When setting about choosing the right snow blower for your needs, there are a number of factors that you’ll want to consider. There’s the size and power of the machine and how you use it. Then there’s the ever-important question of whether you choose a gas-powered snow blower or an electric one. The decision between gas and electric will affect all of the other aspects of your snow blower, so it’s a good starting point.
Electric Snow Blowers
The first thing you’ll need ask yourself is if an electric snow blower is going to be powerful enough to meet your needs. Electric motors are never going to be as powerful as gas engines, so going electric means buying a smaller snow blower that will have a narrower clearing path and won’t cut as deep into the snow and ice. Most electric snow blowers are single-stage machines and won’t blow the snow as far or have an auger that works as effectively as a two-stage snow blower. In short, an electric snow blower is not going to fare as well in heavy snow and it will take much longer to clear a large area with an electric snow blower.
There are several reasons why one might prefer an electric snow blower, so let’s take a look at the advantages. An electric snow blower is lighter and is usually more compact than a gas machine. This makes them easier to transport and they won’t take up as much storage space. Electric snow blowers aren’t as noisy as their growling gas counterparts and won’t upset your neighbors as much. They also require very little maintenance, so this will save you money and hassle in the long run. You also don’t need to mix gas and oil or pull on a recoil starter every time you want to use the snow blower. An electric snow blower starts instantly, with the touch of a button.
Using a corded electric snow blower will restrict your movement – you’re limited to the length of the extension cord that you’re using. Electric cords will also snag on obstacles like plants, rocks, and garden furniture. Though, if budget is important to you, a corded electric snow blower is the cheapest of all your options. If you’re looking for the advantages of electric, without the hassle of an electric cord, you can always opt for a battery-powered snow blower. These machines cost more than corded electric snow blowers but have the obvious advantage of operating without an electric cord trailing behind you. Your working time is limited to the charge of your battery, but this is easily rectified by having more than one battery – you can always have a standby battery on charge while you’re working.
Gas Snow Blowers
While electric snow blowers have a lot going for them, in terms of convenience, economy and quiet operation, they’re not going to make the grade if you need to clear large volumes of heavy snow. If you have a long driveway or you live in an area that experiences heavy and frequent snow storms, a gas snow blower is going to be the best machine for you.
Because a gas engine provides much more power, there’s a greater range of sizes available when considering the gas options. Small gas-powered snow blowers will compare quite closely with the top end of the electric options. As you go up the scale of engine sizes, gas snow blowers become more expensive but they provide greater working capabilities. Large, powerful gas snow blowers can clear large volumes of heavy snow and ice much quicker than electric machines. They will have larger augers that cut deeper into the snow and will have a much wider clearing path. Large gas snow blowers will usually be two-stage machines and this means they will do a lot more in a shorter time and blow the snow much further from the machine.
Another advantage to using gas is that you can use it anywhere you want to, you don’t need to be close to an electric supply. When compared to battery snow blowers, gas engines have no limitation on how long you can work for, provided that you have enough gas. For large yards and farms, a gas snow blower is really your only viable option.