Choosing the right snow shovel
It was our use of tools that separated humans from the rest of the animals, and one of the oldest may be the spade. While the under-appreciated shovel comes in great shape, few inspire more groans than the winter classic known as the snow shovel. Or as I like to call them, back breaking, arm numbing instruments of torture. They’re ideal for lifting considerable amounts of anything and placing it a rather different area. And some types are very effective at splitting up snow and ice clumps. Of course splitting up, lifting and flinging snow and ice can be exhausting. Any good powder hound worth their salt knows how much even a few inches of snow can weigh.
Technology and technique would be the secrets of surviving the wintertime. Since i have am not an occupational therapist I am going to let it rest up to you to perfect your personal lifting techniques; I will be concentrating on the various tools themselves. Recently there has been some vast improvements in snow shovel design. You will find almost as many designs because there are flakes on the horizon. Here is a little guide on what kind of shovel (or broom) suits your particular snow removal needs.
Metal shovels with clean/sharp edges are the best choice when you’re tackling hard-packed snow and ice. While it may not be the quietest option, the metal scoop tends to be stronger and can bend rather than breaking. If there is excessive ice, you might want to go with a shovel that’s flat and it has a blade. The straight handled 8 inch flat spade is a classic design which has stood the test of time. The straight and sharp edges will help break the ice apart as the straight design allows maximum power output into the ice. Modern alloys make these shovels lighter than years past and new carbon coatings can help keep your snow from sticking with the scoop. Just watch those toes when you’re trying to split up ice chunks and frozen snow walls those blades can be quite sharp!
Plastic shovels are available in all shapes and sizes and tend to be lighter than metal shovels. Many come with large scoops making it simpler to move a sizable drift or deeper snow. Other plastic snow movers are available in smaller sizes for thus everyone is able to participate in on the fun. (Don’t allow the kids lose out on the fun of hard labor!) Plastic shovels don’t scrape ice as well their counterparts and also have a tendency to interrupt if used improperly, but they’re usually inexpensive and readily available. There are lots of sizes and shapes of plastic shovels, but most are created to be used more as scoopers instead of scrapers. If you have snow drifts and “lake effect” style snowstorms this type will probably be your go to. Do remember that bigger is not always better, pick a blade that’s the right size for the lifting ability. A smaller scoop will keep you from trying to be a “hero” and prevent “blowing out your back” and also the embarrassment of crying just like a 2 year old in front of your friends and neighbors.
Shop brooms create a very effective weapon when combating light snow fall. An ordinary shop broom is ideal if you find under 2 “ and the snow is dry and fluffy. A quick back and forth usually pushes the snow right out of the way with minimal effort. If you can sweep your kitchen you are able to clear your driveway. Even a little dust broom can make quick work of steps with no chance of scratching your deck stain or house paint. But if the snow is damp and you will too grab a shovel. Wet sticky snow will clump up and freeze around the hairs from the broom rendering all your efforts useless.
Snow shovels come in a number of designs, but some styles are better than others. If lower back pain is a problem, get a Shovel/Pusher combo shovel that has an ergonomic and curved handle. Some snow pushers even include 2 hand grips so that you can put both arms in it. And some scoop shovels have large double handles that make pushing much easier and lots of times more efficient. Their design allows you to push in the waist and really put some man/woman power behind it. Many modern handles are made of steel and fiber so they can lift more snow and ice than the earlier versions, while keeping the weight down. Modern ice scrapers work well, but you should supplement your scraping with snow melt. Even 2 centimeters of ice can cause a tragic slip that could ruin your entire day as well as your back.