As cordless home improvement items have surged over the past few years, we’re seeing more companies entering the space looking to grab some market share. Litheli is a new one that manufactures snow blowers and other products such as leaf blowers, weed wackers, and chainsaws.
The lure of Litheli products is their low price point. A snow blower that comes with a battery and charger for under $300 is quite a bargain, especially if you can use that battery on their other products. Not to mention one that ships to your home and is simple to assemble. But to reach that price, corners have to be cut. Despite some promising performances, there are some warts to deal with along the way.
40V Brushless Motor Provides Ample RPM
Powering this Litheli snow blower is a 40V brushless motor that has become the cordless market standard. The engine requires no annual maintenance and is emission-free (outside of the power used to charge the battery). No oil, no gas, and no messy fumes.
The thrower powers up swiftly and provides some decent RPM for the auger to scoop snow. It maintains stability throughout, no matter how quickly you move through the snow. There is an automatic shutdown feature to avoid burning out the engine.
Up close, the engine is a bit louder than other cordless models I’ve used. Thankfully, that noise doesn’t carry far. I could only faintly hear it at the end of the driveway. You should have the confidence to use it early in the morning or late at night without waking the neighbors.
Battery Can Overheat if Pushed
When it comes to lithium-ion batteries, you never know what you’re getting. With a few inches of snow, the Litheli did well. I finished up in 25 minutes, and the battery had some energy to spare. There was no noticeable slow down as I got farther into the clearing of the driveway and sidewalks.
A heavier snowfall caused some problems, however. Within 10 minutes of continuous use in around 5-6 inches of snow, the battery overheated and shut down the snowblower. I assumed a few minutes to cool down would put me back in business, but I was wrong. The noticeably warm battery required almost an hour to cool down. It wouldn’t charge in this state either. It seems clear that you’ll have to pause and give the motor breaks every so often to avoid this happening.
Otherwise, I liked the design of the battery. It comes with an LED panel on the front that notifies you of how much power remains. The charging device took about 45 minutes to charge a fully drained battery. And it slides in effortlessly with both the snow blower and charging station.
Useful in Light Snow, Not in Heavy
Unfortunately, this is how things work with most cordless snow blowers. They have the juice to handle those light and fluffy snow of a few inches or less, but not enough oomph for much more. The difference feels even more drastic with the Litheli brand snow blower.
My first test was with about 2-3 inches of snow. It handled everything incredibly well and cleared mostly down to the surface. There was even some ice mixed in from an earlier cold snap that it didn’t choke on. The throwing distance was around 15-20 feet, by my estimates. Overall, it performed exactly as I wanted.
The next test was a prominent Chicago snowstorm where the limitations were apparent. It simply couldn’t plow through anything more than 4 inches without riding up. And in some cases, it would merely shutdown from an inability to produce enough power to keep the augers turning.
In notably heavier areas, I had to resort to pushing it in and then pulling it out over and over, getting maybe a foot or two at a time. This was before the battery burnout mentioned above. It just wasn’t that helpful during this storm.
Quality Chute Controls with No Clogging
With budget snow blower models, it can often be tough to find one that allows for chute rotation while in use. Litheli comes through here. An adjustable hand crank comes up from the chute to lay below the handlebars. It provides 180 degrees of rotation despite being a little stiff. That stiffness, however, helps the chute stay in place and ends up working flawlessly.
Adjusting the angle on the discharge chute does require manually doing so. However, I could adjust the angle by reaching through the handlebars and grabbing the lever on top. The angle lever might be an issue for shorter folks, but it worked well for someone who is 6 feet tall.
Unfortunately, the angle didn’t hold particularly well. Despite some locking mechanism, the chute would lower itself over time and require another adjustment. This may be from the pressure of the snow coming through. As someone who likes a high angle, this was a tad annoying.
On a positive note, there was no clogging observed. No matter how much snow I pumped through the chute, it never backed up. And this was without any non-stick spray being added. My guess is the added clearing depth (12 inches) helps prevent a bottleneck from occurring inside the chute. Definitely one of the high points for this snow blower.
Easy to Operate
While made mostly of plastic, the Litheli actually has a little weight compared to competitors. It’s about 10 pounds heavier than the popular Snow Joe iON18SB. This is in part to a slightly wider design (20-inch clearing width). I find the added weight helps with the stability on turns.
The dual-action start requires pressing a safety lock button while pulling the bail handle. This forces you to use two hands, which prevents any accidents from happening.
There are two heights you can set the snow blower at for operation. This felt comfortable for me in the higher setting. The lower setting should be usable for anyone over 5 feet in height. Again, this was incredibly easy to operate, and I don’t see any restrictions based on age, strength, or size.
Dual LED Headlights a Nice Touch
At this price point, there are not going to be a lot of frills added. But I was pleasantly surprised to see dual LED headlights on the front. They turn on automatically when the machine starts and provides substantial light down the path.
The other feature they tout is the dual compartment. This allows you to stack two batteries side by side in the machine. Unfortunately, only one side connects to the motor. The other is simply a standby battery seat. It would be nice if both batteries could operate simultaneously or if it would automatically shift without having to stop and swap them around. I guess this feature may save a minute or two on a cold day, but I just don’t see much benefit to it (nor do I think many people will own two batteries).
LiTHELi offers a 3-year standard warranty on the machine and 1-year standard warranty on the battery and charger. Both can be extended by 2 years by registering the product. Warranty only covers defects and deficiencies under normal use.
Keep Expectations Reasonable
Overall, it’s an acceptable battery-powered snow blower if you’re dealing with a few inches of snow. Ideal for clearing sidewalks, decks, and single-car driveways. Asking it to handle half a foot of snow is going to leave you frustrated.
My preference will still be to go with a Snow Joe if the prices are equal. They’ve had a few more years to iron out design kinks that provide a better experience. Plus, they are starting to use metal augers and rubber tips. But if you own other Litheli products or find a great deal on it, it’s not a bad little cordless snow blower.
Stage Type: Single-Stage Cordless
Battery Type: 40V 4.0Ah Lithium-Ion
Plowing Capacity: 500 lbs/min
Clearing Width: 20 inch
Intake height: 12 inch
Throw Distance: 15-20 feet
Weight: 45 pounds
Warranty: 3-year machine, 1-year battery/charger
Starting Method: Push Button
Power Steering: No
Chute adjustment: Remote (180 degree turning radius)
Headlight: Dual LED
Heated handlebars: No