The Best Snow Shovels for Safely Moving Ice and Snow, Tested

Clear your driveway of snow and ice and stay injury-free with the right shovel for winter’s worst wallops.

Best Overall

The Snow Joe Shovelution Strain-Reducing Snow Shovel on a white background.

Snow Joe Shovelution Strain-Reducing Snow Shovel

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Best Bang for the Buck

The True Temper 18-Inch Poly Combo Snow Shovel on a white background.

True Temper 18-Inch Poly Combo Snow Shovel

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Best Snow Pusher

The The Snowplow 36-Inch The Original Snow Pusher on a white background.

The Snowplow 36-Inch The Original Snow Pusher

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Removing snow from the driveway the old-fashioned way might not be fun, but it’s a good-for-the-Earth way to clear driveways, walkways, and decks. Not all methods of snow and ice removal are as eco-friendly as using a snow shovel, so we carefully researched top snow shovel models and then tested them on driveways, paths, decks, and even on gravel. We shoveled fresh snow and drove a vehicle over sections of snow to test how they’d do on compacted snow and ice.

Studies have shown that chloride contamination due to salt treatments is toxic for wildlife, agriculture, and people long after the snow has melted. Shoveling snow by hand causes no harm to the environment—and heck, it’s great exercise. Plus, thanks to the high-quality, well-designed snow shovels of today, driveways and paths can be cleared more quickly than ever, and more safely, too, so users can avoid being among the more than 11,500 people injured shoveling snow every year.

Read on to see how each snow shovel performed in our tests and to understand the features that go into the best snow shovels.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Snow Joe Shovelution Strain-Reducing Snow Shovel
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: True Temper 18-Inch Poly Combo Snow Shovel
  3. BEST SNOW PUSHER: The Snowplow 36-Inch The Original Snow Pusher
  4. BEST LIGHT-DUTY: True Temper 18-Inch Aluminum Snow Shovel With D-Grip
  5. BEST FOR PACKED SNOW: Manplow RevolutionX 24-Inch Snow Pusher With U Handle 
  6. BEST FOR WALKWAYS: Emsco Group Bigfoot Poly Snow Shovel
  7. BEST ELECTRIC SHOVEL: Snow Joe 24-Volt IONMAX Cordless Snow Shovel Bundle
  8. BEST PORTABLE SHOVEL: Trazon Portable Folding Snow Shovel
A person using the best snow shovel to clear a path in the snow.
Photo: Tom Scalisi for Bob Vila

How We Tested the Best Snow Shovels

We tested snow shovels in several separate segments. The first tests were conducted in upstate New York and the second in a big winter storm in Montana. Once the snow fell in each location, we set to work to get an idea of how well these shovels performed.

As part of our tests, we drove over our fresh snow before clearing the driveway, packing it down into hard, tire-width trails. Then we used all the shovels to push or scoop snow from one side of the driveway to the other. We checked to see how each shovel performed at removing packed snow before using the back side of the blade to chip up the icy tire tracks.

Next, we used each shovel to clear a sidewalk or a walkway, comparing how well each did. Again, this step involved testing how well each shovel removed the snow and how easy it was to use. We then tested each shovel on a deck to see how easy it was to toss the snow over the railing. We also worked several shovels over a gravel driveway to see how they pushed along an uneven surface.

After completing those tests, we felt we had a solid grasp on each shovel and could recommend any of them with confidence.

Our Top Picks

We recommend the following options based on our research and hands-on testing. There’s a shovel on the list for just about anyone, so be sure to compare them carefully.

Note: All of the following shovels except for one (it’s noted) feature D-shaped handles large enough for gloves.

Best Overall

Snow Joe Shovelution Strain-Reducing Snow Shovel

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Product Specs 

  • Style: Combo
  • Materials: Polypropylene blade, aluminum handle, plastic D-grip
  • Blade size: 18 inches


  • The integrated lift handle makes shoveling snow easier, as well as making the snow easier to lift
  • With few parts and accessories, this shovel is easy to assemble
  • Polypropylene blade and aluminum handle are lightweight; easy to use in cold weather


  • Chipping snow was a little awkward as the lift handle can get in the way sometimes

Anyone on the hunt for a solid overall snow shovel will want to give the Shovelution from Snow Joe a look. This combo-style shovel features an 18-inch-wide polypropylene blade with a metal lip, an aluminum handle that snaps together, and an additional lift-assist handle. The combination makes scooping and pushing heavy snow across a driveway easier for adults or children and also makes lifting snow over a deck railing easier.

We must admit that, during testing, we didn’t want to like the Snow Joe. The additional lift-assist handle seemed like a gimmick, but did it open our eyes. This shovel was easy to use, required much less bending over as opposed to a traditional shovel, and provided plenty of leverage for scooping. The Snow Joe is also lightweight, meaning just about anyone can use it, whether adult or child.

We also liked that it was easy to assemble, especially considering it came in the smallest box in the test. Our only complaint was that the additional handle was a little awkward when we turned the shovel over for chipping, but it does come with a strap to hold it in place.

Get the Snow Joe snow shovel at The Home Depot, Tractor Supply Co., Northern Tool + Equipment, Staples, or Snow Joe.

Best Bang for the Buck

True Temper 18-Inch Poly Combo Snow Shovel

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Product Specs 

  • Style: Traditional
  • Materials: Polyethylene blade, steel handle
  • Blade size: 18 inches


  • No assembly is required; can be used straight out of the box
  • Affordable price for the quality polyethylene and steel construction
  • Lightweight build with leverage; blade won’t scratch a deck or a walkway


  • A big snowfall might take a while to clear using this shovel

From one of the oldest makers of outdoor tools in America, the True Temper shovel offers quality materials at an affordable price. The blade is made of heavy-duty polyethylene plastic and measures 18 inches wide. The steel handle comes in an oversize D-grip design for comfortable lifting. This design makes for a lightweight shovel that can handle most lighter snowfalls.

Our test proved that the True Temper poly snow shovel offers a lot of bang for the buck. First, we liked that it didn’t require any assembly—it came wrapped in plastic with a shipping label on the side. We also liked how lightweight it was without feeling like a toy or like it would snap in our hands.

This snow shovel was more than capable of handling the moderate snowfall we experienced during our test, and we liked that it wouldn’t scratch deck stairs or a brick walkway. The only downside is that cleaning up after a big storm might take a while with this shovel due to its narrow width, but we feel it is up to the job.

Get the True Temper poly snow shovel at Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Acme Tools, or Amazon.

Best Snow Pusher

The Snowplow 36-Inch The Original Snow Pusher

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Product Specs 

  • Style: Pusher
  • Materials: Fiberglass handle, polyethylene blade
  • Blade size: 36 inches


  • Heavy-duty construction can last through at least several snow seasons
  • The extra-wide blade can help throw snow more effectively
  • Tough and thick blade helps makes chipping a breeze; great for tire tracks


  • A little bit of a pain to assemble compared to other snow shovels

The “original” snow pusher, the Snowplow from JM Enterprises is beloved for its straightforward effectiveness. It’s capable of moving more snow than a traditional or combo shovel, making shorter work of larger driveways. The fiberglass handle lessens weight without sacrificing strength, and the sleek blade, which is made of advanced polyethylene, delivers extreme resistance to abrasion and wear.

The Snowplow was a joy to use during testing. With a little bit of force, the design of the blade throws snow forward so that clearing a large driveway or other flat surfaces is a breeze. The heavy-duty polyethylene blade was thick and tough, and turning it over for use provided plenty of chipping power for snow-packed tire tracks. The only issue we had was that it was a little bit of a pain to assemble, but it’s worth the work for its performance.

Get the Snowplow snow shovel at Amazon or Ace Hardware.

Best Light-Duty

True Temper 18-Inch Aluminum Snow Shovel With D-Grip

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Product Specs 

  • Style: Traditional
  • Materials: Steel handle with aluminum blade
  • Blade size: 18 inches


  • Aluminum blade keeps shovel lightweight but durable; lasts multiple seasons
  • Traditional blade shape chips ice off steps with little effort
  • No assembly is required; gets straight to work right out of the box


  • Traditional shape limits it to moving lighter loads

Even those with smaller driveways or who live in areas that don’t see a ton of snow might want a durable, long-lasting shovel, and this model from True Temper might be it. This light-duty shovel features an 18-inch-wide aluminum blade with a traditional shape as well as a steel handle, combining for a shovel that is light and durable at the same time.

During our tests, we found the True Temper aluminum snow shovel to be a great choice for light-duty work. The aluminum blade is tough, and the steel handle keeps the tool light. We also liked that we could flip this traditional-style shovel over and chip ice off steps with ease.

Also, this shovel didn’t require any assembly, and that’s a true benefit if a storm has already dropped a few inches of snow. But, a few inches is probably all it can handle since the traditional blade shape does make it difficult to carry heavier snow loads.

Get the True Temper aluminum snow shovel at Amazon, Lowe’s, or The Home Depot.

Best for Packed Snow

Manplow RevolutionX 24-Inch Snow Pusher With U Handle

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Product Specs 

  • Style: Pusher
  • Materials: Aluminum handle and polyethylene blade
  • Blade size: 24 inches


  • Wide-handled U-shape design allows for a lot of thrusts
  • Minimizes bending over; great for preventing aching backs
  • Padded grip for comfort and insulation; no need to touch cold metal out in the snow


  • Not practical for lifting snow; consider a second tool for this task

Anyone who’s ever driven over fresh snow and then tried to scoop it up off the driveway knows it can be an impossible task, but the Manplow RevolutionX Snow Pusher is up for it. This pusher-style shovel features a two-handed, U-shaped design with a padded grip, as well as a polyethylene blade and durable metal handle. The combination of these parts allows the user to generate some serious force, chipping ice and snow up from the driveway easily.

Testing the Manplow revealed its strengths and weaknesses. As stated, it’s great for generating force and chipping up packed snow. Also, the padded grip keeps the hands comfortable and insulates them from the cold metal handle. The design is also a big help, as it minimizes bending and fatigue. If there’s a complaint, it’s that lifting snow with the Manplow is impractical, though there is a handle attachment available to make the job easier.

Get the Manplow snow shovel at Amazon.

Best For Walkways

Emsco Group Bigfoot Poly Snow Shovel

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Product Specs 

  • Style: Traditional
  • Materials: Poly blade, metal handle
  • Blade size: 17⅞ inches


  • Lightweight design makes it easy to lift and maneuver shovel in wet snow
  • Blade is slick and snow slides right off for dumping
  • Easy on the body while shoveling light snow loads


  • Small blade isn’t adequate for heavy snow loads
  • Not ideal for large driveways and surfaces during big storm events

We don’t always need a heavy-duty snow shovel with a big bucket and metal edge on the blade. Oftentimes, clearing walkways and making quick work of small jobs creates a desire for something light and effective. The Emsco Group Bigfoot poly snow shovel fits that need. It’s not designed to heft heavy piles of snow but it certainly can handle reasonable loads. The snow shovel is simple in form, durable, and easy to grip and lift.

During testing of the standard-style shovel, we found it worked as the perfect companion for clearing walkways and my back patio area. We could run the edge along concrete or scoop and pitch light-to-moderate loads without working too hard. It’s certainly capable of clearing bigger driveways during light storms as well. For heavy snowfall, however, we would choose a bigger shovel capable of pushing through more volume.

We will be keeping this model as a secondary shovel for quick deck-, step-, and walkway-clearing jobs. Those who live in condominiums or apartments where small areas need occasional clearing also will appreciate this option. We like that the shovel is compact and stores easily as well. Keep in mind that the company offers a number of blade shapes and shovel styles using the same poly construction in case you need one a little larger or smaller.

Get the Emsco Group snow shovel at Amazon or Walmart.

Best Electric Shovel

Snow Joe 24-Volt IONMAX Cordless Snow Shovel Bundle

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Product Specs 

  • Style: Electric
  • Materials: Plastic auger
  • Blade size: 13-inch width


  • Electric auger saves energy and requires no lifting to move snow
  • Battery lasts for 20 to 30 minutes per charge (charger included)
  • Can clear decks and walkways quickly
  • 2-handle design makes it easy to grip and balance the head


  • Because of battery, each clearing session is limited to 20 to 30 minutes
  • Thrower projects snow forward rather than horizontally (up to 20 feet)

We were skeptical about using an electric snow shovel, but this electric snow shovel can make big jobs easier. We’re completely sold on the advantages of an electric snow shovel after testing it through a big storm. It zipped right through the snow.

The Snow Joe 24-Volt IONMAX is surprisingly lightweight and easy to handle. It also pushes through snow with little effort. When we first held the unit, we expected more weight. The two handles are strategically located to balance the head weight, so it is easy to lift. With the battery charged and installed, we simply used a push button to activate the auger.

It’s important to highlight the fact that this isn’t a replacement for a full snow blower. It can cut through snow quickly on a full driveway, though. When a driveway has only a few inches of powder, it’s a nice tool to have on hand. The main use will be on walkways, decks, and other tight spaces where shoveling is typically done.

When we used this electric shovel on less than 6 inches of snow, it pushed through easily and threw all of the snow forward. On deeper snow, we would push through a few inches at a time, gradually working down to the ground level. It worked quickly, and the battery lasted for nearly 30 minutes of use.

Get the Snow Joe IONMAX snow shovel at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Walmart.

Best Portable Shovel

Trazon Portable Folding Snow Shovel

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Product Specs 

  • Style: Telescoping handle
  • Materials: Plastic blade, metal handle
  • Blade size: 16 inches


  • Handle collapses for easy storage behind truck seat, in car trunk, or in small sheds
  • Locking mechanism keeps handle secured well when expanded and in use
  • Lightweight, but still strong and durable


  • Foam grip will likely wear out and eventually tear off
  • Not ideal for big driveways and heavy snow loads

The name for this shovel is a little misleading. The handle doesn’t actually fold, but rather collapses for easy storage. We prefer the design to folding because it doesn’t have a weak point with a hinge. A push button and locking mechanism hold the shaft securely in place. Unscrew the locking mechanism and push the button and you can collapse the handle to its shortest length.

We enjoyed testing this shovel. Its compact design can still heft reasonable amounts of snow because the blade is concave. It also has a metal edge for scraping ice, which is a nice bonus. Scraping is a little harder on concrete, but we would rather clear slippery spots than shovel over them and leave that ice intact.

While we think this shovel is great for home use and especially nice for homes or apartments with limited storage, we like it most for those who travel backroads and sometimes encounter snow drifts that require digging. The collapsible handle makes it easy to stash behind the front seat or in the trunk of a car. The locking mechanism makes the handle sturdy when expanded up to its full 48 inches, so we can carry a reliable shovel in our rig all winter. It even has a nice foam grip that helps with handling. We do think the grip will wear or tear off after a season or two of use, but that’s not a deal breaker and won’t impact shovel performance.

Get the Trazon snow shovel at Amazon.

Jump to Our Top Picks 

What to Consider When Choosing a Snow Shovel

Snow removal is easier with a good snow shovel, but don’t go ordering the first shovel you see online. Buying the best snow shovel might seem like a basic task, but only an educated customer truly knows what goes into choosing one. To help, we put together the following considerations to keep in mind while shopping for a new snow shovel.

Blade Design

There are three types of driveway and walkway snow shovels: traditional scoop shovels, pushers, and combination shovels/pushers. The difference mainly comes down to blade design.

  • A traditional shovel comes with an almost flat, 18- to 24-inch rectangular blade. In contrast, a pusher has a longer, narrower curved blade.
  • Pushers are excellent for driveways because they clear snow faster and with less effort. A traditional shovel is better suited to walkways and smaller areas where a push shovel may have trouble maneuvering.
  • A combo shovel has a slightly wider, curvier blade than a traditional shovel for both scooping snow and pushing it away. For driveways and larger areas, either a push shovel or a combo is typically faster and easier to use.


Snow shovel blades, which need to be lightweight yet rugged, are routinely made from one of three materials: poly plastic, steel, or aluminum. Each has pros and cons.

A steel or aluminum blade is best for clearing off all ice and hard-packed snow because these metals are light yet extremely strong and have sharper edges. Metal blades, however, can scratch decking and other wooden or stone surfaces. In these cases, and for light to medium snow, a plastic blade works well. Hardy handles typically consist of steel, aluminum, fiberglass, or wood.

Handle Features

Many snow shovels have straight handles, so learning the right grip is important to prevent strain. To shovel safely, place one hand as close to the blade as possible and place the other hand on the handle grip. Some snow shovels boast ergonomic handles, which are curved to lessen the user’s tendency to lean over and lift with the back (instead of lifting with the legs).

Another option is an extra “assist” handle that’s closer to the blade and is used to increase leverage and lifting power. These handles can be a big boost for children (or adults with bad backs), but they’re also all-around helpful for anyone who wants a more ergonomic shovel.

Some handles are even cushioned with foam to lessen hand fatigue. Many models feature wide D-grip handles, which are shaped like the letter D and provide a firmer and more comfortable grip than a straight handlebar.

Wheels and Maneuverability 

If snowfall is particularly heavy where you live, or you have larger areas to plow, a snow removal service might make sense, or you might want to consider a snow pusher with wheels. Unlike snow blowers, wheeled snow pushers don’t require any gas or engine upkeep, just old-fashioned elbow grease. The wheels make moving and depositing larger quantities of snow a bit easier, while the blade may be made of steel for greater strength, stability, and weight.


Gathering information on the best snow shovels is a heavy load, but don’t collapse under the weight of your questions. To help, we put together the following list of some of the most frequently asked questions (and their answers) about snow shovels.

Q. Is a metal or a plastic snow shovel better?

In most cases, plastic snow shovels are ideal. They’re generally lightweight, affordable, and durable enough for the heaviest storms—that is, if you purchase a good one.

Q. How wide should a snow shovel be?

It depends on the type of snow shovel and application, but the following can serve as a guide:

  • Traditional shovels should be between 18 and 24 inches wide.
  • Combo shovels should be around 24 inches wide, though folks with strength concerns will want to go smaller (18 inches).
  • For push-style shovels, consider the surface. Driveways can benefit from a 36-inch-wide pusher, while walkways might be easier to clear with a 24-inch-wide model.

Why Trust Bob Vila

Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.

Meet the Tester

Zach Lazzari is a freelance writer splitting time between the great outdoors, travel, and DIY projects ranging from camper builds to home renovations and maintenance. His home base in Montana is the perfect testing ground for winter products and snow equipment. With more than a decade of professional writing experience, he covers a variety of other projects and maintenance topics for

Andréana Lefton is a writer and educator, focusing on human rights and creating spaces of refuge—in our homes and communities. As a documentary researcher, she has freelanced with The Guardian as well as NPR- and BBC-affiliates. She’s written for On Being, the United Nations, and many non-profit clients in the US, UK, Europe, and Middle East. All that she knows of garden care and interior design she learned from her artistic mother, Jacqueline. She now applies these skills to her life in Chattanooga, TN, where home is an urban art studio with books piled everywhere. Follow her on Twitter.