All-Electric Snow Removal That’s a Breeze


snowblowerClearing away snow has just gotten a charge from Snow Joe, the leading US supplier of over 140 products for snow removal and other seasonal needs.   I got my hands on their latest innovation, a cordless snow blower powered by a 40-volt lithium ion battery, and compared it to their top-selling cord-based electric snow thrower. Snow Joe is the first company to come out with a cordless unit – and it handled our latest carpet of snow perfectly.

We’re always exploring ways to avoid fossil fuels, trips to the gas station and pollution. The Snow Joe made a great addition to our cordless lawn mowers we use to maintain the farm in the summer. While Snow Joe products tend to be marketed to urban and suburban dwellers, our test this past week suggests that they might consider reaching out to rural folks, too.

While not designed to clear an entire farmstead and around outbuildings (that’s for tractors or skid-steer loaders), either unit could be an easy-to-use option to clear paths to buildings or, if your farmstead is small enough like ours, a less cumbersome and eco-friendly way to dig out after a storm and clear a small driveway. Both Snow Joe units were easy to assemble out of the box and both come with a two-year warranty. Impressive are their large metal rotors and thick rubber blades. While they work best on smooth cement or blacktop surfaces, we skimmed the surface of our gravel driveway and they did the job without spitting too many stones everywhere.

Finally, we can leave behind the temperamental and finicky starts resulting from gas-oil fuel mixture-based snow blowers and what to do with disposing of, responsibly, the leftover fuel at the end of the season. I have too many blisters after trying, unsuccessfully, to get our noisy, smoky and gas-powered units going – even when neighbors helped out one year by rebuilding the carburetors. There’s something about the combo of minus five degrees and gas-oil mixtures that seem to guarantee frustration.

Cordless Power

No gas. No cord. The first cordless single stage snow blower available in the US, the Snow Joe iON18SB with its Ecosharp 40-volt lithium-ion battery, served us well on our small homestead in southwestern Wisconsin. The unit is appropriately sized for our locale and needs, since we rarely get more than ten inches of snow at one time.

The iON18SB snow blower, with an 18-inch clearing width, cut through most of our 150-foot-plus-long driveway covered by about five inches of powder before needing to be recharged after about forty minutes of use. This unit threw the snow about twenty feet. We finished off the job with the Snow Joe SJ623E electric unit we tested out as well (see below). Of course, we could have opted for a back-up battery (for around $150) and just kept going.

12/17/2020 9:45:20 PM

I used a Toro Power Curve 120V snow blower (currently $279) for five years, but got rid of it because the motor's commutator shaft kept icing up, causing it to stop. It had to be defrosted and dried out in my basement before storing in the garage again if I wanted it to work reliably. Its blade was also all plastic and therefore non-shock absorbing, which caused some damage to its innards when its blade hit the corner of a patio block. I also got tired of dealing with a 100ft cord which stiffened up in cold weather. Since I already have one 7.5Ahr EGO Power battery for my mower, and another 5Ahr one for my chainsaw, I bought their snow blower without batteries (it needs two) on sale several months ago. I'm still waiting for an opportunity to use it, but a co-worker swears by his. I'll review it once I put some miles on it.

Paul Sikkema
1/7/2014 9:29:18 AM

Nice advertisement for Snow Joe. Did they give you these units to use? May I assume all your paths to the outbuildings are paved, because I have yet to find a single stage unit that will work on turf.

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