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Choosing a Snow Blower - Quicken Loans Zing BlogSpring may be on the horizon, but I’d be willing to bet that the next snow storm is even closer. Although I love watching the snow fall, I hate cleaning up after it. In fact, I made a pact with my boyfriend so I wouldn’t have to shovel at all (don’t worry, I do my fair share of work in the summer).

I’ve been thinking about buying a snow blower to make the job easier, and there are more options then I imagined. However, consumers can pick from two main models – electric and gas powered. If you’re in the market too for a new snow blower or just tired of using the ol’ shovel, I’m going to break down some pros and cons of each one.

Electric Snow Blowers

Honestly, I didn’t even know electric snow blowers existed. I had heard of electric lawn mowers and kind of laughed a bit. The risk of running over the chord and electrocuting myself seemed all too real, so I’ve steered away from them.

Despite what I think, I did discover that electric snow blowers have some great benefits:

  • They don’t require gasoline.
  • They don’t require any engine oil.
  • They’re much lighter than gas snow blowers.
  • They’re quieter than traditional snow blowers.
  • Most offer push button starts (no more ridiculous pull cords!).
  • They may be more affordable than gas snow blowers.

While these are all great reasons, before you jump on buying the next electric snow blower you see, consider a few of these drawbacks as well:

  • They’re limited by the length of the cord.
  • May overheat quickly.
  • The cord may get in the way, which could be dangerous.
  • Water and electricity don’t mix, so you have to be cautious.
  • They may not be able to handle more than a couple of inches of snow.
  • Most run about 12 – 14 inches in length ­­­­­– limiting size options.

Gas Snow Blowers

Nothing says winter quiet like the sound of gas snow blowers breaking the silence after a blizzard. Although they have some drawbacks, which I’ll go over in a second, traditional gas snow blowers are also another option you have.

Gas-powered snow blowers have a few basic, yet powerful, benefits:

  • They’re more durable than electric snow blowers.
  • They can handle heavier snow more efficiently.
  • No electrical chord to get in the way.
  • They come in a variety of sizes – from 12 inches to over four feet in length.
  • Most models are self-propelled.

Don’t forget to think about some of the things that might make owning a gas snow blower difficult:

  • They’re bulky and heavy.
  • The engine needs regular maintenance, like oil changes and cleaning the fuel and air filters.
  • They’re loud – deafeningly loud.
  • Pull-start cords may make them difficult to start – at least if you’re a weakling like me.

Now that you have the facts, what type of snow blower should you buy? If it were up to me, I’d probably stick with the tried-and-true gas snow blower. I just don’t feel comfortable dragging around an electrical chord while I’m trying to clear snow.

If you still aren’t sure which snow blower is right for you, stop by the local hardware store and speak with a sales clerk. Also, be sure to try out a few in the store to see which you’re most comfortable using. Don’t forget to also compensate for the amount of snow you get. You’ll probably break an electric snow blower if you live in an area that gets tons of snow.

With a few more weeks of winter, the next big blizzard could be right around the corner. Make sure you have the right snow blower to dig yourself out so you don’t waste your time and money.


What type of snow blower do you have? Share with other Zing readers below!


This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Have had an electric model for about 10 years.
    Probably wouldn’t have bought it but got it free from a friend.
    Obvious challenge is the cord, but I had several 12g cords
    and put them to use. I don’t and wouldn’t use cheap 14g cords.

    It was a single stage Sears blower and it worked great for any kind of
    snow, wet or light and fluffy. It was really nice not having to deal with
    starter fluid, gas, oil changes etc. Hard to know if gas vs electricity
    was cheaper over the years. What I liked was it only being on when
    I was pushing it into snow. If I was backing up or relocating the unit, its off.

    Driveway is two car garage with basketball court main area and about 100′
    entrance way. Once I figured I could easily change the clearing pattern to
    deal with the 50-100′ cord, it was no problem.

    I’d buy another one unless I lived in Northern Michigan or Montana or had
    a longer driveway (I live in SE Mich).

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