Here’s the scenario. You’ve left home on a Friday afternoon, driven through rain, sleet, snow, and finally made it to your ski condo. You get up in the morning early, ready to make first chair…you know that you can get in that first run or two before the wimps who are driving up in the morning get there.
And you go out to your car, and suddenly realize that there’s a half inch bombproof layer of ice over every surface. You pull out your scraper, but it won’t even make a dent, so you turn on the car, put the defrost on maximum, and wait. And as you wait, you start to hear the cars of those wimps winding their way up the access road…
Okay, it isn’t the end of the world, but it can spoil your morning, a little. And it can spoil your day a LOT when you end up missing that window of opportunity before the school buses get in the way on your way to work. Is there a good solution?
Is there a better solution?
We’ve tried a million different scrapers, and all of them have good points and bad (well, most of them…some were ALL bad). We’ve got a shelf of them that should go to Goodwill, except that wouldn’t be fair to bargain shoppers. So when we saw the PR info on The Better Ice Scraper (IT WORKS…just ask the packaging, although at least it didn’t say “As Seen On TV”), we were…skeptical. Let’s dig into it.
The Better Ice Scraper is a somewhat unassuming little block of plastic with a typical looking rough scraper at one end and a brass scraper blade at the other. They claim “shape shifting” technology…cool name, we’d call it flexibility in the plastic. They also claim ergonomic design for less hand strain and better leverage; we’ll buy into that one, as you put your hand right over the middle of it and push down, which is easier than trying to apply pressure with at long handle. They also claim that it “stows neatly away in glovebox”…um, no. Not unless you have a VERY large glovebox, with nothing in that. The number of people we know who fit that set of parameters is exactly zero. Our regular flat Lucite scraper fits away much more easily. However, it is relatively small, and you likely have some convenient spot that you can make work.
But speaking of work…does it? That’s the key question here. It doesn’t matter that it fits anywhere if it’s as useless as the other ones we have hanging around. The good news is that, with one significant caveat, it DOES work well.
First, let’s talk about that heavy, thick, nasty ice. Those plastic teeth at the back do a good job of breaking through it, fueled by you being able to put some serious pressure on The Better Ice Scraper with your palm on top. Our own note: We’d recommend you be careful to not put TOO much pressure down, as you could be at risk of breaking your windshield, particularly if it’s brutally cold out and you already have it warming up inside the car. The instructions basically tell you to lead with the teeth, then pull back with the blade to remove the rest. That works when there’s a relatively thin layer of ice, but not when you’ve got the really gnarly stuff…clean most of it off, then flip to using the metal blade, as the blade is wider and won’t drop down into the path created by the teeth.
Once you have the windshield cleared of the worst of the junk, though, the blade does a fantastic job of getting ALL of the frost off. Most scrapers leave tracks of ice, which doesn’t give you a safe view out your windshield. The Better Ice Scraper’s flexible blade, bent to conform to the shape of the windshield by the weight you are applying, solves that problem brilliantly. It definitely, in this instance, performs as advertised.
So, what about that one caveat? It’s this: you need a small car or a tall person to get the entire windshield. I have a Mazda 6, and at 5’10”, I can lean across from both sides and get the entire windshield. However, I can’t get the entire windshield of my partner’s Toyota Highlander without getting up onto the hood, which would be a bad idea even if she wouldn’t kill me for it. Solution? I scraped what I could from the rest of the windshield with a “normal” scraper. It was a lot better than nothing, but did leave somewhat compromised vision through about a 6″ vertical stripe. If you’re significantly shorter, or have a taller vehicle, this may not work…or at least, you may need a stepstool beside your car to give you better reach.
Bottom line, for $13 bucks, we consider The Better Ice Scraper well worth a try. And thank us when you get that perfect powder line from the first chair…