X
Home & Office
Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.

Close

The best snow blowers for unruly winter weather

Winter weather advisories and back-to-back snow storms don't stand a chance against the best snow blowers we found.
Written by Taylor Clemons, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Nina Raemont
Troy-Bilt Storm 2420 | Best snow blower overall
A Troy-Bilt Storm 2420 in a driveway in front of a garage door
Troy-Bilt Storm 2420
Best snow blower overall
View now View at The Home Depot
Ego Power+ SNT2807 | Best electric snow blower
An Ego Power+ SNT2807 snow thrower and two batteries on a grey background
Ego Power+ SNT2807
Best electric snow blower
View now View at Walmart
DeWalt 60V Max single-stage | Best single-stage snow blower
A DeWalt 60V Max single-stage snow blower in front of a garage wall
DeWalt 60V Max single-stage
Best single-stage snow blower
View now View at The Home Depot
Greenworks Pro 80V cordless snow shovel | Best powered snow shovel
A Greenworks Pro 80V powered snow shovel, battery, and charger on a grey background
Greenworks Pro 80V cordless snow shovel
Best powered snow shovel
View now View at Amazon
Cub Cadet 3X HD30 | Best heavy-duty snow blower
A Cub Cadet 3X HD 30 snow blower on a grey background
Cub Cadet 3X HD30
Best heavy-duty snow blower
View now View at The Home Depot

Most of the US is experiencing cold temperatures and blizzards as over half of the country is covered in snow and winter weather advisories go into effect. If you've been using that 10-year-old snow blower of yours amid this snowy weather and realizing it's no longer up to par, it might be time to pick up a new one before the next snowstorm hits. 

With a snow blower or powered snow shovel, you can clear accumulated and drifted snow much faster (and more safely) than a manual shovel or lawn brush. A snow blower also helps to reduce the risk of heart issues by lessening cardiac strain, since upper-body exertion like shoveling snow is much harder on your heart than lower or full-body exercise.  

Also: How to choose a snow blower

With so many choices on the market, from single- up to three-stage, battery or gas powered, and a plethora of tub sizes and control schemes, it can be difficult to know what is the best fit for your driveway and winter weather conditions. My choice for the best snow blower is the Troy-Bilt Storm 2420 for its two-stage form factor, electric start, and self-propelled drive. You can keep reading below to find out more about the Storm 2420, as well as my other picks for the top snow blowers. 

The best snow blowers of 2024

A Troy-Bilt Storm 2420 in a driveway in front of a garage door
Troy-Bilt/Taylor Clemons/ZDNET
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Electric start
  • One-touch controls
  • 6 forward/2 reverse speeds
  • Great for multiple snow types
Cons
  • Requires engine maintenance
  • No heated hand grips
  • No electric chute controls
More Details

Troy-Bilt Storm specs - Power type: Gas | Wheel type: Tire | Form factor: Two-stage | Self-propelled: Yes | Chute controls: Manual | Tub width: 24 inches | Electric start: Yes | Engine size:  208cc 

The Troy-Bilt Storm 2420 is a workhorse of a snow blower. The dual auger design works to break through snow drifts and accumulation up to 20 inches deep and throw it well away from the operator to reduce the risk of blowback. The 13-inch tires are on a self-propelled drive with 6 forward and 2 reverse speeds, which means you won't have to work hard to just maneuver your snow blower. And with one-touch controls, you can steer with one hand and use the chute crank to guide debris out of your clearing path with the other.  

It's built with a 208cc gas engine, which gives you plenty of power and runtime for clearing typical suburban driveways and sidewalks. It also features an electric start, which is a godsend on frigid mornings when you have to clear a path for the kids to walk to the bus stop or your driveway to get to work. It handles everything from light, powdery snow to heavy, wet sleet and even small chunks of ice. The shave plate on the front of the tub allows it to skim snow from your driveway surface, which reduces the chances of leftover snow becoming hard-packed and icy.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Heated grips
  • 60-foot throwing distance
  • Push button start
  • Impressive clearing power and battery life
  • Eco-friendly
Cons
  • Very expensive
  • 3-hour charge time
More Details

Ego Power+ SNT2807 specs - Power type: Battery | Wheel type: Tire | Form factor: Two-stage | Self-propelled: Yes | Chute controls: Electric | Tub width: 28 inches | Electric start: Yes | Engine size:  N/A 

The Ego Power+ SNT2807 is proof-positive that battery-powered snow blowers can be just as powerful, if not more, as their gas counterparts. This model uses dual 56V batteries to give you up to 45 minutes of continuous use on a full charge. It also features an electronic joystick control for the chute, allowing you to adjust direction and angle on-the-fly so you can direct debris into the wind and avoid blowback. 

The tub measures 28 inches across and has an intake height of 21 inches, which is great for areas that get heavy annual snowfall or experience regular storms of heavy, wet snow and sleet. It's also great for longer suburban or rural driveways with its self-propelled drive and 16-inch snow tires. The two-stage auger system is capable of throwing snow up to 60-feet while the heated handle grips keep you comfortable while you work. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Steel auger
  • Electric chute controls
  • Battery powered
  • Handle-lock safety mechanism
  • Batteries and chargers included
Cons
  • Expensive
  • No two-stage version available
  • No electric chute pitch controls
  • No chute clearing tool included
More Details

DeWalt 60V Max specs - Power type: Battery | Wheel type: Tire | Form factor: Single-stage | Self-propelled: No | Chute controls: Electric/manual | Tub width: 21 inches | Electric start: Yes | Engine size:  N/A 

The DeWalt 60V Max single-stage snow thrower is a battery-powered unit that can absolutely play with the two-stage models. Its design addresses two main issues I have with single-stage units: the augers and chute controls. The DeWalt 60V Max has electronic trigger controls for the chute, allowing you to change directions on-the-fly and avoid blowback, while the all-steel auger helps break up thin layers of ice and sleet, heavy drifts, and hard-packed snow. 

It also comes packaged with two batteries and chargers, allowing you to go from assembly to use in just a few hours. The motor is fairly quiet compared to a gas model, and the handle-lock sensor helps prevent injury by preventing the unit from turning on unless the handle is properly assembled and unfolded. It's also very lightweight, meaning you won't have to work as hard to maneuver it around your driveway and walkways. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Perfect for condos and apartments
  • Battery and charger included
  • 30 minute charge time
Cons
  • Not for heavy, wet snow
  • Plastic auger scoop
  • Somewhat short run time
More Details

Greenworks Pro 80V cordless power shovel specs - Power type: Battery | Wheel type: N/A | Form factor:  Single-stage power shovel | Self-propelled: N/A | Chute controls: N/A | Tub width:  12 inches | Electric start: Yes | Engine size: N/A  

If you live in an area that only gets occasional, powdery snowfall or in a condo or apartment complex without a lot of outdoor space, the Greenworks Pro 80V powered snow shovel is an excellent choice. With a design similar to a string trimmer, this powered snow shovel acts like a handheld single-stage snow thrower, lifting and moving snow from walkways, patios, and decks. 

The 12-inch wide tub features a plastic scoop barrel that is capable of throwing snow up to 20 feet away from you, making it less likely you'll have snow blowing back into your clearing path (or all over you). It also has a clearing depth of 8 inches, so even if you get a rare squall or blizzard, you can still use the Greenworks Pro 80V to clear your outdoor spaces.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Perfect for heavy annual snowfall
  • Heated hand grips
  • Four-way chute controls
  • Steel chute and aluminum gearbox
Cons
  • Very expensive
  • Very heavy
  • No drift cutters included
More Details

Cub Cadet 3X HD specs - Power type: Gas | Wheel type: Tire | Form factor: Three-stage | Self-propelled: Yes | Chute controls: Electric | Tub width: 30 inches | Electric start: Yes | Engine size:  420cc  

The Cub Cadet 3X HD is a perfect choice for anyone who lives in an area that gets frequent, heavy snowfall. The 30-inch tub has an intake height of 23 inches, allowing you to tackle deep drifts and accumulation. The auger and dual impeller design breaks up snow and throws it up to 40 feet away from you.  

With electronic chute controls, you can adjust throwing angle and direction on-the-fly while heated hand grips keep you warm and comfortable while you work. The 16-inch tires work with a self-propelled drive that has six forward and two reverse speeds, allowing you to make quick work of longer driveways and walkways. And with an electric start, you won't have to worry about dislocating your shoulder on a frigid morning trying to pull-start your snow thrower. 

What is the best snow blower?

My choice for the best snow blower is the Troy-Bilt Storm 2420. It is the model that I personally use, and it's more than capable of handling the lake-effect snow Cleveland gets every season as well as occasional ice and sleet. The two-stage augers help to break up drifts and throw them well away from the operator to reduce the possibility of blowback. It also features an electric start, which is a godsend on those frigid mornings when you have to clear the driveway before work. And with self-propelled wheels, you won't have to work nearly as hard to clear your driveway and sidewalk. 

Best snow thrower

Price

Power source

Tub size

Troy-Bilt Storm 2420

$999

Gas

24 inches

Ego Power+ 56V

$2199

Battery

28 inches

DeWalt 60V Max

$1000

Battery

21 inches

Greenworks Pro 80V 

$237

Battery

12 inches

Cub Cadet 3X HD

$1999

Gas

30 inches

*MSRP at time of writing. Please note actual price may vary on retailer as well as available sales and promotions.

Which snow blower is right for me?

It's all about tub size and how many stages your snow blower has. If you live in an area that doesn't see a lot of annual snowfall, or only gets light, powdery snow, a single-stage snow thrower will be perfect for your needs. However, if you live somewhere where you'll get lake effect snow, or heavy, wet snowfall, you'll want a two- or three-stage snow thrower to handle drifts, ice, and accumulation.  

If you'd like a more in-depth guide for buying a snow blower, you can check out our how-to guide which covers everything you'll need to make an informed decision. 

Choose this best snow blower...

If you need...

Troy-Bilt Storm 2420

A well-rounded snow blower. This two-stage snow thrower can handle drifts and snowfall up to 12-inches deep and features an electric start for easy operation.

Ego Power+ 56V two stage

An electric snow blower. The Ego Power+ 56V features electric chute controls as well as trigger-assisted steering and heated handle grips.

DeWalt 60V Max single stage

A reliable single-stage snow blower. This battery-powered model has an impressive run time as well as steel auger blades and electric chute controls.

Greenworks Pro 80V 12-inch power shovel

A powered snow shovel. The Greenworks Pro 80V 12-inch powered snow shovel is the perfect option for very light snowfall and smaller outdoor areas like patios and walkways.

Cub Cadet 3X HD 30-inch three-stage

A heavy-duty snow thrower. The Cub Cadet 3X HD is a three-stage model, capable of throwing snow up to 40 feet from the operator.

How did I choose these snow blowers?

While testing and researching each snow thrower on this list, I and other ZDNET experts kept these criteria in mind: 

  • Power type: Whether you choose a gas engine or electric motor, each type of snow blower has both its benefits and drawbacks. While a gas model often means more power for moving snow as well as superior run times, they often come with extra costs like fuel and oil as well as extra upkeep. Battery and wall-outlet models may not have as much maintenance to worry about, and as such are much more eco-friendly.  
  • Number of augers: The number of augers a snow blower has determines how powerful it is. I've included single, two-, and three-stage models on this list to help you determine which is the best for your driveway and winter weather conditions. 
  • Snow type: Not all snow blowers are created equal. I've included a variety of models on this list that are suited for everything from occasional powdery snowfall to heavy, icy drifts. 
  • Price: While there really is no such thing as a "cheap" snow thrower, there are entry-level options that are easier on your budget. I've included a variety of models at different price points to help you decide which is the best fit. 

What's the difference between single, two, and three-stage models?

It all comes down to how many augers and impellers the snow thrower has. A single stage has a single auger, while a two-stage has augers and an impeller, and a three-stage will feature augers and two impellers. 

The more impellers a model has, the more snow it can clear, and faster. A single-stage model may only be able to clear dry, powdery snow up to just 6 inches deep since its single auger acts like a scoop; picking up snow and throwing it through the chute and out of the way. It doesn't have a lot of power on its own, so a single-stage snow thrower may only be able to eject snow up to 20 feet away from the operator. This means you run a higher risk of having snow blow back into your clearing path or all over you. A two-stage model uses a pair of front augers to break up snow drifts and feed debris into the impeller, which accelerates snow and small ice chunks through the chute, up to 40 feet away from the operator. 

A three-stage snow thrower can handle wet, heavy snow up to 2 feet deep, and even thin layers of ice that may have formed from melting and re-freezing snow or sleet. This is because the side augers feed snow and ice into the center impeller (also known as the fan-auger), which helps break up big chunks as well as accelerate debris into the final impeller, which accelerates debris even further to throw snow up to 60-feet away from you (depending on the model).

What is a powered snow shovel?

A powered snow shovel is a miniature, hand-operated version of a single-stage snow thrower. Usually shaped like a string trimmer, a powered snow shovel uses a scoop blade or heavy brush to clear snow. Since they are often battery-powered or require an extension cord, power shovels are best-suited for very light snowfall or clearing very small areas like porches, patios, and short walkways. And if you're using a model that requires an extension cord, make sure to use one that is rated for outdoor use and it is plugged into a properly rated outdoor outlet. Also make sure that it is long enough to reach every area you'll need to keep clear of snow to avoid needing to connect multiple cables, as this increases the risk of electrical shorts and shocks due to snow, water, and ice coming into contact with the plugs. 

Powered snow shovels are also an ideal option for anyone with heart concerns as an alternative to manual shoveling. Dr. Sharonne Hayes of the Mayo Clinic advises her cardiology patients to avoid manual shoveling, as the combination of the cold temperatures and strenuous activity increases the risk of a heart attack. And a 2014 study published in the Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy shows a link between upper body exercise (like manually shoveling snow) and increased blood pressure in healthy adult men over lower body exercise (like squats or lunges). If you have any questions or concerns, consult your doctor before manually clearing heavy snow or long sidewalks and driveways. 

Would a snowplow blade be a better option?

If your driveway has steep curves, sharp angles, or is very long, a snow plow might be a better option than a snow blower. A plow blade can be mounted on a riding mower or a residential pickup truck, which gives you more power to clear snow more quickly. While most two and three-stage snow throwers have pivot steering controls, they can still be difficult to maneuver around sharp turns or odd shapes. A vehicle-mounted plow blade also means you won't have to worry so much about running out of fuel or battery power before you finish, and you'll stay warmer inside your truck or get inside to warm up faster since a riding mower or truck will have better speeds than a snow thrower. 

Are there alternative snow blowers to consider?

There are tons of options for reliable snow blowers to choose from (almost one for every kind of winter scenario you can think of). Here is a short list of alternatives that I thought were great:

The Toro Power TRX HD 1428 features tank-like tracks rather than tires for better handling and maneuvering over hard-packed snow or slush as well as up steep inclines and uneven terrain. It also has an electric start for easier operation on those cold mornings. 

This battery-powered, single-stage snow thrower comes with two batteries and a charger, which means you can go from assembly to clearing snow in just a few hours. The Whisper has a 40-minute run time, which is plenty of time to clear most driveways and sidewalks in town. 

This snow thrower from Craftsman is a 42-inch, two-stage model that mounts on the front of your riding lawn mower. This means you won't have to maintain two pieces of equipment throughout the year. It's also a great option for very long or steeply curved driveways. 

Editorial standards