Written by Terry Smith

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Best snow shovels for a bad back [UK]: Snow shovels for senior citizens with wheels reviewed with plastic options.

This article was last updated on April 23rd, 2022 at 1:40 am

A snow shovel is one of those tools you rarely buy but always miss when the time comes. Unpredictable weather in the UK last year saw snow in Summer no less, so buying a snow shovel and putting it in the garage for safe keeping isn’t a bad idea. You could also just buy a shovel, the normal kind as it’ll have plenty more uses. A snow shovel should be pretty sturdy and light weight to move large volume. It needs to be constructed well to withstand a blunt strike (we never know what we are digging in the snow) and should be comfortable to hold and grip, so I have reviewed the best snow shovels based on these ideas to save you time.

You need a snow shovel because random weather in the UK is a real thing and only getting worse. Whether you believe it’s a natural occurrence or because of human interaction with the environment, you can’t deny that the UK’s weather patterns have changed over the last few years. We are seeing summer weather in the spring, quickly followed by torrential rain and even snow!
 The thing is we really can’t be sure about seasonal weather anymore and it seems like the storms we that come along are getting more and more extreme. Although the UK doesn’t usually get as much snow as some other European countries, we can still get freak snow storms that have quite an impact on our daily lives.
 Having to clear your doorstep/driveway of snow isn’t most peoples idea of fun but it is something we should all be best prepared for, and that’s why I would suggest having a decent snow shovel handy just in case.

My picks for the best snow shovels:

  1. Neilsen Tools Aluminium Metal Snow Scoop Shovel – best light weight but strong snow shovel
  2. JR2021FF Snow Shovel with Wheels – best snow shovel with wheels and must have if you want the best for a bad back
  3. SCARFELL PORTABLE FOLDING SNOW SHOVEL – best plastic snow shovel and great budget option
  4. WOLF-Garten SNM42ZMAD Multi-Change Plastic Snow Shovel
  5. Bulldog BULSNOW8 Aluminium Handle Snow Shovel Perfect alternative to Neilsen snow shovel and must have for senior citizens.
  6. Vikan Shovel Lightweight Strong Plastic Rust Proof

How to pick the best snow shovel for you?

The first thing you need to consider is how much snow you think you’ll need to shift and how much effort you want to put in. If you have a bad cack then you’re almost certainly going to want to get a snow shovel with wheels that you can push. Not only will that keep you balanced, it’ll also give you something to lean on and reduce the pressure on your back a little. By contrast if you’ve only a small drive to clear and you’re in good shape you may just want a middle of the range plastic snow shovel to get you out of trouble rather than relying on a heavy metal builder shovel when the snow event comes.

Plastic snow shovels are very light and cheap too

One of thing to consider is the storage factor. Consider the UK will only get a few snow showers a year tops. Do you really want to store a snow shovel, taking up significant space in your shed for a rare event? Just asking! Of course now I’ve put you off it’ll lay 12 inches and you’ll be emailing in telling me I’ve put my foot in it! 😀

How to use a snow shovel effectively and clear a drive fast without hurting yourself

So you’ll be surprised to learn most of the reasons behind a snow shovel are the sheer weight of using a standard builders shovel and potential damage it would do to a path laid with mosaic, or a patio with sandstone. So effectively in this case also means avoiding damage to your property whilst clearing snow. And most importantly avoiding injury when doing so. Somehow we just don’t seem to do well in the snow. So I always prefer British videos (nothing personal just generally more relevant for us) but this chap has far more experience than us and he has a pretty handy hack with a rope attached as well as a few other good ideas worth considering. Not a wasted 3 minutes of life watching his video for sure:

Read on below to see our reviews of the best snow shovels for sale in the UK.

When I first wrote this review a couple of years ago I was a fan of the Neilsen and rated it best snow shove in the UK. I still think that stands. It’s now proven more than ever it’s a very light but strong shovel and practically tailor made for snow that lays in the UK.

The shovel head being made of aluminium has its advantages. Firstly, aluminium is rust and corrosion resistant so you should get a lot of life out of this component – pretty handy when you use it and then put it away for another 6 months. Also, aluminium allows this tool to be very light without compromising its strength and durability.
 The fibreglass shaft also does its bit to ensure this tool is light enough to be handled by anyone including senior citizens, and you won’t be getting blisters from the D-type grip.
This product measures 120 x 30 x 21 cm and weighs 1.12 kilograms. Just over a bag of sugar!

Now a big thing for me is the aluminium is likely to take a few knocks. And they’ll certainly straighten out. If you knock a plastic snow shovel its more chance of breaking and there’s no coming back from that and what a blow to be organised for the snow and then only to have the tool to fail. I don’t know If I could handle that 😀 So for that reason alone it seems sensible to pay the extra, despite the potential wait to have it out the shed!

You’ll shift snow quick with this and minimal fuss. I can’t really find much fault with this snow shovel, it’s a great bit of kit and well designed. You might argue there are cheaper options I suppose. This isn’t just my sentiment, I can’t find a bad word said about this snow shovel over the entire internet!

Pros:

  • Aluminium head is rust and corrosion resistant an will dent rather than crack and break like plastic.
  • Fibreglass shaft helps to keep this product lightweight yet still strong
  • Wide head will have you clearing driveways in no time
  • Comfortable D-type handle

Cons:

  • Cheaper options available – worth looking at plastic snow shovels too

I can imagine the look of envy on the neighbours when they see you pushing about the JR2021FF Snow Shovel with Wheels. This is a serious bit of kit with a serious price tag. However, if you have a big long driveway you’ll think it’s worth every penny. So rather than reviewing the cheap alternatives to this snow shovel with wheels I thought I’d review the one that won’t break when used for extended periods of time. And let’s face it, you’re only buying one of these if you need to move a huge amount of snow!

Here’s how easy it is to use a decent snow shovel with wheels:

As you can see that’s easy on the back and ideal for senior citizens too. It’ll be handy if you have somewhere to pile up your snow – a patch of lawn for example. The kids will be over the moon too! 🙂 I’d highly recommend clearing with this first then throwing down some grit to get your drive and paths slip free fast.

Pros:

  • Makes clearing snow almost a joy – the look on the neighbours mainly 😀
  • Very easy to use – just push and go
  • Clears large driveways and paths fast
  • Well built metal frame and snow pusher

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Not too many reviews online yet
  • Will it see enough use to justify the price?

So in my mind this is arguably the best alternative and overall snow shovel, and definitely the best plastic snow shovel. Mainly because it’s now proven the test of time. I originally reviewed this plastic snow shovel a couple of years ago and it’s still doing will with many positive reviews.

Scarfell’s portable folding snow shovel is the perfect ‘emergency tool’ to keep in the boot of your car or in the cupboard under the stairs, and of course tucked away for a snowy day in the shed. 
It is comprised of 3 separate parts, a plastic shovel head and shaft and a metal handle, that when assembled together measures 940mm so a slightly shorter shovel than some but still ideal for shovelling snow and the reduced length gives a more rigid shaft with less leverage stress.

The parts can be quickly separated again by pushing the locking pins in, and it literally takes a minute to disassemble.
 The plastic parts are made of heavy duty plastic and will handle light-medium tasks well, but this tool is not suitable for digging into hard soil and carrying heavy loads of stones or coal despite looking like that style of shovel…

On the downside being a cheap snow shovel some noted the handle not quite in alignment. Overall though a reasonably good buy for something not needed all that often

Pros:

  • Perfect as an emergency snow shovel
  • 940mm long once assembled
  • Easy to assemble and take apart – can be separated into three parts for easy storage
  • Made from strong plastic

Cons:

  • Not heavy duty
  • Some complained handles didn’t align.

Previously I reviewed the WOLF-Garten SNM45ZMAD but I feel the plastic option is ample now that it has a comprehensive 10 year guarantee. It’s 123cm long with the same spec as the aluminium version with a small difference that it can be used in up to -30C (overkill for the UK I hope).

And more on the 10 year guarantee. IT’s easy to see why. This is probably the strongest plastic snow shovel I’ve ever seen. The construction is super and still doesn’t look flimsy when lifting large shovels of snow.

With a decent shovel width you can move loads of snow quickly and because the shovel is mainly made of plastic but still has plenty of strength on the scoop – mainly because of the metal edge up front

Pros:

  • 42cm shovel width
  • Cold shock resistant up to -30C
  • 123cm long so you can remain upright
  • Lightweight
  • Exceptionally well balanced

Cons:

  • Pretty expensive for a plastic snow shovel – aluminium alternatives available cheaper
  • A big shovel to keep around for not much use

The Bulldog BULSNOW8 Snow Shovel is a really super bit of kit. What you may not know from seeing the limited reviews of this specific product is that the ratings of the other snow shovel they have is probably some of the best in the UK for this line.

In case you’re unfamiliar with them please take a look at:

So why this snow shovel? Well it’s so light it’ll shock you. At just 380 grams its less than half a bag of sugar. They manage this with a plastic scoop that they stabilise and strengthen with a metal edge (not to mention stops easy cracking if you hit something firm) and an aluminium shaft. The strong plastic handle is another design enhancement that serves to reduce the weight of this shovel. It also has a rubberised grip on the shaft to make grabbing on that bit easier. A very accomplished and well thought out bit of kit.

That makes this shovel absolutely a must have for senior citizens or those that are unable to wield something heavy. Naturally the light weight shovel lends itself to those with bad back problems too.

I’ve seen a couple of reports online of a dud here and there, one that snapped in fact, but generally speaking this is an excellent product from a reliable supplier who will honour a guarantee no problem at all.

So when I compare it to the Neilsen Tools Aluminium Metal Snow Scoop Shovel, I have to say I prefer that is it’s more robust. However it’s hardly surprising as it’s over three times heavier. This snow shovel was built with user in mind, so if you’re not as strong as you once was this is a must have bit of kit.

Pros:

  • Super light, probably the lightest snow shovel in the UK
  • Reasonable price when compared to the Neilsen
  • Nicely though out design – good rubber grip, light, metal edge on scoop, light but strong handle

Cons:

  • A few broken get through QC
  • Still prefer the Neilsen as its more robust but definitely better for senior citizens or those with bad back.

The last snow shovel on the list for this Winter is rather interesting. It’s a completely solid bit of plastic from top to bottom and weighs slightly more than the Neilsen. Why would you include this you may ask? Well actually, it’s the diamond in the rough so to speak. You’ll notice this is used not just for snow, but by stable owners for mucking out their horse and is the go to shovel.

Naturally it goes without saying if the shovel handles muck with ease and doesn’t break then it’s absolutely ideal for snow too. It’s a case of buying a product for a job it’s simply over designed for which is great for us. The other super thing is the price. It’s cheaper than the Neilsen that I rate so highly too!

However, with that all said some have complained it’s a bit heavier than they like and the scoop isn’t as big as an out and out snow shovel scoop either. I would suggest not ideal for those looking to alleviate stress. However, a great alternative to the top picks if they are out of stock and much better than leaving the car stuck in an emergency!

Pros:

  • Completely plastic so won’t rust
  • Very well priced when compared to other snow shovels available
  • Over built for snow – can muck out stables which is much harder work

Cons:

  • A bit on the heavy side for snow
  • Scoop isn’t the biggest

Why buy a snow shovel?

Have you ever had an emergency but been unable to use the car? This is essentially what happens if you’re blocked on your drive. Equally, have you ever trodden in snow on the path and then the next day it’s been covered with fresh snow, only to fall over, or worse watch someone else fall over as a result? These are good reasons to be looking for a snow shovel.

They are so light weight too! The one in this picture weighs less than half a kilo, or half a bag of sugar if that’s easier for you to envisage:

Snow shovel weighs less than half a kg!

A snow shovel is really one of those things you put away for a long time and then they become absolutely gold dust when you haven’t got one. You have to ask yourself. Are you one of those organised people or not? A top snow shovel will make things much easier when the time comes!


About Terry Smith

I’m Terry Smith from gardentoolbox.co.uk, a professional landscape designer, hobbyist gardener, and barbecue fanatic with 20 years experience building and restoring. So as you go through my site you'll watch me document some of the professional garden installs I make as well as the major projects I take on at home. While sharing those experiences and guiding you, I'll be recommending some great tools I use to enable this along the way so you can really buy in confidence. Always feel free to pop me a message: info@gardentoolbox.co.uk

View all posts by Terry Smith

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