Now that Snow Joe has introduced the new 24 inch 2-stage cordless snow blower it’s time to ask if a cordless electric snow blower is a better solution than a gas-powered 2-stage machine. So, I am going to go through a list of the features of this new lithium-ion cordless snow blower compared to its equivalent gas competitor. Then I will go through a quick energy cost comparison and to wrap up a bunch of pictures so you can compare the actual differences.
For this article I will use the Troy-Bilt 2410 as the gas equivalent. It’s a very good example of a typical, quality, inexpensive snow blower that you will find at the retailers today. It retails for $599, the same price as the Snow Joe without batteries.
With a gas-powered snow blower you buy your fuel as you need it. With the cordless electric snow blower you buy your “fuel” up front in the form of batteries.
I’m not going to try to sway you one way or the other.
1. Features Comparison
Snow Joe iON24SB-XR 80V Max Cordless Self-Propelled Two-Stage Snow Blower
Just the snow blower $599. Batteries cost $200 when you buy them with the snow blower. total $799
- Battery-powered two-stage snow blower
- Includes 2 batteries + dual-port charger. 80V Max (2 x 40V/5.0 Ah) EcoSharp® rechargeable lithium-ion batteries provide up to 40 minutes* of whisper-quiet runtime and are compatible with all iON tools
- Push-button display: LEDs indicate direction and speed selection
- Under handle speed and impeller controls
- Serrated steel auger moves up to 1000 lbs of snow per minute
- 24″ clearing width
- 13″ intake height
- 10″ serrated steel auger
- 180° adjustable chute throws snow up to 32 ft
- Dual 0.3 W LED headlights provide increased visibility for nighttime snow removal
- Powerful 2500 W brushless motor increases battery efficiency, maximizes motor performance, decreases noise and vibration and extends motor life
- TracAssist snow tires for maximum traction in winter-weather conditions
- Wheel well LED lighting
- Reversible skid shoes
- Load sensing technology to optimize engine performance
- ETL approved; Full 2-year warranty
- Shipping weight 105 lbs plus batteries. (My guess it’s closer to 130 lbs ready to use.)
In my reasoning the $200 in batteries is comparable to getting a store credit for $200 worth of fuel and a fuel can. Typically the current Lithium Ion batteries last for 500 charges and will run at 90% capacity in temperatures below freezing. So, when the seller advertises “40 minute run time” expect at least 35 minutes of normal use.
I’m comparing the run time and longevity to the batteries used in today’s drones. Drones use the same type of battery with the same safe guards and balancing chargers that these batteries use. Sno Joe has been around long enough that they use quality cells in their batteries.
If you screw up and leave the batteries on the charger for 6 months – it doesn’t hurt anything. The chargers are also designed not to explode, overcharge or short out a battery.
2500 watt motor with cogged belt drive. Belt won’t slip and burn out but you may break it if an obstruction gets into the impeller. Using Google this works out to about 4 HP but there are two motors in this snow blower. One for the snow and one for the drive. 4 HP should be plenty for this size of snow blower.
Good for the planet? According to the current science – YES!
Troy-Bilt 2410 2-stage gas snow blower – the Facts:
The Troy Bilt 2410 is an example of a good, basic 24 inch snow blower on the market today. It’s priced well, has plenty of power and very dependable. When sized properly to your driveway it will last years. It has the same features of the Snow Joe. Solid Axle, multiple speeds, same size tires and chute control.
Just the snow blower $599. Fuel can, fuel, oil and maintenance parts for gas engine are extra over the life of the snow blower.
You can find out where to buy the 2410 here: Storm
There is another version I also like available at Amazon. It has an upgraded chute and the new airless tires: Troy-Bilt Storm 2460 208cc 24-Inch Two-Stage Snow Thrower
- All-wheel drive
- Push Button Electric Start.
- 6 forward / 2 reverse speeds
- 24″ clearing width
- 21″ intake height
- 12″ serrated steel auger
- Chute Control Remote crank / Manual pitch
- Chute/Rotation Polymer / 190 degrees
- Deluxe reversible skid shoes
- 13″ x 4″ X-Trac
- 208cc* 4-cycle OHV engine
- 2-year limited warranty
- Weight 195 lbs
If you screw up and leave untreated ethanol fuel in the snow blower – you may have to replace the carburetor. $80 if you do it yourself, $250 if you have it done.
208 cc engine with v-belt drive. Belt may slip and/or burn up if an obstruction gets into the impeller. Rough guess this is about 6 HP. This one engine drives both a larger impeller and the drive system. It is plenty for this size of snow blower.
Good for the planet? According to the current science – Not so much!
Cost of Fuel per year.
I’m going to go through a quick cost of fuel versus using batteries.
Battery Cost of Operation
80 volt 5AH batteries last 40 minutes blowing snow.
Okay, now to calculate the Kilowatt-hours (kWh) of your electric snow thrower, simply multiply those two numbers together and divide by 1000:
80 volts x 5 Amp-hours / 1000 = 0.4 kWh
This means that it takes about 0.4 kW to charge your batteries for one hour. In most cases, you will need to charge for about 4 hours, so let’s say the total consumption for a complete charge cycle is:
4 x 0.4 = 1.6 kWh
Cost to Charge your snow blower batteries: The cost per kWh varies on the provider, the user, and the time period in most parts of the country. A good, round number that is close to the average is $0.14 per kWh. Let’s get back to our calculator:
$0.14 x 1.6 kWh = $0.23
Cost of Batteries: $200 if you buy them with the snow blower. A good guess for the battery life is 500 cycles. So the replacement cost is about $.40 each time you use them.
Total Cost of batteries. So each time you use them for 40 minutes your total cost is $0.63.
Most people use their 24 inch snowblower 10-15 times a year. So the cost of the battery life and electricity is $6.30 to $9.45
Fuel Cost of Operation.
208 cc engine uses about 1/2 gallon of fuel in 40 minutes.
Typical fuel cost $3 per gallon = $1.50 per 40 minutes
In addition we need to add the cost of a storage can, Fuel stabilizer, going to get the fuel, oil changes and other gas engine related costs. A snow blower engine does not use an air cleaner.
Fuel Stabilizer 1 oz per gallon = $0.20, get fuel = $0.50, Fuel Can 500 use life = $0.08. Oil, spark plug etc., = .05
Total cost for gas fueled engine. So each time you use it for 40 minutes your total cost is $2.32
Most people use their 24 inch snowblower 10-15 times a year so the cost of fuel per year is $23.32 to $34.80
Side by Side Comparison – In Pictures
I’m using a 2016 Troy-Bilt 2410 as the comparison snow blower for this article. This Troy-Bilt is similar to many of the other 24 inch snow blowers on the market so you can get a feel for how the Snow Joe compares to them. Other similar snow blowers are the Craftsman 88172, 88173, Cub Cadet 524, Husqvarna ST224, Ariens Compact 24, SnoTek, and Toro 724 Power Max. The Troy-Bilt is a better build than cheaper machines like the PowerSmart, Yard Max and DHT.
The 12 inch impeller, 208 cc machines will out-perform this snow blower but I have a feeling this Snow Joe will out perform the single speed 179cc, 22 inch machine many of you have sitting in the corner. This will be a great replacement for those of you who want a small 2-stage machine.
It actually compares to the older Noma/Simplicity built 24 snow blowers from the 80’s and 90’s. I wish I still had the Montgomery Wards I had a few year ago. It’s just about the same size and power.
Overall the Snow Joe is quite different from a gas-powered 2-stage snow blower. If you live in an area of the country that gets 20-30 inches of snow a year. If you live in town and don’t get deep drifts. If you have a single or two car driveway 30-50 feet long. If you don’t want to mess with gas – this can be a great snow blower for you.
By the way, if you already have other 40 volt Snow Joe / Sun Joe products those batteries will fit in this snow blower! For example, I also have two 4 AH batteries so I can get over an hour’s use before I have to recharge.