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Best Snow Shovel for Seniors: Which Should It Be?

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by Bryan Mckenzie

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It might not be the years but the mileage, but most of us experience a certain decline in our powers when growing older. While age is not the reason to stop physical activity, it doesn’t come as easy as it used to. Even routine tasks like shoveling snow become harder. However, it is possible if you calculate the effort and use the right equipment. It’s important to choose the best snow shovel for seniors that will make the task easier yet rewarding.

Top Pick
Product
ErgieShovel ERG-SNSH18 Steel Shaft Impact...
Prime
-
Pros
Lightweight
My preview
Runner-Up
Product
Snow Shovel with Wheels: Ohuhu Heavy Duty...
Prime
-
Pros
Adjustable two-hand handle
My preview
Premium Pick
Product
Snow Joe SHOVELUTION 18-in SJ-SHLV01-RED Snow...
Prime
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Pros
Quality materials
My preview

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If it becomes too hard even to start, it’s better to avoid physical jobs. There are many who won’t, though, and for them admitting their age means anything but surrendering. No snow blower will bring back that nostalgic feeling that somehow connects us with today through the muscles that do the movement. The right tool will definitely help keep both the property and the soul in order.

5 Best Snow Shovels for Seniors Reviewed

Not just any shovel will do if you have to spare your effort. That is why seniors get heart attacks shoveling snow so often: They don’t pay attention to the amount of effort they give to the job. While it’s hard to stop while you’re already on it, you can think of it beforehand and get the tool that minimizes the effort and thus the risk.

  1. ErgieShovel: When Specialization Works Wonders – Top Pick
  2. Ohuhu: Best Snow Shovel With Wheels – Runner-Up
  3. Snow Joe Shovelution: Not Your Usual Chinese Copy – Premium Pick
  4. Greenworks Electric Snow Shovel: The Most Effort-Saving

1. ErgieShovel: When Specialization Works Wonders

Affiliate links and images placed from the Amazon Product Advertising API on 2024-02-27

Ergieshovel is a company that was created of pure desire to make the process of snow shoveling easier for elders – at least, so the founder admits. Now, it’s the one-product brand that only produces one shovel in two versions – with a galvanized metal strip at the tip of the plastic scoop or without it. My neighbor Simon has opted for the stripless version. I asked him to provide feedback as I wouldn’t have managed to write such reviews from my own experience in decades.

It’s recognizable due to its dual handle: One on the end of the pole, and one above it, so it’s easier to grab with both hands as you lift it up, full of snow, to throw it away. This ergonomic positioning minimizes the pain in the back that comes after or even during the job. As for the scoop, it’s 18” wide and 13.5” deep, so you will have to move less while cleaning the area, and a path can be made in one go.

The weight of the shovel is only 4.5 lbs. – ultra lightweight! You should not grab too much snow with it, or its advantages will be wasted. If you measure your effort, this show shovel will make the job rather fun than a necessity.

ADVANTAGES
  • Lightweight;
  • Ergonomic design;
  • Extra handle;
  • Wide enough to make paths in one go;
  • Reduces the pain in the back;
  • Made for New England climate.
DRAWBACKS
  • The plastic scoop seems not so durable.

ErgieShovel for retirees

2. Ohuhu: Best Snow Shovel With Wheels

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This one is a real effort-saver when you need to push the snow away instead of throwing it. The snow shovel by Ohuhu has a pair of wheels which makes it easier to move around. It allows for bigger size: The blade is as wide as 29.5”, so you can make a wide path or clean larger areas just in one go in less time. To make the movement smoother, it comes with a silicon bottom strip.

It also has a wide two-hand handle with adjustable height, so you can operate it like a cart. The manufacturer says it can be used for snow almost 6” thick. I didn’t have a chance to check it, but the scoop is made of steel with plastic spray treatment, so it’s both durable mechanically and weatherproof.

In theory, it’s easy to assemble for the winter and disassemble for the summer. In real life, it appears much more sophisticated; we spent some time figuring it out when it arrived. Adjusting the angle of the blade is also quite a job; luckily, you won’t have to do it often.

ADVANTAGES
  • Wheels!;
  • Adjustable two-hand handle;
  • Durable materials;
  • Moves smoothly.
DRAWBACKS
  • Only allows for pushing snow;
  • Might be tricky to assemble.

3. Snow Joe Shovelution: Not Your Usual Chinese Copy

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The shovel by a Chinese brand resembles the one by ErgieShovel, though the extra handle is set lower and has an adjustable angle. It’s 18” wide (other options are present too), being just as easy for making paths or removing snow from larger areas. For some (I’m not the target group yet, but I found it decent), its handles are even more convenient; my friend Jerry isn’t so enthusiastic but he admits it can work. It’s important that its design reduces the need to bend while working.

The plastic blade is reinforced with an aluminum strip, so it’s hard to damage by hitting metal or stone. Shovelution is meant for hard snowfalls, ready for frequent jobs, so it uses durable materials. It’s quite the quality level expected from Snow Joe. The size, though, is obviously not for tall people; those under 6 feet will feel better with it.

The weight of the shovel is probably its best advantage: It’s as heavy as 2 lbs., which is easily its selling point, though it makes it more suitable for fresh light snow. It comes with a 2-year warranty.

ADVANTAGES
  • Ergonomic design;
  • Quality materials;
  • Very lightweight;
  • 2-year warranty;
  • Affordable price.
DRAWBACKS
  • Not for ice or wet snow;
  • If you’re taller than 6 feet, it’s not for you.

4. Bully Tools: American As Can Be

Bully Tools

An American manufacturer established in Ohio in 1994, Bully Tools has much more to offer. It produces a wide array of outdoor equipment, using the newest technologies to make them durable and convenient. The snow shovel by Bully Tools can’t boast the extra handle, going with a single D-grip, but it’s still very convenient to use, due to its materials and size. The pain in the back is reduced due to the extra length on the handle that reaches as long as 56”.

The fiberglass handle does more than minimize the weight. It doesn’t freeze in the cold, being more pleasant to hold. The head of the poly scoop is reinforced, making it more durable in case it hits metal or gravel. It’s still better, though, to leave a snow layer on them than scratch the blade.

It’s even lighter than the one by ErgieShovel, being just 3.65 lbs (I didn’t notice that much but Simon appreciated it). At the same time, the scoop is 22” wide, so it gets the job done even faster. It’s not recommended to grab much snow with it; it applies to any shovel operated by a senior person, though. Given that this one is designed, the taller and stronger persons will feel more at ease with it.

ADVANTAGES
  • Wide;
  • Lightweight;
  • Ergonomic;
  • Pro 4;
  • Affordable;
  • Made in the U.S.
DRAWBACKS
  • It’s tricky to assemble;
  • Meant for larger and stronger people.

Bully Tools shovel for seniors

5. Greenworks Electric Snow Shovel: The Most Effort-Saving

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Electric snow shovels are a thing today, and this one by Greenworks is the most suitable for the elderly. It’s just 12” wide, but it saves you the job of throwing the snow away, so you can go back and forth with it easier. You don’t have to lift it at all to get rid of the snow; that’s why an electric snow shovel for seniors is quite an option to consider, even if they dislike all these inventions of the Facebook era.

It’s corded, which means you need an extension cord to make it function outside. It also means that you won’t be able to go far from the nearest socket. As you think of a potential heart attack (it seems that my neighbor Simon cares less than I do), it’s even better that it won’t let you go far and limits the possible amount of the job. It also grants that you won’t find the battery discharged when caught by a sudden snowfall.

It has an ergonomic dual handle, similar to what we see on ErgieShovel and Snow Joe, so it’s easy to operate with both hands. The throwing distance is as long as 20 ft, and, given that the motor is strong enough to handle the snow, it’s well-suitable for ice and frozen snow if it’s not too thick.

Last but not least: The extension cord for this shovel has to endure cold and humidity, so don’t go for the cheapest one. The effort and pain saved with this tool, though, make it worth it. Maybe I’ll convince Simon to use it next winter, though so far he’s all for ErgieShovel.

ADVANTAGES
  • Works as a snow-blower;
  • No batteries are needed;
  • Saves the effort;
  • Easy to maneuver;
  • Affordable for its class.
DRAWBACKS
  • Only applicable near the socket;
  • Requires a durable extension cord.

Snow Shovel for Seniors Buyer’s Guide

The five shovels we have tried and reviewed are very different, yet they all get the job done. How do you choose the best one for you or your senior relatives? Do they prefer it purely mechanical, or electric ones are considered too? A traditional handle, or a dual one? Let’s look closer.

What to look at while choosing a snow shovel for seniors

The main thing that makes shovels for seniors stand apart is their design meant to minimize the effort (and, as a consequence, the risk of a heart attack, a fall, or other sudden health issues). The best way for seniors to shovel snow is the one that minimizes the force required, combined with special techniques to minimize or avoid specific pains. As they still use their muscles, it’s better to redistribute the work so that the upper muscles do more of it. In other respects, it should be a durable tool for working under hard conditions.

So, the requirements are the following:

  • Ergonomic effort-saving design (for non-electric ones). It should either make throwing the snow easier (like the first three ones reviewed) or remove this necessity at all (electric shovels or snow pushers).
  • Quality materials. What’s the use for the best ergonomic design if the shovel breaks soon? The tool should be resistant to incidents such as running into metal or stone. Neither should it break when lifted or pushed.
  • Durability. Seniors might tend to forget to take the tool indoors, so it should be even more weatherproof than a regular tool – just in case.
  • Customer service and warranty. It’s better for support managers not to deal with our seniors, but they still should be ready.

Best Snow Shovels for Seniors

How to choose the right snow shovel

The best way to choose the perfect snow shovel for an elderly person (there’s no need to reinvent the wheel) is to let them do the choosing with their hands and back. It might imply ordering some tools, trying them, and then returning them if they turn out to be unsuitable and inconvenient.

Some factors also influence the choice:

  • Is the person able to lift the shovel with some snow on it? If so, a lightweight one will do. If it’s problematic, a pusher or an electric one will do better, effectively making the job a walk through the snow.
  • What about their height? Some shovels are better for taller people, some on the contrary.
  • How strong are the snowfalls in your area? If they are infrequent, there won’t be too much to do about them; if they are frequent and rich, you might have to swallow your pride (or tell them to) and opt for a pusher/electric one again.

Tools are a very personal matter, and when special requirements are involved, choosing them becomes even more personal. Don’t be afraid to try two or three various shovels. If it’s too late to return one that turned out to be inconvenient, it’s better to buy another model than to take risks by using it despite the effort required.

FAQ on Snow Shovels for Seniors

This matter is serious enough to raise more questions than I can address. Still, I can answer some.

Should older men shovel snow?

On the one hand, people aged 55 and older are at serious risk of a heart attack while shoveling snow due to the efforts and the weather conditions. So these risks should be minimized if not avoided. On the other hand, some physical activity is recommended for many of them unless there are contraindications. They might also like shoveling snow for various reasons. Still, no matter which shovel one uses, they should also practice certain tips to avoid or minimize back pains.

Is a metal or plastic snow shovel better?

An elderly person should have a lightweight shovel that won’t suffer much if left in the snow overnight accidentally. So, plastic ones are better in this respect. Among the reviewed models, there is one made of metal with a plastic spray coating. However, this one has wheels and doesn’t need to be lifted. When it comes to traditional shovels, plastic is better, but it shouldn’t be overloaded.

How tall should a snow shovel be?

It depends on the height of the person that uses it. The taller the operator, the longer handles will be convenient for them. Some models with adjustable pole height are available now, so they will be the optimal solution if there are two or more people who shovel the snow periodically.

The Best Snow Shovels for Seniors

Save Effort, Save Life

In conclusion, I recommend senior readers realize that sometimes the job is too risky to be done, and if you don’t feel like shoveling the snow right now, you’d better not. Tested and verified. If you are inclined and feel capable… Well, an appropriate shovel can really be salvation.

If you want to tell us about some decent shovel that I have somehow skipped, or to ask a question about any aspect of senior people shoveling the snow, welcome to the comments! There is always a minute for a good old conversation there.

Also Read:

References

  • Special techniques | NewYork-Presbyterian – https://www.nyp.org/patients-and-visitors/advances-consumers/issues/avoid-back-strain-when-shoveling-snow
  • Snowfalls | Michigan – https://www.michigan.gov/msp/divisions/emhsd/public-information-center/media-center/state-police-prepare-for-hazardous-winter-storm-snowfall-and-gusting-winds-expected-to-create-hazar
  • Certain tips | Newsroom – https://newsroom.clevelandclinic.org/2019/01/18/shovel-snow-smarter-to-avoid-back-pain/
About
Bryan Mckenzie
Hi there — my name is Bryan McKenzie. Before I’d got into gardening, I worked as a landscape designer at landscape design and consultation company in Jacksonville. I enjoy sharing the vast gardening experience I’ve accumulated throughout the years with like-minded green thumbs. Read more about me and my wife.
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