Are you thinking about backpacking but aren’t quite sure if you have the right tools to get the job done? Well, look no further because these six shovels have more than enough attachments and compartments to meet all your needs and more. All of the items below are travel-friendly and compact so that you can take them with you on the go and assist you with digging, cutting and whatever challenges you may face on your journey. These are some of the best shovels in the market and are sold on Amazon at a wide range of prices, so you can find the best tactical shovel to fit your budget.
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Top 6 Best Tactical Shovels
1. Zune Lotoo
If you’re looking to spend on a shovel without a restrictive budget and you’re simply looking for the very best tactical shovel on the market, then this is most likely the best option for you. If you do end up purchasing the Zune Lotoo shovel you’ll never have to think about buying a shovel again.
The Zune Lotoo shovel is unique because it is made out of very durable carbon steel, along with the joint being thick and much stronger than most other tactical shovels. Normally this joint would be a weak point for most compact shovels, but not the Zune Lotoo.
To make things even better, the manufacturing company offers all customers an “unbreakable lifetime warranty” so the purchase will always last in the long run. Statements like these show that the company is confident in their product and believe they have the ability to support their claims.
For this shovel, the head can be pivoted into various different angles to account for the different needs of the user. This specific feature allows you to have six different angles with 30°, 45°, 60°, 115°, 135°, and 180°.
Another benefit to this shovel is that it doesn’t sacrifice strength in order to gives consumers more viable options. There are also over 23 different military level tools that are included with this survival shovel as well. Some of the more notable of the bunch are the wire cutter, magnesium rod, ax, and tactical knife. All you would need would be a few basic survival skills and you would be able to set out into the wilderness with just this shovel and manage to thrive.
2. Gerber E-Tool
Gerber is known by many as one of the biggest names for standard carry knives, so it only makes sense that they also happen to produce one of the sleekest everyday tactical shovels. The E-Tool shovel is a very basic yet versatile tool that doesn’t come with too many extra attachments to slow it down.
The main feature this folding shovel has to offer is a serrated edge on one of its sides that allows it to slice through tough materials like weeds and hard soil. Its build quality is very high and sturdy from using high carbon boron steel. One of the benefits of it not being filled with a bunch of accessories is felt through its weight.
The E-Tool weighs in at just 2.33 lbs, much less than the average for a shovel of this quality. Its main disadvantage is in its length, which extends to only about two feet in length. Unfortunately, you may find yourself bending over to do many forms of digging with this shovel, and it doesn’t give much leverage as well. Although Gerber could have added an attachment for handle extensions, it would have defeated the purpose of what the shovel was going for and the structural design of the product.
Adding longer handles would have compromised the strength of the E-Tool which is nearly unbreakable. This is a design tradeoff that has the potential to disappoint some, but please people that want an extremely durable tactical shovel.
Gerber also happens to be one of the few major companies that make their shovels in the United States. The E-Tool can be the right purchase for backpackers and survivalists that need a very strong and reliable way to dig holes. There intentionally aren’t really add-ons packaged with this shovel, its purpose is to be simple as possible while still being highly qualified to do the job.
3. Five Joy Military Folding Shovel
The FiveJoy Military Folding Shovel was made to be the jack of all trades when comparing itself to other tactical shovels. First, it has one of the most versatile supplies of accessories that a tactical shovel could need. These additional accessories include a shovel blade, can opener, a saw, fish scaler, a firestarter, and emergency whistle just to name a few. All you’ll need is food and extra people and you’ve got just about everything you need for a camping trip at your fingers. It’s also in the upper tier of quality compared to many shovels in its class and price range.
The shovel blade is made from carbon steel that is ultra-durable while still being very sharpenable. This of course means it will need more maintenance compared to stainless steel to stop it from rusting too quickly over time. The shovel’s blade is five and a half inches wide, which gives just enough surface area for shoveling.
The FiveJoys handle is made from aluminum and comes with anti-slip handles made from foam that help to prevent it from leaving your hands from aggressive digging. The dimensions of the shovel are about twenty-one inches in length with its extension tubes removed, and thirty-three of the tubes are attached. These numbers give the user plenty of flexibility for how it can be used.
You can remove the tubes for more detailed work and apply them if you need to stand up. When its tubes are removed the shovel weighs around 2 pounds, which is definitely light enough for most people’s backpacking needs. However, the portability comes at the cost of the FiveJoy being a screw-in style shovel. Even though the handle is sturdy and has some gaskets applied to make the interior keep moisture out, it will never be as solid as a shovel with a one-piece handle.
4. SOG Folding Shovel
The SOG folding shovel just happens to be one of the smallest tactical shovels you can buy. Its full extended length is eighteen inches long, meaning you will have to get down on your knees to use this shovel. If it is folded, it’s 10 inches long and is able to fit in a carrying case. The case is meant to be easily attachable to a backpack, belt, or somewhere you think you need a handy tool nearby.
The blade of the shovel is small at only 4 inches wide. Unfortunately, this is not ideal if you plan to move a lot of snow or dirt, however storing the shovel is easier compared to larger shovels like the previously mentioned Gerber or E-tool.
The blade of the SOG is made from high carbon steel for better durability and performance. One way that the SOG is better than the E-Tool is in the sawing department. The SOG comes with a very sharp serrated edge on its side of the shovel blade. It has about the same strength as a standard pocket saw able to make quick work logs and other sturdy material. The saw is meant for emergencies and unexpected situations as a last resort.
Unlike its other shovel competitors, the SOG is not made in the United States. Overall the SOG folding shovel is a great option for people who need the most compact and lightweight tactical tool. This shovel does the job it’s described to do and will help lighten the rest of your load in the process with its lightweight frame. It does all these things while being the cheapest shovel on this list.
5. Iunio Camping Shovel
This Iunio shovel is the best available tactical shovel for budget-minded consumers that threads between a qualified survivalism tool and a standard camp accessory. The shovel’s blade is made from the same carbon steel as the others that will help prevent rusting over time.
The blade also comes with a premium matte black coating that can protect it from wear and tear in the first few seasons before eventually wearing off from extended usage. The Iunio’s blade happens to be one of the larger ones at an even six inches across. This can prove to be a big advantage when digging up large amounts of dirt at a time. The biggest advantage this shovel has over the others is in its leverage.
The Iunio has the longest handle of any folding shovel available at an alarming 38 inches long, along with one of the widest blades on a shovel at 6 inches. If you’re ever in a situation where you need to move a big rock or get your vehicle unstuck from the mud, the leverage from the shovel could be a necessity. However, the extra length has its disadvantages in the result of 3 extension tubes attaching to the handle. These tubes are proven to be the weak points in the shovel’s design.
It’s very important that the extension tubes are fully tightened to ease pressure on the handles as the loose sections are most likely going to get bent. The extra weight from the tubes combined with the Iunio comes in at a total of about 4 pounds. However, compared to most other tactical shovels it does not have nearly the same amount of accessories. Some of the accessories it does include are a whistle, a bottle opener, pickaxe, and of course a saw built into the shovel itself.
The shovel also has 4 handle sections that are in place to extend its length to 38 inches, making it the longest of any model on this list. If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t need the extra length, you can just use the handle that comes with the shovel blade to have more space and less weight. The Iunio main reason the Iunio stands out from its competitors is its length and reach advantage. It’s priced as a middle-tier shovel, costing slightly more than the cheapest tactical shovels on the list.
6. Schrade Stainless Steel Telescoping Shovel
Unlike the previous tactical shovels, this shovel blade is made from 3Cr13 stainless steel. This material makes it so that when combined with the outer coating, it becomes almost completely rustproof. If you find yourself regularly near saltwater this is one of the few shovels where you don’t have to worry about corrosion. The Schrade is also great for backpacking trips because of its featherlight weight very travel-friendly.
It weighs in at an extremely light 2 pounds. This is mainly because of its smaller stature and the new innovative usage of hard plastic for the upper part of the handle. To make it more portable it is packed with a handy carrying case that protects the shovel while allowing it to attach to different surfaces. The biggest problem with the Schade is its telescoping handle. Its collar can get loose over time and the telescoping action seems to fail occasionally. Over the course of its life, you’ll feel the lack of rigidity every time you dig into fresh soil or try to cut something with its edge.
In conclusion, the Zune Lotoo is the best tactical shovel overall, but the price may steer many consumers in a different direction. It is the most durable and highest quality of the bunch, but may not have the value to someone with lesser needs. You could argue that the safest bet would be to go for the Five Joy Folding Shovel because of its versatility and multitude of attachments. But are you really ever going to use over twenty attachments on a shovel on a regular basis?
These are the type of questions you should ask yourself when considering purchasing one of these tactical shovels. Finding the right balance between price and value will help you determine which is the best tactical shovel for you.