Top 7 Best Single Stage Snow Blowers for 2020

best single stage snow blower

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The first snowfall is a thing of beauty and wonder. By the second, you’re probably thoroughly sick of it. Snow is cold, melts and refreezes into ice, blocks driveways and sidewalks, and generally makes it just that much harder to live your life. Short of moving to a tropical island somewhere where snow is a myth, what can you do to make things simpler? A single stage snowblower might be just the ticket. Of course, buying the right snow blower is no simple task. What features should you look for? What capacity do you need? How big should your blower be? These are just a few of the questions you’ll need to answer. Thankfully, we’ve done all the hard work for you. Below, you’ll find the seven best single stage snow blower models for 2020. Take a moment and look through our head-to-head comparison, and then dig into each model with our individual snow blower reviews.

Best Single Stage Snow Blower

 NameStarting WattsPeak WattsRun TimeTank Capacity 
Westinghouse WGen9500DF12,500 watts9,500 wattsUp to 12 hours6.6 gallonsCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
Champion 3400 Portable Inverter Generator3,400 watts3,060 watts
Up to 7.5 hours
1.6 gallonsCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
DuroMax XP4850EH4,850 watts3,850 watts
Up to 8 hours
3.9 gallonsCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
Champion 3800 Portable Generator4,750 watts3,800 wattsUp to 9 hours3.4 gallonsCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
DuroMax XP12000EH12,000 watts9,500 wattsUp to 12 hours8.3 gallonsCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
WEN DF475T
4,750 watts
3,800 wattsUp to 11 hours4 gallonsCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
All Power America APGG12000GL12,000 watts9,000 wattsUp to 10 hours8 gallonsCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
DuroMax XP12000EH5,500 watts4,500 wattsUp to 8 hours4 gallonsCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
WEN DF1100T11,000 watts8,300 wattsUp to 8.5 hours6.6 gallonsCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
Pulsar G12KBN12,000 watts9,500 wattsUp to 12 hours8 gallonsCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

As you can see from the head-to-head comparison above, there are quite a few options out there that could work for you. The best way to find the ideal single stage snow blower for your needs is to dive into the individual models and compare them in greater depth.

Briggs & Stratton 1022ER Single-Stage Snow Blower

Looking for a great entry point to the single stage snow blower market? This is it. Briggs & Stratton is a name that has been synonymous with quality, dependability, and performance for a very long time, and this blower is no exception. It’s even got built-in convenience features to make using it simpler.

This snow thrower measures 22 inches across, making it one of the two largest on our list of the best snow blowers. That’s wide enough to make just about any clearing tasks fast but won’t take up a ton of room in your garage. It is also easy to maneuver around your driveway, patio, or yard.

When it comes to power, this snow blower doesn’t stint, either. It can throw snow up to 30 feet, and the chute turns 200 degrees. The control for the chute direction is mounted on the control handle, ensuring that you can adjust it as you go. That’s not something found with most of the other snow blowers on our best-of list.

You will also find that the wear-resistant, rubber-edged auger clears snow very well – all the way down to the pavement – but also helps to propel the blower forward, meaning that this isn’t a purely manual effort machine!

Pros:

  • 22-inch deck
  • Electric start good for -20 degrees F
  • Handle mounted chute control
  • Clears up to 12 inches of snow
  • Partially self-propelled
  • Powerful 4-stroke engine

Cons:

  • Some assembly required

Snow Joe iON18SB iONMAX Cordless Snow Blower

Brought to you by the same company that manufactures Sun Joe battery-powered lawnmowers, the Snow Joe iONMAX battery snow blower is a powerful contender for your purchasing dollar and ranks as one of the best single stage snow blower models available. It combines lots of features with a battery-powered motor that requires no oil and no gas.

The deck on this blower measures 18 inches. That’s quite a bit smaller than the Briggs & Stratton we reviewed above, but still substantial enough to get the job done. It’s also far lighter than a gas snow blower, weighing in at just 32 lbs.

However, don’t let that diminutive weight fool you. It packs in plenty of power for snow and ice. You’ll be able to throw snow up to 20 feet and clear it down eight inches (by 18 inches) in a single pass. That makes this a great choice for smaller jobs like your walk, patios, decks, and the like.

In addition to a surprising amount of power in a small form factor, this snow blower is backed by a two-year warranty. It also includes the battery charger you’ll need to keep going, although at 50 minutes of operation per charge, you will probably only need one to get it all done.

Pros:

  • 50-minute runtime per charge
  • No oil or gas needed
  • 18” x 8” clearing path
  • 2-year warranty

Cons:

  • Some customers have noted that snow can clog in the chute

PowerSmart PSS1210M Single Stage Gas Snow Blower

The second gas-powered snow blower on our best-of list, the PSS1210M from PowerSmart offers plenty of performance on snow and ice in a larger form factor than the model we just looked. It’s also designed with a rust-resistant exterior to help ensure that it lasts as long as possible, which helps it rank as one of the best single stage snow blower options out there.

With a 21-inch cutting path, you can make short work of even larger clearing projects. It also offers a 12.5-inch intake, so you can move a good volume of snow at once. The 196cc engine is plenty powerful, providing ample clearing, but the body is light enough that the machine is very maneuverable.

Cranking the engine is as simple as pulling the cord (no electric start on this model). Once you’re up and running, it will throw snow as far as 30 feet, helping you get it far away. The directional chute can also be adjusted so you can throw snow in the direction you want.

However, note that this model is not self-propelled. Some customers have found that it can be challenging to push it through deep snow. With that being said, the 4-cycle engine is lauded for its performance and reliability.

Pros:

  • 21-inch cutting path
  • Clears up to 12.5 inches of snow
  • 30 feet throwing distance
  • Adjustable chute
  • 4-cycle engine

Cons:

  • Not self-propelled

Snow Joe iON100V-21SB-CT Cordless Snow Blower

Looking for a cordless snow blower that offers lots of performance with snow and ice and ranks as one of the best single stage snow blowers on the market? The iON100V-21SB-CT from Snow Joe could be just what you need. With a 21-inch intake and lots of power, it’s one of the best options on the market.

In addition to a 21-inch auger, you’ll also find that this snow blower can clear all the day down to the pavement. It’s designed to handle up to 16 tons of snow per charge, so even your larger clearing jobs can get done in record time! Even at the minimum speed, this machine can clear 12.5 tons of snow on a single charge.

Powering the snow blower, you’ll find a 2,800-watt brushless motor. The design is supposed to improve battery efficiency while maximizing overall performance and even extending motor life. There’s also the fact that without a gas engine, this snow blower is whisper quiet – you can clear snow from around the home and never worry about waking the neighbors.

Note that this is just the blower itself. It does not include the battery or the charger, both of which are sold separately. It is backed by a full two-year warranty, though, which offers additional peace of mind.

Pros:

  • 21-inch path
  • Removes 16 tons of snow per charge
  • Quiet operation with no need for gas or oil

Cons:

  • Does not come with the battery or charger

Snow Joe SJ625E Electric Snow Blower

The third model from Snow Joe to make our best-of list, the SJ625E is an electric snow blower, unlike the others we’ve covered. With a 21-inch path, it also features a 15-amp electric motor, allowing you to get as much done as you want without having to stop and charge. If you need a snow blower for mid-size jobs, this is your snow thrower.

The powerful motor is capable of throwing up to 800 pounds of snow per minute. Plus, with a run time that’s not limited by battery life, you can clear even the deepest drifts in record time! Plus, this blower has LED lights – three lights help you see what you’re doing even in the dark.

Underneath, you’ll find a durable steel auger with two rubber blades. These effortlessly cut through up to 12 inches of snow, sending it up through the chute and out away from your home, deck, walkway or drive. The chute is also adjustable, so you can direct the snow where you want as you move the machine.

Like the other Snow Joe snow blowers on our list, this one is backed by a two-year warranty. Note that this is not a battery-powered snow blower. It is electric and requires a connection to a standard household outlet.

Pros:

  • Clears 800 pounds of snow per minute
  • No gas or oil, and no need to charge batteries
  • Clears up to 12 inches of snow

Cons:

  • Requires a connection to an electrical outlet

Briggs & Stratton 1696506 Single Stage Snow Thrower

Struggling with hard, frozen snow that just won’t clear with a regular snow blower? The Briggs & Stratton 1696506 Single State Snow Thrower offers “snow shredding” technology designed to ensure that even tough jobs get done in record time. This snow blower delivers lots of benefits and plenty of power.

With a 22-inch path, it’s one of the two widest on our best-of list. You’ll also find that the auger is designed with serrated teeth, allowing it to bite deep into icy and ice-crusted snow, pulling it in and breaking it up. It also provides a 12.5-inch intake height, so you get ultra-deep clearing with each pass.

There are other things you’ll love about this blower, too. For instance, while you can certainly pull the cord and crank it, there’s a built-in electric start feature designed to make your life easier. It also throws snow 30 feet, so you can clear it and keep it out of the way.

The chute can be adjusted manually or with the control on the handle. You’ll also appreciate the wide chute design, which helps to prevent clogging. Backed by a three-year warranty, this is definitely one to consider.

Pros:

  • Serrated auger for better performance
  • 3-year warranty
  • Push-button start
  • Throws 30 feet

Cons:

  • Some customers report the drive belt breaks easily

Honda Power Equipment HS720ASA Single Stage Snow Blower

Honda is one of the world’s two most trusted engine manufacturers (Toyota being the other), and this single stage snow blower embodies all of the company’s best qualities. It is compact, yet powerful, easy to maneuver and control, and can throw snow up to 33 feet, which is the farthest of any blower on our best-of list.

There are plenty of things to love about this Honda snow blower. One of them is the electric start – just trip it and the blower cranks immediately. Another is the 20-inch path. While that’s not the widest on our list, it is substantial, ensuring that even larger jobs can be accomplished quickly and easily.

Next up, the 190cc, 4-stroke engine is reliable in the extreme, and tolerates cold temperatures like a champ. The auger is made from strong steel and edged with durable rubber, meaning that it is designed to clear snow all the way down to the pavement or wood beneath but won’t damage the surface.

The chute is adjustable. It also features an open-throated design that is supposed to help reduce the chance of snow clogging the machine. You can adjust the chute either by manipulating it directly or by pulling the lever on the blower’s handle. Simple, effective, and powerful, this blower delivers the performance you need.

Pros:

  • 20-inch path
  • 4-cycle engine
  • Electric start
  • Snow throwing up to 33 feet

Cons:

  • Electric start requires an extension cord

Finding the Right Single Stage Snowblower: A Buying Guide

With the best single stage snow blower reviews out of the way, it’s time to turn our attention to more practical matters. Namely, how are you supposed to find the right snow blower for your needs? It can be a daunting prospect. If you’ve never owned a snow blower before, you’re starting from scratch. Thankfully, it really does just come down to having the right information so that you can make an accurate decision. In our buying guide, we’ll explore what you need to know so that you can choose the right model for your needs.

Snowblower Types

We should kick things off with a discussion about the three best single stage snowblower types – gas-powered snow blowers, battery-powered snow blowers, and electric snow blowers. While they all get the job done, they’re far from being identical.

Gas Engine Snow Blowers

Gas engines are the most common snow blowers on the market. They’re also usually the most powerful. On our list of the best options, most of the heavy-duty blowers used gasoline engines. What are the benefits of a gas engine blower?

  • No limit on runtime – when you run out of gas, just refill the tank and keep on going.
  • More power – gas engine snow blowers are more powerful, which means more snow cleared in less time and snow thrown farther (usually).
  • Two starting methods – most of the gas blowers on our list offered two starting methods, a standard pull cord (recoil start) and an electric start.
  • No need to buy other items – with a gas engine blower, you only need the machine, not the battery, charger, or extension cord.

With that being said, gas engine blowers do have some drawbacks that you should consider. These include the following:

  • They’re noisier – while modern snow blowers are much quieter than they once were, gas engine models are still the noisiest of the lot. That may not be a deal-breaker, but it’s something to consider.
  • More maintenance – with a 4-stroke engine, you’ve got oil to change and filters to replace, on top of other maintenance needs to keep your machine in good shape.
  • Exhaust – you might not think about it, but gas-powered snow blowers put out a good bit of exhaust. It gets on your clothes and skin, but also enters the atmosphere, increasing your carbon footprint.

Battery Powered Snow Blowers

Battery-powered snow blowers are becoming more and more common today. They’re also far more powerful and reliable than they once were, allowing them to rival their gas-powered cousins. What benefits might you see with a battery-powered machine?

  • Super quiet – battery-powered snow blowers are super silent. There’s no engine to make noise, just a silent electric motor. The only noise you’ll hear is the auger chomping snow and the sound of snow moving through the chute.
  • Powerful – while they might not have quite the same power rating as gas-powered blowers, battery-powered snow blowers are much more powerful than they once were. If you remember from our list, most of them offered a similar distance of snow throwing and clearing to gas models.
  • No maintenance – there’s no need to change oil or replace oil filters with a battery-powered model. Just attach the battery and you’re up and running.
  • Environmentally friendly – battery-powered blowers are more environmentally friendly to operate. There’s no gas or oil needed, and they create no emissions.

As you might imagine, there are some downsides to going the battery-powered snow blower route. The cons of owning one of these include the following:

  • Cost – for the most part, battery-powered snow blowers are more expensive than gas engine blowers.
  • More to purchase – in some instances, you’ll find that the blower doesn’t come with the battery or the charger, which means you’ve got more to purchase.
  • Limited runtime – most of the battery-powered options on our list have a runtime of around 50 minutes per charge. That’s it. Once depleted, you have to charge the battery before you can clear more snow, unless you purchase an additional battery, which just bumps up the cost.

Electric Snow Blowers

Finally, we have the electric snow blower. These are often very powerful. They’re also lightweight and maneuverable. What other benefits can they offer? Actually, the provide all the benefits that you’ll find with battery-powered snow blowers, without the limited runtime. Because these blowers use an extension cord and an electrical outlet instead of a battery, you can run them as long as you need. The only real drawback with these is that your range is limited to the length of the extension cord you’re using.

one stage snow blowers

Additional Features to Consider

With the three basic types of snow blower covered, we need to look at the features and functionality to find in the best single stage snow blower.

Power Rating

Perhaps the single most critical consideration when choosing a single stage blower its power rating. Manufacturers have several ways they can denote this. For instance, with a gas engine model, it might be engine size (cc). With battery-powered and electric blowers, it’s usually wattage.

While those numbers might be good guides to follow, they don’t really tell you the whole story. Where possible, look for the amount of snow that a single stage blower can throw in a given period. For instance, the final blower on our best-of list is rated for clearing up to 800 pounds of snow per minute. That’s a lot of snow.

Generally, you should assume that snow weighs about 1.25 pounds per inch of depth. So, if a blower can clear a 12-inch depth, that’s 15 pounds per pass. Multiply that by the width of the deck – say 20 inches wide – and you get 300. Then you only need to multiply that by the length of the deck to figure out how many pounds of snow you can throw.

Generally speaking, a single stage blower is a good option for snow up to about a foot in depth and for driveways up to about 60 feet in length. If you get deeper snow than this regularly, or your driveway is significantly longer than 60 feet, you might want to consider a different clearing option, such as a two-stage snow blower or three-stage model, or one that mounts to a truck or tractor.

Path Width

Another critical consideration when buying a new snow blower is the path width. The widest ones on our list were 22 inches wide, which is pretty sizable for single stage snow blowers. Several were 21 inches wide, as well.

However, there were several under that mark, up to about 18 inches, which was the narrowest we covered. Why does the path width make such a difference?

It’s a lot like a lawnmower. The wider the deck, the more grass you can cut at one time. With a blower, the wider the path, the more snow you can clear at one time. It’s all about reducing the amount of time you spend clearing your deck, patio, walkway, and driveway. A narrower path will mean more passes. A wider path will mean fewer.

However, you need to make sure that you pair path width with blower power. A low-powered blower with a wide path won’t necessarily get the work done that much faster. The engine needs time to clear snow from the auger, and if it’s not powerful enough, you may have to stop and unclog the chute pretty regularly. So, the wider the path of the blower, the stronger the engine or motor should be.

Self-Propelled Auger

When it comes to using a single stage snow blower, one of the most critical features to make the work easier is a self-propelled auger. Many snow blowers lack this feature, and you can really tell when it comes time to get out there and start clearing snow. How does it work?

With a self-propelled auger (or a partially self-propelled unit), the auger is equipped with rubber edges that come into contact with the work surface – the driveway, walkway, or patio, for instance. As the auger turns, the edges make continual contact throughout the rotation. The result is that the machine at least partially pulls itself forward. That reduces the amount of effort you need to put in.

You won’t find this feature on all snow blowers, although many of the ones we’ve listed offer partial self-propulsion. Remember – the deeper the snow, the more challenging it will be to push a blower into it to start clearing and the longer the job will take overall.

Chute Rotation

All the single stage snow blowers on our list offered tall, rotating chutes. There’s a reason for this – without the ability to rotate the chute, you’re stuck throwing snow in just a single direction. That’s bad news.

Imagine that you’re blowing your driveway and your chute doesn’t change direction. That’s fine in one direction because that side of the drive is open to your yard. However, on the other side, you’ve got trees and bushes.

You don’t want to bury them under the snow, which might cause serious damage to the branches. The only way around this issue without an adjustable chute would be to make single passes in the same direction, which is just a lot of wasted time and effort. With an adjustable chute, that’s not an issue.

Of course, not all chutes offer the same degree of rotation. As you can see from our best-of list, even top models in the industry can vary between 180 and 200 degrees. If you opt for something that’s not on our list, you might end up with even less, like 90 degrees.

Why does it matter? It’s all about being able to throw snow at the perfect angle for every situation you encounter. You might have one part of the yard where 90 degrees is the optimal option, and another where 180 is better, and yet another where 200 is necessary.

In addition to the ability to rotate, you also need to think about how you’ll rotate the chute. With lower-end models, you can only do that by manipulating the chute itself. That usually means trying to lean forward and grab the adjustment handle while still operating the blower, or releasing the handle. Neither is a great choice.

Many of the single stage snow blowers on our list offer two ways to rotate the chute – via the chute handle itself, and with a lever on the blower handle. The latter allows you to adjust the chute on the fly without having to be a contortionist, or stop what you’re doing. It’s all about easier operation and more productivity with less stress and hassle.

Adjustable Handle

Speaking of handles, you’ll probably want to buy a single stage snow blower with an adjustable handle. Why? Imagine that you’re using a snow blower with a fixed handle that can’t be adjusted. You’re taller than the imaginary “average” height the blower was designed for (or shorter).

If you’re too tall, then you need to bend down to reach the handle. That puts additional strain on your back, arms, neck, and thighs. Simply clearing your drive becomes an exhausting process.

The same is true if you’re shorter than what the handle was designed for. You stretch and strain, putting your body into uncomfortable positions that could ultimately lead to muscle strain and tension. It’s definitely not a good situation in which to find yourself.

With an adjustable handle, neither of those situations is likely to happen. Instead, you adjust the handle to suit your height by pulling it out or pushing it in, raising it higher or setting it lower. It’s all about customization and reducing strain during your snow clearing.

Electric Start

This feature applies only to gas models. Battery-powered and electric snow blowers have this by default. However, if you want a gas snow blower, then this could be a good way to save time and hassle.

With older-style snow blowers, the only way to crank the machine was to pull the starting cord (recoil start). In some cases, you might have to pull the cord three, four, five, or more times. It’s a frustrating process, certainly.

With an electric start feature, you simply press a button or turn a key and the motor cranks. No endless cord pulling necessary! Of course, not all gas snow blowers offer this feature, so if you value saving time and effort, make sure to look for it.

Lights

Finally, we come to lights. They’re one feature you’ll find easy to overlook. After all, most of us don’t really think about headlights when shopping for a snow blower. You should, though.

Winter days start late and the sun sets early. That means available light is pretty limited. Plus, when are you most likely to find yourself outside, cursing the last snowfall? First thing in the morning, while your car is warming up before you head to the office, right?

Headlights are going to be pretty important. If you do a lot of low-light snow blowing, make sure that they’re available on your unit. As a note, LED lights are the better option, as they use less electricity and can last for a decade or longer, reducing your overall cost of ownership.

Snow Blower FAQs

While the buying guide above should help put you on the right path, you probably have some questions that weren’t answered. In an attempt to make this as comprehensive as possible, we’ve included some of the most frequently asked questions about snow blowers below.

What’s the difference between a single stage snow blower and a two-stage snow blower or three-stage blower?

  • The biggest difference between a single stage machine and a two-stage snow blower or three-stage models is that it’s smaller and more lightweight. It’s designed for use around the home, rather than heavy-duty tasks. You’ll also find that “snowblower” only really applies to small, single stage units. Two-stage and three-stage models are usually called “snow throwers”.

How do I store a snow blower when it’s not in use?

  • You should store your snow blower similarly to any other piece of yard maintenance equipment. Drain the fuel tank and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

How do I start a snow blower?

  • This will depend on the type of machine you purchase. With a gas model, you will usually have a pull-start feature, and possibly an electric start option. With a battery-powered blower or an electric machine, you’ll just need to turn them on with the button or switch.

Do snow blowers come with a warranty?

  • Yes, all of the machines we covered in our best-of list include a warranty. However, warranty length varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and from type to type.

Time to Get Clearing!

By this point, you should have a good idea of what the various types of snow blower offer and how they will work for your specific needs. Whether you’re looking for a quick, affordable way to clear snow from your driveway every winter or you also want to help improve the environment, there’s a snow blower that’s perfect for your needs and budget. Take your time, compare size, power, and features, and then make an informed decision.

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