Electric vs Gas Snow Blowers
The three main types of snow blowers you can invest in this winter are corded electric, cordless electric and gas-powered blowers. Although they have their advantages and disadvantages, they’re all powerful, capable devices for blowing snow out of your driveway and walkways.
To help you choose which one to go with, follow our guide comparing the different snow blower types. This information should help you decide which type best suits your needs this winter season.
Electric vs Gas Snow Blowers: What Are Their Limitations?
Unfortunately, if you have a particularly long driveway or live on a corner lot, a corded electric snow blower will probably not be the best bet for you. Generally speaking, you'll need a longer cord to cover your long driveway. You will usually require at least a 12-gauge power cord. The power cord itself will need to be rated for the cold weather - standard power cords become brittle at low temperatures, and the cable insulation may break.
However, it truly depends on how much area you need to cover. If you get the correct extension cord, you shouldn’t have too many problems. Another factor to consider: the corded electric type is the cheapest of all the snow blowers available.
Gas or cordless electric snow blowers are the best bet for longer driveways and walkways. Gas blowers run time is only limited by how much gas they can hold. If you choose a cordless electric blower, the run time is limited by how much charge the batteries can hold, and how long it takes to recharge them. Generally cordless blowers will run for 30-45 minutes on a single charge. It can take anything from 30 minutes to 4 hours to recharge the batteries, depending on the model.
If you have a long driveway or walkway that isn’t close to an outside outlet, a gas or cordless snow blower will be a better choice than a corded electric model.
How Does Their Maneuverability Compare?
A common myth about the maneuverability of snow blowers is that smaller models are easier to move around with. However, even though some smaller electric snow blowers are lightweight, doesn’t always mean they’re easy to maneuver.
In fact, large two-stage, gas-powered snow blowers are usually self-propelled. This can make them easier to maneuver in some ways, thanks to their driven wheels (and power steering if fitted). Due to this, larger gas models may be as simple to use and move around as smaller electric ones. Certainly, if your driveway is sloped or has many corners, you should consider a self-propelled snow blower.
Can Each Move Large Amounts of Snow?
Moving large amounts of snow, especially wet or slushy snow, takes a lot of power. This is where a gas-powered snow blower is going to help you out since they can output more power than electric models. Plus, gas-powered two-stage snow blowers have an impeller built-in to eject snow faster from the device. The impeller moves snow much faster than electric one-stage models.
What About Each Device's Clearing Width and Intake Height?
Electric-powered snow blowers are not currently built to move snow wider than 24 inches or deeper than 13 inches. However, gas-powered snow blowers have a maximum clearing width of 45 inches and a maximum intake height of 23.4 inches, which is nearly double electric models.
How Does the Push to Start Button Compare?
Most people think that electric-powered snow blowers start up easier than gas-powered ones because you have to pull a cord. However, most gas-powered snow blowers now have an electric push to start button in addition to a pull cord.
In case you can’t connect your gas snow blower to the mains in order to start it, a modern gas-powered model is still easier to start up than before, only requiring one to two pulls of the cord. In fact, many people find that pulling their snow blower cord is easier to do than to plug in their device and push the start button.
However, since both models, electric and gas, feature push to start buttons, it shouldn’t be a leading deciding factor when choosing which one to get.
What Does It Take to Upkeep Each Snow Blower Type?
Although gas-powered snow blowers may have seemed like the go-to device so far, this is where the tables turn. Compared to their gas-powered counterpart, electric snow blowers don’t need new spark plugs, gas, or oil changes. In fact, the only upkeep you really need to do is clean off the machine, such as wiping down the auger or any other part of the blower when it gets dirty.
Gas-powered snow blowers, on the other hand, require frequent gas fill-ups, oil changes, filter changes, spark plug replacements, and cleaning.
How Do The Costs Compare?
Electric-powered snow blowers usually max out at $800, meaning they’re overall the least expensive out of the two. If you generally don’t have a whole lot of driveway or walkway to clear snow from, this is clearly the best option for you.
However, gas snow blowers max out at around $3,500, making them the more expensive option compared to their electric counterpart. The price comparison varies depending on what features, model, size, and style you get. If you have a large walkway and driveway to clear snow from and don’t care about spending the extra money, this is the right choice for you.
No matter what kind of snow blower you choose, gas or electric-powered, they’re both great machines for clearing snow. They both have their pros and cons and can fit any need you have. Hopefully, our guide could help you make your final decision on which snow blower to get this winter season.
To learn more about which type of snow blower is best for you, watch this YouTube video: