Snow Shovel Comparison
Snow Shovel Buying Guide
There are many pros to shoveling snow rather than using a snow blower. Although snow blowers are easier the benefits that snow shoveling provide are worth looking at seriously. Many people prefer to use good old fashioned snow shoveling rather than worrying about the expense or noise of using a blower. We have listed the pros to snow shoveling below.
Snow Shovel Pros
- Much more economical – it is cheaper to buy a snow shovel than it is a good quality snow blower. Prices can start as low as $15 but to get a good quality shovel that will last you should expect to pay upwards of $30. This is still significantly cheaper than a snow blower.
- Lightweight – Most snow shovels weight around two pounds or so, even those with steel handles.
- Easy to Transport – Need to go help your parents or friends with shoveling their drive? Taking your now shovel along is much easier than having to worry about loading up the snow blower. Just toss it into the car and off you go.
- Easy to Use – Even kids can use a snow shovel safely which allows them to help with this important job without worry of them working around motorized equipment.
- Eco-Friendly – Snow shovels only take your own energy to use. There is no pollution involved when using one which is great for environment.
- Easy Storage – Snow shovels can usually be hung up on hooks in the garage for easy storage that doesn’t take up floor space.
- No Maintenance – Snow shovels may sometimes need a handle tightened but overall there will be no maintenance required when you purchase a good quality shovel that is well constructed.
- Inexpensive to Replace – If something happens to one of your snow shovels, it is easy and relatively inexpensive to just go out and purchase another one. They are reasonable enough in price that you can purchase several so more than one person can shovel at a time.
- Works well in small spaces – If you have small porches or walkways, a snow shovel is much easier to work with to get these small areas taken care of so they are snow free.
Tips for Choosing a Snow Shovel
There are several things you should think about when you are shopping for a good quality snow shovel. We have provided these helpful tips to make the search much easier.
- Match the shovel to your strength – If you are slender and on the smaller side you wouldn’t want to choose an all metal snow shovel or you could get tired very quickly. The same applies to a tall, strong person that uses a lightweight small shovel. Match the shovel you get with the user who will be shoveling with it.
- Match the shovel to your height – This is very important if you want to have an easier time using the shovel. A shorter person with a tall shovel or a tall person with a short shovel is a recipe for disaster. Choose a snow shovel that is either adjustable to encompass many heights or that fits the height of the main user.
- Watch the Diameter – If the shovel fits into your hand comfortably it will reduce the likelihood of blisters. Gloves also prevent blisters. You don’t want a shovel handle that feels too large or too small in your hands or it will be difficult to handle.
- Don’t buy cheap – quality is the most important factor in choosing a good snow shovel. Look for the cheapest one and you will end up paying for it in productivity and frustration. You don’t have to choose the most expensive shovel on the market, but look at the quality of the shovel and the features when deciding more so than just the price.
- Choose the right blade size – The larger the shovel is the heavier it will be to use. On the flip side of this, you don’t want to choose a shovel with a small blade or it could take forever to shovel your driveway. The best size is one you can use and pick up without straining when it has snow in it.
- Look for a good warranty – Look for snow shovels that offer warranties on their products. This shows that they stand behind their craftsmanship and it also protects you against defects in the manufacturing if there are any.
Snow Shovel Handle Characteristics
The handle of a snow shovel can have quite a few options for you to choose from. Some shovels have ergonomic handles, others have two handles. We have listed several features that snow shovels may have. Decide which features are important to you.
- Ergonomic handles – These handles usually bend back toward the top of the handle and eliminates the need to bend over to use it. This reduces the likelihood of back strain or injury significantly. The one drawback to these bent handles is that lifting a heavy load of snow can be a bit more challenging with this design. Most people feel the reduced back pain is worth a little extra awkwardness.
- Wheeled Shovels – This relatively new style has also been shown to reduce not only back pain, but heart strain as well. They can also remove snow about three times faster than traditional snow shovels. They are becoming very popular due to the increased power they provide without the strain on the body.
- Two Handles – This feature involves the placement of a second handle that is about midway down the shaft of the shovel. It is very good for providing the user with extra leverage when shoveling heavy snow. They are much easier to use since there is another handle for your other hand.
- Folding Handles – Snow shovels with folding handles are very easy to keep in the car should you need an emergency snow shovel to get your vehicle unburied or you are helping someone else. They are not really good for heavy snow removal in driveways and sidewalks but are great for emergency use and can be a great addition to a car emergency kit.
Snow Shovel Blades
The blade of your snow shovel is also very important. There are a few different types of blades that are usually used for snow shovels. We have listed them below with their characteristics.
- Plastic – Plastic blades are easy to maneuver and are flexible and lightweight. They are easier to damage with rocks and are not good for digging through ice. Snow doesn’t usually stick to plastic the way it can with metal blades which makes shoveling and tossing the snow much easier.
- Metal – Blades made of metal will chip through ice and can handle heavier loads. They are not easily damaged by screws that may be present on your deck or by gravel. Metal shovel blades are very strong and durable and can handle a lot more snow than the plastic blades can. They do weigh a lot more which is a drawback as this can increase the chances of back strain.
- Combination – Combination blades are made of plastic and have a wear strip along the edge of the blade that is made of metal. This will give you the strength of a metal edge with the lightweight features of the plastic blade.
With so many different styles and options available it can be overwhelming to choose the right snow shovel. The information in this guide can help you sort through all those choices and options so you can determine what your needs and preferences are and choose the perfect snow shovel that meets them. If you live in areas that get a lot of snow it is crucial that you purchase at least one good quality snow shovel to take care of the snow on your walkways and in your driveway.
If you have the budget for it, consider getting a good quality plastic shovel and a good quality metal shovel too. This will enable you to take care of all types of shoveling jobs you may have; the heavy snow shoveling jobs and the lighter duty ones as well.