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What is a snow shovel?

Shop for Shovels

Application

A snow shovel is designed primarily for the removal of snow.
A snow shovel is designed primarily for the removal of snow.

Most snow shovels can be used to scoop and lift the snow, however, some have been designed for pushing snow.

As shovelling snow can be a chore that most of us dread every winter, a quality shovel will save your time, your back and, over the long-term, your money.

If only we could use a hairdryer to melt the snow
For areas prone to large amounts of snowfall, consider using more than one type of shovel. For example, use one shovel to push snow to one side and another to lift it.

The blade

A deep scoop will be able to cup and contain the snow Snow shovels have a flat edge for cutting into snow drifts or ice, and a deep scoop for transporting and ‘containing’ the snow.’

Materials

The choice of material for the blade will be either a high strength plastic (such as polypropylene), aluminium or steel.

If you choose a plastic shovel, look for a scoop with a reinforced metal edge for chipping into ice.
A plastic scoop is lightweight and its glossy surface allows snow to slide off easily; perfect for prolonged shovelling. If you choose plastic, look for a scoop with a reinforced metal edge for chipping into ice.

A plastic blade is designed for light snowfall and those with smaller frames.  It is the cheapest of all three materials but can be prone to breaking under heavy-duty use.

Like plastic, aluminium is lightweight but is much stronger, which makes it ideal for medium-to-heavy snowfall.   When you have to start wading in your wellies through deeper snowbanks, an aluminium blade will stand up to heavier use.

Like plastic, aluminium is lightweight but is much stronger, which makes it ideal for medium-to-heavy snowfall.

Although a steel shovel requires more strength to use and is also the most expensive of all three materials, it will last you many years.
For clearing away heavy accumulations of snow however, nothing matches a steel blade.

Although a steel shovel requires more strength to use and is also the most expensive of all three materials, it will last you many years.

Scoop design

The blade with a Western pattern has reinforcing moulded ribs to give it extra strength for more heavy-duty or large capacity applications e.g. moving heavier, compacted snow. Snow shovels typically have a scooped blade, which usually comes in one of two designs:

1. Western pattern

The blade itself has reinforcing moulded ribs to give it extra strength for more heavy-duty or large capacity applications e.g. moving heavier, compacted snow.

With its flat, rib-free surface, this scoop is designed for for lighter, general purpose work, e.g. light snowfall.

2. Eastern pattern

With its flat, rib-free surface, this scoop is designed for for lighter, general purpose work, e.g. light snowfall.