It should be easy to choose between the Snow Joe SJ620 and the SJ622E. After all, newer model snow blowers are always better, right? Not necessarily, and in this case – unfortunately – probably not. Here’s why.
Weight, Clearing Width and Depth
It can be tough to distinguish these two fine electric snow throwers.
Both weigh roughly 30+ pounds. The SJ620 is 31 lbs. The model with a halogen lamp – the otherwise identical SJ621 – weighs a little more: 33 lbs. The SJ622E weighs only 32 lbs, and the light-bearing model (SJ623E) just 34 lbs. Not enough to make a difference even to finicky buyers.
Similarly, the rotor assembly is practically the same. In each case it consists of four steel blades in an impact-resistant plastic housing that measures 18 inches wide. It scoops snow up to 10 inches deep.
Throwing Distance and Speed
The snow throwing capacity does differ between the two pairs, but only modestly.
The SJ620/SJ621 can toss snow up to about 20 feet. That varies depending on the type, of course. Light fluffy stuff can only go so far because of air resistance. Icy slush is too heavy to toss the maximum distance. But the big range of snow in the middle can, indeed, be launched that far.
By comparison, the SJ622E/SJ623E can toss the same stuff up to 30 feet. Is that extra 10 feet enough to overcome the price difference? In my case, and I have a huge property, no. Your answer may differ.
Likewise, the SJ620 can clear roughly 650 pounds per minute and the SJ622E 720 pounds per minute. Here again, that extra isn’t enough to move me toward the more expensive unit. But if you want or need to clear more in the same amount of time, it might interest you.
13.5 vs 15 Amp Motor
The reason for that difference in throw and clearance, given the same sized auger, is obvious: the two motors. Both snow blowers are electric models but the SJ620 (and SJ621) has a 13.5 Amp power plant; the SJ622E (and SJ623E) sports a 15 Amp engine.
It may not seem like a large difference but it’s enough to account for the higher specs of the SJ622E/SJ623E. Still, there can be a downside to that extra power. Many home circuits house 15 Amp circuit breakers. It is possible for the more powerful snow thrower to trip the breaker during use. That’s not too difficult a problem to overcome. For a few dollars you can replace the breaker with a 20 Amp version.
If you’re not knowledgeable about electrical wiring it’s a good idea to get advice to ensure you’re not endangering your home. Cheap wiring can overheat, especially in older homes. But the difference in current won’t be an issue for most houses. That said, do you want to bother? Only you can decide that.
Operational Components and Assembly
The other aspects of both snow thrower models are virtually identical. Each one sports a chute with a deflector that rotates easily up to 180 degrees (+/- 90 degrees) using a hand-turning crank.
Each model houses the same style easy-to-use squeeze-release lever. That lever doubles as a safety feature, only engaging the rotor when you clamp it. In all units, you have to press a button on the side of the lever to engage the snow blower to prevent accidental startup.
All these models are equally easy to assemble, and here “easy” means just that. The handlebar assembly takes only a few minutes to put together and requires no expertise. You just put it in place and tighten some big plastic wingnuts. Putting in the chute crank takes only a couple more minutes using similar, though smaller, hardware.
If you need to clear a large area or deep, hard snow none of these models is for you. To get a significantly larger size snow thrower and/or more power you have to pay more. You may even need one of the truly massive gas-powered models. But for the average homeowner, even in places that get regular storms, either the Snow Joe SJ620 or SJ622E will do the job reliably.
In every case the Snow Joe snow blower – whether the SJ620/SJ621 or SJ622E/SJ623E – represents a fine buy. They’re all mid-range units in terms of features. The price is correspondingly mid-range.
Currently, on Amazon, the price difference between the SJ620 and the SJ622E is about $100. There’s a similar difference for the two lamp-bearing models. That’s a pretty substantial premium to get a snow thrower that’s the same size auger and (approximately) overall dimensions.
But, if you want the higher removal capacity that’s the price of admission right now. For that added cost, you get a newer model, which is a value to some buyers. The warranty period – 2 years – is the same with either model.