For many, the first flurry of snow signals the arrival of the holiday season. Thoughts of hot cocoa and classic holiday movies come to mind. But as winter wears on, the tedium of cold weather and dark days begin to set in. One of the biggest hassles for many is shoveling snow. While there’s no magic bullet to get you out of having to shovel snow, you can at least pick a shovel that makes the job easier.
There are a few different kinds of shovels, and there are a few factors to consider when buying a snow shovel. First, you should consider your own health. Straining your back is a common concern, which is why many shovels are designed with ergonomic handles to reduce the need to bend down. Plastic shovels may not be considered as durable or sturdy as aluminum or steel, but their light weight can be beneficial for those who may otherwise overexert. You should also dress in layers. You might feel very cold when you first step outside, but you’ll quickly warm up as you’re working. And it should go without saying that, as with any physical activity, you should stay hydrated.
The other thing you’ll want to consider is the kind of snow you’re dealing with. While the notion that the Inuit have 50 words for snow might have stemmed from a slightly outdated anthropological study, it is a helpful reminder that there are a lot of different kinds of snow. The snow that is the most fun to play in is also the one that’s easiest to shovel. Freshly fallen snow is easier to shovel because it’s less packed. The longer the snow sits, the icier it becomes. No matter what kind of shovel you’re using, you want to shovel the snow as soon as you can.
As for shovels, there are a few major varieties. Lifting shovels are probably what you imagine when you think of a snow shovel, and they’re great for scooping and throwing snow onto a snowbank. If you’re moving a tall pile of snow, consider a sleigh shovel. They’re probably pretty fun to sled in, so good luck keeping them away from kids (or kids-at-heart). But their large spoon shape and sturdy handle make them great for moving huge piles.
Whether you need a compact shovel for your car’s trunk or a heavy-duty option to clear the results of yesterday’s snowstorm, we’ve done the digging to find the best snow shovels on Amazon. Pick up a few of these and you give your family something productive to do.
1. Lifeline Aluminum Sport Utility Collapsible Design Snow Shovel
This pick is a great option for storing in your car or keeping at home if you don’t have a lot of space. It utilizes a traditional lifting shovel shape. The blade is made out of aluminum, a sturdy but lightweight metal. What sets this shovel apart is the collapsible design. You can easily take apart the handle, blade, and shaft, so you can store them without taking up too much space. It comes in a few colors, including red, yellow, blue and black.
Pros: Compact and lightweight. The handle can be taken apart, making it easier to store and take on the go. The handle can also be lengthened or shortened, making it great for a child to use.
Cons: T-handle could be more comfortable to grip, compared with more ergonomic D-handles. The detachable design may make it less durable.
2. Snow Joe Shovelution Strain-Reducing Snow Shovel
Since the snow shovel was invented, there hasn’t been much in the way of substantive innovation. That’s why this simple but brilliant snow shovel from Snow Joe is so impressive. It utilizes a second handle to make it easier to get a grip. That might not seem that special until you realize that the second handle has a spring-assisted grip. The fulcrum helps you throw the snow without having to exert as much effort.
Pros: Lightweight plastic blade has a metal tip for effectively cutting through packed snow. The spring-assisted second handle makes it easier to fling the snow.
Cons: Handle is somewhat short and is not adjustable, which may make it inconvenient for taller people.
3. Suncast 18-Inch Snow Shovel/Pusher Combo
This shovel combines the benefits of a pusher with those of a shovel. It can be used to scoop and fling snow or to push it out of the way. The blade is plastic, and the tip is metal for cutting through ice. A major benefit is a curved handle, which reduces the need to bend over when shoveling. The blade is 18 inches, making it large enough for covering larger areas without being unwieldy.
Pros: Combination pusher and shovel, making it a versatile option. Ergonomic, curved handle. Metal tip for cutting through harder ice.
Cons: Somewhat pricey.
4. Suncast 22-Inch Big Scoop Snow Shovel
If you have a lot of snow to clear, especially if it’s downhill and in a tall pile, then a sleigh-style shovel can be a great option. It’s wide, measuring 22 inches across and has a deep scoop-shaped blade. The large, curved handle is easy to hold with both hands. It’s made out of plastic, but the tip has a sharp metal edge to cut through packed ice.
Pros: Large plow to effectively scoop large amounts of snow. Scoop shape eliminates the need to lift the shovel, thus reducing strain.