What do we expect from a shovel for survival? It should be reliable, easy to transport, and preferably functional. If our life is at stake, the choice must be careful! Let’s see what Amazon offers us in case of camping, for garden work and emergencies of such zombie apocalypse (just kidding, without zombies).

TOP-10 Suvival Shovel - edtor's choice

Survival Shovel Review | Best Tactical Shovel

#1 SOG Folding Survival Shovel

SOG Folding Shovel Survival Shovel – Entrenching Tool 18.25

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Survival Shovel SOG Folding Show – small and compact. Its actual weight is 24.5 ounces (with a case), size 12 x 9 x 3 inches – folds three times. The ideal size to always take it with you because it fits in any baggage and even pocket. Made of high carbon steel and developed in the USA. On one side of the shovel, there are teeth for cutting wood, it is convenient to cut branches or roots. The use of a shovel as a pickaxe (hoe) is also provided, which makes this shovel multifunctional. A decent shovel to add to your survival kit, but make sure you need one as small as 18”. It will be a great helper in camping, garden or relaxation. The manufacturer claims that this will help the driver to cope with snowdrifts, sand traps, or a fallen tree, but we have doubts.

The main disadvantage of this shovel is poor quality control. Many buyers are disappointed with the metal thickness and overall quality. In actual use, the metal bends from a slight pressure (even in loose soil). The locking mechanism works very unstable and also – it is plastic! This shovel is stylish and beautiful but can break when first used. How can this be? It’s simple, it is made in China, and not in the United States as described. Many buyers do not carefully read the description of the product, and then they are outraged that the shovel is small and suitable only for the child to play in the sandbox. But for children, this is not the best choice. In the manufacture of the shovel, materials are used that can cause cancer and impaired reproductive function. Be careful and shop carefully. If you need to dig a large hole or do large excavation work, then this shovel will definitely not suit you.

  • Made of high carbon steel
  • Designed in the USA
  • It comes in a nylon case with a lining and a clip (easy to carry or mount on a backpack, belt)
  • Amazon choice
  • Actual weight is 24.5 ounces, size 12 x 9 x 3 inches
  • Folds into three parts (very compact)
  • Manufacturer’s Warranty (SOG Lifetime Warranty)
  • Multifunctional (can be used for digging, chopping, for ice and cutting wood)
  • Production China (and not the USА)
  • No quality control
  • Offer 65. In the manufacture of the shovel, materials are used that can cause cancer and impaired reproductive function.
  • Suitable for use only in soft soil.

#2 Gerber E-Tool Folding Survival Shovel

Gerber E-Tool Folding Spade, Serrated Edge [30-000075],black

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Gerber introduces a compact, powder-coated boron carbon steel folding shovel. At one edge of the edge are pointed teeth. They are very sharp and can cope with any task, from destroying the roots to breaking through the ice. Due to its weight (2.25 pounds), it is not very comfortable to wear on a belt or pocket but is well suited for discreet storage in a car. This is a good option for hunting, camping, or an emergency set – but not for daily use. The shovel opens and closes easily and locks in place well. But you may need pliers or another multifunctional tool to adjust the angle of the head of the scapula. But it depends on the habit, physiology, and the applied. When used in sand, the locking mechanism can be tough, as the sand gets stuck inside, but after cleaning everything falls into place. Due to the plastic handle, especially in the cold season, your hands will not freeze (as from a metal handle). High-quality shovel that copes with its task at 100%. The only negative of this shovel is that it goes without a cover. Its jagged side edge is so sharp that it cuts a bag or bag, while cardboard is dressed on the edge of the blade. And if you have to fold / unfold it in the dark, you can easily get hurt. It needs a durable and reliable case, which unfortunately is not included.

  • US production
  • Made of boron-containing carbon steel (+ powder coating)
  • Weight 2.25 lbs; 9.37 inches long when closed
  • Fiberglass handle with nylon coating
  • Anodized aluminum shaft 7075
  • One side of the spade is serrated (for sawing plants, roots, ice or hard soil)
  • Without protective cover
  • No saltwater digging protection (may rust)
  • Folding mechanism may be unstable

#3 Cold Steel Survival Shovel

Cold Steel 92SF Special Forces Shovel with Hardwood Handle

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This is a true legend! This shovel was a mandatory item of ammunition of the special forces of the Soviet Union (equivalent to the green berets of the US Army). This tool is more than a shovel. This is an ax / machete for chopping branches, it is a frying pan for cooking at the stake, it is a small paddle and even a weapon for close combat and throws like a tomahawk. If it’s good to grind this shovel – it can even be turned into a razor! Thick metal makes the shovel strong and stiff, and the absence of additional tilt or folding mechanisms makes it reliable. This shovel has nothing to break! If you can break the handle with some incredible effort and bad luck, in just 15 minutes you can make a new one from a suitable branch. Take the metal head of a shovel and use it as a small ax. Make a purchase with small additions (purchase a spare wooden handle and case separately) and your survival kit will be incredible.

  • Medium carbon steel shovel head – 2 mm
  • Hardwood handle with a rounded end
  • Total length with handle – 20.50 “, weight 1.60 lbs.
  • Based on the ammunition of the special forces of the Soviet Union
  • Case not included
  • Contains substances that cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive dysfunctions.
  • Made in Taiwan
  • Different sharpness on all shovels (depends on your luck)
  • 1 option


#4 Rhino USA Folding Survival Shovel

Rhino USA Folding Survival Shovel w/Pick

Small neat universal tool for quick work in unprepared conditions. If you need to make a small dig (even in hard clay) or filed a small root or branch – this shovel is your salvation. This tool is designed in California and has a very spectacular look and good functionality. This shovel can tilt the blade 90 degrees and turn into a scoop (or hoe). During this transformation, a large spike appears on the reverse side, which can be used as a pick. When folding in 3 layers – this shovel takes up very few places and easily fits in the neat case that comes with the kit. Manufacturer Rhino USA, Inc. deliberately used “USA” in the name to gain more trust from customers. The production of metal parts and assembly takes place in China (as unexpectedly). This allows you to make the price minimal, but the quality can be very different. The risk may be justified – but you choose.

  • Small family business (father and son in California)
  • Made IN COOPERATION with China (USA design, China manufacturer)
  • Made of powder-coated carbon steel
  • A shovel can turn into a pick
  • Does not require additional tools for assembly or customization
  • Good customer service
  • Lifetime warranty
  • “If you are not 100% satisfied for any reason, we will refund your money.”
  • A thin layer of paint quickly erases
  • The bolts themselves can tighten when folding – which will jam the entire mechanism
  • Not suitable for saltwater and sand.
  • Saw has too thick teeth (not sharpened)
  • China manufacturer

#5 Radius Survival Shovel, (Red)

Radius Garden 22011 Root Slayer Shovel, (Red)

This is not a classic shovel for digging holes and not a shovel for survival in the jungle or forest. This toothy monster created for gardening. With it, you can easily transplant bushes and small trees without using axes and root saws. According to the manufacturer, such a shovel in the trunk of a car will be an excellent tool for freeing from snow captivity or will help remove a small tree that has fallen on the road. A Root Slayer with a D-shaped handle will be convenient for people of short and medium height, and for strong and healthy Root Slayer XL with an elongated (and strengthened) straight handle. Speaking about this tool, the manufacturer uses the expression “root killer” – this is not entirely honest. This shovel is really much more maneuverable and can cope with the roots better than usual if they are no more than 1.5″. It is enough to transplant the bush quickly, but it may not be enough to uproot a large stump. In addition, the efficiency of cutting the roots depends on the sharpness of the teeth. Hard clay soil with an admixture of stones – nullify the strongest advantages of this toothed. Whether this shovel will help to quickly dig a dugout in the forest is possible. Will this be your favorite tool when replanting bushes – no doubt! But, do not forget that the shovel itself does not dig, it needs to be picked up and worked.

  • Inverted V-shaped cutting tip (roots less than 1.5 “cut off in 1 movement)
  • Powder-coated carbon steel blade
  • D-shaped handle made of non-latex thermoplastic elastomer molded in polypropylene
  • Manufacturer Lifetime Warranty (Continental US Only)
  • 2 different handles available
  • To maintain productivity – clean and sharpen the blade
  • The soil with stones can quickly dull the blade
  • When manually sharpening the blade, the stainless coating will be damaged (galvanizing)
  • The handle is hollow!


#6 TABOR TOOLS Folding Survival Shovel

TABOR TOOLS J35A Folding Shovel, Survival Spade for Camping

TABOR’s folding shovel is made of hardened steel, which makes it very strong and durable. Compactness, lightweight and small dimensions will allow you to take it everywhere. It does not take up much space in tourist luggage or in the trunk of a car. It comes in a durable military-grade case, which is easily attached to the belt for convenience. The assembly mechanism works very easily and intuitively (it folds twice). A unique feature is that you can rotate the shovel blade 90 degrees! It turns the tool into a little hoe! Using sharp notches (only on one side) you can easily cope even with a dense root system of the tree. Such a baby must be in every home, car, and survival kit. She will be your lifesaver if your car gets stuck in the mud. Now back to reality. Not suitable for digging large pits and trenches, so carefully consider the dimensions before buying. It is also not recommended to use this shovel in saltwater, because all parts with unpainted metal can rust. Children also should not give it for games in the sand, although it looks like a toy, they can get hurt on the scalloped edge. Made in China, this may be unstable quality (depends on your luck). BUT! If that happens, 24/7 customer support will always help you.

  • Amazon choice
  • Made of hardened steel
  • Comes in a case
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Lightweight and compact (8 x 6.7 x 2 in., 1.63 lbs)
  • It can be used both at right angles and at 90 degrees
  • Jagged edge (for cutting roots, branches)
  • China production
  • No instructions included
  • Unstable quality control
  • More suitable for soft soil.
  • Not suitable for salt water

#7 Smittybilt Survival Shovel

Smittybilt 2728 Matte Black Tri-Fold Shovel R.U.T. Recovery Utility Tool

This shovel is designed with a clear understanding of the matter. It is compact and quite convenient to use and at the same time not too heavy. Smittybilt values its reputation and does not put its logo under frank rubbish, therefore – it looks like a good option for emergency dialing. If you have your own workshop – you can make this shovel even better! To begin, disassemble it and take measurements from all the details of the spread. Knowing what it was in pristine condition, you can relatively easily restore it in the event of a breakdown. In addition, all blades are not sharpened! Try to sharpen the side saw blades in a checkerboard pattern. Each even clove is on the right side, and the odd cloves are on the left side. This will make the cutting edges as effective as possible in the fight against roots and branches. The rest is an ordinary emergency shovel from China, nothing more.

  • Compact triple design for easy storage
  • 2-sided multi-adjustment
  • Fiber Reinforced Nylon Handle
  • Carbon steel blade has a double serrated edge
  • Storage bag included
  • Blades are not sharpened
  • Insecure plastic retainer
  • real length – 23 “(seller indicated 26”)
  • Made in China

#8 Root Assassin One Shot Survival Shovel

Root Assassin One Shot Garden Shovel, 43" D-Handle

Every good garden tool should be reliable and accurate when using. Root Assassin One Shot is a strong argument in solving any earthly problems. If you need to dig a small trench through solid bamboo roots – this shovel will simplify the process of digging and make the work simple, and the edge of the pit even. This is possible thanks to a durable metal “bucket” of the complex 3D shape. Each dive 1 inch deflects the lump of soil from the ground, making it separate and light, and the side wings prevent the contents of the shovel from scattering during transport.
For greater convenience, 2 handle options are provided. For small people – a 43-inch D-shaped handle, for tall – a 60-inch long handle. It looks reasonable, but working guys have much larger hands – so the handle itself could be made a little thicker. Convenient curved edge protects the foot when pressed, but can catch on the sole protector.

  • Durable fiberglass handle
  • Suitable for: digging sand, dirt, coal, in the garden or yard.
  • Design for the most accurate load transfer
  • Large side for easy foot pressure and cut protection
  • Shovel Bucket Caliber – 14
  • 2 options with different handle lengths and shapes
  • Manufacturer Taiwan
  • Rubber pads on the handle may peel off

#9 TAC9ER Collapsible Survival Shovel Multi-tool

TAC9ER Collapsible E-Tool Shovel 23"

This little shovel for survival is very similar to our competitor No. 7 – but there are differences. It sounds corny, but the main difference is quality. The manufacturer recommends using a shovel in all possible situations and states: “You break it, we replace it.” For a 1-year warranty, you can experience this shovel in all possible adventures, without any risks! If you compare this shovel with the ammunition of the “marine” – it is a little heavier but just as durable. Inclined blade and handle allow you to use it in a variety of situations. An experienced survivor may notice – there are difficulties in turning this shovel into a frying pan – and will be absolutely right. It is almost impossible to turn this shovel into a flat frying pan, without a long and painstaking leveling of the soil on which it will stand. Another minus is the rumble inside the case. Small gaps inside the plastic case become very noticeable when transporting the cover in the car. This is easily fixed by adding soft pressure inserts.

  • Hard plastic case cover included
  • Forged excavator made of carbon steel
  • Thread locks
  • Can be used as a pickaxe, saw, or hoe.
  • Jagged edge
  • 1-year warranty
  • Designed in the USA
  • Made in China.
  • It makes noise during transportation in a car (a shovel knocks on a hard plastic cover)

#10 Bond Survival Shovel

Bond LH015 Mini D Handle Shovel

This small manual bulldozer will be a great addition to your travel kit, will become an assistant when working in the garden and will not take up much space in the trunk of the car. Small, comfortable, and very durable (no plastic adapters or parts) – that’s what you can say about the Bond LH015 Mini. Thanks to the short handle this blade is convenient to work in tight spaces and in trenches. It is possible to use the small size for other purposes, for example, to involve young children (over 8-10 years old) in gardening. It perfectly educates the character, love of agriculture, and distracts from gadgets (addiction gadget). In addition, with such a shovel you are sure to build the largest castle on the shore, and this will be another happy memory! This is the widest blade shovel in the Bond Manufacturing range. If you want to check this – measure the width not in a straight line, but in an external arc! Metal – rounded off! In order not to be disappointed, consider this feature. The rest is an ordinary shovel with a small handle.

  • Small size – 27.6 x 13.6 x 7.5 inches 1.75 pounds
  • Heat-treated steelhead with anti-corrosion paint (powder coating)
  • Good bend to hold loose soil
  • Soft non-slip D-shaped fiberglass handle
  • 5-year warranty
  • Superior customer service
  • Amazon choice
  • Contains chemicals that cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive dysfunctions.
  • It is impossible to lean with your foot without bending 2 times (with average height and more)
  • Digging lever
  • Made in China


For use in hiking and emergency situations can help

We recommend that you consider immediately 2 shovels for survival

Each winner has its own strengths such as manufacturability or absolute simplicity (like No. 10). Only efficiency and reliability at the time of use are important!

Tags: #Survival Shovel #Tactical Shovel #Best #Review #Camping #Hiking #Gardening #Multi-tool #Emergency #Folding #Ultimate

Dmitry Koval
Dmitry Koval
Tactical & Survival Expert
I am from the generation that tried to repeat all the tricks of Jackie Chan, hunted birds with homemade bows, and built my mini-base in the forest. At the age of 18, I was a scout in PLAST (scout organization) and participated in campaigns and quests. Somehow we decided to test ourselves, took our backpacks and walked 50 km (31 miles) in 1 day. We had a lot of fun!

Remembering my past, I ask in bewilderment: “How am I alive after all my adventures?” - harsh trials, reckless parties, love affairs, and a sea of silliness.

My hobbies are weapon upgrades, tactical gear, and the latest in wilderness survival technology. I have hundreds of different survival gadgets in my collections, which are sent to me for "test-driving" by Amazon, eBay, and other online retailers. That's what I write about, and I also make YouTube videos about them! Stay tuned!

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