Three best snow shovels

Jennifer Manfrin

Even if you live in an area that requires heavy-duty snow removal equipment such as a snowblower or even a plow, a snow shovel will come in handy for removing snow that piles on walkways, vehicles, patios, and decks.

When the snow flies, property owners are tasked with the job of keeping walkways and driveways clear. All that work necessitates a snow shovel. To get the job done right, you need a sturdy tool that's built to last and made to lift and remove the heavy snow and ice that often builds up in the winter.

To find a snow shovel that will stand up to your snow removal tasks, you need to examine your potential buys from handle to scoop. Read on for some handy tips and suggestions that will help you find the perfect snow shovel for your needs.

Considerations when choosing snow shovels

Anatomy of a snow shovel

Snow shovel handles come in various lengths and provide the leverage you need to lift and toss snow. Longer handles work well for pushing large amounts of snow from one area to another. Shorter handles are perfect for lighter snow removal tasks, such as digging out the snow around your car tires. Contoured handles are often preferred by individuals who are prone to leg or back strain. Handles are typically made of plastic, metal, or fiberglass.

Snow shovel scoops come in various sizes, too, with most ranging between 18 and 24 inches in width. Scoops made of plastic are lighter when it comes to lifting snow, but metals scoops offer better durability.

Expected snowfall

Whether you live in an area with mild winters or frequent blizzards, a snow shovel is a necessity. If your winters are mild, you probably don't need to invest in an expensive snow shovel for occasional sidewalk cleanup. On the other hand, if you expect several major snowstorms each winter, investing in a snow shovel with an extra-rugged build -- or even an electrically powered snow shovel -- is money well spent on a tool that will make your winters easier to manage.  

Areas you'll be shoveling

If you've got large snow-covered areas to contend with, a shovel with a wide scoop and a robust handle can provide the leverage you need to push and remove heavy snow. If you'll be uncovering cars or shoveling snow from areas around your home, such as your steps and sidewalk, a smaller snow shovel may be better for those tasks. Many homeowners need both a small and a large snow shovel to cover their range of needs.

Your physical abilities

Shoveling snow requires a lot of physical exertion. It's important to make sure your health is up to the task and to not overdo it. If you have health concerns or physical limitations, a smaller, lighter snow shovel may make the work easier for you.

Specialty models including compact, wheeled, and electric-powered are also available. For areas of heavy snow, these types of shovels are often the best choice.

Snow shovel prices

You can find quality snow shovels that range in price from $20 to $40. However, if you're looking for a specialized snow shovel, such as one that is powered by electricity or made for pushing extra-thick snow, expect to pay $40 or more.


Q. I prefer a lightweight snow shovel. What materials do you recommend?

A. Your best bet is a snow shovel with a fiberglass handle, as this material is both lightweight and durable. A plastic scoop will be lighter than one made of metal.

Q. Are electric snow shovels difficult to use?

A. Electric snow shovels can make heavy-duty snow removal less cumbersome, as they are easy to start and move large amounts of snow much faster than manual models. However, they are heavier than standard shovels, which could pose an issue for consumers with limited strength.

Snow shovels we recommend

Best of the best: Snow Joe 13-Inch 10-Amp Electric Snow Shovel 

Our take: More than just a snow shovel, it offers a sturdy design that's powered by electricity and perfect for consumers with serious snow to tackle.

What we like: Delivers more power than manual snow shovels, which makes it suitable for removing large amounts of snow. Has a rugged build.

What we dislike: On the heavy side compared to traditional snow shovels, so it takes some strength to maneuver.

Best bang for your buck: Suncast Snow Shovel/Pusher Combo 

Our take: An affordable shovel with a sturdy, ergonomic build. An excellent choice for budget-conscious consumers.

What we like: Durable yet lightweight. Has an ergonomic handle.

What we dislike: Has a metal wear strip that may get hung up on some surfaces.

Choice 3: Lifeline Aluminum Sport Utility Shovel 

Our take: Worth considering for anyone who needs a lightweight, compact snow shovel.

What we like: Has an adjustable handle and compact structure. Lightweight and easy to use.  

What we dislike: Not intended for major snow shoveling jobs.

Jennifer Manfrin is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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