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Choosing a winter shovel

By Flow Wall
November 25, 2014

Getting ahead on your garage organization is easy when you stock up on winter gear before the first snowfall. While many tools are important to have on hand in the event of a polar vortex 2.0, there is no garage tool more important than the handy shovel. To maximize your snow-clearing capabilities, consider the blade size, grip comfort, weight and power of each shovel when you're out shopping. Not sure what to look for? We've got you covered.

The handle

Shovel handles, also known as shafts, are generally made with plastic, metal or fiberglass handles. Fiberglass handles are the heavier of the three, making them a sturdy and powerful choice that doesn't easily crack or rust. Metal, on the other hand, usually comes in the form of aluminum, which is incredibly durable and good for more extreme conditions. Although wood is a very popular choice, it expands and contracts with the freezing and melting precipitation, giving it a shorter lifespan. The lightest of the three options is plastic; while this makes shoveling over a long period of time more sustainable (heavy shovels mean tired arms), shovel handles of this variety will shatter more easily.

The blade

Strictly speaking, larger blades are better for moving large amounts of snow quickly, and smaller blades make shoveling marathons more doable. They can either be flat or scooped and come in metal or plastic. Flat blades better handle deeper snow and are better for shaping, while scooping blades are good at pushing snow out of the way. Metal will cut more sharply into the snow than its plastic counterpart. If breaking up ice is a priority, opt for serrated edges - they are especially good for this task.

The grip

There are three kinds of shovel grips: D-grips, T-grips and L-grips. The first is a slightly bulkier grip, while the second is gripped between the fingers. Though it's a lighter grip, it's impossible to use with mittens. The L-grip, on the other hand, is somewhat similar to the handle of a vacuum. The bottom line? Choose whatever is most comfortable for you.

Getting a great shovel onto your garage hooks before winter begins is a great way to make sure your not stuck in your driveway when the first snowfall comes around. There are many different options, but which one is best for your home depends on a number of factors, including the size and shape of your lawn, your location's climate and how quickly you need to get the job done.