Best snow shovels for seniors in 2022
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Published Sep 24, 2022 9: 15 AM
If you live in an area that receives snow in winter, you will need a snow shovel. Although shoveling snow can be hard work and painful for seniors and people with chronic pain or joint or muscle problems, it is the best and most affordable way to dig out after a snowstorm. There are some health risks associated shoveling snow. We recommend that older homeowners with underlying medical concerns hand off the responsibility. The best snow shovels to seniors will help you safely clear your driveways and walkways if you have to.
- Best overall: True Temper 18-inch Ergonomic Mountain Mover
- Best pusher: The Snowplow 36-inch Wide Model
- Best with wheels: Orientools Heavy Duty Rolling Snow Pusher
- Best ergonomic: Snow Joe Shovelution Strain-Reducing Snow Shovel
- Best budget: True Temper 16-inch Poly Snow Shovel
Before you buy: The health risks of shoveling snow
Shoveling snow is hard work. It is not a physically demanding chore that you should be doing every year if you don’t exercise or do any other household chores. With poor form, poor fitness, or poor equipment, you can hurt your back, and put yourself at an increased risk of a heart attack.
In our guide to the best snow blowers for elderly people, we spoke to Dr. Claire Ankuda, assistant professor of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai hospital in New York, who warned that clearing snow is always risky for older people with physical limitations, and that same advice applies here.
Snow shoveling can cause a cardiac event by pushing your heart and cardiovascular system to the limit. It is even more dangerous if you have a pre-existing condition like coronary disease, according to the American Heart Association.
Snow shoveling is a strenuous exercise for the heart. Your blood pressure will rise as you lift and lower your arms. This will put more strain on the heart. Cold air that you inhale can also cause problems by constricting blood vessels, including the coronary arteries.
We recommend that anyone suffering from muscle, joint, or heart disease hire professionals to remove snow from their homes. If that isn’t an option, buy a snow blower and use it as much as possible before picking up a snow shovel. A snow blower won’t reach every corner of your outdoor space. Therefore, homeowners will often need to use a shovel from time-to-time. You may need to shovel occasionally. Stretch your legs before you start to warm up. Take frequent breaks.
How we picked the best snow shovel for seniors
I’ve been writing about gear for over a decade for sites like TechnoBuffalo, CNN Underscored, and Popular Science. I have covered everything, from the best snow blowers to energy-efficient air conditioners, in that time. To put this guide together, I drew on PopSci‘s past research and personal insight for recommending the best snow blowers for elderly people and the best snow shovels. To ensure that our recommendations are current, I also took into account recent reviews from experts as well as users.
What to look for when picking the best snow shovel
A snow shovel should be lightweight, durable, and ergonomically designed to put less strain on your back. Everything, from the material to how the scoop is made and the handle shape, will have a significant impact on the overall experience. Don’t grab the first one you see at the hardware store on the day of a blizzard. These are some things to keep in mind when shopping for a snow shovel.
There are three main types of snow shovels. They are categorized by the shape of the blades or the part that is used for pushing, scooping and lifting snow. Some shovels can lift snow while others can push it. Some aren’t designed for snow removal.
A corn scoop shovel ,, also known as a grain shovel, has a straight handle and a flat knife in the shape a spade. They are often strong enough to cut through heavy, ice-covered snow but they are not the best choice for shoveling. The narrow, flat blade is not designed to carry much snow and can’t be used for pushing it around.
A snow shovel was designed to push snow out the way, not scoop it up. The wide, curved blade makes it easy to move light, unpacked snow from long driveways and walkways. Although a pusher blade is easier to use in drier snow, they are more difficult to maneuver on stairs and narrow paths.
A combo shovel makes it possible to have both a corn scoop and a pusher. They have a curved or bent handle, a wide blade and a deep well that can scoop dense snow. The ergonomic handle allows you to scoop more snow without straining your back.
Realistically we recommend that anyone who receives snow multiple times per year use a combination shovel and pusher. The best universal option is the combo shovel. It can handle all types of snow well. Depending on your home’s layout, you may be capable of using a pusher to clear snowy paths. This is safer and easier.
The handle design of a snow shovel’s handle is also important. A lot of basic shovels have a straight handle that allows you to dig into snowbanks. However, you shouldn’t have a straight handle. It makes shoveling more difficult and puts strain on your back.
A shovel with a curved handle is a better choice. The ergonomic curve of the handle will position your leading hand higher, which will help you to have a better posture and less back pain. They are just as durable and stable as any other shovel so there is no downside.
Some snowshovels have a more prominent bend near the blade. This is a tradeoff. Although the deep-bend handle is easier on the back, it requires more effort to lift snow and toss it aside.
Manufacturers can make shovel blades out of any kind of material, including aluminum and steel. A lighter shovel is almost always better for the average homeowner so plastic is the best choice. It is lightweight but still provides excellent durability for pushing and scooping. While aluminum or steel shovel blades are more effective at breaking down icy snow, they are heavier and can cause injury. Metal shovels can also scratch or damage delicate surfaces such as wood patios and stone tiles.
While the snow shovel is a simple piece of equipment, there are some extras that can be found on more expensive models. Some shovels have a wear strip. This is a small metal or plastic strip that protects the blade’s end. We recommend that you look for a plastic strip with a rounded edge if possible.
There are also useful third-party accessories: If you buy a shovel with a straight handle, you can get an attachable front-hand grip for about $10, which can improve your posture just like a curved handle.
The best snow shovels for seniors: Reviews & Recommendations
The snow shovel is not a difficult tool, but it is worth investing in the right one. Keep safety in mind and get a shovel that is easier on your body. We hope you will have a pleasant winter season with the best snow shovels for seniors.
Best overall: True Temper 18-inch Ergonomic Mountain Mover
Why it was selected : The True Temper’s Mountain Mover has a wide blade, ergonomic handle and a lightweight, durable knife.
- Weight: 3 pounds
- Type: Combo
- Material: Plastic, metal
- Handle length: 37.4 inches
- Blade width: 18 inches
- Comfortable design
- Strong, wide blade
- We wish a second grip on the handle came standard
The True Temper 18-inch Ergonomic Mountain Mover features a durable design, a curved aluminum handle, and an 18-inch-wide plastic blade. It is lightweight at just 3 pounds and the combo-style blade makes it an ideal tool for clearing small patios or long walkways. It has a large grip that can be used to scoop snow. The blade also features a plastic wear strip that will prolong its life and prevent it from goinguge your hardwood deck.
Best pusher: The Snowplow 36-inch Wide Model
Why it made the cut: The Snowplow’s 36-inch blade makes it a breeze to uncover wide surfaces.
- Weight: 5. 84 pounds
- Type: Pusher
- Material: Plastic, fiberglass
- Handle length: 47 inches
- Blade width: 36 inches
- Wide blade
- Works well on various surfaces
- Great for breaking up ice
The ultrawide Snowplow shovel can be used to cut paths in unpacked snowfall along sidewalks and driveways. It features a 36-inch plastic blade, allowing users to create a huge path in a single pass. It can also be flipped over to have a sharp edge that can be used to scrape or break up clumps.
It is worth noting that the Snowplow will need to be assembled before you can use it. Some reviewers also noted that the bolts on the shovel may come loose if they are not properly installed. It’s worth the effort to prepare your snowplow for clearing paths.
Best with wheels: Orientools Heavy Duty Rolling Snow Pusher
Why it was chosen : Snow pusher’s heavy-duty rubber tires make it easy to move light-to moderate snow.
- Weight: 12.3 pounds
- Type: Pusher
- Material: Plastic, steel
- Handle length: 45 – 50 inches
- Blade width: 25 inches
- Heavy duty design
- Large tires
- Adjustable handle
The OrienTools Heavy Duty Rolling snow shovel allows you to create a path without lifting or scooping any snow. It’s a 25-inch shovel blade on wheels, with a wide, two-handed handle that you can push like a hand truck or a shopping cart, creating a path through up to 5 inches of snow. Although it isn’t cheap, its durability and heavy-duty rubber tires make it a great choice for seniors who have larger areas to clear. The adjustable handle makes it easy to maintain a proper posture regardless of your height, which can help you avoid back pains and aches.
Best ergonomic: Snow Joe Shovelution Strain-Reducing Snow Shovel
Why it made it to the cut : The Snow Joe Shovelution is easy on the back thanks to its spring-assisted handle.
- Weight: 3.3 pounds
- Type: Combo
- Material: Aluminum
- Handle length: 50 inches
- Blade width: 20 inches
- Second handle
- Combo blade
- Lightweight and durable
- Metal wear strip isn’t suitable for wood or stone surfaces
The Snow Joe Shovelution is one of the most innovative snow shovels we’ve ever seen. It’s a 20-inch combo-style shovel with a secondary, “spring-assist” handle for your lead hand. This allows you to lift a shovel filled with snow without bending your back. The front handle bends back when you pull the snow out. This allows you to easily throw the snow forward. The Shovelution is lightweight and can be used for all types of jobs.
It is not ideal for all situations. The hard edge can scratch tile and wood. The snow-flinging action makes it necessary to shovel snow from the front. The Snow Joe Shovelution is still our favorite snow shovel.
Best budget: True Temper 16-inch Poly Snow Shovel
Why it was chosen : True Temper is a simple, but effective snow shovel.
- Weight: 2. 14 pounds
- Type: Combo
- Material: Plastic, steel
- Handle length: 36 inches
- Blade width: 16 inches
- Very affordable
- Good for shoveling and pushing
- Straight handle isn’t great for your back
True Temper is the company behind our top pick. They also make a basic but sturdy combo-style snow shovel. As the name suggests, this model features a 16-inch plastic blade suited for shoveling and pushing snow. The blade is plastic and won’t scratch patios or decks. It also has a steel grip that can be used with gloves. The best thing about this shovel is its weight. It weighs in at 2. 14 pounds, it’s easy to maneuver. It is smaller than most of our picks and lacks a curved handle. It’s still close enough to recommend that you get it over buying the first thing you see in a store.
Q: How much do snow shovels cost?
Snow shovel prices vary depending on the blade type, materials, and additional features. They are not expensive. Our best overall pick costs just under $30. Some more expensive options, like the Orientools Heavy Duty Rolling Snow Pusher costs as much as $70, while our budget pick costs only $12. Snow shovels are extremely durable and should last for many years.
Q: Is a plastic or metal snow shovel better?
As we explained, plastic snow shovels are lighter, easier to use, and won’t damage delicate surfaces. Metal shovels are able to push deeper into frozen snowbanks and break up solidice. For seniors with back, joint or heart problems, we recommend a plastic snow shovel.
Q: How can you keep snow from sticking to the snow shovel?
According to AccuWeather, coating your shovel blade in a lubricant like vegetable oil or cooking spray can keep snow from sticking to your shovel.
Q: How do you make snow shoveling easier?
Beyond buying the right snow shovel, we recommend making a plan before you start shoveling, so you spend less time working out in the cold. Stretching before you start shoveling is a good idea. Although it won’t make it easier, it will reduce the likelihood of getting hurt or feeling aches and pains. Lastly, if you’re using a shovel with a straight handle, consider buying a front handle attachment. A better, more ergonomic grip will help reduce strain on your back.
Q: Should you shovel while it is still snowing?
If you’re expecting a light snowfall, you might want to consider shoveling while it’s still coming down. Although it may seem counterintuitive, snow can freeze if it is left to settle, especially if it has fallen overnight. Some people may find shoveling multiple times a day too exhausting. Use your best judgement and only shovel when you are capable of doing the job. It’s better not to shovel snow in heavy snowstorms.
Q: At what age should you stop shoveling snow?
There’s no specific age for when you should stop shoveling snow. You should not shovel snow if you have any chronic conditions, especially if you have issues with your heart. You should also avoid shoveling snow if you have joint or muscle pain. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure before you pick up your shovel.
Final thoughts on the best snow shovel for seniors
If you are unsure if you can handle the strain and stress of a hard workout, shoveling snow is not for you. If you push yourself too hard, it can pose a serious risk to seniors with chronic conditions. Consider hiring someone to shovel your snow if you have the means.
We know that this is not feasible for everyone. If you are unable to hire someone else to do the job, buying one of our top snow shovels will make it a lot easier.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.