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February 11, 2005

Trail Blazer® Snow Auger


Archimedes is smiling as he reads this.

From Union Tools of Columbus, Ohio comes a whole new approach to snow shoveling.

Their Trail Blazer® Snow Auger is a kind of horizontal corkscrew designed to clear up to 4" of heavy snow or 6" of powdery stuff with much less effort than a conventional shovel.

Invented by a fellow Wisconsinite, so you know it's been battle-tested.

As you push the thing along, it churns the snow out along the right side.

So you'll want to start on the left side of whatever you want to clear.

Charlie Wilson, senior product manager at Union Tools, said in yesterday's Washington Post story, "This is as easy as pushing a lawn mower. There is no bending or lifting. It works so fast you are not out there very long."

"As it's pushed along the ground, the Trail Blazer® clears a 21"-wide path by forcing the snow off to the side with the auger's turning action."

"Clears down to the pavement in one pass."

It also works on uneven surfaces such as brick, fieldstone and decks.

Man, I'd have made a fortune with one of these if I'd had it growing up as a boy in Milwaukee.

The non-powered Trail Blazer® has a heavy-duty, weather-resistant ABS auger blade in its polypropylene housing.

Two-piece powder-coated steel handle with a D-grip.

$35 at Home Depot (800-553-3199).


Can't wait till it snows again to try it out.

February 11, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink


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OK, here is how you clean the driveway with this awesome shovel. You start in the middle walk down the driveway, turn around and walk on the left side of the last path, when you get to the top, you cross over to the left of your first path down the driveway. This is not that hard to do. I can clean our driveway 75X20 feet in five minutes or less. As far as getting to the bottom of the snow, drop your hand while holding the shovel, again not that hard to do, no bending over like it was stated before.

Posted by: Ingrid | Jan 29, 2009 12:58:34 PM

i walk down the center of my drive and then go side to side eliminates the build up i had back surgery and love this!

Posted by: philip | Dec 19, 2008 10:27:14 AM

Well, I decided to buy one of these things to try it out. I fought my way to the Home Depot, on the way home from work, during the biggest snow fall this year. I made my way to the show shovel aisle and low and behold, there was one and only one left. It comes in a box and not pre assembled, so it doesn't jump out at you. Anyway, I purchased it and rushed home to try it out. The verdict? Here are the pros and cons:

1. The snow pushes much easier. I tested it on 4" of new powdery Utah snow.
2. It is easy to handle and not heavy at all. It seems reasonably well constructed.
3. It is perfect for doing sidewalks as you can make two passes and clear the snow quite easily.

1. If you push the snow from a comfortable upright position, it causes the bottom of the shovel to hover about a 1/4" above the ground, so it still leaves snow behind. In order to remove the snow down to the pavement, you have to stoop over a little and push it with the handle more parallel to the ground, which causes the bottom of the shovel to scrape the ground.
2. If the area you wich to clear is wider than a sidewalk, ie a driveway, you either have to follow the patter on the box, or only push from one side of the driveway to the other. In other words, you cannot push snow across the driveway, turn around and then push back to where you started. You have to walk back across and push all the same direction as the snow is discharged out the right side of the shovel.
3. The materials could be better. I was under the impression that the shovel and auger were made of metal, but they are a heavy plastic.

My suggestions for improvements to the design of the shovel are:

1. It should be made of aluminum or steel. It will last longer and the extra weight would keep it from floating on the snow.

2. It needs to be slightly larger and the back of the shovel should be taller so the snow does not spill over the back of the shovel.

3. The clearance of the auger should be adjustable, kind of like wheels on a lawn mower, so you can get the bottom of the shovel closer to the pavement without having to make the handle more parallel to the ground.

4. The handle should be ergonomically bent. That would also help get the shovel closer to the pavement.

Overall, I am happy with my investement. It does clear the snow quicker than a normal shovel and is much easier to push. I still suspect that this is most likely my last year of shoveling. I plan on investing in a snow blower next winter, although I will keep my Snow Auger for clearing sidewalks, etc when I don't want to bother busting out the snow blower.

I give it a 7.5 out of 10. A great idea. With a few improvements to the design, it could be a 9 out of 10.

Posted by: Greg Scavezze | Dec 7, 2005 9:28:53 AM

Great idea. I think this would work well on sidewalks, but how do you clear a driveway with this thing? Even if you start at the left side of the driveway, the first pass will throw the snow off the driveway and the remaining passes will just move the snow to the left 21". You will have rows of snow on your driveway, right?

Posted by: Greg Scavezze | Nov 30, 2005 9:42:21 AM

Looks pretty nice.

And I suppose you don't have to worry about crushing your hand clearing the auger on this as you would with a snow blower.

Posted by: Neill | Feb 12, 2005 12:27:34 AM

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