Most people think there are only two ways to remove snow from your property - a snow blower or a snow shovel. Shoveling snow is a laborious task. Anybody who has had to shovel snow from a driveway knows how tiring it can be and how much strain it can put on your back.
Perhaps the best snow blower is out of your budget, or maybe you just don’t get enough snow to justify purchasing one. So what are your options then? That’s when snow pushers can be a less laborious method for snow removal.
A snow pusher looks much like a snow shovel with the exception of the shape and size of the blade. A snow shovel has a narrower, scooped blade that is made for cutting into snow and lifting snow to pile it elsewhere. The blade on the end of a pusher is shaped like a mini snow plow that is more curved and wider. This is designed to push large paths of snow without needing to scoop and lift.
Whether you should buy a snow blower, shovel, or snow pusher will largely depend on a few key factors, such as your region, the type of snow your area receives during the winter months, your physical abilities and budget, and the area you need to clear. Here, we break down all there is to know about snow pushers and whether a snow pusher is the correct tool for your snow-clearing needs.
Darren Smith is the owner of GotGrass Outdoor Maintenance in Ogden, Utah. Darren has over 10 years of landscaping experience and has owned his GotGrass Outdoor Maintenance since 2018.
1. Where do you live?
Where you live will be a determining factor in whether or not you should buy a snow pusher. If your region gets a constant amount of snow, like the northeast region of the country, then a snow pusher might not be the right tool for the job. “I wouldn’t recommend a snow pusher for anything more than maybe one to two inches of snow,” said Smith. Any more than that, you may want to consider a snow blower. “You don’t want to try to push too much snow, especially if it's wet and heavy. It will get too heavy and too hard to move quickly,” said Smith.
2. Consider the layout of the area where you’re removing snow
My father’s driveway is narrow and long, leading to a detached garage that is slightly behind his home. On one side of his driveway is his house, and on the other is the neighbor’s property. Because of this layout, you can’t really snowblow his driveway because you’ll just blast snow into his house or onto the neighbors. And snow shoveling is incredibly tiring because for every scoop, you have to walk the length of the driveway to toss the snow into the yard. This sort of scenario is ideal for a snow pusher. With a snow pusher, the snow can be pushed in a straight path and onto his front yard (albeit with a slight turn to the left). No lifting is required.
Other ideal areas are straight walkways where T has a yard, like a walkway from a home’s front door that T’s up to a park strip. You can push the snow in a straight line onto the park strip to make a clear walking path without scooping and lifting. Removing snow from a porch, stairs, or deck is also easily accomplished with a snow pusher. “We use snow pushers for decks to avoid gauging the wood,” said Smith. He continued, “We also use poly (plastic) pushers to avoid further gauging or scraping damage a metal shovel might cause on wood.” With a snow pusher, you can easily push the snow right off these surfaces onto a lawn without needing to lift anything.
You wouldn’t want to be using a snow pusher on any gravel pathways or driveways. A snow pusher will inevitably pick up loose gravel, creating a trail of debris and making it difficult to push smoothly across the surface. Also, in any area where you need to lift the snow from one place to another, let's say, the mouth of a driveway, you’ll want to use a snow shovel instead of a pusher for that, as pushers are not ideal for scooping and lifting snow.
3. What is your physical ability?
Snow pushers are a great alternative for those with bad backs. “Pushers can work great for someone with a bad back because they don’t have to worry about straining and lifting,” said Smith. It also depends on the size of the area that you’re clearing. Smith continued, “If you have a big driveway and a bad back and knees, those people should consider a snow blower.” You know your body and your property best. If you get more than a couple of inches of snow and you have a decent-sized walkway or driveway, consider an easy-to-push battery-powered snow blower like the Snow Joe 24V-X2-SB22 Single Stage Snow Blower.
Snow pushers are a great alternative to scooping and lifting snow. They are also a low-maintenance and affordable way to clear snow from your property quickly and easily. But they aren’t suited for all snow removal situations. If your region gets more than two inches of snow regularly, you’ll want to consider a snow blower. Also, if your driveways or pathways don’t have an immediate area to push the snow onto, you may want to consider a snow blower or shovel. Pushers are especially great for light snow and clearing small areas like decks, porches, or short walkways.