In this review, I attempt to assess the pros and cons of Snow Joe iON18SB as the only cordless electric snow blower in the market as of fall 2014.
The public sensitivity on carbon emissions, the hassle of pulling the starter rope, the troubles of dealing with the fuel, the ire of neighbors on the noise and many other things motivate us to abandon the old, heavy, gas powered tools and shift to the newer electrics units. The electric power tools do fine as long as you have a nearby outlet and you do not run over the cord with your lawn
mower or snow blower. An even more hassle-free route is without doubt to get battery powered, cordless equipment. Manufacturers are quick to sense the surging interest in battery equipment and pioneering companies like GreenWorks work hard to fill the gap. Interestingly, no company has yet come up with a battery powered snow blower, except for Snow Joe. The Snow Joe iON also known as iON18SB is the first of its kind and a great choice for those who want to experience the freedom of using a battery operated snow thrower.
Snow Joe iON18SN Specifications:
40 V 4.0 Ah EcoSharp rechargeable lithium-ion battery
upto 40 minutes run time – 2 hours recharge time
Weight: 32 lbs
Effective Snow Depth: 8 inches
Snow Throw Distance: 20 feet.
source: Snow Joe iON product page on SnowJoe website
Pros and Cons
If you are interested in a cordless snow thrower, the advantages of this unit are straighforward for you but I will still go through them very briefly: No fuel, no cord, no issues starting the engine, no crazy noise, no smoke, no bulky and heavy thing to push around. This snow blower can make snow blowing easier than it’s ever been.
People who try this cordless snow blower end up quite happy most of the time but they admit that it cannot handle the job when the snow is deeper than 6 inches. It looks like majority of the customers of Snow Joe iON knew what they needed and shopped accordingly. The same should be the case for anyone who is considering a battery snow thrower. If you are not going to come across anything deeper than 7 inches of snow, it’s great to have this machine at your disposal. If your snow removal sessions are not going to be any longer than 40 minutes or you do not mind having more than one go at the snow piles, you will like Snow Joe iON. Remember this is not the toughest snow removal machine you will find, so be easy on it. If you snow throwing tasks are already easy, this snow blower will make them even easier by freeing you from the fuel and the cord for good.
Snow Joe cordless electric snow blower has a number of additional features that improve the user experience even further. The first one is the 3 W LED headlight that can help in stormy weathers. Next, we’ve got a unique, electronic control to turn the chute in the desired direction. All you have to do is to touch a switch on the handle so you do not have to pause what you are doing to adjust the chute. Sometimes the electronic chute control fails if there is a lot of snow moving through the machine. No need to worry because the chute can always be handled manually and it will do no harm to the automatic controls. Finally, the snow blower handle can be folded in the middle so you can adjust the handle according your preferences. It also makes the machine easier to store and transport. I am not sure about this feature. I feel it could make the handle prone to breaking and a snow blower handle must be able to resist a lot of burden.
Before concluding the review, I would like to mention two minor reservations about Snow Joe iON 18SB. The first one is the price. It costs double the price of a corded electric snow blower and pretty much does the same thing. So you have to think and decide whether the extra cost is worth the freedom. Second reservation is about patience. I expect other brands to release similar battery units soon and new products are often better. We especially need to keep an eye on GreenWorks because of its pioneering role in battery operated tools market and the fact that it is already the manufacturer of what is considered to be the best electric snow blower.
In conclusion, factoring in the pros and cons, Snow Joe battery powered snow blower is a great alternative when the abovementioned conditions are met. My view is supported by the choices of thousands of customers who go for Snow Joe iON 18SB and make it one of the top snow blowers in the market. For further information, user reviews and pricing see the Amazon product page.