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The Best Small Snow Blowers

There’s no way to reliably know when there’s going to be a big dump of snow from one winter to the next. Some places even have winters that last well into the spring months. What that means is more work for you. Most cities require homeowners to clear sidewalks in front of their homes, and you’re going to have to dig your car out of your driveway after each snowfall.

Not everyone needs a powerful, three-stage beast of a snow blower, though. Your driveway and walkways may be much smaller, or you might only get a few inches of snow with each storm. Still, you want the best small snow-eating machine on the market to make your job quicker and easier. You can figure out which one is best for your needs by reading this guide and seeing the best rated small blowers out there.

5 Best Comparisons

Model
          Features
Toro 38381 Electric Power Curve Snow Blower


  • Type: Electric
  • Throw distance: 30 feet
  • Width clearance: 18 inches
  • Depth clearance: 12 inches
  • Weight: 26 pounds
  • Chute material: Polymer
  • Warranty: 2 years
Snow Joe Ultra Electric Snow Thrower with Light


  • Type: Electric
  • Throw distance: 25 feet
  • Width clearance: 18 inches
  • Depth clearance: 10 inches
  • Weight: 33.7 pounds
  • Chute material: Polymer
  • Warranty: 2 years
Snow Joe Cordless Single Stage Brushless Snow Blower


  • Throw distance: 20 feet
  • Width clearance: 18 inches
  • Depth clearance: 8 inches
  • Weight: 32 pounds
  • Chute material: Polymer
  • Warranty: 2 years
Greenworks Corded Snow Thrower


  • Type: Electric
  • Throw distance: 20 feet
  • Width clearance: 20 inches
  • Depth clearance: 10 inches
  • Weight: 30 pounds
  • Chute material: Polymer
  • Warranty: 4 years
Briggs & Stratton Dual-Stage Snow Thrower


  • Type: Gas
  • Electric start: Yes
  • Throw distance: 25 feet
  • Width clearance: 24 inches
  • Depth clearance: 20 inches
  • Weight: 175 pounds
  • Chute material: Metal
  • Warranty: 3 years

Is Bigger Always Better?

If you’re living in a snow belt, you’re probably ready for whatever Mother Nature is going to throw at you every winter. And you’ll likely sing the praises of those magnificent monstrosities with 28-inch wide mouths and three augers. To you, bigger must be better. It’s hard to argue that even the best lightweight snow blower would do the job.

However, if you try to take one of those snow-munching beasts to a light dusting of snow on a wooden deck, you’re probably going to end up damaging your deck and just pushing the snow around, rather than actually clearing the snow and moving it. You’d realize that you have a very expensive, heavy, gas-guzzling shovel, essentially.

So, in short, no, bigger is not always better. The smaller throwers are meant to deal with smaller amounts of snow, and especially for surfaces that need to be cleared down to the ground. Additionally, smaller throwers and blowers are generally easier to maneuver, as they’re lighter in weight. Also, if you go with a two- or three-stage blower, you’re going to need to devote some time and effort to maintenance. Single-stage throwers generally use lithium batteries or electricity to power them and don’t require gas or engine oil.

Do You Need a Single-Stage Snow Thrower or a More Powerful Dual-Stage Snow Blower?

To decide which one you need, you have to know what kind of snowfall you’re dealing with, how much you get on average, and how much work you want to put into clearing your paths and driveway, and the maintenance of the machine. Start at the top and work your way down.

Type of Snow

If the region you live in typically gets wet, slushy stuff, then you’ll probably need a more powerful snow blower than a single-stage type. Dry, fluffy stuff can be easily cleared and moved by a smaller thrower unit.

Amount of Snow

Places that get about 8 to 10 inches of fall from a typical storm don’t really get bogged down, but if you live in a place like that, you still need a snowfall removal plan. A single-stage thrower works well in these situations. That one rotating auger is powerful enough to pick up that size pile of fall and throw it to your lawn.

Clearing Everything

You’re making a few sacrifices whether you choose a single-stage or more powerful machine either way. Sure, you can clear more snowfall, and densely packed material with a two- or three-stage unit, but you won’t be able to clear down to the pavement. A smaller thrower sits on the ground and seems to scoop up all the white stuff and throws it far from your driveway or sidewalks.

Maintenance

If you’re more of a plug-and-play type, then a smaller blower unit is probably your best bet. They require little to no maintenance because they’re typically powered by electricity or batteries. You’ll have to buy a separate cold-weather cord for the electric machines, and you may want to invest in a couple backup batteries, but you won’t have to worry about gas or engine oil.

Price

Overall, the smaller the machine, the less expensive it’s going to be. It makes sense, right? The only outlier here is the battery-powered cordless types of throwers. That added convenience makes it slightly pricier. You can expect a smaller thrower machine to be more affordable on the whole, though, and if you have a tight budget, that’s an important factor.

Maneuverability

Bigger machines are going to be harder to move about simply because they weigh more and take up more space. Smaller throwers are typically lightweight and easy to push. However, when you’re going up against big icy banks, you may want something with more heft to get through it.

What if You Need Something with More Power?

You don’t have to stick to single-stage thrower machines. There are such things as compact two-stage blowers, but they’re less common. You’ll get effective snowfall-clearing with two rotating augers, and a wider mouth. These won’t clear down to the ground the way throwers can, and it’s a bit heavier, but some are still small enough to fit in a small corner in your garage. You’ll want to steer clear of three-stage blower units and professional-grade blowers. Those machines are going to be way too big for your home, assuming you live in a suburban area. If you have acres and acres to clear, then you’re not in the market for the small blowers featured here.

Best Small Snow Blowers Reviews

Toro 38381 18-Inch 15 Amp Electric 1800 Power Curve Snow Blower

Quick Info

  • Type: Electric
  • Throw distance: 30 feet
  • Width clearance: 18 inches
  • Depth clearance: 12 inches
  • Weight: 26 pounds
  • Chute material: Polymer
  • Warranty: 2 years

Having an electric blower, like the Toro 1800 Power Curve, could mean the difference between getting to work on time and calling in to your boss yet again. As long as you aren’t facing a foot of snow with each storm, this small snow blower could easily help you clear your driveway and free your car from its snow prison. You just need to buy a separate extension cord. While most snow blowers leave a bit of snow behind, this machine sucks up all the snow down to the pavement, and chucks it to your lawn on the other side. That means this isn’t the best choice for you if you have a gravel driveway, though. You can use this blower with a clear conscience, as it’s eco-friendly: No gas or oil required. Plus, there’s almost no maintenance needed with this snow-eating machine. Watching this snow blower at work, it might surprise you to see the power it has and how quiet it still is; it’s about the same decibels as a vacuum cleaner. This is a pricier option, but it might be worth it to you.

Pros

  • No maintenance required
  • Easy assembly
  • Quiet operation
  • Powerful

Cons

  • Not good for gravel driveways
  • Pricey
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Pro tip

If you need a thrower that operates on electricity, is lightweight, and clears down to the ground, this might be the right one for you.

Snow Joe Ultra SJ623E 18-Inch 15-Amp Electric Snow Thrower with Light

Quick Info

  • Type: Electric
  • Throw distance: 25 feet
  • Width clearance: 18 inches
  • Depth clearance: 10 inches
  • Weight: 33.7 pounds
  • Chute material: Polymer
  • Warranty: 2 years

The Snow Joe Ultra electric thrower comes with all sorts of extras, but most importantly, it’s a powerful, but small machine that will clear the snow on your driveway, sidewalks, deck, and porch, and all without you having to stop to add gas or engine oil. Snow Joe claims that this snow-eating machine can move up to 720 pounds of snow per minute, but that’s under ideal conditions. Realistically, you can expect this thrower to clear light, fluffy snow efficiently, but when you get to densely packed snow, it’s going to slow down a bit. It may have an intake of 10 inches, but it can’t easily take on banks, like the ones left by your friendly city plow at the end of your driveway. You can still take them down with this Snow Joe thrower, but you may need to put your shoulder into it a little bit. Clogs shouldn’t be an issue with the plastic chute, but there is a tool included, just in case. Also, there’s a built-in 10W halogen headlight, which makes your job of clearing snow at home easier, day or night.

Pros

  • Includes a chute-cleaning tool
  • Has a headlight
  • Powerful
  • Won’t need maintenance

Cons

  • Doesn’t cut through snow quickly
  • Not self-propelled
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Pro tip

If you’re in the market for a powerful, but small blower that’ll clear around your home, but also easily fit in your garage, or even a storage closet, this electric one from Snow Joe could be your best pick.

Snow Joe iON18SB Ion Cordless Single Stage Brushless Snow Blower with Rechargeable Ecosharp 40-volt Lithium-Ion Battery

Quick Info

  • Type: Cordless
  • Throw distance: 20 feet
  • Width clearance: 18 inches
  • Depth clearance: 8 inches
  • Weight: 32 pounds
  • Chute material: Polymer
  • Warranty: 2 years

One of the best features of the Snow Joe iON is that it’s totally cordless. If you think that seems like it’s just a bonus, think again. Cutting the cord means no longer having to wrestle with extension cords as you clear snow from your driveway, sidewalks, or porch. That also means the difference between reaching the snow bank at the bottom of your long driveway or not. The only caveat here is that it’s powered by a battery, and a single charge only lasts about 50 minutes. That should be enough time to clear an average driveway of a few inches of snow, but if you have a bigger job than that, you might want to buy a couple backup batteries. This cordless thrower includes a headlight to make it easier for you to see what you’re doing pre-dawn, or even at night. The intake is only about 8 inches high, which doesn’t sound like much, especially if you’re looking at moving that packed snow bank at the end of your driveway. You will need to be patient with this machine as you push it through dense snow, but it will get the job done eventually. It’s lightweight and easy to move about. This is a more expensive choice compared to some gas- or electric-powered units, but you’re paying for convenience and upgraded technology.

Pros

  • Has rubber auger
  • Includes an LED headlight
  • Cordless
  • 50 minutes of power on one charge
  • Super quiet operation

Cons

  • Slows on tightly packed snow
  • Expensive
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Pro tip

If you’re looking for a cordless snow thrower that can easily clear light, fluffy snow, this one may be the best choice for you.

Greenworks 20-Inch 13 Amp Corded Snow Thrower 2600502

Quick Info

  • Type: Electric
  • Throw distance: 20 feet
  • Width clearance: 20 inches
  • Depth clearance: 10 inches
  • Weight: 30 pounds
  • Chute material: Polymer
  • Warranty: 4 years

This Greenworks 20-inch snow thrower may only be a single-stage type, but it’s powerful for what it is – and a great value when you consider the cost of a gas blower and the maintenance required. However, you need to have realistic expectations when you buy this little guy. If you’re dealing with small amounts of snow at a time, this little Greenworks is going to be your best bud. Any more than a few inches, and you’ll have to put in almost as much effort as the machine is. You can expect this lightweight snow thrower to be easy to move and use. The only issue you may run into is the extension cord. You’ll have to buy it separately, and it’s a bit pricey. But you won’t have to buy gas or engine oil, or have it serviced the way you’d need to with a gas snow blower. Also, this snow thrower is compact enough to fit in a storage closet, or even the backseat of your car. The handle even folds down to make it smaller. As a bonus, this electric snow thrower comes with a four-year warranty, which is one of the longest warranties in the industry.

Pros

  • Powerful
  • Stores easily with folding handle
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Includes long warranty

Cons

  • Takes some elbow grease in dense snow
  • No self-propulsion
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Pro tip

If you want an electric snow thrower that’s more compact than others and includes a long warranty, this one might be right for your needs.

Briggs & Stratton 1696610 Dual-Stage Snow Thrower with 208cc Engine and Electric Start, 24″

Quick Info

  • Type: Gas
  • Electric start: Yes
  • Throw distance: 25 feet
  • Width clearance: 24 inches
  • Depth clearance: 20 inches
  • Weight: 175 pounds
  • Chute material: Metal
  • Warranty: 3 years

This Briggs & Stratton dual-stage snow blower is the only gas-powered machine included in this list because it’s slightly smaller than some of its competitors, but it provides that extra power you may need to move wet, heavy snow. The two metal augers chew through icy, dense snow and send it up the impeller and through the chute to throw snow up to 25 feet. However, you’re only going to see that kind of distance with the light, fluffy stuff. It heavier than its electric- and battery-powered counterparts, but the self-propulsion makes it easier to handle. You’ll need to store this snow blower in your garage, as it uses gas to power it, and it might be dangerous to store it in your home. Because it’s gas-powered, it will need to be serviced after every season, and you’re going to need to keep gas and engine oil on hand. This is the type of snow blower you might need, though, if you deal with multiple feet of snow with each storm. It’s also a good choice for gravelly driveways because it has skid shoes that allow you to set the auger higher up, so it won’t pick up rocks and pebbles. This is a pricey buy, though, so it’s an investment. The good news is, it comes with a three-year warranty, which is longer than the standard.

Pros

  • Self-propelled
  • Starts easily
  • Easy to use
  • Includes long warranty

Cons

  • Difficult to assemble
  • Expensive
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Pro tip

When you need a bit more power, but still want a snow-eating machine that’s somewhat compact, this one could be what you’re looking for.

The Bottom Line

A smaller snow thrower isn’t a handicap. The best snow blower is the one that does the job you need it to do, comes in at a reasonable price, and works season after season. Although all these models would be excellent choices, there is one that stands above the others. The Snow Joe iON18SB Ion Cordless Single Stage Brushless Snow Blower with Rechargeable Ecosharp 40-volt Lithium-Ion Battery will require a bit more money upfront than some electric snow blowers, but you won’t have to purchase an extension cord. Plus, you get the added benefit of not having to clear snow around a cord.

This compact snow thrower works exceptionally well on a few inches of snow, which makes it ideal for areas that don’t get too much snow every season. However, it can also hold its own against densely packed snow – you just have to be a bit more patient with it as it chews through the snow.

 

 

About The Author

Candace Osmond

Award Winning Designer, Candace Osmond has been in the industry for over a decade. She studied Interior Decorating & Design and is also an accomplished writer and multi-published author. When she's not typing away from the comforts of her desk, Candace can be found travelling to warm destinations, tending to her garden, or enjoying the outdoor haven that is her backyard. Candace currently resides in the breathtaking Maritimes of Eastern Canada with her husband, two beautiful kids and one slobbery bulldog.

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