The 10 Best Survival Shovel Reviewed (Buying Guide 2022)

Considered as one of the oldest tools used by humans, shovels have helped our ancestors and now us in building life! It’s a multi-purpose tool and hence can be used everywhere right from building a home, digging a hole, camping or even hiking.

It can also be used for survival! Yes, imagine if you have no weapons, a shovel can help you survive the danger! Choosing the best does seem to be a difficult task. Hence we will make it easy for you with our survival shovel product reviews & buying guide!

In a hurry? This is the Best Survival Shovel for you...

➞   High quality and all-purpose choice.
➞   Portable Folding Shovel (35-inch Length).
➞   Best for camping, hiking, snow, self-defense, backpacking, fishing, hunting, gardening outdoor activities

Top 10 Best Survival Shovels in 2020

1. SOG Folding Shovel

This folding shovel barely will be bigger than your hand!


  • There’s a rotating spade & a wood saw edge.
  • SOG boasts of a military design that is durable and user friendly.
  • It is guaranteed to last for life, i.e. SOG will either repair or replace it for you.


➞   3-way folding design.
➞   Durable locking mechanism.


➞   Need to use it with Gloves.
➞   Smaller than other tools.

2. FiveJoy Military Folding Shovel

Five joy specializes in bringing convenience to your outdoor adventures.


  • You can adjust the shovel angle with their screw locking mechanism.
  • This shovel has a serrated saw edge that’s made from the best carbon steel to enhance durability!
  • It is multifunctional, i.e. use it as an emergency whistle, bottle opener, & fire starter.


➞   Sturdy & Durable.
➞   Get extra tools on purchase.


➞   Quality issues.
➞   Shorter handle.

3. Iunio Folding Shovel

Iunio is one of the most multifunctional shovel providers in the world.


  • You can use this shovel as a hook, hoe, pickax, saw, nail extractor, fish scale knife, & hammer.
  • The shaft and shovel are both high strength and wear-resistant.
  • It weighs only 2.5 pounds making it lightweight and the best portable option.


➞   All-purpose choice.
➞   High quality.


➞   Smaller shovelhead.

4. US GI Military Shovel

This military-grade shovel does a lot more than just digging!


  • This portable shovel has been crafted with heavy-duty steel and high-quality aluminum.
  • Because of its strength, it can be used as a grappling hook & an ice pick. 
  • The shovel length is adjustable to multiple angles allowing you to utilize it for numerous tasks.


➞   Suitable for heavy-duty jobs.
➞   Durable steel blades.


➞   Quality issues.

5. Smittybilt 2728 Tri-Fold Shovel

Smittybilt is one of the most top-rated folding shovels available in the market.


  • The shovel boasts of a threefold system that is claimed to last for a lifetime.
  • It is considered as a great off-road companion. You can also use this shovel made from a carbon steel blade to help your car get out of tight spots.
  • It has two serrated edges for sawing and cutting!


➞   Storage bag included.
➞   Best grip handle.


➞   Not durable.
➞   Issues in the Folding mechanism.

6. Gerber E-Tool Folding Spade

Gerber is an icon when it comes to a shovel for camping and hiking!


  • The e-tool spade is supposedly lightweight and sturdy, making it the ideal shovel anyone would need for daily uses.
  • The serrated edge gives extra power when you dig in tougher environments.
  • It also has a locking mechanism that adds stability to your digging work.


➞   Tough and lightweight.
➞   Lock safety mechanism.


➞   Difficulty in unlocking/folding.

7. Gerber Gorge Folding Shovel

This is the 2nd entry of a Gerber shovel that shows how popular it is with the masses.


  • The shovel has been designed for portability. Yes, you can store it and travel along without any worry.
  • It provides versatile performance as you can perform multiple functions like using the shovel as a hammer, ice pick & build trails.
  • It has a rubberized nylon grip to provide one of the best grips you can get in a shovel.


➞   Ergonomic handle.
➞   Multi-function shovel.


➞   Higher price than others.

8. Cold Steel 92SF Special Forces Shovel

This shovel has been made after the Soviet Spetznaz design (Used by Russian soldiers).


  • It has been crafted with a broad flat steel blade and has three sharp edges.
  • This shovel has a stout hardwood handle that increases its durability and effectiveness.
  • It also has been heat-treated for extra strength. You can expect high performance from Cold steel!


➞   Replaceable handle.
➞   Suitable for winter trips.


➞   Heavier than other options.

9. M48 Tactical Shovel 

The M48 is considered to be the best shovel one can take for heavy-duty tasks.


  • The shovel head is made from stainless steel with black oxide coating to increase resistance to corrosion.
  • It’s also crafted with a serrated edge that’s multifunctional for chopping & heavy duty digging.
  • This shovel’s handle is made from nylon & fiberglass reinforcements making this very tough!


➞   Built with strong materials.
➞   Sharp edges.


➞   Not foldable.
➞   Heavier than others.

10. LIANTRAL Camping Shovel Axe

This shovel is part of a survival kit that combines an ax, shovel, hoe, whistle, hammer, fire bar, ice ax, & much more.


  • The shovel has been crafted with high-quality carbon steel aerospace-grade aluminum alloy.
  • It also boasts of a handle length that can be adjusted, removed, and attached too.
  • Since the shovel is compact, you can use it for camping, trekking, hiking and anywhere due to its portability.


➞   Anti-slip grip handle.
➞   Weatherproof material.


➞   Can’t handle heavy weight lifting.

Survival Shovel Buying Guide- How to buy the Best Survival Shovel?

Why do you need a buying guide? It’s simple. With this guide, you will know exactly what you need to look for in a shovel. There are more than 100+ shovels available in the market today. We aim to help you with a buying guide that will shortlist and make your buying decision easy.

Now we are not related to Albert Einstein & cannot guarantee that these points will help you find the best shovel. But what we can promise you is that you will understand what kind of a survival shovel you need!

Purpose and Use

Let’s talk business! Before thinking of firing up your laptop for the best survival shovel, ask yourself, why do I need a survival shovel? Once you know the answer, buying becomes the easy part. 

Shovels can be used for camping trips, dig throughout the area, & work as an ice pick. It can also be used as a weapon in extreme conditions and to open bottles! Hence a shovel is considered to be a multi-purpose tool. Once you have discovered your need and use for a shovel, you can then start filtering from a list of shovels.

Size & Portability

Now let us be clear – A shovel is portable! It’s not like a rucksack, backpack or a tent that needs to be folded into a small backpack so you can carry it along. A shovel, whether compact or foldable is always portable. This is one of the main reasons why it has been a famous tool since our ancestors.

As far as size concerns, a survival shovel is more or less the same size as a regular shovel. 

This can be anywhere between 14-18 inches long.

Some are longer, and unique models are smaller. Pick up whatever makes you comfortable.

Shovel Weight

A similar aspect among tents, backpacks, and shovels is that they must be as lightweight as possible. We say this because you’re the one who will hold the weight throughout the journey. Now we don’t want you to be tired before the trip even begins, right?

An ideal survival shovel must be able to do its job well. It also should be as lightweight as possible (Up to 10 ounces is fine). If weight is not an issue, you can consider regular weighing shovels. Just remember, the more weight, the more difficult it will be to carry it around.

Shovel Handle & Head

You can either opt for a wooden or a folding handle as per your requirement. A wooden handle carries more weight than the folding handle. This allows you to operate well during camping. A folding handle might be less effective but does the job and helps you pack light always.

Shovelhead too should either be made from reinforced nylon or heat-treated stainless steel materials. A metal-based shovel head will need sharpening after using for a while. However, the nylon-based shovels won’t need sharpening. In the end, the handle with a good grip will be the ideal choice for anyone!


Nowadays, no matter what we buy, we look for a guarantee! So why should a survival shovel not have such a benefit right? Like we mentioned above, as per your use, a steel-based shovel will need to be sharpened. Nylon based shovels won’t need to be sharpened. 

Keeping this in mind, most shovel brands keep some years of guarantee for their product. Few brands end up providing a lifetime guarantee. That means it’s a huge possibility your survival shovel will live more than you on Earth! Jokes apart, this is a good deal and hence look for shovels that have many years of guarantee.

Extra Features

A shovel should be able to dig and help you during dangerous situations. But if you’re the kind that wants more from a survival shovel, then today’s your lucky day. There are survival shovels that are known for their all-round abilities.

These can be a part-time bottle opener, fire starter, ice pick, and digging your wheels out when they’re stuck in muck/ground. But please note, more the features, higher will be the chances of its weight being increased. Hence define your need (1st point in buying guide), so it gets easier to choose!

Will it help me survive danger?

When you go into the wild, there’s no saying when danger can approach. If you’re not the kind to carry a weapon, it can get difficult for you. Hence in such situations, you can utilize a survival shovel. Yes, as we mentioned, shovels have been helping our ancestors, and they’ve used it as weapons too in times of distress. So can you!

There are foldable survival shovels that can fit in any backpack. This means you can carry them along no matter where you travel. Hence whenever you’re off to hiking or camping into the wild, opt for a survival shovel that will help you stay danger-free.


A survival shovel can do an excellent job to dig and be a useful weapon in extreme conditions. There’s no such thing as the best shovel as each tool has a specific job to do. We hope that our product reviews and buying guide will help you shortlist the best shovel for your needs!


What is the best survival shovel?

The best survival shovel is one whose edges are perfect for digging! This tool should help you in gardening, camping, hiking and even during moments of survival.

Article by:

Eric Birch

Eric Birch is a survival specialist trained in the U.S. military's Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) program. When he’s not ferociously learning new survival tactics, he enjoys the great outdoors, and/or cheering on one of his favorite sports teams.

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