With cold days of the year setting right in, it’s time you prep up for the snow. And that’s where snow blowers come in!
If you reside in an area with little snowfall, a snow shovel should get the job done. However, if you see half the driveway covered in snow, you’ll need some heavy machinery to clean it up. To make your job easy, we’re here to tell you all about electric and gas snow blowers.
We understand that snow blowers are a tricky business, and the “how’s” and the “what’s” around them are often a little unclear. The most common question we get is, “Should I get an electric snow blower or a gas snow blower?”
Both the varieties are capable of moving a good deal of snow, but they do so in slightly different ways. Knowing where the difference lies will help you determine which option is best suited for your needs. And that’s what this guide will help you understand.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Electric Snow Blowers vs. Gas Snow Blowers
How Do They Work?
For electric snow blowers, the primary point to keep in mind is a constant power source. They run on electricity, and you’d need a power outlet nearby to operate the device. This is a good option for areas that require minimal clearing of snow and are comparatively smaller in size.
There are quite a few options in the electric category. You can get your hands on one that clears up to 12 inches of snow at one time. Or you can go for one that is small and removes 4-6 inches at a time.
Both these options are suitable for clearing lighter amounts of snowfall. So, you can get one and save yourself from getting a backache due to using a shovel.
On the other hand, you’d need to know a little about gas snow blowers before you decide on buying one. They can be a beneficial tool in areas that receive considerably high snowfall every year. But the catch is that you’d need to know your device well to use it to its best potential.
Gas blowers come in single-stage and dual-stage designs. The blower comes with a maximum clearing capacity of 45 inches in width and 2 feet deep during heavy snowfalls.
Moreover, many varieties of gas blowers are self-propelled. That means you can use them to clear twice as much snow as their electric counterparts but without exerting too much energy.
Electric Snow Blowers vs. Gas Snow Blowers Buyer’s Guide
Snow blowers are a blessing when it comes to cutting down on the amount of time you spend on winter maintenance. Now that you know the basic difference between electric and gas snow blowers, we’re going to review both and compare their features and their pros and cons. This will help you in making a purchase and choosing according to your requirements.
Both come with their sets of upsides and downsides. In this section, however, we’re going to discuss the benefits that both these products bring to the table.
The electric variants are a lot less noisy and eco-friendly than the gas versions as they do not use gas or oil to run. They are a lot lighter too, making them easier to transport. Moreover, these machines start quickly and hence, when it comes to convenience, they do score really well.
Because they are quite easy to use, they are suitable for clearing snow from decks, driveways, and staircases. If you are looking for an option that is inexpensive, easy to carry around and cleans snow off your lawn pretty quickly, an electric snow blower is a good pick.
On the other hand, gas snow blowers are very durable and suited to clear out heavy snow. Also, you won’t need any power outlet and can move around easily with this device. Portability is a big plus when it comes to gas snow blowers.
Further, gas snow blowers are suitable for covering a large area with much efficiency. With this, you can clear large chunks of snow with only one swipe.
Ease of Maneuverability
Before we start talking about this, we’ll break a myth. It is not always true that smaller models of snow blowers are always easy to move around. Electric snow blowers are indeed lightweight, but they are not always easy to maneuver.
This is because some models are very light and cannot grip the pavement in a way they should. Also, they come with a plug and need a power source, thereby restricting mobility to some extent.
On the other hand, gas blowers have more solid contact with the ground and better grip on wheels. But they are indeed quite heavy, and moving them around might be a little problematic. To solve this issue, you can either go for a wheeled variant or put some wheels as accessories to easily move it around.
We’d say that for smaller lawns, the electric models fare better than the gas variants. And if you have a big yard, it’s better that you check out some gas snow blowers.
Also, we’d recommend that you take into consideration the amount of snowfall your area receives. If snowfall is relatively less, you can totally choose an electric snow blower.
If low-maintenance is what you’re looking for, electric snow blowers are the best bet. They are very simplistic when it comes to maintenance. You don’t have to put in any liquids, so that’s one trouble less.
Also, there are no tiny parts to be cleaned. Just a little regular dusting will help your machine run for a long time. Try to store it in a dry place to prevent it getting damaged from damp.
Furthermore, try to keep the cord from getting tangled and away from anything that might lead to fraying. This will ensure longevity. Moreover, because it runs on power, ensuring that the power outlet is functioning correctly is a good idea to avoid any electrical malfunctioning.
On the other hand, gas snow blowers are relatively high-maintenance. Because it runs on unleaded gasoline and oil, you must change it frequently. Also, you must see to it that the spark plug is cleaned regularly and replaced if needed.
Moreover, keep a check on the belts, pins, paddles, air filters, and bolt tightness before you use the machine every winter.
It is true that gas snow blowers are a little high on maintenance. However, the payoff is that it is fairly easy to fix if anything goes wrong with.
However, electric snow blowers, on the other hand, problems are somewhat tricky to fix. And in case something gets damaged, it’s better to buy a new one.
Moving Heavy Load
When it comes to moving heavy loads, it’s a no brainer that you need a machine with more power. And when it comes to high power, gas snow blowers should be your pick.
If your porch is halfway covered with snow, there’s no way that an electric snow blower can do the job. Snow piles at the end of driveways are too heavy a task for an electric model, but a cakewalk for gas snow blowers.
Gas snow blowers come with an impeller that helps to eject heavy snow faster. Also, some variants are designed to speed up the process. And this makes it possible to make cutting through 4 feet of snow feel like slicing a hot knife through butter.
It is true that many people opt for electric snow blowers because they are easy to start, and because they don’t have to deal with the pull-cord. However, you might not know that a lot of gas snow blower models come with an electric start too.
It is true that electric variants are indeed easy to start with just a push of a button. However, the newer gas-powered models are not as difficult to operate as those that came a decade back. Most of the cords on the gas blowers are easy to pull and start with just a try or two.
Also, push-button starts are not unique to just electric snow blowers anymore. It is something that you can get on both electric and gas models now. So, we’d say that this feature shouldn’t be a determining factor before you decide on buying one.
Comparing The Costs
The priciest electric snow blowers comes for around $850. If your property is small and doesn’t get a lot of snow, the electric models are the perfect fit for you.
On the other hand, the gas blowers range from $360-$3,600. This large range is because of the variety in designs, sizes and features that only gas blower models offer. Some can be small and handy as an electric model and some can be very large and suited for heavy industrial purposes.
One word of advice: bigger doesn’t always means better, and cheaper always isn’t easier when it comes to snow blowers.
When you choose electric models, you have to work with snow blowers that do not have the capacity to move very heavy or wet snow. Also, they are not very suitable when it comes to moving large chunks of snow.
Moreover, it isn’t easy to reach every nook and corner around the house with electric snow blowers since they are plugged into a power outlet. In case you do choose to go for an electric option, you can choose a variant that comes with an extension cord. However, we’d not always suggest it because using direct power is the best way to go about it.
Also, when using electric variants, make sure that the power cords don’t get tangled or you might trip and fall on the cord when using it. Additionally, be careful of the amount of load you’re putting on the machine at a time. Too heavy a load may lead to overheating and the cords burning out.
Moving on, apart from being high-maintenance, there’s another major concern with gas snow blowers. They are pretty loud, and you might get frequent complaints from neighbors whenever you’re using them.
Furthermore, they are quite bulky and heavy to use too.
Summing it up, electric snow blowers and gas snow blowers both come with their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. Your best choice should totally depend on the type of work you have to complete.
For smaller areas with less snowfall, electric snow blowers perfectly fit the bill. Whereas, in environments that receive regular and deep snow, a gas blower is more suitable. Also, gas blowers are a better option if you’re looking for easy maintenance and storage.
With this, we have reached the end of this very concise guide. Hope you had all of your questions answered. If you have any more doubts or want to share your experience, please use the comment box below.
Until next time! Take care.