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Snow Joe 18 inch 40v Lithium-Ion Hybrid Snow Blower

First Thoughts

snow_joe_hybrid_snow_blowerSnow blowers and snow removal equipment is something we have a lot of experience with.  Our trusty snow shovel was well used in the college days at Northern Michigan University in Marquette Michigan.  On the shores of Lake Superior we had a lot of lake effect snow that dumped record snow falls two years in a row.  It was not uncommon for us to walk outside to the apartment parking lot and just see the hump of the cab of our trucks.  Cars simply looked like a drift between the larger vehicles.  When we knew these storms were going to roll through, we would strap the cars to the trucks so we could pull them out without shoveling.  It was about keeping everything simple and quick when you are out in the cold.

snow_joe_hybrid_snow_blower_tiresSnow Joe has this same philosophy when it comes to snow blowers.  They strive to provide a good product that will work well for people who might not have as much snow to remove as we did in college.  The 18 inch model that we took a look at is a hybrid unit meaning that it can run off the 40 volt included battery and also off an electrical cord.  That is the best of both worlds to me simply because you have an alternative way to clear snow if the battery were to run out prior to your work being complete.  The corded option also extends the life of the snow blower beyond the life of the battery if one chooses not to buy a new battery.

Model # ION18SB-HYB Features

  • Lightweight design to easily clear sidewalks, driveways and decks
  • 40-Volt 4.0 Ah rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides up to 52 minutes of whisper quiet runtime
  • No pull cords, gas, oil, tune-ups, carbon emissions or tangled extension cords
  • Steel auger with 2 rubber blades moves up to 500 lbs. of snow per minute
  • Cuts a path 18 in. wide x 8 in. deep without damaging surface
  • 180° auto-rotate directional chute throws snow up to 20 ft.
  • 3-Watt LED headlight provides increased visibility for nighttime
  • Powerful 500-Watt brushless motor
  • 39 pounds less battery; 42 pounds with battery
  • Contains electric capability for unlimited clearing time

Convenience

snow_joe_hybrid_snow_blower_rubber_augerI was pretty impressed that this small and lightweight unit had an electric 180° auto-rotate directional chute.  This is an option that I view as a higher end model option when looking at gas models.  We have no snow at this time in October and I hope not to be able to test this unit out until well into December, but we never know what Mother Nature will throw at us.  The steel auger with 2 rubber blades has a soft start with the brushless motor and feels quite powerful and moved a lot of air in the shop.  While this unit is meant for light and fluffy snow, rubber paddles mean inefficiency to me.  They are able to flex and twist allowing for the snow to fall behind them losing the thrust and tight connections that make a quality, high end snow thrower.  The fact is though, many units have had this type of blade system for the past 20 years and it works well when taking smaller swaths like this 18 inch model does.

snow_joe_hybrid_snow_blower_blower_chute_toggleFor someone who wants to have a very reliable and semi portable system, this unit provides a mostly plastic system that will not leave rust marks on your garage floor.  The plastic cutting edge is replaceable if needed and is tight to the ground when the unit is pushed forward.  The unit will run close to an hour on battery only without load so I expect the runtime to decrease when used with snow, especially when using it at the max snow handling of 8 inches.  But that is where the hybrid part of this machine shines.  If there is not much snow, your tasks could be completed on the battery.  For the large snow storms that seldom happen in many places, the plug in option give the user the ability to complete the task and move on with their day.  I think that option is a bonus for anyone looking at battery or electric snow blowers.

Overall

snow_joe_hybrid_snow_blower_battery_and_chargerSnow Joe has built a nice light duty snow blower that will fit into the home market well.  There are some great advantages to a plastic model that is used around salt or used very seldom.  We cannot comment much on the actual performance of the model since we have only opened the box, assembled a few parts and dry run the unit.  While we would like to test this unit as soon as possible, for our sanity, we hope the snow holds off for a while longer.  When we do have the chance to test it, we will report back with our findings.

 

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