Mother Nature doesn’t take your budget into account before dumping a load of snowfall on your driveway. The good news is, you don’t have to give in to buying a $10 snow shovel and waking up an hour or two early in the morning to deal with the accumulating snow on your walkways because there are some affordable snow blowers out there.
You won’t have to spend $1,000 either to save time and your back with these cheap snow blowers, but you will need at least $100. For example, the WEN 5662 Snow Blaster is less than $100. On the other hand, the only two-stage blower on our list of cheap snow blowers, the YARDMAX YB5765, will cost a couple hundred more.
In this guide, we discuss our top picks for cheap snow blowers to invest in and why we picked each one, including pros, cons, and features. We also discuss things like the difference between snow blowers and snow throwers. Read on to learn everything you need to know about buying a good cheap snow blower.
Our Top 5 Cheap Snow Blowers
|Power Smart DB5023 Electric Snow Thrower||Check The Price!|
|Snow Joe Ultra SJ623E Electric Snow Thrower with Light||Check The Price!|
|WEN 5662 Snow Blaster Electric Snow Thrower||Check The Price!|
|Snow Joe Ultra SJ625E||Check The Price!|
|YARDMAX YB5765||Check The Price!|
Why You Should Trust Us
The BYB crew is as experienced at defending their sidewalks and driveways from that evil white stuff that invades our property each year as you are, possibly even more so. Each BYB staffer is chosen for a special area of expertise in the home, garden, DIY, and backyard spheres of knowledge and qualified to write even beyond these areas.
When it comes to snow, several of our writers reside far enough north that they deal with copious amounts of snow each year. Over the years, they have gained quite a bit of insight on the best ways, and products, for conquering the icy and snow-laden barrens that their properties are transformed into each winter.
As far as snow blowers are concerned, a few of us owned one, or have in the past, but for the sake of providing the most current blowers available, and the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding them, we rely on heavy research and analysis to choose the best products to review and share with our audience. At BYB, we take pride in providing excellent information that helps readers to make the most well-informed purchasing decisions possible.
Best Cheap Snow Blower for Light Snow and Small Areas
The Power Smart DB5023 is inexpensive, effective, and reliable. It’s hard to believe you can get all three at such a low price, but here you have it. The Power Smart DB5023 is one such machine, and it works wonders for smaller driveways and sidewalks. If you live in an area that sees only moderate snowfall, this snow blower should top your list as well.
This is a small snow thrower that includes a small electric motor with enough power for you to suck up the fluffy, newly fallen snow and throw it to your yard and out of your way. It can throw snow up to 30 feet away if the conditions are just right. The rubber-tipped auger won’t damage the surfaces you’re clearing, and the chute is easy to direct where you want the material to go.
This snow thrower does best with light to moderate snowfall, but it can handle up to 8-inch tall banks if you’re patient with it. It’s also a good idea to stay on top of the snowfall that’s coming down. Clear it when you can, so it doesn’t start getting packed and making it harder to clear later on. The tiny plastic wheels don’t seem sturdy enough, but it’s more efficient than you’d expect.
Best Cheap Snow Blower for Driveways and Walkways
If you need the best snow thrower, excluding more expensive gas snow blowers, to clear your driveway and walkways all the way down to the ground, this could be the right snow blower for you.
The Snow Joe Ultra SJ623E looks like an amped-up wheel-free lawnmower, but instead of cutting grass, it cuts through snow and ice that’s piled up on your driveway, sidewalks, porch, and back deck. It includes a more powerful electric motor, which provides enough oomph to handle light and fluffy snow easily and saves you time clearing snow.
In fact, under perfect conditions, this thrower can move up to 720 pounds of material per minute, which is impressive. Just direct the chute where you want it from side to side or in front of you, and you can blow stuff up to 25 feet away. The width of this Snow Joe Ultra is as wide as most single-stage snow blowers get, which lets you clear material in fewer passes than, say, a shovel. And the intake is ten inches high, which means it can theoretically handle up to 10-inch tall banks.
You have to remember, though, that this is just a single-stage thrower. It can take out the light, fluffy stuff easily, but icy, hard-packed snow takes a bit longer. This is a lightweight machine, so to really get at the harder stuff, you may need to put some power behind it at times. And unlike other throwers, this one comes with a built-in headlight, which helps you see what you’re doing at night or in those predawn hours when you need to clear the way.
Best Snow Blower for Super-Tight Budgets
The WEN 5662 Snow Blaster is one of the most affordable snow throwers on the market; you can usually find it for around $100. The standard-sized single stage snow blower has a wide mouth that clears a large path that’s covered in freshly fallen snow quickly. That said, this is not the machine for you if you are looking to clear heavy snowfall from deep snows.
The average-sized electric motor makes quick work of those lighter snowfalls to moderate snowfall, but it may slow down a bit in wet, heavy snow. Although this is a lightweight snow thrower compared to the heavier blowers, it has a bit more heft than most snow throwers in the same category. This extra bit of weight makes it easier to move around and tackle the bigger banks that may have built up around your property.
As long as you’re only battling about a foot of snowfall with each storm, this thrower may be all you need. It is a bit louder than most throwers, though, so if you have nearby neighbors, they might not appreciate its loud roar unless you clear their driveway, too.
Best Cheap Snow Blower for Moderate Snow
You’ll have to shell out a bit more money for this Snow Joe Ultra SJ625E, but you’re going to get more power, more clearance, and a bonus headlight that isn’t usually included with the less expensive snow throwers. The electric motor has the strength to throw up to 800 pounds of snow per minute, but that’s under ideal conditions, such as light, fluffy snow that hasn’t melted and turned to slush.
This snow thrower can handle wet, heavy, and packed snow, but it’s going to need you to be patient with it. Although this can’t quickly tackle whatever the snowplow left for you at the corner of your driveway, it is affordable, and there’s next to no maintenance needed for this unit.
But you aren’t compromising much with this snow thrower, you just have to put a little shoulder into pushing this through the packed snow. Plus, you get an LED headlight that’s built into the handle, which can help illuminate your path when you’re clearing your driveway and walking paths.
Best Cheap Snow Blower for Deeper Snow and Drifts
It’s hard to find an affordable two-stage snow blower, but the YARDMAX YB5765 manages to be the least expensive option for handling bigger snowstorms, icy snowbanks, and larger driveways and walkways. The width of the mouth of this snow blower is bigger than any of the others on our list. That means you can clear areas in fewer passes than with cheap single-stage snow throwers.
The serrated steel augers are able to chew through icy snow, break it up easily, and then send it through the impeller and chute. Perhaps the biggest issue with this snow blower is that it has no electric start, so you’ll have to start it the way you would a standard lawnmower.
The good news is, it typically starts on the first pull. This snow blower is only ten inches tall, so like most of its electric counterparts, it can’t quickly take down towers of snow that are taller than a foot, but if you have a bit of patience, it will handle it readily. This little snow blower can easily pick up wet snow and throw it to the side, although it won’t throw as far as light, soft snow.
The YARDMAX is a good choice for gravelly driveways, as it sits slightly above the ground. This also means, though, that it won’t clear all the way to the ground. And the shoes are metal, so be sure to set it high enough, so it doesn’t damage your surfaces.
What to Look for in a Cheap Snow Blower
On the surface, it may seem like a cheap snow blower isn’t going to do much other than whoosh away the top layer of snow from your sidewalks and driveways. But, today, technology has improved these machines so much, and competition amongst manufacturers is fierce.
That means prices continue to drop as companies manufacture better machines each year, and in the end, we consumers with snow to clear are the winners. It’s important to understand that a thrower or blower unit that is both effective and inexpensive is usually meant for smaller homes and for less snowfall than what you get living in a snow belt. That isn’t to say that there isn’t an economical snow blower out there for you, even if you’re dealing with piles and piles of the dreaded white stuff every winter season.
Here’s what was important for the Backyard Boss team in our evaluation:
Is the shovel effective at pushing snow?
A good snow blower, regardless of cost, should have an extremely effective scoop or shovel. A poorly designed shovel makes a tremendous impact on the entire snow blowing process. Likewise, a shovel that is designed well allows for superior intake, avoids scooping up gravel and dirt, and smoothly and efficiently feeds the intake. It all starts where the shovel meets and scoops the snow.
Is the snow blower easy to push, even with heavy snow, when necessary?
Another aspect that was extremely important during our search for the best cheap snow blower was how easy, or hard, the machine is to push while operating. Many of the most inexpensive units on the market are only easy to push in light fluffy snow, which means you need to get out there and start blowing snow in the middle of snowstorms before too much accumulation occurs. The best inexpensive snow blowers, on the other hand, are still easy to push forward even in a snowfall of up to four or five feet.
How do my back, arms, and hands feel when I’m done?
Something we looked for in the countless reviews we read regarding each of the units we picked for review was how the user felt after finishing up with their snow blowing tasks. We kept this in mind while whittling our list down to the products that you see on it today. We passed over hard to push units that require extra physical exertion and cause sore backs, arms, legs, and necks.
Snow Thrower or Blower, What’s the Difference?
With all of the above in mind, let’s have a look at the different types of snow removal tools.
Generally, the cheaper snow-moving machine is going to be a thrower. These are single-stage units that only include one auger, that’s usually made of plastic or rubber, and it moves material in a single movement.
It picks up the snowfall with its one rotating blade, pushes it to the impeller, and then out the chute. They’re almost always electric-powered, which means you’ll have to deal with either cords or batteries, but that’s how it goes. Most of the parts are made of cheaper materials, such as plastic, and that’s what keeps the cost down.
Plastic parts don’t necessarily mean ineffectiveness. A plastic chute, for example, won’t get dented or chipped by rocks and gravel the way metal can.
However, you typically don’t want to use a single-stage thrower model on a gravelly surface, anyway, as the mouth of the machine sits flush with the ground. What this means is that you will get a clean walkway or driveway or deck, all the way down to the ground, making this a great choice for surfaces that would be damaged otherwise by metal parts.
Additionally, a thrower that’s electric-powered requires little to no maintenance. You don’t have to worry about having gas on hand or engine oil to keep it running, and it starts reliably every time; there’s no pull-cord starting that has to happen. You won’t need to summarize your thrower, and there’s little to worry about when it comes to the carburetor.
Usually, a blower is a term reserved for gas-powered two- and three-stage blowers. These snow-blowing machines are usually quite a bit heavier – by about 100 pounds – and more powerful than regular throwers.
They are also a bit more expensive, but there are a few out there that are affordable. The reason they’re more expensive is simple: they’re more machine and more capable of handling the wet, heavy snowfall that many people in the north and Midwest have to deal with.
The blowers are usually a good idea if you have a gravel driveway because they typically include shoes that are adjustable and allow you to lift the mouth up from the ground.
You wouldn’t want a metal mouth to scrape along on your walkways, wooden deck, porch, or driveway, anyway. Because of this small lift, though, it won’t pick up rocks and pebbles and then shoot them across your lawn, which can be a dangerous thing.
A blower unit is usually powered by gas, which means you will need to make sure it has enough fuel every season. And you’ll have to keep it full of engine oil.
Your blower may need some attention during the season, or afterward, and before the next season to ensure it keeps running as intended. Maintenance for these machines is much more involved than it is for a thrower model. But it’ll also work faster and harder to clear packed snowfall and icy material.
Features on Bigger, More Expensive Snow Blowers
More expensive snow blowers have become straight-up luxury items. Seriously, today, you can buy a snow blower with many of the same great features of newer vehicles.
So, if you want to get a snow blower for the best price, you will have to come to terms with the fact that you most likely aren’t going to get most of these features with a less expensive thrower or blower.
But, if you’re lucky, you may find a cheap snow blower with one or two extras like these:
Heated Hand Grips
Heated handles and handgrips are not just about having a luxurious feature on your snow blower. This feature keeps your hands from freezing or going numb. It can save you from losing control of your machine due to having no feeling in your hands and damaging your property (or even worse, your neighbors’ property).
Some cheap snow blowers include a small headlight, but most of them do not. More expensive snow blowers typically always include, at the very least, a low-wattage LED light. The best snow blowers have bright LED or halogen headlights that easily light up the darkness.
Dashboard and Cup Holder
Dashboards with cup holders are a feature that’s standard issue on some of the more expensive snow blowers, but you’re way less likely to find them on cheaper snow blowers. However, if you look really hard and watch sales, you can snag one for cheap every now and then.
How We Picked
In order to provide nothing but the best cheap snow blower options to our audience, we did some heavy-duty poking and prodding around online. We looked at everything from the biggest and most well-known manufacturers, like Toro, to new and upcoming producers, as well as retail giants like HomeDepot and Amazon. What we found is what we believe are the very best affordable snow blowers out there.
Once we tracked down a handful of inexpensive, yet obviously powerful machines, we refined our list by weeding out the less impressive ones. We looked at each machine’s ability to not only scoop and intake snow, but their capabilities for throwing snow, breaking the ice, what sorts of ground they work best on (or don’t work on), extra features like heated handles, the ability for add-ons, and more.
Each unit that ended up on our final list passed each category with flying colors. All of these snow blowers are both affordable as well as effective. Sure, there were a few machines that were even cheaper than these picks, but they just didn’t cut the mustard in regards to our expectations of what a good snow blower should be capable of.
Which Is the Best Cheap Snow Blower for You?
Owning a cheap snow blower probably isn’t a pipe dream of yours. But, if you’re on a tight budget and determined to end up with a snow blower that will handle the snowfall on your driveway, it is very much possible to find a reliable machine at a low price. Some cheap snow blowers perform a bit better than others, but the best cheap snow blowers may also include some features you wouldn’t expect for the little price tag.
While all of the snow throwers above fit the bill of a reliable and cheap snow blower, we find the Snow Joe Ultra SJ623E 18-Inch 15-Amp Electric Snow Thrower with Light to be the best. This machine pulls ahead of the others because of its powerful 15-Amp electric motor, lightweight body that’s easy to move around, headlight, and accessories. Sure, the machine can be a bit slow when it comes to packed and icy snow, but with a bit of patience, it’ll get through almost any amount of snow that Mother Nature throws at you.