We can all agree that shoveling snow by hand is a miserable experience. This year, it’s time to put down the shovel and invest in the best snowblower for gravel driveways. But when you have a gravel driveway, you need to be very careful about the snowblower you choose. Don’t let the neighbor kid come over with just any old snowblower, it could be disastrous. Chipped paint on your car, and broken windows are just two of the possible problems you could face if you don’t get the right snowblower. These powerful machines are designed to blow away hundreds of pounds of snow and ice per minute, saving your back and sanity this season. Better yet, the best snowblower for gravel driveways isn’t going to disturb your gravel or damage the snowblower with dangerous rocks or debris.
Ready to pick out your new snowblower? Start with our guide to learn more about choosing the best snowblower for your gravel driveway, or jump straight to the reviews for our top picks.
Choosing the Best Snowblower for Gravel Driveways
Two stage operation is the most important feature to look for in the best snowblowers for gravel. The augers in two stage snowblowers never actually touch the ground, meaning they’re much less likely to catch gravel. In fact, two stage snowblowers are height-adjustable for even better control and safer operation.
Two stage snowblowers are also able to tackle thicker, heavier, and wetter snow than their single stage counterparts. Additionally, two stage snowblowers use engine driven wheels, making it easier to maneuver them through the snow.
You should never use single stage snowblowers with a gravel driveway or walkway. If you skipped that last sentence, please read it again. Don’t get a single stage machine! Since the single stage snowblowers touch the ground, they take in gravel along with snow, turning the small rocks into dangerous projectiles. They end up hitting cars, glass and throw lots of gravel into your grass so it ruins the blade of your mower.
Ok, Now that you have listened to the rant and are familiar with the basics, here are the other features to consider when choosing the best snowblower for your property.
Important Features to Consider for the Snow blowers for Gravel
- Engine. While not always the case, an engine’s displacement volume (measured in CCs) usually correlates with its power. You can generally assume that an engine with more CCs can tackle thicker snow. Remember, a higher displacement volume also usually means a heavier, less fuel efficient snowblower. The best snowblowers for gravel balance maneuverability with power.
- Snow Clearance. Depending on how much snow you expect, be sure to get a snowblower with the proper clearance. The best snowblowers for gravel driveways start around 22” wide and can reach heights of over two feet depending on your needs.
- Size. Before choosing the perfect snowblower for your home, think about who will be using it. Both maneuverability and ease of storage are dependent on the size of your snowblower. Expect two stage snowblowers for gravel to be at least 150lbs and take up as much room as a lawnmower.
- Power Steering. Users with limited mobility should consider power steering. This feature may add to the bottom line, but could be worth it if you’ve ever struggled to turn a snowblower at the end of your driveway. Some of the best snowblowers even allow one-handed driving, requiring less strength to remain upright and moving forward.
Extra Features For Your Snowblower
Most snowblowers now have an automatic shutoff of the auger when your hand lets go of the handle. This is commonly known as a “Deadman Switch” This is extremely important to have if you want to avoid picking your nose with your wrist.
Some models come with headlights, the best ones have LED headlights. This is a great feature when you have to get up at 4 in the morning to snowblow your gravel driveway. You actually feel like a snow-cat driver up at the ski resort.
Some of the better snowblowers for gravel driveways come with an electric start option. This is, in our opinion a great option, because usually you are in a hurry to get the driveway cleared and a cold motor can be a real pain (literally) to get started.
Discharge Control At the Handle
If you can, make sure your snowblower has the control for the discharge chute right up at the handle. This way, you can change the direction while driving or turning so you don’t loose time stepping away to adjust the chute.
If you have tight storage constraints, then think about a snowblower with a fordable handle. This makes it easier to tuck away during the rest of the year so you have more room for your mowers, blowers, etc..
The 5 Best Snowblowers for Gravel Driveways
You need a snowblower that will last for years to come, with the versatility to work with all kinds and amounts of snow. It should also be easy to operate, even at night or in icy conditions. That’s why the Husqvarna ST224P’s balance of performance, durability, and maneuverability makes it the ideal snowblower for most users.
Equipped with a mid-sized 208CC engine, this snowblower is specified to tackle snowfall up to 12”. In our experience, the Husqvarna ST224P can tackle higher snowfall with a little patience, up to 24”. Importantly, this snowblower’s 12” steel augers are capable of slashing through icy top layers and snow piles left my the street plows.
Helping you navigate the icy terrain, the Husqvarna ST224P comes with power steering and extra-large 15” snow tires. This superior control is perfect if you have rough terrain, hills, or expect heavy snowfall. For additional control, this snowblower has six forward speeds and one reverse speed. This allows you to pick the right amount of power for the job at hand.
The Husqvarna ST224P doesn’t just feature excellent snowblowing performance. It also comes complete with all the modern convenience features you’d expect from a top-end snowblower. Our favorites include remote chute control, adjustable handle height, and the dual LED headlights.
The only downside to this snowblower’s heavy-duty construction is that it weighs 196lbs. Thankfully, with power steering and engine-powered wheels, almost anyone can use the Husqvarna ST224P with ease. Making things even easier, you can operate this snowblower with just one hand. That gives you the chance to adjust the chute angle or change gears without sacrificing control.
Even though the Husqvarna ST224P doesn’t have the biggest engine or widest clearance on our list, it’s still the best choice for average customers. Even if you have no prior experience with snowblowers, the Husqvarna ST224P is easy to assemble and effortless to operate. It works best for light and medium snowfall, meaning it will work in all but the snowiest climates. Check out the Husqvarna ST224P yourself to see why we’re so impressed by this awesome all-around snowblower.
Like Husqvarna, Briggs and Stratton are a trusted name in the best snowblowers for gravel and beyond. That’s primarily because both brands produce quality engines that are specially designed to work in sub-zero temperatures season after season. Expect nothing less from our list’s runner-up, the eloquently named Briggs and Stratton 1696619.
This hearty snowblower is all steel from the augers to the chute. That ensures that even if a stone or two from your gravel driveway finds its way through this snowblower’s impeller, the most important components won’t be damaged.
At 189lbs, the Briggs and Stratton 1696619 is quite heavy, but makes up for its weight with a 250CC engine. This large engine will power this snowblower’s notched augers through the toughest snow and ice. Even when snow has been left for days to harden, the Briggs and Stratton 1696619 doesn’t falter. And, this snowblower features an extra-wide 27” clearing path so you cover more ground with less effort. Rated to clear up to 20” of snowfall in one pass, you can count on this snowblower even in tough conditions.
It’s surprisingly easy to maneuver this snowblower despite its weight and lack of power steering. First, the Briggs and Stratton 1696619 comes with 14” wheels and excellent traction. It can also be operated with just one hand once it’s in motion. There’s also remote chute control so you don’t have to stop every time you want to change throw direction.
We do wish Briggs and Stratton would update the included instruction manual for this model. While assembling most snowblowers is pretty straightforward, the Briggs and Stratton 1696619 instructions make the process confusing. Put aside at least half an hour to assemble this snowblower.
Once the pain of assembly is over, we can find little fault with this remarkable snowblower. It may not have all the bells and whistles of our first choice, but it’s still a great option if you want a long-lasting, versatile snowblower. Whether it’s two inches of wet slush or two feet of fluffy powder, the Briggs and Stratton 1696619 is up to the task.
Depending on where you live, blizzards and multiple feet of snow are a yearly occurrence. When a foot of snow can fall from the sky at any moment, you need a snowblower you can trust. For unbeatable dependability in the heaviest of snowfalls, we suggest the Briggs and Stratton 1696563.
The Briggs and Stratton 1696563’s enormous 306CC engine is the first indication that this is no child’s toy. Capable of 14.5 foot-lbs of torque, this cold weather engine can power through thick balls of ice, slushy snow, fresh powder, and anything in between without breaking a sweat. With six forward gears and two reverse to choose from, you’ll find yourself in complete control of this capable snowblower’s immense power.
It’s a small detail, but we really appreciate that this model includes two reverse speeds. Most snowblowers go so slowly in reverse that it’s quicker to just turn the darn thing around. The Briggs and Stratton 1696563’s second reverse gear makes a world of difference. We also really like this model’s oversized 16”x6.5” arctic wheels. They resist getting packed with snow so you have as much traction at the end of your route as the beginning.
With such a large engine, the Briggs and Stratton 1696563 can handle much more snow than your average two stage snowblower. Its intake cuts a path 29” wide and up to 19.5” in height. That means you can easily handle up to two feet of snow with just a couple passes. You can also clear your gravel driveway in a fraction of the time it would take smaller snowblowers. That’s why we recommend the Briggs and Stratton 1696563 for those with large properties.
Other key features include dual trigger steerable transmission, electric start, heated handles, and a 3-year limited warranty. Honestly, for the price we would expect a better warranty for this snowblower. At the same time, our experience with this brand and the Briggs and Stratton 1696563’s superior construction quality almost guarantee its longevity. Don’t let heavy snowfall keep you locked inside this winter. If you have a large property and expect feet, not inches, the Briggs and Stratton 1696563 is for you.
Not everyone has four figures to drop on a snowblower, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a quality machine. For half the price of our first selection, the Power Smart DB7659H offers impressive power in a surprisingly compact form.
How compact? The Power Smart DB7659H weighs “just” 140lbs and measures about 24”x32”x51”. Within this small form sits a 212CC engine that powers the steel augers and impeller for a total clearance of 22”W x 16”H. That’s not the biggest clearance, but this snowblower is quite efficient within its relatively small space. Choose from four forward speeds and two reverse speeds for better control.
Don’t expect the same ice crushing power as you would get from the Briggs and Stratton 1696619. The Power Smart DB7659H struggles with thick ice, especially with its plastic chute. Instead, the Power Smart DB7659H is designed for light to medium snowfall and can handle wet slush.
Controls are fairly limited, but that makes this snowblower easy to use. All you have to worry about is switching gears while you plow. Some would even argue that with a simpler machine, fewer things can go wrong. Without the heated handlebars, remote chute control, or power steering of more expensive models, the Power Smart DB7659H is also easier to maintain and less likely to break down. If you need a powerful, compact snowblower on a budget and don’t mind a few missing features, the Power Smart DB7659H is an excellent choice.
For some us, it rarely snows more than a few inches and some winters it doesn’t even snow at all. For light snowfall, you don’t need a powerful machine like our other entries. Modestly priced and sized, the YARDMAX YB5765 is the best snowblower for gravel driveways when ease of use trumps snowblowing power.
Using a 196CC engine, this snowblower’s maximum clearance is 22”W x 16”H and can quickly clear snowfall of 6” or less. If heavier snow, slush, or ice turns up, the YARDMAX YB5765 features five forward speeds and two reverse speeds. Clear a small driveway in minutes no matter what texture or wetness of snow. The YARDMAX YB5765 is even able to cut through light ice thanks to its all steel, serrated augers. We also appreciate that unlike the Power Smart, this snowblower incorporates a steel chute.
At only 125lbs, this snowblower is also pretty easy to operate. It comes with 13” tires and the option for freewheel steering, allowing you to make turns more easily. Of course, there’s no power steering or single hand grip, but this small snowblower is still easily manageable.
The YARDMAX YB5765 goes unchallenged as the absolute best value for your money, and especially if you only experience light snowfall. Affordable, yet built to last for years to come, there simply isn’t a better two stage snowblower for the price.
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