Updated May 26, 2018 by Chase Brush

The 10 Best Folding Shovels

video play icon
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive

This wiki has been updated 20 times since it was first published in September of 2015. Perfect for camping, military use, survival gear or just as a handy tool to have around the house, these folding shovels pack a lot of utility into very small packages. They come in various size options with features including screwdrivers, fire starters, saws, axes and bottle openers (because you know you'll be thirsty after digging that ditch). When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best folding shovel on Amazon.

10. Fobachi Trench Survival

9. Wolfwill Military

8. Vivo E-Tool

7. Iunio Tactical

6. Outdoor Anywhere Stainless Steel

5. Bang TI Super High Strength

4. Schrade SCHSH1 Telescoping

3. SOG F19-N Elite

2. Gerber Folding E-Tool

1. Ames US GI Original

The Versatility Of Simplicity

That being said, there's no reason not to modernize the tool, provide it with additional versatility, and make that manual labor a bit easier on your body.

The idea of moving dirt with a crude instrument doesn't always strike a person's fancy. After all, the use of a shovel often carries with it the burden of hauling and tossing heavy things that aren't always the most pleasant to see or smell. However, the shovel also serves many different purposes with respect to construction, horticulture, and landscaping. That being said, there's no reason not to modernize the tool, provide it with additional versatility, and make that manual labor a bit easier on your body. If you have a shovel capable of folding and with additional attachments to perform other tough jobs, then the tool has served its purpose well, regardless of how you may feel about it. It's also something you'll need, particularly if you do a lot around the house and outdoors around your property.

Also referred to as an entrenching tool, a folding shovel is a particular type of spade used for digging, construction, and can even serve as an ancillary military weapon. Some folding shovels are also capable of being sharpened and used as cutting tools. They can be constructed of either lightweight plastic or steel with a tri-folding design that makes them easy to carry. Today, the folding shovel is used for a variety of activities that include camping and gardening among others. They can also be used for digging fire pits and they're often powerful enough to double as hammers for driving stakes into the ground.

Many modern folding shovels feature a fixed handle with a folding shovel head. Unlike their conventional and bulkier counterparts, folding shovels are a compact and welcome addition to a professional's tool arsenal, especially when being forced to lug around a lot of other heavy-duty equipment. The entrenching tool takes up the same amount of space as a stack of paper plates, so it's never really a burden to travel with or store away.

Choose Your Shovel Wisely

With a tool as compact and versatile as the folding shovel, one must think about the specific types of tasks they plan to use it for. This will accurately determine the kinds of attachments that work best.

With a tool as compact and versatile as the folding shovel, one must think about the specific types of tasks they plan to use it for.

For example, if you plan to use a folding shovel as a cutting tool, you'll want to make sure it features serrated edges that are easy to sharpen. If you're a big camper, many models of folding shovels offer multifunctional designs with screwdrivers, whistles, and even fire starters, all of which can come in very handy when you're out in the wild among the elements. Such a tool will keep you safe and well-equipped.

Finding a shovel with a sturdy handle is also very important. Many shovels feature lightweight, yet sturdy bodies with handles made from aircraft-grade aluminum and polypropylene. Some shovels also provide a black powder-coated finish, which will help to maintain the shovel's durability if you plan to use it in the field. On that same note, if you're worried about damaging the shovel, do your best to find one that includes a protective sheath or carry pouch with purchase.

If you're looking for a shovel that can do it all, then a folding head is integral since you'll need to use it at different angles for various jobs.

A Brief History Of The Folding Shovel

The concept of the shovel has been around since neolithic times when humans would use an animal's shoulder bone as a crude scraping apparatus.

The entrenching tool dates as far back as the time of the Roman legion and Julius Caesar with documented use of the spade as a tool of war and for digging trenches.

This made it difficult for infantry to have quick access to the tools when they were needed.

During the Napoleonic Wars between 1803 and 1815, spades were used as entrenching tools to dig trenches around protective fortifications. The problem with these types of spades is that they were rather long and heavy, forcing soldiers to store them in supply carts. This made it difficult for infantry to have quick access to the tools when they were needed.

By 1870, the US army introduced the spade bayonet into the individual soldier's arsenal. This item could be used as both an entrenching tool and a weapon, leading to the eventual construction of small, one-handed tools that were easy to carry as part of a solider's equipment bag. The use of such small implements would also allow the individual solder to dig his own entrenchments in the field.

During the twentieth century and around the time of World War I, the modern entrenching shovel was developed and it made a significant impact on trench warfare. These tools began appearing with differently-shaped handles, blades, and even pick spikes for use as spades. The entrenching tool could be used for digging latrines and graves with a compact design that allowed soldiers to fight in close proximity, which was a common occurrence in the trenches.

After World War I, the entrenching shovel was further developed to incorporate folding designs with a fixed handle and folding shovel head.

Statistics and Editorial Log

Paid Placements
Rendering Hours

Granular Revision Frequency

Chase Brush
Last updated on May 26, 2018 by Chase Brush

Chase is a writer and freelance reporter with experience covering a wide range of subjects, from politics to technology. At Ezvid Wiki, he applies his journalistic expertise to a similarly diverse assortment of products, but he tends to focus on travel and adventure gear, drawing his knowledge from a lifetime spent outdoors. He’s an avid biker, hiker, climber, skier, and budget backpacker -- basically, anything that allows him a reprieve from his keyboard. His most recent rovings took him to Peru, where he trekked throughout the Cordillera Blanca. Chase holds a bachelor's in philosophy from Rutgers University in New Jersey (where he's from), and is working toward a master's at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism in New York City (where he now lives).

Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page, except in cases where those brands are manufactured by the retailer to which we are linking. For more information on our rankings, please read about us, linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.