Do you want to find the best snow shovel? We looked into 50 top models before purchasing the most promising 10 for side-by-side testing. We then put each shovel through five tests to assess its performance in deep snow, light snow, and ice. Our expert testers evaluated how well they pushed snow to the side and which shovels had the best ergonomics and were gentle on our backs. The results of our performance tests will assist you in selecting the best shovel for your snow removal requirements.
The True Temper 20 Inch Aluminum shovel was our favorite of all the shovels we tested. This shovel is relatively easy to use, tosses snow away quickly, and cleans snow from surfaces effectively. Only the Garant was faster on the ground, but the True Temper's classic scoop shape easily gathered and cleared the snow. It receives high marks in all categories but does not excel in any particular area. This is a no-frills, all-purpose shovel with everything you need to clear the driveway of annoying snowfall quickly and easily every time.
The aluminum blade of the True Temper is somewhat thin, and we noticed some flex when digging into heavier snow. Even though we had no problems with it, this shovel may not withstand extended use in areas with heavy and wet snowfall.
The ErgieShovel is a great all-purpose shovel. Despite having a short shaft, we found that the ergonomic dual-handle design of this shovel made it the most comfortable to use for extended periods. It pushed just as well as the other competitors and got an honorable mention for shoveling. The ErgieShovel is also one of two shovels we tested that disassembles into a smaller size for easier storage. It's also significantly less expensive than the competition.
Some people will be confused by the dual handle; some of our testers weren't fans of the design at first, but it quickly became second nature, even for those who didn't like it. Its plastic scoop also gives us pause in terms of durability. However, the ErgieShovel performed admirably during our testing period.
The Snow Joe Shovelution SJ-SHLV01 design is unique. Like the Ergieshovel, it has dual handles, but the shaft of the lower handle is flexible. When you throw snow, that flexibility acts like a spring, increasing your leverage and making shoveling easier. The Snow Joe is also the lightest shovel we tested, weighing only five ounces.
The disadvantage of this design is that when you push snow and want to switch to shoveling, the second handle on the spring shaft moves a lot, making it difficult to grab and slowing down the entire process. Still, the Snow Joe Shovelution is a great buy for the price.
The Ego Power+ Multi-Head Snow Shovel Attachment is the best electric snow shovel we have tested. It throws snow much further than you can with a shovel. It is much easier to transport than a snowblower, making it ideal for decks and other areas where getting a snowblower on wheels or tracks is hard or potentially messy. It performed very well in lighter snow that is less than 8 inches in depth.
When used with the recommended 4.0AH battery, this system is not light. It is less effort than shoveling snow but takes more effort than Ego's excellent battery snow blowers. There is less strain on your back, but you must still be aware of your posture to avoid strain. This strain increases in heavy snow, and we found this snowblower was ineffective in very heavy or deep snow. This attachment is relatively affordable if you already own Ego batteries and the Multi-Head system. But if you are buying all those components just for this snow blower head, this is expensive. While this is our favorite electric snow shovel, the Ego snowblowers, especially the smaller models, are much more effective in most applications.
The Garant Snow Pusher 24 was our testers' favorite for scaping and pushing. The 24-inch steel blade found concrete the fastest of the models we tested, cutting a wide path well. As its name implies, it wants to push snow more than shovel it. The shaft is wood, the blade and scoop are all metal, and the handle is plastic to keep your hand warm. These materials build confidence in this snow shovel's durability to withstand harsh conditions.
The Garant's scoop lacks sides, which means picking up snow and moving it is more challenging with this shovel than with models featuring more traditional scoops. At over six pounds, this is also one of the heaviest snow shovels we've tested, which can add to the fatigue of clearing a large driveway.
The AMES #12 Aluminum Scoop was one of the best for moving snow. Its deep scoop collected a lot of snow, and its short shaft was easy to choke up on to get more leverage. Although it's light, it still scrapes well. This shovel is also a multi-season tool, performing well at moving all sorts of materials, including snow, mulch, soil, and gravel.
This shovel comes with one major downside: ergonomics. Its short shaft forced us to hunch over to scrape and shovel. Consequently, the Ames was one of the hardest on our backs of the shovels we tested.
The Snowcaster 30SNC shovel is a specific tool for a specific job. We tested this in two distinctly different conditions. The first was after two inches of snow; this model shined when clearing our sidewalks. It did it much faster than any other shovel could, requiring much less effort from the user. While some other plastic scoops feel fragile and thin, this is notably thick and durable.
The second set of conditions was while a severe Sierra storm laid down 18 inches of wet and heavy snow. In these conditions, this shovel was unusable. There was just too much snow for it to move. There is no way to shovel or scrape with the Snowcaster. Even just pushing snow, it got too heavy and unwieldy. It's also worth mentioning that the Snowcaster was twice as heavy as the average shovel, tipping the scales at 9 lbs 6 oz — by far the heaviest we tested.
The True Temper Poly 18 shares many similarities with its sister product and our favorite overall model, the True Temper 20 Aluminum. To our eyes, it has the same shaft, handle, and overall length. Where it differs is the scoop. It employs a narrower 18-inch scoop made of plastic rather than aluminum. This change makes it a lighter-weight, more manageable package for petite individuals.
The scoop flexes dramatically, causing it to deflect over more firm snow or ice while scraping. It has a nylon wear strip, which makes it safer for the materials you are shoveling on, but it also adds to it not scraping as well as other models that we tested.
The Suncast SC3250 is the shovel that lives at our office throughout the winter. Does it have a flashy design? No. Does it win any of our categories? Nope. But what it does is perform admirably in every environment we put it in, making it reliable and versatile. It has the most dramatic bend in the shaft, and we liked the position this shovel puts us in when working.
Like other shovels using plastic scoops, it flexes and bends quite a bit. This attribute makes it harder to scrape down through severe ice. The metal wear strip on the blade saves it slightly in this regard.
The Suncast SC2700KDD shovel comes in two varieties: assembled (one shaft) or Knock Down (the shaft breaks down into two pieces). We tested the Knock Down version and liked the ability to break down the shovel for storage during the summer months. The scoop effectively shovels and pushes snow. It transitioned well between pushing and shoveling due to its 20-inch blade.
While in no way a poor snow pusher, the Suncast SC2700KDD ranked in the bottom half of the shovels we tested in this aspect. Its straight shaft didn't work as well for us as the more ergonomic bent shaft of its sister product, the Suncast SC3250. But this is the way to go if you are not interested in the curved shaft design.
Why You Should Trust Us
We tested these shovels near Lake Tahoe, which averages more than 400 inches of snow a year. We tried each shovel through different snow conditions, from deep and heavy slush to light and fluffy powder. We devised five tests to evaluate how well each shovel moved significant volumes of snow, pushed light snow, and scraped ice. We spent hours shoveling walkways, driveways, roofs, and our parking lot.
Our lead tester, Chris McNamara, has been living in the snow for nearly two decades and has been gear testing for 12 of those years. He has now tested more than a thousand outdoor and consumer products. He regularly removes snow for three houses and local businesses in South Lake Tahoe. Jason Peters has been living in Wisconsin for the last five years and is no stranger to moving snow. His most recent snow removal adventure was hitting a three-foot-tall snow berm in the middle of a highway and spending the next three hours extricating his Toyota truck by shovel.
Analysis and Test Results
Below is a summary of our test findings and how each shovel performed in side-by-side tests.
The Ames #12 Aluminum Scoop was the best at shoveling snow. Its deep scoop and short shaft make it super efficient at getting that snow over the snowbank at the edge of your driveway. It was followed by the True Temper 20 Inch Aluminum and ErgieShovel, which could not move as much snow as the Ames but were much easier on our backs.
The Garant Snow Pusher 24 excelled at scraping; nothing else we tested even compared. This shovel is ideal for clearing ice and compacting snow from driveways or walkways. Of the standard shovel designs, the True Temper 20 Inch Aluminum did much better than the rest because of its full metal scoop, blade, and ergonomic shaft. Most plastic shovels, even if they had a metal insert, did not scrape nearly as well.
We found the Garant Snow Pusher 24 was perfectly suited to the job of pushing snow. Its wide, flat blade got below the snow and moved it efficiently. An interesting competitor to the Garant was the Snowcaster 30SNC, which is super efficient in light snow. Its wide blade means fewer passes are necessary to clear off a surface. The caveat here is if it snows more than a few inches, the Snowcaster gets heavy, and there is no practical way to clear its blade. In the nine-inch storm we tested, we found this trait incredibly frustrating.
The ErgieShovel wins hands down for its namesake ergonomics. Its dual-handle design prevented us from hunching more than we had to. Other shovels with a bent handle design, like both True Temper models and the Suncast SC3250, were also easy on our backs.
Although there is no perfect shovel for all snow conditions, you can get a versatile shovel that will perform great in most situations you encounter. If you can only have one shovel, we recommend the True temper 20" Aluminium. If you want to cover all your bases, we enjoyed the complimentary combo of the ErgieShovel and the Garant Snow Pusher 24.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.