The cold snow-filled months of winter are upon us and it is again time to consider buying that snow blower. But, choosing the right snow blower from among all the best snow blowers available is a bit more challenging than picking out your next pair of new pants.
If your driveway is gravel or dirt rather than pavement, you need to pay even more attention to details before picking the best snow blower for you and your walkways, parking spots, and driveway.
If you’re looking for a snow blower that throws snow further than the rest, has tons of features, and works well on uneven ground, the YARDMAX YB6770 Two-Stage Snow Blower could be the machine for you. If you’re looking for a machine that will get the job done and you don’t care about extras like heated grips, the PowerSmart Snow Blower PSSAM24 could be your best choice. On the other hand, if you want a tried and true snow blower that excels at clearing snow from graveled surfaces, takes little gas, and is easy to store, you may want to consider the Ariens Classic 24 in. 2-Stage Snow Blower-223cc.
Read on for our breakdown of the top snowblower choices gravel driveways, as well as information to help you make the most well-informed buying decision.
Backyard Boss Top 3 Snow Blowers for Gravel Driveways
|YARDMAX YB6770 TWO-STAGE SNOW BLOWER||
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|POWERSMART SNOW BLOWER PSSAM24||
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|TROY-BILT VORTEX 2490 SNOWBLOWER||
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Best Full-Featured Snow Blower for Gravel Driveways
WHY WE LIKE IT: Snowdrifts are one of the hardest forms of snow to move, but they’re no match for the YARDMAX two-stage snow blower. These snowdrifts are typically compacted banks of snow and ice and take forever to move by hand with a shovel. Trading your snow shovel for a machine like this YARDMAX snow blower will save you tons of time and effort.
Furthermore, this little beast comes with metal shoes that help leave rocks, dirt, and gravel on the ground where it belongs while scooping up snow and slinging it far and away. Even more important, the snow blower starts right up on the first try even during the coldest months of winter.
The machine’s 26-inch wide mouth allows you to clear bigger paths with a single pass. That said, it’s also an incredibly affordable snow thrower considering how well it manages even the wettest of heavy snow. The snow blower also includes many excellent add-ons/extras like a headlight, dashboard with cup holder, heated handles, and more.
WHO SHOULD BUY IT: If you’re looking for a two-stage snow blower with all the bells and whistles, yet one that won’t suck up all the gravel and pebbles from your driveway, this could be the best snow blower for you.
Best Budget Snow Blower for Gravel Driveways
WHY WE LIKE IT: It is easy to see that this PowerSmart blower means business. The two front augers on the machine make minced-meat out of snow and ice and are raised high-enough to leave the gravel on the ground and avoid tearing up your driveway or walkways. Even better, the adjustable metal shoes let you adjust how high or low the machine’s snow scooper sets for even better accuracy and productivity.
For a two-stage snow blower, this machine does a great job, even on a snowdrift and tall banks. A lot of the edge this machine offers is due to its self-propulsion system. It easily climbs up inclines, even in gravel or uneven ground.
Even more, the snow throwing chute hardly ever clogs up like other machines. is powerful enough to easily climb up steep driveways, and the chute rarely, if ever, clogs from snow or ice which is one of the many reasons this machine can throw snow up to 30 or 40 feet away.
That said, beware, if you set the snow shovel too close to the gravel and it picks chunks of dirt and rocks, you may crack the chute. Another downside is that the snow blower includes a limited one-year warranty.
WHO SHOULD BUY IT: Those who need a relatively affordable, powerful machine to keep gravel and concrete surfaces clear of snow.
Best Snow Blower for Gravel Driveways With Snowdrifts
WHY WE LIKE IT: The only three stage machine on our list for a reason, this Troy-Bilt Vortex is a true snow blowing behemoth. Don’t let the 24 inches wide snow shovel fool you, either. This snow blower can take down snowdrifts and banks of snow and ice as big as four feet tall. Even more, the three-stage process has an extra auger that tears about chunks of ice and frozen dirt as easily as heavy wet snow or fluffy stuff.
As far as snow throwing abilities, this machine slings snow and ice up to 20 feet away from the ground it was scooped up from. Further, it can clear snow right down to the pavement. But, the unit’s snow shoes can also be adjusted in order to scoop and sling snow just as easily while avoiding scraping up gravel and rocks.
Another feature we absolutely love about this three-stage Troy-Bilt snow throwe is how easy it is to maneuver thanks to the power steering ability. The headlight and heated handle grips also make it a pretty nice choice for early morning and late-night snow throwing duties. To top it all off, the machine comes with a two-year warranty from Troy-Bilt.
WHO SHOULD BUY IT: If you’re looking for a big powerful snow thrower with electric start, power steering, and a large enough engine to devour snowdrifts and tall snowbanks, this three-stage snow blower from Troy-Bilt won’t bother your gravel and may make a great choice for you.
Best Heavy-Duty Two-Stage Snow Blower for Gravel Driveways
WHY WE LIKE IT: One of our favorite features of this Husqvarna two-stage snow blower is that the skids it comes with prevent roughing up your driveways and sidewalks. You can also loosen the bolts on the skids, which are located at the bottom of the intake, and totally prevent the machine from touching the ground. That means all the gravel and dirt gets left on the ground where it belongs while snow gets scooped up and thrown away.
The snow blowers 208cc engine is just enough power to handle snowfall from big snowstorms. That said, it may be a bit difficult to maneuver in deeper snow, regardless of the fact that it has self-propulsion. But, simply adjusting the handle seems to help.
Another thing we love about this snow thrower is that you get plenty of extras that go a long way in keeping you as comfortable as possible while out clearing snow from your property in freezing temperatures, like heated handgrips, ski skids, headlight, and more.
WHO SHOULD BUY IT: If you’re looking for a snow blower that easily makes short work of heavy snow, ice, and slush, but at the same time doesn’t pick up all the gravel, rocks, and dirt from your driveway and walkways, this machine might be the right snow blower for you.
Best Compact Snow Blower for Gravel Driveways
WHY WE LIKE IT: Like most two-stage blowers, this Ariens compact snow blower offers up plenty of power to chew through and throw away piles of snow up to two feet tall. The machine devours even the heaviest and iciest snowfall. Even more, you can use it for much higher amounts of snow than it is advertised for if you are willing to put a bit of work in yourself.
However, if you don’t adjust the height of this snow blower, it may pick up rocks or pebbles along with snow. You will also want to stay aware of the chute direction, or you may end up throwing snow and gravel somewhere you don’t want it – like on your car or front porch. The machine also starts right up even during the coldest times of the year with its electric start. It also comes with a manual start.
The snow blower also comes with a small headlight, which helps but is not as bright as other machines with headlights on our list. Even though this Ariens snow blower includes a high-end plastic chute, it may still get clogged with snow and ice. You can help avoid clogs by applying lubricant before using it.
All things considered, the biggest downside to this particular two-stage snow blower is probably the price tag. But, it is well worth the cost, including the great three year warranty that comes with it.
WHO SHOULD BUY IT: If you want a two-stage snow blower with all the most convenient features, like heated handles, electric start, headlights, skis, and more, but that also works well on both smooth sidewalks and rocky or uneven dirt and gravel driveways, this model could be your best pick.
Why It’s Important to Buy the Right Snow Blower for Your Needs
We know how easy it can be to become overwhelmed by all the choices available on those websites your browsing, especially if you’re on a budget. the last thing you want to do is buy a single stage snow blower because it seems affordable. But it is important to buy the right snow blower for your needs, not a dollar figure.
Affordable is nice, but, if you really want to pick the best snow blower for you and your property, especially if it included a gravel driveway, you need to take a few things into consideration (unless you want to risk slinging gravel through the windows of your neighbor’s new car).
Single-stage snow throwers may be the least expensive option, and they do a great job clearing snow, but they are not built for clearing snow from gravel driveways and uneven surfaces.
These machines are both gas and electric-powered and are generally suitable for clearing driveways, sidewalks, parking places, and porch, but only of around two feet of light and fluffy snow. That is because the bottom of most single-stage snow blowers make full contact with the pavement or ground they are clearing snow of.
In other words, if you have a gravel driveway or walkways, these machines put you at risk of damaging your property and that of your neighbors as well. These snow blowers may throw rocks and gravel up to 20 feet or more. That means your car and home’s windows are at risk of being broken, and so are your neighbors.
Which Type of Snow Blower is Best for Gravel?
The type of snow blower you need for gravel is probably a gas-powered one with its scoop slightly raised. It may also come with skis or snow shoes that are fully adjustable for even better functionality. these features allow for picking up snow, ice, and slush, but no rocks, gravel, or pebbles from the ground.
Whether you choose a two-stage snow blower, or a three-stage snow blower doesn’t matter to us, but there are some significant differences between these two types of snow blowers that we think you should be aware of before making a purchasing decision.
Below, we compare the differences between two-stage and three-stage snow blowers:
Two-Stage Snow Blower
This may be the most popular choice for a blower, and for good reason. You can find them in a variety of sizes, with a couple of choices of engine power, and at varying prices.
They typically include one or two augers in the front that picks up snow, chew it up, and then send it to the impeller, which then blows the snow out the chute and up to 50 feet away from where the stuff was laying.
These are appropriate for wet, heavy material because they’re more powerful than their single-stage cousins. The bottom of the mouth of the machine sits low to the ground, but it doesn’t make contact, which means it should scoop up the white stuff, and not rocks and gravel. You can adjust the height of the mouth so that it sits even higher if you have larger gravel than typical.
The machine is still going to clear material, but it’ll usually leave your driveway as it is.
Three Stage Snow Blowers
There’s not a whole lot of difference between three-stage and two-stage snow blowers. But, even the little variances that exist can make a big difference in functionality, overall. These differences will also make a bigger impact on your wallet too.
Three-stage snow blowers include three augers; two front augers and a third auger slightly further back that works as an accelerator. The first two augers pull in snow, spin it, and move it on to where the third auger further helps get it through the machine with little effort.
Three-stage snow blowers typically operate with a higher elevation from the ground than two-stage snow blowers do. This little difference makes a huge impact. It allows these machines to scoop up snow and only snow, completely avoiding gravel and rocks.
These snow blowers may also include a hydraulic drive that makes for much easier handling of the machine overall. Three-stage snow blowers may also be a bit bigger, so you’ll have to make sure you have the room for storing them.
All things considered, three-stage snow blowers are obviously more powerful. They are also much more expensive. You’re going to pay at least several hundred dollars more for a three-stage machine than you would for a two-stage unit. Additionally, they are heavier and harder to handle unless working in deep snow.
Do you really need a three-stage? Only you can decide. But, if you’re living in the snow belt, or way up north, you may well want to make the investment.
The Bottom Line
There is one snow blower from our list that easily stands out among the others. The machine includes also happen to include all those great extra features you probably secretly want, even if you’re just focused on getting a snow thrower that will do a great job on your gravel driveway.