Winters can be harsh, and sometimes, a shovel isn’t enough to keep you on the move after a brutal snowstorm. If you live in a northern climate where your ability to get to work on a daily basis depends on being able to dig your way out of the driveway on a regular basis, a small snow blower might not be powerful enough to disperse those mountains of snow blocking your way. You may want to take a look at some of the best commercial snow blower options on the market that will help you stay on the go, even in the worst snowstorms to fall, expected or not.
By reading this guide, you may be able to determine which of those high powered models will last and help you take care of business year after year. If you don’t think you’ll need a heavy-duty commercial grade model, then check out some of the best regular snow blowers the market has to offer instead!
Our Top 6 Commercial Snow Blowers for 2021
|Snow Beast 45||
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|Toro Commercial 721 E||
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|Cub Cadet 3X 26||
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|Troy-Bilt Arctic Storm||
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|Birggs and Stratton 1696619||
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Why You Should Trust Us
Shopping for the best products, especially when making purchases online, can be frustrating, to say the least. That is where the experts at BYB come in. It is our mission to provide our audience with the best advice in the realms of all things home, garden, backyard, and DIY, including a wide variety of products. We take our responsibility to our readers very seriously and approach each new guide that we put together methodically. We are meticulous with the information we gather and how we put together our recommendations and reviews.
When it comes to blowing snow, many of us BYBers come from the northern regions of the globe that receive tremendous amounts of snow and ice each winter(including me – I grew up in Northern Indiana near the Great Lakes regions where we catch a combination of Canadian cold fronts and warm air from the Gulf Coast, needless to say, we saw a ton of snow). After shoveling thousands of scoops of snow from driveways and sidewalks some of us made the smart decision of investing in snow blowers, probably like you are considering right about now.
This guide is based on not only our experience as northerners who’ve lived their entire lives in snowy parts of the world map, but also on the enormous amount of information we scooped up on the subject. Below, you’ll find a comparison chart with each of our top picks. Further on, an individual in-depth review on each product on the list.
Best 6 Commercial Snow Blower Reviews
Best Value Commercial Snow Blower
A two-stage gas-powered snow blower with an electric start, such as the Snow Beast 45SMB, can really pack a punch against the worst of snow dumps from big blizzards. This 420-cc engine is the beast the name suggests, allowing you to clear snow and ice in large chunks, up to two feet high on any surface, including gravel. The wide clearing path means you aren’t going back and forth a hundred times to clear the driveway, and the 50-foot throw of the machine keeps the snow from piling too close.
The Snow Beast is all-steel construction for added rust resistance and long-lasting durability. It comes with eight gears, six forward and two reverse. Even more, the tires are large and wide enough to provide extra traction and avoid tripping or sliding while you work even in deep wet snow or ice. The discharge chute rotates 180 degrees as well so you can be sure you’re pointing that snow right where you want it to land.
Best Two-Stage Commercial Snow Blower
If you're plagued with large snowstorms several times a season, you can really benefit from something the size of the Snow Beast, saving time and energy in the clearing process and assuring you don't have to take extra precautions when it comes to maintenance.
Another 2-stage heavy hitter is the Husqvarna ST230P snow blower. Something unique about this particular model is that it has heated handle grips, which can help you last longer outdoors in the freezing temperatures of winter without damage to your skin. Also, because the electric start is a plug-and-play, you don’t have to worry about finding your battery dead when you need it most. Connect to a power outlet, push the button, and you’re in business.
The headlights on the Husqvarna snow blower are LEDs and are quite bright, so even in the darkest times, you can see to get that snow and ice out of your way. It clears the wet snow, including heavy chunks of frozen snow and ice up to 16 inches deep with no problem, and clears a wide path in a single pass, throwing up to 30 feet. Best of all, the Husqvarna ST230P comes with power steering, meaning it’s easy to maneuver without having to heft the weight yourself. It clears fast and leaves a wide berth with each path of 30 inches.
Best Single-Stage/Compact Commercial Snow Blower
If you’re looking for a reliable brand across all machinery when you purchase a snow blower, consider the Toro Commercial 721 series. While this particular machine is still considered to be commercial grade, it’s a bit smaller and easier to maneuver without being a professional. At the same time, it still has the capacity of a commercial snow blower, with a 212cc premium four-cycle engine and a 21-inch clearing width. The power is no joke, sending snow flying up to 35 feet.
The Toro Commercial 721 E is best on the pavement, so if you have a gravel driveway, this might not be the snow blower for you. On the other hand, it is a professional grade machine and can cover a very large area without causing major back pain, considering the 21-inch clearance width. The fact that it has an ergonomic handle will also help you maintain a healthy balance when you do put the machine to the test after a large snow dump. Add this to the self-propulsion assisted by the auger rotors, and you have a lightweight, easy to use snow blower with commercial-grade power.
Best Three-Stage Commercial Snow Blower
If you’re looking for something that’s really going to finish the job quickly, you should look into the Cub Cadet 3X 26-inch Three-Stage Snow Blower could be the one for you. This bad boy is one of the most powerful snow machines available. The 357cc engine runs smoothly and lends the super-sharp serrated augers the power to break through the ice and frozen snow with ease. The machine clears snow and ice up to 50-percent faster than single and dual-stage units and throws snow up to 40 feet. With a lever-style control, you can choose your perfect speed so that you aren’t lagging or getting pulled along by your snow thrower, and the convenient controls and fingertip steering feature make it a simple machine to control, despite its heavyweight.
If you’ve got a smaller area but heavy snow, this Cub Cadet snow blower has an electric joystick chute control, which makes it easy to adjust both distance and direction in which you throw the snow you’re clearing. Another interesting thing to note is that this is truly a commercial-grade, two-stage thrower, with an impressive 3-year warranty for residential and a 1-year warranty for commercial use. You can definitely expect to get a long life as long as you continue with proper maintenance.
Best Heavy-Duty Commercial Snow Blower
Another great brand to trust when it comes to heavy-duty gear, including commercial grade snow blowers, is Troy-Bilt, and the Arctic Storm doesn’t disappoint. While it’s considered to be on the lower end of commercial grade, it is incredibly powerful, with a 4-cycle, 357cc engine. One of the major draws of this particular model is that it offers “Touch ‘n’ Turn” Power Steering, which means you can turn the machine with the touch of a finger. This assists with the easy and convenient 200-degree turning radius.
It also offers all-wheel drive, which makes it easy to use over any terrain no matter how bad the conditions. The track tires have hefty tread to give you plenty of traction, even on ice, and it clears snow and ice on the pavement as well as gravel.
It clears a 31-inch berth, meaning you can cover a large area in no time and be on your way in any conditions, and the fact that it handles nearly two feet of snow at a time gives you great reliability and comfort, even in terrible storms. The handgrips are heated for comfort, as well, and the reinforced steel housing makes it durable through the years.
Runner-Up Best Heavy-Duty Commercial Snow Blower
While it doesn’t lead the pack in size or power, the Briggs and Stratton Dual-Stage Snow Thrower is still an excellent choice, offering some middle ground in terms of price and maneuverability without compromising capability and power. It had a 250-cc engine with a push-button electric start. Although the need to plug in to start might seem inconvenient, it actually works well because you don’t have to about the battery the first time you try to use it every season. It also operates easily with one-handed control, freeing up your other hand to rotate the chute or change the speed the snow blower is running.
It’s lighter weight than several others in its class but also constructed with sturdy material for a long-lasting product. You have a LED headlight integrated into the controls on the Briggs and Stratton snow thrower, increasing visibility even at night or very early in the morning, which means you don’t have to delay cleaning up the snow to wait for sunlight. Best of all, the controls are all oversized, meaning you can still operate it with ease if you’re wearing gloves or mittens.
What to Look for in a Commercial Snow Blower
Now that we’ve gone over our top picks, it’s time to discuss what you should look for in the best commercial snow blower for you and your needs. Maybe you want a big bad blower for your home (and possibly for helping the neighbors), or you may be looking for the next machine to add to your commercial snow blower fleet. At any rate, the factors below matter just the same and will help you make the most well-informed decision possible.
Ease of Use
The level of ease, or difficulty, involved with any given model is of the utmost concern. Having the biggest and strongest machine with the widest and deepest clearances available does you no good if you struggle to use it. That said, looking for the right features, like power steering, makes a world of difference in the ease of use.
Engine Type and Size
The type and size of the engine goes a long way in determining the overall power of a snow blower. Regardless if it is gas-powered, or operates on batteries, the bigger the engine, the more power behind the augers that pull, dice, and throw the snow and ice. The type and size of the engine are also significant indicators as to how much it will cost to fuel and maintain the machine.
Tires or Tracks
Whether a snow blower comes with tires or tracks is also a big deal to consider. Tires are more limiting than tracks, which go about anywhere. With tires, you need to consider how tall and wide they are, what sort of ground they are made for, and if they work with snow chains or not. If you choose a model with tracks, it will basically only be limited by the power behind the engine, as to where it can go.
Transmission and Gears
The bigger the engine that a snow thrower has, typically the stronger the transmission is. The best snow blowers come with eight or more gears. Usually, there are around six forward gears and a couple of gears for going in reverse. Again, depending on what size jobs you plan to use the machine for, as well as the type of terrain, you may or may not need a model with a ton of gears.
Steering and Propulsion Systems
Some snow blowers come with power steering, and some are manual. Likewise, many of the best snow blowers are joystick operated. That said, joysticks can be single or dual. They can also be dashboard-mounted or built into the handle of the machine. Also crucial is the type of propulsion system the snow thrower is equipped with. Many smaller machines rely on your personal power combined with the strength of the intake auger that sucks in snow and pulls the machine forward. Larger, more expensive, versions for the most part have self-propelled drive-trains that move the machine forward with no effort on your part or that of the front auger.
Features and Functions
Aside from the basics, the extra features and functions of snow blowers are essential to consider before selecting a model. Some units are bare-bones. Meaning, they do nothing but suck in snow, and spit it out. Others dice, slice, and chop snow extra fine, and hawk it even further than standard machines. In addition, there are extras, or add-ons, to think about. For example, many great machines come with heated handles, windshields, extra augers, and even heated cabins. Only you can decide which functions and features are most important to you.
Overall Weight of the Machine
Another important aspect of picking the right snow blower for big snow jobs is the overall weight of the machine. That includes not just the weight of the machine itself, but also the weight of the machine when packed with wet heavy snow as well as any add-ons. Keep in mind that some add-ons, such as cabs and windshields are much heavier than others. In these cases, whether or not the unit has a self-propulsion system matters quite a bit more than usual.
Cost and Warranty Options
Last but far from least is the price and warranty options of the snow blowers you’re interested in investing in. Of course, everyone has their own budget, but sometimes spending a little more than you’d like to saves you more money on maintenance, fuel, repair, and even having to replace the machine if it kills over on you. The more expensive the snow blower is, typically, the better the warranty options are as well. Keep these factors in mind while shopping and avoid putting yourself in a financial hole due to buying a cheap and unreliable machine with no real coverage.
How Much Power Do You Need?
First of all, let’s define what doesn’t constitute a commercial-grade snow blowing machine. An electric blower isn’t going to do you much good unless you barely get any snow. It’s not really powerful enough for large drifts or deep, wet snow in abundance. While a single-stage thrower is slightly better, you’re still going to struggle with more than about a foot of snow and anything piled on gravel or anything but pavement.
If you get serious snow where you live, you should look into a tougher snow blower that will save your back when it comes time to plow. After all, shoveling can really put you in pain when it’s more than a couple of inches. Start looking at two-stage throwers, which are made to handle around two feet of wet, heavy snow. These actually have the largest clearing width on average and can handle hills and uneven ground with no problem.
A three-stage thrower might also be necessary. While these have a smaller clearing width than two-stage snow blowers, they are also the most powerful of the bunch. Consider that you may find heavy, packed snow at the end of your driveway, where city plows have pushed it from the road right into your escape path. A three-stage snow blower has the power to plunge right through these balls of snow and ice, sending them flying up to 50 feet.
Maintenance on a Snow Blower
Whatever snow blower you decide on, you’ll need to keep up with maintenance. Since we’re discussing commercial grade blowers, let’s talk about two-stage throwers, since these are incredibly powerful and can handle a great deal of snow.
Changing the Oil
You’ll want to check and change the oil in your snow muncher every season, and you need to be very specific in your choice of engine oil. In order for the engine to function, you’ll need 4-cycle or 4-stroke engine oil. Additionally, it would be smart to specifically purchase oil formulated for cold weather. Not doing so could lead to your engine trying to function on thick sludge and, therefore, not turning on appropriately when you need it most.
Was last winter a busy snow season? If you used your snow blower a lot last year, you should definitely consider changing your spark plugs when you first pull it out for the new season. Doing so gives it a mini tune-up, which can keep it going longer and stronger. You can actually find specific maintenance kits that are specific to your engine type, providing both compatible oils and spark plugs to make the upkeep easy.
One of the worst things about machinery meant for work in the snow is that the snow, by nature, causes heavy rust and scratches. Over time, this can really damage your snow thrower, shortening its life and durability. Certain paints can help keep the rust at bay, so consider using a wire brush or sandpaper to get off as much existing rust as possible. Then, using a rust-proof or rust preventative paint, apply several thin layers, letting it dry in between. This will aid you in keeping away the bulk of rust issues.
Also, be sure to clean your thrower every year before putting it away so that dirt and damage don’t eat away at it through the warmer months.
How We Picked
To present our readers (you) with a list, and guide, we scoured the internet for all of the commercial-grade snow blowing machines we could find. It was a really big task, but we love a challenge here at BYB and we gave it our very best. That said, we came up with a boatload of snow blowers made for big snow jobs. After having a thorough look at each model we found, we vetted each one for several important factors such as features, functions, add-ons, weight, engine type and size, propulsion and steering systems, and much more.
After we found several units that fit the bill, we pulled out the trusty old magnifying glass (our metaphorical eye-glass – AKA, even more research, comparing, and analysis) and took an even closer look at each one. We read through manufacturer and retailer descriptions, customer reviews, ratings, and just about any other type of credible information we could dig up on each model. What we came up with is a list of, in our humble but experienced opinions, nothing but the very best commercial snow blowing machines currently available.
Choosing the Best Commercial Snow Blower for You
If you have severe snowstorms and large amounts of snow falling several times a year, it’s going to be hard to find a walk-behind snow blower that can last more than one season. With commercial-grade snow throwers, you get specs that are meant for heavy labor, so you can rest assured you’ll end up with equipment that lasts a long time.
You might want to ensure you’re getting enough bang for your buck, though, since there is a broad range of prices and a large spectrum of features that you might find essential for your particular needs. Whether a medium-duty or heavy-duty commercial snow blower is better depends on just how much snow you typically get and how large your property is, though any of the ones reviewed here can cover a very large amount of property without any issues based on terrain.