The end of summer is almost here. It's still warm outside, but it's not too early to start thinking about getting ready for winter. Of course, there isn't much yard work to do in the winter, but there's still work to do. You know what I'm talking about - snow removal.
It used to be that you only had two choices for snow removal. You could either do the back-breaking work of shoveling with a snow shovel or use a loud, heavy and dirty gasoline-powered snow blower. But not anymore.
Snow removal has come a long way since the invention of the first "walk behind" snow blowers in the 1950's. The first big change came in the form of the electric snow blower.
Not long ago, someone came up with the idea of making a cordless electric snow blower. It eliminates the hassle of dealing with long extension cords. It's better for the environment, too, because it doesn't use fossil fuels.
There are only a few makes and models of cordless snow blowers on the market today. In this review, we're going to take a look at one from Snow Joe, a company that makes innovative outdoor tools for homeowners. It's called the Snow Joe iON18SB, and we think you're going to like what you see.
What are the Snow Joe iON18sb's best features?
The Snow Joe iON18SB cordless electric snow blower is lightweight. It weighs only 32 pounds, so it's easy to clear your driveway, sidewalk or patio. It's light enough to carry up to your deck or porch if you want to use it there. And, if you need to take it somewhere, it's a cinch to load into your car.
A 40-volt 4.0 Ah rechargeable lithium-ion battery gives you up to 50 minutes of run time. It's easy to start and it's quiet. That also means that there's no need for gasoline, oil or tune-ups. And, there is no electric cord to get tangled up in while you're clearing the snow.
This model can clear an 18-inch wide path through snow up to 8 inches deep at a rate of up to 495 pounds of snow per minute. It can throw the snow up to 20 feet away, depending on the type of snow.
Auto-Rotate Directional Chute:
It has a unique auto-rotate chute that you control with a switch on the handle of the blower. This is great if you need to change the direction of the snow discharge to avoid cars, people or windows. There's no need to stop and crank the chute to a new position by hand.
There's a convenient LED headlight built in to the snow blower, so you can work in the dark. Since the days are so short in the winter, this is a great feature to have.
What comes in the box?
When you buy an iON18sb, you'll get the snow blower, one 40-volt lithium-ion battery, a charger, and some screws and washers. There's also a user manual with complete use and care instructions.
Watch it in action:
Does it come assembled?
The Snow Joe iON18sb comes mostly assembled. You will need to screw on the chute and the upper part of the handle. The screws are included, and it's easy to do. Just follow the instructions in the manual.
Is it hard to operate a Snow Joe snow blower?
The blades do the work of clearing the snow, but you will have to move the Snow Joe cordless electric snow blower itself. It's not self-propelled. But, because it's so lightweight, it's not hard to push through small levels of light snow. Of course, heavy wet snow will need more effort on your part.
Can you use the iON18sb on gravel driveways?
The manufacturer says that it's intended for use on paved surfaces and doesn't recommend using it on gravel. It doesn't have a height adjustment. The only way to go over gravel would be to push down on the handle to lift the front of the blower up above the gravel surface.
Will the blades mark up my driveway?
No, the blades are made of rubber-tipped steel and won't leave any marks on your driveway. Some users have also reported using the Snow Joe on a wooden deck with no problems. You're more likely to gouge your deck with a snow shovel than you would with the Snow Joe.
How long does the battery last?
If the snow is light and fluffy, the battery will last about 45 minutes. But on heavy wet snow, it only lasts about 20 to 25 minutes. We recommend purchasing an extra battery and keeping both of them charged. You can carry an extra in your coat pocket and switch them out if the first battery dies while you're still working.
How long does it take to charge the battery?
A fully discharged battery takes about 2.5 to 3 hours to charge. Always charge and store the battery indoors to extend its life.
Snow Joe Battery at Amazon:
Does it require any maintenance?
No, the snow blower never needs to be lubricated. All you need to do is check that the bolts and screws are tight, and check for wear and tear. At some point you may need to replace the scraper bar, but this is a simple task.
What do owners like about this Snow Joe snow blower?
We always like to check out what reviewers on Amazon have to say about a product because they tend to be brutally honest. There are over 400 Amazon reviews of the Snow Joe iON 18sb, and we read through all of them. Here's a sampling of the pros, according to people who own and use it:
Are there any cons?
There were a few recurring complaints among the reviews on Amazon. Here are some things that the users thought could use some improvement:
- The battery compartment doesn't always stay closed. It tends to pop open when you're using the snow blower. You can fix it with duct tape or a bungee cord. We hope that Snow Joe will change the design in future models.
- You only get one battery with the blower, and it runs out quickly when you're moving heavy snow. Having a second battery is helpful, but they're expensive.
- The handle doesn't feel sturdy.
- Sometimes the chute control stops working and you have to turn it by hand.
- It doesn't work well on heavy wet snow or snow that has been plowed to the curb. It's not built to handle more than 6 to 8 inches of snow.
Where can I buy a Snow Joe cordless electric snow blower?
There are several websites where you can buy an iON18SB. If you're going to buy it online, you'll want to buy it from a trusted retailer. We recommend Amazon because they have secure ordering and they honor their return policy. Most items ship for free, too.
What kind of warranty does Snow Joe have?
The Snow Joe snow blower itself has a 2-year warranty. The battery and charger come with a 90-day warranty.
If you live in an area that doesn't get a lot of heavy snowfall every year, then the Snow Joe snow blower will serve you well. It's a great choice for anyone who wants a quick way to clear away small amounts of light snow from a deck, patio, sidewalk, or small driveway.
However, this should not be your primary snow blower if you live in the Northeast or Midwest US. It just isn't powerful enough. But, you could consider having it as a secondary machine for those times when you do have a lighter snowfall and don't want to have to lug out your big snow blower.
You can't beat the Snow Joe iON18SB for convenience and ease of use. We like the push button start, the quiet motor, and low carbon footprint. There's no pull cord to exasperate you and it's essentially maintenance free.
And that LED headlight is a big plus. You can get out there at 5:00 am. and clear your driveway before leaving for work without waking up the neighborhood. Everyone will appreciate that!
If this sounds like a good match for your needs, you can grab one for a great price today at Amazon and be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at you this winter.
If it doesn't, why not read our best snow blower reviews by clicking here?