The scoop on snow shovels: Putting the latest options to the test

Feb 1, 2024, 10:33 PM | Updated: 10:40 pm

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — Every time snow turns up, so does the grumbling about having to keep sidewalks and driveways clear.

One person who doesn’t grumble is Luis Romero.

“I mean, it depends on how you look at it,” Romero said.

The way Romero “looks at it” is as a payday. He owns Worx Landscaping and Snow Removal in South Salt Lake. And after storms, he and his crews are busy.

two men stand in the snow with four shovels

Luis Romero, owner of Worx Landscaping and Snow Removal, shares the pros and cons of various types of snow shovels with Matt Gephardt. (Jeffrey Dahdah, KSL TV)

Romero admits though, cutting paths through snow is less fun when you’re not getting paid.

“My house – it’s the last place. I just look at it and then I’m like, ‘OK, I got to get it done now,’” he said about holding off on shoveling his driveway and the sidewalks at his home.

For the rest of us, shoveling is a pain – literally. Research from the National Library of Medicine finds more than 11,000 people land in emergency rooms for snow shoveling-related incidents every year. Many of those involve lower back injuries.

So, is there a better option to ease the winter burden of snow removal? The KSL Investigators asked Romero to test some options to find out.

hands type on a computer keyboard with snow shovels on the screen

The KSL Investigators bought four unique snow shovels to test which one could get the job done the fastest while sparing your back. (Jeffrey Dahdah, KSL TV)

Finding a better shovel

We scoured the web for solutions that aren’t your father’s snow shovel, and found a few modern iterations where, if the advertisements are to be believed, shoveling can be a lot easier than the way you do it.

We bought four. Two are designed to be pushed: One that sort of looks like a sled and another one that uses wheels. And two shovels with a more standard look: An ergonomic shovel with padding on the handle where it bends in the neck, and another that comes with a second handle positioned towards the blade.

Romero started with that two-handled shovel, officially called the Radius Garden Snow Shovel with Back-saving Fore-Grip. We paid $50.50 for it.

Romero found the flexible second handle created extra movement, consequently slowing him down.

“To me, it’s too slow,” he said. “It’ll take too long.”

Two men examine a snow shovel

Luis Romero, owner of Worx Landscaping and Snow Removal, demonstrates how a two-handle snow shovel could ease the burden on the shoveler’s back. (Jeffrey Dahdah, KSL TV)

But he said he could see how it could be helpful for someone who has problems with their back.

“You’re not bending over,” he said about picking up the shovel with snow. “I think it’s easier on your back.”

Romero next gave the Trazon Ergonomic Snow Shovel a few throws. It cost us $49.99.

He was impressed with how sturdy it feels while also being really light – a combination which let him move quickly.

“I can do more in less time, and go back inside my home,” he said.

The third shovel – the CASL Brands Snow Shovel with Wheels – was a pricier option. We paid $83.95.

Romero has seen it on social media and was skeptical.

“Being 100% honest, I’ve seen them on TikTok. I haven’t used one,” he said about the wheeled shovel.

His skepticism quickly dissolved.

“I kind of love it,” Romero said. “It’s actually really good.”

A man shovels snow with a traditional snow shovel

Luis Romero, owner of Worx Landscaping and Snow Removal, uses a traditional snow shovel. (Jeffrey Dahdah, KSL TV)

Our last pusher, the Garant Poly Sleigh Shovel, is heavy and cumbersome. It was also the most expensive at $85.03.

It has a feature we didn’t see on the other shovels: guardrails on its sides, which Romero liked.

“It’s not going to spill snow on the sides,” Romero said. “It actually collects it into this little bucket (at the base of the scoop) we have right here.”

The standout shovel

So which option got Romero’s seal of approval? Turns out, it was the one he thought he’d like the least – the CASL with wheels.

“I think this is really good. I might get a couple,” he said.

Though, it’s a pretty big “might” when you’ve got access to a snowplow for clearing driveways.

“I can tell you this is way easier, yeah,” he laughed.

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The scoop on snow shovels: Putting the latest options to the test