Snow Blower vs Shovel: Which Should You Choose?

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snowblower vs shovel which to choose

The beginning of winter brings joy and thrills to many people. Yet, to anyone who knows the struggle of getting rid of excess snow, the beginning of winter often signifies the start of an endless nightmare. Unfortunately, clearing snow from your yard and driveway is absolutely mandatory, that is if you want to enjoy the winter. There are a few ways to get rid of the snow. The two conventional methods are shoveling and snow blowing. Both these methods have their benefits and shortcomings. We are going to discuss these, to identify which method is more effective.

The Snow Shovel

snow shovel

Image credit: Bill McChesney, Flickr

Snow shoveling, as the name suggests, refers to using a shovel to remove excess snow from your driveway or yard. Many people prefer using a shovel because it lets you have control over how you get rid of the snow. In addition to more control, you’ll find the simplicity of using a shovel very tempting. The shovel does not require maintenance or preparation before use.

While it’s a simple tool to use, it’s physically demanding. Shoveling snow will get your heart rate up and leave you out of breath after a few minutes. Although breaking a sweat while shoveling is nothing to worry about, shoveling may cause serious injury if you’re not adequately prepared for it.

Shoveling snow is a task that should be performed with extreme caution because a shovel is a sharp tool that can be very dangerous if not used properly. Overexerting yourself physically can also be dangerous.

To make your shoveling process more effective and as comfortable as possible, stretch your muscles before you begin, ensure that your shovel blade is sharp, take regular breaks, keep yourself warm, and follow other safety tips and measures.

The following are the benefits and shortcomings of using a shovel to remove excess snow:

Pros
  • Simple to use
  • Does not require maintenance
  • Gives you more control
Cons
  • A lot slower than a Snow Blower
  • Can be dangerous
  • Physically demanding

The Snowblower

YARDMAX YB5765 Two-Stage Snow Blower

The YARDMAX YB5765 Snow Blower. One of the most popular blowers out there.

The fundamentals of snow blowing are similar to those of lawn mowing. When using a snowblower, you typically push the machine to get it to drive on a patch of unwanted snow. The machine will then remove the snow as it moves, by absorbing it and thrusting it out through a tube. A snow blower allows you to remove more snow than you would with a shovel.

The reason why you might opt for a snowblower instead of shoveling is the fact that it is more ergonomic. A snowblower does not put strain on your physique, as the only movement required is the constant walking and pushing. For this reason, you can work for a longer period, without needing a break.

At this point, you might be convinced that a snowblower is an ideal choice. However, there are other details to consider. The machine requires preparation time before use. Finding an extension cord and removing cars from your driveway are a few of the things you can expect to do before putting your snowblower to use.  Additionally, snowblowers need maintenance, and they can be expensive, so you’d need to budget for one.

When using a snowblower, be careful not to cause a jam inside the machine. Avoid foreign objects in the snow or taking large bites of snow.

The following are the benefits and shortcomings of using a snowblower:

Pros
  • Ergonomic
  • Faster
Cons
  • Requires maintenance
  • Requires preparation before use
  • Expensive

Conclusion

Both the shovel and the snowblower have their pros and cons. The use of either should be based on personal preference. However, there are instances where one would be more efficient than the other. For example, if you don’t have much storage space, or you have a relatively small yard and driveway, it’s clear that a shovel will be better for you. A person with a rather large yard and driveway would opt for a snowblower.

Roof rakes are also worth looking into.

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Header image credit: Bob Gatty, Pexels

About the Author Adam Harris

Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!