Store Locator

3 Things to Consider When Choosing a Snow Shovel

Not all shovels are made equal. Here are three things to consider when shopping for a snow shovel this season

A person dressed in a red coat with black leggings, knee-high brown boots and brown mittens is holding a black shovel in their hands.  There is snow all around them.

With winter rapidly approaching, homeowners are turning their attention from garden equipment to snow removal tools. If your property doesn’t require a snow blower, or if your snow removal efforts involve smaller areas that simply need a quick clearing of the white stuff, here are some things to consider when buying a snow shovel.

Consider how much snow needs to be cleared

If you’ve ever stood in front of the array of snow shovels at your local hardware store and wondered why there are so many different blade shapes, you’re not alone. After all, a shovel’s a shovel, right?

Well, not exactly. The long and skinny designs are called pushers, which are great for clearing large areas like driveways using a minimum of effort. They don’t work well in deep snow though. This is where a traditional scoop blade comes in handy since their rectangular or square shape incorporates a deep well, allowing the user to pick up snow and throw it aside.

Material matters

Many snow shovels have their blades or scoops constructed from plastic since it is lightweight and less expensive to produce than other materials. A plastic shovel is also less likely to scratch a walkway or deck than one whose blade is made from metal or aluminum. But those materials are best for breaking up and clearing away stubbornly packed ice, which often accumulates at the end of a driveway.

Get a proper grip

The design of a shovel’s handle can, quite literally, make or break winter. It is best to lift a shovel with one hand as close to the blade as possible, to maximize leverage. However, this can put a strain on one’s back, which explains the popularity of snow shovels with curved handles. Such a design tends to place leverage points further up the handle, reducing the need to bend over and helps the user to lift with their legs instead of their back. Look for a wide D-shaped grip atop the handle for extra comfort.

Get more with CAA

If you’re looking for a new shovel, CAA Members earn two percent in CAA Dollars® when they shop online at Rona. If you need a hand shovelling, CAA Members save 10 percent on snow removal services from Yardly.

Image credit: aetb/iStock