Before purchasing a snow blower to take on the brutal snow and ice of old man winter, you should familiarize yourself with the best-rated snow blowers of 2011. Depending on your needs, snow blowers can range in price from $100 to $1,000. If you have a small driveway and walkway in an area that receives a relatively small amount of snow coverage, you can easily get away with purchasing a smaller model that will get the job done. If however, you have a larger area to tackle and the terrain is hilly, or the area where you live gets a good deal of snow, you’ll want to invest in larger blower.
While the models listed below are the highest rated by Consumer Reports and other websites via customer reviews, you should keep in mind the following when shopping for your snow blower. First and foremost, look for models that offer safety features. According to Consumer Reports, Snow blowers cause 3,000 finger injuries each year. Secondly, more power isn’t always necessary. A smaller horse-powered snow blower can be as effective as a larger model in the right conditions.
The Electric Toro Power Shovel is a low-maintenance, lightweight and eco-friendly snow blower that is ideal for clearing small amounts of snow off sidewalks and small outdoor areas such as patios and decks. The Electric Toro Power Shovel clears a 12-inch wide path and can propel snow 20 feet. Powered by a cord, the Electric Toro Power Shovel has no wheels and has an electric auger that propels the snow forward rather than to the side. The Electric Toro Power Shovel ranges in price from $90 to $150.
The Electric Toro 1800 Power Curve is a compact single-stage electric snow blower that is easily stored, lightweight and requires minimal maintenance. Weighing just 24lbs., the Toro 1800 Power Curve has a 12-amp motor and can clear an 18-inch wide path on sidewalks, driveways, patios and decks. Unlike the Toro Power Shovel, the Toro 1800 has wheels, so you don’t have to hold the weight of the blower and can easily maneuver the spaces you need to clear. This is a great blower for light snows, and the adjustable chute throws snow 30 feet to either side. Ideal for homeowners, the Toro 1800 ranges in cost from $120 to $300.
A single-stage gas snow blower, the Toro Power Clear 210R is a self-propelled, commercial-grade, two-cycle engine, snow blower that weighs only 73 lbs., which is relatively light in comparison to other gas blowers. Offering a guarantee two-year start, the Toro 210R is easy to handle and can clear a 21-inch wide path on paved surface. Able to clear up to 1,700 pounds of snow per minute, the Toro 210 can throw snow a distance of 30 feet and is not recommended for snow falls over 8 inches.
Featuring an electric starter, polymer chute, skid shoes and the ability to handle both paved and unpaved or uneven surfaces, the Craftsman 88957 is a budget two-stage gas snow blower that will give a real bang for the buck. The Craftsman 88957 is self-propelled with six forward and two reverse speeds and offers the ease of single-handed operation making it easier to steer and adjust the chute. The Craftsman 88957clears a 24-inch path and costs about $599. A headlight costs extra.
The Troy-Bilt Storm 3090 XP is a powerful two-stage gas snow blower that features heated handgrips, power steering, joystick chute adjustment and electric push-button starter. This is the blower to beat all blowers. If you experience heavy snow falls in your area, the Storm 3090 XP’s cuts through up to 21-inches of snow and clears a 30-inch path on both paved and unpaved surfaces. The single-handed operation is made even easier with the convenient joy-stick chute adjustment. The Troy-Bilt Storm 3090 XP ranges in price from $1,000 to $1,400.