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There’s no substitute for a snow blower after a serious snowstorm. While your neighbors are breaking their backs shoveling out from the latest snowmageddon, your driveway and walks are cleared and you’re inside, enjoying a cup of hot chocolate and Instagramming shots of your impressive work.
But how much snow blower do you really need? Unless you live in a place with heavy snowfall each winter, you might not want to shell out upward of $2,500 on a machine you’ll use only a few times each winter.
Good news: A handful of snow blowers in Consumer Reports’ tests cost $1,000 or less, and many of them clear snow almost as well as the pricier top picks in our ratings, including dozens of models from brands such as Ariens, Craftsman, Cub Cadet, John Deere, and Troy-Bilt.
In this roundup of the best snow blowers for $1,000 or less, we look at single-stage and two-stage gas snow blowers (“stages” refers to the number of ways the machine moves snow), as well as single-stage battery-powered snow blowers. We also look at power snow shovels, which work like a single-stage snow blower but are much smaller and lighter.
(For a deep-dive on the differences between types—and to learn why we use water-saturated sawdust to test snow blowers—check out our free snow blower buying guide.)
Best Snow Blowers for $1,000 or Less
CR members can read on for ratings and reviews of the top performing gas- and battery-powered models that cost less than $1,000, starting with those models capable of clearing a heavy snow load, all the way down to blowers made for dealing with a light dusting. They're grouped by type and sorted by Overall Score.
Snow Blowers 101
Not sure what the difference is between a single-stage snow blower and a three-stage model? On the “Consumer 101” TV show, CR expert Dave Trezza explains to show host Jack Rico everything consumers need to know about these snow-tossing machines.