Monday, August 17, 2009

Electric Snow Blower?


UPDATE - 12/15/2009

After some back and forth, we went with the Snow Joe Ultra 622U1 13 Amp Electric Snow Thrower. I'll be commenting about its performance as the winter progresses and we use it regularly, but we already had a chance to try it last Thursday (12/10), when the first big Lake Effect snow of the season dumped more than a foot of snow on us here just south of Buffalo.

Based on the test run, the Snow Joe performed admirably, handling the one foot high snow in our driveway without issue and essentially doing everything I expected of a powerful torque but lightweight snow thrower.

ORIGINAL POST - 8/17/2009

I know it's only August, but I live in Buffalo, and you always need to think ahead about snow. The last two winters, we went without any snow removal machinery, and it hasn't been fun. The first winter I just shoveled, and the second we hired a plowing service. The plow service was better than shoveling all the time, but there were still too many times when it snowed at inopportune times and I had to shovel so we could get out or in the driveway.

I'm determined that it'll be different this year. I've been looking for a low emission, quiet snow blower, and I came across a manufacturer (appropriately named Snow Joe) that purportedly offers an electric snow thrower that's as powerful as a gas-powered model.

The product is the Snow Joe Ultra 622U1 13 Amp Electric Snow Thrower, and its makers promise that it delivers "the power of a gas machine with the convenience of an electric unit".

I'm interested, tempted even. Naysayers?

24 comments:

  1. OK, I checked out Consumer reports for you and they don't show a lot of love for electric snow blowers. The Toro 1800 Power Curve 38025 is the highest rated in the category at a whopping 44. Snow Joe comes in second at 41. Only the Toro is currently recommended even though Snow Joe rates a close Very Good to Toro's Excellent in Handling, and edges the Toro in Controls. They are identical in every other category. In removal speed, clearing compacted snow, and throwing distance they rate from fair to poor. Do you own a good snow scoop?

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  2. If you do go the electric route, make sure to get a separate 20A GCFI outlet installed for it as close to the driveway/sidewalk as possible.

    The little video for that model says it'll handle snow up to 11" deep -- but that's not that deep compared to what a Buffalo storm can dump on you. My (former) Ariens could handle 18" without barfing, as long as it wasn't too wet (in which case, it wouldn't be 18" deep).

    On the other hand, that cost over $1000, so this one (running $250 at Lowe's) is probably entirely worth trying out.

    Good luck!

    P.S. why can't I use my arrow keys in this editing window? Did you do something strange to your Blogger profile?

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  3. The arrow keys thing was a red herring -- they work now. Strange.

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  4. how about the good old snowshovel?

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  5. This is proven tech. My grandmother had an electric in her house in Hilton, NY -- right on the shore of Lake Ontario, where they get their fair share of flakey precip. The trick was to keep the blades nice and greased up with cooking spray.

    For my money, a sturdy shovel is a better value than a gym membership and twice as satisfying. Cue up some DragonForce on the ol' MP3 player and I can go twice as fast as a blower.

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  6. Shoveling is enjoyable sometimes, for the exercise and in how it gets you outside in the crisp winter air. I'd be more inclined to forego a snow blower if we didn't live on a corner house, with so much sidewalk to clear in addition to the driveway. It just eats up too much time, although the equation will likely be different when my daughter is old enough to shovel with me!

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  7. Anonymous10:09 PM

    I've read that you should not run an extension cord longer than 150 feet for an electric snow blower--you lose too much current in the cord's resistence. So if you're driveway is longer than that, an electric won't be good. Also, you may face the "I ran over my cord!" paradox, especially if it gets buried in the snow.

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  8. Hey, let me chime in. I haven't used the SnowJoe or the Toro model although both look pretty solid. I did pick up a Craftsman 20 inch Electric Snow Blower for $35 off of Craigslist two winters ago. I live in Iowa and we probably don't get as much snow as Buffalo but we do get some pretty heavy thick stuff each year and my Craftsman handled it all without a hiccup. I have no clue why these aren't more popular and why Crafstman doesn't make them anymore but it just works incredibly. I do tilt it forward a little bit to make sure I get all the way down to the concrete but it will throw anything I run it into. I guess my biggest moment of shock came when after one particular thick wet snow (bout 8 inches of thick wet stuff) and the plows had come by and thrown up "the trench" down at the end of the driveway. I figured time to see what this little fella can do...it plowed into that that thick trench and just kept on trucking. I'd back it out a little bit and hit again and in just a few minutes that entire trench was gone. I can't imagine that my old Craftsman would be any better than the newer electric snow throwers so if the Toro or Snow Joe are at least as good as my Craftsman you'll be a happy camper. FYI, using the electric extension cord is very easy to get used to, I just purchased a 100 footer and then you just find a system that works for you (a lot like vacuuming outdoors).

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  9. Daniel, thanks for the recommendation. We just got our first real snowfall and are going to get a snow blower tomorrow. We're still deciding, and probably won't make a decision until we're actually in the store in front of different models. We'll consider the Craftsman -- thanks.

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  10. Anonymous12:35 AM

    Bought a Snow Joe in December - brand new, $212 on eBay, including shipping. Tried it only once so far, but I'm very impressed w its ability to throw snow. We'd had 18" of snow a few days earlier, and I used the blower to clear a parking space along the street, clearing out the heavy stuff left by the snow plow. As noted by someone else, I had to hit & back off several times, but I cleared a space 20' long x 6'wide in about 5 minutes.

    If I had a long driveway, it wouldn't work, but with a modest driveway, I think this critter will handle most anything that comes along.

    I'm having a knee replacement on Feb 1, and I'll feel a lot more comfortable knowing that my wife will have this easy-to-use machine available. She could shovel us out if we get a good snow, but the blower will really help.

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  11. Check out the Ebiko 1600 electric snow blower, It,s comparable to the Toro 1800 for half thre price. It's mad ein China but looks very good.

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  12. I have an old Sears 20in electric. When it finally burns out I hope I can find aomething that works as well. It beats any 2-cycle machine I've ever seen and many of the 4-cylcle machines my neighbors have. Tom in CT

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  13. The Toro does seem to be the best snow blower for its price/performance ratio. In comparison the the WORX, the Toro is light weight and has more amps

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  14. An electric snow blower is the same as a leaf blower, through which it pushes away most of the snow along with merely a switch of a power switch. Once you have plugged inside the machine, you merely point the nozzle around the place you need to push the snow and switch it on. The primary Husqvarna Snow Blowers and after that will begin to push the snow apart, even removing the hard compacted elements. This removes the necessity to make use of any brute force and will save you money in the long run since you wouldn't are required to hire anybody to clear out snow.

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  15. For Snow Blower Manufacturer, Visit : Snow Blowers

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  16. I love electric snow blower.My friend use this.Its work Good.I will buy this snöslunga this year.

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  18. Starts every time, throws snow well!!! When I try it out on snow, I will update.

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  20. Hi I was Snow Joe 322P Review . You can see and comment for it

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  21. As some who has been writing electric snow blower reviews myself, I put Snow Joe in first five. Note that it also has a battery powered snow blower, which can be handy if you really despise the cord.

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  22. I've been looking for a low emission, quiet snow blower, and I came across ... hsnowblowers.blogspot.com

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  23. I did pick up a Craftsman 20 inch Electric Snow Blower for $35 off of Craigslist two ... toroblower.blogspot.com

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