Snowmobile Shovels: How To Choose the Right Tool?

  • Time to read: 4 min.

The topic of snowmobile shovels might sound like it starts and ends with: “get one, keep it handy,” but that’s not the case.

Choosing the right shovel comes down to what the product is made of, how heavy it is, and several other features you need to keep in mind.

We will go over some of the most important aspects of choosing and buying a shovel for your snowmobile and why a snowmobile shovel is a must-have for every driver.

Why a Snowmobile Shovel?

Quite simply, the snowmobile shovel is a rescue and recovery tool, whether yours or someone else’s.

You can use it to dig out just about anything covered by snow, including – of course – snowmobiles.

Maybe you think you’ll never have to use your shovel in an emergency.

It’s a good idea to subscribe to the adage of having something and not needing it is better than needing something and not having it.

How To Choose a Snowmobile Shovel?

To be sure, a shovel is a shovel, and in a pinch, any old tool will do.

However, when push comes to shove, wouldn’t you love to have one that’s solid, reliable, and long-lasting?

To choose that kind of snowmobile shovel, pay attention to the following:

-Construction / Materials

-Weight

-Length

-Ergonomics

-Extra features

All of these aspects are important when it comes to picking the shovel that won’t leave you tired or – worse – hurt after using it.

1. Construction and Materials

Most snowmobile shovels are made of strengthened aluminum, though you may come across high-strength plastic and steel ones as well.

Whether you need a lighter or a more durable shovel, you’ll need to choose which will meet your needs.

Try to pick up and use your potential purchase before actually buying it.

How does it feel when you imaginarily shovel with it?  Can you visualize using it to dig yourself out?  Stand up and crouch over and see if the handle is too long or too short for you? Is it too heavy or too light?

2. Total Weight

The total weight of your shovel will depend almost entirely on what the spade and handle are made from.

Of course, the lighter your shovel, the easier it will be for you to move larger quantities of snow.

More lightweight materials do bend more quickly, however.

3. Length

Another crucial aspect of any snowmobile shovel is its length.

Some are super portable and short, but this means using these short shovels will likely lead to you stooping over and stretching your back.

Many models come with telescopic handles, so keep an eye out for that.

4. Ergonomics

No less important than the weight and length of your snowmobile shovel, the ergonomics of your tool dictate how comfortable using it is.

Ergonomics also comes into play when the shovel isn’t actually in use. You do need to transport it around, after all.

So again – try to handle the tool before spending money if possible as this is the only way to be sure that using it won’t be a detriment.

Look for grippy, rubberized handles and a design that won’t harshly strain your body and tire you out.

Most likely, you will be wearing gloves when using the shovel, so try the shovel out with your gloves on. 

If your go-to pair of gloves have rubber grips on them, a shovel with rubberized handles may hinder as rubber on rubber does not move smoothly.

5. Extra Features

It’s not particularly rare for modern shovels to come jam-packed with extra features.

Additional integrated tools that come in all shapes, configurations and sizes, with the ice saw being the most common of them.

Otherwise, you might get a pick or a bladed tool within the handle.

Depending on your specific use case, these extras can be convenient, but depending on the quality, the shovel’s integrity and weight may be affected.

Quality Shovels vs. Cheap Shovels

Whether you decide to spend more money on a quality shovel or save a buck and get a cheaper one, it is entirely up to you, but make sure that you don’t get one that’s too cheap.

Look for reviews and recommendations, and if the price is a concern, forego extra features over sheer quality.

Read our buyers guide to purchase the best shovel for you.

If your snowmobile ends up covered with snow, the last thing you want is for your shovel to break. Not only would this leave you without any digging tool, but you might also hurt yourself during the breakage!

Multipurpose Shovels vs. Traditional Shovels

The more features that are included and you can pack into a shovel without sacrificing its integrity, the better.

A multipurpose shovel is incredibly useful in a survival situation, and it might come equipped with a serrated edge.

Such a shovel is helpful as a cutting implement or even an impromptu axe.

It’s important to note that multipurpose shovels are often more compact than their traditional variants, making them ideal as backpack tools.

A standard snowmobile shovel can be mounted or stored under the seat on the vehicle.

Where To Store a Snowmobile Shovel?

Now that you know how to choose the right snowmobile shovel for you, the last thing we need to cover is where to keep it.

The answer is – try your best to keep it on your person at all times.

Keeping the shovel mounted on your snowmobile would be easier, but if the unthinkable happens, and you and your machine are not near each other, you don’t want to get caught without a digging tool for fast recovery.

The best-case scenario is one we mentioned before: keep a smaller multitool shovel in your backpack and a larger, more robust one in the seat of your snowmobile.

Hopefully, you won’t ever need to thank us for this bit of advice. Good luck!