This winter, the climatological phenomenon La Niña is expected to materialize, potentially driving more frequent storms to many regions of the country. Combined with the season's usual heavy snow, freezing rain and ice pellets, it's officially time to prep for white-out conditions.
To prepare your snow removal arsenal, it may be time to invest in a snow blower or thrower.
Snow blower vs. snow thrower: What's the difference?
While they essentially perform the same task, snow blowers and snow throwers are, in fact, two different things.
A snow thrower is a single-stage machine, meaning it uses a rotating auger to pick up snow and cast it out of the shoot in one continuous motion.
A snow blower, on the other hand, works in two stages. Similar to a snow thrower, it uses a rotating auger to scoop up snow, but rather than immediately shooting it out, it feeds the snow into an impeller (a powerful fan) which blows it out of the chute.
Do I need a snow blower or a snow thrower?
There are a few factors to consider to determine whether you need a snow blower or a snow thrower.
Snow conditions: If you don't typically get a lot of snow, a snow thrower may be a better option as they're smaller and less powerful than a snow blower, which means they tend to be less expensive. If you're used to seeing heavy snow conditions, you'll be better off with a snow blower as they're larger, more powerful and equipped to handle heavy snowfall.
Gas-powered vs. electric: Many snow throwers are corded, meaning you can rely on your home's electricity for power. However, that also means you have limitations on how long the cord is and where you can take your machine. On the other hand, snow blowers tend to be fuel-powered, so you have flexibility on where you can take them, but in turn, they require gasoline and more maintenance than their electrical counterparts.
Where to buy a snow blower/thrower in Canada
If you're interested in investing in a snow blower or snow thrower this winter season, scroll down to shop 24 reviewer loved-and-tested snow blowers and throwers under $500, $1,000 and $2,000.
Best Snow Blowers & Snow Throwers under $500
A steal at less than $200, this affordable snow thrower is an ideal size for small to mid-sized driveways and walkways. Its powerful 13-amp motor can move up to 550 lbs of snow per minute and its 180-degree adjustable directional chute can throw snow up to 20 ft.
With a powerful 15A motor, this affordable machine moves up to 25 tons/hr. of snow, features a 180 degrees adjustable directional chute and has dual 3W LED headlamps to brighten the way during nights and early mornings.
This budget-friendly electric snowblower features a powerful 13.5A motor that moves up to 650 lbs (295 kg) of snow per minute. It's ideal for quick snow removal on mid-sized driveways and walkways and comes backed by a 4.3-star rating from Canadian Tire shoppers. The "best part is [that it's] zero maintenance," wrote one reviewer. "It fits in about the space of a large shovel."
When winter weather strikes, forget the shovel and grab this 22-inch electric snow thrower from Snoe Joe instead. Small but mighty, the unit features a 14.5-amp electric motor and four rubber-tipped steel blades that can clear up to 850 lbs/min.
Mastercraft's 20V Single Stage Cordless Snow Shovel is 100 per cent compatible with the existing Mastercraft 20V MAX battery system, meaning you can use the same battery to seamlessly power your yard work. It's "incredible," according to one Canadian Tire shopper. A "fast way to shovel without effort."
This reviewer-loved snow thrower features a 180-degree directional chute for manageable snow throwing and an electric start for a hassle-free operation. It has earned an average rating of 4.1 stars from Amazon shoppers who called the design "very lightweight," which is "good for general maneuverability."
With 5,500 reviews and an average rating of 4.2 stars, Amazon shoppers called this electric snow thrower a "time saver" and "much lighter than you realize." The snow thrower boasts a 15-amp motor and can move up to 720 pounds of snow per minute. I "can't believe how good it is," raved one reviewer.
Best Snow Blowers & Snow Throwers under $1,000
This high-performance snow blower features a 208cc 4-cycle OHV engine, delivering the power you need to clear small driveways or sidewalks. "This thing shoots snow, sleet and honestly rain out the shoot like a fire hose," wrote one reviewer.
Get on with your day as quickly as possible with this Troy-Bilt single-stage snowblower. The unit has a clearing width of 21 inches and features an auger-assisted drive system that grips the ground to provide maximum clearing with less pushing effort on your part.
This shopper-loved electric snow blower has a high-efficiency brushless motor, a 21-inch clearing width, a push-button start and boats a 35-foot throwing distance. According to one shopper, it handles snow "like a champ." It's "great" for light/medium snow conditions, they wrote.
This top-rated two-stage gas snowblower is suitable for 24-inch clearings and features easy-to-adjust speed control with four forward speeds and one reverse speed. It's "easy to start and does an amazing job," raved one Canadian Tire shopper, adding that it's a "little beast."
This Greenworks cordless snow thrower delivers greater efficiency with up to 45 minutes of run time with its 2.0 Ah battery. The user-friendly machine boasts a 20-inch clearing path, 12-inch clearing depth and up to 25 feet of throwing distance. According to one Amazon reviewer, it's an "awesome little workhorse."
This "Amazon's Choice" snow blower has earned an average rating of 4.1 stars from more than 550 reviewers. Shoppers say the battery-operated snow blower is "simply the best" and offers a "good bang for your buck!"
This top-rated snow blower comes with an 22-inch clearing width to make quick work of any snowfall. It has a push button electric start for quick and easy starting and has earned an average rating of 4.7 stars from Canadian Tire shoppers.
This single-stage cordless snowblower features a push-button start, dual 5W LED lights and variable-speed auger control. The unit has a run time of up to 30 minutes, with a battery charge time of 150 minutes.
With an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 3,000+ reviews, Lowe's shoppers say this Ego Power unit is a "great snow blower" with a "great battery life." The cordless snow blower is as powerful as gas and combines the power of any two Lithium-ion batteries to clear heavy, wet snow with ease. "It did our entire driveway, walks, neighbours walks, 50 metres of sidewalk across the street to the mailboxes and parts of neighbours driveways too — and still showed about 25% charge remaining," said a shopper. "WOW!"
According to one Home Hardware shopper, this single-stage snow blower "works really well" and "throws snow like crazy." It's "surprisingly powerful for its size," they wrote.
Best Snow Blowers & Snow Throwers under $2,000
A trusted pick among Canadian Tire shoppers, this two-stage gas snow blower has been called a "pleasure to operate" and "worth the money." One reviewer said it "starts easy and has more than sufficient power to move the snow. Banks at the end of the driveway were a breeze," and added, "This is my third snowblower and I'm kicking myself for not buying this the first time."
This cordless two-stage snow blower delivers the power and performance of gas without the resulting noise, fuss or fumes. With an average customer rating of 4.5 stars, Lowe's shoppers say it offers a "fantastic performance." Storms are "no problem for this snow blower," wrote one shopper. "I was actually shocked as my old gas blower didn't have the power to get through the plow drift at the end of the driveway. If you're hesitant or have doubts, forget about them. This snow blower is awesome. Till the next storm!"
Tackle winter weather on any surface with this fan-favourite two-stage snow blower. The powerful device features a 24-inch clearing width and 21-inch intake height and has been described as a "great machine" by reviewers. "If you're on the fence [about] getting a new snowblower or getting your first, this is a good choice," wrote one shopper. "It's never let me down."
This reviewer-loved gas snowblower features finger-tip controlled power steering on each handle to improve maneuverability, has a 28-inch clearing width, a 12-inch serrated auger and best of all, it's equipped with heated hand grips.
The Yardworks two-stage snow blower cuts through tough snow and uses a quick-turn chute control with remote tile to aim it in your desired direction. "Outstanding performance," wrote one reviewer. "I'm 63 and this machine is easy for me to handle and gets the job done no problem!"
A top-rated pick among Canadian Tire shoppers, this cordless snowblower comes with a near-perfect 4.9-star average rating. It "makes snow clearing fun and cool," according to one reviewer. "So powerful and capable. Cleared five of my neighbours driveways along with the sidewalks out front."
Briggs & Stratton's two-stage gas snowblower is powered by a 250cc engine with an electric start for a dependability and performance. It has a 12-inch serrated auger and dual-trigger steering for easy maneuverability.