For homeowners living in cold climates, a snow shovel is a must-have tool for winter storms.
The benefits of buying a snow shovel
The obvious benefit to buying a snow shovel is the fact that it shovels and/or pushes snow, thus clearing snow away from your driveway or sidewalk. But there’s more to it than that.
There are several different variations on snow shovels, most of which are intended to reduce back pain. And that’s what you want in a good snow shovel: less pain, combined with better shoveling. Essentially, the better the snow shovel, the less pain you’ll have and the more work you’ll get done in the least amount of time.
What to look for when buying a snow shovel
When buying a snow shovel, consider the material it’s made out of. Plastic is traditionally less durable, but some modern plastics may be more than strong enough to get the job done. Metal is a tried and true option, but the downside of it is that it can bend. (Which is still preferable to the breaking of a plastic shovel, generally.)
Generally, snow shovels will be made of a cheaper plastic or metal for the most part, and then have a wear strip at the bottom to promote longevity and add some extra power to the shovel, which is why it’s generally preferable to go for one with a wear strip.
Some shovels are designed with ergonomics in mind. How this is achieved varies, but generally it involves innovations to the handle.
Go for a shovel with a wide blade to make for quicker work. Conversely, smaller blades are great for smaller applications or for those who can’t lift heavy shovelfuls of snow.
Tips on how to choose the best snow shovel for your needs
There are a few things to consider when searching for the best snow shovel for your needs. Keep in mind the following:
- Choose a shovel made with durability in mind; generally, steel and aluminum components are preferred, but they are often in combination with plastic.
- Wear strips made of quality material like steel improve shovel life.
- Brightly colored shovels will help prevent losing a shovel in heavy snow.
- Remember there are portable options for use on road trips.
- A broad blade makes the work quicker, but can increase weight of each shovelful.
- Opt for shovels with better ergonomics to reduce back strain and risk of injury.
Snow shovel reviews
Ivation Heavy Duty Rolling Snow Pusher with 6″ Pivot Wheels & Easy Adjustable Handle
Clears up to 5 inches in a single pass
The tall concave shovel portion of the Ivation snow pusher can easily clear 5 inches of any type of snow—whether fresh or wet and compacted—in a single pass.
Ergonomic design and upright shoveling
Both the handle and the overall design are ergonomic and take pressure off of your back, shoulders and arms—common places of soreness and tension while shoveling snow. Additionally, you don’t have to stay strained and hunched over as with traditional snow shovels; the ergonomic design of the Ivation allows you to shovel upright, which maximizes the amount of time you’re able to spend shoveling as well, getting the job done a lot faster than you would with a traditional shovel.
The Ivation snow pusher can be height adjusted anywhere from 45 inches to 50 inches, ensuring you find the most comfortable setting for you, further improving the pusher’s ergonomics.
Compact and lightweight
At around 10 pounds, the Ivation Heavy Duty Rolling Snow Pusher is a nice, lightweight option that doesn’t add unnecessary weight you don’t need to the task of shoveling snow. Additionally, it’s compact enough to make tight corners, allowing you to maneuver it with ease.
The 6-inch wheels maneuver very well on snow and ice thanks to the nice, grippy traction they offer.
I’ve always used traditional snow shovels, so I was skeptical when I first set eyes on the Ivation Heavy Duty Rolling Snow Pusher. That said, I reserved my judgment until I used it, because I don’t like to judge a book by its cover.
I was honestly pretty impressed with the Ivation’s capabilities. To me, it looked unwieldy—but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. It was incredibly easy to maneuver and handled tight corners with ease. Also, I’m a big fan of the upright shoveling feature, which does take so much strain off of your back. Speaking of backs, the ergonomic claims from Ivation live up to the hype. I’ve never been so pain-free shoveling snow, which says a lot about the Ivation snow shovel.
The Ivation handled the snow outside of our home wonderfully. It was only about 4 inches deep, so I didn’t test the whole 5-inch claim; that said, because of the ease it handled 4 inches of snow, I’d definitely believe it could handle 5 in one pass.
We’re big fans of the height adjustment at our house. I’m 5-feet even and my husband is a little over 6-feet. With the adjustability of this shovel, we were both able to take turns shoveling without either of us feeling like we were straining ourselves to fit a one-size-fits-all shovel.
Assembly took only 5 minutes—we timed it. I had been a little skeptical about the assembly because I’m a plug-n-play sort of person, but it really wasn’t difficult at all to do.
What to like about the Ivation Heavy Duty Rolling Snow Pusher with 6″ Pivot Wheels & Easy Adjustable Handle:
- Compact and lightweight at just about 10 pounds
- Clears snow of 5-inch depth in a single pass
- Ergonomic design
- Easy to maneuver
- Good traction
- 6-inch wheels
- Height adjustable from 45 inches to 50 inches—great for people of all heights
- Heavy duty plastic construction with metal blade at the bottom for effective snow shoveling
- 26-inch shovel width makes for nice, large, wide passes
- Takes strain off back, shoulders, arms, etc.
- Enables upright snow shoveling
What to consider:
- The Ivation Heavy Duty Rolling Snow Pusher does require some assembly; however, the good news is that all of the necessary components and instructions are provided, and they have a customer service team ready and willing to answer any assembly questions you may have. The easy assembly should tank no more than a few minutes, so it’s not a huge burden, but worth mentioning nonetheless.
The Ivation’s single-pass shoveling ability combined with its capability for upright shoveling make it a great option for those who have back problems yet still want a highly efficient and effective snow shovel.
True Temper 20-Inch Aluminum Combo Ergonomic Snow Shovel
The handle is made of durable aluminum and features an ergonomic, curved design, which means you don’t have to bend as far while shoveling, ultimately saving a lot of strain on your back and shoulders.
Oversized D grip
The True Temper’s oversized D grip is specifically designed to easily accommodate a gloved hand and promote easier shoveling.
The blade is primarily composed of aluminum, but features a steel wear strip at the bottom to promote longevity. The combination style of the blade ensures it pushes snow just as well as it shovels snow, making it surprisingly versatile for a deceivingly unassuming snow shovel.
The True Temper snow shovel features a 20-inch blade, which promotes faster shoveling time by being able to hold more snow.
At only 5.5 pounds, the True Temper 20-Inch Aluminum Combo Ergonomic Snow Shovel is ideal for those who prize a light shovel that won’t add to the weight of shoveling already-heavy snow.
The True Temper 20-Inch Aluminum Combo Ergonomic Snow Shovel looks like your average snow shovel on first inspection, but looks can be deceiving.
When I was using the True Temper, I immediately noticed the difference in the ergonomic handle design compared to my traditional snow shovel. I didn’t feel myself straining to bend as much as I normally do, which is a big benefit for those like me who have bad backs.
I also like the wide 20-inch blade width. It’s wide enough to lessen shovel time without becoming unwieldy. Also on the note of wieldiness, the lightweight design ensures small people like myself don’t have to work extra hard while shoveling snow, which I appreciate.
What to like about the True Temper 20-Inch Aluminum Combo Ergonomic Snow Shovel:
- Durable aluminum construction in both handle and blade
- Steel wear strip to boost shovel life
- 20-inch blade makes quick work of snow shoveling
- Oversized D grip makes shoveling in gloves super easy
- Ergonomic handle ensures users don’t have to bend as far, lessening back strain
- Lightweight at only 5.5 pounds
What to consider:
- Though most people are pretty happy with this shovel, there have been some instances of bending. Because it’s metal, it’s more likely to bend whereas a plastic shovel would be more likely to break. That said, it should be durable enough to handle all but the heaviest, densest snow out there.
Straightforward and lightweight, the True Temper 20-Inch Aluminum Combo Ergonomic Snow Shovel looks and feels like a traditional snow shovel only better. The ergonomic handle design greatly reduces shoulder and back strain while shoveling, which is a huge plus for those who suffer from those issues.
Suncast SC1350 18-Inch Snow Shovel/Pusher Combo with Wear Strip
The snow shovel/pusher combo poly blade is 18 inches wide and 12 inches in height. Because of its width, you can shovel your side walk in less time, while the tall 12-inch blade is able to shovel piled up, compacted snow in one pass.
51 inches total length
At a total length of 51 inches, the Suncast 18-Inch Snow Shovel/Pusher Combo is long enough to give you proper leverage when shoveling heavy, wet snow. This reduces the amount of strength you have to exert on your part to shovel, thereby reducing back and shoulder problems.
Galvanized steel wear strip
The shove/pusher combo poly blade features a galvanized steel wear strip at the bottom, which strengthens the blade and boosts its overall longevity. Galvanized steel is super durable and designed to be able to withstand heavy use.
Steel core handle
The ribbed grip handle features a steel inner core, reinforcing the whole shovel-pusher to prevent common snow shovel issues like bending and breaking. Because of the steel core, the Suncast Snow Shovel/Pusher Combo is able to withstand heavy duty snow shoveling without failure every time.
Since the Suncast shovel is made with a mixture of poly and steel, the result is a lighter weight shovel compared to traditional metal-only options. At just 2.9 pounds, the Suncast shovel offers lightweight maneuverability while still retaining the strength that only steel can provide. Additionally, because it’s so light weight, it doesn’t add significant weight to your snow shoveling applications, which can greatly reduce fatigue.
The Suncast 18-Inch Snow Shovel/Pusher Combo has the look of your standard plastic snow shovel, so I wasn’t terribly blown away the second I opened the box it arrived in. However, I care more about usability than looks, so I put it to the test immediately.
Firstly, I’m a big fan of the long 39-inch handle. To me, it’s the perfect length to get great leverage without being too long. I’m short, though, so I was interested how it would handle (no pun intended) for my husband who is taller than average. He said he found it to be a pretty good length, despite his height. Unlike our old shovel, the Suncast shovel didn’t bother his back that much, and he attributed that to the length of the shovel overall, especially the handle length.
As for the blade, it’s a pretty good pusher/shovel combo blade, but what really makes it pop compared to a generic shovel is the wear steel wear strip at the bottom which really helps out a great deal when you’re shoveling icy or messy snow. Also, the blade dimensions definitely seem to be a big part of the shovel’s overall success. At 18 inches wide and 12 inches tall, it’s a large blade that isn’t too large. With it, you’re able to shovel a pretty hefty amount of packed snow, and you don’t have to take as many passes as you would with a standard plastic shovel.
Going back to the handle, the ribbed grip feels very nice. It’s easy to use with gloved hands. Also, the steel handle core seems to me to be pretty rugged, because we really put it through its paces and there was no hint of distress on the shovel’s part. I can definitely see this as being a go-to snow shovel.
What to like about the Suncast SC1350 18-Inch Snow Shovel/Pusher Combo with Wear Strip:
- Lightweight at just 2.9 pounds
- Strong 18-inch x 12-inch poly blade
- Galvanized steel wear strip boosts blade longevity
- Ribbed grip handle prevents slippage
- Steel handle core prevents bending and boosts strength
- 1 1/8-inch handle diameter is easy to hold
- 51-inch total length provides great shoveling leverage
- Handle length measures 39 inches
- Tasteful dark green color is unobtrusive yet easy to find in the snow
What to consider:
- It can catch a little when shoveling/pushing snow on uneven surfaces like wooden decks. That said, this is inherent in most snow shovels of this type; those who have uneven surfaces like gravel or wood may need to search for a specialty snow shovel to meet their needs. Also, it’s important to note this issue obviously doesn’t affect smooth surfaces like walkways and asphalt streets.
- There have been some instances of the blade wobbling after extended use—especially on icy snow. Luckily, Suncast has pretty good customer service and they tend to replace defective shovels.
A classic poly snow shovel reinforced with steel, the Suncast 18-Inch Snow Shovel/Pusher Combo with Wear Strip is a huge step up from standard plastic snow shovels. The ribbed handle grip and the steel wear strip at the bottom are nice touches that up this shovel’s usability.
AAA 4004 Red Aluminum Sport Utility Shovel
At just 1.3 pounds, the AAA Red Aluminum Sport Utility Shovel is one of the lightest weight metal snow shovels out there, period. This light weight design is part of what makes it so versatile as well as easy to take on the road or camping, which was a big part of the intention of creating such a lightweight shovel.
When assembled, the shovel length is easily adjustable; length can be adjusted from 25 inches to 32 inches, making this a great compact shovel option for people of varying heights and preferences.
The aluminum construction is what allows the AAA Red Aluminum Sport Utility Shovel to be so lightweight, yet strong enough to get the job done.
The AAA comes in three easy-to-assemble pieces. While some may view this as an annoyance, this is actually an intentional design choice, because this is a shovel designed to be super portable, so users can take it with them on the road or in outdoor environments away from home. It’s designed to be small enough to fit inside of a backpack when disassembled for extra convenience. This is also great for apartment dwellers who have no need for a huge shovel and who don’t have the room to store one anyway.
Because the AAA Aluminum Sport Utility Shovel is designed to be a great companion for travel, it comes in three bright colors (red, gold and blue) which prevents the shovel from being lost in snowy conditions. Additionally, you can get all three color options and have a different color for each application. For instance, you could have the red one for home, gold for your car and blue to take camping.
I was intrigued by the look of the AAA Aluminum Sport Utility Shovel. Mainly because, even when assembled, it doesn’t look like your traditional snow shovel shape. For instance, the blade doesn’t have a wear strip and it’s not rectangular. Because of this, I was eager to see if it’d get the job done.
The AAA shovel is great for short people like myself. The length range of 25 inches to 32 inches is more than enough for me. However, for my husband, who is tall, this shovel is a bit on the short side, and he would only really use it as a supplemental snow shovel for car trips. For me, though, I could easily use this one as my main snow shovel at home, so it really depends on your height and preferences as to whether this shovel is merely a portable option for the car or if it can also double as your primary snow shovel.
As for function, I was pleased with the way this unconventional snow shovel was able to cut into the snow. It might take longer for large snow shoveling applications, but it’s a fine size for those whose shoveling needs aren’t that big.
I like the color options. I could see myself having all three for different applications, because I like to be super organized like that.
The coolest thing about the AAA Aluminum Sport Utility Shovel to me, though, is the three-part assembly/disassembly. I tested the claim that it could fit in a backpack—and it does. The hubby and I have already decided we’re going to take this one camping because it’s just that easy to transport. We’re also going to get one for the car for when we have to make long road trips in snowy conditions.
What to like about the AAA 4004 Red Aluminum Sport Utility Shovel:
- Durable aluminum construction
- Ultralightweight at just 1.3 pounds
- Three color options: red, blue and gold
- Length adjustable: 25 inches to 32 inches
- Portable: Designed to be easy to assemble and disassemble—great for road trips
- Disassembles small enough to carry inside of a backpack
- Great snow shovel alternative for textured surfaces as it doesn’t catch/snag as much as traditional snow shovels with a wear strip
What to consider:
- It does require assembly; however, there are only three pieces to assemble and assembly is especially designed to be quick and easy, because this shovel is designed to be carried on the road for snowy car trips. Also, because it can be disassembled, it makes it really easy to store in very tight spaces, which might make this con a pro for a lot of people. Disassembled, it’s even small enough to fit in your backpack.
- On the small side: This shovel is on the small side, so it probably won’t be the ideal go-to solution for tall people. That said, its small size is due to the fact it’s meant to be a very portable option for road trips, camping and the like. And on the flipside, it’s great for petite people who find large shovels unwieldy, so as long as you keep these facts in mind, this con isn’t that big of a deal.
The AAA Aluminum Sport Utility Shovel is a super-portable, lightweight shoveling option. Because it’s compact even when assembled, it’s great for people who find traditional snow shovels too big. Because of its three-part disassembly, you can easily take it with you on the go and it even stores inside of a backpack, easily making this one of the most transportable snow shovel options out there, which is a huge part of its appeal.
Snow Joe SHOVELUTION SJ-SHLV01 18-IN Strain-Reducing Snow Shovel w/ Spring Assisted Handle
The Snow Joe Shovelution SJ-SHLV01 18-IN Strain-Reducing Snow Shovel w/Spring Assisted Handle is able to function as a fulcrum, shifting the shovel’s leverage down to the lower hand, which allows you to shovel more with less effort.
The ergonomic D ring grips are not only comfortable and easy to grip, they feature better hand positioning, which improves overall comfort.
Spring-loaded assist handle
The lower handle is the spring-loaded assist handle. Not only does it improve ergonomics and leverage, the spring captures the spent energy you expend while shoveling snow and releases it back into the shovel to help you power through your next pass.
The ergonomic design and fulcrum aspects of the Shovelution not only improve comfort and reduce the risk of injury, but they also reduce back strain as much as 30%.
Despite its robust bevy of features, the Shovelution is lightweight at just 2 pounds, thanks in part to its aluminum construction, which reduces the weight while retaining strength.
The additional bottom handle looks downright wonky, but you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, as they say.
For all intents and purposes, the Shovelutioin is more or less a standard snow shovel. The main difference is the greater ergonomics and the fulcrum aspect, which do make shoveling easier. I’m not entirely sure there was much difference from a standard snow shovel with the spring action on the lower handle, but perhaps someone bigger and stronger than I would indeed notice a difference.
On the note of bigger and stronger, someone who is very tall may find the lower handle awkward. For short people like me, it’s perfect. Overall, I think the best part is the ergonomics, which are truly comfortable as far as a snow shovels go.
What to like about the Snow Joe SHOVELUTION SJ-SHLV01 18-IN Strain-Reducing Snow Shovel w/ Spring Assisted Handle:
- Durable aluminum construction
- Lightweight at just 2 pounds
- Reduces back strain up to 30%
- Acts as a fulcrum
- Shifts leverage lower down for improved shoveling
- Ergonomic D grip handles
- Spring-loaded assist captures spent energy and funnels it back to the shovel for a natural power boost
- 18-inch wide blade
- 2-year full warranty
What to consider:
- The lower handle may be awkward for very tall users, who will likely have to bend over to use it, and for them, this may defeat the purpose. That said, users of an average adult male height or shorter won’t find this a problem.
- Some have found the wear strip doesn’t stand up that great to years of use or to textured surfaces, though this is a problem pretty universal to all snow shovels that feature a wear strip.
The improved ergonomics are the biggest selling point of the Shovelution. It does take away a lot of back strain, which is a huge help to back pain sufferers.
Each of the snow shovels in this best snow shovel roundup have a lot to offer, but ultimately the standout was the Ivation Heavy Duty Rolling Snow Pusher with 6″ Pivot Wheels & Easy Adjustable Handle for its unique design, which takes a lot of strain off the back and simply makes snow shoveling easier.