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Finding the right ice and snow scraping tool for your car or outdoor space can be tedious and confusing. It's important to look for a scraper that's gentle enough to avoid damaging your windows or car paint but will still last you for seasons to come. Ice scrapers come in many different shapes and sizes that can align with your needs effortlessly. Some popular options include short single-hand scrapers that are great for windows, long two-handed scrapers that are ideal for cleaning the windshield, and extendable ice scrapers that can increase in length for improved user reach.
To help you narrow down your choices, here are the best ice scrapers you can buy today.
Best Overall: Subzero Hopkins 51" Ice Crusher Dual Head Pivoting Snowbroom and Squeegee
Length: 25 to 51 inches | Weight: 1 pound | Features: Broom, ice scraper, squeegee
Soft foam grip
Brush could be wider
The fact that the Hopkins 16619 SubZero 51-inch Ice Crusher comes with a snow broom, a squeegee, and an ice scraper pushes it to the top of our list when it comes to the best overall ice scraper. We’re all about getting the most value for your buck, and we're completely sold on this pick.
Ice chippers on the brush head make quick work of cutting through ice, and the rigid bristles are perfect for wet snow. Not only is this one of the most durable ice scrapers on the market, but it's also one of the most comfortable. It features a soft foam grip, and it weighs just a pound, so your arms won’t be giving out after five minutes of use. If you have a larger vehicle, the extendable handle makes this adept at those hard-to-reach areas like the top of your car. Hopkins manufactures longer models, but this length will get the job done and cost you less money.
Best Budget: Snow Joe Original 2-in-1 Snow Broom
Length: 33 to 52 inches | Weight: 1.4 pounds | Features: Broom and ice scraper
Extends to 52 inches
Non-abrasive foam head
Easy to store
Ice scraper is small
An ice scraper is maybe the least exciting thing you could spend your money on, but scoring one on the cheap shouldn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality. Snow Joe is a solid name brand with a reputation to back it, so you know you can trust this one. This 18-inch scraper also comes with a built-in snow broom, so you can accomplish two tasks at once without feeling guilty over how much you spent. The non-abrasive foam head also makes this tool safe for pushing snow off your car windows (it won’t scratch them), even if you're dealing with heavy, wet snow. The pole can stretch to 52 inches, so if you need to reach the top of your car or roof, you won't have a problem.
Best Design: SnoShark STD
Length: 20 to 30 or 39 inches | Weight: Under 2 pounds | Features: Ice scraper and snow paddle
Extra-wide ice scraper
Two locking positions
Compact and lightweight design
The SnoShark-STD is designed with features to help you get back on the road quickly. The non-abrasive paddle with a built-in ice scraper is extra-wide, so it can handle cleaning snow or ice off of larger areas at once. The extendable handle has two locking positions, 30 inches and 39 inches, that you can choose depending on the size of your vehicle. At under two pounds, it's lightweight and easy to store—it collapses to 20 inches, so you can fit it in your trunk or backseat until the next time you need it. Although pricier than other options, the SnoShark does come with a lifetime warranty.
Best for Windshield: OxGord 2-in-1 Ice Scraper & Snow Brush
Length: 17.5 inches | Weight: Not listed | Features: Snow brush and ice scraper
Designed to not scratch car paint or windows
The OxGord 2-in-1 Snow Brush and Ice Scraper is made specifically for cars, so you don’t have to worry that you’re scratching up your windows or destroying your paint in the name of safety. It features a dual design that allows you to break, scrape, and brush ice, snow, and frost off your windshield, so you’re safeguarded against all of the winter elements. Because it’s so compact at 17.5 inches, you can easily store this in your car. Plus, the non-slip grip makes using this in the freezing cold a breeze.
Best for Trucks: Birdrock Home Snow MOOver 55" Extendable Foam Snow Brush and Ice Scraper
Length: 31 to 55 inches | Weight: 1.98 pounds | Features: Brush and ice scraper
Extends to 55 inches
Removable ice scraper
Trucks pose a major problem because they’re so high off the ground. It’s difficult to reach the top with a regular scraper, and many extendable options tend to be flimsy when fully extended. Enter the Snow MOOver and Ice Scraper. It features a rotating head to ensure you get the optimal angle in hard-to-reach places, and it has a removable ice scraper and jaws for thick ice. Because it extends to 55 inches, you should have no issues handling every single surface of your truck or large car. Despite its size, it's surprisingly lightweight and easy to hold for extended periods.
Best with Brush: AmazonBasics Car Snow Brush and Ice Scraper
Length: 25 inches | Weight: 11.8 ounces | Features: Snow brush and ice scraper
Comfortable foam grip
Might not be able to sweep off a tall roof
Having a snow brush attached to your ice scraper is a serious advantage because it will clear away light, powdery snow without almost no effort. A basic ice scraper will get the job done; however, if you add in a brush, you can accomplish two tasks with one tool. The Amazon Basics model features an 8-inch brush on one end to clear off snow and a 4-inch ice scraper on the other. It has a comfortable foam grip, so even if you’re wearing mittens or gloves, you’ll still have solid leverage, and it won’t slip while using it. This double-duty tool is also portable, so you can toss it in your trunk or backseat when you're done. If you need something with a little stretch, this one can extend up to 25 inches.
Best Compact: Subzero 16621 Ice Crusher Ice Scraper
Length: 11 inches | Weight: 4 ounces | Features: Ice scraper
Compact and lightweight
Doesn't have any other features
The compact Hopkins Subzero 1662 Ice Scraper is incredibly durable, can break up even the thickest ice, and the foam handle makes it comfortable to use. If you’re questioning whether a compact scraper is actually functional, this one features an extra-wide 4.5-inch blade to cover more surface, and it “eats through ice like a hot knife through butter," according to one reviewer. At just 11 inches, it’s small enough to store in your glove box, so it’s accessible whenever you may need it. But the best part? The affordable price tag.
Best for Driveway: Bully Tools 92200 Heavy Duty Sidewalk and Ice Scraper
Length: 58 inches | Weight: Between 4 and 5 pounds (depending on the grip) | Features: Ice scraper
Extra-thick 11 gauge steel blade
Less than 5 pounds
Can't use on a car
During the winter, you may need to regularly clear your driveway and sidewalk to avoid a buildup of snow and ice, as large patches of ice can be dangerous. For a durable ice scraper that doesn’t mess around, the Bully Tools All-Steel Ice/Sidewalk Scraper is a good option to consider. It features an extra-thick, 11 gauge steel blade, so the ice on your sidewalk doesn't stand a chance. Note that this shouldn't be used on your car.
What to Look for in an Ice Scraper
Ease of Use
Your ice scraper should be easy to hold and maneuver when scraping ice off your car or outdoor space. Consider the weight and grip of the scraper you're buying. It shouldn't feel too heavy as you work, nor should it easily slip from your fingers. Some products have cushioned grips with textured finger positions to help you hold and control the ice scraper without a problem.
Also, keep the length of the ice scraper in mind. A short ice scraper can be functional for cleaning ice off side mirrors and the car's windows, but you will likely need a two-handed ice scraper or an extendable ice scraper to remove the ice from the windshield or rear window of the vehicle.
Safe for Cars
Tearing through ice is a laborious process, especially when you need to remove it from your car, and, unfortunately, ice scrapers are often to blame when the car gets scratched. To help prevent this from happening, it's advised to invest in a strong, durable ice scraper made of hard plastic. Also, it's a good idea to start your car and turn on the defrost setting before attempting to clean the car. Give the vehicle some time to heat up and melt the ice, then use the scraper to quickly and easily remove the ice from the windows. This process separates the ice from the glass, making it much easier to remove without accidentally scraping the car.
If the ice scraper is equipped with a brush end for cleaning snow, the bristles need to be soft enough that they don't scratch the surface of the car. Most products now feature these soft bristles, but it's still a good idea to verify that the bristles are soft by checking the manufacturer's information online or simply touching the bristles of the brush if you are in the store.
Some ice scrapers also come with a squeegee or brush accessory to help safely wipe away snow and other debris. Others will include extendable handles, which are great for getting hard-to-reach places, like the top of a car. The versatility of your ice scraper should depend on how you plan to use this helpful winter tool. It's also a good idea to have more than one scraper if the plastic cracks, chips, or breaks while in use, leaving your car still coating in ice without a way to clean it. Don't risk dangerous driving just to get to work on time: Invest in a backup ice scraper to properly clean the ice off the car before driving.
How do you use an ice scraper?
The scraper portion of an ice scraper is typically made of thin, hard plastic, and it's shaped like the bottom of a broom. Grip the handle and use the front edge of the scraper to push underneath the ice that is on the window. The scraper is designed to lift the ice from the window, making it relatively easy to clean the car.
Sometimes the cohesion between the glass and the ice is too strong, resulting in the scraper repeatedly chipping away at the edge of the ice. If you continue to chip away at the ice, you will eventually be successful, but it's advised to simply use the heater and defrost setting in the car to partially melt this connection before removing the ice with the scraper.
How do you fix an ice scraper?
Ice scrapers are subject to powerful forces as they are used to chip and lift ice from a hard surface, like glass. This can result in the head of the scraper breaking, but it can also cause the grip to come loose, or it may prevent the extendable shaft from locking into place.
Unfortunately, a broken scraper head cannot be fixed without replacing the entire head, and a slipping shaft lock will likely continue to wear down over time. However, you can fix a loose grip by simply applying glue to the interior of the grip and sticking it to the shaft of the ice scraper. Allow the glue time to adequately dry and cure before using the scraper and keep in mind that while this fix can extend the life of the ice scraper, it's a good idea to invest in a backup.
What is the back of an ice scraper for?
The back of an ice scraper typically has ridges that seem to do very little, but if you turn the scraper around and use these ridges on a thick piece of ice, the ridges will scrape the ice creating divots. This weakens the sheet of ice, making it easier to break up and remove the ice with the front of the ice scraper.
How can you avoid scratching your car with an ice scraper?
Prevent accidental damage to your car by simply turning the car on and allowing the heat from the car to partially melt the ice before removing it with the ice scraper. This process separates the ice from the glass, making it much easier to clean the car and avoid scratches.
If you don't have time to wait or your car is notorious for warming up slowly when it isn't being driven, then you can attempt to prevent damage to the car by scraping from the edges of the window towards the center of the window. Always keep the scraper blade away from the edges so that even if you slip, the scraper won't scratch the side of the car.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Timothy Dale, a long-time home improvement expert specializing in several topics, ranging from plumbing to construction to product recommendations, contributed additional research to this article.