In my previous post about going electric for snowblowing I mentioned that I needed a few snowfalls to really see how it could handle a Minnesota winter. Despite being dry for much of December we did manage a couple solid storms in January. That gave me a great opportunity to put the machine through its paces.
So what it is?
The EGO SNT2102 is a single stage snow thrower with a 21 inch width clearing deck. It has an adjustable power control for throwing distance, with a max range of 35 feet. It uses two 56V lithium ion batteries for power, but you can run it with just one. There’s a simple control for aiming the direction of the chute, though you need to manually adjust the height with the handle on the chute. It comes with LED headlights for night plowing and the entire machine folds down in to a small package. The entire thing weighs just over 50 lbs. without batteries.
I purchased this in a kit that contained two batteries and a charger.
What do I like?
The biggest perk for me is how light this blower is compared to my old two stage. It’s very easy to maneuver wherever I need it to go. When I’m using it, it’s like I’m simply pushing a shovel through light snow. I’ve pushed this through different areas of my yard and it hasn’t been a problem. I clear a path across my grass for mail delivery and to get to our bird feeder. Sometimes my old two stage would get stuck and I’d have to back it out. That was one one the most difficult tasks ever, as that beast weighed closer to 150 lbs. and didn’t maneuver easily.
The push button start is wonderful, and I never have to guess if my blower is going to start. It makes the job of clearing snow much easier when you don’t have to fight with a gas engine to start. Maybe my old two stage was just defective, but no matter how I babied the engine it always gave me trouble. With the EGO I pop in the batteries and go.
The batteries are beefy monsters but they last a long time. One recent snowstorm had me blowing my driveway, my neighbors plow line, and another neighbors driveway and plow line. When I finished I had 1 out of 5 bars left on each battery (0-20%). That was really impressive and led to exploring using just one battery instead of two. For another recent snowfall that was only a couple of inches I grabbed a single battery and managed to finish my driveway and still have 3 out of 5 bars left. That saves weight but also saves time when charging since I only need to put one battery on the charger.
The controls are well thought out, and I really like the simple lever for moving the chute. My two stage had a crank, and it took longer to swing it from side to side. There’s a speed control to limit how far you throw the snow, and I assume help preserve battery power if you don’t need it on high power. The LED headlights are fun as well
Finally, and perhaps the most satisfying part… I don’t smell like gas when I get done.
Below is a short video of what it looks like to use the EGO (with one hand while filming with the other).
What didn’t I like?
I do have a couple of gripes, but they’re mostly design related and don’t have a big impact on functionality. First, I wish that I could control the height of the snow throwing from the bar. Instead, I need to adjust the height using a handle on the chute itself. Usually, this isn’t a big deal, but it is one convenience I liked better on the bigger blower.
One other complaint is the fact that the battery indicator windows are quickly covered by snow when in use. I wish there was another set of indicators that were on the handlebar, or the back of the blower, so that I could monitor the power level easier. However, since I know I can get multiple passes of my driveway out of a charge, it’s probably not a big deal.
Finally, there is the fact that it is a single stage with no self-propelled motor. That means you do need to push the blower instead of just following along behind it. This isn’t a heavy machine though, so I’ve yet to have any difficulty moving it around.
If your’e interested in going electric for snowblowing I’d recommend checking out the EGO line. The batteries are solid, and they last well beyond what I need with my suburban driveway. This particular model is lightweight and powerful, and has just enough features to get the job done without anything excess. EGO does make a two stage blower that I considered, but it is a first generation product and very expensive. I’d rather give them time to work out the kinks and get the price down. Plus, it’s just as heavy as my gas powered one.
I’m also anxious to try out their lawn mowers come spring and see if they’re just as good. I was an electric lawn mower user for many, many years (corded, not cordless) and love the idea of using less small gas engines around my house. EGO seems to be making some great strides at electrifying home and garden tools, and it fits really well with my needs and my ideology. I’m happy to be able to support more and more companies that are giving alternative power sources a shot.