Snow Shovel Buyers Guide
Many frozen fingers and aching backs were saved as a result of the invention of snow shovels. These handy tools have cleared many a walkway, making upright travel possible again by clearing away slippery ice and snow and saving the dignity of countless pedestrians. This snow shovel buying guide will walk you through the unique history and evolution of snow shovels, from their humble origins to the high-tech snow clearing masterpieces we know today.
Snow shovels have proven their value across the centuries, from being used by homeowners to clear small urban sidewalks to huge teams of shovelers clearing city streets. Used safely, they can be a great form of exercise while keeping you and your visitors safe in the snowy winter months.
You will learn about the different shapes and designs, as well as the most suitable materials to choose in a new snow shovel.
Looking for a way to exercise in the winter? Shoveling snow is a great cardio workout for your entire body, building muscle and burning calories, but can be dangerous if not approached with care, as you will see further on in this article.
From top manufacturers and price ranges to where you can buy snow shovels online, this guide will teach you everything you need to know to find the best snow shovel for your home.
In the early days, shovels were often the shoulder blades of larger animals. Handles were not added until much later. Shovels designed for snow removal became popular in the early 1800s as city ordinances across the country began calling for snow removal to be performed by homeowners. Teams of snow shovelers would be hired to clear snow in city streets and on sidewalks, often in conjunction with horse-drawn plows. Snow shovels in the 1800s often had wooden handles and flat metal shovel blades. The blades used then were much smaller than our modern blades, which made the task of snow removal very slow by today’s standards. Those hand-shoveling teams would have loved to see the advances we have made in snow shovel design!
Before plastic became readily available, you could expect a basic shovel to be relatively unchanged from the shovels of the 1800s, with wooden handles and metal blades. The blades have gotten larger over the years, however, allowing for more efficient snow moving. Snow shovels today can weigh as little as two pounds, with handles that can last a lifetime. The back-saving design of ergonomic handles has been a relief to many homeowners, and the newest inventions to hit snow shovels, such as wheels, have made modern shovels so effective they almost run themselves.
Snow shovels and snow blowers both have their place in modern snow removal. With modern snow shovels performing as well as, or in some cases better than, snow blowers, the line between the two is less clear than it once was.
Snow Shovel Pros
- Inexpensive, with prices starting at $15
- Lightweight – the lightest shovels weigh in at around two pounds
- Easily portable – throw it in your car and take it to shovel your friend’s drive too
- Require little storage space – can be hung on the wall in your garage, out of the way
- Anyone can operate – even kids can help out with a basic snow shovel
- No environmental pollution – the only energy expended is your own, so there is no pollution
- No maintenance costs – except for the occasional screw in the handle
- Easy to repair or replace – if you cannot find replacement parts, a new shovel is not expensive
- Fit well in tight spaces – small walkways, porches and other areas are no problem for a snow shovel
- Fast – most of the time you can clear a sidewalk in much less time than with a shovel
- Little physical strain to operate – many are self-propelled and you simply steer
- Cover large areas with ease – ideal for commercial sidewalks or large homes
- Ideal for people who are not physically capable of shoveling – especially elderly or injured people