Choosing the best gas powered snow shovel comes down to understanding the features you have to have, the features you’d like to have and how much money you want to spend. The light duty snow shovels are mostly electric while the gas snow shovels, or snow blowers, are better suited for heavier snow.
We’ve reviewed 3 of the best gas powered snow shovels at three different price points. Each of these will do a great job of clearing snow a few inches thick but as the snow gets thicker and harder the difference in performance begins to be apparent.
Here are our top choices for a cheap gas snow shovel, mid-range as well as the best gas snow shovel for the money.
Gas Powered Snow Shovel Comparison
If you’re looking for a cheap gas powered snow shovel then this is one of the best for the money. At this price point you’re going to have to settle for a single stage machine with an 87cc engine which is fine if you’re only having to clear a few inches of light snow. In spite of the low price this unit comes with an electric start option to go along with the usual pull start. It will start in temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees and starts first time, every time. The lever on the handlebar gives you easy control of where you’re throwing the snow but the deflector locks into place so you’ll have to set that by hand. The auger is rubber edged and self propelled and they’ve incorporated a timing belt for improved durability. We liked that the handlebar folded down which makes storage of the unit a lot easier. This is a light duty snow shovel but it gets the job done. Just don’t expect it to handle moderately wet or heavier snow.
At the mid-range end of the price scale we’ve got this great unit from Power Smart. For under $500 you get a two stage machine with a 212cc engine. This is actually the same 4-stroke engine that Toro use in their gas powered snow shovels. At 140 pounds it’s pretty lightweight but it packs plenty of power. There’s no electric start option but the pull start gets this beast going with the first pull without any problems. The scoop allows for a clearing width of 22-inches and can accommodate snow of up to 16-inches high. As with all two stage snow shovels it is self-propelled and has four forward speeds and two reverse speeds. There’s no power steering but at this weight it really isn’t necessary. The angle of the chute is controlled by the lever on the handlebar but, as with the cheaper unit above, the deflector angle is set by hand and locked into place. When it’s delivered there is some assembly required but it pretty straightforward and only takes around 30 minutes to do. If you’re looking for a compact gas powered snow shovel with enough power for medium to heavy snow then this is a great option at a reasonable price.
At the upper end of our price range you’ll find this beast. This is easily the best gas powered snow shovel we’ve seen for the money. It’s a few hundred dollars more than a grand but for that price you get a powerful 306cc engine and 14.5 foot pounds of torque. There just isn’t any snow that will stand in the way of this impressive machine. It comes with both electric and pull start and despite the engine size it starts really easily. It has a 29-inch clearing width and it will chew up and spit out the heaviest, wettest snow and sleet that you’re likely to encounter. This is a big and heavy machine but the power steering makes it a breeze to maneuver. For the extra money you get those nice-to-have features like heated handles, dash mounted chute rotation and on panel deflector control. We also really liked the free hand control which lets you drive with one hand while freeing up the other to operate the other controls. The adjustable skids make it ideal to use as a snow blower on gravel drives. It’s built of tough, durable materials and comes with a 3 year warranty.
Gas Powered Snow Shovel Buying Guide
If you’re looking to buy a gas powered snow shovel then these are some of the features you should look out for:
Single Stage or Two Stage – For lighter, fluffy snow a single stage gas snow shovel is fine. For heavier snow thicker than 12 inches you’re going to need to spend a little more money to get a two stage machine. You can still get a really good 2-stage snow blower under $1000 if you do a bit of research.
Wheels / Tires – On flat terrain the size of the tires isn’t too serious but if your yard has some steep areas or if you’re working in thicker snow then you need a gas snow shovel with 15-inch wheels or more. Also, make sure the tires have decent snow friendly tread.
Chute Control – The cheaper gas snow shovels usually have a lever on the handlebars to change the chute direction but normally don’t have a remote control for the deflector. If you want to be able to easily vary the angle that the snow comes out then get one with a deflector control on the panel.
Hand warmers – For long sessions of snow clearing you’ll be very happy you paid a little extra and got a gas power snow shovel with heated handles. Operating the controls on your gas snow shovel gets tricky if you’re wearing really thick gloves.
Power Steering – Only the really expensive gas snow shovels have power steering. This is because the higher priced units are bigger and heavier. For the cheaper to mid-range units it really isn’t necessary as they are generally pretty easy to move around.
When the snow starts falling and packing down onto your drive it’s time to invest in a decent gas powered snow shovel to save your back. There’s really no point in spending a lot of money if you only ever get light snow on your drive. The cheap unit we reviewed above will be fine for most applications or you could even consider one of the best cordless snow blowers. For heavier snow, or if you want some of the nicer features you’re going to have to spend a few hundred dollars more for something good. You could try to clear that drive with a regular snow shovel but having the best gas powered snow shovel is going to save you plenty of time and effort.