Feb 05

Snow Blower vs. Snow Shovel

You face a big dilemma – whether to use a snow blower or a snow shovel. The best way to reach a decision is to compare the two options and their benefits and drawbacks. In this article, I will do my best to help you with this.

I have to admit that I have been using a snowblower for years to maintain the outdoor area of my hotel in the mountains of British Columbia, Canada. However, I have considerable experience in using snow shovels as well. I can assure you that I will be perfectly objective when comparing the two alternatives.

Snow Blower

Snow Blower vs. Snow ShovelLet me give you an idea of what a snow blower is first.

This is a machine which has a motor/engine, a scoop, an auger and a chute. The electric motor or gas engine propels the auger. As you move forward steering the machine with the use of an ergonomic handle, the scoop picks the snow from the surface. The auger breaks the snow and throws it through the chute.

In case, of a two-stage machine, the auger delivers the snow to an impeller which sucks it and blows it out of the chute at a considerable distance. Now that you know how the machine works, we can take a look at its benefits and drawbacks.


  • Does the Work for You

    •  This is the main advantage of the snow blower. You do not have to do anything apart from steering the machine into the desired direction. This does not require any particular effort on your part. It is a lot like using a lawn mower. You can use such a machine irrespective of how strong you are.
  • The Snow is Removed More Quickly and Efficiently

    • It has been estimated that a small snowblower can remove up to 650 pounds of snow per minute. This allows you to clear an area of 2150 square feet per hour. This means that you can clean the driveways and any walkways on your property within minutes. At the same time, the machine is designed to scrape the snow from the surface and to expel it from 20 to 30 feet away. You can be certain that the already cleaned snow will never reach the cleaned area again.
  • Deep Snow and Slopes are Not an Issue

    • There are snow blowers capable of removing snow that is up to 23 inches deep and even deeper. Just imagine the effort you will use to shovel snow which is that deep. The two-stage machines, in particular, can remove wet and very heavy snow. They can work on flat and sloped surfaces and on paved and non-paved surfaces.


  • The Price Tag

    • Even the most basic snow blower is more expensive than a shovel so you have to be prepared to invest some money in such a machine. If you think about it, however, the investment is worth it as it will save you time and effort and consequently money for years to come.
  • Maintenance and Care

    • A snow blower requires care and maintenance to stay in good condition. However, these tasks do not require any particular skill, time or effort.

Snow Shovel


Snow Shovel vs. Snow Blower

You are certainly familiar with the traditional snow shovel.

It has a scoop part, which is usually fairly wide, and a handle, which corresponds to the width of the scoop for convenience and greater efficiency.

There are some innovative shovels with wheels for reducing the effort of the user but these do not enjoy huge popularity.



  • It’s Cheap

    • You can expect a snow shovel to cost a lot less than a snow blower. It should be noted, however, that some expensive models are comparable to the cheap machines. Still, a shovel requires no care and maintenance and no fuel or electricity to run and this certainly saves you money.
  • It’s Simple

    • Everyone knows how to use a snow shovel. You just take it out and start scooping the snow and piling it away from the traffic area. The tool does not require any particular care and maintenance or special storage and storage preparation.


  • Hard Work and Injury Risk

    • You will need to put quite a lot of effort in cleaning the snow with a shovel especially if it is deep, heavy and wet. The task may take hours to complete and most modern people do not have that much free time even on weekends. When you use this tool to remove the snow, you put pressure on your arms, lower back and legs. This puts you at risk of strains and even more serious injuries especially if you decide to take breaks in the cold.
  • Incapable of Handling Challenges

    •  Sometimes, it is simply impossible to use a snow shovel to remove hard and deep snow, especially on a hilly terrain. In such cases, you will have to use additional tools plus even more time and effort or call a neighbor who has a snow blower.


I will not draw a conclusion here. You can decide for yourself whether you will be better off with a snow blower or with a snow shovel.

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