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What’s the Best Snow Blower for Wet Snow?

Northerners understand what wet, heavy snow is and how hard it is to budge it when winter comes. If you’re in an arid climate where the snow is big and fluffy, well, this isn’t the review for you. Dry, lightweight snow is easy to move, and if you don’t get a lot of it, then you don’t need a beast of a machine to clear your driveway or a path to your mailbox. If you dread looking at the forecast because of an incoming snowstorm that’s going to drop a pile of the wet, heavy stuff, then this is where you should look to find the best snow blower to help you move it to the side.

6 Best Snow Blower for Wet Snow Comparisons

MODEL
DETAILS

Ariens Compact
Type: Gas
Electric start: Yes
Self-propelling: 6 forward speeds; 2 reverse speeds
Width clearance: 24 inches
Depth clearance: 20 inches
Weight: 371 pounds
Chute material: Plastic
Warranty: 3 years

Husqvarna ST224

Type: Gas
Electric start: Yes
Self-propelling: 6 forward speeds; 1 reverse speeds
Width clearance: 24 inches
Depth clearance: 23 inches
Weight: 240 pounds
Chute material: Steel
Warranty: 1 year

Power Smart DB7651
Type: Gas
Electric start: Yes
Self-propelling: 4 forward speeds; 2 reverse speeds
Width clearance: 24 inches
Depth clearance: 20 inches
Weight: 180 pounds
Chute material: Plastic
Warranty: 1 year

Troy-Bilt Storm 2625
Type: Gas
Electric start: Yes
Self-propelling: 6 forward speeds; 2 reverse speeds
Width clearance: 26 inches
Depth clearance: 21 inches
Weight: 238 pounds
Chute material: Polymer
Warranty: 2 years

YARDMAX YB6770
Type: Gas
Electric start: Yes
Self-propelling: 6 forward speeds; 2 reverse speeds
Width clearance: 26 inches
Depth clearance: 21 inches
Weight: 177 pounds
Chute material: Metal
Warranty: 3 years

Briggs & Stratton 1696614
Type: Gas
Electric start: Yes
Self-propelling: 4 forward speeds; 2 reverse speeds
Width clearance: 24 inches
Depth clearance: 20 inches
Weight: 184 pounds
Chute material: Steel
Warranty: 3 years

Why Does the Type of Snow Help Determine the Best Blower?

Generally, there are two types of snow: fluffy and wet. It’s rare to get the wet, heavy stuff that Northerners are familiar with in places like Utah, for example. That’s why electric units and single-stage throwers are usually plenty of machine for those of you who deal with only a couple inches of powder each snowfall. When you combine a lake effect or marine climates meet with freezing temperatures, you’re likely getting giant, wet snowflakes falling out of the sky and hitting the ground with a bit of a splatter. And when that snowfall gets colder, it gets icy. Try using a weaker thrower machine on that stuff and you’re looking at an exercise in frustration. Heavy white stuff requires you to buy a heavy-duty blower, which means it’s powered by gas and it can clear lots of snow in a single pass. Even if it claims to throw snow up to 50 feet, you probably shouldn’t expect that. Gravity works its magic on wet, heavy stuff much more dramatically than the lightweight, fluffy fall. So, you can expect the expended material to travel about half the distance or less. Simply put, if you’re dealing with wet, heavy snowfall, and a lot of it, you should only be looking at two-stage or three-stage blowers. These are the only types of machines that can handle the kind of stuff you get, move it from the auger (where material gets munched) and pushed through the impeller (where it is sent before being shot out) without it clogging up the chute.

Single-Stage, Dual-Stage, etc. – Does Any of That Matter?

In a word, yes. You’re here because you need the best machine for the job of moving all that heavy snowfall. You don’t want a single-stage thrower at all. At best, it’ll move what’s recently drifted out of the sky, or a couple of inches here and there. At worst, the chute will clog up, and it’ll stop working. You’ll end up pushing the unit like a shovel or a plow – and you’re not going to move that white stuff yourself very quickly. Two-stage units are the bare minimum for your needs. These machines are typically powered by gas, need engine oil, and include an electric start, which is super helpful because you don’t want to be out in the cold pulling on a cord to get it going. A two-stage snow blower works by collecting fallen material through the auger – that’s the shovel- or plow-looking part of the tool. It chews the stuff up a bit and then an impeller fan shoots it out of a chute. A three-stage blower unit is usually only necessary if you’re dealing with lots of snowfall over a much larger piece of land. They work the same way as the two-stage models, but they’re much faster, a bit bigger, and more powerful.

Tips for Choosing the Best Snow Blower for Wet Snow

To make quick work of a job you don’t like, pick the right tool for the job. Wet snowfall requires a two- or three-stage blower unit. To get the best one for you, pick the one with the right features for you. Consider each of these scenarios to see what feature you should look for in a good blower.

I prefer to clear my driveway at night or before the sun comes up.

Look for a blower machine with a headlight. Even if you have a bright porch light, it isn’t going to be enough to illuminate your whole driveway. A headlight helps you see, no matter how dark it is on those cold winter nights or mornings.

I don't want to push this big beast by myself!

No worries. Most two- and three-stage blowers come with self-propulsion. If you want more say in how fast your machine moves forward or backward, look for units with extra speeds.

Gloves aren't enough to keep the cold out.

You can find a few blower models that come with heated hand grips. It may seem like a luxury feature, but once you have them, you’ll likely start to see it as a need rather than a want.

Clearing snow takes forever – I want this to go faster!

You’ll want to find a snowblower that has a bigger clearing width and taller intake height. The more snowfall it can munch at once, the faster your job goes. It could even mean clearing a pathway in just a single pass – even if it’s a tall white drift you’re tackling.

Top 6 Snow Blower for Wet Snow Reviews

Ariens Compact 24 in. 2-Stage Snow Blower-208cc

Quick Info

  • Type: Gas
  • Electric start: Yes
  • Self-propelling: 6 forward speeds; 2 reverse speeds
  • Width clearance: 24 inches
  • Depth clearance: 20 inches
  • Weight: 371 pounds
  • Chute material: Plastic
  • Warranty: 3 years

The term “beast mode” may have been dubbed after someone used this Ariens Compact snow blower. Sure, it’s smaller than other Ariens models, but it’s still a beast. The intake is about 20 inches tall, so it can take on big white banks. The good news is, that even if you’re looking at 30 to 35 inches from a snowzilla of a storm, you’re still likely going to be OK using this Ariens. Just start it up with one or two pulls on the cord, or use the electric start option and you’ll be in business. Like most two-stage blowers, this one’s self-propelling, so you’ll be able to go through each pass with ease. It has six speeds forward and two in reverse. Although reverse is a bit slow, it’s still helpful when you’re moving around this 350-plus-pound monster. This blower unit has no tires, but in place, it has tracks. This makes it easier to move around on uneven terrain, but it also makes it a pain to turn. Many of the blowers on the market today include a headlight, and this Ariens is no exception, but the light is weak, and it won’t light up the night or dawn sky very well. If you have any trouble with defective parts, the good news is that this blower machine comes with a long warranty.

Pros

  • Great for steep driveways
  • Starts easily
  • Sturdy
  • Handles snow banks taller than it
  • Long warranty

Cons

  • Hard to turn
  • Headlight is weak
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Pro tip

For uneven surfaces and lots of wet, heavy stuff, this Ariens blower unit may be your best choice.

Husqvarna ST224 24-Inch 208cc Two Stage Electric Start Snow Blower

Quick Info

  • Type: Gas
  • Electric start: Yes
  • Self-propelling: 6 forward speeds; 1 reverse speeds
  • Width clearance: 24 inches
  • Depth clearance: 23 inches
  • Weight: 240 pounds
  • Chute material: Steel
  • Warranty: 1 year

Not all two-stage snow blowers are outside of your budget, as this Husqvarna proves. And the 208cc engine may not seem all that powerful, but you might be surprised by just how much wet, heavy snowfall this little snow-eating machine can move. It has a 24-inch wide mouth to chomp down on piles of white stuff, and the intake is almost as tall as it is wide. If you’re looking at a snowstorm that’s set to drop two feet or more snowfall on you, you’ll be set to tackle it in the morning with this blower. The metal chute may not be your first pick because they can start to rust when the paint chips off – and the paint will chip off over time. But this snow blower is built tough and it’ll withstand a rock or two that it may pick up. And you’re likely to pick some up if they’re around, as this snow blower will clear all the way down to the pavement. You get a couple of headlights built-in on this thing, which means you can clear snow whenever the mood strikes you, day or night. Plus, the heated hand grips make the whole chore of snow removal a little less uncomfortable. If this 240-pound monster outweighs you, it may be tough to move around, but the six forward speeds help a bit. You only get one year of warranty protection on this machine, so if something is acting up, jump on getting it fixed as soon as you can.

Pros

  • Gets down to the pavement
  • Good for tall, heavy snow banks
  • Decent headlights
  • Has heated hand grips

Cons

  • Short warranty
  • Hard to push
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Pro tip

If you need an affordable snow blower that can handle the kind of snow that Northerners see every winter, this may be a good choice.

Power Smart DB7651 24 inch 208cc LCT Two-Stage Snow Thrower

Quick Info

  • Type: Gas
  • Electric start: Yes
  • Self-propelling: 4 forward speeds; 2 reverse speeds
  • Width clearance: 24 inches
  • Depth clearance: 20 inches
  • Weight: 180 pounds
  • Chute material: Plastic
  • Warranty: 1 year

As you know, not all snow is created equally, and as such, not all snow blowers are either. This two-stage snow blower from Power Smart is a good option for anyone dealing with wet snow, but it has a few pitfalls. First, like other snow blowers, it has self-propulsion, so it’s going to help you push it up and down hills, which is important if you have a steep driveway. You only get four speeds forward and two in reverse. And the 24-inch width clearance means you can probably clear your sidewalks and walkways in just one pass, so you won’t even have this snow blower outside for very long. The auger does a good job of chewing up icy chunks of snow, which is helpful when the air is heavy with moisture and temperatures drop below freezing. However, a few people who’ve bought this unit say the machine can slow a bit when they get really heavy, wet snow. The good news is that this snow blower comes with a plastic chute. While some said it seemed fragile because it’s plastic, it’s not likely going to clog up because plastic is so slippery.

Pros

  • No clogging in the chute
  • Climbs up steep driveways easily
  • Works well on wet snow

Cons

  • Slows down with heavy snow
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Pro tip

For wet snow, you want a two-stage snow blower that can chew it up and spit it out, and this Power Smart unit can do it, but heavy snow may be more difficult.

Troy-Bilt Storm 2625 243cc Airless Electric Start 26-Inch Two-Stage Gas Snow Thrower

Quick Info

  • Type: Gas
  • Electric start: Yes
  • Self-propelling: 6 forward speeds; 2 reverse speeds
  • Width clearance: 26 inches
  • Depth clearance: 21 inches
  • Weight: 238 pounds
  • Chute material: Polymer
  • Warranty: 2 years

Like any two-stage snow blower, the Troy-Bilt Storm 2625 is going to need maintenance. It uses gas and engine oil to keep it going, which could be a deal-breaker for you. If that’s the case, you might need to move south or stick to snow shovels. The good news is that this machine is quieter than some of its competitors, and that could be music to your sleeping-in neighbors’ ears. The electric start means you won’t have to pull again and again on a cord to get it started. And the six forward speeds on this self-propelled snow-munching beast is going to make quick work of the snow that’s piling up on your driveway. At 26 inches wide, the mouth of this Troy-Bilt snow blower is one of the wider ones on the market. It can munch down on snow that’s up to 21 inches deep – and probably deeper. That’s good news when you wake up to a pile of fresh snow on your sidewalks and driveway. It’s also a decent unit when it comes to moving what the snow plow driver leaves you on the corner of your property. It gets through icy hunks of snow better than some other models. Although this is expensive for what you’re getting, it might be worth it for what it does to wet, heavy snow. What it won’t do, though, is work well on light, fluffy material. It’ll likely just push around the dry stuff like a plow.

Pros

  • Quieter than most snow blowers
  • Can handle icy snow banks
  • Works well on wet snow
  • Has easy electric start

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not great for fluffy stuff
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Pro tip

This extra-wide snow blower is good for heavy, wet snow, and might work well in your neck of the woods – but it’s not great on the light, fluffy snowfalls.

YARDMAX YB6770 Two-Stage Snow Blower

Quick Info

  • Type: Gas
  • Electric start: Yes
  • Self-propelling: 6 forward speeds; 2 reverse speeds
  • Width clearance: 26 inches
  • Depth clearance: 21 inches
  • Weight: 177 pounds
  • Chute material: Metal
  • Warranty: 3 years

If it seems like YARDMAX is trying to out-do every other two-stage snow blower on the market, that’s because it probably is. Some of the features of this snow blower are standard, though. For example, the height of its mouth is about 21 inches, and that’s close to many other snow blower’s intake height. It can handle taller snow banks than that, though. It’s self-propelled, so it’s going to pull you along as it eats up the snow on the ground. The electric push-button start is convenient and cuts down on the time you’re outside. Now, for the bits and pieces that are a bit more than standard. The mouth of this machine is a bit wider at 26 inches, which means fewer passes for you as you clear your driveway and sidewalks. The heated hand grips should make your time in the wintery outdoors a little more comfortable. And if that wasn’t enough, this snow blower also includes a cup holder for the all-important hot coffee or cocoa to keep you warm on the inside, too. The dashboard has a headlight, so you can see what you’re doing, day or night. And, the best part, this snow blower works well on almost any kind of snow. You even get a three-year warranty, should anything go wrong because of a defective part or unit. The only downsides to this snow blower are that you have to assemble it, and it has metal “shoes,” which means the bottom of the mouth may scrape surfaces.

Pros

  • Extra-wide mouth
  • Affordable
  • Easy ignition
  • Long warranty
  • Easy to handle
  • Has heated hand grips
  • Good for all kinds of snow
  • Includes a cup holder

Cons

  • Needs assembly
  • Metal “shoes”
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Pro tip

If you need a snow blower that can get rid of almost any kind of snow from your walkways and driveway, this could be the best choice for you.

Briggs & Stratton 1696614 Dual-Stage Snow Thrower

Quick Info

  • Type: Gas
  • Electric start: Yes
  • Self-propelling: 4 forward speeds; 2 reverse speeds
  • Width clearance: 24 inches
  • Depth clearance: 20 inches
  • Weight: 184 pounds
  • Chute material: Steel
  • Warranty: 3 years

One look at the blades on the auger of this Briggs & Stratton dual-stage snow blower and you’d think it could grind up just about anything. It’s true that it’ll do the job its meant to do, but it have a little trouble with icy snow. The wet stuff – even slushy snow – is easy for this machine to handle, though. The 24-inch mouth on it means you might be able to get away with one pass on sidewalks and paths. And the 20-inch depth clearance can help you fight almost two feet of snow drifts in one move. It’s self-propelled, so you shouldn’t have much trouble moving this beast around. The most difficult aspect to this snow blower might be in the assembly. Just make sure you get this before a snowfall is predicted, so you’ll have plenty of time to put it together and call customer support in case you have any trouble. The headlights illuminate well enough, so you can see what you’re doing out in the darkness. Heavy, wet snow is what you want this Briggs & Stratton to clear, and it can do it, but it may slow down a little.

Pros

  • Works well on wet snow
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Starts easily

Cons

  • Assembly takes a while
  • Slows down a little with heavy snow
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Pro tip

If you need to clear wet, slushy snow, this could be a good choice for you.

Conclusion

You have enough to worry about when the winter season rolls in and snowstorms start popping up. One of the ways to make the chore of shoveling snow less miserable is to get a snow blower that can handle the wet, heavy snow you get every year. If you’ve been reading through the reviews, then you already know that the YARDMAX YB6770 Two-Stage Snow Blower is the best choice for the type of snow you get. The YARDMAX not only offers an extra-wide mouth to clear wide paths of snow, it works well against the heaviest snow Mother Nature can spit at you. It includes all the standard features you’ve come to expect of a snow blower, but it goes a few steps further. You get heated hand grips, headlights, and a cup holder. To make it an even sweeter deal, this snow blower is also affordable and includes a three-year warranty.

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.

  • WAYNE GUTSCHOW says:

    I own a 6 HP Yard King two stage thrower that is useless in wet snow. I see my fellow blowers down the street with the same problem so I know its not just me. Since this article is about wet snow, I thought it would be lending insight into the problem but instead its just a review of snow throwers like any other. Therefore I’d like to lend some insight into the problem. All two stage throwers suffer the design flaw of having too much height the snow has to travel to exit the second stage “fan”. I measure almost six inches straight up from the tip of the second stage blade just to bottom of the chute, then it has to travel even further to exit the chute. This is the problem with wet snow, its not going far by any means as soon as it leaves the tip of the second stage fan. What’s needed is a design that allows slush to exit the second stage and and immediately be in open air, no chute. This could be accomplished by opening the tunnel around the fan at an angle (maybe 45 deg up) to the left or right (selectable). The shush might not go far, but that’s ok, you can pick it up again on the second pass. Important thing is, its not getting stuck in your machine, you’re using the machine like a powered shovel. I’m working on modifying my machine to do this.

    • fred says:

      I think you are on to something there, noted last snow fall (wet) my machine 2 stage also could only blow about 6″ and started to clog cause it could not get out of the chute I’ll give it a try next time and update

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