A quality snow shovel is a must-have tool if you live in a snowy climate. To help you get through the winter without undue strain, we researched and tested dozens of snow shovels, evaluating their design, durability, and value. While we found during testing that no snow shovel is ideal for all snowy conditions. Some may be better for clearing heavy, wet snow over compacted ice; others are perfect for powder.
Ahead, the best snow shovels back by our testing and research to make the most of your snow days.
Yeoman BustR Snow Shovel
Additional comfort grip
Reinforced steel blade tip
Not best for large driveways
The Yeoman BustR Snow Shovel is our best overall pick, because it has a long handle with two comfortable grips and has reinforced blade to cut through tough snow and ice. Although we didn't receive as much snow as anticipated during our testing period with this shovel, we were still very impressed by its performance and design. The handle is made from steel and has a D-shape grip at the end with an additional foam grip in the middle of the handle. This shovel's blade is also angled slightly upward, making it comfortable to use as a push shovel in addition to a traditional scoop shovel.
As its name would suggest, we had no problem busting through ice and heavy, damp snow when clearing a two-car driveway. The steel wear strip made it easy to cut a clean path and efficiently shovel the driveway, despite this shovel's smaller blade width. If you have an oversized driveway, we recommend looking for a shovel with a larger blade to save time and energy. Although this shovel is relatively simple in design, we think it's a great option for anyone who is searching for a reliable, yet sturdy shovel to get through the winter weather.
Price at time of publish: $67
Type: Manual | Material: Poly and steel | Blade Width: 18 inches | Dimensions: 55 x 18 inches | Weight: 4 pounds
True Temper 18- Inch Steel Snow Shovel
Great for clearing impacted snow
If you only have to shovel snow once in a blue moon, the Temper True Steel Snow Shovel is an affordable yet reliable model. This no-frills shovel has a lightweight 18-inch blade supported by a 36-inch straight wooden handle, and its steel wear strip helps to extend the life of the blade and break through stubborn patches of ice. It might not have the extra features of other shovels, but its metal, reinforced blade is strong enough to support areas that experience less severe winter weather.
We noticed during testing that this shovel was slightly too heavy for comfortable, extended use, but the extra weight made it easier to clear impacted, previously driven-over ice. It's standard D-grip makes it easy to maneuver and use. While overall we found this shovel average in comfort, we note that the design wasn't built to be especially ergonomic. Although it's a standard shovel with no special features, we appreciate its durable build and think it's a great budget pick.
Price at time of publish: $50
Type: Manual | Material: Steel | Blade Width: 18 inches | Dimensions: 3.75 x 18 x 49.5 inches | Weight: 4 pounds
Suncast SC3250 18-Inch Snow Shovel/Pusher Combo
Easy to maneuver
Steel strip reinforces blade
Tough plastic scoop
Not ideal for densely packed snow
While there are plenty of snow shovels designed with curved handles to prevent bending over as much, we especially like the Suncast's 40-inch-long steel handle, which should keep taller folks upright longer. We also appreciate the ridges in the handle, making this shovel very push-friendly and super-easy to maneuver. The handle's ridges help you keep a good grip on the shovel, plus it's extremely lightweight with a durable plastic blade.
The galvanized steel wear strip lines the edge of the plastic blade to prevent it from cracking and chipping over time. However, we found that it makes removing wet, densely packed snow difficult, especially when it's over a layer of ice. The 18-inch scoop holds a good amount of snow, minimizing the number of times you have to toss it away. We also confidently used the scoop to chip away snow-turned-to-ice without worrying that the blade would break. While this snow shovel doesn’t come with a lot of bells and whistles, the ergonomic handle and deep scoop make clearing snow a less-painful process.
Price at time of publish: $73
Type: Push | Material: Steel | Blade Width: 18 inches | Dimensions: 52 x 18 inches | Weight: 4 pounds
Bully Tools 27-Inch Fiberglass D-Grip Handle Snow Pusher
Coated-steel blade made for ice
Long handle for stability
Lacks curved handle
We used the Bully Tools 27-inch Poly Snow Pusher to clear a driveway of that had frozen into ice from a light snow and rain mix. Not only were we impressed by the high-quality materials, but also we never worried about breaking the blade on the ice. We found that with a little effort, we could get the coated-steel blade under the ice to thrust and break it up.
We don't expect the same performance when trying to break up solid, days-old ice, but we think this shovel could effectively clear snow and ice from most surfaces, combined with the appropriate use of an ice pick. The 47-inch-long handle, made of reinforced fiberglass, with a D-grip; and an extended-length ferrule contribute to this shovel's durability against compacted snow and ice. While we didn't become overly tired while using this shovel, we would have preferred a curved handle for less stress on our backs. We also appreciate the product's warranties: limited lifetime against defects in materials and workmanship, and an unconditional warranty on the wood-filled fiberglass handle.
Price at time of publish: $44
Type: Push | Material: Fiberglass, Alloy Steel | Blade Width: 27 inches | Dimensions: 57 x 27 x 4 inches | Weight: 5 pounds
Garant NSP24D Nordic 24-Inch Steel Blade Snow Pusher
Compatible with multiple surfaces
Slices through thick snow
Coated wooden handle
Not best for stairs
A wide snow shovel can make the world of difference between spending hours shoveling in the cold or staying warm inside after a quick 20-minute shovel job. We were particularly impressed by the Garant Steel Blade Snow Pusher, which is still lightweight enough to maneuver easily, but heavy-duty enough to clear a path in one sweep. We used this shovel several times in various snow conditions and continued to be impressed by its durability and consistency. In addition to easily clearing pavement, this shovel was also able to clear a pathway made from paver stones and a wooden deck.
Although the wooden handle was initially a concern for us, after unboxing, we found that it has a great stain coating on it to prevent rot and water log. We only had trouble using this shovel on stairs—especially narrow stairs—which were not easy to clear, given the shovel blade's weight. It actually chipped off pieces of the wooden stairs we were trying to clear, which speaks to the blade's strength. We recommend having a shovel with a plastic blade for any steps you may need to clear. Overall, we were very pleased with this shovel's width and blade weight.
Price at time of publish: $74
Type: Pusher | Material: Steel and wood | Blade Width: 24 inches | Dimensions: 54 x 24 inches | Weight: 7 pounds
Best for Ice
True Temper 20-Inch Aluminum Combo Blade Snow Shovel
Curved handle for added back support
Cuts through thick compacted snow
Not as effective as wide pusher shovels
The True Temper 20-Inch Aluminum Combo Blade Snow Shovel may not look like much, but we've decided it is an essential snow-clearing tool for homeowners who experience the aftermath of snow plows at the bottom of their driveways and walkways. This shovel's aluminum blade was great at breaking up huge chunks of compacted snow, and it was also helpful for eliminating stubborn patches of thick ice slush.
We found it comfortable to push this shovel and use it as a traditional scoop, but we will note that it's not as effective as traditional pusher shovels with wide blades. The curve handle also provides added support for back fatigue, and the D-shape grip is oversized, so you can comfortably hold it while wearing thick winter gloves. Although you may find the aluminum blade flimsy at times, if overloaded with too much heavy snow, we think this shovel is sure to last you several seasons, plus it's relatively affordable.
Price at time of publish: $40
Type: Combo | Material: Aluminum, poly, and steel | Blade Width: 20 inches | Dimensions: 53.3 x 20.1 x 6.78 inches | Weight: 5.5 pounds
Best for Cars
BirdRock 34" Folding Emergency Snow Shovel
Three adjustable positions
May scrape on concrete or ice
A collapsible snow shovel can be a convenient tool if you leave your office building to find your car covered in snow, or need to move snow chunks away from your car tires. The Birdrock Home 34-Inch Folding Emergency Snow Shovel can collapse to fit nearly in the trunk of a car or under a car seat. It has two locking positions to make it either 28 or 34 inches long for various needs while shoveling around your car.
We found that having this shovel in the trunk of a car offered great comfort during unpredictable winter weather, plus it's easy to lock into position for emergency needs. The metal blade makes this shovel great for pulling or scooping wet snow out from under car tires. While we didn't have a chance to test its effectiveness against ice, we think the metal blade should stand up well and be helpful for breaking chunks of ice around a car. We don't think this shovel would become damaged during use, but we expect that the red paint may chip or scrape over time. Although this shovel is slightly more expensive than we think is necessary, it is a great tool to keep in your car for emergency needs.
Price at time of publish: $40
Type: Compact | Material: Rubber and aluminum | Blade Width: 9 inches | Dimensions: 34 x 9 x 2 inches | Weight: 2 pounds
We Also Like
Snow Joe 18-Inch Strain-Reducing Snow Shovel
Unique handle design
Impact-resistant aluminum blade
Effective for wet snow
While the Snow Joe 18-inch Strain-Reducing Snow Shovel didn't score the highest during our testing, we still wanted to include it because of its unique design with a secondary, spring-assist handle. When you apply pressure to the extra handle, it's designed to shift the stress of lifting snow to your hands and legs instead of your back. While we found that this shovel's 18-inch handle is slightly too short for taller users, we did enjoy the secondary handle, which made the snow shoveling process less tiring overall.
This shovel's 18-inch blade width can easily clear a sidewalk, but it will require several passes on a wider driveway. If you prefer to not bend over, or want to quickly shovel a larger area, we recommend the manufacturer's 20-inch model instead. We enjoyed the impact-resistant aluminum blade, which helped cut underneath the snow to easily collect, lift, and deposit. We discovered during testing that this particular shovel is adept at lifting both hard-packed slush and light, fluffy powder. We were also impressed by the sharp blade effectively removing snow almost to the pavement. However, as with most conventional snow shovels, this model isn't effective against thick ice. Nevertheless, we still appreciate this shovel's unique design and think it's a great option for the average household's driveway and surrounding paths.
Price at time of publish: $25
Type: Manual | Material: Poly | Blade Width: 18 inches | Dimensions: 50 x 18 x 3.9 inches | Weight: 3.1 pounds
Our best overall pick, the Yeoman BustR Snow Shovel, has a sturdy steel handle with an oversized D-grip and additional padded grip to ease the discomfort of shoveling for long periods of time. It also has a durable blade with a reinforced edge to cut through ice and compacted snow. If you're looking for an affordable, basic snow shovel that's still reliable and durable, we recommend the True Temper Steel Snow Shovel. It has an 18-inch steel blade to slice through snow drifts easily and a stained wooden handle to prevent rot.
How We Tested the Snow Shovels
We tested 26 snow shovels at our homes in New York, Connecticut, and Iowa over several weeks to determine their reliability and practicality in real-world contexts. We tested a variety of shovel types including push, combo, and electric shovels. While clearing driveways and walkways, we considered each shovel's ease of use and noted its weight and other features that made it comfortable to operate. We also considered each shovel's performance, keeping in mind how well it cleared appropriate surfaces and snow types. While testing each shovel's performance, we also considered its durability against snow and ice (if applicable). We made sure to use the snow shovels on their recommended surfaces and snow types to avoid breakage or misuse. Lastly, we reviewed each snow shovel's price and assessed whether its value, post-testing, matched its list price. We reflected on our overall experience with each shovel and considered whether we'd recommend the shovel to friends or family.
What to Look For in a Snow Shovel
Standard snow shovels typically have long, straight shafts made of wood, plastic or metal, commonly aluminum, which is strong but lighter than other metals such as steel. The blade, often made of metal or plastic, is rectangular, with a shallow slope to help the shovel extend underneath snow.
Push snow shovels are not made for lifting and throwing the snow but for pushing it to clear surfaces. They are best used for removing large quantities of light snow in a hurry. Sleigh-type snow shovels, with trough-like blades, fall into this category. Push shovels can be difficult to use with heavy packed snow or frozen snow.
Electric snow shovels combine the blade widths of standard snow shovels with the rotary scraping blades and distribution conduits of snow throwers. Unlike those large machines, electric snow shovels are powered by rechargeable batteries, like weed whackers, or connected to standard 110-volt outlets. Also unlike snow throwers, which occupy a large storage footprint, electric snow shovels are compact enough to be stored in small spaces.
Combination snow shovels are made for pushing, lifting, and throwing the snow, so you can expect the blades on these shovels to be wider and curved more than traditional shovel blades. If you only want one shovel in your garage or shed, or sitting on your front porch waiting for the next snowfall, then it's a good idea to get a combination snow shovel.
The blade on a snow shovel pushes, lifts, and throws the snow. The curved shape, which allows the edge of the shovel to slide under the snow, also helps collect the snow and prevent it from falling off the shovel while you push, lift, or throw it. Typically, snow shovel blade widths range from about 12 to 30 inches. Larger "pusher" models, such as our Best Wide pick, the Garant 24-Inch Steel Blade Snow Pusher, have much wider blades, such as 20 inches and more. We especially enjoyed using the Garant to break through tough ice and compacted snow.
Smaller blades are best for quickly scooping and tossing snow off to the side, making them ideal for shoveling narrow walkways and paths. Larger blades are better for pushing large amounts of snow across flat surfaces such as driveways or decks, but these can be harder to lift and toss snow away. Combination snow shovels usually have broad blades with accentuated curves, so the shovel can push large quantities of snow and also lift and toss it.
Shaft Type and Length
Straight shafts help give users their best hand positions for lifting, carrying, and throwing snow. They also are effective for chopping thin ice and clearing frozen snow. Curved or staggered shafts, such as on our Best Lightweight pick, the Suncast 18-Inch Snow Shovel/Pusher Combo, are better for pushing snow, improve user control and also may reduce lower back stress by reducing the need to bend over as much. This type of shaft can place added strain on the arms and hands, however.
Generally, snow shovel blades are made of plastic, metal such as steel, or, more commonly, aluminum.
Plastic snow shovel blades are most common, because they are inexpensive and lightweight. Plastic doesn't bend or warp in most cases, though these blades are prone to chipping and cracking. The Bully Tools 27-Inch Poly Snow Pusher, our Best Pusher, has a poly plastic blade, which is durable enough to pick up large amounts of snow without warping.
Steel is typically the most durable choice for a shovel blade, because it is effective at chipping hard ice or packed snow, or lifting heavy, wet snow without bending or breaking. However, steel blades increase the weight of a snow shovel. Increasingly, we see plastic blades with steel toe strips, which not only help protect the plastic but also can scrape snow down to the surface instead of leaving a layer that can re-freeze.
Aluminum blades are a great, lightweight choice but don't have the same durability as steel blades. Aluminum blades tend to bend and become distorted if they are used too often to chop ice or hard, packed snow. Look for a blade that is reinforced aluminum or designated as "impact resistant," as on the Snow Joe Shovelution SJ-SHLV01.
How long should a snow shovel handle be?
While there's no specific length requirement for shovel handles, we recommend purchasing a shovel that is sufficient for your height. You can measure the length from your elbows to the ground to determine a length that would be best for you.
Is there a single snow shovel for all uses?
While you can purchase snow shovels that are designated "combination" shovels, we note that some snow shovels are best suited for particular conditions such as surface type, slope, and especially the type of snow that falls—shallow or deep snowfalls; powder or heavier, dense snow—and ice. Select a snow shovel that is most appropriate for the type of snow removal you do most often.
How can you keep snow from sticking to the snow shovel?
Snow can sometimes stick to a shovel, making it difficult to toss or pick up a new load. Thick, gloppy snow tends to stick to shovels, especially metal-bladed shovels, because the snow thaws slightly and then re-freezes when it contacts the blade, whose surface temperature is frequently below freezing. Plastic blades can come coated with a chemical that inhibits sticking. We have noted some success with using cooking spray, vegetable oil, or silicon spray to coat the blade of the shovel, forming a layer that keeps the snow from sticking.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Emma Phelps, updates writer for The Spruce, overhauled this article to include the latest testing insights from our real-world testing. After collaborating with editors to make final product selections, Phelps researched snow shovel styles and features to accurately incorporate testing results into the above roundup.
Ira Lacher, based in an ordinarily snowy Des Moines, Iowa, also conducted insight and product research and looked into the newest products rated highly for how much snow they can handle, how well they remove snow from sidewalks, and additional features. Ever since he relocated to the snowy Midwest from New York City, Lacher has depended on snow shovels with ergonomic handles and reinforced aluminum blades to make his Des Moines sidewalks safe for school children who traverse them every day.
What Is The Spruce Approved?
Here at The Spruce, we want to ensure that we fully stand behind every product we recommend and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all these products ourselves, though occasionally, we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the best-of cut.