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Sibi Totique
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1,074 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven’t seen any thread about this subject and we tons of threads about knives and other tools so why not?

E-Tools and other compact folding shovels may be a better alternative than your hands when it comes to digging but is still a very short and unpractical tool. These shovels often feel quite flimsy as well. Of course they can be used as an emergency cutting tool but can’t be compared to an axe or machete. Other short shovel like the Cold Steel Special Forces Shovel may feel a little sturdier than the folding ones since it has no moving parts but is still a very small tool.

For digging I really like the long shaft ergonomic shovel from Fiskars, it takes a little getting used to but makes hard work much easier. It also has a reasonable price. The other shovel with wooden handles from Fiskars is also ok but personally I don’t like them as much as the long handle ergonomic versions.

For digging in hard ground with lots of stone a hatchet, pick axe. A wheel barrow is also an excellent tool for transporting dirt when digging.

For digging in the snow a specialized shovel is much better with a larger thinner blade. Using an E-Tool or other small shovel is almost like digging with your hands. The Swedish Army has a folding shovel called KLAS (basically translated to short light attack shovel) that can be mounted with a larger aluminum snowblade that works a little better. However a full sized snow shovel still works better. If you need a snow shovel for you back-pack I suggest that you get an avalanche shovel, Black Diamond, Voile and Ortovox make some good models. These shovels are often telescopic, not something that I would recommend for digging in dirt or other hard materials but for snow they are perfect.

So – what your favorite digging tool?

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Sibi Totique
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1,074 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice if you can afford it, however why not both an Excavator and Front Loader? The combination machines don’t do either of the jobs as good as purpose built machine. The Israelis seem to have many models suitable for high risk areas.
 

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i do actualy... 580 is just my fav,, moves pretty fast on the road. all wheel drive .air condition, radio. and easy on fuel good visability. great hyds ; one of these and a d handle spade and your good to go.. i have a folding shovel for camping which i think is great
 

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Limpin to safety.
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I prefer someone else's shovel from someone else's back pack.
 
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Limpin to safety.
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Seriously, though, my shovel depends on the weather.

Larger ones for snow, ice, and even sandy conditions. Like my three part might be ok.

A solid state larger shovel for extreme cold. You need to break up that Frozen ground, so you will need leverage.

Example:



However for most back packing, I carry a very small shovel. It does what I need and doesn't weight you down. That being, if I carry a shovel at all.
 

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Just Country Folk
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179 Posts
I like the short spade handled round nose shovel for my digging dirt. The square nose shovel pretty good for cleaning animal stalls as I push more than actual shovel. But I don't have much use for a square nose shovel out in my gardens. The digging iron "long heavy pry bar" is the tool I end up using most around my place. I have broken the tines off of a digging fork more than once. I find that a pick or polaski just don't work well for me unless I am digging into a hill side. Other wise the pick seems to cause me to stoup too much and cause back pain.
Those little fold up pack shovels are fine for real light work, say like digging a small waste hole. They are pretty much a waste of money if you want to dig any real holes. Get yourself a military surplus war tested pack shovel if you plan to have a dependable tool. F.G.
 

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Just Country Folk
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I like the shovel Crutch shows as a pack shovel That is sort of along the lines as some milsurp shovels. I think it is a fine choice. F.G.
 

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I have a aluminum grain scoop for shoveling snow , when it's very cold and lite and fluffy.
a steel snow shovel for the wetter stuff.
a contractors square point on the ice,,,
Round points for digging dirt .
narrow rounds for digging sprinkler systems and runnning wire in conduit.
gas powered post hole diggers , My personal fav. great for breaking up things ahead especially on hard ground .
Neighbor lets me use the bobcat or back hoe
In the back pack, I keep a cheap folding shovel I've modified, and store a saw inside the handle, I can swap off the shovel head .
The shovel head is one of those that has a pic , so ,I drilled the end of the pipe handle to store the saw and keep with a beaner it can also be used as an grapeling hook. came in handy once,suppose it will again. Never go any where with out rope./ para cord.
One of my hatchetts I welded a blade on the back so it's like a mini polski,or a mini adds ax, very handy.
Also took advantage of some hard facing rod I have, and welded the edges on both ends . problem is it can only be sharpened with a grinder , a file won't phase it .beauty is, I never have to sharpen it .,
I have one of those Colt hatchetts with a knife in the handle , but the handle is a composit or a plastic, and I dont know how well it is anchored . I want to put a back blade on it as well, but I don't want to compromise the handle doing it . Havent used it much , kind of a novelty but if I can't modify it with out hurting the anchor point to the head I may as well change the handle altogether I guess. I can't seem to leave any thing alone .
 

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off-grid organic farmer
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Really. Geez, Who can really love an idiot stick? :)

Some people just don't get that yankees are so lazy that they'll work like fools for an opportunity to sit around the coffee pot for awhile. If you can't power it, they ain't gonna like it. My favorite shovel- really.
I moved onto this land and built the house without a tractor, planted an orchard too.

But some tasks like digging a 300 foot trench to lay the power and phone line into kicked my but.

Our first two winters I was able to handle the snow with no more than a pushbroom. Then the next year we had a couple 3 inch snow storms a couple weeks apart, and finally come April we got 14 inches. Shoveling a 300' driveway with 14 inches of snow changed my mind.

Owning a small tractor with front-loader and backhoe has made a huge difference for us.

Now I understand that petroleum may go away in the future, but I hope by then to have everything planted, all landscaping done, and a dog-team trained. So by then I will not need a tractor any more.

:)
 

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Apprentice Geezer
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2,533 Posts
In the vehicles I carry genuine GI issue tri-fold shovels/E-tools (the chinese versions are not functional).
In the Jeep I carry a GI issue mini pick/mattock, as well.

For real digging; a #2 sand shovel, full sized pick, pick/mattock and a D-handle spade, all reside in the garage/shed.

If I have to move a lot of dirt out of a hole I borrow/rent a backhoe.

Enjoy!
 

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I have several shovels and yet do not consider any one of them a favorite...I think my lack of a having a favorite shovel may have something to do with the practical application.

I use a full size square shovel for scooping off hard surfaces such as concrete, a spades for digging, turning soil in the garden and occasionally for weeding. I found an inexpensive chinese military entrenching shovel at the local army navy store and it seems to be ideal for small digging chores around the camp site. Nothing fancy...
 
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To the surface!
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The flat edge is okay for extremely loose dirt or sand or snow, but that is less about digging than it is just moving soil. For digging in undisturbed dirt you need a shovel with a pointed tip.

 

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Cold steel SF shovel...best for size, weight, toughness...you can remove the handle easily and use the wood screws to put a larger handle on in a pinch...they last a long time, I've had the same one for 15 or so years. Yeah it is a little heavy, but worth it. This weekend I actually used the blade-minus handle as a cheater bar on the end of a ratchet wrench...long story...lol...I am a satisfied customer.
 

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High quality USA spade shovel, sharpened.
A walking stick, benign looking, a machete, excellent shovel, and a weapon that keeps your enemy at shovel length away.

If had to bugout walk away, my heavy duty 30.00 shovel would be in my hand.


shov.jpg
 

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I have control issues
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It all depends on what I'm digging. When my husband and I dug up our heavy, compacted clay soil to put in the greenhouse, we had an easier time using a combination of a mattock/pickaxe and an entrenching tool to shovel out the broken up soil (We were working a 5-to-6-inch wide trench, and the other shovels were just too wide to get in there.) For shoveling several pounds of rabbit poop out from under the hutches, or compost from the composter into the garden beds, I like a square-nosed, wide-head shovel. Digging tools are kind of like firearms in that there are different tools better suited to different applications. It just depends on the job that needs to be done.
 

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I like a bucket on a mid sized tractor or front end loader.

Or a shovel used by someone else!


But when I absolutely, positively MUST use a shovel, it is a long handed shovel.
 
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