Electric vs Gas Snow Blower: Which is Right for Your Needs?

electric vs gas snow blower header

If you’re in the market for a snow blower, you may be wondering which model you need. There are upsides to both kinds of snow blowers.

For instance, electric models require less maintenance than gas models and also tend to be much lighter, allowing for easier storage generally being easier on people with bad backs. However, they aren’t as powerful as gas models, and struggle with difficult conditions, like dealing with slushy, compacted, or high snow. They also have to be connected to an outlet with an extension cord, so your range is limited by the cords that you own.

Gas models are more powerful and can clear the tougher snows that the electric models can’t. They tend to be higher maintenance, and more difficult to start, but they also tend to be self-propelled, which makes them easier to use. They’re also much more expensive but is one of those cases where one kind of tool is clearly better than the other. Gas models are better, and they have the price tag to match.

Electric Snow Blowers We Recommend:

Our favorite – Toro 38381

The Toro 38381 is our favorite electric snow blower. It features a lightweight frame, clocking in at only 25 pounds, that is great for people with bad backs. It also has Power Curve technology, which is designed to funnel more snow through the machine on the first pass, reducing the amount of follow-up work you have to do. It also has an extremely quick assembly, meaning you can get to work right after getting the unit.

The one downside to the model is that it is electric, which means it’s meant for lighter duty. If you try to work with deeper snow, you may have to do multiple passes, and you risk lowering the lifespan of the machine. However, if you’re only going to be dealing with lighter snowfall, you’d be hard pressed to find a better electric model.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Power Curve technology
  • Quick assembly
Cons
  • Power

Best for the money – WEN 5662

The WEN 5662 is the best electric snow blower for the money. It is very easily assembled, which means you can get to work right away. In the right conditions, it also throws snow a good distance for an electric snow blower.

However, the right conditions aren’t always what you’re going to be dealing with. If the snow you need to clear is at all wet or slushy, you can expect to have to clear a lot of clogs with this unit. So, the experience you’ll get with this machine varies based on what kind of snow you’re dealing with.

Some people won’t need any more power, while others will need to get a heavier-duty unit. If you’re dealing with light snowfall, this model is an excellent deal.

Pros
  • Quick assembly
  • Good snow throw distance
Cons
  • Struggles with slush

Gas Snow Blowers We Recommend:

Our favorite – Husqvarna ST224 24-Inch

Whether your snow is tall, compacted, or slushy, the Husqvarna ST224 is one of the best models on the market. It has the power to successfully clear difficult snows that other models can’t clear on their own. It’s also self-propelled, so you don’t have to push, as much as follow the unit. However, it only has one reverse gear, which will be too slow for many people.

It also comes with heated handle grips, which are nice in cold weather, and electric start which should mean that you start the engine easily in cold conditions. It also has LED headlights, which are nice for when you have to work, and the sun isn’t up. Overall, this model is one of the best gas-powered snow blowers on the market, able to deal with any snow conditions.

Pros
  • Power
  • Heated handle grips
  • Electric starter
  • LED headlights
Cons
  • Slow reverse gear

Best for the money – YARDMAX YB5765

YARDMAX Two-Stage Snow Blower - 22', 24', 26'
122 Customer Reviews
YARDMAX Two-Stage Snow Blower - 22", 24", 26"
  • 18" snow clearing width
  • Removes snow up to 11" deep
  • Powered by an 87cc 4-cycle engine

It’s amazing that you can get a steel-framed snow blower at this price point, but that’s not all that the YARDMAX YB5765 has going for it. It’s a model with excellent power, plowing through slushy, tall, or compacted snow with ease. If you get the 22-inch version, you won’t get an electric start, though it appears to start just fine without it, even in cold conditions. You could always upgrade to a 24-inch or 26-inch model if you fell you must have the electric start.

The one knock on this model is that it comes less-assembled than other models, which means you may end up spending an hour putting this thing together. That’s more than most people want to spend, but it’s worth it considering the other upsides to this model, and the value it provides for its price.

Pros
  • Power
  • Easy to start
  • All-steel frame
Cons
  • Difficult assembly

Conclusion

The Toro 38381 is our favorite electric snow blower, due to its light weight and easy assembly, while the WEN 5662 is the best electric snow blower for the money, due to its excellent snow throw distance. On the gas side, the Husqvarna ST224 is one of the best models on the market, having more features than most comparable units. The YARDMAX YB5765 is the best gas snow blower for the money, featuring a steel frame at a great price point.

If you have difficult snow conditions with large piles, slushy or compacted snow, you probably need to go with a gas snow blower in order to save yourself some frustration. If you have light snow and need something lightweight, you’re better off with an electric model. Whichever you choose, we hope that this guide has helped you understand your needs and help you match those needs to a model of snowblower that will bring you satisfaction and good work for a long time.

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About the Author Adam Harris

Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!