When there’s snow, there’s a host of risks that follow. A quality snow blower not only keeps vital pathways and driveways clear around your home, but it can also be a lifesaver in the event of a blizzard. Manually clearing snow is no fun, and if it’s over a foot thick, good luck with that proposition.

Shopping for a snowblower can be quite fun; imagine yourself wielding that piece of equipment, absolutely slaying mounds of impenetrable snow as if you were some sort of suburban superhero. But filtering the good from the bad takes time, which is why we’ve put together this super handy guide. What follows are ten exceptional snow blowers plus some answers to the most common questions that arise when engaging in casual snowblower talk. Let’s get to it!  

Can Snowblowers Be Used on Gravel Driveways?

Can snowblowers be used on gravel driveways?

Here’s a scenario that plenty of folks can relate to. You’ve found that perfect home in St. Paul, Minnesota. The local school scores well, the neighbors appear welcoming, the house is absolutely gorgeous, and the picturesque gravel driveway is something out of an early Jennifer Aniston movie where she clumsily falls in love with her fiancé’s brother.

You closed on the house in May, passed through an enjoyable summer and fall, but now it’s November, and snowfall is picking up. Next thing you know that gravel driveway is packed with powder, and you’re wondering if it’s safe to use a snowblower on a surface with loose gravel. The short answer, it sure isn’t. Traditional snowblowers throw everything up in their path and shoot it out at astounding speeds. Even if you’re potentially shooting gravel into an uninhabited area, the gravel itself could cause internal damage to the auger.

But there is a solution here, and one that Aniston would surely sign off on. A two-stage snowblower features adjustable heights. Some are even three-stage, but the typical ones are two-stage, with two heights – normal and packed snow. Packed snow signals to the auger that it’s time to dig deep, and this is not the setting for gravel driveways.

You’ll put the setting to normal for a gravel driveway, which picks up snow above the surface, thus not touching the gravel. Some snow will remain on top of the gravel, likely throughout the winter. This isn’t a huge deal, and a small price to pay for that beautiful gravel driveway. 

Can Snowblowers Be Stored Outside?

Can snowblowers be stored outside?

The short answer – yes. You can store your snowblower outside, but there are some steps that need to be taken before packing up the blower for the late spring/summer. First up is making sure your blower is working properly before its last outing. Storing any piece of machinery where parts are either failing or have downright failed will cost you much more in the long run when you choose to replace them.

The wear and tear on a stagnant, failing part can be extreme. Second, it’s always recommended to wash and dry the blower’s exterior as well as the engine. This prevents salt from causing any damage over the long hiatus.

If you’ve got the will or have a couple bucks to throw at the neighbor’s kid, sanding and touching up the chipped or rusted surfaces is a great move. There is also rust preventative you can apply to the impeller and the augur housing, as well as combining a bit of silicone. If you’ve got a fuel-powered blower, make sure to follow the instructions for storage in terms of engine prep, and eventually store the blower with a fuel and stabilizer mix.

Ok, so you (or the neighbor’s kid) took care of the above, and now you need a spot to tuck this puppy away. What you’ll need is something to elevate the blower off the ground. Purchase a sturdy crate or something that can serve as the base for the blower but elevated enough so as to allow water to pass underneath. Do also take care to cover the blower with a sturdy piece of tarp and fasten the edges.

The Best Snowblowers For the Money

Snow Joe SJ627E Electric Snow Thrower

Snow Joe electric snow thrower.

There’s snowblowers, and then snow throwers like this righteous model from Snow Joe. Featuring a powerful 15-amp electric motor, this rough and tumble thrower can move 25 tons of snow per hour and clear a single area in just one pass. The LED lights facilitate night-time throwing, and the Snow Joe customer promise guarantees a brand-new thrower within two years should anything fail.

The chute is adjustable up to 180 degrees, giving the thrower a range of directions to aim that discarded snow. The total throw distance is 25 feet and can plow 720 pounds per minute. The only downside is perhaps the weight, but it’s not overly heavy compared to its competitors. 

To learn more, click here.

PowerSmart 24-inch 212cc 2-Stage Blower

Powersmart two-stage snowblower.

It was impressive to read some of the many satisfied customer reviews of this blower by PowerSmart. One gentleman raved about its performance after one of the most massive blizzards he had ever experienced in South Dakota. We can only imagine! The PSS2240 quickly carved a path in front of his home and was a real lifesaver considering the circumstances.

Other reviewers commented on the affordable price point, ease in assembly, and that it’s shipped directly from the US. The 212cc engine is powerful and the blower can tackle a clearing width of 24 inches and a clearing depth of 20 inches. For regions like South Dakota that experience heavy snowfall, you could do a whole lot worse than this model.

To see pricing, click here.

WEN SB24E 212cc Two-Stage Gas Powered Blower

Wen two-stage gas snowblower.

For those in the know, WEN is a trusted brand in the snowblowing community. Granted, it’s not like you’re going to continue purchasing blowers year in and year out, but WEN blowers last, and that matters if you’re depending on this unit to get you out of a snowy jam come winter.

The SB24E features 6 variable speed settings (4 forward and 2 reverse). With the power to blast over 1,800 pounds of snow per minute over an impressive range of 30 feet, the WEN’s 212cc engine is a workhorse. The electric start engine allows for stress-free start-ups, but if you need to revert to a manual start-up quickly, a recoil is included that you can pull and commence with your plowing duties. Backed by a two-year guarantee, going wrong with WEN is tough to do.

To read reviews, click here.

Poulan Pro 208cc 2-Stage Snow Thrower

Poulan snow thrower for gravel driveway.

One look at this number and you might mistake it for a lawnmower. The size of this thrower is no joke, but nor are the winters. With more than enough power to clear a 27-inch path, the tires on this model are what really stand out. Poulan threw on 15” x 5” tires with some tough lug thread. Tires this size can ride through just about anything.

Under the hood lies a 208cc engine and combined with the electric start and power steering, your son or daughter will even have a blast clearing the driveway on a snowy day. With this one, you can pop in some earbuds, cue up a Podcast or your favorite snow throwing tunes, and get to work.

Ready to buy? Click here.

Troy-Bilt Arctic Storm 30XP 357cc Snow Thrower

Troy Arctic Snow Thrower for driveway.

Snow throwing is now becoming common. Some blow while others throw, but the end result is nearly the same – a clear path and no appointments with the emergency room in your future. By far, one of the more powerful engines we’ll review, Troy-Bilt packs a 357cc gas engine with an electric start under the Arctic Storm’s hood. Walkways up to 30 inches wide are no match for this thrower, and the 4-way chute control can toss unwanted snow in literally any direction.

The serrated steel augers chop pesky snow blocks or hard ice into manageable sizes, and nearly everything that enters is passed in one go-around. The heated hand grips are a nice touch, as is Troy-Bilt’s patented “touch ‘n turn” steering. Oh, and did we mention 16” x 6.5” X-Trac tires? These alone drive most throwing aficionados coo-coo. 

To learn more, click here.

Honda Power Equipment 20” Snow Blower

Honda snowblower for driveway.

Some brands sell themselves. You literally don’t even need to see, touch, smell or even catch a whiff of the product. If you know it’s Coke, then you buy it and enjoy your Coke. The same with Nike or even McDonalds if you’re a fast-food fan. Honda is another along this line of trusted brands, so it should come as no surprise that a Honda snowblower, just like a Honda Accord, is reliable to a fault, well made, and worth every penny.

Folks rave about this blower online, where the only complaint was that it wasn’t delivered on time to one buyer. Starting it is a snap (even in frigid weather), the power is above average, and at a manageable 81 pounds, this isn’t something overly difficult to move around. Honda does it again!

Like it? Click here to buy now.

Ariens Platinum 30 SHO 414cc Snow Blower

Ariens snowblower for gravel driveway.

While we just reviewed a lightweight Honda Blower, if you need something for those arctic winters, those winters that don’t let up and keep that snow packed for months on end, this is your blower. Be forewarned, this thing is a beast, but in a good way. Well, perhaps not good for everyone as one 70 plus-year-old gentleman absolutely blasted this blower online for being too heavy to push. But heavy, hard to move snow is what it’s made for.

Weighing in just a hair under 300 pounds, Ariens blowers are known for their industrial might. Moving roughly 82 tons of snow per hour, this model also blows snow up to 55 feet, and the augers come in at an impressive 14” in diameter. Heated handgrips plus auto-turn triggerless steering make controlling this blower relatively simple. Just don’t have the elderly on the job because unless they’ve been doing their push-ups, this isn’t a task for them. 

To see pricing, click here.

Husqvarna ST330 Two-Stage Electric Start Gas Snow Blower

Husqvarna two stage electric snowblower.

This is yet another massive number, suitable for any condition on the planet and a working width of an impressive 30 inches. Power steering, coupled with an innovative belt system, puts the ST330 in a category of its own. At 338 pounds it certainly competes with the big boys, and there are few with greater power (outside of industrial blowers).

If you’re living in a house in the suburbs, this blower might be a bit much. Online reviews are predominantly from folks who either live on farms or acres upon acres of property with a plethora of snow to clear daily during the winter.  

To learn more, click here.  

Earthwise 40-Volt Cordless Electric Snow Thrower

Earthwise electric snow thrower.

“Shoot snow to the curb the planet-conscious way.” We love this company’s tagline and this thrower from Earthwise not only gets the job done, but you’ll lower your carbon footprint with its powerful electric motor. A 4.0Ah lithium-ion battery whips out enough power to move 600 pounds of snow per minute, and the clearing width (22”) and depth (12”) is definitely respectable.

Because this unit is so lightweight, maneuvering it through difficult conditions is not an issue. In fact, many prefer the SN74022 for this reason alone and the 6” rear wheels are a value-added. There’s no cord, oil or gas with Earthwise so you can feel great about having it be your go-to thrower, moving snow the responsible way. 

To read reviews, click here.

Maztang MT-988 13A Electric Snow Blower

Maztang snowblower for driveway.

Still working on competing with the larger players, Maztang is a brand with loyal clientele and solid online reviews. One gentleman online remarked that the blower came nearly 100% assembled, which is uncommon in the snowblower sector.

This number can move up to 800 pounds per minute, and the 13-amp electric motor tackles snow of up to 10 inches in thickness. The chute is adjustable (180 degrees), and the discharge length is 30 feet. The foam grip provides complete control, and because it’s electric, no maintenance or tune-ups are required.

Like it? Click here to buy now.

To Sum it Up

You’ll get through this winter with one of the ten snowblowers we reviewed here. Be sure to purchase a blower that is “two-staged” if you plan on using it on gravel, and storing your blower outside is possible during the off months, but do follow the handy tips we outlined before doing so. Also, ensure that if the person operating the blower is physically compromised or elderly, you purchase a more lightweight blower; they still do a great job and weigh a fraction of the big boys.

Make this winter a safe one with a quality snowblower!