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Thread: Snowblowers - with a twist

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    Default Snowblowers - with a twist

    It's that time again...

    I have an ~200' long driveway, with the additional challenge of it being gravel. It's doable by hand if there isn't too much snow, but if there is I usually end up doing some degree of damage to my right elbow, so I'm thinking of getting a snowblower.

    Clearly it needs to be at least a 2-stage, with the ability to properly set the auger height, but the additional thing I'm considering is going cordless electric. I don't mind if I need to get an extra set or two of batteries - IMO it's worth the benefit of not having to deal with a gas-powered device.

    So, has anyone out there used or know anything about cordless snowblowers for medium-sized jobs? Are they close enough to gas-powered to be worth considering?

    TIA

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    Default Re: Snowblowers - with a twist

    Watching with interest. The only gas equipment I have now is a small chainsaw and a large snowblower. I have a 2, a 5 and a 7.5 Amp hour battery down cellar that are idle for five months and as my neighbor put it, they sell you a battery and give you a lawnmower. No gas would be pretty convenient.
    Tom Ambros

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    Default Re: Snowblowers - with a twist

    I’ve looked at getting a small one for my Chicagoland driveway. I will only get an electric one for the job I have. Lots of YouTube review videos of this exact topic. I think power isn’t an issue but it’s possible that for a big job a second charged battery would be needed.
    La Cheeserie!

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    Default Re: Snowblowers - with a twist

    I've expressed how happy I am with my battery-operated chainsaw before - it's a delight and I use it for 90% of my needs now. That being said, I'm in a wait-and-see mentality regarding battery-operated snowblowers. I mean, I would LOVE to start up at the touch of a button, not have to keep as much gas around, not have to worry about whether it will start up, not have to deal with ethanol, Sta-bil and all that jazz, but I'm concerned about the lack of "oomph" in a battery-operated unit.

    I don't really even care about the additional cost for the batteries and the tech, but I'm not convinced that they're as powerful (I can be convinced otherwise, believe me). Around here in northern(ish) New England, we get a LOT of wet, heavy stuff (and that's been increasing with the global climate change and all) and I need all the throw I can get to clear my driveway (like you, about 200 feet long, but paved).

    So I'm a little gunshy to make the switch. But my ears are fully open.

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    Default Re: Snowblowers - with a twist

    My snowblower will be 25 years old and I have a 150’ long driveway to deal with along with might neighbor’s 200’ driveway (they’re getting up there in age) as well as sidewalks and a patio when the weather gets tough. For the 10x (only once last year) that I need to use it, I’m not sure that it’d be worth it to tie up the funds on something so expensive as an electric unit and two batteries. I say two batteries, as you know that one is going to peter out when the going gets tough and the job is 3/4 complete and you need to go to work.

    Craigslist is your friend as there are always a bunch out there for sale if you don’t want to buy new, and with last year’s mild Winter, I bet that inventories are good. I’m lucky to have room in the garage to store it, so starting up on a cold day has never been an issue and I’ve never used the electric start cable, which I know that some folks swear by. Also, there are some guides out there to help determine HP and width and how far it can throw the snow and slush…mine is 24” wide with a 7HP engine, nothing too crazy. Headlights are a must as is at least one reverse gear imho and I believe that most units have a rotating chute.

    Maintenance…an oil change and skid replacement. Every so often I ask myself why I have such a specialized piece of equipment taking up space in my garage and then we have an 8” snowfall and I answer my own question. I also saw that you have a gravel surface which makes things interesting. My neighbor’s driveway is pea gravel, so you want to make sure that the skid height can be raised and that the impeller will be able to “eat” some stone without clogging the chute. One question, how do you know that the same batteries will be available 5, 10, 15 years down the road? With my Milwaukee power tools, I’m willing to take that chance but with a $1,500 piece of specialty equipment, that would be a question that I would seek to answer.
    Last edited by rwsaunders; 11-28-2023 at 09:51 AM.
    rw saunders
    hey, how lucky can one man get.

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    Default Re: Snowblowers - with a twist

    The latest thinking is that I'm going to go with either a Greenworks or Ego.

    The main issue with Greenworks is that they seem to have only a single-stage less expensive model (~$800) or a $2,300 Cadillac two-stage model, with nothing in between.

    Ego looks like they have a wider range of options.

    One thing that will make or break the decision is how many other products in that brand / family share the same battery. If it works with a bunch of other stuff it's easier to justify the large up-front cost of going cordless with a specific system compare to a gas unit.

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    Default Re: Snowblowers - with a twist

    Ordered the blower itself:

    https://egopowerplus.com/two-stage-snow-blower-snt2400/

    Decided to go with the Ego 2400 bare tool, and deal with the battery issue later.

    It was $750 + tax from Amazon, shipped. Other options (same machine) with the battery were $1500-$1700.

    I figure I should surely be able to find Ego batteries with good amp-hour rating for $750-$1k.
    (although as was pointed out above, I recognize that the batteries are a huge, huge % of the cost)

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    Default Re: Snowblowers - with a twist

    My neighbor says the way to use a snowblower with a gravel driveway is to point the snow chute straight up so the wind blows the snow away and the rocks fall back down on the drive. Or just move your driveway sideways 20' each year.

    Those are probably old snowblower jokes.

    Remember cold weather shortens battery duration, so unless there is a warming pad built into the snow blower you may need extra extra batteries. If you can't keep your batteries somewhere warm while you work, get a cooler bag and pack the batteries in there with hand warmers.

    This is the killer app. Honda Hybrid snowblower. Electric motors drive the treads while the gas motor runs the snow canon. Battery is built in and charged by the gas motor. Cheaper than an S-Works E-bike.
    Jorn Ake
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    Default Re: Snowblowers - with a twist

    I briefly considered Honda, but the prices scared me off.

    Plus, I think I've given Honda / Acura enough of my money lately (buying an internal combustion engine powered toy) so I might as well spread the money around to non-Honda stuff.

    Re: batteries

    The blower I ordered uses two batteries at once, so that's all I ordered. I also got two single battery chargers (cheaper than one double-charger) which can re-charge the batteries in ~80 minutes. I figure if the pair of 5 amp-Hr batteries aren't enough I'll take a break to warm up and recharge the batteries, or complete the job the next day. If that looks like it isn't working well I'll go ahead and order a second pair of batteries.

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    Default Re: Snowblowers - with a twist

    Quote Originally Posted by Mabouya View Post
    I briefly considered Honda, but the prices scared me off.

    Plus, I think I've given Honda / Acura enough of my money lately (buying an internal combustion engine powered toy) so I might as well spread the money around to non-Honda stuff.

    Re: batteries

    The blower I ordered uses two batteries at once, so that's all I ordered. I also got two single battery chargers (cheaper than one double-charger) which can re-charge the batteries in ~80 minutes. I figure if the pair of 5 amp-Hr batteries aren't enough I'll take a break to warm up and recharge the batteries, or complete the job the next day. If that looks like it isn't working well I'll go ahead and order a second pair of batteries.
    Keep us updated, yeah? Very interested to know how this works out for you.

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    Default Re: Snowblowers - with a twist

    I’ll put in my annual plug for the sleigh shovel, forever thankful to my Canadian neighbors for showing me the light.

    Yes, I know it might not be what the OP needs or wants, and no, it’s not the answer for everyone. But gol-dang if it ain’t the perfect thing when the snow is deep and light, and if your driveway is on a slope. The genius of shoveling where there's no lifting, just pushing. And shaping a nice side slope on either edge of the drive helps the wind keep it clear instead of filling it back in like the square edge of a blown channel.

    The quiet of a snowstorm is sofa king glorious, it’s lovely when you don’t have to spoil it.

    Well worth adding to your quiver:
    https://www.acehardware.com/departme...ushers/7200603
    https://www.truevalue.com/ergo-sleig...dle-27-in-wide

    Last edited by thollandpe; 11-29-2023 at 08:59 PM.
    Trod Harland, Pickle Expediter

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