A snow shovel is an essential tool, especially if you live in a region where a thick blanket of snow hides the ground for the majority of the year.
If you are in the market for a snow shovel, the choices can be overwhelming, making finding the best type for you a big challenge.
In this regard, Should You Get A Metal Or Plastic Snow Shovel?
Well, while both metal and plastic snow shovels do a great job removing snow from your driveway and walkways, they differ. Relative to plastic options, metal snow shovels are more robust and powerful, which makes them great for thick layers of snow. The biggest downside is that they are heavier. On the other hand, plastic shovels are lightweight and easy to operate, which makes them a dream come true for people with back problems.
The best snow shovel for you will depend on several factors, but it should at least be safe to use without causing injury.
This post will cover more about snow shovels and what to look for when choosing a snow shovel.
The Good And Bad Of Metal Snow Shovels
First introduced as steel shovels, metal snow shovels are robust and great for carrying heavier loads.
They are also designed to cut through hard snow and ice easily.
They are extremely heavy.
Because of their typical weight, which increases exponentially when loaded, metal snow shovels can cause unwanted back strain.
This is a serious concern among people with back problems and the highly susceptible ones.
Another issue with metal shovels is their terrible habit of not allowing snow to slide right off of them when you are shoveling.
In many cases, you will have to spray a lubricant on your metal shovel; otherwise, snow will stick to it. Worse, metal snow shovels are vulnerable to warping or bending.
The Good And Bad Of Plastic Snow Shovels
Plastic shovels have recently gained popularity because of their lightweight nature, which makes them easy to maneuver.
Interestingly, they are made of high-strength plastics to last and perform.
The main concern with plastic shovels is that they may break or snap, especially when temperatures plunge very low.
Because of their lightweight, plastic snow shovels are best suited for people with back issues.
Metal VS Plastic Snow Shovels
While shoveling snow is not one of the most pleasurable tasks, the right tool that works best for you can make it a lot simpler.
If you are contemplating metal or plastic, perhaps the first thing you need to note is that plastic shovels can’t handle metal options in terms of strength and durability.
But does this make metal shovels any better?
By helping you clear driveways, walks, homes, and sheds of snow and ice, snow shovels help you maintain a comfortable life throughout the winter.
That said, whether to choose metal or plastic shovels will depend on a range of factors.
Both metal and plastic shovels stand to cold quite well, so you can expect them to deliver outstanding results in typical cases.
Even so, metal shovels are the better choice if you’re dealing with hard ice and fresh snow.
Metal shovels also work best if you have obstacles, like deck screws or gravel, hidden under the snow.
Even better, they can carry a lot more snow than their plastic equivalents.
In comparison, plastic snow shovels are lightweight, flexible, and easy to use.
Their blade usually utilizes polyethylene plastic, which is prominent for its superior strength and durability. Interestingly, snow doesn’t stick to plastic shovels.
Overall, unless you have back problems, a metal shovel is better.
Metal snow shovels are robust, durable, and excel in various conditions. Even better, they are available in aluminum, a relatively lightweight option.
Four Snow Shovel Shopping Considerations
Shovels are simple tools with two basic parts: a handle and a blade.
To help you go home with the best snow shovel for you, here are factors to consider when shopping and tips to help you make the best choice:
1. Blade Design And Shape
Snow shovel blades are usually available in two shapes — round and rectangle — each with its advantages and job descriptions.
Shovels with rounded scoops are best suited for scooping snow to toss it to a new location and pushing snow down the entire driveway.
They offer an easy way to clear snow and make a path.
On the other hand, rectangle-shaped blades are better at cutting into deep piles of snow, such as drifts.
Beware that there is a variety of sizes for each shape.
Typically, round shovel blades range between 12 inches and 18 inches, whereas rectangle shovels have blades ranging from 12 inches to over 24 inches.
2. Blade Material
Most shovels have metal or plastic blades.
Metal blades are stronger to chip through snow, cut through ice, carry heavier loads, and handle obstacles better.
However, some people will find them to be too heavy.
Further, because metal shovels are designed to push through obstacles, using them can risk damaging your pavement.
Plastic blades, on the other hand, are lightweight and maneuverable.
However, because they are more brittle than their metal counterparts, they are not a good choice for people with rough driveways.
Although not as common, a combination shovel is yet another type of shovel blade.
Essentially, it is a plastic blade designed with a metal strip at the end.
The wear strip gives the blend the strength to cut through ice and hold to obstacles, while the plastic part ensures lightweight.
3. Handle Types
With shovel handle types, the most common options are:
- Straight: the most common
- Ergonomic/bent: This is an S-shaped handle bend to help lessen or eliminate back strain
- Dual: As the name suggests, this handle allows you to hold two handles at once for optimal leveraging. It is better for scooping.
- Push Bar: If you don’t prefer lifting snow, you may want a sleigh shovel. Sleigh shovels come with a handle with a push bar, which allows you to gather snow while walking straight.
4. Handle Material
Shovels can have metal, plastic, fiberglass, and wood handles.
Wooden handles are more common because they are strong, light, durable, and can easily be replaced when broken.
Metal handles are excellent for lifting heavy weights but do rust over time. Plastics are lightweight but may be affected by elements.
Fiberglass handles are arguably the best. They are resistant to rust, bending, and most weather elements. Even so, they tend to be heavier.
Picking the right snow shovel is by no means an easy feat.
If you are contemplating between metal vs. plastic snow shovels, hopefully, this post will help you make an informed decision.
Unless you have back issues, a metal shovel is a great choice.
To ensure you get the best, consider your height, strength, and grip on top of the shovel features.