For most people, we recommend the Suncast SC2700 20-Inch Snow Shovel/Pusher Combo but if you’re picky then you may want to read on in order to make sure that we didn’t find something even better for you.
Snow shovels are pretty much essential, especially as we’re starting to get into the colder months. If you’re in an area where the snowfall gets serious, then it’s time to make sure that you have the right one to get you through the season. It turns out that a shovel isn’t just a shovel, the right one will make sure that you’re able to easily clear your driveway and sidewalks without any difficulty. Even if you’re just helping someone out, having a snow shovel is a great idea. The wrong one will leave you with an exercise in frustration.
Give this great snow shovel from Suncast a shot. It’s pretty much ideal and gimmick free, giving you a long lasting, hard working experience.
Top 5 Snow Shovels
|Suncast SC2700||20”||51”||Check Price|
|Hopkins 17211 Subzero||9.5”||37”||Check Price|
|Suncast SC3250||18”||52.5”||Check Price|
|True Temper Aluminum||12”||46.1”||Check Price|
|Snow Wolf SW0310 Wheeled||19”||33.8”||Check Price|
1. Best Overall
For most people, this shovel is pretty much ideal. The 20” wide blade comes with a wear strip so that you can get to chopping in the dense snow, and it’s about the right length for anyone who’s not a giant or vertically challenged.
On top of that, the blade is made of a graphite material which is sure to last longer than the vast majority of plastics.
The 20” width is attractive, moving a good amount of snow but not becoming super heavy when loaded with snowfall that isn’t ridiculously dense.
Pros and Cons
- Wear strip for chopping ice
- D-Grip handle for extra leverage
- 20” width is perfect for most applications
- Can be used to push snow as well as lift it
- Not great for pushing
- Hardware isn’t the best
2. Best Snow Shovel for Cars
Hopkins 17211 Subzero
It’s terrible when you’re driving and end up running across a nasty snow bank. Shovels with an extendable handle are pretty much the perfect solution for keeping in your car if you’re on the go in the winter and this one delivers.
It makes a great pick for keeping in your car or truck, allowing you to make fairly short work of snow that might be impeding your path home. Since it folds down to such a small size and extends to 37”.
There is one problem: it’s not the right tool for handling ice. It’s just not ridged enough to handle it and a wear strip would be a welcome addition. On the other hand, it’s pretty rare to come across dense ice while driving, so it’s something of a trade off.
Around the home you may want something else, but this Hopkins extendable shovel is pretty much perfect for a car’s emergency kit.
Pros and Cons
- Extendable handle
- Compact when not extended, making it perfect for storage in a vehicle
- Easy to extend and get to work
- Lightweight design
- Not super durable, use only in emergencies for best results
- Won’t handle ice due to plastic design
3. Best Ergonomic Snow Shovel
If you have trouble with your back, then you’ll find that an ergonomic snow shovel is a great option. With a slight offset, these shovels allow you to get proper leverage without destroying yourself and are super handy for those already in pain.
This one is 18” wide and has a length of 52.5”, perfect for the vast majority of people who might need to use it. Add in the durable steel wear strip and you’ve got a winner.
It might be a little bit narrow for super heavy snowfall, however, but you’d be surprised at how quickly it can cut through ice and densely packed snow.
For those who need a little bit of extra assistance but don’t want to spring for a wheeled snow shovel, this ergonomic option is pretty much perfect.
Pros and Cons
- Perfect length for the majority of people
- High-quality construction makes it quite durable for a plastic shovel
- Ergonomic handle to assist in lifting snow
- Keeps you from having to bend over too far
- Not suitable for pushing snow
- Construction is pretty heavy
4. Most Durable Snow Shovel
True Temper #12 Aluminum Scoop
While this shovel comes in different configurations, we love the aluminum scoop with a hardwood handle for one reason: superior durability. If you find that you’re too rough on your plastic scoops, then this is the right snow shovel for you.
The hardwood handle is easy to fix if the moisture loosens it up as well. This makes it pretty much the perfect shovel for many people but there is one flaw: the shovel is a bit short for taller people.
The aluminum also adds a bit of extra weight.
On the other hand, if you want a snow shovel which is going to last for years to come then you’ll be well off with the True Temper #12. It’s super durable and cheap enough that most people will have no trouble adding it to their home.
Pros and Cons
- Durable aluminum blade is lightweight and tough
- D-grip handle for getting under the snow
- Hardwood pole is almost impossible to break
- Low priced for longevity
- Can be a bit short for tall people
- Metal design is a bit heavier than plastic shovels
5. Best Wheeled Snow Shovel
Snow Wolf SW0310 Wheeled Snow Shovel
Wheeled snow shovels are relatively new to the market, but many people are finding them to be their best bet right out of the gate.
By adding a wheel, you get improved leverage and you don’t have to haul the snow around. It also adds a lot to the cost, but Snow Wolf makes the originals and the best of these specialized shovels.
This particular shovel folds down as well, making it easy to store when you’re done shoveling for the day. It might look like a joke to those used to doing things the traditional way, but these are some serious tools once you get used to the novelty of them.
If you want to get the best snow shovel around, then investing in a wheeled model makes sense. Snow Wolf’s SW0310 is a great option for those who are willing to pay a premium to handle the snow around their home.
Pros and Cons
- Wheeled design makes things easier on the operator
- High-quality plastic blade with wear strip is super durable
- Outperforms even snow blowers when it comes to speed
- Super wide, flat blade moves a lot of snow
- Very expensive for a snow shovel
- Not easy to maneuver in tight spaces
Picking a Snow Shovel
Anyone who’s ended up with a cheap shovel in their hand knows the struggle of handling things with a subpar tool.
And it’s terrible.
Instead of doing that, let us guide you to making the right purchase for handling the snow around your home with aplumb, instead of struggling against the icy tides in vain.
Look for the following qualities to make sure that you’ve got a great shovel for the next winter.
The Most Important Factor: The Human Behind the Shovel
Before we can say anything for certain, you’ll need to take into account the human factor.
How strong and big you are is going to determine what kind of shovel you can readily wield. Keep in mind that snow can weigh anywhere from 7 to 45lbs per cubic foot depending on just how compacted the bank you’re cutting at is.
Wider shovels are going to lift more snow at a time, which can make the whole affair a lot more tiresome.
You’ll want to make sure that you also match the shovel to your height. Tall people using a particularly short shovel are going to end up with a sore back in a hurry, and shorter people are going to have trouble with a shovel which is taller than they are.
Keep that in mind, and remember that our descriptions of the rest apply mainly to those who can use a shovel in an ideal way.
Round vs. Flat
Round shovels are primarily for pushing snow when you’re working. They can either lift snow out of an area or be used to clear clean lines wherever you may be working.
The snow shovel that most people think of is a flat-nosed scoop shovel. They’re not really suited for pushing snow out of the way, but they’re definitely useful for getting large amounts of snow out of the way in a hurry.
Most people are going to opt for the latter type of shovel, they’re pretty much the gold standard when people think “snow shovel” after all.
There are a ton of different materials which can be used to make a snow shovel. For the most part, however, you’ll find they come in aluminum, steel, or plastic.
Plastic shovels are the cheapest and lightest… they’re also the least durable. We don’t favor them for most people, since the standard ones can’t be used to chip at ice very well. With a metal edge attached they can be useful, but as a rule they should be avoided if you have the money for something better.
Aluminum stands in the middle ground, being fairly lightweight and durable. They also have a tendency to warp if used for particularly heavy tasks lite cutting ice, so if you have to deal with deep freezes on a regular basis they’re probably not a great idea unless you can’t handle a steel shovel.
Steel shovels are the most durable, generally the most expensive, and work fantastic for heavier tasks. You really won’t run into much warping with these kinds of shovels, but you’re going to run into the fact that they’re pretty heavy in a hurry. If you’re of average strength and mostly have powder you may want to go with something lighter.
The only real rule here is this: don’t use a plastic snow shovel without a tip if you live in an area where you’re going to run into ice frequently.
If you opt for a flat snow shovel, then you’re going to find out they come in a huge array of different widths. Most of the useful ones run from around eighteen inches to about thirty inches.
Any smaller and they’re not that useful, any larger and they get prohibitively heavy for the average person.
Most people will be best off with something around 20”, but if you’ve got a lot of snow to handle you may want to size up as long as you can handle the extra weight.
This is where most of the innovation in snow shovels comes into play.
Folding handles are great for a snow shovel you want to keep in your vehicle. They can help you clear the road in a pinch. Backpackers may also find them useful if they’re the adventurous type, since they’re much more portable.
Ergonomic handles are awesome for the home snow shovel. They come back at an angle from the head rather than the standard “straight” configuration and help to take the load off your back when you’re shoveling. Anyone who’s been there knows it’s a tiresome task and every little bit of help is welcome.
Wheeled handles are fairly new and pretty awesome. They reduce strain as well as making sure that you can remove snow as quickly as possible. They’re also rather expensive, and unless you have a lot of snow around they may not be worth the investment.
Dual handles improve leverage with a secondary handle attached to the primary shaft. You’ll be able to move more snow with one of these, but they’re pretty niche in usage.
There is also the handle material to factor in.
Plastic handles are light and maneuverable. They also tend to be rather cheap, but unlike with the blades they’re quite durable. There’s one caveat to this, however: don’t store plastic handles in the sun. The UV will break them down over time.
Fiberglass handles are probably the most durable of them all. They’re also a bit more expensive and they can get quite heavy when they’re “built-up” properly. This makes them more suitable for larger people with greater than average strength.
Wood is the traditional handle material and quite durable while not being too heavy. The problem is that wood tends to expand and contract when exposed to moisture and different temperatures, so make sure that you keep the screws tight. Avoid wooden handles with rivets for the most part, you need to be able to manually tighten them.
Some Snow Handling Tips
Since snow can be such a variable material it’s hard to find a one size fits all approach.
When you have a lot of snow to handle, you need to be careful to make sure you don’t hurt yourself. The wider your shovel blade, the more careful you’ll need to be since the strain will build up more quickly.
Make sure that you lift with your legs, rather than just using your back, and try to squat down to get a good angle of attack on the snow. You can also rest your elbows on your thigh in order to make sure that you can lever the snow more easily while you’re moving it.
The easiest way to handle a sidewalk is usually to clear a strip down the center then move the snow onto your lawn or just generally out of the way.
By clearing this central strip you’ll be able to access more snow at a time with the shovel. Many people will use a round nosed shovel to clear this initial strip before switching to their big scoop shovel to really get the job done.
In areas where there is truly a lot of snow, it makes sense to invest in a couple of shovels.
We recommend a round nosed shovel to clear strips for a better angle of attack alongside your big flat shovel.
If you get heavier snow fall than average during the winter, then you may want to have a lighter, narrower shovel for handling powder and then invest in a heavier, sturdier shovel for breaking up ice and handling packed snow.
Always make sure you have the right tool for the job and your task will end up being a lot easier.
Making sure you have the best snow shovel around is really a function of your physical capabilities and the environment you find yourself shoveling in. Regardless of which you go with, you’re sure to find that our picks are all of high-quality and at the end of the day you really do get what you pay for. Don’t wait until winter is upon you, order the shovel you need now so that you have it at the ready when the next cold season comes.