Whether you’re considering a massive two-stage electric snow blower or a petite snow sweeper, there are plenty of ways to clear away snow around your home with the power of electricity.
Battery Versus Corded Options
All of the product categories we’re about to discuss include not only electric and gas variants, but within the electric sub-category, there is a further division between battery-powered and corded models.
In general, most people will be happier with a cordless battery-powered model. While that does introduce the inherent limitations of using a battery power source, it also removes the frustration of being tethered to the wall of your home or garage by an extension cord.
Further, with battery options, you’ll never run the risk of tangling up a line-voltage extension cord in your snow blower while you’re using it.
Finally, like other battery-powered lawn and garden tools, it’s unbelievably inexpensive to operate a battery-powered electric snow blower.
The Four Kinds of Electric Snow Removal Devices
Although we used the term “snow blower” in the title of this article because that’s how most people refer to mechanized snow removal devices, there are actually four classes of devices—each with strengths and weaknesses.
Electric Snow Shovels
Electric snow shovels look like a cross between a regular shovel and a snow blower. They have the general profile of a shovel—long handle, bulk of the weight in the “head” of the shovel—but instead of a shovel head they feature a compact snow-blower-like assembly with a single-stage auger.
Snow Joe 24V 5Ah Electric Snow Shovel
If you don't mind shoveling but you wish it was easier on your back, an electric snow shovel is a great way to lighten the load.
Instead of a chute, like you’d find on a traditional snow blower, they instead churn the snow up into the body cavity and shoot it out the front. It’s like pushing the snow with a shovel, except you get the power boost of the auger spinning and throwing it ahead of you.
Electric shovels are best suited for light snow, as heavy snow combined with the shoot-directly-ahead method quickly creates a pile that can overwhelm the electric shovel.
Electric Snow Sweepers
Snow sweepers, electric or otherwise, are fairly uncommon in residential settings. You’re more likely to see them used by grounds crews than by neighbors, but they’re still a rather novel device. Further, they’re the only snow removal tool in our roundup here that has any use outside of snow removal.
Electric snow sweepers look similar to electric snow shovels. But instead of a miniature snow-blower-like assembly at the bottom of the handle, there is a motor with a large horizontal brush assembly that looks like something stolen from a car wash.
EGO Power+ Power Head and Bristle Brush
If you've ever wanted to brush away snow, or anything else, at thousands of RPM, this is the snow removal tool for you.
When activated, the brush assembly spins rapidly, using a combination of brushing action and turbulence to whisk away light snow.
While completely useless for heavy snow, especially heavy damp snow, electric snow sweepers are great for clearing away light powder that could be swept away, albeit with much more physical effort, using a broom.
Although impractical for heavy snow, they are useful all year round as you can use them to brush debris off your driveway and deck, brush amendments into your lawn, and otherwise use them where vigorous brushing or sweeping would be useful.
If you’re only considering one for brushing away light snowfall and you’re not in the market for a “power broom” or similar product, I’d encourage you to skip the snow sweeper altogether and use an electric leafblower.
A powerful electric leaf blower is also useful all year, will clear a sidewalk of powder snow in seconds, and offers a no-touch way to blast snow off your car.
Electric Single-Stage Snow Blowers
Like gas snow blowers, electric snow blowers come in two forms: single-stage and two-stage. As an interesting aside, single-stage snow blowers are actually called “snow throwers,” if we’re being technical—though hardly anyone uses that phrase.
They’re called that because a single auger mostly just throws the snow up and over from the unit, whereas the secondary auger in the more powerful two-stage models breaks up the snow and launches it much further (often over 50-75 feet away), effectively blowing it away.
EGO Power+ Single-Stage 21-Inch 56V Snow Blower
A wide deck and plenty of torque help this single-stage EGO blower launch snow up to 40 feet.
Single-stage electric snow blowers offer similar features to their gasoline counterparts, although there’s one thing you can always count on: an easy time starting them. All electric models, be they corded or battery-powered, feature push-to-start activation.
Performance, in terms of snow-throwing power, is on par or better than that of a gasoline blower, but runtime (for the battery models) is limited to the size of the battery. Depending on the model, you can expect 20-60 minutes of operation per battery cycle.
A single-stage snow blower is a fine fit for many folks, especially if they have plenty of room near their driveways, sidewalks, and walkways to dump the snow. If you don’t routinely get snow so thick or heavy that you’re risking a back injury shoveling it, a single-stage model should suffice.
Electric Two-Stage Snow Blowers
Two-stage snow blowers are about as effective a snow removal tool as you’ll get short of busting out an actual snow plow.
They have a horizontal auger-like single-stage models to break up the snow. But unlike single-stage models, they don’t rely on the horizontal auger to also eject the snow from the machine. A secondary auger helps fire the snow into the chute and send it flying.
EGO Power+ 24-Inch Two-Stage Snow Blower
This self-propelled two-stage model features a 24-inch deck and enough power to throw snow 50 feet or more.
I have a two-stage electric snow blower that throws snow so forcefully that if I don’t adjust the chute properly, it will put the snow from my driveway on top of my neighbor’s nearby two-story home.
Like single-stage electric models, the biggest limitation is battery life. While I can get enough runtime out of mine to clear my driveway and sidewalk, as well as the driveways and sidewalks of my immediate neighbors, once the battery runs down, the show is over, and you’re stuck waiting an hour or two to charge up all the batteries.
Battery life limitations aside, you won’t want for power. Two-stage models are great for folks who live somewhere that gets a lot of snow, especially wet, heavy snow. Around Christmas of 2022, we got multiple feet of heavy perfect-for-snowmen type snow, and my two-stage electric snowblower chewed through it all like it was cotton candy fluff. The only complaint I had was that I enjoy snow blowing, and if not for the battery life limitations, I would have snow-blowed out the whole neighborhood.
If that’s something you want—the ability to refuel instantly and keep going—we have plenty of gas snow blower recommendations for you.