Snow shoveling is a task many of us face during the winter months, particularly in regions where snowfall is abundant. It’s essential to have the right Snow Shovel for this job, as using an improper snow shovel can lead to not only an exhausting experience but also potential strain or injury.
In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of snow shovels, helping you select the perfect one to match your specific needs and preferences.
Consider Your Needs
Before delving into the types and features of snow shovels, it’s crucial to assess your unique needs. Understanding the size of the area you need to clear and the type of snow prevalent in your region will greatly influence the type of snow shovel you should opt for.
Additionally, considering your physical capabilities is equally important to ensure you choose a shovel that you can handle comfortably.
Understanding Different Types of Snow Shovels
Snow shovels come in various types, each designed with specific purposes in mind. The traditional snow shovel is the most common and versatile, while ergonomic shovels are designed to minimize strain and maximize efficiency. Sleigh shovels and pusher shovels are ideal for specific snow removal scenarios. Let’s take a closer look at each type and understand their advantages and disadvantages to help you make an informed decision.
Traditional Snow Shovels
Traditional snow shovels, also known as scoop shovels, are the most common type. They feature a wide, flat blade with a curved or straight handle. These shovels are versatile and can handle various snow types, from light and fluffy to wet and heavy snow.
- Versatile and widely available.
- Efficient for moderate snow clearing.
- Affordable and comes in various materials.
- May require more physical effort.
- Not ideal for heavy snowfalls.
Ergonomic Snow Shovels
Ergonomic snow shovels are designed with user comfort and efficiency in mind. They often have a bent shaft, adjustable handles, and a curved blade. These features reduce the strain on your back and allow for a more natural shoveling motion.
- Reduces strain and back pain.
- Enhances efficiency and comfort.
- Suitable for people with back problems.
- Usually more expensive than traditional shovels.
- May not be as readily available.
Sleigh shovels, also known as sleigh scoop shovels, have a narrow, curved blade. They are ideal for pushing and lifting snow, making them efficient for clearing large areas.
- Efficient for pushing and lifting snow.
- Works well on large, flat surfaces.
- Less versatile for handling varied snow conditions.
- Not suitable for compacted or icy snow.
Pusher shovels, as the name suggests, are designed for pushing rather than lifting snow. They have a wide blade and are efficient for clearing snow from large driveways or sidewalks.
- Excellent for pushing large amounts of snow.
- Ideal for wide and open areas.
- Not suitable for lifting or digging into compacted snow.
- Less versatile in handling varied snow conditions.
Evaluating Shovel Materials
The material of the snow shovel greatly influences its performance, durability, and weight. Common materials include plastic, metal, or a combination of both. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages, making it important to choose based on your specific needs and the climate in your area.
Plastic Snow Shovels
Plastic snow shovels are lightweight, making them easy to handle, especially when dealing with light or powdery snow. They are also typically less expensive than metal shovels.
- Lightweight and easy to handle.
- Less likely to scratch surfaces like decks and patios.
- Affordable and readily available.
- Less durable, especially in extreme cold or heavy snow.
- Prone to cracking or breaking under significant weight or stress.
Metal Snow Shovels
Metal snow shovels are known for their durability and strength, making them suitable for heavy snowfall and compacted snow. They can handle more pressure and last longer than plastic shovels.
- Durable and can handle heavy snow and ice.
- More rigid and can break through compacted snow.
- Heavier and can cause fatigue during extended use.
- More likely to scratch or damage delicate surfaces.
Electric Snow Shovels
Combination electric snow shovels utilize a blend of plastic and metal components, harnessing the benefits of both materials. These shovels strive to strike a balance between weight, durability, and efficiency.
- Offers a fusion of durability and manageable weight.
- Suitable for efficiently clearing various types of snow.
- May not possess the same level of durability as fully metal electric snow shovels.
- Tends to be pricier compared to traditional plastic electric shovels.
Consider the prevalent climate and the specific snow types in your region when deciding on the material for your electric snow shovel. In areas experiencing heavy, wet snow, opting for a metal or combination electric shovel may be a more suitable choice.
Our Selection of the Top 5 Electric Snow Shovels
In this section, we’ll delve into a comparative analysis of the top 5 electric snow shovels available in the market. We’ll provide an in-depth review of each shovel, highlighting their features, pros, and cons, aiding you in choosing the best snow shovel that suits your specific snow removal needs.
Toro 38361 Power Shovel
This Toro 38361 Power Shovel electric snow thrower offers efficient and versatile snow-clearing capabilities, making it suitable for various residential areas. Its lightweight design, wide clearing path, and durability contribute to its overall appeal. However, the need to purchase a separate cord is a consideration for potential buyers.
- Efficient Snow Removal:
- The curved rotor and inverted funnel housing efficiently remove snow, minimizing clogging and ensuring effective snow clearing.
- Wide Range of Applications:
- Suitable for various residential areas including sidewalks, walkways, steps, decks, and more, offering versatility in usage.
- Quick Snow Clearing:
- Clears a significant area (4 inches of snow off a 50-by-20-foot driveway) in a short time (just 20 minutes), showcasing its efficiency.
- Impressive Snow Moving Capacity:
- Capable of moving up to 300 pounds of snow per minute and blowing it up to 20 feet, indicating a high snow-moving capacity.
- Effective Clearing to the Pavement:
- Cleans down to the pavement, ensuring thorough snow removal and a clean surface after use.
- Wide Clearing Path:
- Cuts up to 12 inches wide and 6 inches deep in one pass, allowing for quick and efficient snow clearing.
- Lightweight and Portable:
- Lightweight design at just 12.5 pounds, making it easy to handle and maneuver during use.
- Durable and Rust-Resistant:
- Made of a durable plastic body and features rust-resistant components, ensuring a long-lasting and reliable tool.
- Adjustable Handle for Comfort:
- Adjustable metal telescoping handle provides customization for user comfort during operation.
- Warranty for Assurance:
- Comes with a 2-year warranty, providing assurance and support for any potential issues during the warranty period.
- The cord for operation is not included, which may require an additional purchase, adding to the overall cost.
Snow Joe 24V-SS13-TV1 24-Volt
Its cordless design provides mobility, and the powerful 400 W motor can move up to 300 lbs of snow per minute, making quick work of snow clearing. The 2-blade high-impact, low-temperature paddle auger allows for snow to be thrown up to 20 feet, ensuring effective snow dispersal.
However, users should be mindful of the battery life for prolonged usage and consider its performance in heavier snow conditions where multiple passes may be needed. Overall, it’s a convenient and powerful tool for swift and easy snow removal.
- Cordless and Portable:
- Being cordless, this snow shovel offers portability and freedom of movement, allowing for convenient snow clearing without being restricted by cords.
- Versatile Usage:
- Ideal for a variety of snow pickups on decks, steps, patios, and sidewalks, providing versatility in usage and making it suitable for different residential areas.
- Powerful Motor:
- Equipped with a 400 W motor that can move up to 300 lbs of snow per minute, showcasing its power and efficiency in handling snow-clearing tasks.
- High Snow-Throwing Capacity:
- Features a 2-blade high-impact, low-temperature paddle auger that can throw snow up to 20 feet, indicating a strong snow-throwing capacity.
- Efficient Clearing Path:
- Cuts a 13-inch by 6-inch path in a single pass, enabling efficient and quick snow clearing with each use.
- Includes Essential Accessories:
- Comes with a 24V IONMAX 4.0 Ah Battery, providing a reliable power source for operation, along with a charger and additional gifts like a snow shovel cover and an IceDozer Ice + Snow Scraper.
- Limited Battery Life:
- The cordless feature is advantageous for portability but may be limited by the battery life, requiring recharging for extended use.
- May Struggle with Heavy Snow:
- The snow shovel’s effectiveness may decrease in heavy or compacted snow conditions, necessitating multiple passes to clear such snow.
VOLTASK Cordless Snow Shovel
The Voltask Cordless Snow Shovel is a powerful and versatile tool designed for efficient snow removal. With a strong 20-volt motor and a 4.0 Ah lithium-ion battery pack, it can move an impressive 350 lbs of snow per minute and clear a substantial path with each pass.
The ability to rotate the snow guide plates +/- 30 degrees offers control over the snow-throwing direction, enhancing its usability and effectiveness.
Moreover, its ergonomic design prioritizes user comfort and safety, making the snow removal process efficient and reliable. The lightweight and easy-to-use features, coupled with its eco-friendly nature, make it a convenient choice for quick and hassle-free snow clearing, particularly in areas with snow depths up to 7 inches.
- Powerful Performance:
- Equipped with a potent 20-volt motor and a rechargeable 4.0 Ah lithium-ion battery pack, it provides a strong snow-moving capability of up to 350 lbs of snow per minute.
- Long Runtime:
- Offers an impressive 25-minute quiet runtime, allowing for extended usage and efficient snow clearing without frequent interruptions for recharging.
- Efficient Clearing Path:
- Can cut a substantial clearing path of 12 inches in width and 6 inches in depth with each pass, enhancing the speed and efficiency of snow removal.
- Versatile Usage:
- Ideal for a wide range of areas including steps, patios, decks, sidewalks, driveways, and walkways, making it a versatile snow removal tool for various residential settings.
- Unique Rotatable Plate:
- Features a unique rotatable plate that allows for directional control over snow throwing, with a throwing distance of 19.7 ft, providing flexibility and efficient snow dispersal.
- Ergonomic and Safe Design:
- Designed with an adjustable ergonomic handle to ensure ease, comfort, and efficiency during snow removal, while prioritizing safety with a dual safety switch and non-slip handle to prevent accidental start-ups.
- Lightweight and User-Friendly:
- Weighs only 11.2 lbs, ensuring ease of use and operator comfort, complemented by a simple push-button start for hassle-free operation. Additionally, it eliminates the need for complex maintenance, fossil fuel, emissions, or tangled extension cords.
- Best suited for snow depths up to 7 inches, indicating potential limitations in handling heavier or deeper snow conditions.
KioGro Metal Snow Shovel
This KioGro Metal Snow Shovel with Wheels is designed to simplify snow removal tasks. With the incorporation of heavy rubber wheels and a push rod, clearing snow becomes effortless, reducing the physical strain associated with traditional shovels.
The generously sized shovel plate allows for the efficient clearing of up to 5 inches of deep snow in one pass. Moreover, the ergonomic radian design facilitates convenient snow displacement to a specific location, saving both time and effort. The adjustable handle enhances the shovel’s versatility, accommodating users of different heights and preferences.
However, it’s important to note that the shovel’s efficiency may vary for extremely deep or compacted snow, potentially necessitating multiple passes in such conditions. Overall, this snow shovel with wheels is a practical and efficient tool for effective snow removal.
- Effortless Snow Removal:
- Equipped with two wheels and a push rod, it makes snow clearing effortless by simply pushing the shovel forward, minimizing the physical effort required.
- Enhanced Safety:
- The inclusion of heavy rubber wheels ensures safety during snow removal on slippery snow-covered roads, providing stability and preventing accidents.
- Large Shovel Plate for Efficient Snow Clearance:
- Features a spacious shovel plate sized at 30″16″, enabling the removal of a significant amount of snow at once, up to 5 inches deep, making snow clearing efficient and quick.
- Convenient Snow Displacement:
- The ergonomic radian design and large capacity of the shovel plate allow for easy displacement of snow to a specific location, saving time and effort during snow clearing.
- Adjustable Handle for Versatility:
- Comes with an adjustable handle offering 3 height settings, allowing users to push snow from various positions and angles, making it suitable for use by different family members.
- The shovel’s efficiency may vary for extremely deep or compacted snow, potentially requiring multiple passes to clear heavy snowfall effectively.
Greenworks 8 Amp 12 inch Electric Snow Shovel
This Greenworks 8 Amp 12-inch Electric Snow Shovel, powered by an 8 Amp electric motor, offers ease of use with its hassle-free push-button electric start, providing efficient snow clearing without the need for manual labor.
Its lightweight and compact design makes it ideal for quick clearing in tight spaces, with a clearing width of 12 inches, ensuring effective snow removal. The adjustable auxiliary handle adds comfort and control during use, enhancing the overall user experience. With a high snow clearing capacity of up to 300 lbs. of snow per minute and a discharge distance of up to 20 feet, this electric snow shovel proves to be efficient and reliable.
However, users should consider the dependence on a power outlet due to its corded nature. Overall, it’s an environmentally friendly choice as a corded electric snow shovel, providing efficient snow removal capabilities.
- Easy to Use Electric Motor:
- Powered by an 8 Amp electric motor, it provides ease of use and efficient snow clearing without the need for manual labor.
- Convenient Push Button Electric Start:
- Features a hassle-free push-button electric start, simplifying the activation of the snow shovel for quick and easy operation.
- Lightweight and Compact Design:
- The snow shovel is designed to be lightweight and compact, allowing for quick and easy clearing in tight or confined spaces where maneuverability is crucial.
- Efficient Clearing Width:
- With a clearing width of 12 inches, it’s easy to maneuver and effectively clear snow, ensuring efficient and speedy snow removal.
- Adjustable Auxiliary Handle for Comfort:
- Equipped with an adjustable auxiliary handle that adds comfort and control during use, allowing users to customize the handle according to their preferences for a more comfortable snow-clearing experience.
- High Snow Clearing Capacity:
- Capable of clearing up to 300 lbs. of snow per minute, showcasing its ability to handle a substantial amount of snow efficiently. Additionally, it can discharge snow up to 20 feet away.
- Environmentally Friendly:
- Powered by electricity, making it an environmentally friendly option as a corded electric snow shovel.
- Being corded, this snow shovel relies on a nearby power outlet, potentially limiting mobility and requiring the use of an extension cord.
Assessing Shovel Size and Weight
The size and weight of a snow shovel are crucial factors that influence how effectively and comfortably you can clear snow. Here’s how to find the right balance between size and weight for your needs.
The size of the shovel blade determines how much snow you can move with each scoop. A larger blade allows for quicker snow clearing, especially for larger areas like driveways. However, it’s essential to consider your physical strength and stamina when selecting the size.
- Small Shovel: Ideal for small areas and lighter snowfall. Easy to handle, but it may require more scoops for larger areas.
- Medium Shovel: A versatile option suitable for moderate snowfall and average-sized areas. A good compromise between scoop capacity and weight.
- Large Shovel: Best for heavy snowfall and larger areas. Moves a significant amount of snow per scoop but can be heavy and tiring to use for extended periods.
The weight of the shovel is another critical factor in your overall shoveling experience. A lightweight shovel is easier to handle and maneuver, reducing fatigue during prolonged use. However, it should be sturdy enough to handle the weight of snow without bending or breaking.
- Lightweight Shovel: Easier to lift and maneuver, making it suitable for people with limited strength or stamina.
- Medium Weight Shovel: Offers a good balance between durability and ease of use. Suitable for most individuals and snow types.
- Heavy Duty Shovel: Sturdy and durable but can be heavy to handle. Best for compacted or heavy snow.
Choosing the right size and weight of the snow shovel is crucial for efficient and comfortable snow removal. Consider your physical capabilities and the typical snowfall in your area to make an informed decision.
Considering Durability and Longevity
Investing in a durable snow shovel ensures it will last through many winters, providing long-term value for your investment. Durability is influenced by factors like the material, design, and construction of the shovel.
Metal shovels, particularly those made from high-quality steel or aluminum, are known for their durability and ability to withstand heavy use and challenging weather conditions. They resist bending, cracking, and breaking, making them a reliable choice for the long haul.
Plastic shovels, while lightweight and affordable, may lack the durability needed for heavy or wet snow. They are more prone to cracking or breaking, especially in extremely cold temperatures.
Combination shovels, made from a blend of materials, aim to strike a balance between durability and weight. They offer a compromise, providing a reasonable level of longevity without the excessive weight of full metal shovels.
Design and Construction
The design and construction of the shovel significantly impact its durability. Reinforced handles, sturdy connection points between the handle and blade, and additional structural reinforcements can contribute to a shovel’s longevity.
When evaluating the durability of a snow shovel, consider factors like the thickness of the blade, the strength of the handle, and the overall build quality. Investing in a durable shovel ensures it will be a reliable companion for many winters to come.
Additional Features to Look For
Snow shovels have evolved beyond simple scoop-and-toss designs, incorporating various features to enhance functionality and ease of use. Consider these additional features when choosing your snow shovel.
Some snow shovels come with wheels, making it easier to push and transport snow, particularly for pusher shovels. Wheels reduce the strain on your back and allow for smoother movement over surfaces.
A non-stick coating on the shovel’s blade prevents snow from sticking, ensuring smoother shoveling and reducing the need to frequently clear the blade.
Wear strips, often made of metal or hard plastic, reinforce the blade’s edge, providing added durability and preventing premature wear in high-stress areas.
Shovels with telescoping handles allow you to adjust the handle’s length, accommodating different users’ heights and preferences for a more comfortable shoveling experience.
Foldable or Collapsible Designs
Snow shovels that can be folded or collapsed for storage are convenient, especially if you have limited space in your garage or shed.
Some modern snow shovels feature built-in LED lights, aiding visibility during early mornings or late nights when shoveling is necessary.
Consider these additional features based on your specific needs and preferences to enhance your snow shoveling experience.
Budget and Pricing
Snow shovels come at various price points to accommodate different budgets. It’s important to strike a balance between cost and quality, ensuring you get a reliable shovel without overspending. Here are some tips on budget-friendly yet high-quality snow shovels.
Set a Budget
Decide on a budget range that you’re comfortable with before shopping for a snow shovel. Having a clear budget will help you narrow down your options and make an informed decision.
Compare Prices and Features
Research different snow shovels within your budget and compare their prices, features, and customer reviews. Look for shovels that offer the best combination of features and value for money.
Consider Long-Term Investment
Remember that investing in a durable, high-quality snow shovel is a long-term investment. Spending a bit more for a shovel that will last several winters can save you money in the long run.
Look for Sales or Discounts
Keep an eye out for sales, discounts, or end-of-season deals, especially during the warmer months. You may find a high-quality snow shovel at a reduced price.
Read Warranty Information
Check the warranty offered by the manufacturer. A longer warranty period often indicates the manufacturer’s confidence in the shovel’s quality and durability.
By setting a budget, comparing options, considering long-term value, and looking for deals, you can find a snow shovel that fits your budget while meeting your snow removal needs.
Consider a Variety of Opinions
Read reviews from a variety of users, including those with similar needs and circumstances. Consider both positive and negative reviews to get a comprehensive understanding of the shovel’s pros and cons.
Look for Consistency
Pay attention to consistent feedback regarding key features, durability, ease of use, and performance. Consistency in reviews indicates a reliable aspect of the shovel.
Warm Up and Stretch
Before starting, warm up your body with some light exercises and stretching. This prepares your muscles and reduces the risk of strain or injury.
Use Proper Shoveling Technique
- Bend your knees and lift with your legs to avoid straining your back.
- Keep a straight back and avoid twisting your body while lifting snow.
- Use short, controlled movements to scoop and toss snow.
However, with an electric snow shovel, all you need to know is how to use it. I highly recommend buying one as it saves you more time and minimizes physical strain compared to traditional snow shovels.
Shoveling snow can be physically demanding. Take regular breaks to rest, especially if you’re shoveling a large area.
Clear Snow in Layers
If there’s a heavy snowfall, clear snow in layers to avoid overexertion. Remove a few inches at a time to make the process more manageable.
Wear appropriate clothing to stay warm and dry. Layer up, wear gloves, and use footwear with good traction to prevent slipping.
Keep yourself hydrated, even in cold weather. Shoveling snow can be a workout, and staying hydrated is important for your overall well-being.
By following these tips, you can shovel snow more efficiently, making the task easier and safer.
Maintenance and Care
Proper maintenance and care ensure that your snow shovel remains functional for a long time, providing value for your investment. Here are some guidelines on how to maintain and store your snow shovel:
Clean After Use
After shoveling, clean off any snow or ice from the blade and handle. Use warm water to melt ice if needed, then dry the shovel to prevent rust.
Apply a Protective Coating
Consider applying a protective coating to the blade to prevent snow from sticking. Non-stick sprays or silicon coatings can be effective.
Check for Damage
Regularly inspect your shovel for any signs of damage, such as cracks, bends, or loose screws. Address any issues promptly to maintain its functionality.
Store your snow shovel in a dry area, away from extreme temperatures. Hanging it or keeping it off the ground can prevent warping or damage.
Sharpen the Blade
If your snow shovel has a metal blade, sharpen it at the beginning of the season to ensure efficient snow removal.
Proper maintenance and care will extend the life of your snow shovel and keep it in optimal condition for snow removal.
Shoveling snow can have an impact on the environment, especially in areas with heavy snowfall. Consider these eco-friendly practices while shoveling snow to minimize your environmental impact:
Use a Reusable Shovel
Opt for a durable, long-lasting snow shovel that reduces the need for frequent replacements, minimizing waste.
Avoid Harmful De-Icers
Avoid using chemical de-icers that can harm plants, animals, and water bodies. Instead, use eco-friendly alternatives like sand or kitty litter for traction.
Shovel snow into areas where it can melt naturally, like grassy areas, to reduce the amount of snow being piled up.
Compost Snow Piles
If possible, create a designated area for snow piles and compost the snow once it melts.
Minimize Snow Pile Sizes
Spread out snow piles to encourage quicker melting and minimize the environmental impact on the area.
Consider sharing snow removal equipment with neighbors to minimize the number of machines running and reduce fuel consumption.
By incorporating these eco-friendly practices, you can reduce the environmental impact of snow removal and contribute to a more sustainable winter season.
In conclusion, choosing the perfect snow shovel involves considering various factors, including your specific needs, the type of snow in your region, ergonomic design, materials, size, weight, and additional features. By carefully evaluating these aspects and considering user reviews, you can select a snow shovel that will make snow removal a more efficient and comfortable experience.
Remember, investing in a durable, snow shovel is an investment in your comfort and long-term well-being. Choose wisely and prepare for the winter season with a reliable snow removal tool.
Which type of snow shovel is best for heavy snow?
When dealing with heavy snow, a robust and resilient electric snow shovel is essential. Electric shovels crafted from high-grade steel or aluminum prove to be excellent choices for managing heavy snowfall, showcasing superior strength and the capacity to handle the weight and density of the snow effectively.
Are metal shovels better than plastic ones for durability?
Yes, metal shovels are generally more durable than plastic ones. Metal shovels, particularly those made from high-quality materials, can withstand heavy use, compacted snow, and extreme weather conditions better than plastic shovels. However, metal shovels may be heavier and more prone to scratching surfaces.
How do I choose the right handle length for a snow shovel?
To choose the right handle length, stand upright and extend your arm in front of you comfortably. The handle should reach the height of your wrist or lower palm. A properly sized handle allows for a comfortable grip and a natural shoveling posture, minimizing strain on your back and shoulders.
Can I use a snow shovel for purposes other than snow removal?
While snow shovels are primarily designed for snow removal, they can be repurposed for light gardening tasks, moving loose materials like leaves, or leveling small areas. However, it’s best to use them within their intended purpose to ensure their longevity and efficiency.