Best Survival Shovel: Detailed Reviews & Buyers Guide

best survival shovel

When you venture into the wild, you have to be ready for anything. If a disaster strikes, you don’t want to be caught without the right tools at your disposal.

That’s why it’s imperative that you pack the right survival gear before venturing into hazardous territory. Even if no natural disasters are imminent. There are many instances when having a trusty shovel can come in handy.

Whether you’re building a shelter or hunting for food. Knowing which type of shovel will suit your needs can greatly increase your chances of survival.

Read on to discover what makes the best survival shovel. With detailed reviews of some of the top options in this category.

What’s the Best Survival Shovel?

The best survival shovels make up a vital part of any survival kit. They are designed to be used for a wide array of purposes. From digging through snow and sand to clearing debris and building shelters

A good survival shovel should be capable of handling whatever you throw at it. It should be durable, easy to use, versatile, lightweight and portable.

The table below shows our top picks for best survival shovel on the market today.




SOG Folding Shovel

Top Pick

Sahara Sailor Survival Shovel

Best Multi Tool 

RHINO USA Ultimate Survival Shovel 

Budget Pick

Tyger Auto Military Folding Shovel

Premium Pick

Top 10 Best Survival Shovels On the Market

If you are looking to buy a survival shovel, there are thousands of models available online. But which one is right for you? We have compiled detailed reviews of the top 10 survival shovels that you can choose from.

SOG Entrenching Tool Folding Shovel

SOG has been around for over 30 years. They are known for making quality products that are both durable and reliable.

If you’re looking for a sturdy folding shovel that will do the job without breaking the bank. Then look no further than the SOG Folding Shovel.

This shovel is made from high carbon steel and aluminum alloy, so it will last for years to come. The SOG Folding Shovel features a strong, non-slip grip and comfortable one-hand operation.

The tri fold design allows it to fold down to fit easily in your backpack or bag. This folding shovel is ideal for hiking, camping, or any other outdoor activity.

The SOG Folding Shovel harbors several useful features that make it versatile and functional for outdoor use.

First, it has an angled edge on the blade. For better digging power and functionality than circular blades.

Second, it comes with a reinforced nylon storage bag. For protection against dirt and water as well as transportability when not in use.

Third, the shovel blade is multi functional. It has a serrated edge that can be used to cut roots and branches and it can also be used as a hoe.

Overall, the SOG Folding Shovel is a durable shovel with a long lifespan and plenty of uses. It is easy to store, transport, and use.

Making it a top pick for those who want an all-in-one solution for outdoor activities. Without sacrificing performance or quality.

Shovel Type: Folding shovel

Length Fully Extended: 18.25 inches

Length Closed: 10 inches

Weight: 1.53 lbs

Shovel Head Material: High carbon steel

Handle Material: High carbon steel

Functions: Hoe and saw


  • Ergonomic design
  • Lightweight and compact shovel
  • Durable (Made from high carbon steel with powder coating)


  • Shovel head isn’t sturdy when using hoe function

Sahara Sailor Survival Shovel

The Sahara Sailor Survival Shovel is a very versatile tool that allows you to dig, cut and chop. It’s the perfect tool to have when you are outdoors since it has 23 different functions. Including a pickaxe, saw, screwdriver, knife, wrench, and much more.

This survival shovel is also very user friendly. It has an easy-to-use gear mechanism system. That opens through a simple lever action for quick opening and closing of the shovel.

The shovel head is made from high carbon stainless steel and it has a handle with a textured grip surface. It weighs 3.54 pounds and folds down to 18.5 inches long. So, it will fit comfortably inside your backpack or bug out bag for easy transportability.

This shovel is perfect for digging out your car, boat, or RV in a pinch. It’s also great for adding some extra traction when driving over bumpy terrain.

The Sahara Sailor Survival Shovel is durable and is backed by a lifetime warranty. So, you know it will last for many years.

Shovel Type: Folding

Length Open: 31.5 inches

Length Fully Extended: 18.5 inches

Weight: 3.54 lbs

Shovel Head Material: Reinforced Carbon Stainless Steel

Handle Material: Reinforced Carbon Stainless Steel

Functions: Fire starter, hoe, hammer, knife, spear, screwdriver, wrench, hook, axe, wire cutter, ice pick, rope cutter, disgorger, trowel, fish scaler, whistle, saw, bottle opener, nail extractor and window breaker.


  • Lifetime warranty
  • Multiple functions (23 in 1 design)
  • Durable and easy to clean (made from military grade reinforced carbon stainless steel)
  • Comes with a carry case


  • A bit on the heavy side
  • No instruction manual

RHINO USA Ultimate Survival Shovel w/Pick

The RHINO USA Ultimate Survival Shovel with Pick is more than just a simple shovel. It’s a multipurpose tool that can be used for a variety of tasks. With its oversized handle and multipurpose features it’s perfect for any survival situation.

It comes with a fire steel, hoe, fish scaler, saw, whistle, bottle opener and more. All hidden away in discrete secret compartments.

It’s lightweight and compact, and it has a pick on the end to dig with. This extra feature makes it easier to dig out debris quickly. Without having to bend over or strain yourself.

The shovel is made of carbon steel, and the steel pick is hardened steel. It’s not very heavy, weighing just over 2 pounds. So it could be a good choice if you’re looking for an easy-to-carry option.

Overall, it’s a great option for people who want a lightweight and compact shovel with multiple functions.

Shovel Type: Survival shovel

Length Fully Extended: 31 inches

Length Closed: 7 inches

Weight: 2.38 lbs

Shovel Head Material: Carbon Steel

Handle Material: Carbon Steel

Functions: Fire starter, hoe, fish scaler, knife, whistle, saw, bottle opener, nail extractor and window breaker.


  • Compact and lightweight
  • Budget friendly
  • Serrated edge blade
  • Can be mounted to car roof
  • Very durable


  • Too small for handling heavy snow

Tyger Auto Military Folding Shovel

The Tyger Auto Military Folding Shovel is a great option for both military and civilian personnel on the go. It’s made of thick metal and has several convenient features. Such as a hinged head that makes it easy to pick up stubborn objects.

This shovel can fold up small enough to fit in your vehicle cargo space. It’s also lightweight enough to easily carry around.

The shovel has an overall length of 7.6 inches and weighs only 2.7 ounces. So you can take it anywhere without weighing you down.

Moreover, the shovel is also very easy to use. Just push the handle down, then pull the shaft out to start digging. When you are done, just push the shaft back in to store your shovel.

While there are other options available, this one is definitely a great choice. If you are looking for a reliable, sturdy, and lightweight shovel.

Shovel Type: Folding

Length Fully Extended: 36.6 inches

Length Closed: 12.2 inches

Weight: 3 lbs

Shovel Head Material: Military grade carbon steel

Handle Material: Anodized aluminum

Functions: Fire steel, hoe, hammer, knife, screwdriver, hook, axe, wire cutter, ice pick, disgorger, whistle, saw, bottle opener, and ruler.


  • Instant switch mechanism allows you to easily switch between modes
  • Comes with storage bag
  • Adjustable to three different lengths (24.4″, 30.5 ” and 36.6″)
  • Easy to use
  • Durable and easy to maintain


  • Pricy

Cold Steel Spetsnaz Special Forces Shovel

Cold Steel Spetsnaz Special Forces Shovel – A nice addition to any survivalist’s bug out bag. This tactical shovel is made from full-steel construction. With a razor-sharp 6” edge on the pointed end. This makes it really easy to dig in hard ground or packed snow.

The blade is also coated in a special heat-treated layer of steel. That prevents rust and reduces the risk of damage from exposure to moisture.

This means that this shovel can be used for a long time. without losing its effectiveness or durability.

With its robust design and comfortable grip, this shovel is built to last. It’s ready for everything you can throw at it, whether it’s an emergency situation or just a camping trip.

Weighing only 1.6 pounds, it is also lightweight and compact, so it is easy to carry around.

Overall, the Cold Steel Special Forces Shovel is a quality tactical shovel. That’s great for camping, outdoors or emergency situations.

Shovel Type: Special forces shovel

Length Fully Extended: 20.5 inches

Weight: 1.6 lbs

Shovel Head Material: Medium carbon steel

Handle Material: Hardwood

Functions: Shovel


  • Extremely durable
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Very lightweight
  • Sturdy wooden handle


  • No added functions
  • No carrying case

Glock Entrenching Tool Shovel

The Glock Entrenching Tool is an invaluable tool for any outdoor person. Whether you’re camping, hiking, or just need to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.

This e-tool is made from durable stainless steel and aluminum alloy. That won’t deteriorate even after prolonged use. It can be used to dig holes, cut off branches and roots, or even build small structures.

It has a built-in saw blade on one side, making it easy to cut through thick branches and roots. The other side features a serrated edge. That makes it easy to slice through cardboard boxes and other materials.

The small size and light weight of this survival shovel makes it ideal for carrying in your pack. It can also fit in your glove compartment. So, you’ll always have it handy if an emergency arises.

What’s more it makes an excellent self-defense weapon, or a tool to defend your home against intruders. The spring steel head of this digging tool is designed to provide maximum strength for the job.

Although it doesn’t come with as many functions as some of the other shovels on our list. It is built tough and made by Glock. A name you can trust.

Shovel Type: E-tool

Length Fully Extended: 25.25 inches

Length Closed: 10.25 inches

Weight: 1.5 lbs

Shovel Head Material: Hardened steel

Handle Material: Polymer

Functions: Screwdriver and saw.


  • Lightweight and compact
  • Reinforced nylon belt pouch for easy carry
  • Built strong without welding or rivets
  • Blade is lockable in 4 positions


  • Design may cause it to be difficult to use for beginners

Zune Lotoo Survival Shovel Multi Tool

The Zune Lotoo Survival Shovel Multi Tool is a durable and reliable multi tool designed to be used for a variety of purposes. It is made from high-quality materials and designed with safety in mind.

When you need to dig, use the Zune Lotoo Tactical Survival Shovel Multi Tool. This handy tool can be used to dig through snow and sand, as well as break through ice. It is also useful for cutting branches off trees and clearing off logs and rocks.

The tool features a blade, a saw, and a shovel, which makes it ideal for a range of different uses. With its unique design, this tool can also be used as a bottle opener, survival whistle, fire starter, fish spear, or survival rope.

This versatile tactical shovel is perfect for camping, hiking and emergency situations.

The blade has a serrated edge on one side, ideal for digging into hard ground or rocky terrain. The shovel head is made from premium quality martensitic steel. So it’s strong and durable.

The handle is made from aircraft grade aluminum with a rubber sleeve. For a comfortable grip.

Overall, this handy tool can help you get into hard-to-reach places without any trouble.

Shovel Type: Folding

Length Fully Extended: 31.5 inches

Length Closed: 18.5 inches

Weight: 3.97 lbs

Shovel Head Material: Martensitic steel

Handle Material: Aircraft grade aluminum with rubber sleeve

Functions: Bottle opener, emergency whistle, fire steel, fish spear, survival rope, steel wire saw


  • High quality build and materials
  • Serrated saw edge
  • Versatile with multiple functions


  • Pricy
  • Doesn’t include a carry case

Ames US GI Military Original Issue E-Tool Entrenching Shovel

The Ames US GI Original Issue E-Tool Entrenching Shovel is a heavy duty shovel designed for use by military personnel in the field.

It is ideal for digging out shelters, building berms or even clearing debris after heavy rainfall.

This survival shovel is compact with a tri fold design that folds down to only 9 inches in length. Making it easy to carry around when you’re out in the field.

It also has a smooth handle that allows users to have better control over the shovel when digging.

It is made out of steel and aluminum. Which is durable enough to withstand even the toughest work conditions.

Shovel Type: E-tool

Length Fully Extended: 24 inches

Length Closed: 9 inches

Weight: 2.87 lbs

Shovel Head Material: Hardened steel

Handle Material: Aluminum

Functions: Axe and saw


  • Tri fold design
  • Abrasion resistance coated
  • Serrated saw edge and axe edge


  • Locking mechanism is not secure

MOSFiATA Axe-Type Folding Multi Tool Shovel

MOSFiATA Axe-Type Folding Multi Tool Shovel is a lightweight and compact multi-tool. It’s great for camping, hiking and general outdoor use.

It features axe blades on both sides of the shovel head and it can also be used as a pickaxe, saw, or hoe.

It measures 20 inches long when folded and weighs 3.44 pounds. The blade is .125 inches thick and the length when fully extended is 40 inches. The blade is made from stainless steel, making it easy to maintain and rust-resistant.

With its compact size and lightweight design, it’s easy to carry on the go and store in your backpack or glove compartment. It also comes with a carry case, so you don’t have to worry about losing it.

The best thing about this multi-tool is that it’s made from durable materials. It has a hard high carbon stainless steel handle with a manganese steel blade. So it won’t easily get damaged by dirt or rocks.

Shovel Type: Folding shovel

Length Fully Extended: 40 inches

Length Closed: 20 inches

Weight: 3.44 lbs

Shovel Head Material: Manganese alloy steel

Handle Material: High carbon stainless steel

Functions: Knife, screwdriver, axe, harpoon, whistle, saw, bottle opener, window breaker, hoe, rope cutter, compass and ruler.


  • Adjustable to 3 different sizes (20″,26″, 33″, 40″)
  • Thick reinforced shovel blade
  • Comes with carrying case


  • Knife attachment isn’t the best quality

The Iunio Camping Shovel Multitool

The Iunio Camping Shovel Multitool is a great addition to any camping or hiking gear. This tool has a lot of features that make it very useful in a variety of situations. Including functions such as an ice axe, saw blade and bottle opener.

There are so many uses for this multitool that you’ll never run out of different ways to use it. For example, you can dig small holes for your tent stakes or use the trowel to break up the dirt and get it ready for your tent stakes.

You can also use the pick to get in hard-to-reach places like under rocks. Finally, you can use the bottle opener to pop open beers with ease.

This portable folding shovel is made from durable materials that will last for years to come. It’s lightweight and easy to carry around so you can keep it with you wherever you go.

Overall, this is one of the best survival shovels available for purchase today. It would make an excellent addition to any outdoor gear collection.

Shovel Type: Folding shovel

Length Fully Extended: 35.03 inches

Length Closed: 14.17 inches

Weight: 3.86 lbs

Shovel Head Material: High carbon steel

Handle Material: High carbon steel with rubber grip

Functions: Fish scaler, fire bar, emergency whistle, saw, bottle opener, hoe, hammer, pickaxe and nail extractor.


  • Extendable handle allows you to adjust shovel height to your liking
  • Carrying case can be attached to belt loop
  • Compact and portable
  • Durable


  • A bit on the heavy side

What is a Survival Shovel?

A survival shovel is an essential tool that can help you deal with various situations. Like digging a trench, creating a shelter, cutting wood and removing snow from your path.

A good quality survival shovel can last for years and is a must-have tool for every outdoor enthusiast.

There are a wide variety of survival shovel types available in the market and choosing the best one can be a challenging task. However, you can make the selection process easier by going through the buying guide.

Types of Survival Shovels

There are three main types of survival shovels that can be used for different purposes. They include – –

Folding shovel: Folding shovels are the most popular form of survival shovel. Due to their compactness and portability. They typically come with a tri folding design and can fold down to as little as a third of their size.

Making them ideal for a bug out bag or emergency kit.

Entrenching Shovel (E-tool): An entrenching shovel is a tool used by military personnel to dig trenches, foxholes, and other holes in the ground. Its name derives from its primary role of entrenching the ground to provide cover and protection.

Despite the name, this tool is not limited to use in combat situations. It has many other uses. Including digging out vehicles that have gotten stuck or broken down.

The entrenching shovel is typically a long-handled and long-bladed shovel. With a pick point on one end and a shovel-like scoop at the other end.

Survival Shovel Multi Tool: As the name suggests, survival shovel multitools are shovels that come with a variety of extra tools. They are typically made up of two or three sections with hollow tubing.

This hollow tubing is used to house different tool attachments. Which can be used interchangeably. These shovels also typically have several features on the blade. Such as serrated edges, axe edges and bottle openers.

A survival shovel multi tool is great for when you’re spending extended time outdoors. Such as camping. As it comes with an array of handy outdoor tools.

Why You Need a Survival Shovel

A survival shovel is a very useful tool for the prepared person. It is one of the important survival tools to get if you want to stay prepared. When you are camping or in an emergency situation, you will be glad you have one.

A survival shovel can be a lifesaver in many outdoor situations. In the absence of proper tools, it becomes difficult to survive in the wild. However, if you have a survival shovel with you, things can be much easier.

There are many uses for a survival shovel, such as – –

Digging a Trench: When you need to set up a makeshift shelter, you need a wide trench that can be used as a floor. A trench can also be used as an earthquake safe path that can help you stay safe in a natural disaster. –

Cutting Wood: A survival shovel can also be used to cut small pieces of wood and logs. They can be used as fireplace logs or to make a trap for small animals.

Removing Snow: When you are traveling in a winter season, it can be difficult to walk on snow. A survival shovel can be used to clear the path and make it easier for you to walk.

It is important to get a quality survival shovel that will last. There are several factors to consider when choosing one.

How to Choose The Best Survival Shovel

Survival shovels come in a variety of sizes, shapes and offer many different features. To get the best survival shovel for your specific needs, you’ll need to know exactly what to look for. In this guide we’ll be looking at the most important features to look for in a survival shovel.

Namely, materials, functionality, ease of use and size.


The materials that make up a survival shovel help to determine how durable and effective it is. Both the shovel head and handle need to be made from tough materials that can stand up to the elements. While at the same time be lightweight for easy carry.

The best survival shovels are built from one of three materials:

Carbon steel: Carbon steel is very durable and keeps a sharp edge for longer than other metals. The one drawback is that it isn’t corrosion resistant. So, if you’re going to buy a carbon steel shovel, make sure its powder coated.

Stainless steel: Stainless steel is easier to maintain than carbon steel. Due to it’s stain and corrosion resistance. But, its heavier and not as durable.

Aluminum: Is the lightest metal that survival shovel heads are made from. But it’s not as durable as carbon or stainless steel.

Some survival shovels have plastic components. These should be avoided. They may be lightweight but can’t stand up to heavy duty tasks.


How a survival shovel is built will determine how it functions. You should choose the survival shovel that is designed for the tasks that you plan to use it for. Paying attention to the design features below will help you to determine the best survival shovel for you.

Handle Length: A shovel with a long handle is much easier to use, but isn’t as portable and may add extra weight. So, consider which is more important. Ease of use or portability when looking at the handle length.

Blade Shape: Different shaped blades are better for different tasks. Let’s look at the different shapes and what they’re best for.

Flat: Works best with loose soils and for scooping. Great for digging fire pits and other shallow wide holes.

Pointed: Great for digging deep small holes and penetrating compacted hard ground (eg. cat holes)

Wide: Ideal for leveling the ground or digging large pits.

Narrow: Great for pitching a tent or digging narrow holes

Blade Edges: Most survival shovels come with blades with added features. Such as an axe or serrated edge. These added features can help you perform helpful tasks such as cutting roots or chopping limbs of trees.


Most survival shovels today come with a variety of added features. Many of these features can be helpful in the outdoors. But this may come at a cost. Added features, may also mean added weight and size.

Then again, having all these added features can save you from buying and carrying extra tools. It depends on what’s more important to you.

Size and Portability

The size of the your survival shovel is another very important factor to consider. During an emergency or survival situation, you don’t want anything to weigh you down. Remember you’ll need to carry other important tools and essentials.

So, it’s important that the survival shovel you choose can easily fit inside your bug out bag and leave room for other important items. The shovel should also be lightweight, so that it can be easily carried for long distances if needs be.

Regular Shovel vs Shovel Multi Tool – Which One is Right for You?

When deciding on the best survival shovel for your particular needs, you’ll come across two main options. Regular survival shovels and survival shovel multi tools.

A survival multi tool shovel is not just a shovel. But a multipurpose tool that can be used for various outdoor activities. These multi tools are built with hollow tubing. This hollow tubing contains extra tool tips for a variety of outdoor applications.

Some of the more popular multi tool shovel attachments are:

  • Firestarter
  • Pick Axe
  • Emergency whistle
  • Knife
  • Bottle Opener
  • Compass
  • Ice Pick

Making them a great choice if you are planning to stay outdoors for a longer time period.

While having all of these tools at your disposal does come in handy. Survival shovel multi tools do have a drawback. They are harder to assemble and have much more parts to deal with than the classic survival shovel.

Although, not as versatile as the multi tool shovel. The classic tri fold design offers a much easier and secure assembly. These shovels are also more portable and compact.

Go for the option that is more suitable to your specific needs.

Final Words

At this point you should now have a good understanding of survival shovels. What features you should be looking for and the ones to avoid. But, if you still aren’t sure which shovel is right for you. Here are my top recommendations.

SOG Folding Shovel is the top overall pick and also my choice for best E-Tool entrenching shovel.

Sahara Sailor Survival Shovel is my pick for best multi tool shovel.

RHINO USA Ultimate Survival Shovel with Pick is the best budget option.

Tyger Auto Military Folding Shovel is the best premium option.

Here are some related posts you may be interested in:

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Benjamin Hughes

Benjamin Hughes is a Vietnam Vet who has been camping, hunting, and fishing for most of his life. He enjoys testing out the newest tactical and survival gear and discussing survival in general.

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