Clearing snow with a snow blower

How to Choose Snow Removal Equipment

If you live or work in a climate that regularly experiences snowfall, you need to you can find. The ability to clear snow from walkways, roads, and other spaces lets you work without hindrance or make it to the store for vital supplies. Keep reading to see our options to help maintain your safety and mobility during the cold season.

Types of Snow Removal Equipment

Depending on the size of the area you need to clear and other considerations, various types of apparatus can be more beneficial. Our outstanding selection encompasses everything from hand-powered to motorized tools.

Snow Plows

Snow plows are ideal for clearing a large area quickly. These types of snow removal equipment come in separate units that you can attach to your pickup truck. An angled blade shunts snow off the road to clear a path for walking and driving. They’re best used in flat areas, including roads, parking lots, or fields with ground firm enough to support a truck’s weight.

A homeowner plows his driveway with a plow attached to an ATV.

You can use a snow plow when you have to get somewhere quickly. Their sturdy design and relative lack of moving parts make them very reliable. Just so you know, plows require a hitch or other setup to attach them to the truck, so you may need to make a separate purchase. While you do have to install them over the car, the fact that they’re removable means that you can store them in a small space, and you also get to use your vehicle for other purposes for the rest of the year.

Snow plows are among the most expensive options for snow removal equipment. Of course, since they help clear roads, you can use them as part of a business, so there’s an opportunity for profit to offset the cost.

Snow Blowers

Honda HSS1332HA snowblower pictured on a white background

Snow blowers are walk-behind units with motors tossing snow as you move. The operation is similar to a lawn mower, although the more prominent models cover a wider area than typical mowers. This snow removal equipment is easy to use and ideal for sidewalks and paths from your front door to the car. You can also use them on more expansive lawns for a play area. They come in various modes, including high-powered gas engines or simple-to-use electric motors.

When you purchase a snow blower, please consider how much snow you anticipate needing to clear, how frequently you plan to use it, and if you are working on smooth terrain, such as grass or pavement, or rougher areas, like gravel. Various models of snow blowers come equipped for more rugged operations. For more information, check out our informative snow blower buying guide.

Salt Spreaders

Salt spreaders cast salt and other ice-melting chemicals onto the ground to clear it off. Most of these snow and ice removal tools are push-behind models that work like seed casters or lawn mowers. They’re relatively lightweight for easy transport and compact enough to store out of the way during the warmer months. Human-powered spreaders are always ready to work because no motors can fix them.

Some models in this snow removal equipment category do feature motors, and you can mount them on trucks, tractors, or ATVs to ensure snow-free areas on your farm or the roads. One serious advantage they have over plows and blowers is that salt inhibits water from freezing, which means your paths may stay clear longer than if you simply move the snow out of the way.

Salt is generally the least expensive option but can cause rust in cars or other equipment. If you want to use a spreader around sensitive machinery, check out some top-tier options that melt ice without causing oxidation. While they’re more expensive to purchase, using these chemicals in your spreader can significantly increase the operational life of your machines compared to spraying salt around them.

Scrapers and Shovels

True Temper Forged Socket Pattern Sidewalk/Ice Scraper

Sometimes, the simplest solution is the best snow removal equipment. Shovels designed with large scoops make it easy to clear out long sections quickly. You can use them to get to your car from the front door and to move snow from the driveway onto the lawn. A snow shovel is best used in areas where the roads are regularly plowed or salted by the city since they are less helpful in cleaning the streets.

While a shovel is ideal for picking up snow, it could be better suited for breaking ice sheets over the ground. It’s a good idea to purchase a scraper to use in concert with your shovel. Scrapers with long handles let you work while standing upright, which is more comfortable and accessible on your back. Picking up a scraper and shovel is an excellent idea when you have very little snow to remove, limited space, or a smaller budget. Shovels and scrapers are superb options for equipping an entire crew or your family to help clear walkways for the whole neighborhood.

Type of Snow Removal Equipment
Area Coverage
Terrain Types
Power Methods

  • Very powerful

  • Reliable

  • Clears roads quickly

  • Not designed to clear lawns or sidewalks

  • More expensive than other options

  • Requires installation/removal

BlowerSmall to LargeAny, dependent on designPushed or Power-assisted

  • Easy to handle

  • Clears paths fast

  • Requires gas or electrical connection

  • Water may refreeze over cleared area

SpreaderSmall to LargeAnyPushed or Vehicle-driven

  • Prevents further freeze

  • Simple to use

  • Comes in many configurations

  • Not as fast as blowers

  • Salt can rust cars

  • Non-salt chemicals are more expensive


  • Lightweight

  • Stores virtually anywhere

  • No fuel or electrical connection required

  • Requires greater effort

  • Shovels aren't suited for ice breaking/melting

  • Scrappers don't dig snow well


Whatever else it may be, clearing out snow isn’t fun. You can wear heavy-duty work gloves to keep your hands insulated against the cold. Eyewear protects your vision, especially in high winds or with swirling flakes in the air. Traction for easier and safer walking.

Use a combination of pants, a jacket, or a full bodysuit, ensuring you stay toasty even as you brave freezing temperatures. For added comfort, you can purchase a heated jacket or vest with battery-powered panels to keep the cold at bay. These jackets often have connections to hook up your media player so you can enjoy your favorite music while you work. If you’re working in the early morning or during a blizzard, wear an OSHA-approved high-visibility vest to ensure everyone can see you.

Keeping the snow out of your way is more than just a convenience. It gives you the freedom to go where you need to in an emergency and the ability to get to work and earn your living. Please look at our full selection of snow removal equipment today and choose the right tools for your individual needs.


  • Troy Blackburn

    January 24, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    That’s cool that snowplows use an angled blade to shunt snow off the road to clear a path for walking and driving. I’ve heard that snowplows can be used even while it’s snowing because they have great tread on their tires. I’ll have to keep these great options in mind as I choose a way to remove the snow from my property.

  • Rachel

    August 1, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    You wrote that snow plows are incredibly reliable, as they are designed sturdy and are great for quickly removing snow. My father has a cabin and has been thinking about getting something so that he could easily remove snow and visit in the winter. Plow would also be great as it would be able to attach to his truck and he could really make full use of it.

    • Acme Tools

      August 1, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      Hello, Thank you for your comment. A snow plow would be a great option for your father. One factor to consider is if he can drive to the cabin with the snow plow on the front or if he will have to store the snow plow near the cabin for installation.

      Thank you,
      Acme Tools

  • Mark Murphy

    November 27, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    I really appreciate your tip on how the lack of moving parts in a snow plow makes it very reliable. My wife and I have been thinking of getting a new house with a long driveway, and the neighbors told us that the winters can be rough. I will be sure to tell my wife that we should get a snow plow to avoid any hassle!

  • Amanda M.

    February 9, 2022 at 2:22 am

    Just wanted to thank you for all the great information on your blog! I’m glad that you are here to help us make an informed purchase.
    You talk about a lot of different machines and equipment for snow removal, Thank you again!


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