My amazing little Snow Joe blower

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I have a little house in NYC so it never really paid for me to get a snow blower. But I'm getting near 60 and decided that I really didn't want to be lifting snow anymore. So last month I investigated some snow blowers and ended up getting a small electric model called a Snow Joe. Under $200, 13.5 amps, 18" width and around 10" intake height.
We got 18" of snow on Sunday and my little Snow Joe was overwhelmed but performed heroically. It took a bit to figure out the best way to approach that much snow, but once I did, Snow Joe did all that I could ask. It did my driveway, my neighbor's driveway, and the sidewalk in front of four houses (elderly neighbors).
It certainly wasn't effortless and I can see that having powered wheels would make things oh so much easier, but really, for that price, I couldn't have expected anything more.
This isn't to say that a Toro or some gas-powered monster wouldn't have been better, but they cost a lot more. Nor do I know that this won't die in the middle of the next storm; I certainly kept fearing that it would die in this one but each time it was just the plug coming loose.
And, best of all, the Significant Other has apologized for referring to it as my "new toy". Ah, sweet victory!
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/My-amazing-little-Snow-Joe-blower-611950-.htm DA wrote:
dgk wrote:

I am considering an electric snow blower myself (easier maintenance, no gas) but dealing with the long and thick (live) extension cord makes me a little worried. Given that this was your fist experience, how easy/hard was it to manage the cord? Since you've cleaned a walkway in front of 4 houses, how long a cord did you use? Thanks!
------------------------------------- /\_/\ ((@v@)) NIGHT ():::() OWL VV-VV
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On Dec 29, 8:03 am, info_at_1-script_dot snipped-for-privacy@foo.com (DA) wrote:

I bought a Craftsman 20" electric snowblower about 15 years ago and it's still going strong. I use about 100' feet of exterior grade extension cable and haven't had any problems with it. I keep the cord on a wind-up reel and leave it on the blower, so it's handy when it snows. It's easy to unwind it when needed and winds back up after I'm done. I've added an additional 100' a couple of times to do other houses as well.
Rob in Denver, Colorado
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I just bought a Toro Snow Shovel electric snow blower. Now I need some snow to try it out. Only have a double wide driveway and a 42 x 13 deck that is 12 feet above ground. Need to shoot the snow over the railing. Instructions say it will toss snow 15 feet. Only cost $100 at Ace Hardware. Will update if I ever get to use it. WW
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-snip-

Let us know. But hopefully your preparedness will keep the snow-Gods at bay.
I picked one up a yard sale years ago & thought it was more work than shoveling. It was fairly heavy & only took a 6" swath or so.
OTOH- My 12amp, 18" electric Toro is a little work horse. [the new ones are 15ap & $300 on Amazon]
Jim
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My mother gave me one of those, er, 25 years ago. I found exactly the same thing. The first time I tried it we had 3-4' drifts. I tried to top the drifts and the snow flew right back in my face. It was more work than shoveling and when it might have been useful, it choked on the snow. I really never used it.

I suppose, like an electric lawn mower, if all you have is a postage stamp to do, electric works.
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On 12/29/2010 12:52 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

There's a snow blower and a snow thrower. The former augers it out of the way and the latter augers it to a thrower which tosses it out. The snow joe appears to be an electric thrower. Electric blowers, as far as I know, can't handle more than a few inches of snow. It takes a thrower to handle deep snow. Nothing electric is going to be as powerful as a gasoline powered unit. Also note that electric units don't appear to be self propelled so there would be more work involved in pushing it into the snow.
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wrote:

The two words have always been used interchangeably. The difference is usually delineated as single-stage vs. two-stage.
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On Wed, 29 Dec 2010 14:07:32 -0600, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

I had a couple snow-blowers/throwers( pick your word) about 10 years ago. Dad of a friend at work was retired and picked them up at garage sales and fixed them up for sale. One cost me $50 and the other $75. Bought both at the same time, since I figured with a corner lot with a plenty of sidewalk and a wide 2-car driveway they would come in handy. They were about 20" wide. One with an auger and electric start, the other with a flapper and rope start. Tossed them after about 3 years, both broke and I didn't want to fix them, as they took too much room for the work they did. Kid broke a handle side rail on the auger model by man-handling it in deep snow - no patience. The flapper model just needed a new rope, which broke. Don't remember the brands, but both had decent engines. 2-strokes. Both always started, but the electric start sure was easier to get going.
While they were down we found shovels worked almost as fast but with a little more effort, and they don't need gas, take up space, etc. Neither threw snow more than 3 feet, most snow getting thrown about 2 feet., and not high either. Almost useless for the driveway, but did the sidewalks okay.
I liked the flapper more, as it really cleaned the sidewalks. Auger left maybe a 1/4" layer of snow to ice up later. Don't know the value of driven wheels except in snow higher than the intakes - that's where my kid broke the handle by horsing it through. I was running the flapper taking small bites and backing off and had no problem except "slow." Seemed to me when the snow wasn't over the intake the things basically pulled themselves through the snow and were easy to push.
Now you guys got me thinking about getting a good snow removal machine. I bet I'll get more exercise. Sort of allergic to shovels, so usually the wife and a kid shovel. Of course for this to work I'll have to make a solemn vow not to teach my wife how to use the snow machine, and that nobody touches it but me.
--Vic
.
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On Thu, 30 Dec 2010 06:04:32 -0600, Vic Smith

There was something wrong with them or it always "slushed" rather than snowed. You should be able to get 7'-15' vertical lift and perhaps 30' or more horizontal throw from even a small two-stage blower. Enough that they have a snout to direct the flow, to limit the distance. I could *easily* throw snow into my neighbor's driveway, even though they were separated by at least 30' (15' setbacks, IIRC).

They will leave some. There are generally skids on the front to adjust this. You don't want the bottom edge of the auger chamber to catch on surface irregularities.

Large blowers are very heavy. Driven wheels make them manageable in all circumstances. I tried to not have to go through snow deeper than the auger. In large snow storms I'd do several passes during the storm. About 6" at a pass was optimum. Any more and it got to be work. Any less and it wasn't worth the extra pass, though I'd generally do a pass before going to bed.

I had two, in the 15 years I lived in Vermont. The first lasted thirteen but the wheel bearings wore out and they aren't replaceable so bought a left-over in the middle of the season, cheap (sold it when we moved South). The second one was much larger (10-11HP, don't remember) had a "cab" thing to protect the user from wind (and blowing snow). That was a really nice feature.
I taught our, then, teenager how to use it, but he didn't do it often. It was easy enough to do it myself. The big thing is to *NEVER* reach into the thing, even when it's off. Use a stick to clear it (had one set aside for this purpose).
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On Dec 30, 1:22 pm, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"
...and then major snippage ensued...

re: "The big thing is to *NEVER* reach into the thing, even when it's off."
Why not? When it's off, I mean.
It's awfully tough to change parts if you can *NEVER* reach into the unit.
re: "Use a stick to clear it (had one set aside for this purpose)."
Many units now come with one of these included:
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21fGqjCA-XL._SL500_AA280_.jpg
Mine has brackets that hold it onto the auger housing so it doesn't get lost. Even some of the entry level machines come with one.
They're only about $10 bucks if you don't have one. I know, sticks are free. ;-)
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wrote:

1) Compression. 2) It's too easy to get complacent. Absolutes won't fail you.

So did my second blower. A stick works better and come longer (no bending over or crawling around reaching into the machine). When the snow (slush) was sticky, I'd just plant one in a snowbank to the side of where I was working.

Like I said, I had one exactly like the one pictured on my second blower. I preferred a stick, or even broom handle.
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On Dec 30, 2:24 pm, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

Absolutes won't get your shear pins changed either. ;-)
... snip ...
Speaking of "compression" (in the electronics realm) ...
You know how they tell you to ground yourself before installing a chip or card into a PC to discharge static electricity?
The next time you power down your PC, remove the power cord and press the power switch to turn the unit back on. Watch/listen carefully to what happens.
That's a step that's not often mentioned in the installation instructions.
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wrote:

I guess you miss the obvious.
OTOH, in the years I've had snowblowers, I've never sheared a pin. I've only done it once on a lawn mower.

Sure.
There is a lot of energy stored in the high-voltage section (no user serviceable parts inside) of the power supply. So?

It won't hurt anyone. Well, anyone smart enough to leave the innards of the power supply alone.
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On Thu, 30 Dec 2010 12:22:09 -0600, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

They weren't 2-stage. Small deals, don't remember the power, but I'd guess just a couple HP. I think they worked as designed. Good for sidewalks until they break. No complaints from me since they cost very little. If I do buy another snow moving machine, I'll get a beefier model than those. I see a decent one goes close to 200 pounds. These were about 60-70 pound soaking wet.
--Vic
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On Thu, 30 Dec 2010 13:41:13 -0600, Vic Smith

Ah, that explains it. Single-stage snowblowers aren't worth buying.

Make sure it's a two-stage.

My wife and I could easily lift mine into my pickup, so they weren't anywhere close to 200 lbs. A hundred, perhaps.
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... major snip ...

I don't believe that that is true...at least I am unable to find any definition that distinguishes between a snowblower and a snowthrower. They seem to be used interchangably although "snowblower" seems to be more common.

Actually, the terms which distinguish the 2 different types of snowblowers are "Single Stage" and "Two Stage".
A "single-stage" machine has an auger only and the shape of the auger housing directs the snow up and out of the chute.
A two-stage machine has an auger and an impeller. The shape of the auger housing directs the snow to the impeller, which rotates at a right angle to the auger. The impeller breaks the snow up into smaller pieces and throws it (usually farther).
Check out this site, where the more common term of "snowblower" is prevalent, yet they talk about Single Stage units vs. Two-Stage units on a regular basis.
http://www.opeonthenet.com/phpBB2/index.php
Of course, we should not neglect (or maybe we should!) the Power Shovel which does not even have a chute. The auger just moves the snow forward as you push it along.

Well, OK, but it's also an electric blower.

Again, "electric" is the issue, not blower vs thrower.

True dat!
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On Wed, 29 Dec 2010 12:44:33 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

Generally the reverse. A single stage unit is generally refered to as a "thrower" because it just grabs it and throws it. A 2 stage has a high speed fan or "blower" whach ejects the snow which has been ground up by the auger and fed into the blower stage.

When it has a chute. A lot of the "electric snow shovel" type either just throw it forward or have directional vanes that shift it one way or the other. Most (but cetainly not all) of the gasoline powered single stage throwers have a chute

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On Dec 29, 11:27 pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

**
Can you show me where a 'single stage unit is generally refered to as a "thrower" '
I'm not arguing, I just haven't been able to find a definitive answer to the question.
Our old, yet untrustworthy, friend Wikipedia say things like "The term "snow thrower" is often used to encompass snow throwers and snow blowers, however, in proper usage a snow thrower is a machine that uses a single stage to remove or "throw" snow while a snowblower uses two stages to remove or "blow" snow."
Where I disagree is with the term "proper usage". I don't believe that there really is a "proper usage" for the terms.
In fact, places that actually sell the machines do not always make the distinction. For example, this site use the terms interchangeably for both single-stage and two-stage machines:
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/category_snow-ice-removal+snow-blowers
This site uses only snowthrower for both:
http://www.troybilt.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/category2_10001_14102_55003_55003_55003_-1
This site seems all confused, in some cases using Snowblower as the category heading and then using Snowthrower to describe the two-stage units.
http://www.jackssmallengines.com/snowblower_parts_index.cfm

Which is what I stated below when I said "Of course, we should not neglect (or maybe we should!) the Power Shovel which does not even have a chute"

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-snip-

I'll just say on the 'thrower' vs 'blower' terminology, that I think one of the terms was in use when some company with a big market share started using the other to set themselves apart. [Ariens??? 1950's??]
But as for Jack's-- Great business-- lousy website.
Jim
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