The Snow Joe iON24SB-XRP is a powerful 80-volt snow blower that has caused a lot of buzz recently in the snow blower’s niche. Why is this the case? Well, you are looking at one of the first battery-powered 2-stage snow blowers, which comes in handy during the cold Winter season.
Until now, cordless snow blowers were electric one-stage machines with limited power output. This has changed. Advanced models such as the Snow Joe iON24SB-XR have taken over this space with a bang.
Snow Joe iON24SB-XR, iON24SB-XRP, and iON24SB-CT
First, what is the difference between these three Snow Joe models? Let us clarify this to avoid confusion:
- Snow Joe iON24SB-XRP | Has two 40-Volt 6.0 Ah batteries
- 50-minute run-time per full charge.
- Snow Joe iON24SB-XR | Has two 40-Volt 5.0 Ah batteries
- 40-minute run-time per full charge.
- iON24SB-CT | Does not have a charger nor battery. You only get a snow blower.
There is a mini-revolution in the snow blowing industry. If you experience heavy snowfall every year and need a snow blower that makes driveway clean-up effortless, today is your lucky day. You have a good opportunity to own a medium-power gas snow blower that offers the plethora of benefits of battery-powered models. The system is super quiet and therefore fun to use. It is also lightweight, easy to operate, and needs almost zero maintenance to work seamlessly in most settings.
Here is a video of this impressive 80-Volt Snow Blower in Action
The only difference between these two products is simple: The Snow Joe iON24SB-XRP has two 6.0Ah batteries while the iON24SB-CT model has two 40-volt 5.0Ah battery packs. However, you should know that both models are 80-volt snow blowers with two 40-bolt batteries connected parallel to each other to deliver 80-volts of power. These rechargeable batteries are compatible with most Snow Joe ION tools.
Thus, the Snow Joe iON24SB-XRP snow blower can run for around 50 minutes, around10 minutes longer than the Snow Joe iON24SB-XR.
Before we look at a range of topics on the best snow blowers that will help you to make an informed decision, let us first lay the groundwork.
The Beginning | Snow Blower History
Snow blowers, as most of us probably know have been in production for close to 90 years today, ever since Arthur Sicard produced the prototype of this product in 1925, which mirrored the grain thresher design way back in 1894. This model mimicked a locomotive that required an autonomous and external engine to shovel thick snow.
After several improvements and attaining new patents, the company released a newer walk-behind device, followed by gas-powered snow blowers with a renowned vanguardist technology. The machine was no longer as expensive as the traditional models mostly found in agencies and governments. To date, millions of people, especially home owners from the Northern-Hemisphere, consider it somewhat of a commodity.
Through this article, we do not intend to discuss the early stages of the snow blower’s evolutionary process. We have another article that covers the history of this reputable brand in detail. We will skip several chapters in this history up to a couple of decades ago – the early 1990’s. We have approached the details in this article differently. Because we love diversity, we have focused on the game-changing features of snow blowers to help you to find the best models in the market in 2021.
Remember when? Check the wheels of this snow blower…
To help you to have a seamless winter experience, you will need a seamless and top-rated snow blower brand such as Snow Joe. It has a durable and well-engineered design that offers a unique experience in most settings. If you have had a negative experience with the best battery-powered snow blower that you have bought to date, this product will serve you well. While its battery-powered design cannot handle tough Northern winters, it has reshaped the power tools industry in many ways. The product rivals most two-stage battery-powered snow blowers in the market due to its higher battery capacity. Both the Snow Joe iON24SB-XR and Snow Joe iON24SB-XRP have an 80-volt battery.
In this handbook, we have handled a variety of relevant – yet easy to grasp topics that will educate you and help you to understand why the two snow blowers are slowly taking over the winter power tools niche. First, let us check out the development/evolutionary process of the tools.
How did rechargeable batteries come into existence? Why is so special about rechargeable batteries, particularly lithium-ion models? Why are lithium-ion cells an integral part of the best rechargeable batteries? We will answer these questions and offer a brief follow-up on the evolution of rechargeable batteries and challenging theoretical prepositions on how rechargeable batteries can power almost all electronic devices.
Secondly, battery-powered devices lag in terms of power output if you compare them to the best gasoline-powered ones. Will some new products fill this gap? If so, when will this happen? To make an objective judgment of this issue, we have compared the two technologies without paying special attention to any brand or model. Instead, we have evaluated energy build concepts and talked about the benefits and cons of each of the two standout technologies. Read on to learn more.
Once we have covered this topic in detail, we will delve into the details of each feature to help you to have a better understanding of the two products on offer – the 80V Snow Joe iON24SB-XRP snow thrower and the 80V Snow Joe iON24SB-XR snow blower. Finally, we will wrap up this segment by hosting a little competition between the two products. As such, you will have a better idea of how these products will perform in real life.
Husqvarna ST224 (gas) Vs Snow Joe ION24SB-XR (battery)
To help you gauge the performance of these products, we will square the two products with a comparable gasoline-powered snow blower — the Husqvarna ST224. So, how do we proceed from here? How will these brand-new innovations affect how people live their lives, especially during winter? What should their users expect to gain in the short-term while handling these electronic battery-powered devices?
Will humans ever replace lithium-ion cells with another technology as the go-to element for storing power efficiently? While we do not have answers to these questions yet, we are living in an exciting technology where some of the fiction stories we saw in movies are becoming true.
History & Evolution of Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Batteries
Millions of people use tablets, smartphones, laptop computers, electric vehicles, and power tools. Most of these products use rechargeable li-ion batteries as a power source and therefore they will be here to stay. By the end of 2015, manufacturers projected that the global revenue from devices such as Li-ion batteries would reach $23.5 billion. Today, the consumer electronics niche has grown significantly. However, from the available data, renewable energy and the automatic segment have grown the most, taking a chunk of the revenue – roughly 38% and 30% respectively.
However, hold on a second. How did this come to be? Well, it has a few patents and a few prototypes here and there. This started in 1991 when Sony released its first commercial lithium-ion battery. Compared to modern rechargeable batteries, the prototype was inefficient but paved the way for technological innovation and advancements that have come in handy in the past decade. Before we delve into the details, you should answer an important two-word question. Why lithium?
The ION24SB-XR is an Innovative Two-Stage Snow Thrower
Well, lithium by itself does not mean anything great. To have a better understanding of the importance of this word, you should have a better understanding of how electricity works. Conductors have multiple resting electrons (almost endless) awaiting excitement. Whenever current passes through the conductor, it excites the electrons, shifting them from point A to B at approximately the speed of light. The movement of electrons from point A to B leads to the generation of electricity.
If the current keeps exciting the conductor, the electrons will keep on jumping from one place to the next, generating power. However, if the current stops, the excitement stops and so does the generation of electricity. Here is a practical example to help you grasp this concept. Whenever you unplug your television, the device shuts down almost immediately. If you cannot manipulate electrons at will, how come rechargeable batteries work? They do not break the rule – they bend it.
Batteries contain several smaller batteries (or cells). For simplicity, you should look at cells as sandwiches between two slices of bread. The cells are like fillings, each with electric conductors on either side that excite electrons. The slices of bread normally are copper or aluminum cases.
In between the two slices, you get several electrodes that have opposite charges – the anode (-) and the cathode (+). In most cases, the cathode is extremely pure lithium oxide while anodes are often graphite – a carbon derivative. The electrolyte is in the very middle of the battery and provides a medium in which lithium ions move freely throughout the sandwich. The movement of electrons charges and recharges the battery depending on the direction of their flow within the battery pack.
Fully-charged batteries consist of cells with lithium ions nicely arranged on the graphite anode (-). On the other hand, the opposite happens in a fully discharged battery pack. Briefly, the lithium ions in the cells are revert to their original position – which is on the positive terminal or lithium oxide cathode. During the shift, it generates a small blast of energy.
By experimenting with different materials with different electrical properties, manufacturers have found a way to trap these electrical bursts for longer, thus keeping the battery-powered for longer. That is how most of the best rechargeable batteries work. Why do we position lithium in first place in this rather crowded marketplace? After several trial-and-error tests, manufacturers have determined that lithium-ion batteries have the lowest rate of energy loss of all elements in the niche.
In a short span of around 25 years, the global energy niche has grown tremendously. In 1991 Sony released the first rechargeable li-ion battery pack, which was decent. To date, the technology has undergone multiple refinements that have made them safe, more efficient, and thus better than other rechargeable batteries in this niche. Yes, the Li-Ion system still needs additional improvements, which will take a bit of time to complete. By sacrificing a bit of power density and energy, companies have introduced other innovative features in their systems that deliver.
Rapid recharging (takes a few minutes), fire resistance, environmental friendliness, and longer lifespans are but a few attributes that fascinate millions of users globally. These advancements in battery technologies have allowed the players in the automobile industry to add batteries to their demanding electric vehicle designs such as the BMW i3, the Nissan Leaf, the Tesla Model S, the Renault Zoe, and the Toyota RAV4 EV.
Gas-Power Vs Battery-Power Snow Blowers
The Sun Joe brand is home to multiple reliable models of snow blowers that work well on flat and uneven terrain. These durable, motor-driven products are easy to use. They come in many sizes, each with a plethora of unique features that offer users value for cash. We have reviewed two of its bestsellers – Sun Joe iON24SB-XR and Sun Joe iON24SB-XR.
Snow Joe iON24SB-XR Vs Husqvarna ST224
For this match-up, we have excluded corded-electric snow blowers because of their bulky designs — most gas-powered and cordless models have portable designs. They also have unique sets of cons and pros. All of which you should analyze in-depth before choosing a power tool for your office or home. In this comparison, we will not concentrate on brands or models. All we deliver a general overview of the devices.
Let us start with gas-powered snow throwers. These currently are the preferred choice of people who need powerful/high-performance tools for day-to-day use. Their robust designs feature heavy-duty engines that can blow medium to large batches of snow effortlessly. The smallest models have enough power to clear up to a-foot-high piles of snow. Larger and more powerful models can handle up to 30 inches of snow. The internal combustion engines found in these power tools have been in production and use for a while now – especially in newer models. They have also undergone improvements that boost their lifespan and efficacy.
However, the boost in power in these power tools comes with a toll. While gasoline-powered snow blowers last for many years, you must maintain yours routinely to keep it working seamlessly. Oil changes, for instance, should be frequent, as recommended by the manufacturer. You should also replace the filter and purge the fuel tank occasionally to clear the build-up of sludge, which can influence performance negatively. Finally, you must check essential spare parts such as spark plugs, light, and rubber tires and make sure that they are in excellent shape before using one.
Gas engines are louder and heavier than electric engines. Furthermore, some brands still have inconvenient pull-start systems that frustrate users. Finally, while environmental regulations have forced companies to produce an eco-friendly product, some brands, especially old ones, do not comply with CARB and EPA standards. This is a major downside as using such products often several fines to the manufacturer and user.
Compared to gas-powered snow throwers, battery-powered models are on the opposite side of the spectrum. While they are not as versatile as the best gas throwers in terms of performance, most models can throw thick piles of snow up to one foot in the air. Moreover, electric engines are not sturdy as gas or internal combustion models. Their lifespan is a bit shorter than their competitors, which is a bummer. However, they are much more efficient than gas models as they do not require weekly oil changes, fuel, and regular maintenance to work well in most settings.
In addition, most battery-powered snow throwers are often lighter than gas models are and are relatively quieter. In most cases, they are also cheaper to buy and use than the best gasoline-powered snow throwers found in the market. As such, while they are not as versatile as gas-powered snow throwers, they are convenient. Most models are easy to start, maneuver, and store. They also work for long maintenance-free, which is a bonus for people looking to lower operation costs. Finally, if you are conscious of the environment, consider ordering yours today. Like other electric power tools, they do not emic carbon by-products, making them safe for the environment. They are also odorless while in use.
Are you having a hard time choosing the best model that can satisfy your needs? You should take several factors into account to make the correct decision. To ease the process, answer these questions before you go out and shop. How much snow does your locality experience during winter? How vast is the area that you intend to clear? Finally, what is the structure of the terrain that you will be working on?
If your area does not experience active blizzards often, you should not expect snow to accumulate to more than a few inches per event. If you have a paved or level driveway or walkway, consider ordering a battery-powered single-stage snow blower. However, if snow is unpredictable in your area or if you have a large plot of land with graveled or paved areas that you want to clear, you will be better off with a two-stage gasoline-powered snow blower. They work the best in such areas.
Snow blowers are of two types – gas and battery-powered. While both have functional systems that deliver in most settings, they have unique pros and cons that you should guide your next purchase. Apart from the power differences, which most users are aware of, individuals brands have individual strengths and cons that influence their performance. In this section, we compare major brands in each niche – the Sun Joe iON24SB-XRP (80V battery power) and Husqvarna ST224 (208 cc gas).
- Revolutionary two-stage snow blower (battery-powered)
- Model: iON24SB-XRP
- EcoSharp rechargeable 80-Volt Max (2 x 40-Volts 6.0 Ah) lithium-ion batteries have a run time of 50 minutes.
- Model: Snow Joe iON24SB-XR
- EcoSharp rechargeable 80-Volt Max (2 x 40V 5.0 Ah) lithium-ion batteries with a 40-minute running time.
- In built display (push-button) has LEDs for speed and direction selection.
- Serrated steel auger shovels 1000 pounds of snow every minute.
- Clears a 24-inch wide by a 13-inch-deep path.
- Adjustable chute (180 degrees) throws snow up to 32 feet.
- Dual 0.3-Watt LED headlights enable you to see at night.
- A Brushless motor (2500 watts) boosts its overall efficiency. The system runs cooler and has longer battery life.
- TracAssist snow tires maximize traction in winter.
- The bold wheel well has bright LED lighting.
- Reversible skid shoes.
- Load sensing technology optimizes engine performance.
- ETL-approved design has a full two-year warranty.
- Two batteries and a dual-port charger are in the package.
- Download or View the Snow Joe iON24SB-XRP’s MANUAL.
- Download or View the Snow Joe iON24SB-XR’s MANUAL.
Overview | 80-Volt Snow Blower
Since these two snow blowers have multiple comparable features, we thought that it is best to review them simultaneously. For starters, let us check out the dimensions and weight. Fully assembled, both snow blowers weigh around 106 pounds each, while their physical dimensions are approximately 25.7x40x47 inches long, deep, and high.
Next, let us check out their core features, starting with their electric engines. Since October 1st, 2016, Snow Joe was the first brand to deliver a fully-functional medium-duty snow blower with a two-stage battery-powered engine. The devices use the same engine – a 2500W brushless motor with a reliable push-start mechanism that runs smoothly in all settings. The engine has a powerful design that enables the blowers to self-propel while in use at three speeds, either forward or in reverse.
Both snow blowers also have an auger with a top-notch serrated design made of steel. The device has a long-lasting design that can clear thick snow paths measuring up to 24 inches wide and 13 inches high. Both models can clear up to 1,000 pounds of snow per minute and have an adjustable chute that you can rotate up to 180 degrees to discharge snow in different directions. Overall, this blower can toss snow up to 32 feet.
Much like other two-stage tools, these snow blowers can clear both paved and graveled surfaces. They can also clear medium to dense snow types on both sloppy and level terrains. However, for the best results, Snow Joe recommends that you should avoid using them on graveled surfaces to avoid damage and prolong their lifespans.
The Snow Joe iON24SB-XRP and Snow Joe iON24SB-CT have multiple additional features that improve the experience of their users. Both, for instance, work seamlessly at night via dual 0.3W LED headlights. These boost visibility. They also have 13-inch, TracAssist snow tires that boost traction on most surfaces, even during blizzards on long winters. Maintain the tires at 20 psi pressure for the best results.
The robust engines of these snow blowers have an advanced load-sensing technology (electronic) that calculates the density and volume of snow and optimizes power output to maximize snow removal. The system is admirable as it not only maximizes the performances of the best snow blowers but also prolongs the lives of the best snow blowers. Both blowers also have reversible skid shoes and an easy-to-use control panel that shows the blower’s current direction and speed. The system is reliable and has an LED backlight that makes both snow blowers easy to use in the dark. Finally, both snow blowers have rust-resistant materials, are compliant with the recommended ETL standards, and have a full two-year warranty on defects. Unfortunately, both snow blowers have one real downside – both lack heated handles, making them uncomfortable.
The only major difference between the two snow blowers is the battery that they use. Both have an 80-Volt nominal voltage. However, Snow Joe iON24SB-CT comes with two 40 -volt EcoSharp PRO batteries, each with 5.0-Ampere rechargeable iBAT40XR Li-ion batteries. The Snow Joe iON24SB-XRP, on the other hand, has a similar design but with two 40-Volt/ 6.0Ampere iBAT40XRP battery packs instead.
This difference in the amperage of the two battery packs translates into a longer running time per charge. With the Snow Joe iON24SB-XRP, expect around 50 minutes, of run time compared to 40 minutes with the Snow Joe iON24SB-CT. The time it takes to recharge the two batteries is also slightly different. You require around four and four-and-a-half hours to charge a 5.0 Ampere battery and about 4.5-5.0 hours for 6.0A.
While these products do not differ significantly technically, always pay attention to the following details before ordering a new one: The Snow Joe iON24SB-CT DOES NOT come with batteries, nor does it have a charger. This should not be a concern if you already own another Snow Joe battery as they are swappable. One battery can serve many devices.
The Snow Joe iON24SB-XRP has two 40-Volt EcoSharp PRO 6.0A, iBAT40XRP Li-Ion batteries (rechargeable), and a dual-port EcoSharp battery charger. While the amperage of the cells is different, you can use them safely in most settings as other electrical parameters are the same.
Because these snow blowers are new in the market, we have reviewed the contents in each box to educate you on what to expect from each item. Irrespective of the model that you choose, expect the following:
- A battery-powered snow blower with a comfortable low-profile handle.
- Four handle knobs with four bolts.
- An upper handle assembly.
- Two safety keys.
- One chute crank knob plus one retainer.
- One chute crank with a cotter pin.
- A chute clean-out tool.
- One discharge chute assembly.
- Two chute U-bolts and four nuts.
- Two shear bolts with two extra nuts.
- One hex key.
- One wrench.
- A user manual with a registration card.
Video | How to Set up the Snow Joe iON24SB
You should know that and Snow Joe iON24SB-CT snow blower that you order offline or online will not come with a charger nor battery. However, the product is compatible with both the iBAT40XRP and iBAT40XR batteries – the 6.0A and 5.0A versions respectively. As for its chargers go, you can use a single port iCHRG40 model or a dual-port iCHRG40-DPC safely and with excellent results.
Husqvarna ST224 | Product Comparison
A gas snow blower with a 208cc engine.
Features for the Husqvarna ST224:
- Friction disc transmission enables quicker speed changes.
- LED headlights boost visibility in the dark.
- The heated handle is comfortable to grip and use.
- Differential lock boosts its traction.
- Heavy-tread tires boost its traction.
- Plastic skid shoes prevent it from scraping the ground.
- Steel construction.
- Aluminum auger gearbox.
- A high-speed impeller boosts its throwing distance.
- Supports horizontal throwing.
- One reverse and six forward speeds.
- Husqvarna LCT 4-Cycle Engine (208cc).
- Ribbon auger boosts its efficacy.
- Adjustable skid shoes.
- Control for vertical throwing direction.
- Interlock handle enables single-handed control.
- The loop handle boosts its grip and control.
- Clearing stick for the chute.
- Husqvarna brand engine has a five-year warranty.
- Quiet muffler lowers noise pollution.
- Throttle control slows idling.
- Premium control cables last for long.
- Pin-lock wheels ensure tool-less shifting.
- Control cables are resistant to cold water.
- Adjustable positions (four).
- Deflector Control and Remote Chute.
- Throws snow up to 35 feet.
- Electric Starter system.
Download or View the Husqvarna ST224’s MANUAL.
In this segment, we have compared the two snow blowers with another comparable model in the market – the Husqvarna ST224, a gasoline-powered two-stage snow blower. When it comes to physical dimension and weight, the ST224 is approximately 59 inches long, 41 inches high, and 24 inches wide and weighs approximately 200 pounds. The Snow Joes are smaller and lighter, which are handy during storage and transport.
Talking about the engine, it is exciting that ST224 has a very powerful motor. However, before jumping to conclusions, let us delve deeper into this topic. Snow Joe snow blowers have a brushless 2,500-Watts engine, while the ST224 comes with a 6.3HP model that generates approximately 4,700Watts of power. However, in this niche, more power does not always translate to better performance. These Snow Joe’s can cut and discharge snow piles measuring 24 inches wide and about 13 inches high, which is admirable for a battery-powered snow thrower.
The Husqvarna ST224 meets the foregoing threshold, it probably offers more. From the owner’s manual, it is evident that the ST224 can blow up to 24 inches wide by 12 inches high piles of snow. Even though the engine is smaller than those of comparable brands, it is efficient and eco-friendly. If you care about the environment, Snow Joe wins easily.
Husqvarna ST224 | Well-Balanced | Wonderful design
Now, let us check out the other features of these worthy products. First, the ST224 has six forward speed levels and one reverse speed. This is better than most Snow Joe snow blowers that have one reverse speed and three forward speeds. All three now blowers have an electronic start mechanism, a high speed/heavy duty impeller, and adjustable skid shoes. They also have LED headlights that enable you to see well in the dark.
Finally, the ST224 comes with a heated handle with a comfortable grip (non-slop), which lacks in the two Snow Joe snow blowers that we have reviewed herein. We also want to compare the price range. A fully equipped Snow Joe iON24SB-XRP which has a dual-port charger and two batteries is expensive than the iON24SB-CT model. The Husqvarna ST224 model is mid-range. However, some companies have released imitations over the years, you can find cheaper models on the Internet.
Heated Hand Grips are Comfortable Touch and Use
Finally, Husqvarna ST224 has a plethora of cons that are a non-issue for the Sun Joe snow blowers we have reviewed herein. Much like all the bestselling gasoline-powered snow blowers, you must maintain this snow blower routinely to keep it working well all year round from one season to the next. You must do frequent oil changes to prevent its engine from locking up. You must also do frequent tank purges, replace spark plugs, and replace worn-out spark plugs after a routine check-up.
How Battery-Powered Dual-Stage Snow Blowers Reshape the Market
The development of battery-powered snow blowers is still in the early stages. However, they have already broken ground in many niches, including the energy-efficient field. Snow Joe, for instance, is slightly outmatching its competition with the battery-powered two-stage snow throwers that it has released of late. The technological race is not yet over, though, as other brands are constantly developing superior products to get a piece of the pie – a remarkable win for consumers. Over the year, we will have access to technologically advanced products at a good price.
These products have been available in the market since October 1st, 2016. The company has released many innovative features ever since with many other unique ones in the pipeline. With the massification of electric cars, the rechargeable battery industry has seen tremendous evolution and improvements. For instance, the run time of these one-of-a-kind power tools has increased by around 15-20%. The batteries also take a significantly shorter charge compared to traditional models. After a four-hour charge, you can use the tool for 40 minutes issue-free.
However, many companies are findings ways of eliminating these limitations every day. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S6 was one of the first smartphones to pioneer the rapid-charging feature technology, which lowers average charging time by around 40%. Thus, unlike in the past when people waited for hours for their phones to charge, nowadays the phones charge in less than five minutes. Tesla Motors, Inc. on the other hand has boldly projected that electric vehicles will be a necessity in homes in the future, meaning that with an electric car, you will have an efficient and practical way of commuting to work or school daily. They have powerful batteries that recharge automatically as you drive.
We cannot predict how technological development will improve in the future. However, judging by the recent improvements, we can only expect good things for both consumers and manufacturers. Just think about it. If it was not for rudimentary devices such as the Walkman, we could not have had the opportunity to use iPods or the next generation gaming consoles if it were not for smartphones, Atari, and analog cellular phones built by reputable companies such as Motorola. Maybe some companies will ditch lithium-ion batteries in favor of a newer advanced energy storage technology that can hold a day-long charge. What sounds like science fiction now could be the reality tomorrow.
Secondly, it has a loud engine that warrants the use of personal hearing protective equipment to prevent ear damage. As with most power tools in its category, these snow blowers generate approximately 85 decibels (dB), which is a lot. Therefore, before ordering one, you should check your local regulations around gasoline-powered snow blowers (or any other power tool with a noisy engine). Buy a product that complies with the laid down environmental and local regulations.