10 Best Snow Shovels on the Market
Read on to find out which type of snow shovel will work best for you.
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Why You Need a Snow Shovel
They say the weight of 1 foot of fresh snow ranges from 3 pounds per square foot for light, dry snow to 21 pounds for wet, heavy snow. Not that you want me to do this math for you but, if the average urban house has say 40 feet of sidewalk with a 4-in. snow fall, plan on moving somewhere from 160 to 1,120 pounds of snow to clear that sidewalk. That’s a lot of work, and most of us have a driveway to shovel as well! This is enough for most of us to go out and buy a snowblower, but not everyone can afford one, and even that machine alone isn’t going to clear all the snow. So if it snows, you’re undoubtably going to have to have a snow shovel, and maybe even two given all the different types out there. Let me explain the types of shovels available and give you my top picks in each category.
These shovels have long handles with wider scoops that that push the snow out of the way, much like a snowplow on a truck. You can scoop up some snow with these, but their forte is pushing it out of the way.
This classic steel shovel is not only great for pushing snow, but its 24-in. blade is ideal for scraping and chopping any frozen nastiness. The long 52-in. handle with a D-style grip gives you great reach. The steel stays that connect the blade to the handle give this shovel a strong, rigid feel. I've had this type of snow pusher in my garage for over a decade and it always gets the job done.
This newfangled version of the classic steel snow pusher comes in five different widths, 18, 24, 30, 36 and 48 inches. It's rugged polyethylene blade is rustproof and nonabrasive, so it's kind to soft surfaces like decks and porches. On harder surfaces, the impact-resistant blade is actually self-sharpening. The blade-to-handle connection has a very stiff feel because of its wide “Tuffbrace”. The blade and 47-in. fiberglass D-grip handle are lightweight, just inside of 5 pounds. Flip this shovel over, use the back side of the blade and it does a quick job of removing ice- and snow-packed footprints or tire tracks. This pusher shovel is sought after by many snow-removal professionals and is the go-to in our shop here in Minnesota.
Scooper shovels have a narrower-width blade with a deeper profile and enable you to pick up snow and throw it out of the way into a pile. This is the type of shovel you’ll want when the snowplow leaves that huge berm of snow on your sidewalk or driveway.
In the Midwest, this classic scooper shovel is often referred to as a grain scoop. Its reputation is proven on the farm, but it’s also one of the best choices for moving piles of snow. The 15-in.-wide rustproof aluminum blade is stiff and light, which with a hardwood D-grip handle makes for a lightweight shovel at 3-1/2 pounds. This shovel feels good in hand and is equally well suited for a variety of lawn and garden uses.
This is a modern version of the classic grain scoop. It has a one-piece poly construction that’s super-light and strong, with a blade that is easy on your decking and other soft surfaces. Its big scoop, 14 in. wide by 17 in. long, combined with the D-grip handle give a total length of 42-3/4 in. that feels well balanced in hand. This super-cool looking tool comes in a variety of colors and it’s as pretty as it is tough.
Ergonomic shovels are designed for efficiency and comfort. One of the mistakes made in shoveling is overreaching with the shoulders and bending too much from the waist. The typical ergo design is an offset handle that puts the scoop lower to the ground and keeps you from overextending your upper body. If you have back or shoulder issues, or are concerned about developing them, this type of shovel is the one to get.
This shovel has a great 40-in. ergonomic handle and a unique ribbed blade design that combines the best of pusher and scooper shovels. The galvanized steel leading edge on the blade is great for scraping ice and snowpack off of hard surfaces. With high customer satisfaction, this is one of the best-selling shovels out there, and you can even get a lime green version of it at Target.
This new ergonomic design is the first of its kind and claims to reduce the effort, strain and potential injury of shoveling by up to 30 percent. It has a second spring-loaded D-handle lower down that captures the expended energy from throwing the snow to return and reset the shovel. The shovel blade is 18 in. wide with an aluminum wear strip. If you have chronic back issues this is the shovel for you. Those that use it say the will never use a conventional shovel again. It comes in blue and red and has a price you'll dig.
One of the better things to have in your car during winter is a warm blanket, but hopefully you won’t need it if you can dig yourself out of a jam, so have a solid shovel onboard as well. Below are a couple that are compact and have the solid attributes of a larger shovel.
Voile is a well known mountaineering supply house, and this is a bona fide avalanche shovel. Its telescoping handle goes from 28 to 34-1/2 in. and with its 13-1/2 x 10 in. high tempered aluminum blade, you’ll have the strength to dig yourself out of a tough situation. This rugged little shovel is worth every penny.
This is a perfect car shovel because its three-piece aluminum construction easily disassembles to stow away. The overall length assembled is adjustable from 25 to 32 inches, and it weighs only 1-1/3 pounds. This mighty mite scoop is capable of moving lots of heavy, wet snow with no problem. It’s available in six cool colors for about $25.
A snowstorm is always a joyful and magical thing for kids. This indestructible kid shovel is the perfect fit for kiddos who want to help shovel, but they’ll probably end up using it to build their snow fort. This real tool is kid safe, as it made from bendproof, reinforced plastic that won’t mar surfaces and it contains no metal parts. If you're headed out for a winter weekend, throw this in the car, not only will the kids love it but it'll also do the job if you get stuck and need to get back on the road.
This 18 in. wide shovel has a flat front edge for pushing snow and slush and a deep back end, which is ideal for scooping stuff up and out of your way. Its hard edge nylon blade will scrape tough ice and snow without marring your deck or other soft surfaces. The longer ergonomic handle gives it an overall height of 54 in., and it weighs just 3 pounds—all features that make it easier on your back. The super-wide D grip is designed accommodate any monster-size mitts.