OXO Good Grips Extendable Twister Snow Brush Review
By Chris Haak
As snow, snow, and more snow is on the minds of those in the Mid-Atlantic region like me today, I thought it would be a perfect time to talk about what has become my new favorite snow brush.
Snow brushes are far from a glamorous product; in fact, adults generally hope that they’re never needed. They’re something that you keep in the trunk of your car if you live in an area where there’s a possibility of snow and generally forget about them. I’m certainly of that mindset; I pay little attention to snowbrushes and know very little about them. When one makes my life easier and addresses my biggest complaints about other snow brushes, it’s one that is going to continue to hold that coveted place in my trunk. My two biggest complaints about snow brushes I’ve used in the past – and how this OXO brush address them – are:
Complaint #1: Non-extendable brushes make it difficult to reach the top of a taller car, and also generally don’t have a swiveling brush to allow a pulling motion. Traditional telescoping extendable snow brushes annoy me (see complaint #2 below), so in recent years, I have been using a non-extendable plastic brush/scraper combination, with the bristles oriented parallel to the handle. I’m tall, so it generally works well enough for most of my needs, but its shape requires that sweeping motions be done laterally rather than front to back.
Resolution #1: The OXO brush has a swiveling head that snaps into one of two positions – either parallel to the handle or perpendicular to it. The parallel brush position allows one to do sweeping clean-up jobs for windows or lighter snow. Flipping it to the perpendicular position allows you to plop it onto the center of the roof and pull the snow toward you (hopefully not right onto your feet), which is helpful for deeper snow.
Complaint #2: Extendable brushes that flop around when extended and don’t hold their position. Every telescoping extendable snow brush that I’ve used in the past has stretched to a suitable length, but after a short time using the brush, the telescoping handle no longer holds the adjusted length and and brush portion continually swivels around. That looseness makes it difficult to apply adequate pressure during snow removal, and makes ice removal very difficult.
Resolution #2: The OXO snow brush that I reviewed extends, but has a latch actuated by a sturdy button, with several different length settings. It’s 23.5 inches long when in its shortest position, and extends another 11 inches when needed in any of six different lengths. Not once during three test snowfalls (cleaning four cars top to bottom) did the OXO brush’s handle slip or pivot from its setting unless I pushed the release button.
The above is not to imply that the OXO Good Grips Extendable Twister snow brush is perfect. In fact, I actually liked the brush a bit more prior to yesterday. During the time I was cleaning more than a foot of snow off two cars in my driveway, I encountered two somewhat minor issues. One was that the swiveling brush – which has a release button similar to the one that allows the handle to sturdily extend and retract – tended to swivel on its own when wiping dense, thick snow. Upon inspection, the latch mechanism for the brush is different from the one used on the handle, and it is actually possible to swivel the brush without even using the latch. I wish it had latched more securely, because the deep snow and lots of force that I dealt with yesterday seemed to overwhelm that particular latch.
The other issue was that the brush’s feathered bristle tips – which I had seen as a selling feature, as they are gentle on paint, and that’s important to someone who owns a black car – tended to encourage snow to accumulate within the brush’s bristles. It got to the point that the bristles were completely full of snow, so I resolved that problem by just banging them on the window of the car I was cleaning. I haven’t encountered that issue with other brushes I’ve used, but I can’t remember the last time I’ve cleaned so much snow off of a car as I did today.
After tackling yesterday’s historically large volumes of snow, some of the bristles are showing wear – several are bent in odd directions, and the feathery tips seem to be a bit less feathery. Had this year’s snowfall totals been similar to those in previous years, that amount of wear might have not occurred for several seasons, but that is a hazard of the more delicate bristles. The alternative is swirl marks on your black paint, so I’d just as soon buy another $18 brush every few years.
I’ve spoken almost exclusively about snow removal to this point, but this brush also has a polycarbonate ice scraper on the opposite side of the brush. I used the ice scraper feature twice, and it has a wide scraping surface that cleaned the windshield of a Lincoln MKS effectively and cleanly with very little physical force required on my part.
Finally, OXO is very proud of the ergonomic, rubberized gripping surface at the base of this scraper. It is comfortable to hold and never slipped out of my hand, but no “pedestrian” ice scraper or snow brush has ever done that to me either. However, they won’t get an argument from me vis a vis the “Good Grips” name.
There may be a better snow brush/ice scraper on the market, and there may be a cheaper one (this one in particular retails for $17.99 from OXO’s website and at others such as Amazon), but this is the best one I have used. Could I give a stronger endorsement than the fact that this scraper stays in my trunk while I transferred my old non-swiveling plastic scraper to my wife’s van? And I’m not just saying that because OXO sent me this one to try (and keep) for free.
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