The snow storms that have been pounding wide swaths of the country have made it all-too-clear that many people don't have the right tools to get rid of all that snow and ice.
But on "The Early Show" Thursday, BehindTheBuy.com Senior Editor David Gregg spotlighted what he says are some of the best new gadgets out there to help you get the cold stuff off your sidewalk and driveway and away from your car:
The following descriptions were prepared, at least in part, with information from and assertions made by the manufacturers or retailers
True Temper SnoBoss $37
Worried about throwing your back our while shoveling? The SnoBoss has an ergonomic design and unique features that make it ideal for your back not only shoveling, but also pushing, scraping and cleaning snow and ice. The new ergonomic design features a multi-handle grip that allows for homeowners to more comfortably position themselves as they work to remove the snow. The SnoBoss is available at The Home Depot, Lowes and Amazon.com at retail price of $36.99.
The Sno Wovel $137
What happens when you combine the wheel with a snow shovel? The Sno Wovel wheeled snow shovel (by Structured Solutions) is a fast and safe alternative to shoveling. With virtually no effort, this snow shovel can throw snow without twisting or lifting. The wheeled shovel design greatly reduces the risk of back and heart injuries associated with snow shoveling. The Sno Wovel revolutionizes the mechanics of snow shoveling - outperforming many snow blowers and is 3x faster than shoveling. It is environmentally clean, quiet, and maintenance-free. The Sno Wovel multiplies mechanical force and leverage at the axle or fulcrum point of the 35-inch wheel. With a seesaw action, it's possible to throw twice as much snow as a traditional snow shovel into piles over 4ft high. Great in all snow conditions, from slush to over 2-feet (and especially for heavy) snow. Made of heavy gauge steel and injection-molded polypropylene, the Sno Wovel can move up to 2-feet of heavy snow with their 26-inch extra wide blade (and even slush). The frame, wheel and tire have a lifetime warranty, durable yet lightweight and easy to maneuver - performance tested by professionals and consumers around the world. It's simple to assemble, comes with a DVD video guide along with a Limited Lifetime Warranty. A top U.S. ergonomic research center independent study (Univ. of Mass.) verifies using the patented wheel-based technology results in a 3-4 times reduction in lower back stress and cardio exertion vs. conventional snow shovels, greatly reducing strain, risk of back injury (comparable to simply walking). Anyone can use the wheeled shovel and it is fully adjustable for body type and size. Maintenance-free, the new Sno Wovel features a unique Folding Frame for even more convenient frame adjustment, storage and portability. It stores easily and can hang flat on the wall like a shovel. Accessories; including Gravel Wheels, a Chipper Plate for ice and packed snow, and an advanced composite Snap-On Wear Strip to extend shovel life are available.
Sno Brum $25
Want a solution to removing snow from the surface of your car without scratches?
The SNO BRUM by Snow Joe offers consumers a way to quickly sweep snow off a vehicle and away from the user. Perfect for sport utility vehicles and minivans where reaching the across the width of the windshield with a typical snow brush is often challenging. With the SNO BRUM, drivers can easily push even heavy, wet snow off the roof, hood and trunk without scratching the paint or harming the finish of any vehicle. The durable molded polyethylene foam head has been lab-tested for non-abrasiveness, freeze resistance and center load stress and durability and has achieved the highest ratings in all tests. The oversized head (6' x 17") is the largest snow remover available. The high-impact plastic face plate is recessed into the foam to prevent contact with the vehicle. The powder coated steel telescoping handle has special cold resistant nylon threads and extends from 27" to 46"
Garelick 21-Foot Aluminum Snow Roof Rake $60
Want to safely remove damaging snow from your roof without harming your shingles? The Garelick 21' Aluminum Snow Roof Rake features a patented "Shingle Saver" rollers. The unique snow flake roller design is easier to use because the blade never touches the roof's surface, preventing damage while making it easier to roll back up the roof. Using the Snow Roof Rake to safely remove snow from roofs, homeowners can prevent the damage of much-publicized ice dams. Ice dams cause water to back up under shingles, ruining roofs, ceilings and walls. Removing snow also relieves unnecessary weight on the roof which can damage the eaves.
The AutoBoss $13
Want the perfect new snow removal tool to clear snow from around your car? The AutoBoss is a compact snow shovel offering a sleek, patent-pending design. It is lightweight and portable, yet strong enough to handle heavy snowfalls. Its low profile design makes it great for easy storage in a trunk, under a car seat, or in a bag. The AutoBoss extends in an easy, fluid motion, and locks into place for strength and durability. It provides 150 square inches of coverage capacity and multiple hand placement options for comfort and control. The AutoBoss is perfect for clearing snow from tight areas but versatile enough to accompany campers and outdoor enthusiasts, too. The AutoBoss costs approximately $12.99 and is available on Amazon.com, at Ace Hardware stores, and in the Northeastern United States at The Home Depot.
To see david's picks for snow blowers, ice melters and a hand-warmer, to go Page 2.
NOTE: David didn't suggest any gas units because, as he put it, "They are not green and tend to present many dangers to users if not used with great caution."
Snow Joe Plus Snow Electric Thrower (Model 322P) $100
The Snow Joe 322P electric snow thrower is designed to easily remove snow from steps, decks, patios, and sidewalks. Unlike gas models, the Snow Joe 322P is powered electrically, making it effortless to start and maintain. Weighing only 12.5 pounds, the Snow Joe 322P affords an ease of maneuverability. Its powerful 7.5 amp motor throws snow up to 20 feet. Clearing paths 12" wide and 4" deep with each pass, the three-blade rotor effectively cuts through light snowfall. Enhancing the unit's performance is its ergonomic handle, precisely engineered with a back-saving curve to alleviate user strain and reduce fatigue. When it comes to tackling light snowfall, the Snow Joe 322P electric snow thrower is a smart tool to have to get you equipped for the winter. Available at Lowe's and online.
Snow Joe Ultra Electric Snow Thrower (Model 622U) $250
For heavier snow falls get the power of gas in this electric powered snow thrower. Responding to the need for an easy-to-use machine that could tackle heavier snowfall on large driveways and walkways, Snow Joe developed the Snow Joe Ultra 622U1, a larger electric snow thrower that delivers the power of a gas machine with the convenience of an electric unit. Driven by a 13 amp motor, the Snow Joe Ultra moves up to 800 pounds of snow per minute. Its durable, 4 blade rotor, constructed of heavy grade steel, cuts a full 19" wide and 11" deep with each pass, clearing 2150 square feet per hour. In addition to its plowing capacity, the Snow Joe Ultra features an adjustable discharge chute that rotates a complete 180 degrees to provide full control over the snow discharge direction. The chute deflector can also be adjusted to control the height of the snow stream. Easy-glide pivot wheels make the Snow Joe Ultra easy to turn and maneuver on each pass. The scraper blade at the base of the unit efficiently scrapes the snow clear to the pavement. Like the Snow Joe 322, the Snow Joe Ultra 622U1, is powered electrically, making it effortless to start and maintain. No gas, oil, or tune-ups are necessary. The unit is ETL-approved and carries a full 2 year warranty. For heavier snowfall on large driveways and walkways, the Snow Joe Ultra 622U1 is your smart solution this winter. Available at Lowes and online.
Toro 1800 Power Curve Electric Snow Blower $300
Get the power of gas while staying green with this electric snow blower. Uses new technology that blows snow down to the pavement of your driveway. Toro's 1800 Power Curve is lightweight and hardworking. The exclusive Power Curve design throws snow farther and cleans right to the pavement. The 1800 Power Curve is maintenance free - no gas and oil to mix - simply plug it in and go - starts every time. Since it is lightweight this electric snowthrower is easier to maneuver than a gas unit. Toro 1800 Power Curve, 12A Motor, 18" Clearing Width, 10" Intake Height, Push Drive System, 160 Degree Adjustable Chute Control, Manual Pitch Control, Can Move 700 LB Of Snow Per Minute, 30' Throw Distance, Perfect For Small Lots, Sidewalks & Driveways, Weighs Only 24 LB, Safety Key Lock Prevents Unauthorized Use, Minimal Assembly Required, 2 Year Full Warranty.
Bare Ground Solutions BB-100 Bare Blaster Snow & Ice Melting Propane Torch $27
This is truly the FINAL word in ice melting! This ice melting solution is HOT!...Literally! Immediate ice melting results that will amaze even you with the unique Bare Blaster. Eliminate back breaking chipping of dangerous icy patches and prevent slips and falls. Get rid of black ice and hard packed snow & ice quickly and easily. The Bare Blaster is made of nickel plated steel and brass to withstand the elements. It weighs under 4 lbs. including the propane cylinder (not included) and uses either the 14 oz. or 26 oz. propane tanks which are available at most hardware stores. The Bare Blaster has a full 31 reach so that you don't have to stoop and crouch. The flame control is adjustable. You will get year round use for summer weed control - just aim and blast them away. Lightweight & easy to use clean burning & inexpensive screw on installation to standard propane tanks Use on walkways driveways & steps keeps property safe from accidental slips & falls precision fame gets rid of dangerous icy patches gets rid of weeds in summer. Available at Amazon.com.
Keep It Green Snow & Ice Melter $50
Keep it Green Snow & Ice Melter (by Dart) is an environmentally friendly ice melter designed to be safer for your pets, landscape and vegetation. It is enhanced with a CMA (Calcium magnesium Acetate) and fertilizer combination. Keep it Green works faster and safer than other environmentally friendly ice melter. -Keep it Green 40-pound bucket of snow and ice melter. -Works faster and safer than other environmentally friendly ice melter. -Environmentally friendly and designed to be safer for your pets, landscape, and vegetation. -Enhanced with CMA and fertilizer -Comes in an easy grip resealable bucket. Can get at Amazon.com.
Blue Heat BH8 Snow & Ice Melter with Heat Generating Pellets - 8 Pound Jug $13
If you've got thick ice and freezing temps, have I got some ice melt for you! Melts in conditions down to 25 degrees below zero! 8 lb Jug Blue Heat Snow & Ice Melter by Dart with Heat Generating Pellets is a powerful ice melter that will melt down to 25 degrees below zero. Blue Heat has superior strength and is designed to de-ice pavements, driveways and other road surfaces in a matter of minutes. It also has a patented non-staining light blue tint which allows users to distinguish between the applied and unapplied areas. Available at Amazon.com.
FINALLY: TO HELP KEEP YOU WARM:
The Zippo Hand Warmer $20
This is a way to warm your hands that's better than using gloves or mittens! The Zippo Hand Warmer is a perfect accessory to combat the chill, no matter what your outdoor activity. Warm your hands while camping, fishing, hiking, and hunting. The Hand Warmer is great for football games, from tailgating through final whistle. Warm up during winter sport activities: skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and ice hockey. Put the Hand Warmer to work on the job: forestry service, construction, or virtually any outdoor occupation. Includes hand warmer, warmer bag, and filling cup. Built for winter warriors, the Zippo Hand Warmer features a sleek and compact design, and fits easily into pockets, gloves and pants without the bulk of other warmers. The Hand Warmer uses Zippo premium lighter fluid to produce more than ten times the heat as traditional models and lasts for up to 12 hours. Plus, it comes with a one-year guarantee, making the Zippo Hand Warmer a perfect fit for any outdoors enthusiast. Just add lighter fluid to make it work. Fluid not included in packaging.