Ryobi 20-inch 13 Amp Review

Ryobi isn’t what comes to mind when you think of snow blowers, but they’ve put together some nice corded and cordless machines over the years. The Ryobi 20-inch 13 Amp corded electric snow blower (model #RYAC803) is one of the best choices in its class with a durable build and impressive performance in even some harsh conditions.

13-Amp Motor is Adequate

A 13 Amp motor powers the Ryobi electric snowblower. This is just short of the 15 amp max in the United States. Despite that, this unit has some nice throwing power. Lighter snow can be tossed nearly 15 feet, maybe 20 on the right day. You do notice its limitations in wetter snow and slush where it can sometimes struggle to throw more than 5 feet.

There is no maintenance involved with this engine. It starts right up after plugging in and pressing a button. There is no need to deal with messy oil changes, fuel stabilizers or emptying the gas tank at the end of Winter. And its fairly quiet compared to its gas-powered counterparts. These are some nice benefits if you’re not particularly handy.

10-inch Plastic Auger Clears Surface Well

This Ryobi has a 20-inch clearing width and 10-inch clearing depth (which actually measures closer to 12 inches) in its plastic housing. The auger is 10-inches and made of a heavy-duty plastic. While I’d prefer steel like in the Snow Joe Ultra 18-inch, the blades do a great job of clearing down to the surface. Even when it runs into car ruts or compacted snow.

While I wouldn’t purchase exclusively for a gravel driveway due to the danger of rocks being thrown, it can handle a few feet at the end of the driveway. The plastic auger makes this an excellent choice on decks as it won’t scuff up the wood. But overall, this works best on flat, smooth surfaces like concrete and asphalt.

This machine should handle between 6-8 inches of light snow with relative ease. You can go above that mark I’m sure, but will require slowing down a great deal. 4-5 inches of heavy snow should be fine, although you will want to be careful not to stress the motor too much. I haven’t seen it in action on anything more than a few inches of heavy snow, so that is just my estimation. Overall, this 13 amp model has plowing capacity of 400 pounds per minute according to Ryobi.

Discharge Chute Locks in Place

The discharge chute is made of a heavy-duty plastic that is controlled with a remote crank. This crank reaches right up to the user allowing for one hand to control the chute and the other to push the thrower. Not only does it turn smoothly, but it can lock into place in a number of positions. This prevents the chute from shifting due to the vibrations of the engine. There is a 180 degree rotation from left to right.

There is next to no clogging in fluffy snow. With wet snow, there is some minor clogging when the chute is positioned to the far left or right position. Likely a cause of the machine not being powerful enough to push the snow through at a high rate of speed. Definitely coat both the auger paddles and chute in a non-stick spray to avoid this.

Well Built and Easy to Handle

The Ryobi 13-Amp snow blower is lightweight and handles well. Works great if you’re clearing a winding walkway or maneuvering around cars. The safety handle doesn’t require much force and just about anyone should be able to operate this machine. A particularly good choice for Seniors who need help clearing a sidewalk with minimal effort.

Despite being made mostly of plastic, this Ryobi feels sturdier than its counterparts. It’s about 10 pounds heavier than both the Snow Joe SJ625E and the 20-inch Greenworks electric snow blower. The plastic is thicker in areas and feels like it can handle more abuse.

Comes Mostly Assembled with Compact Storage

This unit comes almost fully assembled from Ryobi. Simply pop on the handlebars which isn’t complicated. This blower should fit in the backseat of most sedans if you’re buying from a local hardware store. It also ships well at only 45 pounds.

A great aspect of this snow blower is how well it stores in the offseason. The handlebars collapse on top and it takes up minimal space in the garage (about the size of an ice cooler). Its light enough to be stored on a shelf or taken inside and placed in the basement. Helpful for those with single-car garages where space is limited.

An extension cord is required and Ryobi doesn’t include one. This cord must be made for outdoor conditions, can handle at least 13 amps, and be at minimum of 14 gauge. This is an aspect that many people overlook and end up not getting the full power out of their electric snow blower. In fact, many online retailers will even put the wrong extension cord as an accessory (I’m looking at you Home Depot). My recommendation is either a cord by Iron Forge Cable or AmazonBasics. Otherwise your local hardware store should be able to point you in the right direction if you provide them with the minimum requirements. Our guide to buying an outdoor extension cord might help too.

Warranty

The Ryobi corded 13-amp electric snow thrower comes with an impressive 5-year limited warranty. Two years longer than most brands. Repairs must be made at an authorized service center.

Conclusion

This is a durable electric snow blower that should work great in the right conditions. An affordable choice for people who get the occasional 6-inch light snowfall and don’t want to throw their back out. Probably limited to single car driveways although you could push it with a two-car driveway if it comes to that. This machine also works great for clearing decks and walkways where you don’t need a massive gas snow blower for.

As mentioned earlier, this doesn’t handle heavy, wet snow particularly well. If you’re in an area that gets a lot of lake effect snow for instance, you might be disappointed with the performance. This is more suited for dryer parts of the country like the Midwest. Out East, you’re probably best spending some more for a lower end single-stage gas snow blower.

The electric snowblower market has gotten cramped over the years and there are some solid choices. I’d probably go with the Snow Joe Ultra SJ623E if I had to pick one. It has a little more power at 15 amps and comes with a nice headlight for the same price. But this is still one of the top rated electric snow blowers around. At just $150, you’ll need to temper expectations for what this is capable of. But if you’re fine with those limitations, you should be happy with this blower.

Specs:

Brand: Ryobi
Model: RYAC803 (Operator’s Manual)
Stage Type: Single-Stage
Engine: 13-Amp Electric
Fuel Capacity: N/A
Plowing Capacity: 400 lbs/minute
Clearing Width: 20 inch
Intake height: 10 inch
Throw Distance: 20 feet
Tires: 6 inch (2.5 inch width)
Weight: 45 pounds
Warranty: 5 Year Limited

Features:

Starting Method: Electric
Speed/s: None
Power Steering: No
Chute adjustment: Remote Crank (180° radius)
Headlight: No
Heated handlebars: No

Ryobi 20-inch 13 Amp
Summary
This Ryobi has a higher quality build than most competitor models in this class. 13 amps is sufficient enough for areas with light snow totals and it has some nice chute controls too.
Pros
Sturdier than most electric snowblowers
Chute locks direction in place
Great job at clearing down to the surface
Cons
Almost entirely composed of plastic
Chute can clog in wet snow
8.5
Overall Score