When the first snowflake of winter falls, many homeowners’ backs begin to ache in anticipation. Shoveling is a great way for kids to make a little money, but it’s a real pain for anyone over twenty. Additionally, snow blowers are often prohibitively expensive, and most of them can seem like overkill for smaller properties.
The two snow blowers (or snow throwers) that we’ll be looking at today are designed to be lightweight, electrically powered solutions for your winter shoveling problems. Both of them can move a lot of snow at once, but at under 40 pounds, neither is difficult to move around or store. While they’re basically in the same bracket as far as these products go, we’ll try to examine the specific differences in features and design so that you can choose the model that best suits your needs.
Snow Joe SJ625E
The electrically powered motor that this model provides is perfect for cutting a path through your driveway. At 15 amps, you’ll be able to move up to 800 pounds of snow per minute as it gets broken up by the rubber-bladed auger and spits out wherever you want it. Think for a second about how much snow you can shovel in a minute, and you’ll have a better idea of how much time you’ll be saving.
This device uses a motor with slightly less power at 13.5 amps. But this doesn’t mean it can’t move a lot of snow. Rotating the auger up to 2000 times per minute, you’ll be able to blast snow more than 20 feet away simply by pushing this model down your driveway. The power difference between the two will count for something, but whether you’ll notice it really depends on the kind of snowfall you get in your area.
Verdict: The Snow Joe wins in this category simply because of its slightly higher-powered motor. 13.5 amps is still a decent output, but you’ll see the 15 amp motor throwing more snow faster in the long run. The main consideration you’ll have to make here is how much power you need and how that relates to the price of each of these devices.
Snow Joe SJ625E
With a clearing width of 21 inches and a clearing height of 12 inches, you’ll be prepared for the majority of major snowstorms in your area. 21 inches is a reasonable, if not relatively spacious path for walking from your front door down to the driveway, and you’ll definitely be able to clear a nice area around your car for when you have to clean it off.
The clearing area on this model is smaller, coming in at 18 inches in width and 7.8 inches of depth. That’s still a sizeable single-file path, but the depth is a little more concerning. To be sure, 7.8 inches is a lot of snow, but many people live in areas that routinely get hit with snow up to a foot. You’ll want to check your local weather records to see exactly how much snow is falling in your area every year.
Verdict: The Snow Joe keeps its lead in this category by offering a wider and deeper clearing area. With a full foot of depth, you’ll be able to tackle pretty serious blizzards. If you consistently get hit with snowfalls that exceed the depth on this machine, however, you should be looking at larger models, but between these two, a solid 12 inches will keep you better prepared than the 7.8 inches offered by WEN.
Snow Joe SJ625E
If you’re in an area where morning light doesn’t hit until about 7:00 a.m., it’s important to think about visibility. This model offers a 3-watt LED light to help you see what you’re doing as you’re clearing a path to your car. You’ll also stay safer on the road and have much less chance of running over your child’s snow shovel that you’re you told them to put away.
There’s no lighting on this model, which is unfortunate but not a deal-breaker. If you had your heart set on this particular device, it’s still relatively easy to grab an LED light from Wal-Mart and rig it up to the push-handle with some duct-tape or nylon straps. What this model does have is a nifty extension cord wrangler designed to keep you from pulling the plug out of the outlet when you accidentally stray too far.
Verdict: While the extension cord wrangler is a neat feature that may save you some hassle, we think the LED light is more useful. Once again, Snow Joe comes out on top.
Lighting is one of those things you may never think about until it’s 10:00 p.m. and you have to make an emergency grocery store run. If and when emergencies happen, you’ll feel safer knowing that you’ll have maximum visibility on the treacherous winter road as you make your way to your vehicle.
Snow Joe vs. WEN: Conclusion
In some parts of northern Maine, there’s a version of Santa Claus that doesn’t ride a sleigh or bring presents – he simply swings by on a riding snowblower and takes care of your driveway.
These models might not be as high-end as Santa Claus’s magic snow machine, but each of them is perfect for homeowners who want to save some time and stress on their poor backs. Either model would be a great addition to your shed, but as we’ve pointed out, there are several very important difference.
We’ve discussed the difference in motor power, the clearing area, and a couple of bonus features that make your life just a little easier. In every category, the Snow Joe has come out on top. A 15-amp motor, a full foot of clearing depth, and a handy LED light make this our recommended purchase. As we’ve mentioned, however, checking on your region’s annual snowfall will give you a better idea of what unique specifications you might require.