Winter sucks. Anyone who has to deal with the onslaught of cold, snow, ice, and slush that defines the season for so many drivers isn’t going to argue with that simple, two-word declaration. Peeling back the onion that is the multi-layered nightmare of winter reveals plenty of activities that induce much cursing and gnashing of teeth amongst those dwelling in the northern climate, but cleaning snow off of a car that has been buried under a foot or two of the white stuff is right up there on the list of things I would much rather not have to deal with while the wind is trying to freeze my face off.
Of course, some would argue that defeating winter’s fury – or at least, learning to cope with it a little bit better – is simply a matter of having the right tools. This is the philosophy behind the Blizzerator, a multi-function ice-scraper / snow brush that is being marketed as the magic bullet to ease your car cleaning pain, as well as the only brush ever to slip the surly bonds of Earth and reach a low orbit. (In stress testing. No, I am not making this up.) I recently put the Blizzerator to the test to find out whether this fancy device offered a true advantage over your basic brush, or whether it would join the Shamwow in my Dungeon of Shameful Purchases.
No, I’m not describing the latest album from ‘INSERT DATED MUSICAL REFERENCE.’ I’m talking about the Blizzerator’s first impression when I took it out of the box, which was simply that this thing seemed a little too unwieldy to be useful to the average person looking to clean snow off of their car. The Blizzerator is constructed out of steel and plastic, with a large brush/squeegee head at one end and a detachable ice scraper at the other. The Blizzerator is also capable of telescoping out to extend your reach, but this puts the heaviest end of the device at the tip of the pendulum, so to speak, enhancing its natural awkwardness.
Or so I though while holding it in the relative warmth of my office. It wasn't until I headed outside to tackle the four inches of snow that a week spent away from home had deposited on the SUV parked in front of my garage that I discovered a purpose for the Blizzerator's heft and long-handle design: leverage. Sweeping the device up and down your car's hood, windshield, and side windows is surprisingly easy to do, as the Blizzerator eagerly pushes snow and ice out of your way thanks to the additional mass at the tip.
I didn't have much use for the squeegee cover, and I don't buy into the suggestion made on the product's packaging that I could use it to 'break through ice.' If you are dealing with so much accumulated winter neglect on your car or truck that you can't simply scrape it off, then a plastic/rubber sheath isn't going to miraculously penetrate the thickness either.
The rotating head - AKA the Blizzerator's secret weapon - was another story. It turns out that being able to spin the brush 90 degrees so you can push, rather than swipe at, windshield and roof snow is a definite advantage over a normal brush. There's a catch, however: you have to make sure to swivel it back in line before attempting to clean the sides of your car, or you're going to slam into your paint and glass with the pointed proboscis at the front of the Blizzerator's frame.
The Blizzerator is priced at $24.99 at the time of this writing, which is several times what you would pay for a standard snow brush but certainly not enough to break the bank. The Blizzerator feels strong enough to last at least a few winters, and the extendable handle helps with taller vehicles, especially for someone of average height like myself. The swivel head is nice to have, but it's not a game-changer, and the detachable scraper will probably prevent you from losing one of the most useful tools for fighting back Jack Frost. All told, it's an interesting package if you've got the space in your back seat for one of the longest snow brushes on the market.