Snow shoveling might be a necessary activity every winter, at least if we don’t want to get barricaded by a wall of snow or make every trip across the driveway a potential addition to the Final Destination franchise, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as we sometimes make it. Oftentimes, we simply decide to make do with whatever snow shovel we have on hand or happened upon at the hardware section, putting ourselves – and our backs, in particular – through more strain than strictly necessary. And if you just so happen to be in the taller bracket of the demographic? You’d find yourself bent double with most of the options out there, putting even more pressure on your back with the strain of leaning down at 90° before you can lift up a scoop of snow, repeating the potentially damaging – and certainly uncomfortable – chore over and over again, until your driveway’s clean, and then again and again after the next rounds of snow. It’s a bleak picture, but it doesn’t have to be – pick the right shovel, and despite an above average height you’ll find yourself working away with minimal discomfort. Here are a couple of our suggestions for the best contenders.
Suncast SC5350 20-Inch Snow Shovel/Pusher Combo
When it comes to snow shovels, the right ergonomic choice could make all the difference in how much we strain ourselves clearing out the heavy slush choking up the drive. Our top pick comes with one such ergonomic feature, with an S-bend to the handle – the purpose of this is to ensure that when you’re gripping the handle to shovel, your arm won’t have to reach farther down the handle, thereby eliminating the risk of you putting undue pressure on yourself, particularly on your lower back. For taller people, this is a blessing, since this keeps us from having to fold ourselves in half with every scoop of snow we have to shovel. Since you get to keep your back straight as you push or shovel snow, and combined with the D-grip handle, the whole process is less strenuous and speeds up how long it takes you to get the job done.
The unit features a galvanized steel wear strip, making it easier to cut into hardened chunks of ice and snow, while the non-stick graphite of the blade means you won’t have to worry about snow caking up or sticking to your shovel, prompting you to have to bang or shake it out at intervals. The 20 inch by 30 inch blade makes for a roomy scoop with enough depth to shovel up a considerable amount of snow with every lift, making the job quicker and easier, while the rugged, heavy-duty construction makes it perfect for tackling tough and close-packed snow, nonetheless remaining lightweight enough to be user-friendly.
KEN’S BUDGET PICK
Snow Joe SHOVELUTION SJ-SHLV01 Snow Shovel
Snow Joe completely revolutionizes the concept of an ergonomic snow shovel with this brilliant – and brilliantly budget-friendly – unit. Going right into the physics of what actually causes us lower body strain and heightened heart rates when shoveling, and then coming up with a design to counteract these phenomena, the shovel features a strain-reducing, spring-loaded handle as the solution to all our bendy-back problems. Like the main handle of the unit, this too comes with a comfortable D-ring grip, but the second handle, shorter and located at an angle, ensures that you don’t have to bend to brace your lower hand against the shovel when digging into snow. This means you get to keep your spine straight, since the arm you’d typically brace lower down the handle is being adequately supported. This system also gives you better leverage to improve the efficiency of shoveling, transferring the strain of using our lower torso when digging and lifting, and distributing it higher, to the upper body, instead. The spring-loaded assist handle also holds in the stored or potential energy generated from throwing or shucking away the snow you’d dug up, resetting the shovel for the next load rather than letting your body absorb the aftershocks.
Game-changing mechanics aside, the unit features an 18-inch wide blade with an aluminum wear strip, to let you split up hardened ice and caked snow for easier scooping. Thanks to the brilliance and effectiveness of this design, we certainly don’t think it’s cheesy to say this shovel’s got your back.
Ivation Heavy Duty Rolling Snow Pusher/Shovel
Another addition to the list to switch up what we generally think of at the mention of ‘snow shovels’, this shovel-pusher combo lets you clear out up to 5 inches of snow in a single pass, without even having to bend – which is great news, and not just for tall folks. Adjustable handle lengths between 45 to 50 inches make this a versatile unit for use by the family, with the angled, concave design of the blade engineered for the most effective snow-shoveling – rounded grooves push the snow outward while the sharp, flat edge of the blade sits directly above surfaces like asphalt to cut straight through up to 5 inches of packed snow. The handlebars are angled just right to give you the appropriate leverage to push through a snow-pile without expending any excessive or unnecessary elbow-grease, while the blade’s 25 by 13 inch dimensions allow for high-capacity snow shoveling and pushing, 6-inch rubber wheels with the appropriate treads to give your unit the grip it needs when navigating slush and snow.
Suncast SC3250 18-Inch Snow Shovel/Pusher Combo
A smaller cousin of our top pick, this unit also features a curved blade, this time of dimensions 18 by 12 inches if you’re in need of something smaller or narrower for those hard to reach spaces. The angled curve of the blade pushes snow outward, the steel wear strip fitting snug to flat surfaces to scrape snow straight off, sharp enough to break up ice and slush that’s caked up solid. At a length of 52.5 inches, the unit features the S-bend of our top pick too, helping you maintain a straight spine and eliminating excessive bending and straining by letting you brace your lower arm on the handle without having to fold yourself over for it.
- The Spruce: https://www.thespruce.com/snow-shoveling-tips-2132769
- The Spruce: https://www.thespruce.com/how-do-you-stay-warm-shoveling-snow-2132764
- Ergonomics Help:
- Spine-Health: https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/ergonomics/snow-shoveling-techniques-prevent-low-back-injuries