Cold Steel Special Forces Shovel. Please stop by and give your opinion.

Oct 8, 1998
I know that a shovel is not a glorious tool.

But the idea of this one turns me on.

Fires up my imagination.

I could spend the rest of my life with a shovel of good breeding.

Fred Perrin is fond of his.


What do all you think?

You want a shovel, don't you.

This could be my one tool does it all.

Marion David Poff aka Eye, one can msg me at

Check out the blinking story an online pleasure.
Not a Cold Steel, but I do have two old East German entrenching tools which are very similar. The major difference being that the East German model has a square tip rather than pointed. I have sharpened the bottom and one side of the blade on a belt sander.

It is a good tool, I have used it to split firewood, (works better than you would think, the curve in the blade pops the pieces apart.) Also, digging holes, plant flowers & bushes, Chop ladder feet out of ice in the winter.

I keep one in the back of my jeep, and one in the basement.

Hint: Buy an extra handle or two if you plan hard use.

Marion, it is very rare that I actually want a shovel out and about. There are a lot of times I want to dig but that is not the same thing. Usually it is because I want to make a small hole or remove something and a pick would be a better tool. This is why a decent strong knife makes a good digging tool as the fine point allows detailed work.

I've been wondering about the Cold Steel Special Forces shovel for a long time, so I stopped wondering and bought one about two months ago. I own an older vietnam-era "U.S. Gov't" shovel and I used the latest issue entrenching tool while in the service. All of the e-tools are good for many things other than just digging; as they're issued as an all-purpose field tool to dig, cut wood, hammer lightly, etc. The only thing I'm not real fond about on the Cold Steel model is that it doesn't fold and the handle is made of wood. But, it's not really that big, either (approx.20" long & 6" wide). So, if you're not going to need ultra-compact dimensions for backpacking or whatever, it's a really good e-tool that's priced reasonably. I haven't tested mine thoroughly yet, but I can say that the shovel edges are pretty sharp! They're chisel-ground, btw. I used mine on a 2x4 when I unpacked it, and it chopped it up with no problem. I haven't tried throwing it yet, but I don't think it will have a problem sticking into things as sharp and seemingly balanced as it is. I'm very happy with it, but it'll mainly be used as an emergency tool in the car.



AKTI Member #A000094

Honey, I swear that's the last knife I'm going to buy...

[This message has been edited by Savman (edited 30 July 1999).]
I used mine to pry a board loose once and it bent rather easily.The handle didn't take to well to being out in the sun and the weather in my truck bed either, but that is probably asking to much of it.
I have on and it is okay. The black coating comes off with use, pretty easly.Its okay for digging. All in All it is a pretty good tool.
One of my co-workers has one in his car...I wasn't too impressed by it at all . I picked up this other German military surplus thing that was used, but a much nicer entrenching style tool (it could be the same one MNH mentioned). It had a pick in addition to the shovel and you can lock the shovel, or pick at 90 degrees to the handle. I got mine from the Sportsman Guide few years back for about $18 shipped. Another co-worker lost his US GI issued one when his son misplaced it somewhere.

Read part of a book by defector, Victor Suvorov (sp) "inside the KGB (?) in which he tells of the Spetznatz shovel techniques.
Edges are sharpened and used like an axe to chop wood, even frozen bread, and enemies of the State. Thrown like an axe. Used as a paddle when you you float your boat. Two shovels end to end are one meter. I don't remember but the width of the blade is a measurement too.

Final graduation test. Pass/Fail - The cadet and shovel are put in an unlit room. They slip in a hungry angry puppy.

So in many ways, the shovel is more usefull than a large knife. -Brian

Usually I can't stand yard work but w/the cold steel version of the spetnaz shovel it can be fun. So far I've managed to kill three bushes that I merely meant to prune cause I just couldn't stop chopping w/that shovel--it was like eating potato chips, I couldn't stop. To boot the neighbors didn't feel as threatened as they usually do. And the thing is relatively cheap so its not a big deal if it evenutally falls/corodes apart.

I have a few of them . I keep one in my GMC Jimmy in case of an emergency and have used it to discourage someone from approaching my vehicle in a bad part of town. I seem to think that I can explain to a Policeman that I use it in my work since I work outdoors. I throw one at my Throwing exibitions that I put on several times a year. It is great for the finale. Believe me you do not want to get hit with one of these.


[This message has been edited by Knifeslinger (edited 01 August 1999).]
A few days ago I slipped my shovel handle between the alternator and water pump to tighten the alternator belt. Heck of a lot easier than trying to pull and hold the alternator by hand. -Brian
Geez. I feel REALLY irresponsible. Everyone else seems to use theirs for work. I throw mine. It's a blast! My friends and I get together with our throwing knives, hawks, and shovels and have a blast. If you plan on tossing them, buy lots of extra handles. They're fun to throw, and it's very easy to learn.

Has any one replaced there wooden handle with G-10?? You can get it in rods. Just wondering.

Standard size for a handle? Or do I need to order extra handles from somewhere....
I have handled the Swiss and German models of the shovels listed above. Compared to them the Cold Steel version is a toy. I find the Swiss versions to be a better built shovel than the German. A little more pricey, but worth it.
I hear a good bit about the German versions of the shovel and now the Swiss. Where do I find them.

Oh there may be some nicer shovels, but I really doubt there is one you would have more fun with. Nothing is better for throwing. We get together at a friends camp after we shoot and throw them. Several of my friends now have the shovel. It sticks much better than the bad axe on sloppy throws. Also as the soviets know so well it is a great weapon. I'm sure that there are many in trucks around the country to dig people out of tough situations. Overall for what I see it intented for I couldn't want anything better.
Just bought two at the SOF show in Vegas ..
a nice little tool/weapon.