The 8 Best Rock Picks

Updated March 13, 2017 by Chase Brush

8 Best Rock Picks
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 18 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. Whether you're a professional archaeologist, geologist or just an amateur rock hound, you're sure to find the right tool for your next expedition among our selection of rock picks. We've picked out a wide variety of makes and models, including pointed-tip and chisel-edge style units, as well as wooden- and steel-handled ones. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best rock pick on Amazon.

8. Stansport Prospectors

The Stansport Prospectors is designed for light-duty picking and hammering of soft rock like slate and coal. It's extremely inexpensive, so don't be afraid to invest in a few of them to keep around the shop or in each of your vehicles.
  • good for beginners
  • made from forged steel
  • dings and dents easily
Brand Stansport
Model 324
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. Amateur Geologist Soft-Touch

The Amateur Geologist Soft-Touch is drop-forged from a single piece of steel and includes heavy padding around the handle, making it extremely easy and comfortable to use. Its neck may be a little short for some applications, but that also helps it resist bending.
  • square face and pointed tip
  • can chip and pry specimens
  • may blunt after repeated use
Brand Amateur Geologist
Model HMSC-20
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

6. Valley Tools 20 oz Hammer

With a beautifully-crafted hickory handle, the Valley Tools 20 oz Hammer will have you looking like Indiana Jones in no time. It's certainly one of the most stylish models out there, but it doesn't sacrifice on ruggedness, either, featuring a tempered head for power blows.
  • sharp chipping point
  • great for working with fossils
  • head may loosen over time
Brand ucostore
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. Estwing E3-20PC Supreme

The Estwing E3-20PC Supreme is a chisel-edge model that can be used to split sedimentary rock quickly and painlessly. The anti-shock rubber grip helps absorb vibrations while you pummel away, ensuring you don't get fatigued after a couple of hours in the sun.
  • made by trusted hand tools brand
  • stays sharp even after regular use
  • not so effective on harder materials
Brand Estwing
Model E3-20PC
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Estwing E30

Who says function and good looks can't go together? The Estwing E30 is the perfect blend of each, combining a single piece of forged steel with a leather-wrapped handle that will be the envy of all your colleagues. The unit comes fully polished and has a balanced feel.
  • great for pounding hard stone
  • made in the usa
  • no chisel edge for digging
Brand Estwing
Model E30
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Estwing GP100 Paleo

The Estwing GP100 Paleo is a professional-grade offering that is particularly suited for geological and paleontology digs. The blade end makes it an effective tool for digging through soil and sediment, while the sharper point quickly makes gravel of rock and hard dirt.
  • extra long handle and neck
  • textured vinyl grip offers traction
  • also appropriate for mining
Brand Estwing
Model GP100
Weight 4.9 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. SE 8399-RH

The best-selling SE 8399-RH offers a solid build quality at a surprisingly affordable price, making it one of the best values on this list. It's appropriate for a range of uses and experience levels, from amateurs to experts, and comes with a reusable plastic tip cover.
  • broad 7-inch head
  • ergonomic contoured grip
  • feels hefty in hand
Brand SE
Model 8399-RH-ROCK
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Estwing E3-22P

The Estwing E3-22P comes in a few different sizes and weights, including a 22 oz version with an extra long handle that allows for added leverage while working. It's a top-of-the-line offering that can stand up to intense abuse, such as pounding solid granite and quartz.
  • also comes in orange
  • can be used to break up ice
  • well balanced and fully polished
Brand Estwing
Model E3-22P
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

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Last updated on March 13, 2017 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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