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Shoveling - Scoop vs Plow

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is time to discuss shovels. Wuuuweeee how exciting! Like yard tools, shoveling isn't necessarily a one-size-fits-all scenario. I have seen people broom their sidewalks (for a light dusting of snow) as well as use a garden hoe to break up ice. Here is my take on the two types of shovels we use.

Shovels - We have two main shovels that we utilize during the winter; a scoop shovel and a plow.

The Snow Plow - This is the BEST investment we made when committing to Midwestern living. Rather than be bent over a regular scoop shovel trying to get snow out of the way, the Snow Plow pushes the snow along easily. It's less strain on your back, less work for your arms and it's relatively quick. If you flip it over, it works great on the harder stuff (like sleet) that sticks to the concrete. The one downfall they have is that they are not good for scooping...which is why you need a scoop shovel!

  • The Snow Plows range in width from 24" to 48", so you can choose the best fit for you. We got ours at either Nybergs Ace or Northern Tool.

  • Anywhere from $30 - $70, depending on size.

  • The actual plow piece is replaceable. We are on our second winter with the original and will most likely replace the plow for next winter season.

  • There are similar products with different brands that I am sure probably work well too.

Scoop shovels - That is what I call them. They are the ones you can buy ANYWHERE. They come in many different sizes, colors, materials, designs. The one pictured below an ergonomic snow shovel, so the neck of the shovel has a bend in it to make the scooping of snow easier. After a few snowfalls have built up, you need something to toss the snow up and out of the way. These shovels are designed specifically for that.

***For lots of heavy wet snow, I suggest using a snowblower! In South Dakota, it depends year by year how much use you would get out of a snowblower vs shovels. The size of the area you have to clear will also factor in to this decision. We currently live in house with a ridiculous amount of concreted areas, and we are on the corner. 2017 and 2018 the snowblower was used quite a bit. So far in 2019 we have relied mainly on our shovels.


  1. Shovel your driveway before you drive on it! If you drive on the snow in your driveway, your tracks are harder to shovel off and then turn into icy spots.

  2. Salt your icy spots! Be aware of the hazard ice causes for you and people using your sidewalks.

  3. Find a way to "enjoy" shoveling. It is inevitable and has to be done, so no point in dreading and hating it. Whether you see it as a WORKOUT, find it to be your QUIET ESCAPE, or incorporate it in as part of your daily ROUTINE it really isn't that bad .

  4. As a resident in Sioux Falls, you have a responsibility to shovel your snow! The city requires that your sidewalks are shoveled within 48 hours of the last snowfall. More information is available here.

Thanks for reading!

- Rhiannon

Photo Credit: Rhiannon Israel

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