Pros and Cons of Using a Power Snow Shovel

A power snow shovel is a combination of a lightweight snow thrower and an electric broom. It is used to clear snow from walkways, decks, patios and steps. Power shovels are light, convenient and claim to be able to clear hundreds of pounds of snow per minute. However, as with any piece of equipment, there are pros and cons when it comes to actual use.

Snow Removal
Most power shovels can handle new snowfall that's up to about seven inches deep. The lightweight designs allow the user to scoop up snow and push it ahead. A power snow shovel can handle small driveways, sidewalks, steps and porches and decks. However, they are not designed for heavy, wet or icy snow, or snow more than eight inches deep. Power shovels can be inconvenient, because they push the snow directly in front of the machine. Some strategic planning must be used if you're clearing a large area.

Power
Most power shovels are electric and can be run with an outdoor extension cord. This eliminates the need for gasoline and the mess and fumes gas can cause. An electric power shovel starts quicker than some gas models as well. You will need a heavy duty extension cord that is long enough to reach all areas where snow must be removed. The cord may come unplugged if enough strain is placed on it, and dragging the cord around can be tiring.

Size and Weight
Most power shovels take up no more space than a vacuum cleaner. They are lightweight enough that pushing them around in the snow is not a strain. A power shovel can even be stored on a hook in the garage, which you can't do with a bulky, gasoline-powered snow blower.

The light weight is achieved by using more plastic parts than metal. Care should be taken that plastic blades don't come in contact with concrete. Most power snow shovels don't feature wheels, so steering can be difficult and mobility may be a problem for people who have difficulty carrying things out in front of their bodies.

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