Which electric snow shovel is best?
Electric snow shovels are smaller versions of snow blowers and snow throwers. All are mechanized ways to remove snow, but where snow blowers and throwers are used to clear large areas such as driveways, electric shovels clear snow from your sidewalks, patios, porches and decks.
Electric snow shovels have become popular because they are quieter, don’t emit pollutants like gas-powered shovels and don’t require any maintenance. If you’re ready to put away your old hand-operated snow shovels and scrapers and give your back a break, but you don’t want a noisy gas-powered machine, take a look at the Snow Joe SJ623E 18-Inch Corded Electric Snow Shovel.
What to know before you buy an electric snow shovel
Other than the power source, the biggest difference between gas-powered and electric snowblowers is that electric snow shovels are rarely self-propelled. Because batteries drain more quickly when pulling loads, battery life is saved for clearing snow rather than used to propel the machine.
Anatomy of an electric snow shovel
Power sources may be cordless or corded. Cordless models use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Corded models get their power from one of your home’s plug-in outlets.
Intake chutes determine the width of the path and the depth of the snow you’re able to clear in one pass. Typically, widths range from 10-16 inches and most are between 4 and 8 inches deep.
Blades are typically augers, long screw-like mechanisms that spin around a horizontal axis, pull snow up from the ground and feed it to impellers.
Impellers located behind the auger push the snow up and out of the exhaust chute.
Exhaust chutes funnel the snow you’ve picked up to one side or the other.
Handlebars are what you guide and steer with, and where the controls are mounted.
Cordless models are limited by the working life of the batteries. If you don’t want to be idled by downtime when your battery needs recharging, buy an extra and keep it charged up so you can quickly swap batteries and keep clearing snow.
Corded models have only a foot or so of cord, so you’ll need to use an extension cord. Make sure the power cord you use is waterproof and made to be used outdoors. Give yourself a break and buy one that doesn’t kink.
Single-stage snow shovels scoop up the snow and throw it out of the chute in one motion. These are lighter and easier to handle.
Two-stage snow shovels throw the snow twice. An auger feeds the snow to a high-speed impeller that feeds the snow to the discharge chute to keep it moving and prevent it from clogging the intake chute.
What to look for in a quality electric snow shovel
Match your shovel with your situation
Area: The bigger the areas you need to clear, the more you need a snow shovel with a large intake chute so you don’t have to make as many passes.
Weight: The bigger and more powerful the machine, the heavier it is.
Snow: The wetter the snow you need to clear, the more power you need.
Look for handles that are ergonomically designed and easy to use while wearing heavy gloves. Make sure your choice has handles that adjust to different heights and angles, so you can find the one right for you and your snow conditions.
Large electric snow shovels remove more snow and do it more quickly, but weigh more, too. The bigger and more powerful your electric snow shovel, the harder it is to push.
Look for snow shovels that turn off the auger and impeller the instant the handle is released so you don’t have a rogue machine running wild.
How much you can expect to spend on an electric snow shovel
Most corded and cordless models that you push yourself cost $70-$300, depending on how much snow they’re made to handle efficiently.
Electric snow shovel FAQ
Will electric snow shovels throw rocks and gravel?
A. Anything on the ground gets picked up and thrown along with the snow, so avoid areas with gravel surfaces and loose debris.
Are battery-powered electric shovels as efficient as corded models?
A. The act of lifting and throwing lots of snow, especially damp and heavy snow, drains batteries quickly. If you have a lot of snow to remove from large areas, choose corded models or buy several extra batteries.
What’s the best electric snow shovel to buy?
Top electric snow shovel
What you need to know: With a 48-volt motor, this clears up to 720 pounds of snow per minute and is great for clearing walkways and mid-sized driveways.
What you’ll love: This 34-pound snow blower uses four rubber-tipped steel auger blades to throw snow up to 25 feet while clearing an 18-inch-wide path through 10-inch-deep snow. The easy-glide wheels make it simple to turn, and the halogen headlight lets you safely clear the snow after the sun goes down.
What you should consider: At 38 pounds, this shovel can be a handful for small persons.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top electric snow shovel for the money
What you need to know: This light, compact shovel is easy to maneuver in tight spots, such as your porch, back deck and steps.
What you’ll love: The adjustable auxiliary handle adds comfort and control as this shovel clears up to 300 pounds of snow per minute and throws it up to 20 feet. The batteries are compatible with all Greenworks cordless electric power equipment.
What you should consider: It’s too lightweight to clear driveways.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: You can clear a path 11 inches wide and 6 inches deep with every pass.
What you’ll love: This 20-volt snow shovel pulls 350 pounds of snow per minute through a two-paddle auger and throws it through an exhaust chute that rotates and adjusts for the ideal angle. The adjustable ergonomic non-slip handle on this 12-pound shovel maximizes comfort, and the safety switch prevents accidental starting.
What you should consider: Battery run times shorten with extreme cold and heavy snow.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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