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Best Single-Stage Snow Blowers of 2021

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Got a small yard? Get light snow? Get a single-stage snow blower.

Clearing snow with a shovel is backbreaking work. It requires effort and stamina, not to mention it takes a lot longer than using a snow blower. When you need to free your car from the white stuff, a snow blower is the best tool.

We check out the 5 best single-stage snow blowers, judging them for power, capability, versatility, and cost.

Our Top Picks

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Model
Product Comparison Table
Features
Product Image of the Briggs & Stratton 1222EE 22-Inch Single-Stage Snow Blower with SnowShredder Auger and Push Button Electric Start
Best for Wet Snow
Briggs and Stratton 1222EE Single-Stage Snow Blower
  • Superior 250cc engine
  • Serrated auger blades
  • Electric chute rotation
Product Image of the Snow Joe SJ623E Electric Single Stage Snow Thrower | 18-Inch | 15 Amp Motor | Headlights
Best Budget Single-Stage Snow Blower
Snow Joe SJ623E Electric Snow Blower
  • No maintenance needed
  • Weighs 337 pounds
  • 15-amp motor
Product Image of the Briggs & Stratton 1022E 22-Inch Single-Stage Snow Blower with Push Button Electric Start
Best Gas Single-Stage Snow Blower
Briggs and Stratton 1686715 208cc Gas Snow Blower
  • Electric start
  • Lightweight at 33.7 pounds
  • Auger assisted drive
Product Image of the Snow Joe SJ627E Electric Snow Thrower | 22-Inch | 15-Amp | w/Dual LED Lights
Best Electric Single-Stage Snow Blower
Snow Joe SJ627E Electric Snow Blower
  • 15-amp motor
  • Has 2 LED headlights
  • 180 degree rotating chute
Product Image of the Greenworks Pro 80V 20 inch Snow Thrower with 2Ah Battery and Charger
Best Cordless Single-Stage Snow Blower
Greenworks Pro 80V 20-Inch Snow Blower
  • Go-anywhere capability
  • Lightweight at 33 pounds
  • Battery & charger included

What Is a Single-Stage Snow Blower?

A single-stage snow blower uses an auger located at the front that scoops the snow into the belly of the machine and throws it out of the exhaust chute at the top. Because it is a single-stage machine, the auger makes contact with the ground surface, propelling the snow blower forward.

The advantage of this type is they are lighter, typically weighing between 30 and 60 pounds. When you compare them to two-stage models, the difference is as much as 100 to 150 pounds.

These snow blowers are also easier to maneuver and much cheaper to buy. You also get options because single-stage snow blowers come in gas and electric models.

If you have a smaller plot or get the odd sporadic fall of snow, a single-stage snow blower is the best tool you use.

Types of Single-Stage Snow Blowers

As we’ve already touched on, there are different types of snow blowers. But what are they and which is the best?

Electric

Product Image of the Snow Joe SJ627E Electric Snow Thrower | 22-Inch | 15-Amp | w/Dual LED Lights

Electric snow blowers are the most convenient because they require no maintenance, oil or gasoline. They are lighter and cheaper than gas-powered models, and yet they are high-performance machines.

Corded

Corded snow blowers are better suited to lighter snowfall and smaller yards. You are also severely limited by the length of the power cable. Even when you use an extension cord, it still restricts where you can go.

The advantage is you get continuous power without any dips in performance, keeping you working for longer.

Cordless

Cordless snow blowers offer the best of both worlds because they give you the convenience of electric models with zero maintenance, no oil or gasoline, but they are also go-anywhere tools.

The lithium-ion battery enables you to roam, so if you have a deck at the bottom of the garden that needs clearing, this machine can handle it. The downside is batteries hold a limited charge, so you are restricted by the runtime.

The answer is to get a spare battery that stays charged and on standby when the other one dies.

Gas

Product Image of the Briggs & Stratton 1022E 22-Inch Single-Stage Snow Blower with Push Button Electric Start

Gas models are more powerful, they can go anywhere, and they tackle the heaviest snowfalls with ease. The downside is they require maintenance, as well as oil and gasoline, which increases your running costs.

The plowing width on gas snow blowers is wider, with some clearing as much as 30 inches. The depth clearance is more generous at 12 to 30 inches. A gas model is a good investment if you live in a colder climate where snowfall is commonplace.

How To Choose the Best Single-Stage Snow Blower

Not all single-stage snow blowers are equal. So, how do you decide which model is right for you? Here’s our simple buying guide.

Gas or Electric?

The decision comes down to two factors: convenience versus maximum reach. Gas snow blowers can go anywhere, which frees you to clear as much snow as you want. They are also more powerful, so plowing width and depth increase dramatically, improving your snow clearing capabilities.

Electric models are cheaper and lighter and are less equipped to sweep away thicker snowfalls. The power cord also restricts you, so your reach decreases unless you get a cordless version.

But then you get limited runtime because the battery holds a finite charge.

Plowing Width

The plowing width of your snow blower makes a huge difference when it comes to clearing large amounts of snow. Most single-stage models have a width range of 12 to 30 inches, depending on the make, model and power source.

A wider clearance requires less effort and covers more ground in less time.

Plowing Depth

As important as the clearance width is the plowing depth. Deep snow is notoriously difficult to clear.

Most electric single-stage snow blowers can handle 6 to 12 inches and about 20 inches for the gas-powered ones.

Weight

Most single-stage snow blowers weigh between 20 and 60 pounds, but there are variations. Some of the smaller electric models are as light as 14 pounds, while some of the gas-powered versions weigh over 100 pounds.

Multi-Directional Chute

When you change direction, the chute needs to rotate to throw the snow away from the clearance area. Most chutes spin 180 degrees, but it is possible to get a full 360-degree rotation.

You should also lookout for a machine with easy chute controls. Some have buttons that auto-adjust the chute, while others have a long lever that you pull to change direction.

The Price

Everything comes down to price in the end. Remember that cheaper models will have fewer features and lower quality components, which raises a question about their longevity. Is it better to spend a lot of money and get a machine that lasts the distance, or go cheap?

Work out how much you want to spend and stick to it. The best advice is to go somewhere in the middle. Mid-priced snow blowers offer the best features for the most competitive price.


The Best Single-Stage Snow Blowers of 2021

We rate the best-known brands to see how their single-stage snow blowers fared for power, capability and price. We also focus on the best gas-powered and electric models.

1. Briggs and Stratton 1222EE Single-Stage Snow Blower

Best Single-Stage Snow Blower for Wet Snow

Wet snow is a particular problem and one that can easily damage your snow blower. Many makes and models fail to tackle this type of snow, except this one by Briggs and Stratton. It has a SnowShredder auger, which means the blades are serrated to make it easier to slice through wet and icy snow.

The plowing width is 22 inches, while the plowing depth tackles snow about a foot deep. The engine is rated at 250cc, making it a real star performer if you want to sweep away compacted snow, and it produces 11.5 foot-pounds of torque.

You get an electric start button that ensures first-time firing even in -20 degrees, and you also get an effortless electric chute rotation, so changing direction is a breeze.

Why We Love It

Superior 250cc Engine

The amount of torque this machine produces is incredible. 11.5 foot-pounds is enough to power through the wettest and iciest snow. This is all thanks to the 250cc engine.

Serrated Auger Blades

The serrated auger blades improve the performance of this snow blower massively. It’s the reason why it can chew through challenging conditions where other snow blowers fail.

Electric Chute Rotation

Forget about pulling levers or stopping and manually adjusting the direction of the chute; this one operates with the push of a button. What could be more convenient? As you turn the corner and make your way back across the driveway, your chute twists around and fires the snow away from the area you are clearing.

Keep In Mind

Expensive Price Tag

All this technology comes at a cost. If you want this snow blower, expect to dig deep because it costs double some of the top-end electric models and hundreds more than some gas-powered versions.

Additional Specs

Weight (pounds) 98
Dimensions (inches) 36.5 x 23.25 x 24
Plowing clearance (inches) 22
Plowing depth (inches) 12.5
Throwing distance (feet) 30
Power source Gasoline
Engine power 250cc
Price $$$$$
Warranty 3-year limited

2. Snow Joe SJ623E Electric Snow Blower

Best Budget Single-Stage Snow Blower

For a budget snow blower, this model can hold its head high. It has an 18-inch clearance path, coupled with a depth of 10 inches. The 15-amp motor provides enough power to shift 720 pounds of snow every minute, which should get the job done.

You also get a 4-blade steel auger and a 180-degree rotating chute; plus, it throws the snow up to 25 feet in distance.

Because it’s electric, it requires no maintenance, oil or gasoline, making it the ideal tool for those less mechanically minded. It has an instant start feature, weighs just 33.7 pounds, and comes with a special tool to unclog the chute when it gets full of snow.

Why We Love It

No Maintenance

Imagine no maintenance, no oil and no expensive gasoline. All these things are banished with this budget all-electric snow blower. Simply plug it in, and you are ready to start work.

Weighs 33.7 Pounds

Forget an aching back and extra strain on your hands and arms; this snow blower is lightweight compared to the gas varieties at just 33.7 pounds. It should be a breeze maneuvering it across your driveway.

Amazing Value for Money

You can’t argue with the price of this snow blower. Compare it to the Briggs and Stratton model, and you could buy 7 Snow Joe’s for the same price.

Keep In Mind

Limited Capabilities

It’s electric, which hampers the size of the yard you want to clear. It also struggles with snow above 10 inches in depth. If you have a larger plot, get a gas-powered model.

Cord Length

The power cord will restrict the snow blower’s reach, which reduces the lengths you can travel without needing either an extension cable or an additional outside electrical socket.

Additional Specs

Weight (pounds) 33.7
Dimensions (inches) 45 x 19 x 26
Plowing clearance (inches) 18
Plowing depth (inches) 10
Throwing distance (feet) 25
Power source Electric plugin
Engine power 15 amps
Price $
Warranty 2-year

3. Briggs and Stratton 1686715 208cc Gas Snow Blower

Best Gas Single-Stage Snow Blower

This Briggs and Stratton model lacks the power of the SnowShredder, but it is the best gas-powered all-rounder money can buy. It has a 22-inch plowing width, a depth maximum of 12.5 inches, and a 208cc motor that produces 9.5 foot-pounds of torque.

It comes with an electric start for those cold mornings, and the auger is made from a weather-resistant polymer for durability. You also get an auger-assisted drive system, and the chute-mounted handle makes it easy to adjust the direction of the snow when you need to swap sides.

It has mitten-friendly controls to keep your hands warm, and it’s on the lighter side for a gas-powered snow blower, making it easier to control.

Why We Love It

Electric Start

On cold mornings it can be a chore getting your gas-powered snow blower going. Remove that hassle with this electric start function. Simply press the button, and it fires into life, even at -20 degrees.

Great All-Rounder

It won’t win any awards for clearing width and depth, but it is a fantastic general-purpose gas snow blower. It’s reliable and has a powerful 208cc engine that produces 9.5 foot-pounds of torque.

Auger Assisted Drive

Even though this is a lightweight snow blower, you still need all the help you can get, pushing this across your driveway. The auger-assisted drive system works because it makes light contact with the ground, propelling the machine forward.

Keep In Mind

High-End Price Tag

Briggs and Stratton are not a budget snow blower manufacturer. They are top-end machines with all the reliability and performance you would expect. If you are looking at the budget end of the market, go for the Snow Joe.

Additional Specs

Weight (pounds) 93
Dimensions (inches) 33.1 x 25 x 23
Plowing clearance (inches) 22
Plowing depth (inches) 12.5
Throwing distance (feet) 30
Power source Gasoline
Engine power 208cc
Price $$$$
Warranty 3-year limited

4. Snow Joe SJ627E Electric Snow Blower

Best Electric Single-Stage Snow Blower

This is our second Snow Joe snow blower to feature, and this one is bigger in every way. It has a 22-inch width, which is 4 inches wider than the other model, and the maximum depth clearance is 13 inches. That’s 3 inches more.

It throws the snow 25 feet, clears 25 tons of snow every hour, thanks to the 15-amp motor. That’s the equivalent of 840 pounds per minute! You also get two LED headlights so you can keep working even when the light fades.

The chute rotates 180 degrees, and because it’s electric, the motor is about 65 percent quieter than the gas-powered models.

Why We Love It

Wide and Deep

Twenty-two inches is about the maximum clearance width for electric snow blowers. You also get a depth of 13 inches, which is 1-inch more than most top-end electric models can handle.

No-Fuss

The convenience of owning and using an electric snow blower is obvious. You don’t need oil, maintenance, or gasoline, which drastically reduces your annual running costs.

Amazing Price

When you compare the price of this Snow Joe to the Briggs and Stratton snow blowers, you can see why some people are put off paying hundreds and even thousands of dollars. This model is a fraction of the price yet comes with all the convenience.

Keep In Mind

It’s Electric

No matter how you try to sell it, this snow blower will always come up short when comparing gas to electric models. It cannot compete for power, performance, and clearing capabilities.

Additional Specs

Weight (pounds) 34.8
Dimensions (inches) 23.4 x 22 x 26
Plowing clearance (inches) 22
Plowing depth (inches) 13
Throwing distance (feet) 25
Power source Electric plugin
Engine power 15 amps
Price $$
Warranty 2-year

5. Greenworks Pro 80V 20-Inch Snow Blower

Best Cordless Single-Stage Snow Blower

If you want the best of both worlds, with the convenience of an electric snow blower with the go-anywhere capability of a gas model, this is the one to buy. It has a 20-inch plowing width and clears snow to a depth of 10 inches.

You also get a 2Ah lithium-ion battery and a charger, so you can get started straight out of the box. The super-quiet brushless motor delivers greater efficiency, giving you 45 minutes of runtime.

The throwing distance is 20 feet, the chute rotates 180 degrees, and you get 8-inch wheels to aid maneuverability. Storage is also simple, thanks to a collapsible handle, and because this snow blower is cordless, it only weighs 33 pounds.

Why We Love It

Go-Anywhere

Why go through all the hassle of maintaining a gas snow blower just to have a go-anywhere tool. This cordless model does all that without the need for oil or gasoline.

Lightweight

Cordless snow blowers are among the lightest models you can buy. This is important, especially if you suffer from mobility issues or you are an older person with limited upper body strength.

Battery and Charger Included

Why is this such a big deal? You’d be surprised how many cordless snow blowers don’t include the battery and charger, making your overall expenditure increase significantly.

Keep In Mind

It’s Electric

No matter how you try to sell it, this snow blower will always come up short when comparing gas to electric models. It cannot compete for power, performance and clearing capabilities.

Limited Runtime

Unlike gas-powered models, this go-anywhere snow blower has the limitation of a 45-minute runtime before it needs recharging. This will restrict the size of the plot you can clear.

Additional Specs

Weight (pounds) 33
Dimensions (inches) 31 x 21.6 x 37
Plowing clearance (inches) 20
Plowing depth (inches) 10
Throwing distance (feet) 20
Power source Electric battery
Engine power 80V
Price $$$
Warranty 4-year limited

Best Single-stage Snow Blowers Comparison Chart

Product Best Weight Dimensions Plowing clearance Plowing depth Throwing distance Power source Engine power Warranty
Briggs and Stratton 1222EE Single-Stage Snow Blower Best for Wet Snow 98 lbs 36.5 x 23.25 x 24″ 22″ 12.5″ 30′ Gasoline 250cc 3-year limited
Snow Joe SJ623E Electric Snow Blower Best Budget Single-Stage Snow Blower 33.7 lbs 45 x 19 x 26″ 18″ 10″ 25′ Electric plugin 15 amps 2-year
Briggs and Stratton 1686715 208cc Gas Snow Blower Best Gas Single-Stage Snow Blower 93 lbs 33.1 x 25 x 23″ 22″ 12.5″ 30′ Gasoline 208cc 3-year limited
Snow Joe SJ627E Electric Snow Blower Best Electric Single-Stage Snow Blower 34.8 lbs 23.4 x 22 x 26″ 22″ 13″ 25′ Electric plugin 15 amps 2-year
Greenworks Pro 80V 20-Inch Snow Blower Best Cordless Single-Stage Snow Blower 33 lbs 31 x 21.6 x 37″ 20″ 10″ 20′ Electric battery 80V 4-year limited

Single-Stage Vs. Two-Stage Snow Blowers

When you compare the two, on the surface at least, there appears to be little that separates them. Both do the same things, and both look the same, but that is where the similarities end.

Single-stage snow blowers have an auger that scoops up the snow and pushes it into the machine, propelling it out of the chute. It is a simpler process but one that delivers some advantages and disadvantages.

In the plus camp, you get a snow blower that costs less, which is ideal for the budget-conscious among you. Not everyone gets large amounts of snow or has a 6-car driveway that needs clearing.

Sometimes, a smaller snow blower is all that’s required, and single-stage machines cater to that need perfectly. You also get options when it comes to power sources because single-stage blowers can be electric or gas-driven.

Two-stage snow blowers are more powerful and can handle thicker snowfalls. They cost more but are better at clearing larger plots or that 6-car driveway. Because you get an auger and an impeller, they are more efficient, clearing more snow in less time.

Two-stage snow blowers are better suited to domestic and commercial settings, thanks to their enhanced capabilities.

FAQs

What Size of Cord Is Used for Single-Stage Snow Blowers?

Snow blowers generally use a 12-gauge cord because it handles electrical loads more efficiently. Most single-stage snow blowers have motors rated between 10 and 15 amps, with most domestic electrical supplies capable of handling 20 amps.

A 12-gauge power cable will safely handle this amperage up to a length of about 100 feet.

How To Start a Single-Stage Snow Blower in the Cold Season?

There are two ways to do this; using a recoil start or electric start. Recoil starts are more efficient than they used to be. Simply tug the cord, and the engine kicks into life. Ensure the choke is open, especially on the coldest days, as this allows more gas through to aid a cold start.

Some models have an electric start, which takes the hassle out of pulling a recoil cord. Simply plug in the blower to an electrical socket and press the button, and the engine fires into life. Now you can remove the plug and get clearing.

Some models have an onboard battery to aid this but remember that batteries don’t like the cold, so you might not have enough juice in the cell to get it started.

Electric models are the easiest because all they need is a plug socket, and away you go.


Headshot of Mark Weir

About the Author

Mark Weir

Mark spent 24 years working in real estate, so he knows his way around a home. He also worked with contractors and experts, advising them on issues of planning, investments, and renovations. Mark is no stranger to hands-on experience, having renovated his own home and many properties for resale. He likes nothing better than seeing a project through to completion.

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