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Are you looking to prepare for the winter? Looking for the best snowblower for gravel driveway?
In this guide, I’ll look at the different types of snowblowers to find out which are most appropriate for use on gravel.
I had terrible problems with snow last year and so did many of my friends and we were quick to discover that a snowblower was our savior on snowy days.
But, you can’t just use the first snowblower you find, as it can be hazardous and may not be suitable for gravel. Keep reading to find out more about this topic and the best snow blower for your needs.
In a Rush? Here’s Our Pick!
Let’s take a quick glance at the products we will talk about here.
How Snowblowers Work
A snowblower works by using an engine that spins an auger and impeller. The auger takes the snow from the ground and sucks it up into the main body of the snowblower. The impeller then shoots the snow away from a specific chute designed for discharge.
You can usually control the auger with a lever. This means you can target specific buildups of snow.
The video below shows how snowblowers work in more detail. It also gives some information as to their maintenance, so you can make sure your blower doesn’t get clogged up.
Can Any Snowblower Be Used On Gravel?
No! This cannot be stressed enough. Don’t just go to the DIY store or over to Amazon and buy the first snowblower you see.
Some snowblowers will pick up everything that is on the ground. This means that while they are good for use on tarmac or clearing an area in the yard for snow sculptures, they don’t work on gravel.
They will pick up the gravel and suck it up into the impeller, which can damage your snowblower. It can also get projected out of the chute and cause a hazard. You can smash a window or even injure someone.
There are certain types of snowblowers that are specifically meant for gravel surfaces and I’ll explore this further below. You can also find more information in this post, which talks about using snowblowers on driveways, including gravel ones.
Different Types Of Snowblowers
A single-stage snow blower will have augers that come into contact with the ground. This type will pick up gravel, send it through the mechanism, and fire it out through the chute. This is dangerous.
There are also two-stage or three-stage snowblowers. These have adjustable augers, so you can change their distance from the ground. You can adjust the auger so it doesn’t sit right at ground level or change the height based on the level of snow.
It is still a hazard if you use two or three-stage models, as most of these snowblowers still have the option for you to set the auger too low. Make sure you avoid doing this, as these low settings will have exactly the same issues as single-stage snowblowers.
When shopping for a snowblower, you’ll notice that they come in different sizes. This size refers to the width of the area the snowblower is able to clear. A 26-inch model can pick up snow across a width of 26 inches, before breaking it down with the auger and expelling it.
Obviously, a bigger model means you can clear more snow at once. If you have a large gravel driveway, this can be a big bonus.
Some of the options will also list their height and this refers to the height of compacted snow they are able to tackle.
When used responsibly, snowblowers are not hazardous. But in the wrong hands, they can be dangerous. There are ways you can minimize the chance of injury or damage when using your snowblower. The following tips should be followed.
- Always read the manual that comes with your product. This sounds like a boring activity, however, the manual can give you vital information on the machine’s safety features.
- Take steps to avoid clogging the machine. Work quickly to avoid snow getting stuck in the mechanism. If the snow is wet and heavy, you may need to use your snowblower multiple times.
- You may need to oil the blades and chute to help lubricate them and send out the thick snow more easily. Follow the manual for instructions on this.
- If the snowblower gets clogged, switch it off straight away. Leave it until the blades have totally stopped and no movement is inside the chute.
- Never use your hands to clear any blockages. This is very dangerous. Use a broom handle or a similar tool to clear the clogging to make sure that you don’t risk injury.
- Make sure you’re focused and that you haven’t been drinking any alcohol when using your snowblower.
Electric Or Gas Snowblowers – Which Is Better?
You can buy either an electric or a gas snowblower. Just like lawnmowers, both have their own pros and cons.
Electric models require far less upkeep. They can be run with an extension cord and don’t need gas or any complex maintenance, like replacing spark plugs.
The only real downside is that electric snowblowers don’t have the same range. It’s harder to take it far from the house unless you have a very long power cord.
Gas snowblowers require more upkeep but tend to be a bit more long-lasting. They can also run anywhere without needing a long extension cord. As long as you have gas in the tank, you’re good to go.
At the very top-end of the market, gas snowblowers tend to be more expensive.
Can I Use A Snowblower On Gravel?
As I mentioned above, you can’t just use any snowblower on gravel. However, the simple answer is that you can use a snowblower on gravel, as long as it is a suitable type.
You need to make sure you use a model that has an auger with an adjustable height. This means a two-stage or three-stage snowblower. These models will prevent the gravel from being lifted with the snow.
The following snowblowers are the products I’ve picked out as the best on the market.
They’re perfect for clearing the driveway or even making space for a winter party amidst the snow.
There are numerous options out there and the models I’ve picked out are all gas snowblowers that can be used away from an electricity supply.
Poulan Pro Two-Stage Electric Start Snowthrower
The Poulan Pro is a good option for those looking for a gas snowthrower with an engine. It advertises that it is suitable for both driveways and gravel areas. The two-stage design allows for this and means you won’t pick up gravel.
This snowblower has ribbon design augers, which cleverly break up ice, send it through the impeller, and out of the chute.
As a gas model, it has a 208cc engine. This means you can clear large driveways and graveled areas without worrying about needing a long extension cable. The electric start means you don’t have to replace spark plugs either.
- Inbuilt power steering and reverse mode.
- Easy control panel so you can learn to use it in no time.
- Clever ribbon auger, which makes snow clear quicker.
- Adjustable handle height to suit your own height and reach.
- Less likely to be damaged due to its friction disc transmission design.
- Comes with a 2-year warranty — 4 years on the engine itself.
- Requires oil to be added before you use it.
- In very cold conditions, you might sometimes experience issues with the electric start.
This is a pretty big snowblower. It may be overkill for smaller areas, but if you need to clear a large gravel driveway, the Poulan Pro is worth considering.
Husqvarna ST224P Two-Stage Gas Snowblower
This is another decent option for a snowblower if you want one with an electric start and a gas engine (like the Poulan Pro model above).
The Husqvarna ST224P Two-Stage Gas Snowblower is a very durable and well-built product with some smart features. Because of its sturdy design, it is quite heavy, at 198.6 pounds. It also has a 3-year warranty and the motor itself is warrantied for an impressive 5 years.
One of the best features of this gas snowblower is the fact that it is built with traction in mind. If the gravel driveway is up a hill or on any sort of incline, you may find that some snowblowers slip and slide around. The ST224P has no such problem. The track-drive system helps you to propel the machine up the hill.
- Well-built auger can handle frozen snow and ice.
- Heated handle grips give an extra level of comfort and also mean that your hands don’t go numb and lose control.
- Chute deflector included, which allows you to control the direction of the snow out of the chute.
- Simple and reliable electric start.
- Comes with bright LED headlights for moving the snow at night or first thing in the morning.
- From time-to-time, the auger belts may need to be replaced.
- It may struggle on very high and wet snow. 12 inches or more might be an issue, even for this sturdy snowblower.
- The gas tank isn’t the biggest and needs regular refilling.
If you are in the market for a heavy-duty snowblower that can handle inclines, this could be a decent choice to consider. It has some smart features and a long warranty.
Ariens 920021 2-Stage Snow Blower
This is yet another snowblower with an electric start. It can handle large areas and be used away from an electric supply, due to the fact that it runs on gas.
One of the best things about this particular snowblower is that it has a larger tank than some of the other options. This means you can use it on gravel driveways for longer before you need to refill the tank.
This snowblower also folds up into a relatively small size. This means you can store it more easily than some of the other large, 24-inch models.
It isn’t quite as nimble when it comes to turning as some of the other options, so keep this in mind if you are going to need to turn a lot of corners when snowblowing!
- Relatively large 3.2-quart tank capacity.
- 208cc engine made by Ariens.
- 6 forward gears and 2 reverse for going up hills, backward, and more.
- Folds into a relatively small size for easy storage.
- Has the ability to tackle tough and compacted snow and ice.
- Not very easy to turn corners, especially if you aren’t the strongest person.
- Doesn’t offer the same long warranty as some of the other brands.
Generally speaking, the control panel on this snowblower is great, the power it has does a good enough job for most people’s needs, and not having to keep it plugged into electric is a big bonus.
If you don’t need it to be overly flexible and nimble, the Ariens 920021 2-Stage Snow Blower is worth considering.
YARDMAX YB6770 Two-Stage Snow Blower
The Yardmax YB6770 has some very impressive features, yet manages to be more lightweight than some of its competitors.
It is quite nimble and, I would say, one of the easiest models to use, especially if you don’t have tons of experience with these sorts of products.
In spite of its “lighter” design (it’s still nearly 200 pounds), it has plenty of hard-wearing features. This is not a flimsy product by any means. Particularly impressive are its serrated steel augers, which make it simple to cut up compacted snow.
- Easy and reliable electric start and 208cc gas engine.
- 8 speeds in total, including 6 forward and 2 reverse — plenty of control!
- A cleverly designed dashboard that includes headlights, speed controls, and even a cup holder.
- Heated hand grips mean your hands won’t go numb during use.
- Serrated augers give plenty of cutting power, even through compacted, dense snow.
- Needs a bit of assembly when it arrives.
- Tires can be prone to going flat and are best repaired, as it can be hard to get replacements.
The Yardmax YB6770 Two-Stage Snow Blower is our top choice for people looking to buy a snowblower for use on gravel. It’s easy to steer, works in all situations and circumstances, and has 8 gears.
Its lighter weight is fine, as the steel augers give all the power you expect from a bigger snowblower.
It is worth mentioning that this snowblower can be bought in 22, 24 and 26-inch models, so you can choose the appropriate size and width for your driveway.
Yard Machines 208cc Two-Stage Gas Snow Thrower
If you’re on a budget, the Yard Machines Two-Stage Gas Snow Thrower has some great features but is more of a value-for-money option. It doesn’t have the highest quality components, for instance, the plastic chute could be upgraded to metal to improve durability. However, there is still a lot to like about this snow thrower and the price is pretty reasonable.This is quite a large snowblower, with a 24-inch width. Like many of the other top snowblowers on the market, it offers 8 speeds, including 6 forward gears and 2 reverse. It also has a 208cc engine design, which is extremely common in these products.
- Can be used on driveways and pathways with snow cover up to 21 inches in height, so even in heavy snow.
- Comes with 13-inch tires, designed specifically for slippery, icy surfaces.
- Dash light helps you see what you are doing.
- Reliable electric start and gas tank, for use away from an electricity supply.
- Some of the components aren’t the best quality. Metal components instead of plastic would make this more durable.
- Doesn’t have a big gas tank.
- Extremely compacted snow cannot be cleared with this snowblower.
If you are looking for simple value for money and are on a budget, the Yard Machines 208cc Two-Stage Gas Snow Thrower could be a good choice. Though some of the components could benefit from being made out of metal, it is still likely to last many years and can cope with relatively high snowfall.
Troy-Bilt Vortex 2690 Electric Start Three-Stage Gas Snow Thrower
The Troy-Bilt Vortex is the only three-stage snowblower on my list and it also has the largest motor, with 357cc’s of power. This snowblower has a wide clearing path of 26 inches and is suitable for compacted snow.
This is a very well-made piece of kit and, while it might be overkill if you are looking for something for a small driveway, it is a good choice for those who need a very robust snowblower.
- Quality X-Trac tires are robust and can work their way through gravel driveways with ease.
- 4-year warranty on motor and gears, 2-year warranty on the rest of the snowblower.
- Clears an area 26 inches in width and 21 inches in height.
- The clever chute design can be set to throw the snow in a variety of directions and not back at the user.
- Three-stages design makes for thorough snow clearing.
- Electric start works even in extremely low temperatures.
- Expensive for home use or those who just need a basic snowblower.
- Chute direction is a little bit tough to control.
If you need a durable and well-made snowblower for use on a gravel driveway, the Troy-Bilt Vortex 2690 Electric Start Three-Stage could be a good option. It is the only three-stage model on my list and its powerful engine means it can be used in large areas.
Conclusion – The Best Snowblower
The snowblowers above are all good choices and they all have their own pros and cons.
However, if I had to pick one standout product, I’d recommend the YARDMAX YB6770 Two-Stage Snow Blower .
In spite of being a little bit lighter than most of the models on my list, the Yardmax has some fantastic features. It folds up small enough to store in relatively compact spaces.
The clever serrated steel augers do a great job of cutting through even compacted snow, which is then efficiently expelled out of the blower. The other two-stage blowers on my list do not have this serrated design.
This snowblower is simple to use and the controls are super easy to pick up. It has headlights for use in the dark and it is safe for use on gravel, due to its two-stage design.
What do you think of my list of the best snowblowers? If you have your own thoughts or experience with snowblowers, leave a comment in the section below. And, don’t forget to share this article if you know someone who might find it useful!Has the ability to tackle tough and compacted snow and ice.8 speeds in total, including 6 forward and 2 reverse — plenty of control! Dash light helps you see what you are doing.
More Ways To Clear A Gravel Driveway
However, keep in mind that you don’t need a snow blower for this kind of work.
If you would like to explore other ways of how to remove snow from such driveways, read our post about how to clear snow from a gravel driveway.
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Last update on 2020-09-22 at 11:39 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API