The Best Snow Shovels
One is a must-have and three are best suited for specific tasks
Even if you own a snow blower, a good snow shovel is a winter essential if you live in an area that gets even an occasional dusting.
That’s because there are some places you just can’t get to with a snow blower, and other spots where a snow blower is overkill, like a narrow walkway or a wooden deck. But there’s another practical reason to keep a shovel handy.
3 Shovels for Specific Conditions
The Corn Scoop
Narrower than an all-purpose shovel, this typically has a wood or fiberglass handle and a metal scoop, which is more rigid than plastic. The result is an effective tool for a pile of wet snow, but the short handle doesn’t lend itself to plowing.
The ergonomic handle of this all-rounder is bent at roughly 25 degrees, putting the scoop flush with the ground without putting your back out of whack. The trade-off is that you can’t settle into your own angle for shoveling, which means your arms may tire faster. Look for a metal lip for most surfaces, but go with an all-plastic version for use on a wood deck, which metal can nick.
This design lets you cover a lot of ground after a light dusting. The broad face clears an extra-wide path, and wheels make it easy to roll around while you clear a large driveway or walk.
Looking for more power? If you want to plow through more frequent flurries, consider trading up to a power snow shovel, which splits the difference between a regular shovel and a single-stage snow blower to easily clear up to six inches of snow.
Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the November 2018 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.