you need less strength and effort to move them, but they can't move the same volume of snow as a snow blower, so clearing snow from a given area will take longer with a power shovel.
- A power shovel doesn't have an adjustable chute - the snow is thrown from the front of the machine, in the same way grass would be thrown from the front of a reel mower without the catcher.
The Snow Joe 323E is really intended for quick snow clearing on areas such as steps and small decks. For this task, it performs well, as long as you don't regularly get more than 2"-4" of snow, and the snow in your area is light and powdery.
WE DON'T LIKE:
What Makes A Good Electric Snow Blower?
Here are a few pointers to help you decide:
Single Stage Or Two Stage?
Most electric snow blowers (including all the blowers reviewed here) are single stage. What this means is, there is a single auger that both picks up the snow from the ground, and pushes it into the air through the chute.
A two-stage snow blower has an auger to pick up the snow from the ground, and also a separate impeller (similar to a fan) which pushes the snow out through the chute. The wheels are often driven on two-stage snow blowers too.
Yo may come across the phrase "three-stage" when researching snow blowers. Three-stage simply means the snow blower has 2 augers to pick up the snow from the ground, as well as a separate impeller blowing snow out through the chute. There are no three-stage electric snow blowers on the market at the time of writing (September 2017).
The power of the electric motor is the most important factor in your new snow blower's performance. Manufacturers list the power in amps. Electric snow blowers range from 10 to 15 amps, and power shovels are generally in the 7.5 to 10 amp range. More power lets you cut throw snow quicker and blow the snow further away, possibly making the difference between blowing the same snow once or twice.
Electric snow blowers range from just over 20lb to over 40lb. The lighter blowers are easier to handle, and will cause less fatigue, but some owners say the lighter blowers don't effectively cut into the snow, as they tend to sit on top of it.
The deck height and width define how much snow you can cut through in one pass. Simply stated, the larger these sizes are, the quicker you can finish the job. When deciding which height you need, you should consider the typical & largest snowfall depth in your area. It's best to go for a blower with a deck height a bit larger than the snow depth, if this is possible.
The snow blowers featured here have manufacturer's warranties of between 2-4 years.
Consumer Reports has a useful snow blower buying guide here.
As with all power tools, it's important to be safety conscious.
As well as the usual guidance about wearing hearing protection, gloves and sturdy boots, there are additional risks caused by the auger and chute.
Don't wear any loose clothing that could get caught in the auger.
Be aware of where you aim the chute - blowers can pick up gravel and other small items and throw them a surprisingly long way, so you need to be aware of people, pets, windows and other items in the area.
Make sure you keep the power cord away from the path of the snow blower.
Don't allow children to operate the blower, and make sure you have unplugged the power cord before trying to clear a blockage in the auger or chute. Never use your hands to clear a blockage - always use the clear-out tool supplied with the blower.
Make sure you read and follow all the manufacturer's instructions before you operate the blower.
Consumer reports has more information here
Maintenance / Cleaning
One of the big advantages an electric snow blower has over a traditional gas model is the lack of maintenance. Almost all the maintenance requirements of a gas snow blower are related to the engine.
You should check the blower for loose or worn parts before every use. Pay particular attention to the scraper blade, slide shoes and auger.
It's also important to regularly inspect your power cord for signs of damage. Do not use a damaged cord or attempt to repair it - it's better to buy a new one than risk your safety.
One final tip, some electric snow blower owners recommend spraying silicone lubricant on the blower's body and deck - this makes it much easier for the blower to slide and cut through the snow pack.
There were no recalls listed for any of the snow blowers mentioned here at the time of writing (September 2017). However, it's always a good idea to check the latest information at the Consumer Product Safety Commission website before buying any large, expensive or potentially dangerous product.
Do you own any of the snow blowers mentioned here? Did you choose a different one? Let us know in the comments!