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Canadians are no strangers to dealing with harsh winter weather conditions and sky-high snowfalls. This winter, cities across the country have been hit with record-breaking winter storms, including in parts of Ontario, Vancouver Island and the Yukon. This heavy snowfall has inspired many to swap out their shovels for a snow blower or thrower.
Snow Blower vs. Snow Thrower: What's the difference?
While they essentially perform the same task, snow blowers and snow throwers are, in fact, two different things.
A snow thrower is a single-stage machine, meaning it uses a rotating auger to pick up snow and cast it out of the shoot in one continuous motion.
A snow blower, on the other hand, works in two stages. Similar to a snow thrower, it uses a rotating auger to scoop up snow, but rather than immediately shooting it out, it feeds the snow into an impeller (a powerful fan) which blows it out of the chute.
Do I need a Snow Blower or a Snow Thrower?
There are a few factors to consider to determine whether you need a snow blower or a snow thrower.
Snow conditions: If you don't typically get a lot of snow, a snow thrower may be a better option as they're smaller and less powerful than a snow blower, which means they tend to be less expensive. If you're used to seeing heavy snow conditions, you'll be better off with a snow blower as they're larger, more powerful, and equipped to handle heavy snowfall.
Gas-powered vs. electric: Many snow throwers are corded, meaning you can rely on your home's electricity for power. However, that also means you have limitations on how long the cord is and where you can take your machine. On the other hand, snow blowers tend to be fuel-powered, so you have flexibility on where you can take them, but in turn, they require gasoline and more maintenance than their electrical counterparts.
If you're interested in investing in a snow blower or snow thrower this winter season, scroll down to shop 13 reviewer loved-and-tested snow blowers and throwers under $500, $1,000 and $1,500.
Best Snow Blowers & Snow Throwers under $500
This large electric snow blower delivers the power of a gas machine with the convenience of an electric unit. Earning an average rating of 4.5 stars out of more than 220 reviews, Lowe's shoppers say this budget snow blower is "better than expected" and say it handles "over one foot of snow without a problem."
This cordless snowblower features compact wheels for easy maneuverability in winter-weather conditions and is ideal for quick and painless snow removal on mid-sized driveways and walkways. It's a "mighty snowblower for the size," writes one Canadian Tire reviewer. "I love this little guy. It's so light and easy to move around. [...] I've had a chance to use it in -45 C, and it still lasted over an hour with those cold temperatures."
This user-loved snow thrower features a 180-degree directional chute for manageable snow throwing and an electric start for a hassle-free operation. It has earned an average rating of 4.2 stars from Amazon shoppers who call the design "very lightweight," which is "good for general maneuverability."
With more than 4,000 reviews and an average rating of 4.2 stars, Amazon shoppers say this electric snow thrower is a "time saver" and "much lighter than you realize." The snow thrower boasts a 15-amp motor and can move up to 720 pounds of snow per minute. I "can't believe how good it is," raves one reviewer.
An "Amazon's Choice" pick for electric shovels, this four-star-rated snow blower is a wallet-friendly solution for mid-sized driveways and walkways. It's "more powerful than expected," writes one shopper. "Nice and light" and "easy to move around."
Best Snow Blowers & Snow Throwers under $1,000
This best-selling Briggs & Stratton snow blower is perfect for moderate to heavy snow on medium driveways and pathways. It has a wide 24-inch clearing width and features six forward speeds and two reverse speeds. "Excellent snowblower. Works well and gets the job done quickly," writes one reviewer. "It's even easy to use at night because of its bright LED light."
This top-rated snow blower comes with an 18-inch clearing width and 12-inch intake height, making it ideal for snow with depths of one to eight inches. The Ariens snow blower has an average rating of 4.6 stars from Lowe's shoppers who call it a "snowstorm champ" and "all I hoped for and more."
This reviewer-loved gas snowblower comes with a push-of-a-button electric start and quickly and easily clears up to 18-inches by 12-inches deep snow. With more than 2,300 reviews, Home Depot shoppers say it's a "fantastic" machine. "I love this little guy. It's light enough to muscle around but still has plenty of power to handle the biggest snowfalls."
With an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 2,300 reviews, Lowe's shoppers say this Ego Power unit is a "great snow blower" with a "great battery life." The cordless snow blower is as powerful as gas and combines the power of any two Lithium-ion batteries to clear heavy, wet snow with ease. "It did our entire driveway, walks, neighbours walks, 50 metres of sidewalk across the street to the mailboxes, and parts of neighbours driveways too — and still showed about 25% charge remaining. WOW!"
This reviewer-backed snow blower offers up to 30 minutes of continuous runtime on a single 5.0 Ah battery charge. Its maximum auger speed moves up to 16 tons per charge, delivering fast and efficient snow removal. "I bought this battery-powered snow blower this past December, and it hasn't disappointed," writes one shopper. "In fact, it has far exceeded my expectations. Dare I say it, it's better than any gas-powered snow blower I've owned."
Best Snow Blowers & Snow Throwers under $1,500
This supersized snow thrower features a 27-inch wide clearing path with a 20-inch intake height, perfect for large driveways and heavy snowfalls. With an average rating of 4.3 stars out of 600 reviews, Amazon shoppers are "so impressed" by the Briggs & Stratton unit, saying it "cuts through chunks and icy snow easily."
This cordless two-stage snow blower delivers the power and performance of gas without the resulting noise, fuss or fumes. With an average customer rating of 4.5 stars, Lowe's shoppers say it offers a "fantastic performance." Storms are "no problem for this snow blower," writes one shopper. "I was actually shocked as my old gas blower didn't have the power to get through the plow drift at the end of the driveway. If you're hesitant or have doubts, forget about them. This snow blower is awesome. Till the next storm!"
The PowerSmart two-stage snow blower cuts through tough snow and keeps it away from the chute to prevent clogging while blasting snow and throwing it up to 40ft. "You cannot beat this snow blower," raves one Amazon shopper, saying it's worth the money, and they "would buy it again."