As an advisor and outdoor grilling enthusiast, I can’t help but appreciate the importance of having the right tools on hand to deal with winter weather. One of the most crucial tools is a reliable snow shovel to help clear a path to your grill, patio, or driveway. In this article, we’ll take a look at the best snow shovels for easy snow cleanup, discuss the different types of snow shovels, and provide tips on choosing the perfect one for your needs.
Types of Snow Shovels
There are three main types of snow shovels, each designed for specific snow clearing tasks. Understanding the differences between them will help you select the right shovel for your needs.
Push Snow Shovels
Push snow shovels have a wide, flat blade designed to clear light snow from large areas quickly. These shovels work by pushing the snow ahead of you, rather than lifting it. They are ideal for clearing driveways and walkways with a thin layer of snow.
Scoop Snow Shovels
Scoop snow shovels have a deep, curved blade that is better suited for lifting and throwing heavier snow. These shovels are perfect for clearing larger snow accumulations and can handle wet, heavy snow with ease.
Combination Snow Shovels
Combination snow shovels combine the features of both push and scoop shovels. They have a wide, flat blade with a slight curve, allowing you to push light snow and lift heavier accumulations. This versatile shovel is a popular choice for homeowners who deal with various snow conditions throughout the winter season.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Snow Shovel
Before purchasing a snow shovel, consider the following factors to ensure you choose the right one for your needs:
Snow shovel blades are typically made of either plastic or metal. Plastic blades are lightweight and less likely to damage surfaces, while metal blades are more durable and better suited for breaking up ice or compacted snow.
Handle Material and Length
Snow shovel handles can be made of wood, metal, or fiberglass. Each material has its pros and cons: wood is sturdy but can be heavy, metal is durable but may become cold to the touch, and fiberglass is lightweight but can be more expensive. The handle length should be appropriate for your height to prevent strain on your back while shoveling.
Ergonomic snow shovels have bent handles or secondary handles designed to reduce the strain on your back and wrists while shoveling. These shovels can help prevent injuries and make snow removal more comfortable.
The weight of the snow shovel can have a significant impact on your ability to clear snow efficiently. Lighter shovels are easier to maneuver, but may struggle with heavier snow. Heavier shovels can handle larger amounts of snow but may be more difficult to use for extended periods.
The Best Snow Shovels for Easy Snow Cleanup
Snow Joe SJ-SHLV01 Shovelution
The Snow Joe Shovelution is an ergonomic snow shovel with a spring-assisted handle that reduces strain on your back and shoulders. Its durable polypropylene blade is ideal for lifting heavy snow, and the aluminum shaft is lightweight and resistant to rust.
The Snowplow 50548 Snow Pusher
The Snowplow Snow Pusher is a heavy-duty push snow shovel designed for clearing large areas quickly. The 48-inch wide, UHMW polyethylene blade is durable and non-abrasive, making it safe for use on delicate surfaces like wooden decks or paver stones.
Suncast SC3250 18-Inch Snow Shovel/Pusher Combo
This combination snow shovel from Suncast features a wide 18-inch blade, making it suitable for both pushing and lifting snow. The ergonomic handle design includes a comfortable grip, and the galvanized steel wear strip ensures durability and longevity.
ORIENTOOLS Heavy-Duty Snow Shovel
The ORIENTOOLS Heavy-Duty Snow Shovel is a versatile option with an adjustable handle and blade that can be used as a pusher or lifter. Its collapsible design makes it easy to store, and the durable aluminum construction ensures it will withstand harsh winter conditions.
How to Properly Shovel Snow to Avoid Injury
Proper technique is essential when shoveling snow to avoid injury. Bend your knees and keep your back straight when lifting snow, using your legs to do the heavy lifting. Don’t overfill your shovel, and try to push the snow rather than lift it when possible. Take frequent breaks, and avoid shoveling immediately after waking up, as your muscles are more susceptible to injury.
Snow Shovel Maintenance and Storage
To prolong the life of your snow shovel, clean it after each use to remove any snow, ice, or debris. Inspect the blade and handle for any damage, and store it in a dry, protected area to prevent rust and deterioration.
Proper Snow Shoveling Techniques
Aside from choosing the right snow shovel, it’s important to use proper snow shoveling techniques to prevent injury and make the task more manageable. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when shoveling snow:
- Warm-up: Just like any other physical activity, it’s essential to warm up your muscles before shoveling snow. Stretch your arms, legs, and back to prepare your body for the task.
- Choose the right clothing: Dress in layers to stay warm while allowing you to remove clothing if you start to overheat. Opt for moisture-wicking fabrics to keep sweat away from your skin.
- Push, don’t lift: Whenever possible, push the snow to the side instead of lifting it. This helps reduce strain on your back and arms.
- Keep your back straight: When lifting snow, keep your back straight and bend your knees. Lift with your legs instead of your back to reduce the risk of injury.
- Pace yourself: Take breaks and don’t try to remove all the snow in one session. Clearing snow in stages can help reduce fatigue and prevent injuries.
- Stay hydrated: Even though it’s cold outside, your body still needs water to function properly. Make sure to drink water before, during, and after shoveling snow.
- Know your limits: If you have a history of heart problems or any other medical conditions, consult with your doctor before shoveling snow. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from a neighbor or hire a professional snow removal service if needed.
Having the right snow shovel is crucial for easy snow cleanup during the winter months. By understanding the different types of snow shovels and considering factors like blade material, handle length, and ergonomics, you can choose the perfect shovel for your needs. The snow shovels recommended in this article are all excellent options that will make snow removal a breeze, allowing you to get back to enjoying your outdoor grilling and festivities.
Can I use a snow shovel on my wooden deck?
Yes, you can use a snow shovel on your wooden deck, but it’s essential to choose one with a plastic or polyethylene blade to prevent scratches and damage to the wood.
Is it better to shovel snow while it’s still snowing or wait until it stops?
Shoveling snow while it’s still snowing can make the job easier, as you can clear smaller amounts of snow more frequently. However, if the snowfall is light, you may prefer to wait until it stops.
How do I maintain my snow shovel to ensure it lasts for multiple seasons?
Clean your snow shovel after each use, removing any snow, ice, or debris. Inspect the blade and handle for damage and store it in a dry, protected area to prevent rust and deterioration.
What is the best time of day to shovel snow?
The best time to shovel snow is usually during daylight hours when temperatures are slightly warmer, making the snow easier to manage. Avoid shoveling immediately after waking up, as your muscles are more susceptible to injury.
How often should I replace my snow shovel?
The lifespan of a snow shovel depends on the quality of materials and how often it’s used. Regularly inspect your shovel for signs of wear and replace it when the blade becomes too worn or the handle is no longer stable.
What can I do to make shoveling snow easier on my back?
Choose an ergonomic snow shovel with a bent handle or secondary handle to reduce strain on your back. Use proper shoveling technique, bending your knees and using your legs to lift the snow. Take frequent breaks and avoid overfilling your shovel.
Should I apply any lubricant to my snow shovel’s blade?
Applying a thin layer of lubricant, like cooking spray or car wax, to your snow shovel’s blade can help prevent snow from sticking to it, making snow removal more manageable. Be sure to clean your blade thoroughly after use and reapply as needed.
Is there a specific type of snow shovel I should use for heavy, wet snow?
A snow shovel with a metal blade or metal edge reinforcement is recommended for heavy, wet snow. It provides better durability and cutting power for breaking up compacted snow.
Are there any safety tips I should follow while shoveling snow?
Always wear appropriate footwear with good traction to prevent slips and falls. Dress in layers and wear gloves to protect your hands. Avoid overexertion and take breaks when needed. Be aware of your surroundings and watch for ice or other hazards.
Can I use a snow shovel for other purposes, such as gardening or moving other materials?
While some snow shovels may be versatile enough for other purposes, it’s essential to consider the shovel’s design and materials before using it for something other than snow removal. Some shovels may not be strong enough to handle materials like dirt or gravel. It’s best to use tools specifically designed for each task to ensure their durability and effectiveness.