Cold steel special forces shovel

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Mowmow

Forager
Jul 6, 2016
158
64
Nottinghamshire
Does anyone have a spetsnaz or cold steel 'replica' shovel?

What do you think of it?

I've seen a youtuber who was the winner of 'Alone' season 3 using one for just about everything and it looks like a versatile bit of kit but just thought i'd see what you good folk thought.

They're reasonably priced at more or less than £35 so I may take the plunge anyway.

Cheers!

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Mowmow

Forager
Jul 6, 2016
158
64
Nottinghamshire
I should add he took it as one of his ten items on the 'Alone' TV show and the price I listed above includes the sheath for it.

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mousey

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jun 15, 2010
2,210
252
39
NE Scotland
I quite like the cold steel shovel as it's simple with no moving parts, I just have a harder time trusting folding types not to seize up or otherwise break on me. - Has anyone had a folding type break on them?

Although I do not take a shovel with me on my hiking trips. There have been a couple of occasions where one may have been useful but it wasn't ultra necessary.
 

CLEM

Native
Jul 10, 2004
1,951
70
50
Stourbridge
Condor do a very similar interpretation of the famous Russsian Speztnatz shovel now too, a little more expensive than the Cold Steel variant.
 

Mowmow

Forager
Jul 6, 2016
158
64
Nottinghamshire
Yes i believe thats the one. It's supposedly not knife edge sharp so I'd hope not. Either way, a sharp shovel digs 100x better than a worn shovel.

I think for the cash I may just go and try one for my self.

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Mowmow

Forager
Jul 6, 2016
158
64
Nottinghamshire
Is this the one?

Looks decent enough, but I'm not sure I see the point a sharpened shovel. Surely any amount of actual digging will quickly blunt it? Me, I'd take the W.German Entrenching Tool, which is more compact and can be angled, and a proper axe.
Yes i believe thats the one. It's supposedly not knife edge sharp so I'd hope not. Either way, a sharp shovel digs 100x better than a worn shovel.

I think for the cash I may just go and try one for my self.

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Samon

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 24, 2011
3,970
38
Britannia!
I have one, had it years and it's brilliant!

Cuts like a heavy machete, splits like a small axe and digs like ..a shovel. Lol

Genuinely surprised it's not as popular as it should be.

I stripped the paint, thinned some wood from the handle and have cut through piles of hazel to build dens, carve stuff and it throws really well. Ive also dug holes with it and replaced the sheath with an old leather surplus one. The edge can be made shaving sharp but I tidy it with a file when I've dug into rocks or shot at it with lead catapult ammo.. lol

Buy one, I have no idea why you'd regret it. Can do pictures if you need a scale of size etc, but in my phone right now.
 

Mowmow

Forager
Jul 6, 2016
158
64
Nottinghamshire
I have one, had it years and it's brilliant!

Cuts like a heavy machete, splits like a small axe and digs like ..a shovel. Lol

Genuinely surprised it's not as popular as it should be.

I stripped the paint, thinned some wood from the handle and have cut through piles of hazel to build dens, carve stuff and it throws really well. Ive also dug holes with it and replaced the sheath with an old leather surplus one. The edge can be made shaving sharp but I tidy it with a file when I've dug into rocks or shot at it with lead catapult ammo.. lol

Buy one, I have no idea why you'd regret it. Can do pictures if you need a scale of size etc, but in my phone right now.
Sounds good!

Yes please on the pictures mate. Quite interested to see how you've modded it also.

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Jaeger

Full Member
Dec 3, 2014
670
17
United Kingdom
Aye Up,

It's interesting how often this subject of entrenching tools/shovels comes up on the site. I think that I have replied to threads on at least a couple of previous occasions. I'll come to the 'spetznaz' shovel shortly.

Some are not quite sure where a 'shovel' fits into bush-crafting, I suppose it depends on how deep (pun intended!) you take your bush-crafting activities.
I can see uses and always have some kind of shovel with me as part of my field tool set.

In two different careers digging-in was a fundamental part of my job, you could say that I used to dig for England :smile: so I've used most types of shovel on the market (and some not). I'm all for versatility, multi function and improvisation however, -

First up, you can't beat the correct tool for the job -
If you want to dig - use a shovel;
If you want to cut/chop - use an axe/knife/saw etc.

Fair enough, knocking in the odd peg now and again shouldn't hurt but if you start to regularly use a shovel like an axe, sooner or later it's only going to end one way - damaged folding/locking mechanism; loose/sheared rivets; broken shafts and handles.

Mousey - I've seen more 'entrenching' tools damaged and broken (dozens!) through 'normal' poor-digging technique, never mind misuse as an axe/hammer etc.(And that goes for cheap Far East clones of military hardware right through to those made by pistol and knife makers).
The quickest way was usually where someone thought that they could prize roots out crowbar stylee!

There is definitely value in having a sharp leading edge to a shovel, you can cut the ground more accurately, for instance when spit-locking, as well as driving it through light roots as you go. (IF that is necessary AND you have permission to do so). For anything larger diameter than your thumb - use a bahco saw or similar.

Entrenching tools mostly have straight shafts with no 'T' or 'Y' handle at the end as they are only intended for light/quick excavation - try digging at length with one and discomfort will follow! If you ever see footage of the British Army (especially infantry) keep an eye open for full sized shovels strapped to their loads and that is despite having been issued with the older mattock set or the more recent folding shovels.

The 'spetznaz' shovel should be a cheap, relatively lightweight, simple, no frills light earth mover. It is short so fairly easily carried in/on a ruck. It has no locking mech to jam and if you do break the shaft you could easily fashion a new one 'in the field' (or later buy a commercial one and cut it down).
If you use it frequently and protracted-ly to dig (especially in hard ground) as opposed to shallow scrape and scoop, you may find the shaft securing screw works loose (on some) and eventually the shaft at the point where it enters the metal socket wears. Used correctly though I would say that it can be a useful bush-craft tool.:)

As for throwing a shovel..................!
 
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John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
21,812
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Pembrokeshire
The Cold Steel Spade - well, it is designed to dig OK (just the job for poo-pits!) and is great for cutting through the thin roots: it is also designed to chop (not as well as an ax or machete in the long run) and as for throwing - yup - that is what Cold Steel copied the thing for:)
So it gives you a fair amount of practicality PLUS hours of fun - all within the design parameters :D
My only problem with buying one right now is that all the stores I trust are out of stock.....
 

Mowmow

Forager
Jul 6, 2016
158
64
Nottinghamshire
The Cold Steel Spade - well, it is designed to dig OK (just the job for poo-pits!) and is great for cutting through the thin roots: it is also designed to chop (not as well as an ax or machete in the long run) and as for throwing - yup - that is what Cold Steel copied the thing for:)
So it gives you a fair amount of practicality PLUS hours of fun - all within the design parameters :D
My only problem with buying one right now is that all the stores I trust are out of stock.....
Exactly why i like the sound of it! I'm yet to invest as i've had other priorities but will definitely let you guys know what i think.

If it costs £30 and i break it after a few hours of throwing it at stuff i say money well spent for the sheer enjoyment. I could easily go to the pub and have nothing to show for that money or i could get one of these, break it and give my self a job replacing the handle. Just another excuse to go into the woods!

On a serious note though it does look a cracking "do it all" tool. As with all stuff of that kind there will of course be drawbacks but I see it as one tool I'll get plenty of use from rather than lots of tools I'll rarely use.

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Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
4,649
1,307
55
W.Sussex
If I wanted to dig a hole for my ‘business’ I think I would get a nice light garden throvel.
Nope. There's something really handy in the blade fixed at 90° to hack a hole. A trowel is fairly useless and won't get the hole very deep. Particularly if the need is somewhat urgent. ;)