The convenience of battery-operated power tools intrigues me. Battery-powered tools provide an often unnoticed amount of convenience. With batteries, you don’t have to deal with the boundaries and frustration of a power cable, and their motors require little to no maintenance. But the knock on battery-powered tools is a lack of power. And snow removal takes a lot of power. After reviewing the Greenworks Pro 80V Leaf Blower this summer (spoiler alert, it’s pretty great) and then receiving the Greenworks Greenworks 40V 20 Inch Cordless Battery Single-Stage Snow Blower for testing this winter, I was certainly excited to see what the battery-powered snow blower could do for my area’s gnarly winter weather.
I tested the Greenworks 40V 20 20-inch cordless Battery Single-Stage Snow Blower at my house after a weekend of close to non-stop snow. I tested to see if it could be the best snow blower to remove snow from my entire property, which is a corner lot. That means about 150 feet of sidewalk and a two-car driveway with a third area for extra parking. I also tested how far the blower could toss the snow and the battery life.
After a wintery weekend filled with snow (and plenty of snow removal), I can see when a single-stage snow blower like this would work and when you’d want something more powerful.
Jonathan Knoder is a freelance writer and editor and covers a variety of topics from tech to lifestyle, but he has a special affinity for audio gear and smart home tech. In the smart home space, he’s tested and reviewed everything from smart locks and home security cameras to robot vacuums and air quality monitors. His writing has been featured in Top Ten Reviews, Tom's Guide, SPY.com, Security Sales and Integration, and Salt City Hoops. Outside of work, Jonathan is usually playing guitar and drums at the park with his dog or pretending to be a golfer at his local golf course.
Jonathan tested the snow blower by removing snow from his driveway and sidewalks over a snowy Utah weekend. He tested out how well it removed snow, as well as wet snow, how far the snow blower tossed snow, and how long the batteries lasted.
Greenworks 40V Single Stage Snow Blower: key specifications
|One 40V battery
|Max throwing distance
|Max clearing path
|41.5 x 21.5 x 35.5in (l x w x h)
Greenworks 40V Single Stage Snow Blower: First Impressions
The first thing I noticed out of the box was how light it was. Without the battery, the machine only weighs 34.2 pounds. Assembly was quick and easy as well. Installing the handles and the chute rotator took all but five minutes. With the exception of the handles, there is a lot of plastic on the machine. Even the auger is made up entirely of hard plastic.
I did like the big LED lights on the handle, although I didn’t really get to put them to use as I did all of my snow removal during the day. With winter days being shorter and shorter and with it snowing through the night, I could see those lights being useful.
The machine comes with one 40V battery. The manufacturer states that it provides up to 45 minutes of battery life. That certainly wasn’t the case here, but more on that in a moment. What I liked was that you don’t have to prime the engine or endlessly pull a cord to get it to start. Just plop the battery in, press the button, and hold the handle down. That was certainly convenient.
Greenworks 40V Single Stage Snow Blower: Price & availability
The Greenworks 40V Single Stage Snow Blower is available through the manufacturer’s website for a list price of $399.99. But you can find the same snow blower on Amazon for $278. Both include the snow blower, a battery, and a battery charger.
Greenworks 40V Single Stage Snow Blower: Design
Aside from the abundance of plastic, I rather enjoyed the design. It’s compact and lightweight. The twist knob and bolt design of the handles makes it especially easy to break down if you need more storage space. A safety feature that I like is that you can easily press the safety start button with one hand and then hold down the start-up lever with the other - no crossing your hands or awkwardly reaching for the trigger.
Another design element I enjoyed was the chute angle adjuster. It’s a clever design built into the handle. You easily press the handle down and you can make quick adjustments to the chute angle. No need to twist knobs or do anything else.
However, I didn’t like the lever to rotate the chute. The lever doesn’t even really have much of a handle. It’s more just like the rod was bent at the end. It’s harder to grip and rotate the chute. It worked just fine, but the other snow blower had a better design.
Greenworks 40V Single Stage Snow Blower: Performance
The first day of snow over the weekend, about three to four inches, settled on my driveway and walkways. While the Greenworks Single Stage Snow Blower initially didn’t have any problems with removing the light snow, it did, however, get repeatedly stuck to the ground. It’s like the plastic blade on the bottom that makes contact with the ground, or the metal brackets on each end of the mouth that holds the blade into place would get caught on the ground. It felt like I was continuously hitting cracks and getting stuck in place, making it difficult to propel the machine forward in a continuous motion. This was incredibly annoying.
When it wasn’t getting stuck on the ground, it was leaving a thin layer of packed snow on the ground underneath each pass. If you wanted to get rid of that, you would need to make more than one pass over a path and deal with the inevitable feeling of the snow blower getting stuck.
On Sunday, we got a nasty combination of rain and snow, making the three to four inches of snow that came that day wet and heavy. When trying to remove the snow off my back patio, it would take several passes in one area to throw the snow far enough into the grass. Eventually, I was able to clear off the area, but I could have done it, albeit with more effort but in less time, by simply shoveling.
I did the battery life testing on a Saturday morning when the snow was still light and not heavy, wet snow. To test the battery life, I was the neighborhood superhero and removed all the snow from all of my neighbors' walkways essentially until the battery gave out. I was able to run the machine for about 21 minutes before it started to die from lack of battery power. That’s well short of the 45 minutes from the manufacturer. I should note that the 21-minute mark indicates when the machine started to struggle and auto-shutoff due to lack of power. There was still enough juice to turn the motor on, but if you can’t remove snow, what’s the point?
I tested how far the snow blower could throw snow, too. When walking at a normal pace in a straight line, and with the chute set to its maximum throwing angle, it was able to throw snow anywhere from 12 - 15 feet. Again, this is well short of the manufacturer's 25-foot specifications.
When it came to engine noise, this motor is quiet, and that is rather nice. Using a decimeter app on my phone, I took a measurement of the engine noise where one would normally stand to push the motor. The decimeter recorded about 71.6 decibels. That’s around the same amount of noise you’d hear from the inside of a car. When placing the meter near the engine, it recorded about 79.3 decibels. That’s roughly as loud, if not a little quieter than your average car engine. So, operating this machine is a rather quiet endeavor, saving your ears, and not irritating your neighbors.
Greenworks 40V 20 Inch Cordless Single-Stage Snow Blower: Cleaning & Maintenance
Battery operated motors require far less maintenance than gas powered ones, especially when storing at the end of the year, and starting the motor for the first time when winter arrives. After every use, clear any remaining snow from the snow blower. You can do this with a towel or I used a leaf blower to make quick work of removing the excess snow. After that, dry off any additional snow or water that may be remaining with a towel.
Although I didn’t have to do this, if you find a heavy amount of snow or ice in the mouth of the blower, wheel the blower onto a mat in your garage, and place a small space heater near the mouth. This will melt away any snow or ice in roughly 20 minutes.
Before the season starts, you should hit all of the bolts on and around the auger, as well as the scraper – that includes under the scraper – with a rust breaker and preventer. After you’ve completed that, using a silicone spray on the mouth, chute and body will prevent snow from sticking in the auger and chute, as well as create a light moisture barrier to help snow from sticking to the snow blower. When you spray the body of the machine with the silicone spray, wipe it down after for a nice shine. And avoid spraying the engine.
Other than that, ensuring that you place the battery on the charger after every time you use it, and keeping the snow blower in a covered and dry area is all you need to worry about. No having to worry about gas going stale in the engine, or flooding the carburetor. Maintenance with battery powered engines, like the Greenworks snow blower is rather convenient.
How does the Greenworks 40V Single Stage Snow Blower compare?
Having tested the Snow Joe 48V Max Cordless Snow Blower at the same time, naturally, it's easy to compare the two, and with the exception of its horrid steep pricing, I preferred the Snow Joe. It was easier to push around, had a slightly wider clearing path, and had slightly better battery life, in my experience.
When compared to the EGO Power + 21-inch Cordless Snow Blower, the Greenworks snow blower is roughly $300 cheaper. The EGO Power has an inch wider mouth but is about 15 pounds heavier, which could potentially make it more difficult to maneuver around. It also has a 35-foot throwing distance, which is better than the Greenworks manufacturer stat.
If you don’t mind splurging a little bit and are in need of more power, the Cub Cadet IntelliPower Snow Blower is a more powerful gas-powered option. It's easy to start for a gas snow blower and is self-propelled.
Should you buy the Greenworks 40V Single Stage Snow Blower?
|Affordable compared to other battery powered options
|Easy to build and lightweight. Also compacted for easy storage
|Would stick to the ground often and battery life lasted about half what manufacturer states
Buy it if…
Your area doesn’t get a lot of snow
This is not a machine for heavy-duty snow removal. If your area only gets a couple of inches every so often, this is an inexpensive, easy-to-store option.
You don’t have much area to clear
If the snow is light and the area you are cleaning is relatively small, this should work fine.
You want a snow blower but don’t have a lot of storage space
This machine can break down in a rather compact size, making it easy to store in a shed or garage when not in use.
Don’t buy it if…
Your climate gets a lot of snow
If your area gets a lot of snow, like several inches to feet a day, you’ll want to consider a powerful gas snow blower mower.
You have a large area to clear
Considering the short battery life, if you can’t clear your entire area in roughly 20 minutes, you’ll want to look for another option
How I tested the Greenworks 40V Single Stage Snow Blower
I tested the snow blower after a stormy and snowy Utah weekend. Throughout the weekend, we got anywhere between 10 inches to a foot of snow. When I tested the snow blower, only three to four inches of snow settled on the ground. I tested its snow removal ability, maneuverability, battery life, and throwing capabilities by clearing my driveway, patio, and walkways around my house and surrounding neighbors’ houses.
I tested battery life during normal use. With a full battery, I removed snow from not only my home but surrounding neighbors’ walkways and timed the performance until the battery was no longer sufficient enough to power the motor to throw snow.
To measure the snow-throwing distance, I set the chute to the maximum snow-throwing angle. I took a tape measure and measured where the majority of snow was thrown after a single pass, walking at a normal pace.
Find out more about how we test.