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#284325 - 04/28/17 03:57 PM What Do You Dig? (with)
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5715
Loc: southern Cal
Every once in awhile, you have occasion to move dirt. What implement do you prefer for this task? I always have a shovel of some sort in any vehicle I drive, in almost any environment - you just never know.

As an archaeologist, I have learned a thing or two about moving dirt, and I have used every thing from dynamite (half sticks only, we want to be delicate), to back hoes, to jack hammers, to shovels, to small trowels, and even brushes.

I like a standard long handle, round point for "normal" digging, and a GI entrenching tool or short handled shovel for tight spots. Ideally, I would pair up shovels with a Pulaski for dealing with roots and the like. This is almost precisely what I used on a fire crew many moons ago.

Whatever your choice, be sure the business end is sharp - this makes a huge difference.
Geezer in Chief

#284326 - 04/28/17 04:27 PM Re: What Do You Dig? (with) [Re: hikermor]
chaosmagnet Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2652
I've stopped carrying a GI-style entrenching tool and gotten the Cold Steel non-folding version. It works a treat for small jobs.

#284327 - 04/28/17 05:17 PM Re: What Do You Dig? (with) [Re: chaosmagnet]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4434
Ditto. The CS SF Shovel has a better feel and is mostly indestructible.

For normal digging I have a fairly generic FG handled shovel from Home Depot; it is sharp.

#284328 - 04/28/17 05:23 PM Re: What Do You Dig? (with) [Re: hikermor]
Montanero Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1008
Loc: North Carolina
Same with me. The Cold Steel SF shovel digs like a demon. Goes through roots easily. Get the sheath for it, it does not come with one.

#284329 - 04/28/17 05:30 PM Re: What Do You Dig? (with) [Re: hikermor]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 934
Loc: Channeled Scablands

6 foot digging bar, post hole, pick axe, round nose, materials transfer, long handled aluminum grain scoop, avi shovel, hay fork - all live in my garage.

#284330 - 04/28/17 06:08 PM Re: What Do You Dig? (with) [Re: hikermor]
quick_joey_small Offline

Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 381
Loc: UK
The best thing about the CS shovel is something never mentioned on the site and rarely in reviews, the handle is easily replaceable in the field (might be an idea to carry a few spare screws)



#284331 - 04/28/17 06:27 PM Re: What Do You Dig? (with) [Re: hikermor]
Pete Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1126
I agree with Montanero and others here.
The Cold Steel Shovel is a real piece of work. It is a very strong tool. i always try to carry one in my Jeep. It is much stronger than your normal small shovel from a garden store. In principle, it could also be used for self-defense in a risky situation.

Practically, i have only ever used my CS shovel as a gardening tool. but it is a very handy one. :-)

I do want to ask the OP (Hikermor), what do you recommend for a long-handled shovel? There are times when i have to dig up tree roots.


Edited by Pete (04/28/17 06:28 PM)

#284336 - 04/28/17 09:18 PM Re: What Do You Dig? (with) [Re: Pete]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5715
Loc: southern Cal
I think just about any standard brand will work. One of my favs had a fiberglass handle, which was nice to work with, smooth, and easy on the hands, but I have never broken a wooden handled shovel, even on fire suppression duty. For overall use, a round point is the most versatile, but sometimes a square point is better. If I am going to move a lot of dirt, I definitely want a long handle, but there is a smaller size, often termed a "lady shovel(good grief, how sexist!) which is smaller and perfect for restricted areas. It might be available in pink......

A good combination often is a full size LHRP together with a smaller, entrenching tool size digger. Noting the enthusiastic response by CS fans, I still like the GI entrenching tool, primarily because you can adjust the angle of the blade and use it to chop. Of course, now and then the screw mechanism is jammed, and then a lot of fun is in store...
Geezer in Chief

#284338 - 04/28/17 10:06 PM Re: What Do You Dig? (with) [Re: hikermor]
Tjin Offline

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1646
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Of course, now and then the screw mechanism is jammed, and then a lot of fun is in store...

Please tell... as i haven't jammed mine yet. But it feels awfully gritty...
My Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjQHh-hs39h6xWirxHo_HwA

#284340 - 04/28/17 11:25 PM Re: What Do You Dig? (with) [Re: Tjin]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5715
Loc: southern Cal
I had been using my trencher with the blade cocked at a ninety degree angle for quite some time, and when I went to change it, the locking ring would not budge, try as hard as I might. I eventually freed the ring with help from some WD40. It was a combination of hard use and dirt getting into the threads....

Edited by hikermor (04/29/17 01:28 PM)
Geezer in Chief

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