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Snow blowers

What's behind our snow blower Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 112 models in snow blowers to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    Overall score is based mainly on removal speed, distance, surface cleaning, controls, and handling.
  • Width
    The clearing width, or swath, in inches.
  • Removal speed
    Removal speed is how quickly models could remove snow without laboring; single-stage machines were pushed as quickly as possible before the machine labored.
  • Plow pile removal
    How fast the snow thrower can remove a simulated pile of snow left by a municipal plow at the end of a driveway.
  • Throwing distance
    Throwing distance is how far snow was dispersed straight ahead, left, and right with the discharge chute set for maximum distance. Measured distances ranged from roughly 10 feet to more than 30 feet.
  • Surface cleaning
    Surface cleaning denotes how much snow the machines left on our blacktop surface after clearing with the skid shoes and/or scraper set for best clearing. The best in the test left a thin dusting; the worst left a relatively thick coating.
  • Handling
    Handling denotes ease of pushing, pulling, and steering with the engine or motor on and off, as well as how straight machines track while clearing.
  • Noise
    Sound pressure measured in dBA at the operator's ear. Used to determine the need to use hearing protection during operation. For a rating of less then "good", the use of hearing protection is strongly advised.
  • Controls
    Controls include ease of discharge-chute adjustment, handle height and comfort, and engine controls and speed selection.

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Recommended snow blowers

Recommended snow blowers are standout choices with high scores. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices, weigh features, price, and attributes that matter to you.
  • Buying Guide
  • Price & Shop
Bigger, better, and friendlier are the terms that best describe the latest snow blowers, also called snow throwers. The new models feature easier steering and more convenient chute controls. If you're looking for information about snow blowers, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports’ snow blower reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust. Use our snow blower buying guide to discover which features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased Ratings and snow blower reviews to help you choose the best snow blower for your needs.

Recently reviewed snow blowers

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88396
This 30-inch, two-stage Craftsman includes electric chute control, a joystick-like switch activated by thumb for quick and precise chute control, electric start, freewheel steering, single-hand controls, and LED headlights.

Snow blower buying guide

larger storms are spawning bigger, brawnier snow blowers. But you needn't buy the largest, widest model to get competent clearing. You'll find smaller, easier-handling machines for smaller driveways, and midsized models that can handle the occasional heavy storm. Large or hilly drieveways and consistently deep snow demand a larger now blower with power-driven wheels, however. Use this snow-blower guide to find the right model for your needs.

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