When the cold winter winds start blowing it’s inevitable that the snow will start flying before long and that means having to clear the snow from your driveway.
You could stick with the traditional handheld snow shovel, but that can be back breaking work.
If you’d rather stay away from the gas guzzling snow blower due to concerns about the environment there are alternatives.
In this article we’re going to take a look at the best electric snow shovels on the market.
In our electric snow shovel reviews you’ll find all the information you need to make a good decision when it comes time to make your purchase.
There are some clear benefits to opting for the best electric snow shovel aside from the obvious fact that they’re an environmentally friendly alternative.
You can shovel your driveway and walkways knowing you’re not polluting the air around you, but you also don’t have to worry about fuel – all you need is an available outlet and an outdoor extension cord.
Before we dive into the individual electric snow shovel reviews we’ll go over the features to look for as you set about finding the right snow shovel for your personal needs.
There aren’t too many electric snow shovels that can handle heavy snow and it’s important to keep that in mind.
That’s one key drawback of an electric snow shovel vs. a snow blower.
It really comes down to where you live.
If you live in an area that generally only gets light snow in the winter an electric snow shovel will suit you just fine.
We’ll consider this as we go and our individual reviews will indicate how much snow each snow shovel can actually handle.
The best way to benefit from a product review is to have a clear understanding of the things you’re looking for before you read them.
Each electric snow shovel we review has the same basic features, but some of them perform better than others.
Understanding what the minimum expectations should be makes your buying decision that much easier.
1. Snow Per Minute
A snow blower whether it’s manual, gas, or electric has to be able to keep up with the amount of snowfall you expect to be faced with in your area.
That can be a challenge for an electric snow shovel – especially if you live in a northern climate with significant snow falls.
When purchasing an electric snow shovel one thing you should be playing close attention to is how much snow it can move in a minute.
At a minimum it should be able to move a few hundred pounds or you’re probably better off sticking with a manual shovel.
Anyone who’s ever had to shovel large amounts of snow in a short period of time knows how much work it can be.
When you’re using an electric shovel you’re transferring some of that workload to the shovel by use of electric power – it needs to be powerful enough to handle the workload.
You don’t want a shovel with a tiny electric motor that will burn out after just a couple of uses.
That’s why you need to pay close attention to the amount of amps which is an indicator of how powerful the electric motor is.
Typically electric snow shovels range between 5 and 15 amps.
If you live in a heavy snowfall area a 5 amp motor will not get the job done.
3. Path Width
Whenever I’ve shoveled a driveway with a manual snow shovel I inevitably end up a little frustrated with how many passes I have to make up the driveway before it’s cleared.
It can be a lot of work.
Obviously the wider the path that your electric snow shovel handles with each pass will determine how long it takes you to get the job done.
The best rated electric snow shovels will clear a path in excess of 16 inches with each path, but there are some that cut a path that’s only about 4 inches.
These types of shovels may be more appropriate for clearing walkways than driveways.
4. Throwing Distance
One of the most frustrating things about using an old manual snow shovel is that you have to pick up each shovel of snow and deposit it in the snowbank – it can be back breaking work.
The great thing about an electric snow shovel is that it eliminates the need to have to lift the snow.
The snow shovel actually throws the snow off the path for you.
How far it throws the snow is of key importance.
For most typical driveways you’ll want a snow shovel that can throw the snow at least 10 feet if you want to remove it from the driveway completely.
5. Wheels and Base
Something that may not get a lot of consideration by people considering the purchase of an electric snow shovel are the wheels – it should.
Tiny little wheels with no traction aren’t ideal for a machine that has to push through slippery snow, but unfortunately there are plenty of poorly built electric snow shovels that don’t come with very good wheels.
It’s a good idea to look for an electric snow shovel that’s equipped with decent size wheels that have tires built for traction.
Some electric snow shovels have a very basic design – they really are just an electric version of a shovel with a small motor that powers an auger to throw snow so you don’t have to.
You can’t direct which way the snow goes – it just gets thrown in front of you.
Higher end electric snow shovels have chutes on them that allow you to direct which way the snow is thrown.
This is advantageous because it lets you direct the snow off to the side so that you don’t have to go over the same snow as you move forward.
7. Overall Mobility
A great thing about an electric snow shovel vs. a snow blower is that it’s considerably lighter.
That has a lot to do with the fact that it doesn’t have a heavy internal combustion engine to weigh you down.
Electric motors don’t have as many moving parts making them much lighter.
As a result, even the largest electric snow shovels are much lighter and easier to maneuver than a gas powered snow blower.
It has a modest 7.5 amp motor so it’s not equipped to handle heavy duty work, but it’s ideal for the walkways and steps.
This is the perfect backup if you have a larger snow blower that’s too large to use on those narrow walkways, but unless you’re dealing with trace amounts of snow in the winter you probably don’t want to use this model as your primary snow mover.
This shovel removes a 12 inch path of snow with each pass and is rated to handle snow that’s up to 6 inches deep.
By most accounts that’s a bit of an inflated estimate and it’s better suited to handling a couple of inches of snow at a time.
On average it will remove about 300 pounds of snow per minute, which is not too bad.
This is a corded model so you will need to have a power outlet nearby and an outdoor extension cord long enough to reach your whole driveway.
That means you have to be careful to keep the cord out of your path, but that’s not a major issue once you get used to it.
One major plus is its weight – it weighs in at just over 12 pounds making it easy to work with.
On the downside it really is just an electric version of a shovel.
There’s no chute you can direct so the snow simply gets thrown in front of you which means you may have to remove the same snow more than once as you go.
It also doesn’t have a great reputation for longevity. The warranty covers you for two years and a few customers have complained you don’t get much more out of it than that.
Moves a 12 inch path with each pass
Rated for up to 6 inches of snow
Light weight construction
Moves about 300 pounds of snow per minute
Cord can get in the way
Really not good for more than 2 or 3 inches of snow
May need to be replaced in 2 or 3 years
GreenWorks 16-Inch Corded Snow Shovel (26022)
For those of us that live in an area with more than a couple of inches of snow the Greenworks 26022 is a better option than some of the smaller electric snow shovels on the market.
This model has respectable 10 amp motor designed to handle a little bit of heavy lifting.
In most areas of moderate snow fall this machine will do the job just fine.
This Greenworks snow shovel clears a nice wide 16 inch path with each pass which means you can spend a little bit less time shovelling your driveway and a little more time doing the things you’d really like to be doing.
It’s also rated for clearing snow that’s up to 6 inches deep and the majority of feedback suggests that it is generally up to the task.
All of this adds up to about 600 pounds of snow moved each minute which is more than enough for most needs.
One of the few drawbacks of this mower is that it is corded. That means you do need an outlet and a nice long cord. It’s an unavoidable problem for most electric snow blowers.
That being said, this model does have clips that keep the cord out of your way as you go.
There’s no chute on this snow shovel, but it does have fins that can be set on a slight angle. This allows you to discharge the snow off to the side and does work pretty well.
It is somewhat heavier at 26 lbs, but still much lighter than a gasoline powered model.
It also comes with an impressive 4 year warranty which is well above industry standard.
Moves a 16 inch path with each pass
Rated for up to 6 inches of snow
Includes directional fins
Moves about 600 pounds of snow per minute
Cord can get in the way
A little heavy at 26 pounds
Snow Joe iON13SS 40-volt Cordless Snow Shovel
Our reviews wouldn’t be complete without at least one cordless option and one of the best choices on the market is the Snow Joe iON13SS.
This model is powered by a 40 volt lithium-ion battery and that gives it a surprising amount of power.
It stands up quite well against some of the corded electric options on the market.
The battery lasts up to 52 minutes on a charge depending on how much work you’re putting it through and that’s more than enough for most driveways.
This isn’t powerful enough to handle heavy snowfalls, but it’s ideal for a couple of inches and for using on your sidewalks, walkways, and decks.
The reason why we’ve chosen this as the best cordless electric snow shovel is because it offers a pretty decent overall package of features.
It’s clearing path is only about 13 inches though, so you may have to make a fair number of passes if you have a large driveway.
On the positive side it can throw that snow about 25 feet which should be more than enough to get it out of your way.
While it is supposed to be able to handle up to 6 inch deep snow, it works best when the snow is no more than 3 to 4 inches deep.
It will also clear about 300 pounds of snow per minute.
You might think that a battery powered snow shovel would be fairly heavy, but this model weighs less than 15 pounds.
That’s a nice comfortable weight to work with.
Unfortunately there is no directional chute, but as we mentioned already it does throw the snow a fair distance.
It comes equipped with a 2 year warranty which is fairly standard.
Perhaps one of the biggest complaints with this cordless electric snow shovel is that the initial assembly can be a little difficult.
Moves a 13 inch path with each pass
Rated for up to 6 inches of snow, although better with less than 4
Weighs less than 15 pounds
Moves about 300 pounds of snow per minute
Limited to 52 minutes of battery time
Assembly can be difficult
Power Smart DB5023 Electric Snow Thrower
If a simple powered snow shovel isn’t powerful enough for the job you have in mind you may want to step up to the Power Smart DB5023.
This electric snow thrower has a powerful 13 amp motor driving it forward, making it powerful enough to move a lot of snow.
This model is easily capable of replacing your gas guzzling conventional snow blower at a fraction of the price.
At the price of this model you may even want to consider having a smaller electric snow shovel for your driveway and walkways and this more powerful machine for clearing off your driveway – you’ll still be spending less than you would on a half decent gas powered snow blower.
One of the biggest criticisms you’ll find with even the best electric snow shovels is that they just don’t cut a wide enough path.
That means you have to make a ton of passes to clear all the snow off of your driveway.
That’s not the case with this Power Smart snow thrower.
This model cuts a path 18 inches wide with each pass making short work of shovelling most driveways.
It’s also recommended for use on snow that’s up to 9 inches deep so it can handle most typical snow storms as long as you keep on top of it.
This is a corded snow thrower so you do have the same limitations of some of the other products we’ve reviewed on this page. You will need an available outlet and an extension cord to use this.
If you want to go with a more environmentally friendly option though that you don’t have to constantly recharge it’s something you do get used to.
What really makes this corded electric snow thrower stand out though is the extra features it comes with.
It has a chute you can use to direct the snow in either direction or straight ahead – the choice is yours.
The chute is also capable of throwing snow up to 30 feet which makes sure no remnants are left behind on the driveway.
For a more powerful machine it’s still relatively light weight at just 37 pounds.
The warranty is a little disappointing though at just 1 year and some customers have complained that quality of the parts is not the best so this is a concern.
Moves an 18 inch path with each pass
Clears up to 9 inches deep of snow
Relatively light at just 37 pounds
Includes directional chute that throws snow up to 30 feet
This one comes equipped with a 13 amp motor that can handle deeper snowfalls without over heating which makes it a good replacement for your manual snow shovel or gas powered snow blower.
Instead of making dozens of passes up your driveway with a small electric snow shovel the WEN 5662 cuts a nice wide 18 inch path with each pass.
That will reduce your shovelling time by up to 1/3 when compared to other models.
It works well as long as the snow you’re trying to shovel is no more than 7.5 inches deep. After that the machine tends to bog down making it difficult going.
You can also move about 490 pounds of snow per minute with this snow thrower.
One of the key drawbacks of this machine is that it does have a cord which means dragging out your outdoor extension cord every time you want to use it.
On the plus side you don’t have to worry about running out of fuel as long as you have an available outlet you’re good to go.
Compared to a gas powered snow blower this model is very light weight at less than 40 pounds and it’s a lot more affordable.
This snow thrower retails for under $200 while a typical gas powered model will easily run you several hundred or even a thousand dollars.
It also includes a chute which can be rotated a full 180 degrees so you can choose where the snow goes. It will throw the snow up to 20 feet.
It comes with an industry standard 2 year warranty as well.
A word of caution though, it does have a reputation for bogging down in heavy snow so it’s best to make a couple of trips out during a snowfall so you’re not moving more than 3 or 4 inches of snow at a time.
Clears an 18 inch wide path with each pass
Capable of clearing up to 7.5 inches of snow
Weighs less than 40 pounds
Moves 490 pounds of snow per minute
This is a corded snow thrower
Bogs down when faced with snowfalls more than 3 or 4 inches
The Bottom Line
There are many reasons to choose an electric snow shovel over a gasoline powered model.
They’re certainly more affordable and there’s no doubt they have a much more positive effect on the environment.
That being said the cord can be a bit of a pain to work around and they aren’t really suitable for deep heavy snow.
If you live in an area with light to moderate snowfalls though and you want to switch to an environmentally friendly option a good electric snow shovel will get the job done nicely.