Snow Joe isn’t as well known as other major snow blower manufacturers like Husqvarna and Worx. After reviewing the Snow Joe SJ620 maybe they should be. For the price, this is one easy- to-use, high-quality machine.
The specs for the SJ620 are straightforward, even mundane sounding. This electric snow blower model sports a 13.5 amp motor that runs off standard house current. Just plug it into an ordinary outlet with the appropriate extension cord and you’re ready to go.
SJ621 = SJ620 + Halogen Lamp
Really lightweight at just 31 lbs, the Snow Joe SJ621 is modestly heavier, 33 lbs, thanks to the halogen lamp on the front that illuminates your path as you plow. Those are the only differences between the two models apart, naturally, from the price. Currently, on Amazon, that price difference is only about $10.
That’s where the ‘ordinary’ ends for this model. For a unit made almost entirely of plastic and housing a more or less standard motor it pumps a ton of snow reliably and fast.
Throwing 650 lbs of Snow Per Minute
The SJ620 is rated to throw 650 lbs of snow per minute, and it easily lives up to that rating. Is that a lot or a little? Think of it this way: if you have a 10 inch layer of moderately wet snow to clear from a driveway about 10 feet wide by 20 feet long, you can be done in 15 minutes.
The reasons this snow thrower can do such a thorough, quick job are many.
As an electric model, the SJ620 takes no time (and no effort) to start. Press the blue button, squeeze the blue safety lever on the handle and you’re on your way.
Before you do that you’ll want to adjust the chute as desired, of course. Like most, it swivels a full 180 degrees; unlike some, you can adjust the angle as well. That allows this model to throw snow well clear of the area you’re working on, a full 20 feet with dry snow. Heavy, wet snow – which the SJ620 can plow through without excess struggle – can still fly 10 feet or more. No need to ever clear off the same snow twice.
Its power and flexibility help keep the clearing job quick but the size helps as well. For a relatively modest-sized snow blower the SJ620 still clears a path 18 inches wide and up to 10 inches deep.
Sturdy Scraper and 4-Blade Steel Rotor
The sturdy scraper is another important component to achieve that result, but the major honors go to the 4-blade steel rotor. That piece is among the few metal parts on the SJ620, yet the plastic parts are far from flimsy. High-impact plastic is often almost as good as metal these days and they help keep the weight low.
That low weight is a big benefit here since this unit isn’t self-propelled. You have to push to get it go move. Luckily, because of the auger design, that forward movement is helped along by the motion of the blades. The physics of flinging snow naturally results in a recoil that makes pushing ahead easier.
If you live in an area that regularly sees 12 inches overnight you might want to look into a more heavy-duty snow thrower. Probably a gas-powered unit. But for most everyone the SJ620 will tackle the job fine, provided you don’t wait too long to get around to it.
Assembly and Ergonomics
Apart from the low weight there are several other features that make the Snow Joe SJ620 easy to own and use.
It comes (usually pretty quickly after ordering) in a well-packed box. Open the box and extract the snow blower and you’ll almost instantly discover that almost everything is already done for you.
There’s no need to attach the handle, for example. It’s collapsed inside the box in three sections, thanks to a clever hinging design. You just give it an easy pull upwards and the handle sections straighten out. Then, tighten the bolts and you’re done.
The slender handle to control the chute does need to be attached, but that takes only seconds and the clear, detailed diagrams in the easy-to-read owner’s manual show you exactly how.
Unlike many larger units, the wheels are already on. Even if you had to re-attach them for any reason, the low weight would make that chore minimal. And, since they pivot, the rear wheels make this model easier to turn.
I’ve already noted the easy-start mechanism – a simple blue button followed by a squeeze on the lever. Naturally, that presupposes the unit is plugged in. Doing that requires an extension cord that can handle the current supplied.
For anything up to 50 feet, a standard 14-gauge wire will do. For those with larger areas or longer sidewalks to clear, a 12-gauge is needed in order to use, say, a 100-foot cord. They cost a bit more but they’re essential to avoid overheating the wire and/or motor. The sort that stays flexible in low temperatures is best. Those with an illuminated end (to show when current is flowing) rarely cost much more and the feature can be helpful.
Apart from that you won’t find yourself having to do any maintenance other than minimal cleaning. It’s always a good idea to brush excess snow off the blades and housing before storing.
One way to make that easier is to use a silicon-based spray on the auger blades before starting to clear. If you’ve ever used a metal shovel to clear snow off the deck you’ll notice wet snow sticks more readily to it.
The spray makes even the wettest snow slide off easily. That’s also helpful during the job, to keep the auger from getting heavier, keeping it moving at top speed. Liquid Wrench is one popular brand.
Thanks to the Snow Joe SJ620 snow blower, this company really deserves to be better known. Try out this snow thrower and you’ll see why.