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Best Folding Shovel Reviews

Compact shovels have been around for quite some time to help with basic gardening and yard work, as well as for more seriously ventures digging trenches and protective cover during periods of military unrest in our history. Their popularity is due to their ease of use, and compact, lightweight nature that allows you to travel easily with it- and avoid the cumbersome length often associated with more standard shovel sizes. But what, exactly can a folding shovel do for you?

Today, your best folding shovels can be found as portable products within trunks of cars, standard tools within garden wagons, and even when backpacking and camping through the wilderness. Our best collapsible shovel reviews can be found below!

5 Best Folding Shovel Comparisons

Model
          Features
FiveJoy Military Folding Shovel Multitool



  • Max Length: 21”
  • Multi-Tool: yes
  • Weight: 2.16lbs
  • Storage bag: yes
Iunio Military Portable Folding Shovel



  • Max Length: 30“
  • Multi-Tool: yes
  • Weight: 2.5lbs
  • Storage bag: yes
SOG Entrenching Folding Shovel



  • Max Length: 18.25”
  • Multi-Tool: no
  • Weight: 24.5 ounces
  • Storage bag: yes
ORIENTOOLS Collapsible Folding Snow Shovel



  • Max Length: 27”
  • Multi-Tool: no
  • Weight: 1.4 lbs
  • Storage bag: no
SGP 100 Collapsible Survival Shovel



  • Max Length: 25”
  • Multi-Tool: no
  • Weight: 1.5 lbs
  • Storage bag: yes

What is a Folding Shovel?

A folding shovel sometimes called an entrenching tool due to its use in military history, is a compact shovel that can be used in a variety of situation to help with digging, chopping, scooping, hammering, and scraping at whatever surface you are attempting to alter.

These can be made from metals, wood, nylon, fiberglass (or similar material) and either has a hinge, or collapsible, shaft to provide the compact design they are so popular for. This connects to the shaped metal shovel head, which may vary in size and shape depending on what it is supposed to be used for. They also have a handle of some sort to help provide leverage and comfort to the user.

How Does a Folding Shovel Work?

A folding shovel works like a traditional shovel or spade, by providing leverage through the shaft to complete the task you are setting your shovel to. They are much shorter in length, however, in keeping with the lightweight, compact design. Because of this you may need to use it while kneeling, or sitting.

But what really sets them apart from the shovels you are more familiar with, is its ability to become a fraction of its size with a simple push of a button, or twist of the wrist. Through the use of hinges and/or fitted shafts, you can fold and collapse shovel heads and shafts for easy transportation and storage.

Why Choose Folding Shovel?

Folding shovels are incredibly useful in a variety of situations. To start, they have none of the bulk and length of a traditional design and are easier to transport and store. You no longer have to worry about keeping a hand free to carry it when moving yard work materials around your yard, and you won’t have to keep picking it up when it tips out of your wheelbarrow. But most of all is how mobile a folding shovel truly is.

Shovels truly are efficient tools and can come in handy in many situations- if you happen to have one with you. Folding versions allow for easy transport in the vehicle, on backpacks, or on other types of material transport situations. Some versions can fold down to a mere 7 inches (or less) from a 3-foot length, making them a worthwhile investment to take advantage of.

Snow removal in parking lots during snowy work days, chopping of plants for easy tent set-up, tossing of dirt over campfires, and quick access around your own yard and garden are only a few ways you can take advantage of this portable tool.

Types of Folding Shovels

A shovel is pretty much what the name implies: a shaft that ends with a head capable of scooping and digging at one end. There are, of course, many variations of this design, but for the most part they serve a purpose to help dig, chop, and move materials. Folding shovels follow this rule as well, but may include a few desirable extras.

Traditional Design

Traditional shovel designs include a folding head, a shaft that can be either collapsed or screwed together, and may end in a d-shaped handle, or simple grip. These can vary in length and shovel head size, but are all created to work in a more traditional way.

Multi-Tool

Multi-tool folding shovels will include what is described above as a more traditional design, but also include a head that has an added addition, or may be switched out for various other tools. These may include items such as a punching tool, or a pick axe.

How to Choose the Best Folding Shovel

No two products are made exactly the same, and many folding shovels are made with a specific purpose in mind. Plus, they all are put together in various ways, so it is important to look over the details of your choices to ensure you are getting a tool specific to your needs and preferences.
What do you want to use it for?
Are you looking for a handy vehicle tool for winter weather, or more of a general all-around type style? If you have a very specific need, then you can most likely find a head that is more compatible for the job you have in mind.
What sort of access to the shovel do you prefer?
Shovels that have a screw together shaft are usually stored with in a bag that hold all the pieces together. This requires a little bit of time to assemble before use, making them not quite as accessible as other available styles. However, the screw together versions also often have a longer shaft.
How do you plan on carrying it?
Whether you are just tossing it in the trunk of your vehicle, or want it for outdoor adventures, be sure to examine how it is suggested it be carried, especially if it does not come within a storage bag.

Top 5 Best Folding Shovel Reviews

FiveJoy Military Folding Shovel Multitool

Quick Info

  • Max Length: 21”
  • Multi-Tool: yes
  • Weight: 2.16lbs
  • Storage bag: yes
This is a true multi-tool shovel that expands to 21 inches with an optional extension kit up to 34 inches. The dual switch mode on the 420 high carbon steel shovel allows you to use it in a more traditional manner, or hold it in place to use as a hoe. Like most shovels, you can take advantage of the design to use it a saw or hammer as well. The connecting tubes screw together and are stored with the head in a carrying case that can be worn on your belt for easy access. Within these tubes are housed everything that defines this as a multi-tool; A magnesium rod (for starting fires), whistle, tactical knife and saw, and bottle opener are all a part of the design. The paracord length found within can also come in handy, as can the measurement guide found on the shovel head.

Pros

  • Very sturdy
  • Great attention to detail
  • Extra tools are very helpful

Cons

  • Check for damaged screws
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Pro tip

This is truly an all-in-one tool for outdoor enthusiast to take advantage of. The shovel head is simply what defines this tool as a folding shovel, but the other tools are just as invaluable when out it the field camping, hunting, or fishing.

Iunio Military Portable Folding Shovel

Quick Info

  • Max Length: 30“
  • Multi-Tool: yes
  • Weight: 2.5lbs
  • Storage bag: yes

Able to extend from 7 to 30 inches, this is a very versatile, multi-function tool that allows for use as a hook, hoe, shovel, and pickaxe. Not only can you customize the length of your shaft, but you can take advantage of the many extras uses it boasts: Shovel Board, Saw, Bottle Opener, Nail Extractor, Hoe, Fish Scaler Knife, Emergency Whistle, Fire Bar, and Hammer. Made from high carbon steel, both the shaft and shovel are high strength and wear resistant. Plus it folds up and comes apart to fit in a high quality tactical waist pack that includes a belt loop. With a total weight of 2.5 pounds, this is a lightweight choice that doubles and triples many times over and keeps you from having to carry multiple tools.

Pros

  • Great all purpose choice
  • Extra room within the handles
  • Quality material

Cons

  • Doesn’t come properly oiled
  • Fairly small shovel head
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Pro tip

Excellent to keep in the vehicle, this is a tool that can easily come in handy for RVs, long distance travel, weather conditions, gardeners, survivalists, hunters, campers and hikers- to name a few.

SOG Entrenching Folding Shovel

Quick Info

  • Max Length: 18.25”
  • Multi-Tool: no
  • Weight: 24.5 ounces
  • Storage bag: yes

With a max length of 18.25 inches, this solid metal constructed shovel can fold down to a mere 7.25 inches, and be tucked away in a sturdy canvas bag for easy transportation. Although not technically a multi tool, the shovel head can be locked into place at a 90 degree angle to use as a hoe, and it also can be rotated and folded forward to expose a pick head as well. As a true folding shovel, there are no pieces to screw together, and allows you to use it within seconds of your need.

The durable steel blade is also equipped with a serrated edge to use as a saw. Plus a triangular handle grip allows you to use this tool with comfort to get the leverage you need for the job at hand. The lightweight design, that only weighs 24.5 ounces, allows you to easily carry this tool in just about any situation.

Pros

  • Very solid feel and construction
  • Folds up very compact
  • Multiple uses are helpful

Cons

  • Smaller than other similar entrenching tools
  • Hard on hands: gloves are suggested with use
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Pro tip

The very compact, lightweight design makes this a perfect choice for a variety of situations. Whether it is stored in a vehicle for times of need, or is a regular tool to pack along on a variety of adventures, this is a choice just about anyone can find a use for.

ORIENTOOLS Collapsible Folding Snow Shovel

Quick Info

  • Max Length: 27”
  • Multi-Tool: no
  • Weight: 1.4 lbs
  • Storage bag: no

Fully foldable through a twisting and locking mechanism, this snow shovel is actually available in a variety of blade widths, but all extend to 27 inches, and fold down to 13 with ease. The aluminum lined plastic blade follows the traditional design of a snow shovel, which helps make short work of any snow removal you may be faced with.

With no pieces to screw together, this is an easy to utilize tool that is very specific to adverse winter weather conditions. Although it may not be incredibly multi functional, the easy D- grip helps keep your hands from freezing up when in use, and provides you the leverage you need. Plus, the blade can be locked into a 90 degree angle to take advantage of chopping motions to break up drifted or piled up snow.

Pros

  • Perfect storage size
  • Very sturdy
  • 90 degree head reaches under car

Cons

  • End may need to be re-tightened when in use
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Pro tip

If you live where snow is a regular winter occurrence, this is product you shouldn’t pass up. It stores easily in a vehicle and is the perfect tool to help you get it clear of snow on those days when the weather just won’t cooperate.

SGP 100 Collapsible Survival Shovel

Quick Info

  • Max Length: 25”
  • Multi-Tool: no
  • Weight: 1.5 lbs
  • Storage bag: yes
This simple, no frills design combines compact, easy to use digging tools with simple storage for harsh environmental challenges. Able to extend to 25 inches in length with both folding and screw on shaft extension pieces, the entire tool is able to be stored in a 7 inch storage bag. Made from durable steel, the handle also has an ergonomic grip to keep your hand from slipping. The shovel head can be adjusted to work as a digging tool, chopping tool, or pickaxe. It also includes a serrated edge for sawing, as well as a bottle opener. And at a mere 1.5 pounds, is easy to carry in a variety of situational needs.

Pros

  • Simple and well engineered
  • Adjustable handle length
  • Very compact and portable

Cons

  • Strong off-gassing odor upon opening
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Pro tip

Like most folding shovel designs, if you need a simple shovel for outdoor, or vehicle use, this is a great choice to consider as it works as an excellent digging tool with a few extra perks.

Conclusion

Although your choice of folding shovel should include the consideration of your own personal needs and preferences, I’m really digging the Iunio Military Portable Folding Shovel as a favorite. I like how versatile it is, and how many helpful extras it includes that you can take advantage of no matter where you have need of it. Although it does require some quick assembly, it definitely can save on packing space since you will no longer be required to pack separate items for certain activities. If you have a favorite folding shovel brand you’d like to share with us, or have any questions of the ones we’ve highlighted above, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below! And, as always, please share!

 

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You might also like: Best Ergonomic Shovel

About The Author

Danielle McLeod

Danielle McLeod cuts a tragic figure in the High School English classroom teaching literature by day, and moonlighting as a writer and graphic artist by night. Published in a variety of travel magazines, and now a blog, Danielle enjoys coming up with home and garden projects to complete with her two young boys. A native of Michigan, she resides in Southeastern New Mexico with her variety of horses, poultry, and variable mix of rescue dogs (there’s a cat or two in there as well). In her free time she enjoys travel, art, photography, and a good book!

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