Shoveling snow is never fun. Cold fingers and feet are only the beginning. A sore back and shoulders usually aren’t far behind. But if you live in a region that experiences more than a dusting every year, you know a good snow shovel is a necessity, not an option.
Unfortunately, finding the right shovel is harder than it should be. Far too many are uncomfortable to use either because of their design or their weight. Some won’t support more than a few minutes’ work before collapsing under the weight of the snow. Or maybe the blade will crack when it hits a hidden patch of ice.
Don’t give up hope, though! There are good shovels out there. We’ve found some of the best and want to share them with you. They’ll help you get the job done thoroughly and quickly. None of them are going to eliminate the hassle, but they will get you back inside sipping contentedly on your hot chocolate much faster!
What To Look For In A Snow Shovel
Even though a snow shovel is basically two pieces, there are several qualities to consider when choosing one.
First, look at the size of the blade. A wider and deeper blade may seem like a great idea. In reality, you need to consider this more carefully. Snow is heavy. You don’t want to overexert yourself, especially since you’re going to repeatedly be pushing the snow aside. A smaller blade could help keep you from hurting yourself. It might take a little longer to get the job done, but you’ll feel better in the morning.
The handle length is also important. Try to find one that’s long enough that you don’t have to bend over much. Again, this will help minimize discomfort and soreness.
The overall weight of the shovel also affects how comfortable it is to use. A metal blade and wooden handle may not seem like much at first, but cleaning a large sidewalk with it will add up. Lighter is better. Fortunately, there are sturdy and lightweight materials available.
The material of the blade is another factor. We recommend a quality plastic blade in most cases. Metal blades can scrape your concrete, bricks, or whatever other surface is underneath.
Finally, have a look at the joint where the handle joins the blade. Be sure it’s sturdy and not likely to crack or slip apart.
We hope you’ll also check out our article on how to shovel snow without hurting yourself!
Sleigh shovels are a great option that you may not have come across previously. These unique tools have large, deep blades. However, the handle is similar to a lawnmower handle, so you can lean into it and use your body weight.
With a sleigh shovel, you can easily push the snow across the ground then dump it out at the end. Of course, it’s always preferable to push, rather than lift, with a snow shovel. But this tool lets you move a lot of snow at once without relying on just your back and arms to do all the work. We’ve included one in our reviews.
Our Picks for the Best Snow Shovels
Let’s get down to the details now that we know what to look for. We’ve looked at some great snow shovels that will help make this task less of an annoyance!
This snow shovel has a few elements that make it a good choice.
First, the blade is 18 inches wide. That’s not that big, compared to many other shovels. However, it’s a perfect size to keep you from trying to do too much at once.
The blade is made of durable plastic. It does have an edge but rather than metal, strong nylon is used. This protects the surface underneath but still cuts through the snow well.
The handle also has an ergonomic bend in it, allowing you to stand more erect.
The grip is also helpful for providing leverage and making it easier to use both hands on the shovel. It’s also large enough that an average-sized hand can fit into it even while wearing a glove. The grip itself is made of plastic while the handle is steel.
One final point that’s a nice touch: the color. The bright yellow blade and grip and the black handle will be easy to spot if you forget where you left it on your all-white lawn.
Here’s a unique take on a shovel with a great way to reduce stress. The spring-loaded handle pops up allowing you an easy grip with both hands at once. This means you stand up straighter and use your back less. It’s a great idea and goes a long way to improving “quality of life.”
It’s another 18-inch wide blade, so you won’t overload it, either.
The blade is made of aluminum and the handle is polypropylene.
At first, we thought this was kind of gimmicky like you’d see after 2 am on an infomercial. However, it works well.
Suncast offers another reliable, durable shovel that will help make snow removal easier.
The blade is 18 inches wide by 12 inches deep, which is slightly less deep than the tools above. That makes the overall tool a little shorter. However, the ergonomic handle makes it easy to use without having to stoop too far.
The edge is galvanized steel. That does help protect the plastic blade, but you need to be careful that it doesn’t chip the underlying surface material.
Suncast calls this a “Shovel/pusher combo”. Since a shovel has a flat blade and a pusher needs a higher rise in the back, this falls somewhere in between. Remember it’s always better to push the snow, though.
The SnoBoss is listed as a “shovel” but falls more into the sleigh shovel design. With that in mind, the 26-inch measurement doesn’t seem so intimidating.
You’ll easily be able to push a lot of snow with this shovel. It slides well and the top of the handle is about 56” high, which makes it easy to lean into it with your body.
There’s even a place on the base to put your foot to make it even easier to push the snow.
The handle is made of aluminum and the cross-pieces near the base provide a lot of stability. The blade is sturdy plastic.
The protective edge on the blade was a problem at one point, but there has been a small redesign. The rivets used to scrape against the ground. That doesn’t seem to be an issue any longer.
Garant’s shovel is slightly narrower than the True Temper version above. However, it still lets you move large amounts of snow without much effort thanks to the sleigh shovel design.
The blade is a polymer and it has a steel edge. Again, it’s just important not to allow this to scrape the surface underneath. However, when you get to that level, it’s best to switch to a broom or snowmelt, anyway.
The handle’s aluminum and is a great height. It has a great design, too, so you almost step into it to be sure you’re using your whole body to push.
The handle snaps into the blade for easy assembly. It does come apart if you need it to, but it’s a bit of work.
When it comes to shoveling snow, it sure helps if you can find a tool that will make it easier. The ergonomic design of many modern shovels and lightweight, sturdy materials make a tough task a bit easier. Whether you go with a regular snow shovel or a sleigh shovel, you’ll find that the models reviewed here will help you feel better about the whole process!