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Our house sits on top of a large hill, and last year when we had the heavy snows, we decided that we needed to go shopping. The roads at the time seemed to be fairly clear with just some surface slush as we went down the hill, but then it snowed whilst we were away, and as we tried to come back up the hill to go home, the car started skidding and we got stuck, along with a few other cars in the same predicament. We were nearly a mile away from home, with a car boot full of shopping and our wheels couldn't get a grip to get up the hill to get us home. I then had that sudden realisation that we also didn't have any tools or equipment in the boot to help us get out of the situation. A shovel would have helped immensely to try and clear a path for the car to get a grip, and we're always told to carry such items in your car just in case you do get stuck.. But the roads seemed clear when we went out, and we'd only be gone an hour or so. But then the snow fell and the whole situation very quickly changed for the worse.
After that incident last year I vowed never to get stuck in the snow like that again, and so went out and bought 2 of these portable snow shovels - one for each car. At the time, they cost just under £10 each from Amazon (worked out as about £14 each with postage). An initial point that attracted me to this design was the fact that it was collapsible on the handle part, so that you can vary the overall length from 67 cm long in the collapsed setting through to 84 cm long in the fully extended position. This is a very helpful feature given that I was intending to carry it in the car and didn't really want a full sized shovel in the boot talking up too much room. Another useful feature is that it lightweight, primarily being made of plastic and weighing only 2 kg. So it's not going to dent your fuel consumption too much if you carry it round in your boot during the winter months.
The front part of the shovel is entirely made of a tough plastic and is quite wide with reinforcing ridges to give it added strength. To complete the design, the back part of the handle has a 'D' shaped grip to allow you to put some force behind the shovel when you dig it into the snow. So overall, it looks the business.
So what's it like to use? Well I bought these earlier in the year and just caught the tail end of the heavy snowfalls. So I did manage to get in a situation to test it 'in anger' so to speak clearing the snow from my drive. Undoing the grip lock on the hollow metal handle and you can extend the shovel to the full length of 84 cm. When extended, the overall length is not exactly brilliantly long, and perhaps could do with being a few centimetres longer to save you having to stoop down so much to dig the snow. But then this is, strictly speaking, a sort of emergency shovel that you wouldn't really plan to use for any extended duration, as you would with a shovel or spade when digging the garden. So really, it is something that you would quickly use to try and get you moving again if you did get stuck in the snow. So balancing this feature against the price you pay, the shovel should be adequate for purpose.
With the shovel in the open position, it does feel fairly well made in your hands. It's not going to last long if you're intending to shift some heavy rocks or piles of gravel with it, but it is adequate enough to shift piles of freshly fallen snow or slush. Also of note is that whilst the front part of the shovel is tough plastic, the actual front edge is not so tough that it will be able to crack and dig into hard ice. So great for moving snow, but not tough ice or frozen compacted snow.
Now whilst this feature may be of a concern, perhaps it is worthwhile putting it into context once again of how you intend to use the shovel. When I was stuck, some of the snow was freshly compacted under and around the wheels, whilst other areas were slush, and I suppose that would be a common situation that many would find themselves in when they get stuck in the snow. So in my opinion with that situation, this shovel would have been ideal to try and clear a channel for the wheels to get a grip.
In summary, whilst this shovel may have its limitations for use, for the cheap price you pay, it is adequate for your needs to be used as an emergency shovel to carry around in the boot of your car and get out once in a while to dig yourself out of snow. So a 4* recommendation overall.
Earlier in the year when the snow fell I found my telescopic portable snow shovel very handy indeed. I bought it some time before, in anticipation of snowfall and I keep it in the car through the winter months. Due to its telescopic nature it is very easy to store in the car boot as it takes up less space than a conventional shovel. The telescopic shaft of the shovel is lightweight and I don't find it cumbersome or awkward to carry and use.
The blade of the shovel is of a decent size, which allows me to clear freshly fallen snow quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately, the fact that the blade is plastic, this doesn't give me the confidence to dig into ice or snow that has been compacted under foot. I think this is a limitation of the product, as opposed to using a metal blade, but the plastic construction keeps weight down. As I live on a hill it gets regular use when snow falls, and it is ideal for clearing pathways promptly. The handle of the snow shovel is made from hard plastic, but this isn't a particularly bad point in my opinion. The reason being that you won't be shifting anything too heavy, or using it for long periods of time, so comfort never becomes an issue for me.
Once the shovel is expanded and locked into place, the shovel feels a little flimsy, but it has held up to its exertions so far, and for under a tenner I don't think it is unreasonable to expect a couple of issues. Overall you may think that the build quality, design and materials are poor, but the shovel is more than capable of clearing large areas of snowfall, and if you are looking for a tool to clear most of the snow alongside use of grit then I wouldn't want to put anybody off buying this telescopic snow shovel.
My area was hit really hard with the recent snowfalls with nearly two feet of the white stuff falling within a week. The council were fairly good when it came to clearing the main roads and some paths, unfortunately as I live on one of the routes that the snowplough clears there was a huge three foot bank of snow pushed against the side of my car. Me, my teenage daughter and two neighbours worked on freeing my car by shoveling the snow away with ancient coal shovels found at the back of a shed. Snow is surprisingly heavy in large quantities and shoveling made my sciatica flare up and also caused my daughter's hypermobile joints a lot of strain so after an hours shoveling we were both downing painkillers and we had barely made a dent on the piles of snow! I wanted a lighter snow shovel to make the job a bit easier so logged onto Ebay and bought myself a lightweight telescopic snow shovel for £15 although the same model is now available on Amazon for £9.99.
The advantage of having a telescopic shovel is that it is easy to store and keep in my car boot, at the shortest it is 67cm long and so fits into a small boot. The downside of this particular shovel is that at its longest it is only 84cm long meaning that somebody tall will need to stoop down a lot to use it. Keeping a shovel in your car boot at this time of year is a good idea in case you get caught in the snow and need to dig yourself out, I have already needed to use it once to dig myself out of a parking space where old snow got caught behind my front wheel and I couldn't reverse up a slope and over it.
The telescopic snow shovel is lightweight as the pole is made of hollow metal and the blade from plastic. This means that it puts less strain on my back when using it than the old fashioned coal shovel. The pole seems to be nice and strong, it stays at whatever length you want it due to a good quality locking mechanism and the handle is conmfortable to hold.
The scoop part of the shovel is made of plastic which is lightweight yet strong. The flat front of the scoop fits flush against the ground and is ideal for sweeping along the ground to clear the snow. The scoop is also nice and strong and holds a good quantity of snow when you want to move snow and it has showed no signs of being bent out of shape even with the quantities of snow I ended up shifting. It is fairly useless when it comes to dealing with ice as the blade is neither strong nor heavy enough to crack the ice and for that I still use my old fashioned metal bladed coal shovel.
The telescopic snow shovel is sturdy and lightweight and makes lighter work of clearing fresh snow falls and is handy to keep in the car. It's just a pity it doesn't work on ice but I am still happy with my purchase.