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  • Suncast SC3250 18-inch Snow Shovel/Pusher Combo

  • True Temper 1627200 18-Inch Mountain Mover

  • Garant YPP24EAKD Yukon 24-Inch Poly Blade Snow Pusher

  • Forest Hill Homeowner Aluminum Scoop Shovel

  • Tuffiom Wheeled Snow Shovel Pusher

Product image of Suncast SC3250 18-inch Snow Shovel/Pusher Combo
Suncast SC3250 18-inch Snow Shovel/Pusher Combo

For my 5’8” frame and preferred shoveling technique of tossing the snow in front of me, this shovel is the absolute standout of the group. It is the perfect blend of versatility and comfort.

Through two storms, I was able to dig, scrape, plow, and throw with minimal effort. The ergonomic handle allowed me to pick up a full shovelful without having to bend over, saving strain on my lower back and legs.

A slight bend in the knees is all it takes to toss a full scoop onto the snow pile.

This shovel surprised me at how well its ergonomic handle allows it to plow. Rather than having to push down at an angle like with a straight-handled shovel, I was able to push horizontal to the ground. This means that more force goes forward rather than down, more easily avoiding obstructions.

The shovel’s metal edge clears down to the asphalt; during testing it removed ice and left-behind snow with only one or two extra scrapes. At only 18 inches wide, this shovel isn’t going to plow a massive amount of snow, but it plows 18 inches really well.

My only qualm with this Suncast is that its handle shape makes it tough to throw snow behind me. This isn’t a big deal, since it’s better ergonomically to turn and throw anyway, but it did make me adjust my technique.

Once I finished testing all the shovels on our list, this Suncast is the shovel that I used to finish ridding my deck and walkways of snow.

Pros

  • Ergonomic handle

  • Plowing is easy and smooth

  • Able to maneuver around and under objects

Cons

  • Handle limits throwing directions

  • Small scoop

Product image of True Temper 1627200 18-Inch Mountain Mover
True Temper 1627200 18-Inch Mountain Mover

If you’re looking for a straightforward, no-frills shovel to clear snow at a low cost, we recommend the True Temper Mountain Mover. This product is good at one basic technique: bending down, scooping some snow, then throwing the snow. Will you actually be able to move mountains of snow with it? Probably not, at least not quickly, but you’ll be able to clear a small-to-medium size driveway.

While moving mass quantities of snow is not what these straight-handled shovels are best at, what they are great for is getting snow out of tight places. If your primary task is digging out a car, or clearing off a deck and stairs, the Mountain Mover is a fantastic option at much lower price than most of the feature-rich shovels that we tested.

This shovel is also a good option if you’re looking to supplement a larger, plow-style shovel. Most of those cannot actually lift the snow up onto a pile, so you need a shovel like the Mountain Mover to actually get the plowed snow off your driveway.

There’s no question that straight-handled shovels are harder to use for long periods of time. It was a challenge to keep good form when using the Mountain Mover, so my back started to ache after a short time. And while it can plow and scrape, it’s not great at either task.

That said, there’s a reason that these shovels are still ubiquitous. They’re simple to use and they get the job done. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option at a lower cost than the True Temper Mountain Mover.

Pros

  • Affordable price

  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Backaches can occur after long sessions

  • Not great for plowing or scraping

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Product image of Garant YPP24EAKD Yukon 24-Inch Poly Blade Snow Pusher
Garant YPP24EAKD Yukon 24-Inch Poly Blade Snow Pusher

This is another solid ergonomic shovel, with a deep curve in the handle so that you don’t have to bend over nearly as much to lift. It plowed well, pushing a lot of snow with the 24-inch scoop, and was still easy enough to control on decks and stairs.

That said, this product is an example of bigger not always being better. The extra 6 inches of scoop size over the Suncast means that a full load is quite a bit heavier. Trying to lift that much extra snow onto a pile was very tiring, even with the ergonomic handle. Not to say that I couldn’t lift it, but I could feel the difference.

The other issue with this product is that it simply didn’t scrape well. It doesn’t have a metal edge, and the plastic did not cut through ice or compacted snow. I tried to chip some thin sheets of ice off of my deck with it, and it couldn’t do the job—I had to bring in a different shovel.

Pros

  • Comfortable ergonomic handle

  • Plows snow easily

Cons

  • Large size makes lifting difficult

  • Very bad at scraping ice

Product image of Forest Hill Homeowner Aluminum Scoop Shovel
Forest Hill Homeowner Aluminum Scoop Shovel

This is one of our favorite straight-handled shovels. It’s functional, durable, and one of the best looking with its beautiful wood handle and shiny blade made of thick aluminum.

The Forest Hill shovel isn’t just for snow. It’s more versatile and useful for garden or farm tasks. Its shorter handle makes it slightly more compact than most of the other shovels, and it’s well-balanced. This is a product that just feels good in your hands and is easy to use.

Objectively, there are a few hits against the Forest Hill shovel. Its price, of course, but also the lack of steel or composite wear edge for the blade, and a non-ergonomic design are both areas where other shovels can claim an advantage. The thick aluminum of the blade didn’t show much wear after use, so even without a steel edge, you should still expect the Forest Hill to last a long time.

The design of the blade is best-suited for scooping, and it can pick up a lot of snow (or dirt, or other materials) at once. There’s a limited amount of plowing action, though. After seeing complaints online, we were concerned that snow would stick to the aluminum blade, but we never saw that ourselves. It’s possible that our snow was too wet and the ambient temperature too high to cause sticking.

In any event, a shot of cooking spray or silicone lubricant will make snow slide off smoothly no matter what the temperature. At 5.5 pounds, you’ll get a good upper body workout with the Forest Hill, but it is still a great shovel to use.

Pros

  • Versatile

  • Well-balanced

  • Classic look

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Non-ergonomic design

  • No steel wear edge

Product image of Tuffiom Wheeled Snow Shovel Pusher
Tuffiom Wheeled Snow Shovel Pusher

There are a lot of reasons I don’t recommend a pure plow shovel for most homeowners. I find that they take more effort, and you can’t actually lift the snow to get it up on a pile, which is a core element of shoveling. But if you’re committed to getting a pure plowing shovel, this is the one you should get, if it’s in your budget.

Is it the most over-engineered snow shovel that I’ve ever seen? Absolutely. But that overengineering has led to smooth and easy use. The wheels take away a great deal of friction, so you can actually push as much snow as the 26-inch blade can hold.

What’s more, it is adjustable in almost every direction. The handle can be shortened or lengthened, the angle of the handle can change, and the angle of the blade itself can swivel left and right, just like a real snowplow. This means that you can find the right combination for both your body type and specific usage.

It’s still a plow-style shovel, so there’s no way to actually move the snow up onto a pile. Wherever you stop pushing is where the snow will stay. And you’re certainly not going to be using this to clear stairs or decks. But when it comes to moving the snow from one part of your driveway to another, there are few that can move more with less effort.

Pros

  • Wheels make plowing easy

  • Adjustable

  • Durable construction

Cons

  • Price

  • Cannot lift or toss snow

Meet the testers

Dan Roth

Dan Roth

Contributor

@boston_auto

Dan Roth is an editor, writer, and automotive journalist.

See all of Dan Roth's reviews
Jean Levasseur

Jean Levasseur

Contributor

Jean Levasseur became a professional writer over a decade-long career in marketing, public relations, and technical writing. After leaving that career to stay home to care for his twin boys, Jean has continued to write in a variety of freelance roles, as well as teaching academic writing at a local university. When he's not reviewing tools or chasing toddlers around the house, he's also an avid fiction writer and a growing woodworker.

See all of Jean Levasseur's reviews

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