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snow-shovel

The UK's bestSnow Shovels2022 Review

What To Look For in a Snow Shovels

First consideration: do you want a full-size shovel for clearing the drive, or an emergency option that can stay in the car?

Both have their merits – let’s start with full-size shovels. Rounded blades are best for scooping and throwing snow – clearing it off pathways, for example. Alternatively, large, rectangular blades are useful for cutting through compacted snow, and pushing the snow around without necessarily having to lift it up.

For durability, I recommend looking for a wood or fibreglass handle. These are particularly useful if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, or heavy snow drifts. Plastic handles should be avoided as they can become brittle, potentially snapping when you need them most.

You’ll also need to think about blade size. The best snow shovel will have a blade around 40 – 50cm wide. These offer a good balance – you can clear a lot of snow, without the shovel becoming unmanageable. Bear in mind that the larger the blade, the heavier the shovel will be when loaded with snow.

As mentioned, there are also smaller shovels available that can tuck into the car. You might consider having a small snow shovel in the car during winter, just in case. With the UK’s unpredictable weather, I think we can all agree it’s always good to be prepared!

For this reason, I’ve chosen the AA Car Essentials Emergency Snow Shovel as my top pick. Of course, there are useful full-size shovels on this page too, but I like the ingenious portability of this collapsible AA snow shovel. It folds down to 24cm, taking up next-to-no space in a car door pocket or boot.

For full reviews of all the different snow shovels, check out the reviews below.

What Are The UK's Best Snow Shovels?

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES
best-snow-shovel AA Car Essentials Emergency Snow Shovel
  • Folds up for easy storage
  • Solid steel blade
  • Snow shovel comes in storage pouch
best-snow-shovel Bulldog SNOW1 Snow Shovel
  • FSC certified ash handle
  • Large scoop with metal edge for extra durability
  • Long handle reduces back strain
best-snow-shovel Draper Multi-Purpose ABS Shovel with Hardwood Shaft
  • Wide and deep design
  • Sturdy moulded plastic scoop with wooden handle
  • Comfortable snow shovel to use
best-snow-shovel Snow Scoop Shovel With Wooden Shaft and Plastic Handle
  • Lightweight yet durable snow shovel
  • Long, sustainably sourced ash handle
  • Large scoop

Read Our Snow Shovel Reviews

B0046RDLPY
5017086802300,5060114612730
Folds up for easy storage, Solid steel blade, Snow shovel comes in storage pouch,

AA Car Essentials Emergency Snow Shovel

best-snow-shovel AA Car Essentials Emergency Snow Shovel
FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Folds up for easy storage
  • Solid steel blade
  • Snow shovel comes in storage pouch
RATING
100
PRICE
Save 13% on Amazon

AA Car Essentials Emergency Snow Shovel Review

Snow can come down quickly, and it can sometimes catch us off guard. Being prepared can make all the difference, which is where the AA Car Essentials Emergency Snow Shovel comes in.

It’s a smart idea – a collapsible shovel to keep in your car in case of winter emergencies.

When it isn’t required, the shovel folds up flat and can be stored in a small, soft pouch. It can be kept in the car door pockets, or the boot, without taking up space during the year. The total length of the folded shovel is 24 cm.

If there is an occasion when you have to use it, unfolding the shovel is quick to do, and the product is locked in place by tightening a collet on the shaft.

It’s made of solid steel, so can be used for chipping or scraping snow and ice when necessary. Although, even when extended, it’s still quite small at 59 cm long, so it won’t be moving mounds of snow at a time. However, it still gives a bit of leverage and can be used to clear snow from around tyres.

Whilst it’s fair to say that this won’t be the shovel you’ll reach for to clear large drifts of snow from your drive, it’s still a practical item to keep in the car ‘just in case’. Due to the unpredictable nature of snow (especially in the UK – snow in March, anyone?), having something in the boot year-round can’t be a bad idea.

This is one of the best snow shovels to keep in case of emergency. It’s small and compact, so you won’t be tempted to take it out the car. Plus, it’s made from steel, not plastic, to help with chipping away at more condensed snow and ice.

Pros

  • Foldable design means it can be stored in the back of your car ready for emergencies
  • Once unfolded and secured it feels relatively sturdy
  • Comes with a carry case included so, if stored in your car, the boot will stay clean
  • Handle is easy to grip and helps maintain balance of shovel

Cons

  • Suitable for emergency clearance - not strong enough for heavy duty work or very compact snow
  • The locking mechanism can loosen and require retightening whilst working
  • At 59 cm long it's not suitable for clearing large areas as it will become uncomfortable
B0038JEIGM
5053440267057,5013693044492,0772040611491
FSC certified ash handle, Large scoop with metal edge for extra durability, Long handle reduces back strain,

Bulldog SNOW1 Snow Shovel

best-snow-shovel Bulldog SNOW1 Snow Shovel
FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • FSC certified ash handle
  • Large scoop with metal edge for extra durability
  • Long handle reduces back strain
RATING
99
PRICE
Check Price on Amazon

Bulldog SNOW1 Snow Shovel Review

Regardless of where you live in the UK, there are some instances where snow can come down thick and fast. The large size of this Bulldog SNOW1 Snow Shovel makes it a good option for quickly clearing large amounts of snow, perfect for getting that driveway ready to send the kids off to school!

The durable plastic scoop is lightweight, so doesn’t add to the weight of the snow, and the D-top handle makes it possible to maintain a good grip whilst shovelling. The wooden shaft is made from FSC certified ash, meaning that the timber has been sustainably sourced.

At 46 cm wide, you can clear a pathway-width of snow in one scoop, which helps with getting the job done quickly. This is particularly useful considering how snow-clearing tends to be an extra job – one that we don’t generally allow time for in the morning!

The shovel comes fully assembled, and is a useful item to have in the shed for when the snow inevitably comes. You’ll probably find lesser-prepared neighbours wanting to borrow it after an unexpected blizzard!

Overall, this is one of the best snow shovels in terms of quality and price. Bulldog are well known for creating quality gardening tools, and this shovel seems to be no exception. The long handle makes it possible to work without too much bending over, and the large scoop means snow can be cleared quickly and efficiently.

Pros

  • Scoop is strong and sturdy even under heavy snow thanks to the multiple reinforced areas
  • At 139.5 cm long, it’s comfortable for those above 6ft to use without hunching down
  • FSC-certified ash handle is warm and grippy even on freezing cold days
  • Sufficiently lightweight at 0.75 kg
  • Wide shovel area can be used to clear large amounts of snow quickly

Cons

  • Wooden shaft means this shovel will need to be properly cared for and stored inside when not in use
  • Plastic shovel is not as strong as metal - can struggle a little on heavily compacted and icy snow
B003D05P1S
5010559191772,5052464427775,5051395950116
Wide and deep design, Sturdy moulded plastic scoop with wooden handle, Comfortable snow shovel to use,

Draper Multi-Purpose ABS Shovel with Hardwood Shaft

best-snow-shovel Draper Multi-Purpose ABS Shovel with Hardwood Shaft
FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Wide and deep design
  • Sturdy moulded plastic scoop with wooden handle
  • Comfortable snow shovel to use
RATING
98
PRICE
Check Price on Amazon

Draper Multi-Purpose ABS Shovel with Hardwood Shaft Review

With its tapered, plastic shovel head, this Draper Multi-Purpose ABS Shovel is a multi-functional tool that is ideal for clearing snow as well as a range of other uses.

Unlike many snow-only shovels, it doesn’t have a cradled scoop, so it’s easier to use with gravel and grit as well as for shifting snow. This means that snow can be cleared, and grit spread, with the use of a single tool.

At its widest point, the shovel head measures 36 cm across, making it capable of moving large amounts of snow at a time. However, clearing compacted snow is more difficult than soft, fresh snowfall, and a metal spade may be required to break up more condensed snow first.

It has a 121-centimetre-long hardwood shaft, which connects to the shovel head via a large socket. As a result, the shovel seems strong and robust without weak joins.

Overall, this is a sturdy shovel that has a strong enough scoop to be useful for many different tasks. Not only is it capable of moving snow and grit, but also sand, dirt and rubble. Therefore, despite it’s relatively large size, it’s one of the best snow shovels if you want a multi-functional tool – it can come in handy in lots of different ways throughout the year.

Pros

  • Plastic construction means it’s lightweight and won’t rust
  • With a 36 cm wide head, this shovel can be used to clear large amounts of snowfall quickly
  • Versatile design that’s suitable for a range of outdoor tasks - can be used year-round for clearing leaves and debris
  • Long shaft makes snow clearing easier on the back with less stooping required

Cons

  • Plastic shovel may struggle to break apart heavily compacted snow and ice - you may need a metal shovel to break up compacted snow
  • At 120 cm long, users over 6 ft may find they need to stoop which may become uncomfortable over time
B002VPX0SQ
5028922027399,5017403049661
Lightweight yet durable snow shovel , Long, sustainably sourced ash handle, Large scoop,

Snow Scoop Shovel With Wooden Shaft and Plastic Handle

best-snow-shovel Snow Scoop Shovel With Wooden Shaft and Plastic Handle
FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Lightweight yet durable snow shovel
  • Long, sustainably sourced ash handle
  • Large scoop
RATING
95
PRICE
Check Price on Amazon

Snow Scoop Shovel With Wooden Shaft and Plastic Handle Review

If you want a basic shovel, that will help clear fresh snow, this Snow Scoop Shovel is a simple yet reliable option to go for. The plastic head is relatively wide, at 39 cm, clearing plenty of snow in one scoop, and it’s moulded to help keep snow within its cradle.

The ash wood handle is made from sustainably sourced timber, and the overall weight of the shovel is under 900 g. It’s well balanced, which helps make snow easier to shift, and the D-shape handle creates a comfortable grip.

Like many snow shovels, it has a metal front edge designed to improve rigidity. Although on some shovels this edge can also help with chipping through more compacted snow; this particular shovel is best used on recent fresh, powdery snowfall.

The plastic scoop may struggle to break down anything harder or more condensed.

All things considered, this is one of the best snow shovels if you’re looking for a quality option that is big enough to clear pathways without being too expensive. When the snow comes down, it’ll be a useful tool to have, but it won’t feel like a waste of money sitting in the shed for the rest of the year.

Pros

  • Good balance between the shovel and shaft means it’s comfortable to use for long periods of time
  • Wide plastic scoop can clear a lot of snow at once
  • A good quality, affordable option for clearing areas of freshly fallen snow
  • Can be used for snowfall as well as clearing leaves and garden refuse in the warmer months

Cons

  • Not quite strong enough for shovelling very packed snow - better on fresh, powdery snow
  • Handle occasionally needs relocking into place which can be frustrating
  • Some users have found the wooden shaft a little rough and chosen to sand it down for greater comfort

How to Choose The Best Snow Shovel

We might not always have to worry about snow here in the UK (with torrential rain and gale force winds being a little more common), but it’s still worth having the right equipment for when those extra cold spells hit.

Depending on where you’re based, you might see a good few feet of snow during any given winter. While the odd snow day can be good fun, having your path or driveway buried can become inconvenient pretty quick.

Whilst a snow shovel is unlikely to be the most-used tool in your shed, it’ll come into its own when the snow rolls in. They can differ slightly in design, so there are a few things to consider when choosing the best snow shovel.  

Snow Shovel or Regular Shovel?

Whilst a regular shovel won’t hinder your snow-clearing efforts, using one is unlikely to be as efficient as using a snow shovel. Considering snow tends to catch us off guard (when we possibly haven’t left much time allowance for snow clearing), getting the job done quickly can be key.

Snow shovels are broader than regular shovels, with curved blades that allow for a better ‘scooping’ action. The blade may also have ridges or grooves which can help stop snow from sliding.

Most snow shovels have plastic blades, which may seem counterintuitive given that they need to be strong. However, a plastic blade can help protect pathways and driveways from damage, whereas scraping a metal blade across the ground (especially with the force required to move snow) could scrape both the surface and the shovel.

The plastic used for snow shovels is generally rigid and strong, and sufficiently sturdy to support the weight of snow. 

Which Blade to Choose

Shovel blades usually come in either round or rectangular shapes. Round blades are best for scooping and throwing, while rectangular blades are best for pushing snow. Rectangular blades will have a sharp, straight edge which will be better at cutting through compact snow.

There’s also a range of blade sizes available. If you’ve got a large area path or driveway, opt for a wider shovel that can hold more snow in one go. Shovels up to 45 cm wide remain relatively easy to handle, and they can clear a footpath’s worth of snow in one scoop. However, more snow means a heavier shovel, so there is a downside to buying the biggest option you can find. Narrower pathways are easiest to clear with a smaller blade.

Most snow shovels have blades made from plastic. Plastic is lightweight and easy to manage. It doesn’t rust or require any looking after. Plastic blades allow snow to slide off easily, making the clearing process more efficient. They are also less likely to damage the surface underneath.

The downside to plastic blades is that they aren’t usually strong enough to clear icy areas or very compacted snow. In this case, a metal blade would be more appropriate.

Some shovels with a plastic blade have a metal edge. This can help maintain rigidity in the blade. Sometimes it’s useful for breaking up compacted snow, but there is still a limit to how effective a plastic blade can be at doing this.

Choosing the Right Handle

There are few things to consider when it comes to the shovel’s handle. 

Shape and Design

Most snow shovels come with a basic straight shaft handle. However, there’s some on the market with more ergonomic handles, as well as foldable handles.

While those with folding handles are unlikely to be the strongest snow shovels on the market, they are very convenient when it comes to storage. They are great for emergencies, as they can be stored in the boot of your car or in small spaces. The only downside is that they aren’t suitable for lifting large amounts of heavy snow at once – the folding mechanism naturally makes them a little weaker.

Shaft Length

To avoid stooping, you ideally want to choose a shovel that comes up to chest height. This can reduce the amount of pressure put on back muscles. That said, a longer shovel will require more arm and core strength, as the weight is held further from the body.

If the shovel is an ’emergency shovel’ that is kept in the car, a comfortable shaft length is less important because you shouldn’t be using the shovel frequently for long periods of time. If you need a shovel for clearing the driveway, finding one of a comfortable length is more relevant.

Construction Material

Handles are usually made from metal, plastic, wood or fibreglass.

Metal handles are lightweight and affordable. They tend to be relatively durable but need to be stored carefully in order to prevent rust.

Plastic is the lightest of the materials available. If you’re looking for an especially lightweight snow shovel, a plastic model is the best option. The downside is that it’s the weakest material and may be unsuitable for shovelling large amounts of snow at once. If you’re in an area that receives a lot of snowfall, you’re better off opting for a metal, wood or fibreglass shovel.

Wood and fibreglass make strong handles for gardening tools. These materials are best for heavy use, and shovelling lots of heavy compacted snow. However, wood will need regular treatment to keep it in good condition, and fibreglass can be very expensive.

Snow Shovel FAQs

How do you remove icy snow from the driveway? 

Icy snow is a lot harder to clear than fresh snow – although icy snow will only form if you leave fresh snow until the temperature rises then drops again.

When removing icy or compacted snow, it really helps to have a shovel with a strong blade – either a blade made from metal, or one with a metal edge.

Some people recommended spraying the blade of the shovel with a little oil. This should help you cut through some of the icy snow. 

Another option is to spray the snow with hot water and then shovel it. If there’s any puddles remaining (and the temperature is still low), apply salt to prevent it from freezing again. 

The best way to prevent icy snow is to remove fresh snow when it falls. Lightly shovel the snow on your driveway or path as it falls so that there is no build up. 

How do I prepare my driveway for snow? 

Luckily, we do tend to get a lot of warning before a big snowstorm, which means we can take steps to prepare for it.

To start, you should aim to seal any cracks in your driveway. This is because if water gets in and freezes, it can make the cracks a lot worse. It’s best to seal the cracks before the cold weather hits. 

The next step is to clean your driveway. Sweep away debris, then give your driveway a wash with either a hose or power washer. If you notice any cracks that become visible once your driveway has been cleaned, these should also be sealed. Do this before the temperature drops, so that your driveway has time to dry without freezing.

You should also inspect your snow shovel to ensure that it’s in good condition. A rusty metal snow shovel that’s been in the back of your shed for the last decade might need to be replaced… If you know you’re in for a tough winter, it’s worth investing in a quality shovel.

Finally, sprinkle salt on your driveway before the snow begins. This will create a barrier between the snow and your driveway, so that the snow can be shovelled away more easily.

Does it matter if I buy a snow shovel with a short handle?

Whilst any shovel will help with clearing snow to a certain extent, you may find that a shovel with a short handle hurts your back. If you’re limited by space constraints (be that storage space, or the working area), then of course you may only have enough room for a shovel with a short handle. However, for the most part you will find that less strain is put on your back by using a shovel that comes up to chest height.

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