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Feb 21

Electric Snow Blower vs. Gas Powered Snow Blower

There are a lot of choices that you have to make when buying a snow blowing machine. One of the first things which you need to decide on is whether to get an electric snow blower or a gas powered one. I thought it would be a good idea to use my knowledge on and experience with such machines to come up with a comparison that will help buyers. I have personally used various types of machines to clear the outdoor traffic areas of my hotel in the mountains of British Columbia so I can share useful information from a personal perspective. Let’s focus on the comparison of the two options now.

Electric Snow Blower

Electric Snow Blower

Electric Snow Blower

The electric snow blower uses an electric motor to run. Power is delivered to the motor via an extension cord which is plugged into an electric outlet. All electric machines have one-stage operation. The auger breaks the snow and throws it through the chute. As you can see, these machines are fairly simple to understand.

Pros

  • Easy to Handle and to Steer

    • The electric snow thrower is fairly light and compact. In fact, it compares to a traditional lawn mower. Its small size and small weight make it super easy to carry from place to play. More importantly, the machine is super easy to steer even by a person whose hands are not particularly strong. Another related benefit is that the machine takes a small storage space.
  • No Electric Motor Maintenance Required

    • You do not have to do anything to keep the electric motor in good working condition. This is a great benefit for the modern person who is busy with lots of other things. Additionally, you do not have to use oil and fuel and this makes the overall maintenance and operation even easier.
  • No Exhaust Gas

    • The electric snow blower is environmentally friendly. It has no carbon footprint. I personally think that it is great to contribute to the preservation of the environment on the planet even if the contribution is small.

Cons

  • Difficulties with Handling Heavy Snowfalls

    • The electric snow blower is compact so its cleaning path is not particularly deep. Furthermore, the electric motor is not as powerful as the average gas engine. Due to these factors, the machine may not be able to removed deep and heavy snow especially if it is wet. It may be able to do the job from time to time, but not on a regular basis.
  • Limited Cleaning Range

    • The range is limited by the extension cord, which you use to power the electric snow blower. This is certainly an issue for those with long driveways and walkways.

Gas Powered Snow Blower

Gas Snow Blower

Gas Snow Blower

The gas snow blower is equipped with a gas engine and a fuel tank. There are two types of machines with gas engines. The one-stage machines have the auger throw the snow out of the chute. The two-stage machines have an impeller which sucks the snow picked up by the auger and blows it out of the chute. I will compare the gas powered machines to the electric in the general case.

Pros

  • More Powerful

    • Even the smallest gas powered snow blower is more powerful compared to the electric one. With a more powerful machine, you can handle more challenges such as wet snow and snow which has hardened and bigger accumulations of snow on slopes.
  • Suitable for Moderately Heavy and Heavy Snowfalls

    • Since the gas powered snow blowers are more powerful, they are typically bigger as well. The bigger models have a wider and, more importantly, deeper cleaning paths. This is particularly applicable to the two-stage models. As a result, they can handle snow accumulations which are 23 inches deep and sometimes even deeper. They will be able to handle even frequent heavy snowfalls.
  • More Productively Efficient and Cost-Efficient

    • Since the gas powered snow blowers typically have a wider cleaning path, they can clean a larger area more quickly. You will certainly be happy with fewer passes. Additionally, gas is less expensive compared to electricity especially when you have a large area to clean.

Cons

  • Heavier

    • The gas powered snow blower is heavier than its electric counterpart. This makes it a bit less maneuverable. It will be more difficult for a person who is not particularly strong to handle such a machine.
  • Considerable Maintenance Required

    • This is perhaps the most serious drawback of the two, at least for me. You will have to change the oil and the spark plug frequently. You will have to ensure that you do not go out of fuel and that it does not degrade. Regular cleaning is also required. Generally, if you do these things appropriately, your machine will have a long useful life.

It is up to you to decide whether to go for an electric snow blower or for a gas snow blower. My advice is to consider the weather in your area and the size of your property plus your budget and individual requirements to make the right choice.

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