Explore our comprehensive guide to choosing the best ice scrapers and snow brushes for your car, ensuring clear and safe driving in winter.
As winter settles in, the cold mornings often greet you with a layer of frost or snow on your vehicle. For anyone who has experienced the struggle of peering through a frosted or snow-covered windshield, the importance of a reliable ice scraper that does not scratch your windscreen cannot be overstated.
In this guide, we will explore the world of ice scrapers and snow brushes, examine different types with their pros and cons, and key specifications to consider before you buy.
Check out our selection of ice scrapers and snow brushes:
Best Compact Ice Scraper
Funniest Ice Scraper
Different Types of Ice Scrapers
The front part of an ice scraper is usually made from thin, tough plastic and widens into a fan-shape, ending in a straight, knife-like edge. This edge must be softer than the car windscreen glass, so it won’t scratch it. However, the material has to be tough enough to crush ice. Because metal scrapers can scratch glass, they are not advisable.
The front edge of the scraper can be poked between a thick ice layer and the windscreen glass to lift the ice off. If the ice coating is very thin, the ice can be scraped off, turning it into ice powder.
When the ice crust is really hard to separate from the glass, and you have a difficult time chipping away at it with your scraper, start your engine and crank up your car’s heater to warm your windscreen before scraping. That works wonders to melt and loosen a tough ice coating and lift it easily with your scraper.
The backside of an ice scraper will most likely have these teeth or ridges. They are designed to use on thick, hard ice. They make little grooves in the ice layer, to weaken it, making it easier to break and clear the ice with the front of the scraper. If there’s a snow layer on top of the ice crust, you want to remove it first using a snow brush. Larger ice scrapers often have one.
There are many variations, but these are the most popular ice scraper categories:
Compact Ice Scrapers
Designed as a simple handheld budget tool that is small enough to fit in your car’s center console or glove box, this kind of ice scraper is often distributed as a free gift. Although it does an OK job of occasionally de-icing your car’s windscreen, because of its small size and short handle, it’s not very efficient and your hands or gloves will get covered in snow and ice.
Pros: Most budget-friendly, easy to store and generally long-lasting
Cons: Short reach, your hand gets cold and wet, not suitable as a snow-removal tool
Ice Scraper Mitt
This ice removal tool consists of a mitt with an integrated handheld ice scraper. It has the same properties of a standard hand-held ice scraper, but with the huge bonus that it keeps your hand warm and dry during the ice removal.
Pros: Keeps your hands warm and dry while scraping, compact, easy to store
Cons: Short reach, mitt takes longer to dry, not suitable as a snow-removal tool
2-in-1 Ice Scraper with Snow Brush
This is a non-extendable long-handled ice scraper combined with a snow brush. This combo allows you to brush away the top layer of snow before removing the bottom layer of ice, making the job easier and more manageable. Also, when the ice is scraped clear from the windscreen glass, it can be brushed away using the same tool.
Pros: No need for two separate tools, longer reach, more practical and more efficient than small handheld ice scrapers
Cons: Efficiency suffers when there’s more than a few inches of snow, bulkier and larger than a small handheld ice scraper
3-in-1 Telescopic Ice Scraper with Snow Brush and Squeegee
These extendable ice scrapers offer much longer reach, making it easier to access hard-to-reach areas on larger vehicles. They are equipped with an adjustable snow brush head on one end that has a squeegee on the backside of the head, and a removable double ice scraper on the other end.
Although bulkier than the other types of ice scrapers, this is the go-to tool for regions with intensive snowfall. The large, flat brush head with its long reach is ideal to clear thick snow from the horizontal parts of your car without scooping the snow in your boots or on your clothes.
When the snow has been removed with the brush head and the glass has been de-iced with the scraper, with the engine running and the heater on, the remaining partially melted ice can be wiped clear with the integrated squeegee.
Pros: Great for snow-pack removal, long reach keeps you dry, 3-in-1: no other tools required
Cons: Bulkier and larger to store, handle can’t support excessive force
How we did our review
Over the past decades we’ve tried and tested a lot of different car windscreen ice scrapers for our cars. We’ve had to use them in different cold weather conditions: frozen fog, ice, thick snow… On skiing trips, things sometimes got so bad, we had to first unearth our car with a snow shovel…
Although most ice scrapers and snow brushes worked, it’s clear that not all ice scrapers and brushes are created equally: some last longer than others and some do a better job than others too. Some worked great for ice removal but were useless to get a thick snow blanket off, and vice versa…
The one time I’ll never forget, is when I used a metal ice scraper to get a thick ice crust off my car windshield after snow had partially melted and frozen solid. The result was a scratched windscreen that I had to have replaced afterwards. That’s a mistake that cost me and that I’ll never make again: always de-ice your car glass using plastic scrapers that don’t scratch glass!
For this review we first researched customer reviews to see what their experience was. We only recommend ice scrapers that did an excellent job for us as well as the vast majority of other car enthusiasts. We’ve selected ice scrapers for different weather types and different uses, to make it easy for you to choose the right ice scraper for your car, depending on what you intend to use it for, how much you want to spend and where your priorities lie.
And… the ice scrapers we’ve selected won’t scratch your car glass…
Check out our favorite car glass ice scrapers:
CCM’s Best Ice Scrapers and Snow Brushes
- Type: 3-in-1 Telescopic Ice Scraper with Snow Brush and Squeegee
- Handle: Extendable soft grip handle, up to 62.4″ fully extended
- Functionality: Double-sided ice scraper, large adjustable-angle snow brush with squeegee head
- Storage: Assembles/disassembles in 4 compact pieces that fit in storage bag
We chose this 3-in-1 ice scraper for our “Best Overall” because it’s the most practical, versatile ice- and snow- removal tool for your vehicle.
It combines a long reach (51.8″ to 62.4″) soft grip handle with all the tools you’ll need to get the job done in the quickest, easiest way without getting snow all over your clothes and footwear: a double-sided ice scraper, a wide snow brush and a wide squeegee. The wide brush/squeegee head tilts in both directions for optimal angle adjustment, which makes it much more compact to store too. This 3-in-1 tool is fast to assemble and disassemble in 4 small parts that can be stored in its handy nylon storage bag.
What we liked most about this tool is that you don’t get ice and snow all over you during the clearing process and that you don’t have to reach or bend over. Between similar tools, this one has the best quality track record. Although none of the long-reach handles on the market can handle excessive force or abuse, if you use them with common sense and only apply moderate force, they do an awesome job.
Customers say that they like the fact that they can clear the snow from one side of the vehicle and get it all off in one go. This customer remark says it all: “If you’re not using this or something like it (to clear snow from your car), what are you even doing?!”
- Fastest, easiest way to clear ice and snow from your vehicle
- No need to reach or bend over because of long handle
- Clothes and footwear stay clear of snow and ice
- Handle length and brush/squeegee head angle can be adjusted to personal preference
- Needs to be disassembled to be able to store it in your car
- Can’t handle excessive force or abuse, needs to be used sensibly
- Type: 2- in 1 ice scraper with snowbrush
- Handle: slim ABS handle
- Functionality: Double-sided ice scraper, snow brush
- Storage: Slim design, tucks easily beside the driver’s seat or in the trunk
The reason we chose this ice scraper for our “Best Budget” is a no-brainer: a two-sided ice scraper and snow brush combo for about a fiver that works like a charm is hard to beat!
Customers love the simplicity of this scraper/brush and say that it just works. They agree that there’s no better to be found for a small budget.
This proven concept simply does what it should on frosty mornings for a ridiculously low price: scraping off ice and brushing it away. It even works to clear a few inches of snow from your vehicle. This tool has more reach than a short handle ice scraper and it can easily be stored in your trunk or fits snugly next to most driver seats, always ready for action.
- Ridiculously low price for a decent product that works great
- The brush is a welcome addition to the scraper
- Removes ice and snow easily up to a couple of inches thick
- There’s enough distance between handle and scraper to ensure your hand stays dry while clearing the windscreen
- No good for thick snow removal
- Does not have a squeegee
- No soft-grip handle
- Looks cheap
Once you’ve tried one of these, you’ll never use a compact ice scraper without a mitt again! This mitt with removable double-sided ice scraper is so much more comfortable to use than a basic small ice scraper, because you’ll still feel your fingers when you’re done, and most people will know exactly what I’m talking about… Oh, I almost forgot: the scraper handle is covered in soft, warm foam too…
Gone are those awful winter mornings when your fingers stayed numb long after you’d scraped the ice off your car’s windscreen. Or the times your gloves stayed wet for hours…
What we like so much about this mitt-and-scraper concept is that it is almost as small as any compact ice scraper without mitt, because the mitt folds easily so you can store it anywhere. Once you’ve cleared your car glass, you can put your warm, dry gloves back on and store this great tool for next use.
There are two words that keep popping up in the thousands of reviews of happy customers: “warm”+”hand”. And that’s of course the selling point for this simple, yet effective tool.
- Your hands stay warm and dry when clearing your car glass
- No need to get your gloves all wet and dirty
- No good for thick snow removal
- The mitt stays wet longer than an all-plastic scraper
If you don’t know why we chose this ice scraper mitt for “Funniest Ice Scraper”, then this ice scraper is probably not for you. And that’s OK!
For us, this screams instant fun, especially if you have small kids or toddlers helping you out in the snow…
What’s probably more important, is that this mitt keeps your hands (or should we say paws?) nice and toasty when it’s far below freezing and the scraper does an awesome job.
- It’s great fun
- Keeps your hands warm
- Does its job
- The mitt’s long hair sometimes gets caught under the ice scraper
- Snow may stick to the mitt’s long hair
- The mitt stays wet longer than an all-plastic scraper
The perfect ice scraper doesn’t exist, it all depends on your specific needs and preferences. Whether you choose a compact scraper, an ice scraper mitt, a 2-in-1 or a 3-in-1 telescopic scraper, each type has its advantages and drawbacks. You want to consider factors like your local weather conditions, blade design, build quality, handle comfort, storage size and additional features to help you make an informed decision. Most importantly, we made sure that the ice scrapers we recommend don’t scratch your car glass.
No matter which scraper in our selection you choose, you can rest assured that it will make those frosty mornings more agreeable, and you’ll be heading out on those winter roads with a clear, safe view.
How Do I Use an Ice Scraper?
After clearing loose snow, if any, you want to use the sharp front edge of the scraper to poke between a thick ice layer and the windscreen glass to lift the ice off. If the ice coating is very thin, you can simply scrape off the ice, turning it into ice powder. Make sure that you use a scraper that will not scratch your car glass.
When the ice crust is really hard to separate from the glass, and you have a difficult time chipping away at it with your scraper, you want to start your engine and crank up your car’s heater to warm your windscreen before you start scraping. That works wonders to melt and loosen a tough ice coating and lift it easily with your scraper.
The backside of your scraper will most likely have these teeth or ridges. They are designed to make it easier to penetrate a hard ice crust. You want to use these sharp teeth to make little grooves in the ice crust to weaken it. This will make it easier to break and clear the ice with the front of the scraper afterwards.
If you have a long-handle ice scraper with an integrated snow brush, you want to use it to push or wipe off the loose snow before tackling the ice crust. If it also has a squeegee, you can use that to wipe your car windows clear from melted ice afterwards.