Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Kyle Whitley
If you are looking to buy a snow blower for your needs, there are plenty of choices in the market. Snowblowers come in all sizes, powers, and specifications, and the best snow blower is the one that meets your specific needs in the best way possible.
One important factor to consider is whether you want to buy a gas or electric unit. Both types of snow blowers have their own distinct advantages. If you are trying to decide between gas versus electric snow blower, we will review the differences and similarities between the two different types of snowblowers.
Table of Contents
- 1 Electric Snowblower
- 2 Options with Electric Snow Blowers
- 3 Gas Snow Blower
- 4 Gas Snow Blower Sizes and Features
- 5 Which Snow Blower Is Better?
- 6 Snowblower Manufactures
In recent years, electric snowblowers have become quite advanced and powerful. In comparison to gas-powered snow blowers, they are much easier to handle and operate.
A decade ago, the electric motors installed on electric snowblowers weren’t very powerful, mainly because power storage capacity was low for batteries. Currently, however, battery storage capacity has become much better and engine efficiency has improved significantly. Although they are still not as powerful as gas snow blowers, you will find their power to be sufficient to get rid of all types of snow.
Due to their compact size, electric blowers are very handy and easy to maneuver around, making it easy even for a beginner to operate an electric snow blower with ease. Since they are much lighter than gas powered units, you won’t get tired too quickly while using them. The size and weight of electric snowblowers are a huge plus.
Battery powered snow blowers come with rechargeable batteries that can be connected to any standard home power outlet. When using an electric blower, you won’t upset your neighbors because they are not as noisy as gas model blowers. They are easier to store because they are so compact.
Another benefit of an electric model is that they are much easier to clean and maintain. There is generally less regular maintenance that is required of a cordless or electric snow blower. You don’t have to mix gas and oil or pull on a recoil-based starter every time you need to use the snowblower. No need to keep fuel with you which can be a safety hazard.
Electric snow blowers start with the push of a button. If you have a corded model then you also have a nearly endless supply of power. They are simply more convenient than gas blowers.
Last but not least, electric snow blowers are better for the environment since you won’t be burning fossil fuels to operate them.
Options with Electric Snow Blowers
There are two options with electric snow blowers; corded and battery powered. A corded electric snow blower will restrict your movement unless you use an extension cable. The extension cord and wires can also snag onto obstacles like plants, rocks, fences, or garden furniture as you move around.
The upside is that there is no battery so you don’t have to worry about recharging them in the middle of your work. These units are also much cheaper than battery powered snow blowers.
If you are not restrained by budget then a battery powered or cordless snow blower is your best option. Although they cost more, you can move them around anywhere without worrying about cables and wires trailing behind you. You can also buy multiple batteries to ensure that you get everything cleared in a single go and let one battery charge up as you work.
Electric and Battery Powered Snow Blowers Capacity and Capability
Just like with a gas snow blower, electric and cordless snow blowers are available as single stage snow blower and two-stage snow blower. Two-stage snow blowers are relatively new for battery powered snow blowers. Battery capacity and power have advanced enough to allow for more powerful versions including two stage electric models.
One thing to keep in mind with electric and battery powered snow blowers is the capacity or inches of snow that a blower can handle. Most battery powered snow blowers intake is about 21″ wide and about 13″ intake height. Any snow accumulations over 1′ could be difficult a battery-powered model.
However, some of the newer battery powered units are two stage units, which have a larger auger and heavier weight which rival the capacities of a gas model. The intake width up to 24″ and intake height of 17″.
Electric snow blowers are also lighter weight. This means they might have issues blowing snow that is deeper. The extra weight of a gas model helps the auger dig deeper into the snow and ice, to help remove it faster.
Drawbacks of an Electric or Battery Snow Blower
There are few drawbacks of using an electric or battery-powered snow blower
- Needing to have access to an electric cord and outdoor electric outlet for corded models
- Less runtime for cordless models because of limited battery capacity
- Smaller snow intake width and height
Gas Snow Blower
Although electric snow blowers are becoming more popular with all types of users for their convenience, safety and eco-friendly usage, there are still plenty of fans for old fashioned gas snow blowers.
If you need to clear away heavy snow or deeper snow often, gas powered snow blowers are ideal. There is simply no comparison with the electric snow blowers for the kind of power that you can generate with a gas blower.
If you have a long stretch of driveway, an overall wide driveway , or live in an area where you get many months of snow, then the gas powered machine might be the best option that you have.
Gas Snow Blower Sizes and Features
Gas powered snow blowers are generally bigger than electric units. The motor on these blowers is bigger and there is a greater range of sizes available with gas options.
The smaller gas-powered snow blowers create the same kind of power that you get with most electric blowers. As you move up the scale of engine sizes, gas snow blowers become bigger and more expensive. They also provide more features and greater working capabilities.
Some gas powered blowers feature power steering, tank tracks for extra traction, and joy stick controlled chut control..
Really large, commercial grade gas snow blowers can clear away massive volumes of heavy snow and ice much faster than an electric unit. These snow blowers have bigger augers that can cut deeper into the snow and have a very wide clearing path.
Bigger gas snow blowers are two-stage machines and even 3 stage snow blowers, which means they will do much more work in a shorter period of time and blow away snow much further from the machine. 3 stage snow blowers are the top of the line and only available with gas engines
Gas Powered Snow Blowers Capacity and Capability
Gas snow blowers for residential users have intake width’s up to 40″ and intake heights up to 24″. These models would have no problem chewing through a foot of snow with ease. These are capacities beyond what any battery or electric snow blower can handle.
Gas snow blowers come in single, two, and three stage models. With the three stage models being the most capable. Two stage gas snow blowers seem to be the most common, with residential snow blowers.
Power steering is a huge bonus with some of these larger gas snow blowers, because moving them around in wet snow or ice could be quite a chore.
Drawbacks of a Gas Powered Snow Blower
There are three main drawbacks of gas powered snow blowers.
- they require more cleaning because of the fuel and are heavier to handle.
- they are louder and take up more storage space.
- they are not as environmentally friendly as electric snow blowers.
Which Snow Blower Is Better?
So which is better in a comparison between a gas versus electric snow blower? That depends on the individual user’s needs, budget and preferences.
If you have a large area or driveway to clean or get heavy snow, wet snow, or deep snow frequently, then a gas snow blower will be the better option. A gas-powered model will require more maintenance, but in return has more power for larger jobs.
However, if you want to use a more convenient, lighter, eco-friendly, and advanced machine then the electric snow blower is clearly the better choice. Electric and battery powered snow blowers will have less maintenance and possibly less cost over time if you use the snow blower frequently.
The cordless electric snow blower in particular can be very handy because it allows freedom of movement, with less maintenance, and comparable power to a gas powered unit.
All that being said when comparing a gas versus electric snow blower, it is clear that both gas and electric snow blowers can be excellent machines.
Here is a list of a few of the major electric snow blower manufactures. Most offer both corded and cordless models.