Select Page

Best Snow Blower for Gravel Driveways

It’s that time of year again: Time to buy a snow blower! Whether you waited until the first snowfall of the season or you’re checking out some models after the last of the sprinkle of winter melts and flowers pop up, you’re picking a good time to buy. On one hand, the white stuff hasn’t quite stuck yet, and on the other, you’re going to be all kinds of prepared in about nine months. If your driveway is covered with gravel, rather than pavement, you can’t just buy any blower machine, though. Regardless of how little or how much snowfall you get every year, you’re going to have to purchase a specific type of blower unit.

6 Best Snow Blower for Gravel Driveways Comparison

MODEL
DETAILS

Power Smart DB7651
Type: Gas
Electric start: Yes
Self-propelling: 4 forward speeds; 2 reverse speeds
Width clearance: 24 inches
Depth clearance: 20 inches
Weight: 180 pounds
Chute material: Plastic
Warranty: 1 year

Husqvarna ST224

Type: Gas
Electric start: Yes
Self-propelling: 6 forward speeds; 1 reverse speeds
Width clearance: 24 inches
Depth clearance: 23 inches
Weight: 240 pounds
Chute material: Steel
Warranty: 1 year

Ariens Compact
Type: Gas
Electric start: Yes
Self-propelling: 6 forward speeds; 2 reverse speeds
Width clearance: 24 inches
Depth clearance: 20 inches
Weight: 371 pounds
Chute material: Plastic
Warranty: 3 years

YARDMAX YB6770
Type: Gas
Electric start: Yes
Self-propelling: 6 forward speeds; 2 reverse speeds
Width clearance: 26 inches
Depth clearance: 21 inches
Weight: 177 pounds
Chute material: Metal
Warranty: 3 years

Yard Machines
Type: Gas
Electric start: Yes
Self-propelling: 6 forward speeds; 2 reverse speeds
Width clearance: 26 inches
Depth clearance: 21 inches
Weight: 222 pounds
Chute material: Plastic
Warranty: 2 years

Troy-Bilt Vortex 2490
Type: Gas
Electric start: Yes
Self-propelling: 6 forward speeds; 2 reverse speeds
Width clearance: 24 inches
Depth clearance: 21 inches
Weight: 230 pounds
Chute material: Plastic
Warranty: 2 years

Why It Matters Which Snow Blower You Buy

It’s tempting to just snag the least expensive snow-munching machine on whatever website you’re browsing right now, but hold on. Some of those tools aren’t going to have enough power, and you could be putting your neighbors at risk if you have a gravel driveway. Single-stage thrower units are the least expensive options on the market, and they work well enough, but they’re not for you. These machines are electric powered, and they’re suitable for clearing driveways, walkways, decks, and porches of about two feet or less of fluffy, powdery stuff. That’s it, though. See, the bottom of those throwers actually make contact with the ground where the auger is, and that’s great for getting all the snow up and off the ground, but bad if you have a gravelly driveway or walkway. If you choose one of these machines, you’re risking the auger picking up rocks and bits of gravel as you push it along a path and then spitting those sharp, hard objects out the chute and about 20 feet away from you. It’s a perfect recipe for broken windows or injured neighbors. That’s why it’s important that you buy the right snow blower for your needs.

Types of Snowblower: Two-Stage Snow Blower vs. Three-Stage Snow Blower

The type of snow blower you need is a gas-powered one with the mouth of the machine slightly raised, on snow blower shoes, or adjustable, which means it can move along a path without touching the ground. You’ll be able to avoid picking up rocks along the way and spitting them at your neighbors’ homes. Whether you choose a two-stage snow blower, or a three-stage snow blower doesn’t matter, but there are some differences between these snow-eating beasts to be aware of. Take a look at the comparison here, and you’ll be ready to pick the best snow blower for your gravel driveway.

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 choices of engine power, and at varying prices. They typically include one or two augers in the front that pick 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 different between these and two-stage blower units, but the minor differences can make a huge difference in clearing material. They’ll also make a bigger impact on your wallet, though. A three-stage snow blower typically includes three augers. It has the two front augers, and a third one that acts as an accelerator. So, as your three-stage snow blower is chugging along, and the two augers are pulling in snow, chewing it, and spitting it, there’s this other one that’s sort of corkscrewing through the icy snow and helping it all along to the impeller. Like the two-stage snow blowers, these guys won’t move along the ground, so you won’t have (too many) issues with gravel and rocks. A three-stage snow blower also typically has a more powerful engine to help drive all those augers. They might also include hydrostatic drive, which uses a hydraulic system to help push the machine around (it translates to better handling). Three-stage snow blowers may also be a bit bigger, so you’ll have to make sure you have the room for these beasts.
Another important difference between these big guys and the two-stage snow blowers is the price. You’re going to pay at least several hundred dollars more, or possibly as much as twice the cost of a two-stage snow blower. Is a three-stage snow blower better than a two-stage one? Not necessarily. Yes, you’re going to clear snow faster, on average, about 30 percent faster. They can be harder to maintain, more difficult to maneuver, and more expensive. If you’re living in a snow belt, though, it might be worth owning one of these beasts to get you through the season sane and without frostbite. The way to know which snow blower is best for you and your gravelly driveway is to read through these reviews. You’ll get the important details and specs on each machine, and the feedback from those who’ve already bought and used them.

Top 6 Snow Blower for Gravel Driveways Reviews

Power Smart DB7651 24 inch 208cc LCT Two-Stage Snow Thrower

Quick Info

  • Type: Gas
  • Electric start: Yes
  • Self-propelling: 4 forward speeds; 2 reverse speeds
  • Width clearance: 24 inches
  • Depth clearance: 20 inches
  • Weight: 180 pounds
  • Chute material: Plastic
  • Warranty: 1 year
Take a good look at the mouth of this Power Smart blower and you’ll see it means business. Those two augers in the front look like they’re ready to take down all the icy chunks of material you put in its path, and if you ask the owners of this machine, they’ll agree this machine is hungry for white stuff. The spiral auger sits high above the ground, so there won’t be any roughing up of your gravel driveway. Plus, there are a couple of adjustable metal shoes that let you set the height of the mouth, in case you’re worried it’s too low. As a two-stage blower machine, it does its job well, even against big banks. Wet, heavy material almost seems like it’s just fuel for this blower model. Its self-propulsion is powerful enough to easily climb up steep driveways, and the chute rarely, if ever, clogs. Yes, it’s a plastic chute, so it may seem like it’s chintzy, but that smooth surface is what keeps the material moving when it’s tossed 30 to 40 feet away from you. If you do have the mouth set too low to the ground and it picks up a rock or two, you may end up with a cracked chute, though, so be careful about that. You only get a one-year warranty with this blower unit, and that’s a bit short, considering the price you’re paying for this machine.

Pros

  • Snow shoots 30 to 40 feet
  • Good self-propulsion
  • Adjustable metal shoes
  • Works on wet snow

Cons

  • Short warranty
p

Pro tip

This is a two-stage blower unit with adjustable metal shoes to keep the mouth away from pesky rocks and gravel, and could be the one you’re looking for.

Husqvarna ST224 24-Inch 208cc Two Stage Electric Start Snow Blower

Quick Info

  • Type: Gas
  • Electric start: Yes
  • Self-propelling: 6 forward speeds; 1 reverse speeds
  • Width clearance: 24 inches
  • Depth clearance: 23 inches
  • Weight: 240 pounds
  • Chute material: Steel
  • Warranty: 1 year

The skid shoes on this Husqvarna two-stage blower are meant to protect surfaces from the metal mouth, but you aren’t worried so much about damage to a deck or pavement here. The good news is that you can loosen the bolts on those skids at the bottom of the intake, and prevent the mouth from touching the ground. This means the gravel on your driveway stays put and not shooting through your neighbor’s window.

Although it seems like a 208cc engine wouldn’t be powerful enough for big snowstorms, it does a great job of chomping up white stuff and spitting it out to a yard, rather than on your driveway or walkways. It may be difficult to move around, even with its self-propulsion, but adjusting the handle can help a little. You also get extras to make you a little more comfortable when you’re out in the freezing wind clearing material. The heated hand grips will keep your gloved hands a little warmer, and the headlights can light your path as you move stuff in the morning or at night.

Pros

  • Has adjustable skids
  • Works well against snow banks
  • Includes headlights
  • Heated hand grips included

Cons

  • Difficult to maneuver for some
  • Short warranty
p

Pro tip

If you’re looking for a blower that can tackle icy, heavy stuff, but leave your gravel on your driveway alone, this might be a good choice for you.

Ariens Compact 24 in. 2-Stage Snow Blower-208cc

Quick Info

  • Type: Gas
  • Electric start: Yes
  • Self-propelling: 6 forward speeds; 2 reverse speeds
  • Width clearance: 24 inches
  • Depth clearance: 20 inches
  • Weight: 371 pounds
  • Chute material: Plastic
  • Warranty: 3 years
Like most two-stage blowers, this Ariens offers plenty of power to plow through banks of snowfall that are up to two feet wide and two feet high. It makes quick work of the heaviest and iciest stuff, and you can even challenge it to take on stuff taller than its intake. It’ll do it. If you don’t adjust the feet on the mouth of this blower, you may end up taking a pebble or two along with the snow. Adjusting it is easy enough, but some users have said it can still pick up a stray piece of gravel here and there. Just try to be aware of which way the chute is pointed to avoid any accidents. The electric start on this makes it easy to start up, even in the coldest weather. It’s such a reliable machine, you may even be able to start it without the electric start. Although it includes a headlight, it isn’t the best at lighting up your whole path. Even though this Ariens includes a plastic chute, it may clog slightly with snow. You can change that by spraying it with some lubricant, though. Perhaps the biggest drawback of this snow blower is that it’s so pricey compared to other two-stage blower machines. It does include a three-year warranty, which is a nice bonus.

Pros

  • Reliable starting
  • Simple assembly
  • Can tackle big snow banks
  • Adjustable skis at mouth
  • Decent warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Headlight doesn’t work well
p

Pro tip

If you need a two-stage blower unit that won’t pick up much gravel after you make a few adjustments, this one could be a good choice for you.

YARDMAX YB6770 Two-Stage Snow Blower

Quick Info

  • Type: Gas
  • Electric start: Yes
  • Self-propelling: 6 forward speeds; 2 reverse speeds
  • Width clearance: 26 inches
  • Depth clearance: 21 inches
  • Weight: 177 pounds
  • Chute material: Metal
  • Warranty: 3 years
Snow drifts are notoriously hard to move, but they’re not match for this YARDMAX two-stage snow blower. Drifts are typically compacted banks of snow that are difficult to move – especially if you’re just using a shovel. You save a ton of time by trading in your snow shovel for this snow-munching beast. It can clear all that snow on your driveway in a fraction of the time it takes you to shovel it. Plus, if you adjust the metal shoes on the mouth of it, the YARDMAX shouldn’t pick up any gravel. The machine starts up right away, even in the coldest of temperatures. The 26-inch wide mouth means you can clear big paths with just one pass. It’s also an affordable snow blower when you consider how well it does with heavy snow. The extras you get are also incomparable to the competition. In addition to the heated hand grips, you get a headlight on the dash, and even a cup holder.

Pros

  • Extremely affordable
  • Works well on any snow
  • Has adjustable “shoes”
  • Starts easily
  • Decent warranty
  • Good maneuverability
  • Includes heated hand grips
  • Has a cup holder

Cons

  • Assembly takes a while
p

Pro tip

If you’re looking for a blower machine with all the bells and whistles, and one that won’t pick up all the gravel on your driveway, this could be the one for you.

Yard Machines 208cc 26-Inch Two-Stage Gas Snow Thrower

Quick Info

  • Type: Gas
  • Electric start: Yes
  • Self-propelling: 6 forward speeds; 2 reverse speeds
  • Width clearance: 26 inches
  • Depth clearance: 21 inches
  • Weight: 222 pounds
  • Chute material: Plastic
  • Warranty: 2 years
This Yard Machines two-stage blower stands up well to its competition with a comparable engine, electric start, and a 26-inch wide intake. One of the biggest differences between this blower to others is its tires. These 15-inch by 5-inch “Snow Hog” tires have deep tread that dig in and create good traction, even in the iciest conditions. More importantly, though, this snow blower can chow down on big chunks of icy snow and compacted snow drifts quickly and easily. Many of those who have bought this snow blower praise its fuel efficiency and how easily it starts up, even in frigid weather. This snow blower has the ability to clear down to the ground, but you can also make a few adjustments to the metal skids and hike the mouth of the machine up a bit to avoid picking up bits of gravel. It doesn’t have as long of a warranty as others, but the two years you do get are good enough. Perhaps the biggest downside to owning this blower unit is that it’s going to need considerable maintenance.

Pros

  • Fuel efficient
  • Good traction in icy conditions
  • Starts easily
  • Has adjustable skids
  • Good warranty
  • Has a wide intake

Cons

  • Lots of required maintenance
p

Pro tip

If you aren’t afraid of getting your hands dirty to keep this blower machine working season after season, it could be the best pick for you and your gravel driveway.

Troy-Bilt Vortex 2490 277cc Electric Start 24-Inch Three Stage Gas Snow Thrower

Quick Info

  • Type: Gas
  • Electric start: Yes
  • Self-propelling: 6 forward speeds; 2 reverse speeds
  • Width clearance: 24 inches
  • Depth clearance: 21 inches
  • Weight: 230 pounds
  • Chute material: Plastic
  • Warranty: 2 years
Just looking at the specs of this Troy-Bilt Vortex three-stage snow blower, you may wonder how it differs at all from a two-stage snow blower. Yes, the mouth of this snow blower is only 24 inches wide and 21 inches tall, but it can easily attack snow banks that are three to four feet tall. As a three-stage snow blower, it has an additional auger that spins quickly and breaks up the icy chunks and compacted snow, and then it sends it all to the impeller. Out the chute spits all that snow and it sends it about 20 feet or more away from you. This snow blower can clear down to the ground, but you don’t want it to do that with a gravel driveway. No worries – just adjust the shoes on the mouth and you’ll be able to drive this snow blower over the gravel without picking up the rocks and shooting them this way and that. Speaking of drive, this snow blower is easy to maneuver, thanks in part to the power steering that’s included. You also get extras like heated hand grips and a headlight. You only get a two-year warranty, but this machine has held up well for others, even after several seasons where this Troy-Bilt had to tackle 30+ inches of snow with each storm.

Pros

  • Includes adjustable “shoes”
  • Cuts throw snow quickly
  • Has power steering
  • Good warranty
  • Handles well
  • Includes heated hand grips

Cons

  • Chute may clog often
  • Can slow down in compacted snow
p

Pro tip

If you’re looking for the most powerful and fastest snow blower for your home, this one from Troy-Bilt won’t destroy your gravel driveway – only the snow, and could be good for you.

Conclusion

Picking the best snow blower for your gravelly driveway comes down to one important thing: adjustable skids. All the snow blowers above would be excellent choices to clear snow and not the rocks on your driveway, but the best one for you might have heated hand grips, a powerful headlight, or be more affordable than others. There is one snow blower that stands out among the competition, though, and it includes the extras you probably secretly want, even though you’re just focused on getting a good machine. The YARDMAX YB6770 Two-Stage Snow Blower offers you a powerful way to move snow from where you don’t want it to where you do, and even use it to make some awesome snow sculptures! It lets you adjust the skids, so you don’t pick up gravel along the way, and it includes all the extras – at a price that anyone looking for a snow blower can afford. Plus, you get a three-year warranty on the machine, which is one of the longest for a two-stage snow blower like this.

About The Author

Candace Osmond

Award Winning Designer, Candace Osmond has been in the industry for over a decade. She studied Interior Decorating & Design and is also an accomplished writer and multi-published author. When she's not typing away from the comforts of her desk, Candace can be found travelling to warm destinations, tending to her garden, or enjoying the outdoor haven that is her backyard. Candace currently resides in the breathtaking Maritimes of Eastern Canada with her husband, two beautiful kids and one slobbery bulldog.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To support our work we earn a commission if you purchase through some of the links listed below at no additional cost to you. This does not influence our opinions, but we believe in transparency so you can make informed choices. Read more here.