In this article, we’re looking at the best single-stage snow blowers available in 2020. Single-stage snow blowers – also known as snow throwers – are an affordable option and there are lots to choose from on the market today.
Here are the best single-stage snow blowers 2020:
- Toro Power Clear 721 E
- Toro SnowMaster 824 QXE
- Toro Power Clear 518 ZR
- Honda HS720AA
- Craftsman SB210
- Toro Power Clear 821 QZE
- Briggs & Stratton 1696715
1. Toro Power Clear 721 E
The best value single-stage snow blower
The Toro Power Clear 721 E 21-inch snow blower is our pick for the best value single-stage snow blower available today. It isn’t the cheapest on the market, but it is priced reasonably and it’s packed full of features. It’s priced under $600, it’s self-propelled and it’s equipped with an easy electric starting system, so you won’t have to struggle to get it moving. This Toro model also comes standard with a 2-year warranty.
The manufacturer hasn’t sacrificed power either to keep this model priced low. It features a powerful 212 cc gas-powered engine. When you combine that power with Toro’s Power Curve Technology, this thing slices through the snow with ease. It’s capable of throwing powder up to 35 feet, so you won’t have to worry about making extra passes to clear the way. With a 21-inch clearing path, this snow blower is great for driveways of all sizes.
We did run into a couple of issues with this machine though. On occasion, you may find some snow seeps out the back of the machine instead of making its way through the chute. This can cause a bit of a mess and you may have to make an extra pass to clean it up. Also, it’s important to double-check everything is securely attached to your machine when you get it home as it’s not uncommon to find some parts are loose-fitting when you first take it out of the box.
What we like (and don’t like) about the Toro Power Clear 721 E:
- 21-inch cutting path.
- Easy electric start.
- Powerful 212 cc engine.
- Snow may seep out if the back of the machine.
- Parts are not always secured properly in transit.
While the Toro Power Clear 721 E isn’t a perfect machine by any means we found it to be the best value for money on the market today. We were impressed with its power and the easy electric start is great for saving your shoulders from extra stain. When you combine these things with a 21-inch clearing path you get a nice package for a machine priced under $600.
2. Toro SnowMaster 824 QXE
The best high-end single stage snow blower
There’s always one product that rises to the top in any product category. If you’re not too concerned with budget and you want all of the best features we think the Toro SnowMaster 824 QXE stands out as the clear winner as the best high-end single-stage snow blower available in 2020. This machine has everything you’re looking for including push-button electric start and it’s still priced under $1000. It also comes with an impressive 3-year warranty.
The range of features included with this model will surprise you. Let’s start with the 252 cc engine which is one of the most powerful in this class of snow blower. The 824 QXE can throw snow up to 45 feet and it’s equipped with Quick Stick chute control, so you can direct it in whichever direction you desire. This machine is also self-propelled and Toro has included a Personal Pace System, so that it automatically adjusts to match your walking pace.
On the downside, you will pay a little more for this machine than other single-stage snow blowers on the market at around $800. We should also point out that this machine is quite heavy at about 131 pounds, so you probably won’t want to try lifting it by yourself. It also leaves about 1/2 an inch of powder when you make your first pass, so you do have to make a couple of passes if you want to clear all of the snow from your driveway.
What we like (and don’t like) about the Toro SnowMaster 824 QXE:
- 24-inch cutting path.
- Easy electric push start.
- Self-propelled with Personal Pace System.
- Powerful 252 cc engine.
- A bit pricey at more than $800.
- Weights about 131 pounds.
- Leaves about 1/2 an inch of snow behind.
The Toro SnowMaster 824 QXE stands out as the best high-end single-stage snowblower around. Its powerful 252cc engine makes cutting through deep snow a breeze and it cuts a 24-inch path with each pass. It is a little on the heavy side, but we feel the self-propelled feature with Personal Pace System easily compensates for this minor issue.
3. Toro Power Clear 518 ZR
The best budget single-stage snow blower
In the budget category, we’ve chosen the Toro Power Clear 518 ZR as the clear favorite. This machine retails for under $400, but you still get a lot of snow clearing power for the money and it clears a respectable 18-inches of snow with each pass. As always, Toro stands by their product with a full warranty – in this case, 2-years.
The 518 ZR can throw snow up to 25 feet which is more than enough for most homeowners. You also have full chute control with this model, so you can choose which direction the snow will be directed. This snow blower has a compact design and can fold for easy storage making it ideal if you don’t have a lot of space in your shed or garage. Weighing just 54 lbs, it’s also easy to lift if you’d prefer to store it up and out of the way on a shelf.
As you might expect with a budget model this isn’t the most powerful machine. It has a less than impressive 99 cc engine. That means that it will get bogged down in heavy, thick snow. This machine is best for light snowfalls, but you should be okay in a heavier snowfall if you’re willing to make frequent trips out into the cold during a more serious storm.
What we like (and don’t like) about the Toro Power Clear 518 ZR:
- Respectable 18-inch cutting path.
- Weighs just 54 lbs.
- Directed chute control.
- Priced under $400.
- Less than impressive 99 cc engine.
- Not ideal for large snowfalls as it will bog down.
There are better machines than the Power Clear 518 ZR on the market, but none that are priced as competitively for the features you get with this snowblower. It cuts an 18-inch path with each pass and can throw snow up to 25 feet. For most homeowners, that’s good enough to get the job done. It’s also quite lightweight at just 54 lbs.
Just remember, this isn’t a powerful machine at just 99 cc’s, so if you live in an area with heavy snow in winter you may want to opt for a slightly more expensive model with more snow moving power.
4. Honda HS720AA
Another amazing option for under $1000
For us, it was no surprise to discover that a Honda snowmobile happened to be one of the best single-stage snow blowers under $1000. The Honda 20-inch HS720AA single-stage gas snow blower is in a class by itself. This machine cuts through the snow like butter, clearing up to 55 tons per hour and it can throw it up to 33 feet. Equipped with a reliable and powerful 190 cc Honda engine this snowblower is well-made. It also comes with a full 2-year warranty.
It is the attention to the small details that make this model such a worthwhile purchase. The chute has a 204-degree turning radius for maximum versatility and is easy to control using the Snow Director system. The HS720AA also has an easy start engine and it runs on regular gas so you never have to worry about mixing gas and oil. It cuts a nice and wide 20-inch path and it can easily handle up to 12-inches of snow at a time.
There are a couple of things that aren’t as impressive about this Honda machine. For one, there are less expensive snow blowers with wider clearing paths. It also lacks headlights, so you will need another source of light if you’re planning on clearing snow at night with this snow blower. You will also notice a lot of noise and vibration when using this machine.
What we like (and don’t like) about the Honda HS720AA:
- Good size 20-inch clearing path.
- 190 cc Honda engine.
- Snow Director 204 degree chute control.
- Handles up to 12-inch deep snow.
- Not the widest clearing path.
- No headlights.
- Lots of noise and vibration when operating.
Overall, we think the Honda HS720AA is great value for a snow blower under $1000. You get the reliability of a Honda engine that makes snow clearing a breeze and you can clear up to a 20-inch path with every pass. We do wish it had headlights and we could do with a little less noise and vibration, but for the most part, this is a great machine.
5. Craftsman SB210
A good affordable option at under $500
As we worked our way through reviewing the best single-stage snow blowers on the market for 2020 we were surprised at the number of good ones available at a reasonable price. The Craftsman SB210 is a great example. This is our pick for best single-stage snow blower under $500. The wide 21-inch cutting path was the second thing that caught our eye after the great price tag, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the great features that come standard on this machine.
The SB210 has easy chute control, allowing you to adjust the angle of the chute up to 190 degrees. It also has a 123 cc engine which is more than enough power to cut through normal snow conditions. This snow blower has a compact design as well, so that you can store it even with only limited space available. At 97 lbs, it isn’t overly heavy for a gas-powered machine either. We also like the fact that you can use regular gas – you don’t have to worry about mixing it with oil.
We didn’t like everything about this Craftsman snow blower though. It is a pull start machine, so it can be a bit of a problem if you have any shoulder issues. It’s also not the best for deep snow. We recommend using this snow blower when the snow is no deeper than 6-inches if you don’t want it to get bogged down.
What we like (and don’t like) about the Craftsman SB210:
- Wide 21-inch cutting path.
- Decent 123cc engine.
- Easy chute control up to 190 degrees.
- Compact and light at 97 pounds.
- Manual pull start.
- Only suitable for up to 6-inches of snow.
The Craftsman SB210 is definitely one of the best single-stage snow blowers under $500 we could find. It cuts a nice 21-inch clearing path and the chute’s direction can be easily controlled up to 190 degrees. It has enough engine power for most situations at 123 cc at it’s nice and compact making it easy to store. We didn’t like the manual pull start and we found it didn’t work very well in deep snow. If there isn’t a ton of snow in your area in an average year, this model will do the job just fine.
6. Toro Power Clear 821 QZE
We’ve reviewed several Toro snow blowers in this article and for good reason – they make good machines. For our best self-propelled single-stage snow blower we go back to Toro once again with the Power Clear 821 QZE. This machine usually retails for under $800 and as you’ve probably already guessed, it’s self-propelled. When you combine that with a nice 21-inch clearing path and a powerful 252 cc engine you have one of the best single-stage options on the market in 2020.
This model has an easy electric start, so you don’t have to struggle to get it going. The chute is also fully adjustable, with a turning radius of 210 degrees and it can throw snow up to 40 feet as you work your way along your driveway. It’s also equipped with a self-propelled power system, so easy the heavy snow won’t slow you down. At just 96 lbs, it’s not heavy for a gas-powered snow blower and it’s relatively compact for easy storage.
We do wish the warranty was a bit longer – for a machine just under $1000, we think it should have a warranty longer than the 2-years it comes with. The scraper bar on this model is also a bit awkward – it tends to get stuck in any major crack in your driveway.
What we like (and don’t like) about the Toro Power Clear 821 QZE:
- Wide 21-inch cutting path.
- Powerful 252cc engine.
- Chute has a 210-degree turning radius.
- Throws snow up to 40 feet.
- Warranty should be longer.
- Scraper bar is awkward.
Overall, we think the Power Clear 821 QZE is a good snow blower. It has a powerful 252 cc engine and it clears snow up to 40 feet out of your path. We do wish the warranty was a little better, but it does match the industry average. If they were to update the scraper bar with a better replacement we’d probably consider this one of our overall favorites.
7. Briggs & Stratton 1696715
No review article on the best single-stage snow blowers of 2020 would be complete without including a model by Briggs & Stratton. They’ve been producing quality outdoor products for decades and they don’t disappoint with the Briggs & Stratton 22-inch 208 cc 950 Snow Series model. This powerful machine cuts an impressive 22-inch wide path with every pass and it’s priced competitively, at well under $500.
208 cc’s is plenty of power for a snow blower and with an electric start feature, it’s easy to get yourself-going when the snow starts flying. The chute can be rotated manually up to 200 degrees giving you a great turn radius. It can handle snow that’s up to 12-inches deep with ease and it rarely bogs down. The rubber-edged auger is also water-resistant, so that iced doesn’t build up and it protects your driveway from scratches.
The fact that you have to operate the chute manually is a bit disappointing although not a deal-breaker. We were also a little underwhelmed with the snow clearing distance of 30 feet. At 93 lbs it’s also a little too heavy to lift by yourself if you want to avoid injury.
What we like (and don’t like) about the Briggs & Stratton 1696715:
- Wide 22-inch cutting path.
- Respectable 208 cc engine.
- Chute has a 200-degree turning radius.
- Good in snow up to 12 inches deep.
- Chute is manually operated.
- Only throws snow about 30 feet.
- A little on the heavy side at 93 lbs.
We like the Briggs & Stratton 22-inch 208 cc 950 Snow Series snow blower. It cuts a nice wide path with each pass at 22-inches and the chute has a liberal turning radius of 200 degrees. It would be better if you didn’t have to operate it manually and it threw snow more than 30 feet, but those aren’t major problems. For the most part, this is a competitive product well worth its price tag.
Our Final Thoughts
We had a lot of difficulties deciding which of the single-stage snow blowers we reviewed was our overall favorite for 2020 and that just means there are a lot of good products to choose from. The Toro Power Clear 721 E 21-inch snow blower is easily the best value for the money though so we’ve selected it as our favorite, but the Honda HS720AA is a close second. If you’re in the market for a single-stage snow blower before winter hits this year, any of the models in this article will serve you well.