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Pros & Cons: Using a Shovel with a Plastic or Metal Edge

Choosing the right shovel for you and your body is extremely important. With so many options, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. We’ll do the research for you and tell you about their different materials and styles. 

Plastic Shovels 

Plastic shovels are good for beginner shovelers who are not used to strenuous activity. They are lightweight and more affordable. Kid-friendly shovels are usually made out of plastic too, so you can match with your kid when you teach them how to shovel. While metal edges rarely scratch your pavement, plastic shovels have even a lesser chance because the material is less abrasive on concrete. Plastic shovels can also suit older shovelers who can not maneuver a heavier shovel. However, they are less effective at breaking ice as the material is not as strong as metal. Plus, the load of snow it can hold if you are picking up the snow is less. Plastic shovels are not inherently good nor bad, you just have to find the right fit for you. The business ForSmallHands has an affordable child-size shovel you can purchase for your kids. 

Metal Shovels 

Metal edged shovels are known to be more durable, effective at removing snow and ice, and last longer. There are different types of metal edged shovels and it's important to understand their differences. 

Aluminium Edge

These types of shovels are engineered for years of easy snow removal. The metal edge, usually aluminum, provides exceptional strength while also being flexible. Metal shovels are great for heavy duty jobs as they are suited for carrying heavier loads. With some grit, they can chip ice on the ground. However, snow can stick to a shovel with a metal edge. Some DIY hacks include putting cooking spray on your snow shovel to avoid sticking. A combined shovel is one with a plastic blade and a strip of metal on the end. These are great if you want to break ice, but still have the lightweight feel of a plastic blade if you find yourself struggling to push an all-metal one. Customers like the Snow Shovel - 54" Aluminum Pusher from Uline. 

Steel Edge

A steel edge is aimed to stay sharp in order to cut through snow more easily. The steel edge is ideal for compacted snow and ice. This type of shovel is also heavy, and may be a little more difficult to maneuver than a one with a metal edge. Steel edge shovels are heavier and more expensive because of their materials and their high quality. Its design tries to prevent you from scratching your decks and driveway. In this shovel, the flatter blade design can easily move past cracks in the pavement. Many folks purchase The SnowPlow Snow Pusher. 

Types of Snow Shovel Styles:

1. Standard Shovel 

Standard shovels are most common for snow removal. They have a plastic blade. They are used to lift the snow and toss it somewhere out of the way. 

2. Ergonomic Shovel 

An ergonomic shovel is ideal if you have neck or back pain. Its unique design makes shoveling less taxing on the body. The curves in the handle are meant to require you to bend and strain less. 

3. Push Snow Shovel 

A push shovel pushes the snow out of the way rather than lifting it. With this style of shovel, you just shift the snow flush to the ground. Because you don’t have to support the weight of the snow or raise the shovel, this can be good for people with bad backs. 

4. Sleigh Shovel 

A sleigh shovel is similar to a push shovel, but it has a deeper set blade and a U-shaped handle to let the user use both hands while shoveling.

5. Telescopic Shovel 

A telescopic shovel is compact. The handle folds into itself, so that it can be stored in a truck, car, or smaller garage easily. Telescopic shovels are light, with a narrow but sturdy blade. This shovel type is best for removing snow or ice from around your car, but it might be too small to take on larger projects. 

What do we use?

Snow Scholars uses the 24” Combo Snow Shovel & Pusher from Suncast. This plastic shovel with a steel blade is the perfect shovel for breaking through ice and dense snow, while being light enough to move around. Its ability to break through ice and maneuver quickly creates the perfect recipe for a quick and effective removal. The pusher shape allows you to push the snow laterally at a quick pace. 

We <3 doing our research for what we use and now you can use our research to figure out what works best for you! 

~ Nina Petrosino, Snow Scholars Writer

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