Winter is a time for sledding, ice skating, and building a snowman. It is also a time for shoveling. If you are a new homeowner or are just in need of a new shovel you should know what your shovel options are before you buy so you make the best choice.
There are all kinds of shovels out there but the vast majority fall into three categories: standard shovels, scoop shovels, and pusher shovels.
The standard shovel is a simple shovel that is typically about 18 inches wide, give or take a few inches. This type of shovel has the classic shovel shape and is often made of plastic or metal.
The best part about the standard shovel is that it is easy to handle, particularly for the young or elderly, as the plastic varieties are very light. They also fit nicely into small spaces and are easy to store. For a light snowfall these are great shovels to own.
The downside of the standard shovel is that they are not very wide, so you have to make more passes to clear the snow. They are also not very deep so a serious snowfall will leave you wanting a bit more shovel.
The scoop shovel is the workhorse shovel for when the snow really flies. These shovels look similar to the standard shovel but they have a higher side to hold more snow and the face of the shovel is much bigger, again adding capacity.
The best part about a scoop shovel is its ability to move lots of snow. There is no replacement for a good scoop shovel when the plow goes by and you have 3 feet of snow to move. The fact that they hold a lot of snow also allows you to make longer runs of shoveling before you have to empty the shovel, saving you time.
The downside of the scoop shovel is that it gets heavy. Some people cannot handle a full scoop shovel full of snow, particularly if it is wet snow. It is also big so fitting into smaller spots may be a trick.
The pusher style shovel is a wide shovel with a curved blade that serves to keep the snow in front of you. As the name suggests, the snow gets pushed along so you can keep moving. These shovels come in plastic and metal, but metal is king when you want to push lots of snow or when ice is present.
The best part about the pusher shovel is that you can clear light snows very quickly. Because you can simply push them for several feet without stopping you can make some tracks.
The downside to a pusher shovel is that there is virtually no lifting capacity for snow. That means if you need to clear the end of the driveway after the plow goes by or clear a foot of snow, this shovel will not be the best option.
What To Do?
For people with a real winter it is a good idea to have each type of shovel. The pusher is the shovel of choice for the light snow, the standard works best to clear around the front door, patio, or small walk, and the scoop shovel is called upon for the heavy lifting.
Having an inventory of all three types will prepare you to tackle any snow Mother Nature throws at you head on.