The 4 Best Snow Shovels

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Snow might look light and fluffy when it falls from the sky, but anyone who’s tried to shovel without one of the best snow shovels knows that it can be quite heavy when it comes time to remove it from your driveway, walkways, and other outdoor spaces. FEMA’s Snow Load Safety Guide says that one foot of fresh snow can weigh up to 21 pounds per square foot. Yeah, you read that right. So trust me when I say that you do not want to get stuck without the the top snow shovels to handle removal; they can make the whole process much easier

When it comes to picking out a snow shovel, there’s actually quite a lot to consider. Here are the main things that you should pay attention to:

  • Material: Plastic (sometimes referred to as polyethylene) is a good lightweight, yet sturdy material pick. And since the repetitive motion of shoveling can get tiring, a lightweight pick is certainly ideal. Aluminum is also a common shovel material that tends to be stronger than plastic and is great for busting through ice (but can damage softer surfaces, like wood decks and patios). Some shovels feature a wear strip (which can be made from different materials like plastic) to help protect both the blade of the shovel and the surface that you are using it on.
  • Shaft design: While a typical shovel has just a straight shaft, which is good for stability if it’s on the shorter side, an ergonomically-designed pick usually has a curved/bent shaft that may be more comfortable during use.
  • Blade size: Blades range in size (with car-friendly picks being under 10 inches wide to full-on picks being 18+ inches wide). If you’ve got a large space to clear, then it might be wise to go with a larger pick.
  • Shovel alternatives: Let’s face it… shoveling is hard work. If you’re looking to take some of the load off your own shoulders, I’ve included a wheeled snow shovel here that can handle some seriously major snow.

Here are four picks that will help make snow removal easier, so you can spend more time enjoying hot cocoa and relaxing in front of a fireplace.

1. The Best Overall Snow Shovel

This pick from Suncast checks all of the boxes of a good snow shovel. The 20-inch plastic blade is ideal for both shoveling and pushing snow, while the steel wear strip helps to break up chunks of ice that get in your way. Plus, the curved shaft makes for better shoveling overall since it is really easy to manipulate. The shovel weighs in at 5 pounds, and Amazon reviewers? Well they say that this is a solid pick that can handle even the biggest of snowfalls. They give the shovel an impressive 4.1-star rating.

What Amazon reviewers are saying: “Growing up in the mountains in Washington State, I have done my fair share of shoveling snow. For all that, I wish I would have had this beauty. It's both light and strong. I decided to put it to the test by lifting far too much snow at once and it didn't seem to complain at all. The scraping blade worked wonders to remove the stubborn bottom layers that don't come off with blade-free shovels. The curved handle however is what makes this shovel the MVP during winter. You will notice a difference once you begin to use a curved handle after using one with a straight shafted shovel, and your back will thank you. If you move any snow [by] hand, this is what you need."

2. A Strain-Reducing Snow Shovel

Give your back a serious break with this strain-reducing snow shovel from Snow Joe. The shovel features a spring-assist handle that helps you pick up heavy loads of snow with ease. Snow Joe claims that the shovel can reduce back strain by up to 30%, which is pretty major if you ask me. Plus, the unique design improves your posture because it reduces your need to bend over.

The plastic blade is 18-inches wide and has an aluminum wear strip for protection. The handle is comfortable to hold, and the shovel weighs a light 3.7 pounds. This pick even comes with a two-year warranty.

The design may seem like a gimmick, but Amazon reviewers say that this snow shovel actually makes a difference when it comes to reducing back strain. More than 900 reviewers gave the shovel an overall 4.3-star rating.

What Amazon reviewers are saying: “These bad boys are a TOTAL back saver!! [...] I've shoveled several hundred pounds of the white stuff myself, and I gotta tell ya, I will NEVER use a "regular" snow shovel again! Having that extra handle is a God-Send!! If you're [semi] old :-) like me (60) or a young buck that just needs something that will fling the snow WAY out of the way - GET YOURSELF one or more of these! You'll LOVE it!!”

3. A Collapsible Snow Shovel Made Of Aluminum

With more than 1,400 reviews on Amazon and a 4.3-star rating, reviewers can’t rave enough about how useful they find this compact snow shovel from Lifeline. The shovel breaks down into three small pieces, making storage an absolute breeze. Heck, you could even keep it in your car for use wherever you go. The shovel adjusts from 26 to 32 inches in length depending on your needs (simply put in the extension piece to adjust) and a reviewer says that the blade is about 20 centimeters (or approximately eight inches) wide. Best yet, it weighs only about 1.3 pounds.

Choose from a variety of colors, including bright red and royal blue. Oh, and can we talk about that price? At just $20, I’ll be clicking “add to cart” immediately.

What Amazon reviewers are saying: “Outstanding shovel that has performed beautifully! It dug me out of 4 feet of snow in the great 2016 North Virginia blizzard. It also dug out 4 other cars in my apartment complex after the same storm. I've since used it to clear my patio, stairs, small sidewalk area, and more. It fits in my trunk bag, alongside a battery jump-starter, blankets, and other emergency stuff. I couldn't be happier. It's light, durable, and compact. And if it ever breaks or fails, I'm buying the same one. Highly recommended.”

4. The Best Wheeled Snow Shovel

If you hate shoveling, you'll want to shell out for this wheeled snow shovel from Ivation. Sure, it's pricier than the other options, but what you’re paying for is ease. The shovel can quickly and effectively clear away snow up to five inches deep in a single pass. And forget bending awkwardly like you would with a traditional shovel — this pick is designed with a well-considered pushing angle to allow you to move snow while still standing totally upright (aka less back pain for you). The padded metal handle adjusts in height from 45 to 50 inches, while the grippy wheels provide superior traction in even the wettest of weather.

What Amazon reviewers are saying: “As an out of shape older lady I need something to clear my small driveway when I don't want to hire someone. This absolutely fits the bill. I cleared my 20 foot driveway, with about 2-3 inches of snow, in under 10 min. I could have done it with one hand [tied] behind my back. No bending, no straining.”

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