I want to start by saying that I haven’t gotten paid for these reviews, and I bought these items myself. Having said that, these three are fantastic tools that each person should have. I keep all three in my vehicle emergency kit at all times.
The first one I bought was the emergency shovel. I wanted a portable shovel, but something larger than the E-Tool (entrenching tool) that I carried in the Marine Corps. This shovel is quite a bit longer, but still not as long as a traditional shovel. It’s exactly what I was looking for.
When I was in the USMC, the first thing everyone did with their e-tool was sharpen one edge to use as an axe. This shovel head has a pre-sharpened axe on one side, and a serrated knife/saw on the other, along with a small blade cut-out for cutting cordage to lengths you need in camp or the field. There are also two hexagonal cut-outs to be used as wrenches, although I’ve never used them.
As you can see, it has four sections. The shovel head can be used as a shovel, at 90 degrees as a hoe, or at 45 degrees as a pick or hook. The next section has an impact head, which, as you can see below, can be used to make the handle into a self-defense weapon. The third section has a combination saw/knife blade, which is decent (but not as solid as a dedicated field knife). The top handle section accepts standard screwdriver heads. There is also a compass and a fire steel inside this top section.
A few months ago, I bought a “survival walking stick”. This tool is the longest and it has five sections plus the walking/striking tip. Inside the top handle is again a compass and fire steel, but this one also has a whistle.
You can make tools of any length with the walking stick and it comes with a knife/saw blade that also has a bottle opener and a can opener. There is a spear tip, as well as a second spear that they call an “ice breaker” tip. It also has a section that accepts standard screw driver tips.
You can see how this walking stick and be useful for many survival and camping uses, and I carry it on every hike and keep it my car.
For the martial artists among us, I practice bo staff forms using the walking stick, so that I’m comfortable using the shorter length of it to defend myself. You can also make two sections, each with a spear point, for self defense.
The last one, I just bought this week and am still field testing it. It’s a survival axe. Inside the box, it comes with the axe head, two handle sections, and a knife blade that has a saw back, and a can opener.
Inside the handle again there is a compass, fire steel, and a whistle. If you unscrew the compass top, underneath is what they call a “window breaker”, but I call a striking tip. You can use the axe at one end, and strike with the base as well.
The axe head also has a small hammer on the other side, perfect for putting in tent stakes, or many other camp/survival uses.
The axe also came with a sharpening stone and some lubricant for sharpening.
These three tools are a great collection to have. I bought them all from different places, but they are clearly all from the same original manufacturer somewhere in China. They are all made of high strength steel and are very solid. I was surprised at how well made they were for the price.
I got them from Amazon (www.amazon.com) and E-Bay (www.ebay.com).
All three came with a compass and fire steel, and two out of three also have a whistle. There is plenty of extra room inside the sections to store survival items like water purification tablets or sections of fishing wire with hooks, which is what I do. You could also put waterproof matches and tinder inside the sections.
My only complaint is that they are all of different widths, so that the sections aren’t interchangeable. I imagine that’s by design so that you have to have all three, rather than just buying interchangeable heads.
I did find however, that the axe head fits on the shovel handle, and that the top handle section of the axe has a size reducer, so that you can actually use both the axe and shovel handles together. I made a full-size axe using both handles together.
The items are fairly inexpensive, I paid less than $100 for all three, which makes them a great deal.
They area very portable, with both the shovel and the walking stick coming with carrying bags, and the axe coming with a belt-loop sheath. However, I’ve found that the axe fits very nicely (just like my SOG Tomahawks do) inside a USMC issue 40mm grenade pouch (the handle slides down nicely through the hole at the bottom for drainage), and I attached the pouch to my backpack.
I’ve also carried the shovel on my backpack inside a USMC issue E-Tool carrier, but if you do that, you need a towel or shemagh wrapped around the sections to reduce noise, as they fit too loosely and rattle.
I hope these reviews help you decide on some gear to carry.
One thought on “Survival Tool Reviews”
Heh… “Window breakers”. That has to be for legal reasons, because no one I know ever uses it for that purpose….