Snow Blowers for Small Jobs

Sometimes you don’t have a huge driveway on a big property to remove snow. Maybe you live in a townhouse, or duplex; and only need to clear off a small area. Storage is at a premium, and you simply don’t need a huge machine. In this case, an electric shovel or electric single stage snow thrower is going to more than get the job done. This is our Winter 2019-2020 edition of our top 5 snow blowers for small jobs.

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 NameClearing WidthSnow DepthThrowing Distance 
Snow Joe 323E13"6"20 FeetCheck Price
Snow Joe SJ618E15"8"20 FeetCheck Price
Earthwise SN7001616"8"30 FeetCheck Price
Snow Joe 24V-X2-SB18 18"10"20 FeetCheck Price
Snapper XD 82V MAX 168805420"10"20 FeetCheck Price

Sometimes you don’t have a big job to clear, and these snow blowers can be a perfect match.

How we came up with this list

Convenience

For homes with both limited space and storage, this means no gas engines. and we’re limiting recommendation to corded electric and cordless battery powered models only. This means less work for the user, as well as less maintenance costs. This means no smelly gasoline engine or oily mess to clean up, and the tool should be as compact as possible.

Reliability

We’ve found the normal user of many electric shovels to have limited mobility, due to size, age, or other factors. This means you need a unit that WORKS and gets the job done the first time. It must be lightweight, easy to use, and function when you need it. This means a lot of extra research on our part and looking over other reviews as well as our own judgement when it comes to the quality of a product.

Cost

This is self-explanatory, but cost of the unit is a big factor for those on a limited budget. This usually goes hand in hand with limited spaces. This means limiting units to the electric power shovel and single stage snow thrower type units. These types do have limited capacity, but also limit cost as well.

The Models

Snow Joe 323E 13-Inch 10-Amp Electric Snow Shovel

The lowest cost option of our bunch, the Snow Joe 323E offers a 10-amp motor and 13 inch cutting path, with a maximum snow depth of up to 6 inches. This is a corded electric shovel and will require an extension cord and connection to house power to function. There is an integrated safety loop to prevent accidental unplugging of the snow thrower while in use. Our opinion on this- this is a basic model, but for applications where value is the highest priority, this may be the only snow thrower that’s affordable. The Snow Joe 323E claims a snow throwing distance of up to 20 feet, but we think it might be more like 15 feet given the limited motor size and the fact this is a shovel.

Snow Joe SJ615E Electric Single Stage Snow Thrower

A step up from the electric shovel, this single stage snow thrower offers an 11-amp motor, a 15-inch cutting path, and can handle drifts up to 8 inches deep. This is the traditional style of snow thrower, being a push type instead of electric shovel. The augur also acts as the impeller to “throw” snow, doing double duty. The chute is adjustable up to 180 degrees in a field to the front of the snow thrower. We dislike the plastic augur, but for fluffy snows and limited ice, the reinforced plastic should give good service. This snow thrower takes standard mains voltage, so there is no battery to worry about. It will work at 100% of it’s potential for as long as power is available.

Earthwise SN70016 Electric Corded 12 Amp Snow Shovel

The largest of the electric snow shovels on our list, we really like the fact the unit has rear wheels to ease pushing, as well as an adjustable chute like many traditional snow throwers. It has a 16-inch clearing width and can handle drifts of up to 8 inches deep. Being able to pick the direction of the snow being thrown means potentially less work, as well as limiting snow that is thrown onto homes, plants, and unwary passersby. There is a cordless version available, but for all electric shovels we think that mains power is probably a better idea, to both keep weight down and get maximum power for the entire time you need it. The unit feels good ergonomically, and for the deck, patio, or other small area, we think this one is the best of the bunch. Our recommendation.

Snow Joe 24V-X2-SB18 18-Inch 48-Volt 4.0-Ah Cordless Snow Blower, Kit (w/2 x 24-Volt 4.0-Ah Batteries and Rapid Charger)

This Snow Joe Cordless Snow Blower uses modern technology 24-volt lithium batteries in series to provide 48 volts of cordless snow throwing power. It has an 18-inch snow clearing path and can clear drifts of up to 10 inches deep in a single pass. The bundle we’re recommending includes the necessary two batteries and charger, however if you already own other snow joe brand devices, a lower cost model with no batteries is available.

We like the rubber tipped steel augur, and feel more comfortable using this in uneven terrain, or terrain contaminated with cinders, small rocks, and other obstructions. The chute is adjustable in both elevation and direction, with approximately 180 degrees of travel in a frontal arc on the device. Throwing distance is upwards of 20 feet, and a headlight is included for nighttime and dimly lit environments. The only thing we don’t like is the slow charging time of 2 hours for the batteries once worn down, but again as this article is targeting small environments such as patios, decks, and small driveways; this may not be a huge problem.

Snapper XD 82V MAX 1688054 20-Inch Single-Stage Snow Blower Kit (Battery & Charger Included)

The largest of the small job snow blowers, the Snapper 1688054 uses modern high-voltage lithium ion batteries, giving up to 80 volts of power. The unit has a 20-inch clearing path and can throw snow upwards of 20 feet. A run time of up to 75 minutes on a full charge is claimed, however keep in mind battery run time can vary as batteries age. Unlike the Snow Joe, this unit uses a single very large 82V lithium Ion Pack. The battery is additionally compatible with all other Snapper “XD” products, such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and hedge trimmers.

Snapper claims that the battery is good down to 6.8 degrees F, however, also recommends that the battery be stored at only 32 degrees or higher; something possibly impractical for unheated sheds and storage spaces. Battery charge time on the rapid charger is about 30 minutes, but for small spaces this shouldn’t be a problem. Snapper also offers a larger 5 AH battery for those who need about a 20% increase in overall run time (up to 90 minutes instead of up to 75 with the standard 4AH type). The unit has electric LED lighting as well, allowing for increased safety in dimly lit environments.

Final Comments

ALL snow throwers and blowers, but ESPECIALLY these smaller electric models will benefit from having their augur coated with Silicone Lubricant Spray or Ice Repellent Spray. We talked about this before in both our tune up tricks as well as on preventing snow blower clogging, but this is Extra important for smaller snow blowers. You need to maximize your throwing distance and get as much snow out of the machine as possible, so its GONE- not just being chopped up in the augur blades and coming back out the front. And don’t worry, both the silicone and Teflon sprays are plastic safe, so you’re not going to harm your new purchase.

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