How to Shovel Snow

Clearing Driveways Safely, Efficiently

Man pushing snow with a shovel toward a snow bank at night.
Cultura RM Exclusive/Hugh Whitaker/Getty Images

Anyone want to shovel snow? It's doubtful. Especially if you're reading this during a severe winter, when our state of mind is not unlike that of Phil Connors in the movie, Groundhog Day, who quips:

"You want a prediction about the weather? You're asking the wrong Phil [i.e., Punxsutawney Phil]. I'll give you a winter prediction: It's gonna be cold, it's gonna be gray, and it's gonna last you for the rest of your life."

He might just as well have added: "And...MORE you will have to shovel snow so many more times before spring returns that your back will think you're waging war on it." But do not get depressed: Follow the tips below to stay one step ahead of Old Man Winter.

  • 01 of 06
    Man shoveling snow during blizzard
    Photos by Vesuviante/Moment/Getty Images

    This article is a good place to start to learn how to shovel snow with safety, comfort and efficiency in mind. Want to avoid back trouble when you shovel snow? Then you will want to consult this resource. But the article goes well beyond safety concerns: It is really a "How to Shovel" piece written for those with active minds. For one thing, its purpose is to provide you with a plan when you shovel snow, so that you can save yourself some time and trouble. But in addition, the article is...MORE writte from the perspective of someone who finds such work about as boring as watching grass grow. So, as a side note, you will learn some ideas for relieving the boredom.

  • 02 of 06
    Ames aluminum shovel (image) is not very durable. I ended up switching shovels.
    Ames aluminum snow shovel. David Beaulieu

    In a mild winter, many prefer to use a plastic ergonomic snow shovel (see next entry). That is, during winters in which there is only a small snowstorm here or there, with plenty of time to clear the driveway in between, plastic does the job just fine.

    But this article happens to have been written during a severe winter, a winter that gave some of us an opportunity to put these respective products to the test under the direst of circumstances, to see which would come out on top. Read this review...MORE to find out when aluminum comes away triumphant, and when plastic literally just does not "cut it."

  • 03 of 06
    Snow shovel in snow, during snowfall. Shoveling the snow
    Not all shovels are created equal. Malorny / Getty Images

    In this review, you will read evaluations of:


    1. The Avalanche Ergo Plus ergonomic snow shovel
    2. The Snow Blazer wide-grip snow shovel
    3. The Penguin VersaGrip snow pusher


    Along the way, you will learn about the downside to snow pushers. You will also find out what type of tool you should use to shovel snow off decks and what you should know about chopping ice.

  • 04 of 06
    Man standing in snow with shovel
    "Would you like to earn a few bucks shoveling snow?". Tiina & Geir / Getty Images

    All right, but maybe you are unable to shovel snow, yourself? You can easily enough hire a snow plow to clear your driveway, but what about pathways and porches? In this article, you will read some tips on finding someone to shovel snow for you. It is not easy (one can very well understand the frustration behind the oft-repeated saying, "You can't get good help nowadays"), but you can do it if you are persistent and if you do not mind undertaking a little "detective work."

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06
    Image of man using gas snowblower in Damariscotta, Maine.
    Man using a snowblower in Damariscotta, Maine. Scott B. Smith Photography/Photolibrary/Getty Images

    Or maybe you are searching for other possible ways to clear a driveway or walkway? In the modern age, one should not have to shovel snow, right? The basic alternatives are laid out in this article.

    But lest you jump to the conclusion that a snowblower is necessarily the way to go, you will be exposed to some of the drawbacks of snowblowers. Are they an option to consider? Yes. Are they a magic bullet for those who do not want to shovel snow? No.

    The article also mentions a high-tech solution that,...MORE while unlikely to be implemented in the average driveway, remains an intriguing option.

  • 06 of 06
    Image of snow shoveling work done around a dryer vent.
    Learn why it's a good idea to keep excessive snow from piling up around your dryer vent. David Beaulieu

    There are some things in and around the yard that fade into the background for most of the year. You may even forget exactly where they are located, because that information is not important to you during the spring, summer, and fall. Then Old Man Winter comes along, and, all of a sudden, you need to be able to locate them (in order to keep them clear of snow). Some handy tips are offered for dealing with the problem in this article. Furthermore, you will learn the specific reasons why you...MORE should keep the area around the dryer vent free and clear of snow.