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Updated Oct 14, 2022 9:42 AM

Don’t be that cranky neighbor who grumbles at the thought of bringing out their snow shovel. Freshly fallen snow is a beautiful sight, and your snow days should be enjoyed. And a fresh snow shovel is an equally beautiful sight, one that will allow you to get outside and enjoy the snowy landscape—or kick back inside by the fire, your choice—knowing you’ve gotten the job done right. While most of us don’t look forward to clearing out freshly fallen snow, the right shovel can make this task much easier, so you can get back to the winter activities you enjoy. Here, we’ve collected the best tools for shoveling snow, with arms that are long enough to prevent hunching, ergonomic designs to reduce back strain, and durable materials that can cut through any snowbank. An electric shovel can speed up the job, or you can just work with well-designed manual shovels. Either way, we’ve researched some of the best snow shovels currently on the market, so now you won’t dread those impending winter storms.

How we chose the best snow shovels

Shoveling your driveway is just one aspect of winter safety and preparedness. Thorough testing is especially important here—we don’t want to recommend a subpar model that leads to a broken spirit, sore back, and increased potential of neighbors getting hurt. To find the best snow shovels, we looked at reviews and recommendations, conducted user testing, and performed heavy research to clear out the skimpy, sad scoopers from the heavy-duty haulers.

What to consider when buying the best snow shovels

Before deciding on the best snow shovel to buy this winter, consider the design, quality of materials, as well as the types of jobs your shovel is built to handle. If you don’t typically get a lot of snow, you may be able to handle the job with a simple combination or ergonomic shovel. For bigger jobs, you may want to purchase an electric shovel or a larger snow pusher with wheels. Keep reading for our selections.

Ergonomics

Nobody could call shoveling easy, because it’s not. One of the precautions you can take to help make the difficult task of snow removal easier is to protect your back. Back strain and pulled muscles are very common due to the heavy, repetitive actions involved in the process.

Because of these common injuries, manufacturers have conducted research and designed ergonomic shovels with your comfort in mind. Shovels are considered ergonomic when they help you stand up straight, have comfortable handles, and are lighter in weight. Features that you will find to facilitate this back comfort are lightweight materials like aluminum and plastic, a longer slightly bent arm, and larger D-Grip handles. So, while the job still won’t be easy, an ergonomically designed shovel will help protect your back and make the job more comfortable.

Snow pushers vs. shovels

When you live in a climate that sees its fair share of snowstorms, you should consider adding a snow pusher to your snow removal arsenal. Pushers are increasingly popular choices because they are lightweight and help you remove snow without excessive lifting. With the right conditions, you can cover a large amount of ground very quickly with this tool.

The best snow pushers can help prevent back injuries because the act of pushing is inherently easier than lifting. Snow pushers are essentially smaller, hand-powered versions of the industrial plow. They are best used for pushing up to 4 inches of lighter snow off of flat surfaces. This makes them a smart choice for sidewalks and driveways. Materials found in snowplows include steel, aluminum, plastics, and fiberglass, as well as UHMW polyethylene. Plastic blades tend to be a better choice for shoveling more delicate surfaces like pavers. Keep in mind that snow pushers aren’t the best choice for excessive, heavy icy snow.

Get electric

When you’re looking to really speed up the shoveling process but don’t want to invest in an expensive, heavy snow blower, you may want to consider an electric shovel. Compared to snow blowers, electric shovels for snow are typically lightweight, reasonably priced, and relatively small—making them a good choice for navigating smaller spaces like narrow walkways or steps.

Electric snow shovels work similarly to traditional snow blowers. They utilize a rotating blade to remove snow from a surface and then propel it through a chute. These portable machines usually have to be manually pushed along your snow-clearing path. Their smaller size makes them easier to store when not in use, which is a bonus if your storage space is limited. Electric power is generated with a cord, or they can be cordless powered via a rechargeable battery. While it may vary between models, most batteries will last between 30 to 45 minutes on a single charge. Recharging will take about 30 minutes, so it might be necessary to purchase a backup battery if you’re clearing a larger area. It is also important to consider that most batteries should be stored inside a space that will not go below freezing.

Fatigue-reducing features

No matter how lightweight and brilliantly designed your shovel is, the act of physically lifting scoop after scoop of snow is tiresome. If you’re looking to reduce fatigue and speed up the process without turning to electric or gas-powered snow removal equipment, you may want to consider a snow shovel with wheels.

Pushing a heavy load with wheels offsets the amount of energy required to complete the task immensely. Ever pushed a handcart full of heavy boxes? Incorporating the simple science of the wheel into a shovel works particularly well with a pusher-style shovel. A snow pusher allows for fast removal of larger surfaces (like driveways, for example). When wheels are added the task becomes that much easier, reducing the force of friction. Wheeled shovels are a great choice for people with back issues or older homeowners. As with manual snow-pusher-style shovels, the wheeled snow pusher will work best on lightweight snow, while heavy ice and snow may need to be broken up before this can be used to clear the space.

Do you have limited space for your snow-clearing equipment?

When you need to clear snow, but don’t have a lot of storage space, consider a combination shovel. These shovels act as a two-in-one tool, offering the ability to push as well as lift snow. That means you only need one shovel to clear the snowfall from your deck, driveway, and even the top of your car. The best combination shovels will be durable, ergonomically designed, and lightweight enough to be used comfortably.

The best snow shovels of 2022: Reviews & Recommendations

Between light dustings to heavy avalanches, these driveway clearing, sidewalk sweeping snow shovels can handle it all. Don’t forget to throw on your snow boots, heated socks, and a winter hat to fight off the icy temperatures as you shovel. Here’s what we found.

Best ergonomic snow shovel: True Temper Ergonomic Snow Shovel

True Temper

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Why it made the cut: This sturdy, ergonomic model makes clearing your driveway fast and easy.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 7.25 x 17.75 x 52 inches
  • Material: Alloy steel
  • Weight: 5 lbs.
  • Blade size: 18 inches

Pros

  • Ergonomic
  • Combination pusher and shovel
  • D-grip handle

Cons

  • Slippery steel might make snow fall off shovel

This ergonomic snow shovel is a great choice to help make you more comfortable while shoveling, as the durable steel body and curved neck make it easy to handle. The blade allows it to act as both a pusher or lifter and the extra-large D-Grip handle keeps hands comfortable and secure.

Best snow pusher shovel: The Snowplow “the Original Snow Pusher”

Snowplow

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Why it made the cut: You can clear large amounts of snow on decks, pavers, and roofs with this plastic snow shovel.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 47 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Material: Polyethylene, fiberglass
  • Weight: 5.84 lbs.
  • Blade size: 36 inches

Pros

  • Large blade size
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Cutting angle for ice

Cons

  • Bolts on shovel prone to coming loose

This snow plow shovel is available in multiple sizes and is constructed with polyethylene, which makes this safe for use on decks, pavers, and roofs. When you flip this shovel over, there is a cutting angle that can be used to chip away at stubborn ice.

Best electric snow shovel: Greenworks 12-Inch 40V Cordless Snow Shovel

Greenworks

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Why it made the cut: Clear up to 300 lbs. of snow per minute with this electric shovel.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 63.5 x 14.3 x 10.3 inches
  • Material: Polyethylene, metal, rubber
  • Weight: 14 lbs.
  • Blade size: 12 inches

Pros

  • Large throw distance and clearance rate
  • Adjustable auxiliary handle for comfort
  • Cordless

Cons

  • Only works on snowfall less than 6 inches

The Greenworks electric shovel is a great solution when you need to get rid of snow fast but you don’t have a lot of space to store your snow equipment. Our pick for best cordless, this rechargeable electric snow shovel works best to clear lighter snow up to 6 inches in height. Again, for best performance, make sure the battery is stored somewhere at room temperature.

Best for seniors: ORIENTOOLS Heavy Duty Rolling Snow Shovel

ORIENTOOLS

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Why it made the cut: No lifting is required with this wide snow pusher with a padded handle and large wheels.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 28 x 16.5 x 5.5 inches
  • Material: Steel, plastic
  • Weight: 4.61 lbs.
  • Blade size: 25 inches

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Padded, adjustable handle
  • Scratch and rust resistant

Cons

  • Requires adequate storage

This reasonably priced, heavy-duty steel snow pusher is scratch- and rust-resistant, to last you many winters. The handle has an adjustable height of between 45 and 50 inches, which helps ensure better posture (one of the things that are best for seniors and juniors), and with the ability to clear 5 inches of snow in one pass, it’s a great choice for pushing snow off larger areas like decks and driveways. However, this shovel is larger than some others, so adequate storage would be required.

Best for bad backs: Suncast SC3250 18-Inch Snow Shovel/Pusher Combo

Suncast

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Why it made the cut: Shoveling snow doesn’t have to be a back-breaking task thanks to this shovel built for comfort.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 18 x 51 x 2.42 inches
  • Material: Alloy steel
  • Weight: 1 lb.
  • Blade size: 18 inches

Pros

  • Won’t damage wooden porches or deck
  • Ergonomic bent arm and handle
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Reviews note handles prone to breaking

A great choice to save space and time, this combination snow shovel is designed with a durable steel handle and a coated plastic resin blade. The shovel blade has an angled ribbed pattern, which helps prevent snow from sticking to the shovel. An ergonomic bent arm and S-shaped handle help ensure proper posture and reduce back strain.

Best budget: Snow Joe SJ-SHLV01 Shovelution Strain-Reducing Snow Shovel

Snow Joe

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Why it made the cut: You don’t need to break out the big bucks or your back with this wallet-friendly shovel with a built-in assist handle.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 50 x 18 x 3.9 inches
  • Material: Plastic, metal
  • Weight: 3.7 lbs.
  • Blade size: 18 inches

Pros

  • Assist handle
  • Highly rated
  • Different sizes available

Cons

  • Best at clearing fluffy, light snow

Not all shovels are made the same, and as could be expected, the majority of budget ones are usually made with lower-quality materials and use cost-cutting solutions for construction. Depending upon the frequency of use, these less expensive shovels will probably not last as long as a pricier model. However, if you live in an area that only sees occasional snow, a budget snow shovel might just be good enough for you. We found a highly rated budget shovel that features a new take on shovel design—offering a second lower handle and short arm to act as a fulcrum and offset the energy required to throw the snow off the shovel blade. If stored properly and not used on the heaviest of icy snow, the Snow Joe shovel may work for you quite well.

FAQs

Q: How long should a snow shovel be?

It depends on what surface you’re shoveling, and the width of that surface. For example, if you’re clearing off a large, wide driveway, a wider shovel between 24-30 inches gets the job done efficiently and fast. However, they’re harder to lift. If you’re clearing a sidewalk, a narrower 18-inch shovel is perfect.

Q: How can you shovel snow fast?

In order to get your shoveling done fast, it’s important to follow a few rules of thumb. First, you want to get outside right when the snow stops. If you wait too long, you might run into issues like heavier snow, melted slush, and refrozen ice. Another trick is to make sure you have the right equipment—sometimes you might need a few different kinds of shovels to get the full job done faster. For example, when tackling a large space like your driveway, the fastest method is to start down the center using a plow shovel, and then work your way towards the outer edges, finally removing the snow with a traditional snow shovel. You can also consider an electric shovel to shorten the overall time to clear your space.

Q: How do you keep snow from sticking to the shovel?

One of the more frustrating issues that many people face when shoveling is having snow stick to the shovel. This creates extra weight and reduces the speed at which you can clear the snow. A trick you can easily do to help solve this problem is to add a lubricant to the shovel, which will cause the snow to roll off easily. You can use a general wax, inexpensive cooking oil, or even a cooking oil spray.

Q: Which snow shovels are better for your back?

A snow shovel with an ergonomic bent arm and S-shaped handle should be the first on your list if you have a bad back (or just don’t want one down the road). A rolling snow plow with an adjustable handle height can also be a comfortable, conscientious pick.

Final thoughts on snow shovels

The best snow shovel will help make shoveling quicker and less of a physical strain. It’s worth considering ergonomic features, lightweight materials, and the right shape and size blade for the surfaces you will be clearing. They will help you enjoy the winter season and remain confident knowing you’ve got the tool to handle whatever storms Mother Nature throws your way.