Not all of us are fortunate enough to live in an area where it’s 75 and sunny all year round. For a good many of us, winter means colder weather and mountains of snow. If you’re used to the snow, you probably already realize how crucial it is to have a snow blower at your disposal.
But, if this is you’re looking to upgrade from your humble snow shovel for the first time, or if you’re looking to switch to a new one, you may be asking yourself if a gas or electric snow blower is best for you. Today, we’ll put these two options head to head to determine the best choice for you in the battle of the electric vs gas snow blower.
Table of contents
- Electric vs Gas Snow Blower: What’s the Difference?
- The Benefits of Gas Snow Blowers
- The Benefits of Electric Snow Blowers
- Which Snow Blower Should I Get?
- Electric vs Gas Snow Blower: Top Picks
- Final Word
Obviously, electric snow blowers are powered by electricity, while gas models are powered by gasoline. There’s some pros and cons associated with each model, and there’s also some major differences between the two, as well.
While you may assume that the only difference between the two snow blowers is how they receive power, but it goes a bit deeper than that.
One of the most important differences is size. Gas snow blowers come in a myriad of different sizes, whereas electric snow blowers are more limited, and they top out at a certain size. The largest electric models can clear a maximum width of 24” and they can contend with snow as deep as 13”.
Meanwhile, gas snow blowers can be much larger than that. Many large models have maximum clearing widths as large as 45” and can handle snow as deep as 23 ½”.
There’re a few benefits unique to gas snow blowers that may help make your decision easier.
One major benefit is the fact that you aren’t tethered to an extension cord while you work. Since electric snow blowers require constant electrical power, you’ll always have a cord trailing behind you as you work.
While this isn’t an issue for smaller driveways and walkways, electric snow blowers aren’t particularly viable for larger properties. Plus, if you need to travel more than 50’ from the power outlet, you’ll need an extension cord that’s at least 12 gauge, otherwise you run the risk of overheating the snow blower.
Size and power are also two major considerations. As we mentioned before, you hit a ceiling with electric snow blowers that doesn’t exist with gas models. If you’re looking for a snow blower that can power through almost two feet of snow in a single pass, gas is the way to go.
While electric models certainly have their shortcomings, there’s also a few areas where an electric snow blower has some significant benefits.
For one, electric models don’t require anywhere near the amount of maintenance that gas models do. You’ll never have to worry about oil changes, spark plugs, gas tanks, or any of the maintenance that’s required with gas models.
There’s also the issue of emissions. Snow blowers throw off tons of carbon emissions, and they aren’t kind to the environment. Running a snow blower on an average sized piece of property generates as much emissions as driving a sedan for 70 miles.
Electric snow blowers don’t generate any emissions at all, so they’re certainly the greener option of the two, and for many readers, that’s an important factor.
There’s also the issue of price. While most electric snow blowers top out shy of $1,000, a top-of-the-line gas snow blower can run you as much as $4,000, so electric models are the more economical option.
In the past, push-to-start functionality was a major selling point in the battle of the electric vs gas snow blower. Today, most gas snow blowers also feature electronic ignition, and can start on a dime just like an electric model can.
When it comes to choosing between electric and gas, you’ll want to consider the size of your property, the amount of snow your area usually gets, and your budget.
For many people, especially those in areas that receive less snowfall, an electric model is exactly what they need.
You probably don’t want to be stuck in the middle of Vermont with a puny electric snow blower and 20 inches of snow on your driveway. If this is a common occurrence where you live, gas will likely be the best option for you.
By now, you should have a good idea of which snow blower is best for you. Read on and take a closer look at our favorite in each category.
Husqvarna has a reputation as one of the best power tool and equipment manufacturers on the planet, and they earn that reputation every day, especially when it comes to their snow blowers.
This model clears a path of 24”, but virtually identical models are also available in larger sizes, which can help you make even quicker work of clearing snow. It features a 6.3 horsepower engine and a friction disc transmission with 6 steps forward and a reverse function, which gives you the power you need while also being incredibly easy to push and maneuver.
Luxury features like an LED headlamp and heated 4-way adjustable handle grips help to round out this Cadillac of snow blowers, making it perfect for anyone who deals with several feet of snow on a regular basis.
- Powerful and easy to maneuver
- 5-year warranty on engine and transmission, 3-year warranty on other parts
- Luxury comfort features
- Difficult to pull-start
With its space saving design and surprising power from such a small machine, the Toro 38371 is a capable electric snow blower that’s ideal for smaller homes, or areas that don’t regularly receive a foot or more of snow.
This blower moves up to 500 feet of snow per minute and can clear a path as wide as 15” in up to a foot of snow. Compared to other electric models, this one feels a bit more powerful, and provides more than enough juice for small driveways and walkways.
The snow shute adjusts a full 180 degrees, and Toro’s patented Power Curve technology allows this snow blower to clear down to the asphalt, often times in only one pass.
Sure, it’s not as large or powerful as popular gas models, but for many people, this small electric snow blower may be just what you need.
- Compact footprint
- Surprising power for an electric model
- Wheels are small with minimal tread
- Doesn’t do well in deeper snow
When it comes to the battle of the electric vs gas snow blower, the best model for you largely depends on the size of your property and how much snow you typically receive.
For serious gearheads and anyone who deals with tons of snow each winter, a gas model is clearly the way to go. Meanwhile, if you don’t contend with nearly as much snow, or if you’re particularly concerned with carbon emissions, an electric model may be more your speed.
Whichever kind will you grab this winter? Tell us in the comments.