Even people with a snow blower need to shovel sometimes, and our snow blower testers have plenty of advice on which snow shovels work best. When shopping, keep in mind that lighter weight means easier lifting, a rigid shovel is best (in the store, push a corner of the shovel into the floor to test for flexing), and a cheap shovel won’t be great. You’ll probably need to spend $30 or $35. Beyond that:
The handle: “Ergonomic” may not mean easy. Bent handles can make the pushing angle hard to adjust, and twisting the shovel to toss snow aside can be difficult. A shorter handle makes snow-throwing easier; longer is better for pushing—you can better tweak the shovel’s angle and use your weight. A wood handle is handsome but heavy, metal is cold, and plastic or fiberglass is often just right.
The grip: D-shaped. Be sure it fits your hands, especially if they’re unusually small or big. A padded grip is nice, as is an extra grip lower on the handle.
The scoop: Sturdy. Metal is generally more rigid than plastic but heavier. Steel on the leading edge can extend a shovel’s life and make it more effective in hard-packed snow, though the edge may scratch a delicate surface such as decking. A scoop about 24 inches across is good for a few inches of light snow; narrower is better when snow is deep or wet and heavy. A deeply curved scoop can clear a lot of snow; a shallow scoop is OK for pushing snow but spills when lifted. High scoop sides contain snow and can reduce flexing.
Bottom line. Look at our lineup below, and consider buying more than one shovel depending on anticipated need—one for lifting, another for pushing, for example, or one for dealing with regular snow and another for an icy plow pile at the end of your driveway.
masi polar plus snow pushers