The Benefits of Electric Snow Blowers

By Ross Bainbridge

Electric snow blowers are just the thing to buy if you live in a region that never gets more than 6 to 10 inches per snowfall.

Electric snow blowers don’t rely on gasoline for power. Rather, they utilize a 6- to 12-amp cord, which you can plug into a regular wall outlet up to 150 feet away. They’re highly maneuverable in tight spaces, but you must always be aware of the cord because accidentally slicing through it can be a safety hazard. As with all snow blowers, it is recommended that only adults use them.

All electric snow blowers are single-stage units. This means there is only one auger for both scooping and throwing snow. The auger is a spindle with two or more curved blades or paddles spanning the width of the snow blower, rolling above and parallel to the ground. The high-speed auger of a single-stage machine eats snow and sends it flying up and out of the chute or vane.

Larger electric snow blowers have a chute that you can rotate in any direction up to a 190„a sweep. Smaller units tend to have a stationary vane that guides the snow out of one side of the machine.

Electric snow blowers usually throw snow 20 to 30 feet away. They can clear paths 12 to 20 inches wide, and move 200 to 900 pounds of snow per minute. All of these models feature an electric start rather than a recoil start, so there are never any cords to pull. All this power comes in a package that is easy to store, sometimes weighing as little as 10 pounds and rarely more than 25 pounds, light enough so you can pick it up and chip away at some of the deeper snow banks. And because electric can be just as durable as gas power, many electric units come with 2-year warranties.

If you need to move more than 6 to 10 inches of snow, or you have more than an acre of surface to uncover, or your driveway is made of gravel, then an electric snow blower won’t get you very far. If this is the case, it’s better to invest in a gas-powered unit. A single-stage gas-powered unit is the next step up — great for flat surfaces and mild to medium snowfalls at any distance from the building. For larger jobs and uneven terrain, go with the big guns: A dual-stage machine.

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