Snow Joe Snow Broom
Published: Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, 9:03 p.m.
The claim: The Snow Joe Snow Broom has an oversize foam head that won't scratch or harm the finish of the vehicle, and a telescoping handle and flat face designed to push snow instead of pull it, as you would with a traditional brush. The Snow Broom's durable molded polyethylene foam head has been lab-tested for nonabrasiveness, freeze-resistance, center-load stress and durability. At 6 inches by 17 inches, the high-impact plate can tackle wide swaths of snow with each pass. It is supported by seven columns that evenly distribute the weight load, making it effective even on wet and heavy snow. The powder-coated steel, telescoping handle has cold-resistant nylon threads and extends from 27.5 inches to 46 inches, so the entire car can be cleared from one side of the vehicle.
Where: Walmart, CVS and other nationwide retailers
You don't bring a knife to a gunfight, as someone once said, and you don't excavate your car from a 3-inch snowfall with a plastic scraper the size of a spatula.
Along comes the Snow Joe Snow Broom, which is built like a sort of giant Swiffer, with a telescoping handle and a large, swiveling head. Its best feature is that it allows you to push snow away from you and off your car instead of scraping and brushing at close quarters, where you end up coated in the white stuff. Its shovel-size head also makes it efficient — I cleared snow off the roof, hood and windows of my mid-size Nissan in little more than a minute.
The edge of the head doesn't slip on the snow, but it also did no apparent damage to my car's paint. My only quibble is that I had trouble getting the adjustable handle to lock, but that may be a user flaw. The MSR price of $19.99 is a small price to pay for a mess-free means of clearing snow from your vehicle.
Maybe the Snow Joe Snow Broom I tested was faulty, but I had great difficulty getting the handle to extend. The first time I used it, I had to pull the snow toward me because of this, but it did seem sturdy. Once I got help extending the bar, I found it worked well pushing the snow off the roof of my vehicle.
The scraper on the end of the handle makes quick work of getting ice off the windows. The company claims this tool is a great replacement for a regular snow brush, but don't throw yours away — you will need it to get around the bumpers and wipers. The bulky head on the “broom” makes it difficult to clear mirrors and headlights, too.
When I bought my new crossover recreational vehicle this summer, I wasn't thinking about snow beyond my all-wheel drive option.
As a — ahem! — vertically challenged person, it recently occurred to me I might need to drag my little step stool around in order to clear the roof without practically climbing aboard. I've had years of experience clearing cars that forced me to lean so close, my coat and slacks were pressed against the snow and salt. Ugh!
The Snow Joe Snow Broom came at a fortuitous time. With its extending handle, I can push the snow off the top at a safe distance without stretching and standing on my toes. At the other end of the handle, the ice scraper can reach the center of the windshield without strain. I still have my old snow brush for “detail” work around my windshield wipers, mirrors and corners. But the Snow Broom is a great addition to my snowstorm arsenal. And I can keep my step stool in the kitchen where it belongs.
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