Snow Joe SJ622E – SJ623E 18-Inch 15 Amp Electric Snow Blower Review by Merrill Shadwell.
Selecting the right snow blower out of a blizzard of options is a tough job. That’s especially true in the mid-range arena where balancing price against features is so tricky. The Snow Joe SJ622E may just solve that dilemma for a many potential buyers.
SJ623E = SJ622E + Halogen Lamp
The SJ622E, like the similar SJ623E, is an electric model. No gas to worry about, you just plug it in. That brings pros and cons with it, of course. And sometimes the pro is a con (and vice versa) depending on your circumstances.
Almost all electric models are lightweight. The SJ622E tips the scales at a very modest 32 lbs (14.4 kg). The SJ623E is only two pounds heavier – 34 lbs/15.4 kg – the result of adding a halogen lamp system.
That makes it a great unit for some women and young teens who might struggle with a heavier unit. But it does limit what this Snow Joe model can be expected to do. Unlike those huge gas-powered units, it won’t cut through thick layers of ice or deep layers of packed slush.
Clearing Width and Throw Distance
Even so, the SJ622E does a pretty good job of getting all but the hardest-to-move stuff off your driveway and sidewalks. It can remove a swath up to 18 inches wide and 10 inches deep. Those aren’t just theoretical figures from the manufacturer. Actual use shows it lives up to the billing.
It can toss that snow up to 30 feet, though 10-15 feet is more likely when it’s slushy. The larger figure is for the mid-moisture-level stuff. Pure powder can’t go very far because of air resistance and sopping slush is too heavy for the SJ622E to toss that far.
Still, even the lower figure is typically enough. At 720 pounds of snow per minute you can clear a pretty big space in short order. A 15-foot wide x 30-foot long driveway should take less than 20 minutes.
In theory, you can clear a similar amount off of grass but that’s usually tougher because of the way snow sticks to the lawn. Expect it to take a little longer if you want those areas cleared. Also, you need to take great care to avoid gravel, which some lawns have in unfortunate abundance.
Thanks to four steel blades that make up the rotor you don’t have to worry about cracking. You do with some of the lower-cost units that sport plastic blades. Sure, high-impact plastic is pretty impressive these days. But it doesn’t stand up well to rocks, at least not on a rotor that’s spinning up to 2450 RPM (unloaded).
The adjustable chute rotates 180 degrees, though, so you can direct that snow anywhere you would want to put it. True, there are times near corners where a greater angle and a reversible rotor would help, but those times are rare.
15 Amp Motor
Much of that clearing ability is the result of the fine electric motor on this unit. A 15-amp rating may not sound like much but efficiency marks the difference and anything higher would tax a standard home circuit. No matter. Except on those big ice chunks or very heavy slush, the SJ622E isn’t likely to bog down. If you regularly have to deal with that you should be prepared to spend more to get more.
The tradeoff you make for getting less power is more convenience (and a lower price, naturally). There’s no gas-oil mixture to buy or stock and this electric starts with the push of a button and pull of a lever. That easy-access off-on lever on the upper bar is both a nice safety feature (let it go and the snow thrower stops) and easy to pull even wearing thick gloves. There are tradeoffs to tradeoffs, though, because like almost all electric models you do have to deal with a cord.
Make life easier for yourself and invest a few extra dollars (roughly $10 more) to get a special winterized extension cord of whatever length you need. That type stays relatively flexible in the coldest weather. Some even have little lighted ends to make plugging in and removal in dim light supremely easy. The latter also gives you a visual indicator that power is being provided to the snow thrower.
Like any mid-range model (both in terms of price and features) there are things the SJ622E (or SJ623E) lacks that high-price models have. If you have tough, thick snow and ice to move, or a huge area to clear, you’ll need to look elsewhere. But for most homeowners in locations where snow storms are modest, it will keep up just fine.
There is a trivial amount of setup. The handle assembly requires only a few turns on some large plastic wingnuts. Likewise, the chute crank assembly takes only a few minutes – and no expertise – to put together. The wheels are an unfortunate compromise. They’re made of plastic not rubber.
The low weight, wide and high rotor assembly, and easy overall use are far better than a sore back from manual shoveling. At the same time, this snow thrower offers considerably more snow-removal size and power than a mere electric snow shovel.