Snow removal options make winter work easier

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio - Heights Hardware has been selling snow shovels for more than 100 years. The store on Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights is well stocked for the current lake effect winter blast. Hardware specialist Brian DeWitt talked to NewsChannel5 about what to look for in a good shovel.

DeWitt said plastic snow shovels are durable, lightweight and a good value. But he advised customers to pay a few dollars extra for a shovel which has a metal edge on the blade.

"The steel edge gives it something to wear on," said DeWitt. "It also scrapes the finer snow off the sidewalk a little better."

DeWitt showed other features of the Heights Hardware inventory -- everything from a small folding shovel designed to be carried in a car trunk, to a "pusher" made to help avoid the need to lift and heave shoveled snow, to a popular ergonomic model meant to reduce back strain.

Indeed, ergonomically designed snow shovels continue to gain acceptance. Websites like ImprovementsCatalog.com and Ames-TrueTemper.com have numerous snow removal implements with curved, comfortable handles and different looking blades.

Snow shovels are nowhere to be seen at Giaco's Mower Shop in Fairview Park. Instead, motorized snow throwers of all makes and models fill the showroom and service area.

Owner Jason Giaco told NewsChannel5 modern day snow throwers are easier to use and maintain than in the past.

"Four cycle engines burn a lot cleaner -- you don't have to mix oil," said Giaco."

He also advised buyers to look for name brand engines when considering a snow thrower purchase.

"You get what you pay for," Giaco said. "The off-brand engines seem to come in for service a lot more."

Giaco also made mention of small electric powered snow throwers as an "easy-to-handle" alternative to a snow shovel.

"Your limited in what you can move with it - but this will throw the snow 30 feet. It's a lot lighter weight. It's good for clearing a path."

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