Is Pushing Snow Better Than Shoveling?

Are you tired of spending endless hours shoveling snow during the winter season? Well, have you ever considered the alternative of pushing snow instead? In this article, we will explore whether pushing snow is truly a superior method to shoveling, and uncover the potential benefits and drawbacks of this alternative approach. So, grab a warm drink, sit back, and let us examine whether pushing snow could be the game-changer you’ve been searching for.

Benefits of Pushing Snow

Reduced physical strain

Pushing snow is a much easier task compared to shoveling, as it involves less physical strain. When you push snow, you use your body weight to glide the snow pusher along the surface, minimizing the need for excessive bending and lifting. This reduces the risk of back injuries and muscle strains, making it a more suitable option for individuals with physical limitations or those who want to avoid straining their bodies.

Faster and more efficient

Pushing snow allows you to cover larger areas in a shorter amount of time compared to shoveling. With a snow pusher, you can easily move a significant amount of snow with each pass, reducing the time and effort required to clear your driveway or walkway. This increased efficiency means you can spend less time outdoors in the cold and more time doing the things you enjoy.

Suitable for larger areas

If you have a wide driveway or a large area that needs to be cleared of snow, pushing snow is the ideal choice. The wide blade of a snow pusher can clear a wider path with each pass, making it faster and more effective for large spaces. Whether it’s a parking lot, a long driveway, or a sidewalk, pushing snow can save you a considerable amount of time and energy.

Can be used on various surfaces

Another advantage of pushing snow is its versatility. Snow pushers are designed to be used on various surfaces, including concrete, asphalt, and gravel. Unlike shovels, which may damage delicate surfaces or leave marks, snow pushers glide smoothly over the ground without causing any harm. This makes them suitable for clearing snow from different areas, such as driveways, sidewalks, and even playgrounds.

Advantages of Shoveling Snow

No need for equipment

One of the main advantages of shoveling snow is that it requires no equipment other than a shovel. This means you can quickly clear small amounts of snow without the need to invest in additional tools. If you live in an area where heavy snowfall is rare or if you have a small area to clear, shoveling snow can be a practical and cost-effective option.

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Better control and precision

Shoveling snow gives you greater control and precision over the snow removal process. With a shovel, you can easily maneuver around tight spaces, such as stairs, steps, and narrow pathways. This level of control allows you to remove snow from specific areas without disturbing surrounding objects or surfaces, making it the preferred method for precise snow removal.

Suitable for tight spaces

For areas with limited space, shoveling snow is the more suitable option. Shovels are compact and can easily navigate through narrow pathways or tight corners where a snow pusher may be too bulky to maneuver. This makes shoveling the preferred technique for removing snow from cramped areas or places with obstacles like cars, fences, or trees.

Can remove ice buildup

When it comes to removing ice buildup, shoveling snow is the preferred method. Shovels allow you to chip away at icy patches or compacted snow, providing better traction and preventing slips and falls. Additionally, by using a shovel, you can break up ice dams or icicles, ensuring the safety of both yourself and others.

Pushing Snow Techniques

Choosing the right snow pusher

When it comes to pushing snow, selecting the right snow pusher is crucial. Look for a snow pusher with a wide blade and sturdy construction to ensure efficient and effective snow removal. Additionally, consider the handle length and grip, as ergonomics can greatly impact your comfort and performance while pushing snow. Choose a snow pusher that suits your height and allows for a secure grip.

Clearing snow in one direction

To maximize the efficiency of pushing snow, it is recommended to clear the snow in one direction. By pushing the snow in a straight line or towards one specific area, you can avoid unnecessary back-and-forth movements, saving time and effort. This technique allows you to create a clear path without repeatedly going over the same area, resulting in more efficient snow removal.

Maintaining good posture

Maintaining good posture while pushing snow is essential to minimize the risk of strain or injury. Keep your back straight and engage your core muscles while pushing the snow pusher. Avoid excessive bending or twisting motions, as these can strain your back and lead to discomfort or injuries. By maintaining good posture, you can ensure a safer and more comfortable snow removal experience.

Using your body weight

To make pushing snow easier, utilize your body weight by leaning into the snow pusher as you glide it forward. This helps to distribute the force evenly and allows the weight of your body to assist in moving the snow. By using your body weight effectively, you can minimize the physical effort required and make the task of pushing snow more manageable.

Shoveling Snow Techniques

Selecting the appropriate shovel

Choosing the right shovel for shoveling snow is essential to ensure efficiency and prevent unnecessary strain. Opt for a shovel with a curved or ergonomic handle, as this design helps to reduce strain on your back and arms. Look for a lightweight yet sturdy shovel with a wide blade, as it allows for efficient snow removal without being too heavy to handle.

Lift with your legs, not your back

When shoveling snow, it is crucial to lift with your legs rather than your back to avoid back injuries. Bend your knees and use the strength of your leg muscles to lift the snow. Avoid bending at the waist or using your back to lift the shovel, as this can result in strain or even more severe injuries. By using the proper lifting technique, you can protect your back and minimize the risk of injury.

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Proper snow removal technique

When using a shovel, it is essential to employ the proper snow removal technique to maximize efficiency and minimize strain. Start by pushing the shovel into the snow to create a manageable load. Then, lift and throw the snow to the desired location with a smooth and controlled motion. Avoid straining or jerking movements, as they can lead to muscle strain or accidental spills. By maintaining a steady and controlled technique, you can remove the snow effectively while minimizing the risk of injuries.

Avoid overexertion and fatigue

Shoveling snow can be physically demanding, so it is vital to recognize your limits and avoid overexertion. Take breaks when needed, stay hydrated, and listen to your body. Fatigue can impair your judgment and increase the risk of accidents or injuries. Pace yourself and approach the task of shoveling snow with patience, ensuring you prioritize your well-being while clearing snow.

Situations Where Pushing Snow is Better

Clearing wide driveways

Pushing snow is particularly advantageous when it comes to clearing wide driveways. The wider blade of the snow pusher allows you to cover more ground with each pass, reducing the time and effort required. Whether you have a long driveway or a parking lot to clear, pushing snow can make the task more efficient and time-saving.

Removing powdery snow

When dealing with powdery snow, pushing snow is the preferable method. Powder snow is usually light and fluffy, making it easier to glide the snow pusher over the surface. By pushing the snow, you can quickly and effortlessly move it away without the need for excessive lifting or straining. Pushing snow is ideal for powdery snow conditions, where the weight is not a limiting factor.

Removing small amounts of snow

If you only have a small amount of snow to clear, pushing snow is the perfect technique. Shoveling may be excessive for a thin layer of snow, and a snow pusher can efficiently remove it without the need for a shovel. By using a snow pusher, you can save time and effort while effectively clearing small amounts of snow.

Clearing snow from even surfaces

Pushing snow is ideal for clearing snow from even surfaces such as driveways, sidewalks, or parking lots. The wide blade of a snow pusher allows for effective coverage and quick removal of snow. If the surface is flat and uniform, pushing snow is a practical and efficient method that can save you time and energy.

Situations Where Shoveling Snow is Preferable

Dealing with heavy or wet snow

When faced with heavy or wet snow, shoveling is the preferred method for snow removal. Heavy snow can be more challenging to push, and a shovel provides better control and allows for a more targeted approach to removing the snow. Shovels can easily cut through heavy or wet snow, making it easier to lift and throw it aside.

Removing snow from stairs and steps

Shoveling snow is the ideal technique for removing snow from stairs and steps. Shovels allow you to scoop the snow from each step individually, ensuring thorough removal and reducing the risk of slips and falls. The precision and control offered by shoveling make it the safer and more suitable method for snow removal on stairs and steps.

Navigating through narrow pathways

When it comes to narrow pathways or tight spaces, shoveling snow is the preferable option. A snow pusher may be too wide to maneuver efficiently, while a shovel can easily fit into narrow areas and remove the snow without disturbing surrounding objects or surfaces. Shoveling allows for more precise control, reducing the risk of accidentally damaging nearby plants, fixtures, or obstacles.

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Removing compacted or icy snow

For compacted or icy snow, shoveling is the more effective method. Shovels offer the advantage of being able to break through the hardened snow or ice, allowing for easier removal. By using a shovel to chip away at the compacted or icy snow, you can create a safer and more accessible path, eliminating any potential hazards.

Potential Challenges of Pushing Snow

Limited effectiveness on uneven terrain

Pushing snow may pose challenges on uneven terrain. While snow pushers are designed to glide smoothly over even surfaces, rough or bumpy ground can make the task more challenging. Uneven terrain may cause the snow pusher to catch on obstacles or lose traction, reducing its effectiveness. In such situations, alternative snow removal methods, such as shoveling, may be more suitable.

Potential damage to delicate surfaces

Although snow pushers are designed to be gentle on most surfaces, there is a potential risk of causing damage to delicate or fragile surfaces. Pushing snow on surfaces like wood, delicate pavers, or decorative stones may result in scratches or unsightly marks. It is crucial to assess the surface you are clearing and consider alternative methods, such as shoveling or using a snowblower, to prevent any damage.

Risk of pushing snow into unwanted areas

When pushing snow, there is a risk of inadvertently pushing the snow into unwanted areas, such as doorways, entrances, or other cleared paths. Careful attention and precision are needed to ensure that the snow pusher follows the desired path and does not obstruct access or create additional snow piles in inconvenient locations.

Requires initial investment in equipment

To push snow effectively, you will need to invest in a snow pusher. While snow pushers come in a range of prices, quality options can be more expensive. It is essential to consider the long-term cost-effectiveness and your specific snow-clearing needs before purchasing the equipment. However, if you have large areas to clear or anticipate frequent snowfall, the initial investment in a quality snow pusher may be well worth it.

Potential Challenges of Shoveling Snow

Physical strain and fatigue

Shoveling snow can be physically demanding, especially when dealing with heavy or wet snow. The repetitive movements involved in shoveling, combined with the weight of the snow, can put significant strain on your muscles and joints. Over time, this can lead to fatigue, discomfort, and even injuries if not done correctly. It is essential to listen to your body, take breaks when needed, and not push beyond your physical limits.

Greater time and effort required

Compared to pushing snow, shoveling generally takes more time and effort. Shovels have a smaller capacity, meaning you need multiple lifts and throws to clear the same amount of snow as a snow pusher. The repetitive nature of shoveling can result in a more labor-intensive process, requiring additional time and energy to complete the task.

Increased risk of injuries

Shoveling snow, particularly when done with improper technique or inadequate preparation, can increase the risk of injuries. Strains, sprains, and even more severe injuries like herniated discs or heart attacks can occur if the body is not properly conditioned or if improper lifting techniques are used. It is crucial to be aware of your physical abilities, use proper lifting techniques, and take necessary safety precautions to minimize the risk of injuries.

May cause damage to surfaces if not done correctly

If not performed with care, shoveling snow can cause damage to surfaces like asphalt, concrete, or delicate materials. Improper technique, using a shovel with sharp edges, or applying excessive force can result in scratches, gouges, or even cracks on the ground. To prevent surface damage, it’s important to select the appropriate shovel, use controlled movements, and avoid scraping the shovel against the ground.


When it comes to snow removal, understanding the benefits and advantages of both pushing snow and shoveling snow is essential. Consider your specific needs and circumstances, such as the size of the area, the type of snow, and any limitations you may have. Choose the appropriate method for each situation, keeping in mind factors like efficiency, precision, and the potential challenges involved. In some cases, combining both methods may provide the optimal snow removal solution. However, no matter which technique you choose, always ensure that you take the necessary safety precautions to protect yourself and others while enjoying a snow-free environment.