Careful preparation is essential for outdoor activities, expeditions, or dangerous jobs. Therefore, tactical tools are always preferred for hikers, adventurers, and soldiers.
One of the multi-tools that will make your journey easier and more enjoyable is the tactical shovel. In addition to digging, the tactical shovels have unexpected uses for survival.
If you are still wondering what kind of shovel to choose, I will help you narrow your search. I have listed the best tactical shovels on the market. I hope that my top list is useful for you. Let’s find out!
Top Rated 9 Best Tactical Shovels Reviews
1. SOG Folding Shovel Survival Shovel
I want to introduce the first product on my list SOG Folding Shovel Survival Shovel. This shovel is a must-have item for camping gear with multi-purpose. Achieving up to 4.5 of 5 stars from over 3,000 buyers, I think it is one of the best survival shovels for you.
First, like most tactical shovels, this product features collapsible ability. I can fold up into three sections and deploy quickly with pop back up. With a total length of 18.25 inches, it is perfect for on-the-go design and handles various jobs.
The blade is made of high carbon steel to ensure reliability and durability. As I have known about several products from SOG, this brand optimizes the special functions and focuses on high-quality materials.
Besides, I can use it for different tasks, not only digging. There is a wood saw on the sides of the head handling some jobs like cutting small branches and breaking apart rocks on the way.
Covering with a nylon sheath, it is very suitable for camping and trekking because you can fold all parts of this combat shovel and carry it anywhere you want. This sheath is also very durable and difficult to be torn.
On the downsides, I think the handle is quite short, and the overall shape is quite small, so it can not take heavy-duty jobs, just some light work. However, it is ideal for camping, hiking, and trekking.
- Collapsible and compact design
- Perfect for camping
- Multi-purpose head
- Short handle and not suitable for heavy tasks
To sum up, this portable shovel will be a true friend for you to have wonderful camping and trekking. With the mobile design, good quality materials, and budget-friendly price, I highly recommend buying it.
This is the current price of these SOG Folding Shovel Survival Shovel available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com)
2. Cold Steel Spetsnaz Tactical Camp Shovel
You cannot skip this product if you are about to find a traditional design tactical shovel at a low price range. With only around $23 on amazon, it is perfect for anyone who prefers sturdiness and durability.
The most outstanding feature that impressed me was its sturdy hardwood handle. I FEEL VERY STURDY AND COMFORTABLE when I hold it in my hand.
Compared to other tactical shovels on the market, it has a nice grip with a wood handle. However, to enhance your force while using, a tactical glove is necessary to give you better control. Moreover, the handle is also replaceable.
About the head, I am pleased with its thickness and sharpness. It is made of medium carbon steel, which is reasonable for its price. Although it is not a high-end material, it still performs great. In addition, I like its thickness, which is up to 2 mm, and the head can easily be sharpened for maximum efficiency.
It is especially used for digging but sharp enough and has a good balance for throwing. Therefore, in any condition, even in the harsh environment, we can use it for multiple purposes, like a shovel, a tactical tomahawk, or sport, and overcome difficult tasks.
The thing that makes me disappointed is that this product does not include the sheathe. Therefore, you may take the time to find a cover suitable for it.
- Budget-friendly price
- Solid and durable
- Replaceable handle
- Easy to sharpen
- Have a nice balance for throwing
- Not include sheath
If you are not ready to invest a lot of money for military shovels, you can consider this product. It is perfect for hiking or trekking in difficult terrain with a hick’s head and a sturdy hardwood handle.
This is the current price of these Cold Steel Spetsnaz Tactical Camp Shovel available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com)
3. iunio Folding Shovel
Another best tactical shovel I would like to introduce in my list is the iunio Folding Shovel. On Amazon, it gets up to 4.6 out of 5 stars from over 1000 people. This shovel is an impressive number and indicates its great performance.
First, I want to mention the overall function. It has a compact construction and includes many additional features to optimize its performance. For example, I can fold in many sections and have great locking systems. Like SOG Folding Shovel Survival Shovel, it also has a saw to handle some cutting jobs on one side of the head. In addition, the head is made of high-carbon steel to ensure its sturdiness.
For survival purposes, it includes many accessories. It has an extension bar to make it comfortable holding for different people and situations. Ice-axe helps me to break the ice and hard objectives. A bottle opener, emergency whistle, and other additional features are beneficial for any dangerous situations.
I think it is very easy to assemble and disassemble its design. However, it would help if you practice several times before using it to deploy fast when needed.
Despite the compact outlook, I find it very solid and comfortable when I hold it in my hand. In addition, it is much heavier than I thought and can even take many tasks that need many efforts. Another feature I like is its tactical waist bag. With a belt loop and many department insides, you can carry it anywhere easily without scaring any pieces of this equipment falling.
Talking about the downsides, I think it is quite more expensive than other combo tactical shovels, but it is worthwhile for anyone.
- Multi-tool combo
- great carrying bag
- Heavy and solid construction
- Very collapsible
- Compact design
- High-quality materials
- A bit pricey
This compact shovel can handle many heavy-duty tasks. It is always ready to help you in emergencies with many added tools and brings a safe feeling when using it. Everything is well-prepared for great camping or adventures. I highly recommend you get it.
This is the current price of these iunio Folding Shovel available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com)
4. US GI Military Original Issue E-Tool Entrenching Shovel
Is a simple portable shovel the thing you are looking for right now?
Let’s look at the US GI Military Original Issue E-Tool Entrenching Shovel. With the ratings up to 4.5 out of 5 stars, I think this product won’t make you disappointed.
On the one hand, the first advantage of this product is its high-quality materials. The head is very solid and sharp. In addition, it is designed with a sharpened ax edge and a serrated saw edge to handle multiple tasks.
The handle is made of aluminum to bring maximum sturdiness and safety. All parties are finished with black powder coats to prevent corrosion and rust. With exceptionally reliable construction and sharp head, this product can handle more heavy-duty than most competitors.
The folding mechanism is also great. It is designed to allow me to fold from 45 to 180 degrees. Therefore, I can even grapple, dig, and conduct other works. Besides, the triple-fold design collapses and optimizes its size when carrying.
On the other hand, it does not have a carry case like some tactical shovels. Besides, it is quite blunt when I take it from the box; therefore, I have to sharpen it carefully before using it to have the best efficiency.
- Great locking systems
- Multi-purpose head
- Made by U.S. Military
- Compact and simple design
- Sturdy and handle heavy-duty tasks.
- No carry case included.
- Sharpen when taking it out of the box
To sum up, after using it, I am very satisfied with its performance. It is truly a tactical shovel appropriate for tough jobs and adventuring. Moreover, you won’t have any challenges in carrying it in your bag with the triple-fold design.
This is the current price of these US GI Military Original Issue E-Tool Entrenching Shovel available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com)
5. Gerber E-Tool Folding Spade Shovel
Gerber is a well-known brand that manufactures many special and high-quality tactical equipment. Gerber E-Tool Folding Spade is one of them. With around $50, I think this product is a great investment for anyone who prioritizes built-to-last products.
When talking about this captain swagger tactical shovel, I highly evaluated its design, bringing toughness and lightweight. It will not be a special product that will attract you at first glance until you hold it in your hand and deploy it.
The feature that I enjoy is its high-quality carbon steel. This shovel is made of the highest material, famous for its durability and robustness. The head is also designed with serrated edges for chopping branches and roots to make a clear path while you are in the forest.
Besides, it provides deeper digging with more ease. It is crafted with a powder-coated boron carbon steel spade to endure any conditions without any damage.
The handle is made from glass-filled nylon, offering a firm grip. The folding mechanism is ideal for fitting well in any small space and is easy to carry. I am also impressed with its locking systems. It can keep the handle and the blade firmly, although I put a lot of pressure on heavy-duty tasks.
On the downside, the cost is expensive and prevents many people from investing much money. However, this product shows that “You get what you pay for.”
- Highest quality materials
- Compact and portable design
- Good folding and locking systems
- Built-to-last construction
- Sharp head and handle heavy work
- Endure any environment
If you are ready to invest a considerable amount of money to purchase a high-end motor shovel, this product is the best selection. I think the Gerber E-Tool Folding Spade will make you feel delighted with its performance.
This is the current price of these Gerber E-Tool Folding Spade Shovel available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com)
6. M48 Kommando Survival Shovel
If the cool design is one of the most important factors you want to consider when buying a tactical shovel, M48 Kommando Survival Shovel is the best pick. The average rating for this product is 4.6 on Amazon.
I have to give nice compliments on its outlook. Unlike other shovels on the market, it focuses on the functions and the overall appearance to bring a unique experience for users.
To begin with, the outlook of the blade is like a tactical defense weapon. Many sharp edges are added to increase the digging ability and handle multiple tasks. In more detail, on one side of the blade, it is designed for serrated saws to cut and chop, while on the other side, it has a concave chopping edge to break.
All special design edges are suitable and very useful in rocky terrain. It is also finished with a black oxide coating to prevent corrosion and rust while using.
About the handle, it is made from nylon molded fiberglass, which is very ergonomic and brings a comfortable and nice grip to hold. However, it is the fixed handle that I can not adjust the high and fold for better carrying.
Besides, it is quite short, so I find it hard to hold it in my hand. However, this feature seems to be the disadvantage of the M48 Kommando Survival Shovel compared to other products on my list.
- Cool appearance
- Sharp head with many edges to handle a variety of works
- Durable and lightweight
- Nice grip
- High-quality materials
- Not foldable and portable for transporting
- No covering bag include
Although this is not a collapsible tactical shovel that you can carry in your backpack, it is still an ideal weapon to carry for any camping and other outdoor activities. I love its outlook and durability. It is truly one of the best survival shovels on the market.
This is the current price of these M48 Kommando Survival Shovel available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com)
7. Schrade SCHSH1 16.6in Stainless Steel Telescoping Shovel
Another product on my list which will surprise you is Schrade SCHSH1 16.6in Stainless Steel Telescoping Shovel. This product is perfect for your hiking and camping trips with an adjustable handle and convenient size.
The greatest feature of this tactical shovel is the telescoping handle. It allows you to elongate up to 19 inches and adjust to having the best control while holding. For example, I can extend the length from 16.6 inches to 20 inches.
Besides, an aluminum inner tube enhances the durability and solidity of the handle. It also provides a firm grip and prevents slipperiness with a bar at the end.
The head is made from 3Cr13 S.S. and provides a large capacity. Therefore, it is very suitable for digging tasks with a large blade. Besides, a convenient polyester sheath is also included for easy portability when you buy this product.
On the downside, it can not handle other tasks like chopping, cutting, or breaking with no serrated edge.
- Lightweight and durable
- Quickly deploy and access
- nice handle design to increasing grip and safety
- The solid and sharp blade
- Portable and compact design
- Not suitable for multiple tasks
If you like the telescoping T-shape handle combined with a deep blade, increasing the holding capacity, you can not skip this product. Don’t hesitate to buy it right now.
This is the current price of these Schrade SCHSH1 16.6in Stainless Steel Telescoping Shovel available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com)
8. BAALAND Military Folding Shovel
The last product on my list will be full packing for you to survive in any condition. BAALAND Military Folding Shovel will be truly a must-have item for your next adventures with many additional accessories.
The biggest attraction of this product is the numerous added tools. All of them are made from high-quality materials and have compact designs. The tools included: a bottle opener, saw, hexagon spanner, fire stick, and so on, which are necessary for survival purposes. They can also help handle many heavy-duty jobs conveniently.
The tactical flashlight is an item I use quite frequently with red and white flashlight diffusers. It also allows charging through other electronic gadgets, which are very convenient to carry.
Besides, I am very impressed with its durability. The tactical shovel is made from high-carbon steel to provide the best strength and waterproof. However, it still maintains a lightweight for better carrying.
On the downsides, I think this product should improve the pouch’s quality because it has many sharp items that can easily tear the pouch.
- A set of all survival items
- High-quality materials
- Handle multiple tasks
- Lightweight and portable
- Not high-quality pouch
If you don’t want to waste your time researching and buying many tools for camping trips in dangerous terrain, you can consider this product a convenient way to have it all in one. I think it is one of the best military shovels with a full combo of equipment to meet all your tough requirements.
This is the current price of these BAALAND Military Folding Shovel available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com)
What Is A Tactical Shovel, And Who Makes The Best?
The tactical shovel is essential equipment for soldiers on the battlefield. It is not only used for digging personal battle holes, trenches, trench traffic, or shelters but also cutting brushes or using melee when needed.
With a smaller blade and removable handle, the soldiers can carry it side by side everywhere. Surprisingly, today the tactical shovel is still very popular and can be found in both the military and many people who can be a gardener or even adventure.
There are many options for you to choose from many famous brands on the market. However, some dominant companies stand out from others, such as audio, Gerber, and SOG.
Why Do You Need A Tactical Shovel?
A tactical shovel with a smart design can be folded into an included bag. You can both use the product to hoe, bury objects, dig the pile to set up a tent, cut when needed, and open the bottle easily without carrying each specialized tool when going away.
Suppose you need many tools such as shovels, saws, bottle openers, hoes, ignition, tactical knife, life whistle, fish tattoo, etc during travel, camping, climbing, but afraid of carrying heavy luggage. In that case, the military shovel set will be a very convenient product that makes you satisfied.
Besides, it is a really necessary product on your vehicle to rescue force majeure cases such as landslides, trees that block the road, and burying wheels in muddy soil. This versatile shovel product will resolve many problems there.
In particular, the tactical shovel in the special forces soldiers’ hands also becomes a more powerful weapon than knives and bayonets in the military environment. Moreover, they are well trained with tactical shovels for many other purposes, such as clearing the path, tunneling, and self-defense.
The shovel is used in close combat against the bayonet and knife attacks. The soldiers also can throw a shovel like a knife or throw an ax thanks to its well-proportioned shape and nice balance. Thus, in the hands of the soldiers, the shovel becomes an extremely useful item.
Factors To Choose The Best Tactical Shovel
A tactical shovel is designed to be used to handle a variety of tasks. How can you choose the best tactical shovel that suits your needs? Here are a few factors you can consider before making your final choice.
Like when buying any product on the market, the purpose is the first factor you should consider: what are you buying it for?
In particular, for tactical shovels, defining the purpose is very important.
Each tactical shovel has different design ways to suit various users: soldiers, climbers, gardeners, explorers, and outdoor enthusiasts.
2. Design and Materials
The battle shovel has some basic designs, but the two key components that you will need to choose from are the shovel blade and handle.
The blade or the head should be made from the quality materials like high-carbon steel to provide enough strength. The size of the shovel also depends on what you are using. Also, some tactical shovels are designed with serrations to increase the ability to attack and cut branches on the road.
About the handle, there are many materials to make the handle for you to consider. Here are some pros and cons of some popular handle materials.
- The wooden handle is light, strong, and durable. It can last for years with proper maintenance and be easily replaced. Also, apply a light layer of flaxseed oil to your wooden handle once a year to keep it strong, supple, and water-resistant.
- The fiberglass handles are perhaps the most durable. If weight is not a concern, fiberglass may be the best choice for longevity. It is weatherproof, won’t rust or flex, and is difficult to break.
- The plastic handle is very light and easy to handle. If stored indoors, plastic can last for many years, but regular exposure to sunlight and moisture can cause the plastic to become brittle, leading to cracking and breaking. When weight is the most important issue, plastic is the best choice for you.
- Metal handles are usually light metal, such as aluminum. This material makes them very lightweight and more susceptible to bending when used under great pressure. Metal handles can also rust in an environment with high humidity. They’re relatively inexpensive, which can be an important factor.
3. Size and Portability
Size and portability are also two factors for you to consider. As for the size, these small military shovels are handy and can be easily carried, even removable, and fit neatly in your backpack.
However, the bonus small tactical shovels do not handle heavy-duty tasks and can easily break after several uses.
As for the portability factor, the military-era shovels are optimized based on this factor. For example, the tactical shovels will have foldable handles, a belt loop cover for carrying, and small to medium sizes for easy portability.
Lightweight is best for hiking or traveling, but your shovel is not the place to lose weight. You want a completely reliable tool for effective digging and shoveling in any situation, especially in survival situations – if in doubt, choose a little heavier.
5. Additional tools
Additional tools are one of the key points that differentiate products. Many products are integrated into a handy travel combo, including saw blades, glass breakers, bottle openers, knives, screwdrivers, etc. These are essential items for a survival trip and very useful for your picnic. All in one, it’s convenient isn’t it
Tactical shovels come in many varieties and have many prices in the market. If you want to use it for a long time, invest in a tactical shovel made of good materials that can cost well over $50.
However, many other options below that price range still ensure the necessary quality and qualifications.
Yet, if you do not want to invest too much money, just $20, you already have a quality tactical shovel. So consider your budget and what you’re using it for before buying it!
Above are my best tactical shovel top list and buying instructions. Take note and consider the factors above to be able to choose the product you like best.
Personally, if I had to choose one of the top 9 above, I would select Folding SOG Shovel Survival Shovel. It fully fulfills a tactical shovel’s functionality, and its ruggedness makes me extremely satisfied, even doing heavy work.
How about you? Do you have your answer? Hurry and buy a tactical shovel for your next camping.
The 16th Sergeant Major of the Army, Sgt. Maj Micheal Hulk was sworn in on August 11th 2009 and has held every enlisted leadership position ranging from cannon crew member to command sergent major.