Best Survival Shovel : Top 5 picks in 2017

It is not easy to buy the shovel that meets your requirement, so I would like to give you some useful recommendations for the best survival shovel. Keep on reading and choose out the one you are searching for.

In the past, people often use the shovel as a weapon and an entrenching tool in the war besides a means of production in agriculture. In the modern society nowadays, it continues to become the essential tool in common life.

Benefits of using survival shovel

best survival shovel

​At present, the shovel is often used for gardening and farming; however, it is also one of the most important tools while camping. How can you dig a hole for the tent pole or a slit trench by hand? Absolutely, you cannot. Using a shovel will make this task easier.

Normally, if you only use a conventional shovel, it just supports you or scooping or digging. Now, with a survival shovel, you cannot only do both jobs but also use in an emergency situation and save your life. Let’s see how the shovel works in some survival cases.

  • ​When you are in the wilderness, for instance, you go for camping, you need to build a shelter or pitch a tent. A shovel can help you to dig some holes. Or, if you want to make a fire, the shovel can work as a saw to cut, chop firewood to collect wood.
  • ​Living in the wilderness, water is essential. With a shovel, you can easily dig a rain trench to reserve water for use. Of course, there is no convenient toilet for you, digging one for your own by a shovel might be a not-bad idea.
  • While going for a boat ride, sometimes you drop your paddle and no more one for reservation. In this case, you can use a shovel to row the boat instead of a paddle.
  • ​In some special cases, a shovel can be a versatile tool to save you from danger. A shovel with its sharp blade and serrated edges might be a perfect handy weapon, which protects you from wild animals.
  • Driving a car with a folding shovel is also a great job. Sometimes, you get trouble with the tires, you can use this folding survival shovel to prize or lift them in and continue with your journey.

How to choose the best survival shovel

Now we agree about the essentiality of a survival shovel to our life, don’t we? But choosing the best survival shovel is never an easy task. To make it more simple, I will give you some advices about factors need to consider before buying:

Material and quality

First and foremost, you have to check the material of a shovel, which mostly decides its quality whether good or bad.

The blade should be a solid piece not a thin sheet in order to prevent the bend when suffering from pressure. The material making it should be stainless steel or steel with high carbon and then covered by oxide paint to make sure the anti-corrosion.

In addition, you also need to take into account the shovel’s handle. Normally, it is made of two materials: plastic or metal. Obviously, a metal handle is much sturdier and more durable than a plastic one. However, its weight is consequently heavier.

​The best survival shovel must be a high-quality one so that it can work well without bending or damage even when you hit a stone while digging.


best survival shovel

Trust that all of you prefer to use a shovel that is as simple as possible. You should notice to the build of the shovel to find out the easy-to-use one.

A simple shovel only contains a blade and a straight handle connected together. Now, to make it friendlier for users, it is inserted T or D grip to provide additional support so that you can handle and operate it easier.

With a short handle, the shovel will be much possible to bend and damage. It might be a great idea to choose a shovel with adjustable handle. As a result, you can adjust the handle to go with your height.

A smaller shovel is just suitable for children because it fits their height and weight. If adults use it, they have to bend their back or sit down on the ground to dig; it is so inconvenient.


best survival shovel

with a portable shovel, you are capable of bringing it along or taking it away easily. A folding survival shovel might be a profound option. When using a folding shovel, you can make it smaller and put it in your backpack to easily carry around.

A qualified folding shovel is one that is compact after folding. The foldable shovel is normally divided into two types: three-piece and two-piece mechanism. It is easy to see that three-piece one shovel can be folded to smaller size.

One more thing affects to the portability of a shovel is its weight. Of course, the one that is mostly made of metal is much heavier than the one with plastic components but it ensures to be stronger and more durable.

​Extra features

Apart from the main function of digging and scooping, the manufacturer also adds some extra features for the survival shovels. That is why you can use it as a saw to cut and chop tree or wood.

Some survival folding shovels that are designed with extra tools can be used as a survival multi-tool shovel. If you want a multifunctional tool, this kind of shovel might be a great choice; if you just need a good quality shovel to dig or scoop, you don’t need to pay extra money for other features you won’t use but just buy a standard shovel.

Top picks for the best survival shovel

In this section, I will list out top 5 best survival shovels on the current market as well as their pros and cons so that you just need to read through and find out the most appropriate shovel meeting your demands.

US GI Military Original Issue E-Tool Entrenching Shovel

best survival shovels

Made of high-quality carbon steel, the US Military shovel guarantees toughness and durability for long use. Its blade is designed to be sharp and serrated, you can use this tool for all the digging and chopping or sawing without caring about damage.

Really, the US shovel is a strong shovel for any digging and sawing tasks. Compared with other shovels, it shows to be tougher and is a super heavy-duty tool. This excellent quality tool will help you save time and strength for other tasks.

This shovel brings a lot of convenience for you that you can fold it up compactly by its tri-fold handle. Together with its lightweight, you are totally possible to put it in your backpack and carry around.

For all the multi-features this model has, it is evaluated as an ideal folding survival shovel that is mostly trusted by users. In case you are searching for a good shovel with multi-functions in a product, this shovel is a not-bad option.

In contrast, there is one thing that the US shovel has not satisfied users’ expectation , that is about its powder-coat black finish. Actually, it wears off a little by a little faster than expected.


  • Three-piece mechanism handle
  • Compact
  • Super heavy-duty tool
  • Lightweight
  • Versatility


  • The black coat chips off quickly

Gerber Entrenching Tool Folding Spade Serrated Edge

best survival shovels

The first impression of the Gerber Folding shovel is the feeling of its sturdiness and durability. In fact, it meets our expectation of a reliable product with good quality.The shovel is made of good-quality materials. The edge of the chopping blade is made serrated in order to supply more power for your digging meanwhile support for smart folding.

Similar to the US shovel, the Gerber shovel is also a useful tool for the heavy-duty tasks. This resulted from the powder-coat carbon steel, which is capable of withstanding any intense pressure in any kinds of environment.

I really love its handle design, in particular, it is filled with a glass nylon and has a locking mechanism so that it creates more leverage and a firm clinch when you dig into the dirt. Especially, the locking also protects you from any pressure to your body.

With these awesome features, it is undoubted that the Gerber shovel is listed as one of the best survival shovels


  • Sturdiness and durability
  • Coated by good quality carbon steel
  • Safe shovel


  • A bit heavy

Glock E- Tool with Saw and Pouch

best survival shovels

Being one member of a reputable brand , the Glock Entrenching Shovel is also a high-quality product. With only 2-pound weight, the Glock shovel can work more than a conventional shovel.

It has a firm and compact design without the support of rivets or welding but it makes sure the great endurance for a long use. It is also possible to fold smaller and is portable to carry.

There are four lock positions in the folding blade of the Glock shovel, which helps the tool stable when using. Its handle contains a neat saw and it is totally made of good-quality resistant polymer.

One interesting thing is that you can adjust the length of its handle. It comes from the screw connecting between the saw and the cap. You can unscrew and screw this cap while turning the saw to extend it. It can get the maximum length at 25.4 inches.This kind of shovel is absolutely persuaded to be an excellent folding shovel. With the price for one product, you get more than two tools; besides digging, it can be used for the sawing, loads and so on. What else is more perfect?

However, I hope that they will change its saw because of its backward design, consequently, it is oriented for a forward cut stroke only. Apart from that, it seems to be perfect to me.​


  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Multi-functional tool
  • Sturdiness


  • Backward saw
  • Not easy for casual users

Fobachi Military Survival Folding Shovel

best survival shovels

The material to make this Military Folding shovel is high-quality carbon steel that makes the tool one of the best folding survival shovel on the market.

I highly appreciate its well-built design to be suitable for different using purposes such as cutting, digging, picking, sawing, prying, hammering, etc. Really, it is a fantastic versatile tool for your demands.

The Fobachi shovel may be used straight or at 90-degree angle depending on your need. Among 5 top shovels I listed out here, it is the lightest one but it is still a firm and compact tool. Therefore, you don’t need to worry when using or bringing it away.

There is only one drawback of this awesome tool that it is rather hard to disassemble after use. But it is just a small pot in numerous benefits the tool brings to you.


  • High-quality carbon steel material
  • Compact, lightweight
  • Multi-functional tool


  • - Difficult for disassembly

SOG Elite Entrenching Tool F19-N - Folding Shovel

best survival shovels

The SOG F19-N Elite is also a kind of folding shovel which is built with high-quality carbon steel and covered by a black long-lasting finish. It has two main parts; a steel sharp blade and a straight strong handle.

With tri-fold handle, you can make adjustments for its length in order to suit with your height. The SOB Elite is rather light, just 1.55 pounds, but it is incredibly tough for even heavy-duty tasks.

The shovel is designed with a nylon sheath, which attaches with a belt loop and a snap closure to make the tool more intrepid and stronger.

By its well-built, lightweight, and sturdy features, it could be used for many situations even an emergency case. It is really an excellent quality tool that is worth considering.

On the other hand, some perfectionists have not satisfied with the pouch of this shovel because it lacks molle compatibility and they have to unsheathe it.


  • Steel material with high-quality carbon
  • Durable and strong handle
  • Multi-functional tool


  • The pouch should be improved

Final Thoughts

It is essential to own survival shovel for some emergency cases. Do hope that my experience will help you easier to find the best survival shovel for your own. Folding survival shovel might be a great idea because you can fold it and keep in your backpack. 


My name is William, a family man with two kids and the passion for camping. I started Pandaneo with sharing memorable camping experiences back as a newbie camper, introducing my family to the love for the great outdoors. As time passed, we started traveling across states, trying to hit as many campsites we can!