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Electric vs Gas Snow Blower: Which To Choose?

electric vs gas snow blower

electric vs gas snow blower

If you live in the Northern United States, you are no stranger to large snowfalls that often leave homes and cars buried several feet of snow. Shoveling works great in a pinch, but it can put too much strain on your back and requires you to spend a lot of time outside. Most people know they need the power of a snow blower, but choosing between an electric or gas-powered unit can be challenging. If this sounds like a problem you are having, keep reading while we look at the differences between them and fill you in on the pros and cons so you can make an informed decision.

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How Does a Snow Blower Work?

Snow blowers are relatively simple devices that use an electric or gas-powered motor to turn two blades inside the machine and sometimes help with wheel assist, so the machine is easier to push. The first blade is the large cylindrical blade that you can usually see from the front. This blade turns and breaks apart the snow, moving it further into the machine and the second blade. The second blade is essentially a large fan that blows the snow out the top of the machine and away from your sidewalk.

When choosing a snow blower, a larger front opening usually contains a larger blade that can handle deeper snow. You will need to look at the packaging to determine how strong the propeller blade is. More horsepower equals a further distance the machine can throw the snow.


Overview of Electric Snow Blowers

man using an electric snow blower
Image Credit: Tatiana Kuklina, Shutterstock

Advantages of an Electric Snow Blower

There are several advantages to owning an electric snow blower, and the first one is cost. Electric snow blowers typically cost between $150 and $400 depending on the make and models, which is much less than gas-powered units. They also require little maintenance, especially with the engine. You don’t need to purchase any fuel, and there is no cord to pull or choke to adjust. Electric snow blowers also don’t produce exhaust, which is harmful to the environment.

Disadvantages of an Electric Snow Blower

Unfortunately, the electric snow blower is not without its flaws. The biggest problem with electricity is that you have to pull the power cord while working, unless you can find a reliable cordless option, which is rare. If you have a walkway that extends around your home, you will constantly get hung up, slowing you down and extending the time you need to spend outside. You will also need a cord long enough to reach everywhere on your property. Though the technology is getting better every day, many electric snow blowers lack the power to move the snow effectively. Finally, there is usually no repairing electric models, and you will need to replace the entire machine.

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Better for the environment
  • Low maintenance
  • No fuel cost
Cons
  • Lacks power
  • Power cord

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Overview of Gas Snow Blower

man using a gas snow blower
Image Credit: Pixabay

Advantages of a Gas Snow Blower

The primary advantage of using a gas snow blower is power. Gas snow blowers can have a large engine that allows them to throw large amounts of snow effectively. Some machines can cut through 6 inches or more at a time without struggling, and they are most likely the type you will see the professionals using. The engine on a gas-powered snow blower is also quite serviceable, and you can usually get them repaired if there is a problem that allows you to keep them running for many years.

Disadvantages of a Gas Snow Blower

Gas-powered engines produce a lot of exhaust that is harmful to the environment, and you constantly need to refill them with fuel, which means purchasing and storing flammable liquid on your property. You will need to pull a string like on a lawnmower to get it started, and cold weather will make it more difficult. It also needs much more regular maintenance, like spark plug changes and carburetor cleanings to keep it running properly.

Pros
  • Power
  • Serviceable engine
Cons
  • Bad for the environment
  • Hard to start
  • High maintenance
  • Requires refueling

When To Use an Electric Snow Blower

Electric snow blowers are a perfect choice when you don’t have a large budget or only have a small area to clear. Electric snow blowers are perfect for light-duty work but can even tackle large jobs if you don’t mind spending extra time outside, as it will usually still be faster or at least easier than shoveling. Once you use it for a few seasons, you will have a system for managing the power cord, and it shouldn’t be a problem.

When To Use a Gas Snow Blower

We recommend using a gas snow blower if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow and you have a large area to clear. Gas blowers will get the job done in the shortest time, and you can let the snow pile up more before you get started. If you want to clear snow to make extra money, you will need a gas-powered engine.

When to Use Electric
  • Small area
  • Limited budget
  • Don’t mind being outside for some time
When to Use Gas
  • Deep snow
  • Commercial business
  • Large areas
man using a snow blower
Image Credit: Pixabay

Related Read: 10 Best Snow Blowers for Wet & Heavy Snow – Reviews & Top Picks

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Conclusion

Both the electric and gas snow blower are helpful tools that are huge improvements over the traditional snow shovel. We feel that most people will benefit the most from a gas-powered snow blower. However, electric snow blowers can also work great; they just don’t have a lot of power and require a lot of patience to stand there while your machine takes small bites of snow.

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