Consumers have asked and Snow Joe has delivered with their new Snow Joe iON18SB cordless battery powered snow blower. It's certainly not the first attempt at a cordless electric snow blower but we think it may be one that sticks around for a while. Others have tried in the past and have failed rather quickly but the technology is catching up with the increased demand in power that clearing snow requires. It's in part because of this technology gap closing that we think Snow Joe may have a winner on their hands with this new release.
Before going any further a little disclaimer is in order. The Snow Joe iON18SB is a new model and is first starting to ship for the season so we haven't had a chance to run it in the real world yet. However, with our knowledge and experience in the area, we wanted to break down the features for this new model while discussing our concerns and expectations. Our rating is also based on this and will be updated accordingly once we've had a chance to take it for a spin. So let's get into it...
The features are by no means mind boggling for the Snow Joe iON18SB but then again it is a cordless electric snow blower, and this is where expectations need to be kept in check. For starters, it's powered by an Ecosharp 40-volt lithium-ion battery which boasts a run time of up to 40 minutes. That may not seem like a lot and it's really not but this is to be expected. Clearing snow requires power and torque which will put incredible strain on any battery. Considering that fact, we think the 40 minutes of run time is actually pretty good.
Another touted feature of the Snow Joe iON18SB is the 2-blade auger system which claims to clear a path 18 inches wide and up to 8 inches deep. This is where are only doubt really comes into play, mainly because it states "thick and heavy snow". I guess this could be open to interpretation but even the most powerful gas powered single stage snow thrower is no match for thick and heavy snow around here. While it may be possible it will certainly be slow going and you won't get very far in 40 minutes, if you even get that much time considering the additional demand for power. For now it's more reasonable to anticipate it handling a few inches of lighter to medium density snowfalls while still allowing sufficient time to clear the smaller areas it was designed for.
There are a few other features of the Snow Joe iON18SB worth noting. Although not as significant as the power and clearing capabilities, they are for convenience and may actually impact the performance slightly depending on their use. The first of which is the included LED light which seems like an unnecessary waste of 3 watts since most areas this snow blower was designed for will already have a light source. Another is the auto-rotate chute which controls the chute direction at the touch of a button. Well this requires power and considering that's a finite commodity in a battery powered snow blower, we think this is another feature that could have been easily skipped. Of course, these both depend on the amount of use but the fact is they do use battery power.
In the end, aside from a few minor concerns, we're very much anticipating the arrival of our Snow Joe iON18SB battery powered snow blower and the snowfall to go along with it. Considering our expectations, we think it's going to be a perfect cordless snow blower for clearing the smaller areas like sidewalks, decks and patios while still having a little battery life left when finished. And so long as it's used within the confines of its abilities we think everyone will be pleased with it and the Snow Joe iON18SB will be an all around winner which is why we gave it a preliminary 4 1/2 star rating.