LAST UPDATED: May 15, 2019
Best Ice Scrapers: Scrape and Brush Away Snow with these Top Contenders
Top snow and ice removers to reclaim your windshield from the cold
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON May 15, 2019
It doesn't take a blizzard to ice up a windshield. In fact, just a little bit of moisture and the right temperatures are all that’s needed to turn a piece of glass into a foggy, icy mess. That is why it’s important to have a good ice scraper in your automotive emergency kit. Whether you live in an area that experiences weeks of cold temperatures or just want to be prepared for the random icing, we’ve got you covered with some of the top ice scrapers you should consider.
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Why Buy an Ice Scraper
- Scrape away the ice. The most obvious benefit to any ice scraper is right there in the name: It allows you to scrape snow and ice off of the windshield. Despite its straightforward use, it’s easy to ignore the usefulness of this simple tool until you find yourself outside with nothing to clear the windshield. To avoid driving around with your head out of the window, a small ice scraper is usually enough to clear up the windshield for safe viewability.
- Brush away debris and snow. A great benefit with larger ice scrapers is the multifunctionality most have in their design. Quite often, typical ice scrapers will come with other attachments and heads for the windshield. For example, brushes are extremely common and are useful for clearing away snow and loose debris from the windshield. Rarer models come with squeegees to wipe and clean windows off periodically. Whatever the extra tool or feature, it’s easy to see or experience the convenience it can offer, especially when you don’t have to worry about the windshield’s viewability.
- Maintain the windshield’s health. Beyond fixing viewability issues in bad weather conditions, a good ice scraper can also be a preventative tool when it comes to the windshield’s health. Consistent ice buildup can influence the glass’s structural integrity on rare occasions. Windshield wipers can also experience some degradation, especially around the rubber seals, if left sticking to the ice for long periods of time. A periodic, thorough de-icing or brushing is usually all that’s required for routine windshield maintenance.
Types of Ice Scrapers
Handheld Ice Scrapers
The most basic design for an ice scraper is the handheld variety. Meant for single-handed use, these ice scrapers tend to be small and storable. Quite often, they are also limited in functionality, coming with just a single scraping head and not much else. If you have a larger vehicle, you may find the smaller head to be too small to be useful when it comes to deicing a windshield or dealing with thick ice.
Large Ice Scrapers
For bigger windshields, larger two-handed ice scrapers are more common and effective. These tend to be longer in the shaft, have a larger surface area with a foam grip, and have a much wider, heavy-duty head to scrape more ice off in one stroke. Some also come with other accessories or attachments on the opposite end, such as brushes and squeegees. While they take up more space, they tend to get the job done more quickly and effectively than handheld varieties.
Top Brands of Ice Scrapers
As an automotive accessory manufacturer and distributor, OxGord has been focused on offering customers high-quality products at budget-friendly prices. The company has a good line of replacement and upgrade automotive parts, but its ice scrapers like the OxGord Mini Ice Scraper are perfect for keeping around your vehicle as well.
Mallory is an automotive part distributor with a focus on safety. Spanning across the United States, the company specializes in selling safety gear from a variety of suppliers and offers a few automotive products under its own brand as well. For ice scrapers, its Mallory USA 532 Scraper is one option to consider for an easy-to-use, easy-to-store tool.
It may be difficult to believe a company can be successful with a thorough line of ice scrapers, but Snow MOOver has been proving the point for years. With smart designs like the 46-Inch Snow Brush, the company offers a lot of different choices, large and small, to quickly clear ice and snow from your windshield.
Ice Scraper Pricing
- $10 and under: The budget end of ice scrapers has mainly handheld options that are convenient for storage in a car. If you need something compact to keep around just for ice, this is the range to check out.
- $10-$20: The midrange has a mix of handheld and longer ice scrapers. The common brush and /scraper combo can be found here in different styles and designs as well.
- $20 and above: True multipurpose ice scrapers make up the bulk of this range. For a tool that does more than just scrape, begin with this range and prepare to invest some more money.
Scraper Blade and Head
The main business end of any scraper is its head. Often made of plastic, the head has a number of teeth that dig into the ice, chipping and scraping it away with each stroke without scratching up the glass underneath. Designs and sizes vary, but the effect often depends on the shape of the head. Quality construction materials are also important for the longevity of the scraper. You may spend a little more on harder plastics and composites to ensure a longer lifespan.
The main body of the snow scraper influences the overall ergonomics and the amount of reach/power you have with the tool. Smaller handheld scrapers, for example, tend to have short shafts with the limited gripping area and reach. Longer handles on larger scrapers tend to be more comfortable to hold at the expense of storage space. Regardless of the length, it’s important to find something with a good, thick padded grip for the best comfort possible. A thicker grip also helps when you’re wearing gloves outside on chilly winter mornings.
For multitasking individuals, a multipurpose tool is always a smart investment. Ice scrapers that have a brush, snow shovel, or other snow removal tool on the other end allow you to maintain the windshield and clear away debris all with the same tool. In most cases, larger ice scrapers automatically come with extra functionality built into the design.
- Storability: Just like any other automotive tool, you’ll need someplace to store an ice scraper. The size is the main factor that influences how much space you will need in the garage or the vehicle itself. Size can also influence where you store it. Larger scrapers sacrifice convenient storage in the interest of better ergonomics unless they have a telescoping handle. If storage is a top concern of yours, something on the small side, especially in the handheld range, will be the better purchase.
- Ease of Use: The basic operation of an ice scraper is pretty simple: scrape in one direction and repeat. Unfortunately, the ease of scraping ice is more attractive on paper than in reality with certain designs. This is influenced by the ergonomics, length, reach, and head size of a scraper. In general, the wider the head is, the easier it is to use. Part of the usability is also influenced by the size of the windshield. Larger car windows require larger ice scrapers to effectively use without hurling yourself over the hood.
Best Ice Scrapers Reviews & Recommendations 2020
The Snow MOOver 39-inch brush is about as good as it gets when it comes to tackling the elements that cling to a car and its windshield. Packing in a traditional ice scraper, snow brush, and squeegee onto an extendable handle, this snow remover is perfect to use all year long.
The unique thing with this snow brush is the angle of the brush itself. While many scraper and brush combos have the brush angled for swiping at the snow, this one rotates the head 90 degrees so you can push and pull the snow around. This gives you more leverage for thicker snow and ice without having to change your motion between the two.
The ice scraper end does a decent job of removing an average amount of ice, but there's room for improvement. Heavier, thicker ice is more difficult to tackle with this scraper since pressing down hard can leave small marks on the surface of a vehicle.
With a small 4.5-inch blade, this mini ice scraper is best used for light dustings and morning frost that take forever to melt away with the heater. With that said, the small profile and comfortable grip of the ice scraper both make it easy to use, even on heavier stuff.
This scraper does a good job of getting underneath tough ice and cutting through it with a simple forward and backward stroke. The opposite end of the shaft has an "ice breaker" back end with larger teeth to chip and break away the thicker stuff as well. Best of all, this scraper is small enough to fit in a glove compartment.
While the scraper is great for ice, it does almost nothing for snow or rain. The lack of a snow brush is a killer for days when the snow has piled up onto the vehicle. Even though you can technically push snow aside, the small size means it will take longer with more effort to do so.
If you want an ice scraper that looks and feels like a traditional scraper and brush, the Mallory 532 scraper is a logical competitor. This scraper has a good combination of an ergonomic design, a large bristle brush, and a standard 4-inch-wide scraper on the tail end of the shaft.
The classic design of this scraper/brush combo makes it easy to use quickly when you are clearing both snow and ice away from the windshield. The width of the brush itself covers a large swathe of a normal windshield. The most attractive aspect of this budget scraper is the solid feel and construction of the shaft and grip; you can push against the hard stuff without feeling like the scraper will buckle under the pressure.
Its traditional design is also a major limitation when using this scraper on larger vehicles. With the fixed length of the shaft, it's more difficult to use the scraper on larger windshields. The scraper end, in particular, can suffer from reach issues if you don't have unnaturally lengthy arms to make up the difference.
- If you have a large vehicle, something like an SUV or truck, go with the longest ice scraper you can find. Something at or above 32 inches in length is usually enough to reach the center of the windshield or even cross over to the far side on smaller vehicles.
- Ice scrapers that are adjustable are perfect for multi-vehicle use. If you have more than one car you need to scrape, the adjustable shaft will allow you to customize the length as much as possible to navigate around the windshield more readily than something with a set length.
- Some ice scrapers have adjustable brush heads you can angle to clear snow off more quickly. Just like a snow plow, these ice scrapers will gently nudge snow to the side, progressively removing the snow completely from the windshield with each pass.
- Invest in a high-quality ice scraper if possible. While budget options (or even free scrapers) are good when you’re on a tight budget, the size and longevity tend to suffer for the lower price tag. A high-quality scraper can last you years of use, so you can make the smarter investment upfront by paying a bit extra.
Q. How long of an ice scraper do I need?
A. Ultimately, this depends on the size of the vehicle and its windshield. With larger vehicles, reach becomes a problem, especially when you try to get to the center of the windshield. Longer scrapers offer more adequate reach. Vehicles with a large hood and engine bay can also present a problem, requiring a longer length. For an average car, however, anything below 32 inches should do.
Q. Where can I store an ice scraper?
A. Depending on the size, you should be able to put a scraper almost anywhere in the interior of a vehicle. Handheld models are more convenient to hide away in a side pocket or glove box, but even longer scrapers can fit in the backseat, trunk, truck bed, or other larger cargo areas of a vehicle.
Q. Do de-icers work better than ice scrapers?
A. While the simple de-icing fluid is effective in some conditions, nothing beats the simplicity of an ice scraper. For the most part, de-icing fluid takes time to work through the ice that has built upon a windshield. That is why it is more of a preventative measure, trying to avoid the ice in the first place. This is the same as the windshield covers used in the winter time. To cover all your bases, have a scraper and some de-icing fluid on hand.
Our top pick in this guide is the Snow MOOver 39-Inch Snow Brush. From a company focused on snow removal equipment, the perks of this brush and scraper include a large, ergonomically positioned brush head and an expandable shaft that can be adjusted for different windshield sizes.
On the small, budget-friendly end, the Hopkins Subzero 16621 Ice Scraper earns our top value spot for its great ice removal results.