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Review of cordless snow blower (snow shovel) GreenWorks GD40SSK4 40V

11.01.2024 18:10

Choosing the right tool or machine that perfectly suits our needs often turns out to be difficult. Sometimes we start with something light and convenient, like a corded electric snow blower. Over time, however, the tool's limitations become apparent: Interfering wires and a flimsy plastic auger make it ineffective for large areas and uneven surfaces.

Then we move on to the gas snow blower, which lacks the disadvantages of the previous model, but is bulky and heavy, inconvenient for small areas. Like shooting sparrows from a cannon.

However, there must be solutions somewhere that allow you to quickly and easily remove snow from walkways and porches. A simple shovel is not suitable here — it is difficult to remove snow manually. Maybe there is a shovel with a motor?

Characteristics

ManufacturerGreenWorks
ModelGD40SSK4
TypeElectric Cordless Wheelless Snow Blower with Single Stage Discharge System with Plastic Auger
Enginebrushless DigiPro series
Auger systemsingle stage
Screw materialABS plastic
Auger diameter45.7 cm
Working width30 cm
Snow throw distanceup to 6 m
Auger rotation speed without load
  • 1900 rpm (according to the passport)
  • 1800 rpm (measured)
Adjusting the snow throw angleforward release, without adjustment
BatteryG-Max 40 В
Battery lifeup to 30 minutes with 4 Ah battery
Dimensions, weight8.5 kg with battery

Equipment

The massive packaging of the snow blower is a rectangular trapezoid made of durable cardboard with a glossy finish. The dimensions of the box are noticeable — 101x44x33 cm, and its weight is about 10 kg. Carrying this bulky, sleek and awkward box to the car in freezing weather is a real challenge. Where is the handle, or at least the convenient slots on the sides?

The box contains a GD40SSK4 snow blower and a G-Max 40V 4 Ah battery with a charger. There is also an instruction manual and a warranty card.

Design

A shovel or a snow blower? Let's choose a shovel. So, the shovel is delivered disassembled, bent in half. The upper and lower parts of the shovel are connected using a metal clamp and a tightening bolt. Assembly is carried out without using a key.

However, assembly is a strong word. Connecting the two halves will not take even a minute.

In general, the ability to fold in half is a valuable feature. When folded, the shovel easily fits in the trunk of a car.

The assembled shovel acquires a length (or height?) of 158 cm. All ordinary shovels, which are manual, without motors, have approximately the same dimensions.

Please note: in the photographs the shovel is shown almost vertically, but during operation the handle should be tilted closer to the horizontal. This is necessary so that the shovel can easily slide the scraper along the surface to be cleaned. The scraper itself is a smooth plate reinforced with ribs on the underside. By the way, these ribs significantly facilitate the movement of the shovel, reducing the contact area of the scraper with the surface.

No guesswork required: over time, this plastic scraper will become scratched, chipped, and gouged. If the author owned a shovel, he would think seriously about how to prevent plastic from breaking down. A simple solution that takes a couple of hours: cut a sheet of thin stainless steel, bend it, put it on a scraper and secure it in several places.

Now let's return to the working position of the shovel. So, in order for the scraper to glide easily across the surface, it must be parallel to the ground. Let's find out at what angle the shovel handle needs to be tilted so that the scraper is parallel to the surface. Oh, it's snowing again.

Wrong
Right

The picture on the left shows the incorrect position of the shovel. On the right — accordingly, correct. And this is what the entire shovel looks like when tilted correctly. See how low the handle has sunk?

However, even this position can be considered optimal only under conditions. In fact, for the shovel to work properly, the handle should be tilted even lower so that the tip of the scraper is slightly raised, like the tip of a ski. As a result, the shovel handle will be almost parallel to the surface!

This is the first significant flaw that we identified as soon as we took the shovel out of the box. And our observations were confirmed. During the work, my arms got tired much less than my back. Notice how low you have to bend.

We will show these frames in their entirety, but for now the question is: why, in fact, was it necessary to bend the barbell like that, and even with the handle tilted down?

We answer your questions: this solution complies with the principles of theoretical mechanics, making pushing with a shovel easier. Okay, let's say, but then why not make the bar telescopic so that it is suitable for any height? Too expensive? Ultimately, it would be possible to shape the barbell into a shape that not only complies with physical laws, but also does not force it to bend all the way to the surface. We offer innovative improvement. This is approximately the shape the barbell should be.

Incorrect (but yes)
Correct (but not)

We have examined the shape of the handle, now let’s turn our attention to the main working element, which we will call the motor-screw unit. The design of the block is extremely clear: the engine is located on top, above the auger, and rotation is transmitted to the auger through a belt drive with a spring tensioner. This entire device is protected by a metal cover secured with bolts, which provides reliable protection of the mechanism from snow. The next photo, taken an hour after completion of the work, shows that there are no traces of liquid inside.

The screw is made of ABS plastic, its design is repeatedly reinforced with stiffening ribs.

The snow that grabs the auger describes a semicircle and is thrown forward and upward. Although ABS plastic is considered an impact-resistant material, you still need to constantly monitor for possible obstacles hidden under the snow. Unfortunately, this is quite difficult to do, since the direction of discharge, unlike a wheeled snow blower, is not adjustable here, and high-rising snow completely blocks the front view. The effect is even greater, especially if you follow the rules and start cleaning in the direction of the wind rather than against it.

It’s fortunate that the shovel is equipped with a shock/overload sensor. While clearing the yard, the auger collided with a tire that suddenly appeared stuck in the ground. The dull sound of a collision — and silence. The engine stopped working and the car stopped. Removing the “heart” from the pocket, we checked the condition of the auger. Like New!

But if this tire that grew out of the snow was not a tire, but a metal rod of reinforcement, or a piece of pipe, or… you never know what kind of things stick out in the yards! “We certainly wouldn’t have gotten away with just fear.” The auger could well have split. It's plastic, albeit durable.

This is, for example, what the auger of an electric wheeled snow blower looks like when it caught the edge of a wooden step hidden under the snow. This misfortune happened to the author’s neighbor last winter.

It must be emphasized that there are no spare augers for this model. Conclusion: prudence, and prudence again. Once again. If there are any doubts about the presence of obstacles on the way, it is better not to direct the snow blower into that area. Yes, it can be difficult, dodging snow flying in your face and staying safe at the same time. But it is important to learn this.

The shovel is controlled (as it sounds!) using an inconspicuous gray trigger lever. But in order to press it, you must first recess the safety button located on the sides. One more wish to designers, or rather to everyone involved in the design of electrical engineering: make the starting levers more comfortable and equip them with less rigid springs. Not every user can boast of strong fingers (after all, fingers don’t have muscles). Holding down a difficult lever for a minute or two or three using only your index finger — believe me, it is really difficult!

The battery is inserted into the hole until the latch clicks and can be removed just as easily by simply pressing the stopper. During operation, the battery slot is securely closed with a hinged transparent cap, which, in the closed position, is magnetized to the body. It is important to note that the hood and its magnetic mechanism are not designed to withstand mechanical stress, so accidental impacts such as dropping a shovel should be avoided.

Exploitation

The technical characteristics of the shovel indicate the rotation speed of the auger: 1900 rpm. As a result of measurements, we got an amazing 3600 rpm. The answer to this mystery is that the auger is equipped with two blades, each of which acts as a mirror. This means that the tachometer's laser beam records the response twice per revolution of the auger. Therefore, the value of 3600 should be divided by two, and we get the desired 1800 rpm, which is very close to the nameplate value of 1900 rpm.

Or maybe the speed is too high? Similar to the one used in drills and screwdrivers, but given the diameter of the auger, this is a different case. However, no. The speed was selected taking into account the engine power and available power. For example, a corded electric snow blower can have an auger speed of up to 3,000 rpm, almost twice as fast.

Only thanks to the high rotation speed and powerful motor, this shovel is not inferior in efficiency to conventional electric snow blowers during the cleaning process. With the exception, perhaps, of a slightly smaller width of the auger (gripper). From the outside it is completely unclear what kind of device this is in human hands. It looks like a shovel. But the fountain of snow thrown forward from under the shovel refutes this assumption. Some passers-by and car drivers even stop and take an interest in this technological miracle. Apparently, some people simply don’t realize that such devices exist.

Care

After completing the shovel work, it is recommended to thoroughly clean the accumulated snow with a brush. Then the instrument should be moved to a warm room and placed on a rag or moisture-absorbing mat. Be sure to hold the handle up so that the melting snow can flow down the auger. Storing a shovel at low temperatures is acceptable, unlike a battery. Batteries significantly lose capacity in cold weather, so it is recommended to insert the battery before starting work.

Battery

The tool is supplied with one large-format battery with a capacity of 4 Ah.

The technical characteristics of the shovel indicate that a fully charged battery lasts for half an hour. And this is not an exaggeration. Indeed, for half an hour. However, it is worth considering that this does not apply to work where “you turned on the engine and turned it off after half an hour.” We are talking about leisurely work, with short breaks, when the net time of active operation of the engine is a maximum of half of the total time.

The battery charging process takes the specified 90 minutes — and this is also confirmed by the instructions. LEDs located on the charger informatively display the charging stages. It is important to note that no noticeable heating is observed either from the charger or from the battery itself.

conclusions

The shovel in question has one drawback that has been mentioned several times — it is the poorly designed shape of the handle, which leads to significant bending. This technical drawback can be easily eliminated, but it is advisable to take such aspects into account at the development stage.

The GreenWorks GD40SSK4 40V model stands out for its excellent autonomy and sufficient power to easily cope with freshly fallen snow up to 30 centimeters deep. The shovel can even cope with snow that has blown through, although, of course, it is of less depth. It would be possible to make a comment regarding the plastic auger, which requires constant attention. However, if the auger were metal, this hand shovel would become impractical. After all, it's just an ordinary shovel, albeit with a motor.