Updated: June 8, 2015
Snow Shovel Reviews:Who Makes the Best Snow Shovels? - Live in an area where you get a lot of snow? These days that is nothing new as snow can be found dumping on unusual places like Texas and Las Vegas in the winter. No matter if you live in Boston or Dallas, though, you probably wonder what the best type of snow shovel is for you. Who are the different companies making snow shovels today? What should you look for in a new snow shovel? With so many different brands and types of snow shovel out there what criteria should you use when you buy? You will probably find most shovels hover in the same price range, but that doesn't mean they all do a good job or that they all last just as long as the next one. Here are some buying tips for snow shovels as well as some reviews of popular snow shovel makes and models.
The Best Size for a Snow Shovel - It is probably important to start out with the size of a snow shovel, since that is the line along which most prices are drawn. Taking a look at all the snow shovels out there, you have the option of choosing between square models such as the Black Diamond which are about ten inches wide and more traditional, driveway clearing rectangular snow shovels which range from 18 to 36 inches wide. (The Black Diamond can be collapsed as well, and according to outdoors sites such as Trailspace.com make great hiking shovels in winter conditions). The deciding factors as to which size of shovel is best for you are going to be the quantity of snow you get and your own strength. A square shovel is good for narrower sidewalks, just go on down the line with a scoop and throw motion. The heavier the snow, and the deeper, the more scoops you will have to make and the harder it will get to lift. On the other hand, a model such as the Suncast 20-inch is made for scraping along on your driveway surface, pushing the snow in front of you until you get to an edge. The rectangular scoop will push as much snow as you can handle, but if you don't have a lot of strength you may find yourself a bit stranded. Also, pay attention to the depth of the scoop. Deep scoop shovels such as the ones made by Vertex can push away a lot of snow; on the other hand, not many people can handle that large a load. Not to mention, the handle system is quite unwieldy and can make pushing that load quite difficult. Still, if you live in an area where snow does fall but not in large amounts at a time, the wider and deeper shovels can get your driveway cleared in one third of the time it takes narrower, shallow snow shovels and make for the most popular snow shovel choice.
Plastic or Metal? - Another consideration when going out to buy a perfect snow shovel is the material the bucket part is actually made of. Again, your choice will probably depend on where you live and what kind of snow falls in your area. People in Las Vegas know that even if the snow does fall, it's not going to stick around for long. Certainly not long enough for it to melt a bit, freeze, melt again, and for tire tracks to form on unshovelled driveways. For them, a plastic bucket or scoop will probably work just fine. Paris, Ames, Vertex, Suncast, Dart, Mammut, and others are all good brands. And these companies also make some of the most popular snow shovel choices for residents of Alaska and other wintry states, complete with metal blades (or even plastic blades with metal edges). This metal is important in areas where snow falls and stays because it acts as a scraper for icy conditions as well as a scoop. Metal edged plastic snow shovels are probably your best bet, as metal tends to bend and become less effective. That plastic backing up the thin strip of metal can reinforce the metal and keep the shovel in operation for longer. You can find snow shovels at Home Depot and other home improvement stores.
Handles and Shafts - A recent trend in snow shovels is the curvy, supposedly ergonomic handle as exemplified in the Ames True Temper Arctic Blast 18-Inch Mountain Mover Poly Snow Shovel. Reviews at Professionalequipment.com and Amazon, however, suggest that this supposed safety addition makes these shovels a lot harder to control, from scraping to tossing. For handle length, make sure to choose a shovel that can fit comfortably against your belly but which you can still control. When you're tossing, your hands should be at the handle and about midway without feeling uncomfortable. And the D handle is unquestionably the preferred one on any snow shovel; it's almost universal except in big scoop snow shovel models. You can browse the best selling snow shovels online here.