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OK, all of you north of Kentucky can stop laughing right now.  This post isn’t for you.  You already have one of these — or more likely one of the industrial kind that’s the size of a broom and has a brush on the end.  This post is for others (like me) that live in the South where we only get ice and snow once or twice a winter if we’re lucky.

I’m suggesting you get one of these now because if you wait until that “once or twice” rolls around you’re going to find the shelves bare and lots of annoying, clucking salespeople laughing at you.  The only thing worse than finding yourself without a reasonable way to clear the ice off your windshield after work is having to listen to one of the old guys at Ace Hardware lecture you about how you should have bought a scraper “back in September when they were on sale for $0.50 and there were buckets of them all over the store.”

Trust me, it’s better to hear it from me.  If you live anywhere north of Miami, go buy one right now, and stick it in your car.


8 Responses to Tip: Buy an Ice Scraper for Your Car

  1. Jason says:

    Sage advice.

  2. PeterP says:

    I prefer the chemical deicer you can buy. Nice aerosol can, no scraping, and its strangely satisfying. Much easier if youre in business attire in the morning, compared to getting ice all over your suit.

  3. Toolaremia says:

    Definitely sound advice. I moved from Florida to Maryland in the Fall of 1995, and got caught in the big blizzard that Winter with no gloves, no hat, no heavy jacket, no shovel, and no ice scraper. It started with (literally!) 1/2″ of ice, then proceeded to cover that with 24″ of snow. I had to kick the snot out of my door to break the ice to even get into the car. Then I started it, put the heater on high, hot, defrost, and went back inside for 45 minutes…

    Now I have the industrial, broom-sized ice scraper with the broom on the other side for sweeping the snow off. BIG difference.

  4. Myself says:

    Last winter I worked as a cellular site tech, and spent most of my day in 4WD mode cruising back to towers, thawing the gate locks with a propane torch, and shoveling snow out from in front of doors so I could get inside. Tons of fun!

    That propane torch was probably my favorite part of the job. (I’m easily amused!) Sure, you could attempt to thaw a lock with a flick of your Bic, and 10 minutes. Or with one of those little chemical heat packs, but the oxygen-activated ones are slow to release their heat, and the reusable sodium acetate packs don’t actually hold much energy per unit weight. The torch, though, got the job done in ten seconds or less, every time.

    It came in handy at the oddest times, too. Case in point: Bringing my sister, her roommate, and their truckload of crap home from college for the holidays. While parked outside the dorm, I helped 2 people open trunks that were frozen shut with ice down in the groove where a scraper couldn’t reach. Just pointing the flame into the groove and moving quickly, for 3 or 4 trips around the whole seam, opened it right up.

    In the past, I’ve used a heatgun and an extension cord to get into my car after a particularly soaking ice-storm. This year, I think I’ll opt for the superior portability of propane. The torch lives on a shelf in the garage (which is too full of tools to hold my car, of course) where it’s easy to grab before heading out. Just remember to keep the flame moving quickly so as not to cook a door gasket or stress anything with uneven thermal expansion!

  5. Rob says:

    I love having an ice scraper handy. Last year I gave mine to my wife and figured I’d just go buy another but they were nowhere to be found (I live in GA). Strangely enough, they went on sale in the spring (?!) and I stocked up.

  6. Myself says:

    The trick is making sure it’s not frozen into the car when an ice-storm happens. The corners are a bit sharp for leaving it in your jacket pocket, but that’s really where it should be. Maybe someone should make a fold-and-tuck version that hides the edge for carrying?

    Now would be a good time to check over your general car toolkit and emergency supplies. Two weeks ago, my mother mentioned that the local big box had a “car tool kit” for $10, and if I swung by that way, could I pick one up for her? I explained that the tools in such kits were invariably crap, and that I could put together a much more useful kit from spare tools laying around. She challenged me to do just that. Maybe I should submit some pictures and the list of components as a Toolmonger feature?

  7. Steve Thompson says:

    Good advice. Living in Southern California, who woulda thunk I’d need one. Until I decided to exercise the advantage of being able to go from the sunny beach to the snowy mountains in a couple of hours. Trust me, when you’re enjoying the sand and surf, the last thing you’re thinking about it an ice scraper – until you’re pals drag you off to that spur-of-the-moment ski weekend.

  8. shawn says:

    I moved to Arkansas from Pennsylvania & I was amazed that no one had an ice scrapper. I used my industrial sized one to do just about every car in the parking lot when we got snow that one day this past winter. People told me that they use CD cases or credit cards to get the frost off there windows. I laughed. Excellent advice buy it in September on sale for 50 cents.

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