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We researched dozens of snow shovels, evaluating durability, design, and value. Our best overall pick, the Snow Joe Shovelution Strain-Reducing Snow Shovel, stands out for its ergonomic design, heavy-duty construction, and affordable price.
Here are the best snow shovels.
Best Overall: Snow Joe 18-in Strain-Reducing Snow Shovel
Who else recommends it? Bob Vila and BestReviews both picked the Snow Joe Shovelution Strain-Reducing Snow Shovel.
What do buyers say? 89% of 22,100+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.
The Snow Joe 18-in Strain-Reducing Snow Shovel can save you effort the next time a snowstorm blows through. Our best overall choice stands out due to its unique design that makes shoveling more efficient and comfortable.
This model uses a second spring-assist handle to act as a fulcrum—a physics term that means when you apply pressure to one end, it transfers to the other, like an old-fashioned teeter-totter. So when you shovel snow with this tool, it shifts the stress of lifting snow to your hands instead of your back and makes the process go much more quickly.
In addition to the ergonomic design, an impact-resistant aluminum blade also helps get underneath the snow to make it easier to collect, lift, and deposit. Users have noted this particular shovel is also adept at lifting different kinds of snow, including hard-packed snow and light, fluffy snow. The assembly might prove slightly challenging, but this shovel will be worth the initial effort once you have it put together.
Best Budget: True Temper 18-in Snow Shovel with 36-in Steel Handle
If you only have to shovel snow once in a blue moon, the inexpensive Temper True 18-inch Snow Shovel will suit your needs. This no-frills model has a lightweight 18-inch blade supported by a 36-inch straight steel handle, and its steel wear strip helps to extend the life of the blade and break through stubborn patches of ice. It may not have the extra features of other shovels, but shoppers say the Temper True Snow Shovel is strong, sturdy, and will get the job done.
Best Splurge: Garant 24 in. Sleigh Shovel
You can go to any home improvement store and pick up a basic snow shovel for $15 or $20, but they won’t be the same quality as the Garant Sleigh Shovel. It’s definitely more expensive than you’d expect for a shovel, but consumers say this unique tool is worth every penny, as it’s comfortable to use and moves large quantities of snow easily.
This sleigh-style shovel has a 24-inch blade with a steel wear strip to help clear your driveway, sidewalks, and other surfaces. The deep blade is ideal for use in deep snow, and the ergonomic handle helps reduce back fatigue, as you can simply push and dump snow. According to customers, the Garant Sleigh Shovel is sturdy and incredibly easy to use, and it clears large paths that make quick work of large driveways.
Best Wide: True Temper 26-in Poly Snow Shovel with 32-in Aluminum Handle
Wide snow shovels help to create larger paths, which means you can clear large areas faster. The Ames True Temper Poly Snow Shovel has an impressive 26-inch wide blade supported by a 32-inch ergonomic aluminum handle, making it a great option for those with large walkways or driveways to clean.
The high-capacity blade has a steel wear strip, and there’s a footstep on the back to help give you leverage in heavy snow. Plus, the shovel is reversible—simply flip it over and use it to scrape down tight areas, such as your steps or porch. Customers say this True Temper shovel lets you cover a lot of ground quickly, and several note the design is easier on your back than a standard snow shovel.
Best for Car: Suncast Telescoping Auto Shovel
If you’ve ever left work for the day, only to find your vehicle covered in several inches of snow, you know why it’s important to keep a portable shovel in your car! The Suncast Telescoping Auto Shovel is an ideal product to stash in your trunk, as it doesn’t take up too much space, yet it will still come in handy if you ever need to dig your car out of the snow.
The handle on this shovel extends from 30 to 38 inches using a button-lock slider that’s specially designed to be easy to operate when you have gloves on. The blade is 11 inches wide with graphite construction that keeps snow from sticking, and the shovel even has a cushioned foam shaft that makes it more comfortable to handle.
What to Look for in a Snow Shovel
Snow Shovel Types
There are three main types of snow shovels, and understanding the differences between them can make it easier to decide on the best tool to keep your driveway and walk clear.
Traditional snow shovels typically have a long, straight shaft made of wood or plastic. The blade is rectangular with a shallow slope to help the shovel extend underneath the layers of snow. Blades on traditional snow shovels are more commonly made of plastic, though they can also be made out of metal.
Push snow shovels are not made for lifting and throwing the snow, but for pushing the snow. Use these shovels for removing large quantities of light snow in a hurry. They are best for clearing driveways and walkways, though push shovels can be difficult to use with heavy packing snow or frozen snow.
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 more curved than a traditional shovel blade. If you only want one shovel in your garage, 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 is the part used for pushing, lifting, and throwing the snow. It's designed with a curve that allows the edge of the shovel to slide under the snow. The shape also helps to collect the snow and prevent it from falling off the shovel while you push, lift, or throw the snow. Typically, the snow shovel blade ranges in width from about 12 to 30 inches.
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 a flat surface, like a driveway or a deck. Combination snow shovels usually have a broad blade with a deep curve, so that the shovel can push large quantities of snow and also be used to lift and toss the snow.
The type of shaft should also be considered when you are looking for a new snow shovel. Straight shafts help to give the user the best hand position for lifting, carrying, and throwing snow. They are also effective for chopping thin ice and clearing frozen snow.
Curved shafts are better for pushing snow. The curved design is made to improve user control and also reduce the stress on the lower back when you are pushing a heavy load of snow. Ideally, you won't need to bend over as much, allowing your legs, arms, and the rest of your body to work, instead of your back. This type of shaft isn't great for lifting or throwing snow, though.
The blade on a shovel can be made out of several different materials, including steel, aluminum, and plastic.
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.
Aluminum blades are a great, lightweight choice, but don't expect them to have the same durability as the steel blades. Avoid using aluminum snow shovel blades for chopping ice or hard packed snow.
Plastic snow shovel blades are the most commonly used because they are inexpensive and lightweight. Plastic won't bend or warp in most cases, though these blades are prone to chipping and cracking.
How do you shovel snow?
In order to avoid hurting yourself, it's important to learn how to shovel properly. Make sure to bend your knees and lift using your legs instead of your back. By gripping the shovel near the blade, you can keep it closer to you while lifting the snow to reduce the weight on your back. It's also a good idea to switch between a right-handed and left-handed stance, so you are working different muscles. Keep in mind that the shovel doesn't need to be full every time. If the weight is too much, only toss half a blade. It may take longer, but you are less likely to end up injured.
When should you shovel snow?
It's recommended to shovel the snow early in the morning and regularly throughout the day if it is still snowing. This helps to prevent snow accumulation and make snow shoveling easier.
How can you keep snow from sticking to the snow shovel?
Snow can sometimes stick to a shovel while you work, making it difficult to toss the snow or pick up a new load. To prevent the snow from sticking to the shovel, use cooking spray or vegetable oil to coat the blade of the shovel. This will form a layer that prevents the water from freezing and sticking to your shovel.
How do you shovel frozen snow?
After snow falls and accumulates on the ground, the top of the snow can melt under the snow, then freeze when the sun goes down later. The frozen snow is significantly more difficult to break up and remove, so you should consider applying a deicing solution before shoveling. These products lower the melting point of the ice, helping to free up the frozen snow and make it easier to move. If you need extra traction on the ground while you work, consider using cat litter or salt on the ground at your feet.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Additional reporting and research for this article was done by Timothy Dale, a long-time home improvement expert specializing in plumbing, construction, and product recommendations, among other topics.