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Thread: Folding spade trench tool suggestions

  1. #1
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    Default Folding spade trench tool suggestions

    My old folding spade has finally given up on the hinge after 20 years. It was just a cheap one from an army surplus store. On ebay I see there's endless varieties now from super cheap to branded Spear and Jackson, and Gerber etc...

    What have you lot got that you'd recommend as a new one? It doesn't need to be super light weight.

  2. #2
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    Get the German one with a fixed handle.

    http://www.endicotts.co.uk/content/w...ool-pick-olive

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    Yup, german one for me too
    Uncle chop chop

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b60OZhrTB6o

    if you can find a genuine one....i like the look of the german shovel.
    Regards,

    Lostplanet

    " Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought. " Albert Szent-Györgyi

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostplanet View Post
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b60OZhrTB6o

    if you can find a genuine one....i like the look of the german shovel.
    Thats it. I'm selling all my tools, knives, paddles, and grappling hooks.......in fairness though that does look a good strong shovel
    Uncle chop chop

  6. #6
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    just had a quick search, bloody expensive though.
    Regards,

    Lostplanet

    " Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought. " Albert Szent-Györgyi

  7. #7
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    Aye Up,

    Does it have to be a folder? - If not but you still need something smaller than a standard GS shovel have a look at the short garden spades/shovels which are about half the size of a standard shovel.

    I've been issued with/using folders for decades and there is some real cr*p out there so be careful.

    I've seen the hinges and rivets on the cheapos fail ridiculously quickly and the plastic handles and shafts on even the so called 'high-end' ones shatter (albeit on most occasions through misuse - they aren't meant to chop tree roots or hack at rocks!).

    The shafts of the non folding short 'Russian' type entrenching shovels seem to wear and become loose quite quickly (especially if the socket isn't welded) and the replacement shafts made from a not too hard wood, easily broken if using the tool for prying.

    Russian Shovel.jpg

    So if it has to be a folder it is +1 for the German army surplus one as per the image below - but! -

    Clean the hinge and lock thoroughly of any grease after purchase (grit will stick to it) and after use clean and re-oil them or they will become a pain in the backside to unlock when you next come to use them, especially if you have used them in sand/sandy soil and snow!

    And don't overdo any prying with the pick or you might even break the shaft on those!

    German Folder.jpg
    Free-State Yorkshire Now!

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    xxxxxxxxxx.
    Last edited by Janne; Today at 04:14.

  9. #9
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    For a non folder i'v got a short handled version of the classic 'jeep shovel' which a belter with its T handle, or the cold steel special forces (groan) shovel seem pretty robust
    Uncle chop chop

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    Aye Up

    Shovels Janne - they're an implement for digging with - making holes in the ground etc. Quite common in the UK and wider world, I'm surprised that they haven't reached the Caveman Islands yet.
    Free-State Yorkshire Now!

  11. #11
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    The old West German one linked earlier on Endicotts is bomb proof! I've got one and it's just seen plenty of use at this years Moot. They're heavier than other designs but that makes using them much less effort.
    "We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best that we can find in our travels is an honest friend. "
    Robert Louis Stephenson

  12. #12

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    I have the German one, it is an indestructable beast, albeit a bit on the heavy side.

  13. #13

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    I have a cheapo one.I've dugout for fence posts with it.dug out worms for fishing and Dakota fire pits.the little in even tried digging to China on the beach with it a few times.i'm not saying it'll suit your needs but it's done me fine
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/290789876975


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  14. #14
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    Thanks guys. I think it's going to be the German one. That's a beauty!
    It's mainly the back of car emergency spade with the odd forest/beach outing so that should do nicely.

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    Klenchblaize

    It was evening all afternoon.
    It was snowing
    And it was going to snow.
    The blackbird sat
    In the cedar-limbs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JamPan View Post
    Thanks guys. I think it's going to be the German one. That's a beauty!
    It's mainly the back of car emergency spade with the odd forest/beach outing so that should do nicely.
    If its for the back of the Car you may want to consider a modification for winter use.

    Get yourself a sheet of Aluminum , shape & cut into a larger Snow shovel type profile. Now drill two holes through the German shovel and the New Alu profile - stick a couple of bolts with winged heads on and you now have a more suitable winter tool.

    HTH

  17. #17

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    If you need to carry it any distance or size was a factor I can recommend one of these: https://www.heinnie.com/schrade-fold...l#product-tabs

    Well made and sharp. Good for cutting roots etc.

  18. #18

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    I keep a roughneck mini spade in the back of the car. Only cost about £10 but better for digging than any folding job I've ever used.

    If your planning on needing to move snow you really need a proper snow shovel with a large blade. Google "avalanche shovel" and a load of ones will pop up with a telescopic handle for the car. Messing about moving snow with a small folding shovel is something to avoid, trust me on that.

    Tonyuk
    "I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion."


    Alexander the Great

  19. #19
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    Thanks Tony. I do also actually have a proper garden spade which lives in the boot too. The folding spade is the second emergency one, but also doubles as the midweight carry one if I want something bigger than the trowel for wandering.

    I've gone quite overboard on car gear as I used to drive alot. (don't drive much anymore though) so I always have a bag of rock salt, sand/mud tracks, buckle on snow treads (like chains) alongside the general waterproofs and wellies.

    I could probably pare it down now, as driving up the road to the supermarket generally isn't going to warrant that lot.

  20. #20
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    Aye Up,

    +1 re 'propper snow' shovels. I picked up a couple of Norwegian mil surplus ones last year quite cheap - very simple - no hinges/screws/telescopes to go wrong - the shaft just slots into the blade and is held secure by a friction collar. (S&O Kidderminster if they still have any).

    Jampam - beware if you use the German folder on the beach - rinse it well and re-oil the locking mech or the salt will corrode it.

    Most of the folders that I have used with a screw-up type locking mech close to the blade require frequent cleaning and re-oiling to stop them seizing up due to the ingress of grit, in fact I've seen some that couldn't be re-folded after use due to a seized screw. It is possible that is why the German shovel mech is a spring loaded 'bolt' as opposed to a screw.

    Folding Shovels.jpg

    Someone at Gerber must have also given that some thought as the one in the image, although a screw-up type, has the mech close to the handle instead of the blade.
    However, I have seen several of these with broken handles due to over zealous (larger) root hacking and/or driving the blade in too hard! (Use a Bahco or similar on roots and save the shovel!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Klenchblaize View Post
    To be fair it has got a bottle opener on it - priceless!
    Free-State Yorkshire Now!

  21. #21
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    im surprised cold steel dont make a copy of that chinese death shovel..
    Regards,

    Lostplanet

    " Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought. " Albert Szent-Györgyi

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    Quote Originally Posted by lostplanet View Post
    im surprised cold steel dont make a copy of that chinese death shovel..
    Too many moving parts for cold steel i suspect
    Uncle chop chop

  23. #23

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    This Austrian folding job looks nice, a bit longer than others and only 1 moving part that that i can see;

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Austrian-A...EAAOSwDk5T~xl7

    Tonyuk
    "I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion."


    Alexander the Great

  24. #24
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    Aye Up,

    If you look closely you will see that most folding shovels have the blade attached to the hinge by way of solid rivets (I've seen some that are hollow though!).

    This means that a sheer line is created between the blade and the hinge at the rivet - an inherent weakness - everytime that you thrust the blade into the ground you are effectively trying to guillotine the rivets!

    Rivets - Weld.jpg

    Depending on how good the rivett steel is and how frequently/hard the shovel is used the rivets eventually work loose and in some cases fail. I've seen this many times with the cheaper folding versions but also on one occasion with a German folder (loosened rivets that is) - but it had been abused by way of hacking at roots and rocks.

    If you look at the Gerber you will see that the hinge is welded to the blade, eradicating the rivets leaving only one sheer point - the hinge pivot. On the Gerber the single pivot bolt is quite substantial and is replaceable should it suffer from wear (I suspect though that the hinge slots would probably enlarge first.

    I've owned the Gerber in the image for the best part of 20 years, it has been used in anger many, many times and apart from periodically re-sharpening the blade mouth (for digging!) it is still in extremely good condition.

    Of the three types of handle available - 'T', 'Y' or Straight, I have found the 'Y' as per the Gerber the most comfortable for prolonged use.
    The 'T's are often the first to break and the straight handles can cause blisters as you have to constantly grip the shaft as you drive the blade forward, especially if digging in moist/wet sand. (best practice - use field gloves!)

    The weak part of the Gerber I suspect will be the handle if it is not used correctly.
    The advantage of the German surplus over the Gerber type might be the pick - but a small pry bar carried with the Gerber resolves that issue.

    Of note, about 3 years back I picked up an identical one (in design and folding method) at a supermarket in a box with the AA (Automobile Association) logo on it. It was very cheap, less than a tenner I think. I bought it as a spare. Compared to the Gerber it looks marginally less well put together and the plastic may well be of a lower quality (only use and time will tell) but used correctly I suspect that it will be better than the cheaper alternatives.

    Just did a quick Google on AA shovel - still available £8.99 at the mo. They advertise it as a snow shovel - hardly, but we've covered that already.

    AA Shovel.jpg
    Free-State Yorkshire Now!

  25. #25
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    There must be a Russian shovel out there that works in all weathers and cost next to nothing to make. The Austrian looks like a solid bit of kit.
    Regards,

    Lostplanet

    " Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought. " Albert Szent-Györgyi

  26. #26
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    Regards,

    Lostplanet

    " Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought. " Albert Szent-Györgyi

  27. #27
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    So now I'm just going to have to buy three!

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    Quote Originally Posted by lostplanet View Post

    Aaaah Yes lostplanet - the Warsaw Pact post-maneouvres get-one-over on the tankies prank.

    The British Army version was a thunder flash, followed by a tin of beans pushed down an inverted post-thumper mortar stylee. It was preferably fired at the nice clean tanks just after they had come off the wash-down point ahead of all the other arms who had been working hard on the plains!
    Free-State Yorkshire Now!

  29. #29
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    Why not a mini mattock? Good for picking good for roots, and I'm sure if you need a scoop a trowell will do? Or am I.way off course?

    http://www.screwfix.com/p/roughneck-...FcuzUQodCNALdQ
    Last edited by petrochemicals; 17-08-2017 at 17:27.
    A man can do no sin with his own wife,
    Nor can he hurt himself with his own knife

  30. #30
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    Hm, I like the look of those mini mattocks. Another toy for the list.

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