Plow Through Powder With the Best Snow Blowers for Gravel Driveways, Tested

These powerful machines throw loads of snow while leaving the rocky material of the driveway below undisturbed.

Best Overall

The Best Snow Blowers for Gravel Driveways Option: Troy-Bilt 2890 Storm Tracker Snow Blower

Troy-Bilt Storm Tracker 2890 Snow Blower

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Toro Power Max HD 828 OAE Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower

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Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Snow Blower for Gravel Driveways Option: PowerSmart Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower

PowerSmart DB7109 24-Inch Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower

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While just about any good snow blower can remove snow from a paved driveway or sidewalk, not all are suitable for use on a gravel surface. For that reason, we tested eight two-stage snow blowers in a range of sizes, plowing over packed and loose gravel to find the best models in a variety of categories.

These powerful machines are capable of clearing a swath of snow between 22 and 28 inches wide and launching it as far as 50 feet away, making them a great snow-clearing option for most gravel driveways. This guide digs deep to identify which features to look for when shopping for the best snow blower for gravel driveways while showcasing some of the top models on the market.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Troy-Bilt Storm Tracker 2890 Snow Blower
  2. RUNNER-UP: Toro Power Max HD 828 OAE Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: PowerSmart DB7109 24-Inch Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower
  4. UPGRADE PICK: Ego Power+ SNT2405 24-Inch Two-Stage Snow Blower
  5. BEST FOR LONG DRIVEWAYS: Toro Power Max 824 OE Gas Snow Blower
  6. BEST ELECTRIC: Toro Power Max e24 60V Snow Blower
  7. BEST FOR SMALL DRIVEWAYS: Ryobi 40V 22-Inch Two-Stage Cordless Snow Blower
  8. ALSO CONSIDER: Husqvarna ST 224 Snow Blower 
The Best Snow Blowers for Gravel Driveways Options
Photo: Zach Lazzari for Bob Vila

Before You Buy a Snow Blower for a Gravel Driveway

Before purchasing a snow blower for a gravel driveway, it’s important to understand that not all machines will work for this type of surface. Most single-stage snow blowers, for example, have augers that scrape along the ground. While this design is great for snow removal from smooth pavement and sidewalks, it’s a poor design for gravel driveways.

A single-stage model will pick up the gravel along with the snow, propelling it through the air and into the yard. That doesn’t mean those with gravel driveways must resort to using a snow shovel. Two-stage and three-stage snow blowers have augers that operate an inch or so above the ground, providing the clearance necessary to prevent the machine from scooping up gravel. They also have adjustable skids to preset clearance over the ground level.

How We Tested the Best Snow Blowers for Gravel Driveways

Before testing, we had to narrow down our options, and while there are many top-rated snow blowers, not all are right for clearing a gravel driveway. When selecting the picks for our list, we stuck with models well suited for this type of terrain, namely two-stage blowers. Beyond type, we looked for features that make snow blowers easier to operate, such as push-button starters and heated handles, and sturdy materials that could even power through packed snow.

We tested these models in multiple storms in a rural Montana location. We used a loose substrate gravel driveway and a hard-packed gravel road as the testing grounds. Each surface type provided different challenges to help us see which models performed the best. A large portion of the testing area was level, but we did hit a few inclines as well. After piling snow into banks, we went ahead and ran through those mounds as well.

We rated the snow blowers based on performance in the specific gravel environment. Skids and adjustments that made it easier to run over gravel were very important. Power, handling, and traction also factored high in the ranking process. Lastly, we assessed the build quality, ease of use, battery life, engine performance, and all of the nitty-gritty details that make some snow blowers more rugged and capable on gravel surfaces.

Our Top Picks

All of the selections listed below are suitable for gravel driveways. Our lineup includes both gas-powered and electric cordless snow blowers and features models for small and large driveways alike.

Best Overall

Troy-Bilt Storm Tracker 2890 Snow Blower

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Product Specs 

  • Power source: Gas
  • Clearing width: 28 inches
  • Max depth: 12 inches


  • Track-style drive provides better traction on loose surfaces than wheels
  • Adjustable blade height offers plenty of clearance to avoid gravel contact
  • Cuts a broad 28-inch-wide swath of snow with each pass
  • Trigger-controlled Touch N’ Turn power steering makes changing directions quick and easy


  • More expensive than other similarly sized snow blowers with wheels

While keeping rocks out of the spinning tines is crucial when snow-blowing a gravel driveway, so too is getting traction on this loose material, which is why the Storm Tracker 2890 is such an ideal option. The track system creates more surface contact with the ground and significantly more traction than a set of wheels. We noticed a significant difference on icy inclines where many other tires would spin and struggle. Like other quality snow blowers designed to work on gravel surfaces, the Storm Tracker is equipped with adjustable skid shoes that keep the spinning auger blade above loose gravel.

This is a standard skid system, but the Storm Tracker improves on that with an adjustable handle that raises and lowers the bottom blade height—a major differentiator for working safely on gravel. These adjustments prevent gravel from being ingested by the auger and allow users to gradually lower the blade when working through deep snow banks. In our tests, we used the height adjustment frequently.

But the height adjustment wasn’t the only thing we liked about this model. The motor started on the first or second pull in cold conditions, and it fired up immediately using the electric start. All of the controls were easy to use, including excellent chute adjustment controls. We were especially impressed with the six forward-speed settings and two reverse speeds. We could throttle down to a crawl or hit the high gears and really move. Everything about this model is made for heavy-duty snow-blowing, and it did not disappoint.

Read our full review of the Troy-Bilt Storm Tracker 2890.Get the Troy-Bilt snow blower for gravel driveways at The Home Depot, Northern Tool + Equipment, or Troy-Bilt.


Toro Power Max HD 828 OAE Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower

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Product Specs

  • Power source: Gas
  • Clearing width: 28 inches
  • Max depth: 21 inches


  • Cuts a broad swath with each pass, making quick work of clearing
  • With large 16-inch tires, this snow blower can handle deep snows
  • Joystick control lets users quickly adjust chute direction and chute deflector height


  • Must manually adjust skids to compensate for different surface types

With its joystick-like controls, wide coverage, and ability to handle deep snowfall, Toro’s Power Max HD 828 is well suited for areas that spend much of the winter covered in snow. The large intake sits above the ground, making it ideal for gravel surfaces. It covers a broad 28-inch swath with each pass and is capable of removing snow up to 21 inches deep and throwing it up to 45 feet.

The model also comes equipped with Quick Stick, a joystick control with power steering that allows for easy one-handed turning, and its knobby 16-inch tires provide ample traction in slick conditions. Its anti-clogging system manages snow intake to prevent delays, and an LED headlight brightens dark paths for nighttime snow-blowing. It also has solid skids to adjust blade height above the ground.

During testing, this model performed exceptionally well. In addition to its powerful motor and drive system, the tires offered great traction. We especially appreciated the joystick controls, which made moving the chute throw direction and angle a breeze. The Toro came in a very close second, and only because it was pitted against a track system with height adjustment control. Otherwise, it’s an absolute beast that can charge through the biggest storms.

Get the Toro 828 OAE snow blower for gravel driveways at Tractor Supply Co.The Home Depot, Acme Tools, or Toro

Best Bang For The Buck

PowerSmart DB7109 24-Inch Two-Stage Gas Snow Blower

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Product Specs

  • Power source: Gas
  • Clearing width: 24 inches
  • Max depth: 20 inches


  • Very affordable price relative to similar models
  • 180-degree chute allows for clearing snow at almost any angle
  • Includes many user-friendly features: push-button electric start, anti-clogging system, and self-propelled design


  • Traction and power are less capable on steep inclines and icy surfaces

With a price tag that’s significantly less than many other snow blowers, this two-stage model from PowerSmart is a great option for those looking to clear a gravel driveway without breaking the bank. As with other two-stage snow blowers, the PowerSmart’s auger uses skids to remain above the ground, ensuring it won’t pick up gravel as it goes. Its 180-degree chute can also be controlled from the handles with one hand, so it’s easier to make changes after each turn.

The PowerSmart comes equipped with many of the features found on top-rated models. These include a push-button electric start, an anti-clogging system, a self-propelling design, and 13-inch inflatable tires with traction. It also has six forward speeds and two reverse speeds to customize your speed settings.

The power, speed, and ability it has to work through powder, wet snow, and icy snow are excellent. It has a powerful auger that throws snow well. It doesn’t quite have the traction and power of some more expensive models, but it’s more than ample for the average user. We really enjoyed this unit and although it’s not the top choice, it does offer a great value for budget shoppers.

Get the PowerSmart snow blower for gravel driveways at Amazon, Walmart, or PowerSmart.

Upgrade Pick

Ego Power+ SNT2405 24-Inch Two-Stage Snow Blower

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Product Specs 

  • Power source: Batteries
  • Clearing width: 24 inches
  • Max depth: 20 inches


  • Powerful yet quiet for user-friendliness and to avoid disturbing the neighbors
  • Throws snow up to 50 feet for ample clearing capabilities
  • Clearly labeled, sturdy controls make it easy to use right away


  • Can stall if overloaded too quickly with heavy snow

Battery-powered snow blowers are starting to dominate the single-stage market, and the trend is extending to the two-stage category with options like this Ego Power+ model. Whether the snow piles up on the sidewalk, patio, or even a gravel driveway, this two-stage snow blower can push through and hold up against gas models.

Despite being a battery-powered model, this snow blower has a two-stage system to scoop and blow snow up to 50 feet, as well as a self-propelled drive system with plenty of power. It resembles high-powered gas models with adjustable skids, an all-steel auger, and a generous 24-inch clearing width.

We really enjoyed using this model and absolutely loved how quiet it was: no fumes or rumbling engines, and it always started with no resistance. Better still, we found the controls intuitive and appreciated the heated grips. The headlight is fantastic, and the performance is perfect for gravel driveways as it can track on loose surfaces with the power drive and its grippy tires. Our tests really pushed this model, and it held up extremely well. It’s a quiet but powerful alternative to a two-stage gas model.

Get the Ego snow blower for gravel driveways at Lowe’sAce Hardware, Acme Tools, or Amazon.

Best For Long Driveways

Toro Power Max 824 OE Gas Snow Blower

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Product Specs 

  • Power source: Gas
  • Clearing width: 24 inches
  • Max depth: 20 inches


  • Joystick offers perfect chute direction and angle controls
  • Fast-speed options help to cover more ground with less effort
  • Durable steel auger is well suited for gravel environments


  • Not the widest model available if users need to clear larger properties

To clear a long gravel driveway, a snow blower should run efficiently, pivot quickly, and be capable of clearing large snow loads in a single session. The electric models can do the job but if the batteries run out, you might be waiting several hours or more for a recharge. The Toro Power Max 824 OE offers a gas solution that can work hard all day.

The top choices in this category have larger 28-inch-wide clearing widths that can easily gobble up snow for powder-prone regions. For a long driveway that receives moderate snowfall with the occasional heavy storm, however, this 24-inch model is more than capable. Like many of the Toro models, it has a joystick control for easy chute adjustments. It also has six forward gears and two reverse options.

We used the Toro to plow through a long stretch of hard-packed gravel road, clearing 6 to 8 inches of snow. We were amazed to see how much ground we could cover simply by sliding the throttle to rabbit speed and setting the snow blower to the six-speed position. By the time a snow plow arrived, a major section of road was already cleared. Between the convenient electric start, best-in-class chute controls, and reliable engine, it’s hard to go wrong with this model. Although we gave it the best for long driveways award, we found that it’s suitable for just about any other snow removal needs as well.

Get the Toro 824 OE snow blower for gravel driveways at Tractor Supply Co., Ace Hardware, or The Home Depot.

Best Electric

Toro Power Max e24 60V Snow Blower

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Product Specs 

  • Power source: Batteries
  • Clearing width: 24 inches
  • Max depth: 20 inches


  • Modeled off gas version for consistent performance and features
  • Auger doesn’t use shear pins, minimizing the potential for damage
  • Third battery option significantly extends use time


  • Requires recharge between uses; each battery requires 3 hours to charge

Not surprisingly, the Toro Power Max e24 has many similarities with the Power Max 824 OE. In fact, the body, auger, and control designs are nearly the exact same. It makes sense because there is no reason to reinvent the wheel when Toro already offers exceptional controls, a durable steel auger, and a great set of features and functions.

The main difference is the motor. Rather than a gas engine, it has an all-electric motor that is powered by up to three batteries. It can run on a single battery, but adding a second extends the runtime up to 70 minutes, and a third extends it even more. We tested the snow blower with a single battery, and it performed exactly like the gas model for over 30 minutes before requiring a recharge.

There are plenty of great electric options on the market, but this one has a few advantages that make it one of the best electric snow blowers. The steel auger that doesn’t require shear pins is a major bonus. The pins are a common method of holding the auger in place, and they can break to protect the machine under stress. They are also a pain to replace, and this system eliminates that need. The third battery tray also makes it among the longest-lasting snow blowers on the market if you purchase the additional battery.

We loved this snow blower’s performance and ability to churn through difficult snow. It was significantly quieter than the gas version, and in large part because it’s both heavy duty and durable, we found it to be among the best electric snow blowers tested.

Get the Toro e24 electric snow blower for gravel driveways at Tractor Supply Co., Ace Hardware, Acme Tools, or Toro.

Best for Small Driveways

Ryobi 40V 22-Inch Two-Stage Cordless Snow Blower

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Product Specs 

  • Power source: Batteries
  • Clearing width: 22 inches
  • Max depth: 18 inches


  • Cuts a reasonably wide path but also changes direction easily
  • Plenty of power for moving through deep and difficult snow
  • Intuitive controls and powerful drive system are great on gravel


  • Batteries only run for 30 minutes before requiring a full recharge

Gravel driveways come in several shapes and sizes, and they don’t all call for an extra-large snow blower. The Ryobi two-stage brushless snow blower has a steel auger, a speedy self-propelled drive system, and skids for raising the blade over gravel. With a 22-inch-wide cutting path, it’s smaller but still makes a big dent on each pass, and for the average driveway, it’s more than sufficient to get the job done on a single charge. In our tests with light snow, the battery went even longer than the advertised 30-minute runtime; in heavier snow, 30 minutes was more realistic.

With a ton of power, the Ryobi was a big surprise in our tests. We found that the tires had great traction, and its overall performance was impressive. The ease of use and ability to hit tighter spaces was nice, as it turned and pivoted without resistance. The only limiting factor is the battery life on larger jobs. For the average user, though, this snow blower is plenty to get the job done.

Get the Ryobi snow blower for gravel driveways at The Home Depot.

Also Consider

Husqvarna ST 224 Snow Blower

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Product Specs 

  • Power source: Gas
  • Clearing width: 24 inches
  • Max depth: N/A


  • Durable steel auger and design that is built to last
  • Powerful engine for pushing hard and climbing hills
  • 6 drive speeds and reverse for easy use


  • Must manually adjust skids to raise blade height

This 24-inch two-stage snow blower was difficult to rank because it could realistically have won just about any category on the list. It’s a solid unit that’s made to work hard, and we were impressed with the combination of power and speed. Like every option on this list, it has adjustable skids, a solid steel auger, and a powerful drive system.

The 212 cubic centimeter (cc) engine offers 5.9 horsepower, making it a good choice for gravel driveways with inclines. Its power combined with the rugged tires means that it can cover icy surfaces with better traction. It did really well at climbing and tracking over the slick spots during testing. We liked the user-friendly controls and the good-size headlight for working in the dark. We even loaned it out to a local property management company to assist with a gravel driveway on a rural rental property, and they said it did a great job.

For those looking for a durable, all-around performance machine, the Husqvarna is a great option. The brand is known for its small engine-operated power tools, and this snow blower lives up to the high brand standards.

Get the Husqvarna snow blower for gravel driveways at Amazon, Tractor Supply Co., or Acme Tools.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing a Snow Blower for Gravel Driveways 

Understanding which types of snow blowers are suitable for gravel driveways and which are not is the first step in selecting the right model. Ahead, learn more about the three types of snow throwers as well as other important features, such as power output and intake width.


There are three main types of snow blowers: single-stage, two-stage, and three-stage. Each one clears snow a bit differently, but for gravel driveways, two-stage models are ideal. Here’s how each of these snow blowers works.

Single Stage 

A single-stage snow blower, like all snow blowers, uses an auger that consists of serrated metal blades. For this type of model, the blade scoops snow off the driveway and launches it through the air via the snow blower’s chute. Since the auger on this type of snow blower skims along the ground, it’s an excellent option for smooth pavement but a poor choice for loose gravel. If used on a gravel driveway, a single-stage snow blower will gather and throw rocks along with snow.

Two Stage 

Similar to a single-stage snow blower, a two-stage model uses an auger to pull snow into the chute. However, rather than use the force of the auger to launch the snow, a two-stage snow blower relies on a large impeller fan to propel the snow out of the chute. In addition to being able to throw snow much farther than a single-stage model, a two-stage snow blower’s auger does not come into contact with the ground. Instead of resting on the auger, the snow blower glides on two adjustable skid pads—a design that makes a two-stage model ideal for gravel surfaces.

Three Stage

This heavy-duty snow blower uses an auger and impeller fan along with an accelerator, which is a corkscrew-shaped blade that sits perpendicular to the auger and pulls snow quickly into the machine as it spins. True to its name, an accelerator allows the machine to glide more quickly through snow. These powerful snow blowers can throw snow up to 50 feet away and have intakes that measure up to 40 inches wide. This makes them ideal for covering large driveways. Like a two-stage snow blower, a three-stage model’s auger does not touch the ground, so it’s a good choice for gravel surfaces. Three-stage blowers also come with a hefty price tag. As such, they are typically only needed for regions that see very heavy snowfall.


When selecting a snow blower, consider how much power it has to get the job done. Snow blowers have either a gas engine or, with battery-powered models, an electric motor. A gas snow blower’s power is measured in cubic centimeters. The higher the cc, the better able the snow blower is to move through deeper snow and the farther it can launch it. Two-stage snow blowers for gravel driveways have engines that range in size between 200cc and 250cc.

Electric snow blowers generally use two batteries to maximize runtime; they can run on one battery, but they won’t run as long. Total runtime varies depending on voltage and amp hours of the batteries, number of batteries used, and, of course, the amount and type of snow that needs to be cleared. Depending on these factors, many battery-powered snow blowers can give you between 30 and 70 minutes of continual use. Some electric snow blowers even have an additional port that allows for adding a third battery to extend runtime.

Although battery-powered snow blowers may not be quite as powerful as gas-powered models, they don’t produce exhaust fumes and operate at a much lower noise level. They also don’t require periodic oil changes, making them easier to maintain. Just keep in mind that lithium-ion batteries typically only last 3 to 6 years before they begin to lose their ability to hold a charge, at which point they need to be replaced. This is a major factor to consider given that these large lithium-ion batteries can cost hundreds of dollars.


The width of the snow blower refers to the size of its intake and determines how broad a swath of snow the machine can remove with each pass. Single-stage snow blowers are capable of removing snow in 11- to 22-inch swaths with each pass, making them suitable for small driveways and walks. Two-stage models range in width from 22 to 30 inches, making them suitable for most driveways. Large three-stage snow blowers have intakes that measure up to 40 inches wide.

Additional Features 

Some of the best snow blowers for gravel driveways may come equipped with other useful features that make them easier and, in some cases, safer to use, such as:

  • Speed controls, which allow the user to adjust how quickly the snow blower’s self-propelled wheels turn;
  • An automatic safety shutoff that cuts off the auger if the operator’s hands slip off the handle;
  • Headlights that allow the operator to use the snow blower in dark and other low-visibility conditions; and
  • Electric starters that make the snow blower easier to start by eliminating the need to pull a cord.

Tips for Using Snow Blowers for Gravel Driveways 

In addition to buying a snow blower that’s rated to work on gravel surfaces, there are other measures you can take to improve performance when clearing snow from this type of surface.

First and foremost, make sure the skid shoes—the two metal pieces that raise the snow blower intake and auger above the ground—are properly adjusted. The shoes are adjusted such that the intake is about 1 inch off the ground. This gap will provide enough clearance between the auger and the ground to prevent it from coming into contact with the gravel.

If dealing with snow that’s deeper than the height of the auger, consider raising the skid shoes to their highest setting to get the top layer of snow, then lower it to remove the remaining snow.

In windy conditions, start blowing upwind on the driveway and set the chute to discharge snow downwind.

When finished, make sure to clear any remaining snow from the auger to prevent it from freezing and clogging the intake.

  • Adjust the skid shoes so that the intake sits 1 inch off the ground.
  • Start snow blowing on the upwind side of the driveway, and set the chute to discharge downwind.
  • For deep snow, first adjust the intake to its highest setting to get the top layer of snow.
  • Clear the intake after use to prevent snow from freezing and clogging the intake.


Understanding the best strategy for removing snow with a two-stage snow blower and how to set it up to avoid throwing rocks is crucial when clearing a gravel driveway. Here is more information on proper use as well as some answers to common questions about snow blowers.

Q. What is the best way to remove snow from a gravel driveway?

The best way to remove snow from a gravel driveway is to adjust the snow blower’s skid shoes to elevate its intake above the ground. This will prevent the machine from picking up and throwing gravel.

Q. What kind of snow blower can I use on gravel?

The best kind of snow blower to use on gravel is a two-stage model. The auger on a single-stage snow blower makes contact with the ground, so it will pick up gravel and throw it. A two-stage or three-stage snow blower has an intake that is elevated above the ground, allowing it to pick up snow without disturbing the gravel beneath it. Three-stage models work similarly, but they are heavy-duty options generally used by professionals.

Q. How long do snow blowers last?

They can last 10 years or many more if properly cared for. Snow blower maintenance includes changing the oil (for gas-powered models); lubricating the axel and augers; and periodically checking the shear pins, skid shoes, and belts for wear. Electric snow blowers require battery replacement about every 3 years if used regularly or up to 6 years if used intermittently.

Q. What is the best time of year to buy a snow blower?

The best time to get a good price on a snow blower is in either May or June, when manufacturers are introducing new models and demand for these winter-weather machines is low.

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Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.

Meet the Testers

Zach Lazzari is a freelance writer splitting time between the great outdoors, travel, and DIY projects ranging from camper builds to home renovations and maintenance. His home base in Montana is the perfect testing ground for winter products and snow equipment. With over a decade of professional writing experience, he also covers a variety of other projects and maintenance topics for

Tom Scalisi is a full-time DIY and construction writer for many of the largest websites in the industry, including, This Old House, Family Handyman, and Forbes. He also owns and operates a pest control blog,

Additional research provided by Tony Carrick. 

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Tony Carrick

Contributing Writer

Tony Carrick is a freelance writer who has contributed to since 2020. He writes how-to articles and product reviews in the areas of lawn and garden, home maintenance, home improvement, auto maintenance, housewares, and technology.