Snow Joe iON18SB Review

9
Overall Score

The Snow Joe iON18SB has been one of the most popular cordless snow blowers on the market. This lightweight unit can be shipped directly to your door (free if you have Amazon Prime). There is minimal assembly required (around 15 minutes). And the Snow Joe name has slowly gained a good reputation for the quality of their products.

There is a nice mixture of performance and features with this single-stage snow blower. Stuff you don’t typically find at this price point. And that’s the big selling point here, price. The iON18SB is highly affordable and a great way for people looking for some assistance removing light snow over the Winter.

40-Volt Battery and Quiet Engine

The brushless motor is powered by a single 40V 4.0 Ah battery by Snow Joe. It starts easy and the 750W brushless motor has some nice punch for its size. It requires going slow with heavier snow, but it has enough juice to handle it.

Battery length is largely dependent on the conditions you’re working with. The maximum I’ve gotten is 50 minutes with a couple inches of fluffy snow. With a few inches or more of heavy snow, I’d estimate around 35-40 minutes of use on a single charge. That’s not bad. Although if you’re working on a larger area, investing in a second battery is not a terrible idea.

If you’re looking at a cordless snow blower, you likely know some of the benefits that come with their engines. This machine is quiet. You can run it in the middle of the night without waking the neighbors. There is no oil or gas to deal with. Which of course means not dealing with the unpleasant scent of burning fumes.

Clears to the Surface

With a lot of budget snow blowers, they go with plastic augers. But this Snow Joe is made of steel. It’s not very thick, but it’s still steel. Coating the auger is a rubber paddle which helps prevent damage to your surfaces.

As a single-stage model, this unit does a solid job of working down to the surface. You’ll be able to see the pavement when done which should help prevent ice build-up. It struggles with hardened tire ruts, but that is expected at this price point. This unit cannot be used on gravel driveways.

The rubber paddles make this an ideal choice for wood deck owners. There is no risk of scuffing the surface and you won’t have to deal with hardened snow on the driveway.

Best at 6 inches or Less

The Snow Joe iON18SB has an 18-inch frame which is fine for single car driveways and sidewalks. The housing has an 8-inch clearance height, but that seems too optimistic for what this machine can handle.

Clearing 6 inches or less of light snow is the sweet spot for this cordless model. Anything more and you’re going to struggle. For larger piles (8 inches or more), it takes multiple passes and tends to ride up due to it’s lightweight build. You’ll have to go slow and it can burn through the battery charge quicker.

While they advertise 20 feet of throwing distance, I think you’d be hard pressed to see that in action. Light, fluffy snow can be thrown over 10 feet. But when it gets deep and thick, the machine barely achieves more than a couple feet. This is especially noticeable when the chute is fully situated to the left of right side. This can make it difficult for two-car driveways that require some throwing distance.

Auto-Rotate Chute Has Clogging Issues

A nice feature with this model is the auto-rotate chute. A tiny joystick sits to the right of the handlebar that can move the plastic chute 180 degrees side to side. You don’t need to stop at all. This is rare to find at this price and a nice addition from Snow Joe.

Unfortunately, there are clogging issues when the snow is wetter. This requires stopping the machine and clearing out the chute. Alleviate the problem by spraying some snow and ice repellent liberally inside the chute. In fact, I’d consider it a must-have add-on if you’re purchasing this model.

Lightweight and Easy to Handle

At just over 30 pounds, the iONS18SB is easy to handle. Moving it forward and reverse requires minimal force. I’ve seen it become a popular option for Seniors. In fact, I purchased a refurbished model for my elderly Mother so that she could clear the sidewalk to her garage without having to exert herself.

A headlight of sorts is attached on the left handlebar for night time use. It’s more of a flashlight which can be adjusted up and down. The 3W LED bulb won’t illuminate your whole driveway, but is helpful and a nice safety feature. One of the beauties of having a quiet cordless is being able to use it late at night.

Snow Joe recently removed the safety key feature on their devices. The auger would not engage without the key. This had turned into a headache for the company as people would lose theirs and require a replacement. I thought the key was a nice feature for those with kids although I understand why they made the decision.

$292.00
$399.99
in stock
5 new from $292.00
2 used from $198.95
as of May 29, 2020 5:27 pm
Amazon.com
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Hybrid Electric Version Available (iON18SB-HYB)

Snow Joe offers a unique hybrid version of this snow blower for a little bit more money. This allows the machine to be operated with either a battery or through an electrical outlet (not both at the same time however).

The electric side is more powerful and utilizes 13.5A. This might be a nice compromise if you’re concerned with the cordless model being able to handle the thicker piles at the end of the driveway. Or if you don’t feel like waiting for your battery to charge on an especially snowy day. Just be sure you’re using a proper outdoor extension cord.

Warranty

All Snow Joe snow blowers come with a full 2-year warranty. This includes the battery and charger. Extended warranty options are available. Replacement units and parts are shipped free of charge.

Conclusion

The Snow Joe iON18SB is a nice, affordable alternative to a single-stage gas snow blower. It is quiet, environmentally-friendly, and easy to operate. And you’ll be hard pressed to find the same kind of features included here in other brands at this price point.

So while I recommend this model, I do so with expectations kept in check. This will not fair well in Northern Michigan blizzard. It is built for light to moderate snow conditions. A great tool to help clear a driveway, sidewalk, and deck of 3-6 inches of snow. If that’s what you’re in need of, I think you’ll be happy with this choice.

Specs:

Brand: Snow Joe
Model: iON18SB (Operator’s Manual)
Stage Type: Single-Stage Cordless
Engine: 750W Brushless
Battery Type: 40V 4.0Ah Lithium-Ion
Plowing Capacity: 495 lbs per minute
Clearing Width: 18 inch
Intake height: 8 inch
Throw Distance: 15 feet
Tires: 6 inch (1.5 in. width)
Weight: 32 pounds
Warranty: 2-year

Features:

Starting Method: Push Button
Speed/s: None
Power Steering: No
Chute adjustment: Remote (180 degree turning radius)
Headlight: 3W LED
Heated handgrips: No

Snow Joe iON18SB
Snow Joe iON18SB
Summary
Power to handle 6 inches of snow and easy operation makes this a great value at its low price. No wonder this 18-inch cordless has become a popular green alternative among online shoppers.
Overall Score9
Pros
Very affordable price
Remote chute controls
Lightweight and easy to operate
Cons
Heavy snow sticks to chute without repellent
Sub-par throwing distance
9
Overall Score