on November 30, 2010
I shopped around on Amazon for snow shovels to prepare for winter and was pretty stoked to find one that had all the features of the Suncast SC5350. It looked great when I got it. Just a word for everyone else, the shovel part is actually plastic, not graphite.
Moving on... I live in Alaska and was all psyched to try it out when it snowed yesterday. It worked well for about 25 mins and then I heard a *crack* and it broke. Where the handle attaches to the shovel broke, so now the handle is all loose. It's just a matter of time until the shovel completely breaks. It's useless (after ONE DAY!) for shoveling heavy snow.
It pushes the snow just fine, and the metal strip is a good feature. Careful using it on wood, though. The metal picked some good sized chunks of wood off my deck.
All in all, very dissapointing. I could see how it would be awesome for light snow, but heavy loads of wet snow and slush are too much for it.
I've contacted Suncast customer service, and they've asked me to take a picture of it before they move forward with my claim. More details as they come.
EDIT: SunCast customer service was fantastic; they sent me a new shovel... that one hasn't broken... yet. I have found that with very wet snow, the shovel simply can't handle a full load. Also, this shovel is not ideal for shoveling deep berms (or my roof).
on January 28, 2009
I bought this to replace an older shovel from the same manufacturer. I liked the old one, but both the plastic blade and the plastic handle had cracked after about 6 years. The crack in the blade was no problem, but the crack in the handle tried to bite my hand with every shovel full. I was pleased to see that the new shovel was pretty much the same as the old one, but the handle and the blade had both been redesigned and look substantially more robust than the ones on the old shovel.
The curved handle is the main feature that I value in these shovels. I've had a history of back problems, and this shovel makes it not only possible but natural to shovel without bending over to lift the shovel (I'm just over 6 feet tall).
The metal cutting edge on this shovel is pretty substantial and has a lot of bite, making this a fairly good shovel for chipping ice and hard-packed snow off pavement. The deeply scooped blade with sides makes it good for lifting and throwing snow too.
It is heavier than most shovels. Might be overkill for pushing an inch of snow off the sidewalk, but it's just what you want for serious snow shoveling.
When I ordered this I was wondering how they would package a snow shovel for mailing. Turns out they just wrapped a little plastic around the blade and stuck a shipping label to it. No need for the mailman to wonder what was in THAT package.
on December 8, 2008
My local hardware store has not been able to keep these in stock. I'm glad I got one when I first saw it. The bent handle makes it very comfortable to shovel and lift up the heavy snow, even when I am shoveling snow over the railing of my deck. As a Minnesotan, I've used many snow shovels over the years and this is the best I've had. I would highly recommend it.
The shovel is good quality and has stood up to a number of years of use, unlike several cheaper imitators whose rivets don't hold, or whose aluminum edges get bent up. Plus this shovel has a wear strip along the bottom that can be replaced when worn, adding to this shovel's long life. Also, the handle is ridged making it comfortable to hold and easy to grip when turning over to dump the snow.
on February 9, 2015
Disclaimer: I am writing this review after only using the shovel once, so I may need to modify this review after prolonged/repeated use.
Up until yesterday, I had been using a cheap plastic shovel (shorter straight handle, no metal blade edge, smaller and flatter blade). I live in Boston, where we've had over five feet of snow in the last three weeks (which beats the record for snowiest 30-day period set back in 1978). I've spent many hours digging out my car and trying to clear stairs, sidewalks, and the hydrant on my block. Other than its inability to break through the toughest ice at the bottom of re-frozen snow piles, I didn't have any particular problems with the cheap shovel I was using, but I knew that there were ergonomic models out there that were designed to reduce back strain and make my work more efficient. Anything that would reduce how long it takes to dig out a car is worth a shot, I figured, so I went searching on Amazon and decided on this Suncast 20-inch shovel.
Upon receiving it, my first impression of the shovel was that it was kind of heavy. This was not a good sign, but I wasn't sure how it would play out in action, so I gave it the benefit of the doubt. Last night, after a few inches of snow had accumulated (on the front end of a major storm that is currently dumping another 1-2' on the area), I decided to go clear the area behind my car to give the shovel a test drive. Here are my impressions:
-Pushing snow: I have been doing this to great effect with my old shovel in order to save myself to energy expenditure of lifting and carrying snow when it could just be pushed over to a pile (and then thrown from a static position). With the Suncast shovel, however, I found pushing the snow to be super annoying. First, my height seemed to be an issue. I'm 5'4", and I had read reviews saying that this shovel was awkward for tall people (had to bend too much, handle curve in the wrong place), so I figured it would be great for me. But when I hold the end of the handle at the center of my mass, the curvature of the blade means that the edge of the blade is actually very slightly off the ground. This completely defeats the whole snow-pushing exercise. In order to get the blade edge to make contact with the ground, I have to raise the handle up, which then means I'm holding it at my middle chest rather than around my diaphragm. It may not sound like a big difference, but it means that my arms and back are doing a TON more work rather than having my legs and core doing most of the pushing. I also found that the blade got caught on *everything*. The combination of the ice and the plows has made the road surfaces pretty craggly, and this shovel found every nook and cranny. I'm going to have to try shoveling the exact same area with the old plastic one to see if it also gets caught the same way, but the Suncast snagging everything, combined with the weird angle I had to hold it at, made it essentially useless for pushing snow.
-Shoveling and throwing snow: This shovel does a good job at grabbing and retaining snow in the blade. That is my one positive. For the initial digging part, I found that I wanted the bend in the handle to be closer to the blade, which would give me a wider grip on the shovel and more control over the blade (similar to how you don't hold a toothbrush by the far end, because that would make it impossible to maneuver). I imagine that this would be even truer of larger individuals with longer arms. When it came time for me to throw the snow, I encountered the most troubling problem yet. With my other straight-handled shovel, there are two options for getting rid of the snow: push the shovel forward rapidly, ejecting the snow off of the end, or turn the handle 90º+ to dump the snow off the side. Neither of those options work particularly well for the Suncast shovel. Chucking the snow became very hard very quickly because the shovel is so damned heavy. My old shovel is two pounds, while this is five. That's a BIG difference when you're out there for 2 or 3 hours trying to clear a large area. This is the same problem with variations on this action, whether it's throwing the snow back over your shoulder or whatever else. As for turning the blade to dump the snow, the ergonomic handle makes that way harder than necessary. Basically, instead of using both hands/wrists to twist the shovel, you can only really use the hand on the handle, while the hand on the bent shaft is in too awkward a position to do anything and just passively allows the rotation to take place. It's hard to explain, but I found it nearly impossible to perform the twist-to-unload maneuver with this shovel. All of these problems are magnified by the fact that most snow piles are currently at or above my eye level, meaning that I have to use a lot of upper body strength just to get the snow into a pile. With a heavier shovel and a more difficult time unloading the snow, this shovel seems like more trouble than it's worth.
All of that being said, I'm going to give it another try. It's possible that this shovel takes some getting used to, and that when I get better it using it, it will be far more useful. But my first impressions were not very positive, and it's entirely possible that I will be switching back to my trusty $10 shovel before this storm is over.
on October 28, 2013
We bought this shovel last year and ended up buying two others to replace it. This shovel is very heavy, so it's useful if you are going to use it strictly to push snow. Lifting and throwing snow, however, can only be done in small amounts. I'm not sure what qualifies this shovel as "ergonomic." I find that the bend in the handle forces me to exert more effort, not less, when picking snow up and I have to bend over further than I do with a straight handle. This shovel also requires it's own dedicated hanging hook in the garage. Because of the bend in the handle, it takes up a ton of space and doesn't hang well with the other shovels. Not a good purchase.
on February 2, 2016
I looked at 1000 shovels are mine broke after the east coast blizzard last week. I could have bought a cheaper one that did the job ok, but I wanted an ergonomic handle, non-stick and the metal edge to break up ice. This arrived this morning and I still have a giant pile of now partially melted, so very heavy almost solid icy snow left in part of my driveway, and I opened the box and started using immediately. Wow this baby chops the icy parts nicely to make the shovel-fuls more manageable! Got half my job done in 15 minutes, letting the sun do a little more and will likely finish later this afternoon. If I had this shovel post-blizzard when the snow was deep but fluffy, I could have shoveled in half the time. The shovel holds a lot, yet I can adjust for less if too heavy. Will be locking this up so it doesn't get stolen by neighbors in next storm!
on January 12, 2016
Love this strange shovel. As a tall person, my back loves it more than I do. Sturdy design to make it easy to push show or lift it. Have used it for snow, mulch and even gravel. Lighter than expected. Metal edge to cut into some ice. The scoop design allows a lot of snow to fit in it.
Tip: Spray Pam, cooking oil or WD40 on shovel before touching sticky snow. The snow flies off. No need to shake off caked on snow.