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Best Ice Scrapers

Updated September 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 37 Models Considered
  • 5 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 123 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best ice scrapers

    Last Updated September 2018

    Ice, snow, and frost removal are chilly winter tasks that many people cannot avoid. With the right ice scraper, however, you can clear your windshield and get on your way without delay.

    Not all ice scrapers are the same, and depending on the winter conditions in your area, you may need one with specialty features like a brush or squeegee. If you’re not sure what you need, you’ve come to the right place.

    We’ve provided a shopping guide to help you decide which ice scraper features would work best for you. Be sure to take a look at our top picks for ice scrapers to see which models we think stand out from the crowd.

    A good coating of wax on the body of your car can help speed up snow removal.

    Types of ice scrapers

    Standard ice scrapers

    A standard ice scraper has a handle and a straight-edged blade. The blade may be double-sided with an ice pick on the opposite side. This type of ice scraper works best for most conditions, though you may need to remove heavy snow from the windshield before scraping.

    If you live in an area that gets frequent heavy snow, you may need a scraper with a longer handle to prevent heavy, built-up snow from falling on you as you scrape your windshield.

    Long-handle ice scrapers

    Long-handle ice scrapers have an extended arm with a blade at the end. There’s a great deal of variation in handle length and design with this type of scraper. Some models have a curved handle to give you better leverage; others have a retractable handle that can be adjusted to different lengths. Some may have a blade only, while others may have a blade on one end and a brush or squeegee on the other.

    The arm of a long-handle ice scraper should be solid and well-made so it doesn’t easily break when you’re scraping thick ice or frost. This type of scraper works best if you’re trying to reach the center of a large windshield.

    Ice scraper mitts

    The handle of this type of ice scraper is encased in a protective mitt to keep your hand dry. Some mitts are insulated and others aren’t, which means you may need extra protection for warmth. Most ice scraper mitts do not have a long arm, so they work best for small vehicles and windshields.

    Electric (heated) ice scrapers

    Electric or heated ice scrapers plug into the cigarette lighter of your vehicle. As they heat, they melt and scrape ice off the windshield. Unfortunately, these models have not traditionally performed well. They do not heat quickly, nor do they get hot enough to do much more than a standard ice scraper. Notably, you must keep your window open while using an electric ice scraper.

    Snow brooms

    A snow broom is an ice scraper with a long handle and brush or broom head on one end. Some have a curved handle to get better leverage when scraping tough ice and snow. The broom or brush is used to sweep off heavy snow to get to the underlayer of ice. Those who live in areas with frequent heavy snow will find this tool to be one of the best options.

    EXPERT TIP

    Brooms and brushes work best when pulling the snow off the car rather than pushing. Try to pull off the snow in a straight line, and be careful that you don’t pull the snow off on yourself.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Ice scrapers: the most important features

    Here are some of the most important features to consider when choosing an ice scraper.

    Arm length

    Arm length varies; there are ice scrapers that have no arm, and there are ice scrapers that are basically full-size brooms with a scraper on one end.

    To determine what you need, consider the size of your vehicle and the size of your windshield. Larger windshields and vehicles need a longer scraper. You might also need a longer handle if you’re shorter than average.

    Some ice scrapers have an extendable arm that allows you to adjust the length. The durability and construction of the arm must be of high quality with these models, because you may have to put a lot of pressure on the arm to remove thick ice. Look for extendable arms with locking mechanisms so the arm doesn’t retract while you’re scraping.

    Blade size

    Ice scraper blades are usually between five and 11 inches wide. That said, the ice scraper with the widest blade isn’t always the most efficient tool. A blade that is too wide spreads out the pressure, causing you to work harder to remove ice and snow. Ice scrapers with small to medium blades tend to work best, as they concentrate the force applied and make each stroke count.

    Brush

    Not all ice scrapers have a brush, but those that do often have an ice scraper on one end and a brush on the other. A brush may have bristles or a foam head, but regardless of composition, it helps remove heavy snow so you can reach the ice layer closest to the windshield.

    Squeegee

    A squeegee comes in handy if you live in a cool, wet climate. Sometimes it’s necessary to scrape and then squeegee off the remaining slush or soft ice. Some squeegees are located on the blade head and can be used by flipping the blade over. Others may be located on the side opposite the blade.

    Ice chipper

    With particularly thick ice, you may need an ice chipper to break through to the windshield. Ice chippers are often located on the opposite side of the blade head.

    Grip

    In cold winter conditions, an ice scraper with a good grip can make all the difference in your ability to remove tough ice. A scraper with a soft, rubberized grip creates more traction than a plastic contoured grip. If you wear thick winter gloves, traction and grip are especially important.

    FOR YOUR SAFETY

    Never pour hot water on your windshield to help melt ice. The temperature difference between your windshield and the hot water could cause the windshield to crack.

    Ice scraper prices

    • Inexpensive: For less than $10, you can find a mitt ice scraper or a basic ice scraper with a squeegee or brush.

    • Mid-Range: In the $10 to $20 range are ice scrapers with foam or rubberized grips, long-handle models, and a few ice scrapers with extendable arms. Some models may have a squeegee or broom. Electric ice scrapers are also found at this price point.

    • Expensive: For over $20, you’ll find ice scrapers that have extendable arms with locking mechanisms and snow brooms with durable handles. Many of the ice scrapers in this price range offer versatile adjustment options for large vehicles or for households that may have users of different sizes.

    Some long-handle ice scrapers have a detachable ice scraper. This smaller standard ice scraper is ideal for tough ice and snow, as it gives you better leverage and applies more pressure than the full-length version.

    Tips

    • Keep an ice scraper in every vehicle you own. That way, you won’t get caught away from home without a way to remove ice or snow from your windshield.

    • It’s fairly easy to find a place to stash your ice scraper. For example, a small ice scrapers could easily fit in a glove box or in the small storage bin found on the door of some vehicles.

    • Keep a pair of gloves in your car so your fingers stay warm while you scrape. Even with a brush or broom, you’re likely to get cold ice and snow on your fingers as you work.
    For easiest ice and snow removal, warm up your car before you start to scrape. Turn on the inside air circulation to take full advantage of the warm air. This can help loosen the ice and snow for easier removal.

    FAQ

    Q. I’m not very tall. What kind of handle shape should I look for to get good leverage when scraping?
    A.
    Even if you’re of average height, getting good leverage on the windshield of a large vehicle can be difficult. Extendable handles allow you to adjust your reach, but the handle shape also plays an important role. Curved handles offer extra leverage, but you may have to sacrifice length for the ability to apply more pressure. The longer the handle, the easier it can bend when trying to remove thick ice and snow. Medium-length handles with a curve offer a good combination of leverage and durability for tough ice removal.

    Q. Will an ice scraper scratch my windshield?
    A.
    Ice scrapers are usually made of hard plastic that’s designed to protect the surface of the windshield. Notably, there are ice scrapers designed to remove ice from sidewalks and other rough surfaces. These ice scrapers should not be used on windshields, as they could scratch the glass.

    Q. Can I use an ice scraper to scrape ice off the body of my car?
    A.
    An ice scraper is designed to remove ice from a windshield, not the body of a car. The scraper could scratch the paint on your car, especially if you were to slip while using it.

    Ice scrapers with a foam broom head can sometimes be used on the body of a car, but you should check the manufacturer’s instructions before doing so.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Alice
      Alice
      Web Producer
    • Amos
      Amos
      Director of Photography
    • Branson
      Branson
      Videographer
    • Ciera
      Ciera
      Production Assistant
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor
    • Stacey
      Stacey
      Writer

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