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Cold Steel Shovel

I’m all about redundancy and multi-use gear for prepping. This is why I love my *Cold Steel Shovel(s). They can do so much more than dig!

Cold Steel Shovel

I was looking to replace my folding e-tool. I wanted something with less moving parts and, hopefully, something that could do more than just dig. I bought a single, Cold Steel Shovel.

To be honest, I’ve had my eye on this shovel for a while and was probably just looking for an excuse to buy one. I had read the reviews on the Cold Steel Shovel and had seen some amazing videos on youtube. It seemed like a lot to believe and I wasn’t quite sure if this Shovel could really do all that they claimed.

Once it arrived, I gave the shovel a very close inspection. This Shovel is well constructed and very sturdy. The steel, that the shovel blade is made from, is very hard and makes this one rugged tool!

Over the years, the handle would be replaced now and then. Handle replacement would be easy enough, since it’s held on with 2 screws. That’s right, screws. not rivets. Since Cold Steel used screws, you can change the handle out with a longer one (or a stick) to compensate for numerous other purposes.

Based on the quality of this shovel, I can see it lasting a lifetime.

Cold Steel Shovel

There was only 1 minor custom modification required. I drilled a 1/4″ hole in the handle and threaded a length of para-cord through it, for a wrist lanyard.


I spent a  a long afternoon abusing… I mean testing the Cold Steel Special Forces shovel. I dug holes with it, I chopped wood with it, I threw it like a finely balanced ax (I sure threw it, but with my lack of skills I only got it to stick a few times) and hammered stuff with the shovel blade. I quickly realized that this shovel could be used in place of, or as a back up to, many other tools.

The Cold Steel Shovel can be used for:

  • Digging (surprise)
  • Chopping (the edges are sharpened and hold a nice, sharp edge)
  • hammering (I wouldn’t use it, if I had a hammer, but it did a decent job of smacking in nails and tent stakes)
  • Throwing weapon (like an axe)
  • Defensive weapon – I fought and killed a grizzly bear with this shovel. Ok, that’s a lie, but I did wave it threateningly at a suspicious looking squirrel!

If we run down the list above, the Cold Steel Shovel can act as a backup for my hatchet, hammer and many other tools.

Why did I buy multiple shovels?

*You might have noticed I said Cold Steel Shovel(s) (plural of shovel, as in more than one). I’ll explain how I went from a single shovel to having quite a few.

After my afternoon out in the woods with the Cold Steel Shovel, I was so impressed with it, I came home and ordered 5 more.

3 Cold Steel Shovels
50% of my shovels

Five more?

Yes, five more shovels.  I now have 6 shovels, 4 of which I will be keeping close.

  • 3 One for each of my family’s vehicles (car, mini-van, and work truck)
  • 1 for camping/bug out bag
  • 2 for Christmas gifts (dad and step-dad, you’re welcome!).

Thank you, Cold Steel. You now have a huge fan in the Cold Steel Shovel Special Forces Shovel.

EDIT: 10/2015

After using one of these shovels on a regular basis, for setting up campsites and misc uses, these shovels really do hold their own. When you’re all alone, miles away from civilization there is something about having this in your hand, that makes you feel more secure!


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