Cold Steel 92SFSZ Special Forces Shovel Includes Sheath and Clam Pack
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- Overall length: 19.68 inch
- Handle: hardwood
- Thickness: 2mm (shovel head)
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Cold Steel special Forces shovel W/sheath. The special Forces shovel is modeled after the original soviet Spetznaz shovel. The Spetznaz soldiers made up the most elite unit in the soviet Army. The U.S. Equivalent would be Cold Steel green berets. The shovel head and socket are forged from medium carbon steel, then heat treated for maximum strength. The edges come sharpened to a utility/Axe edge that can easily be improved to razor sharpness. The special Forces shovel comes complete with a specially made cor-ex sheath. The sheath features an extra wide belt loop. The sheath and the shovel are available for sale as a stand alone items. Specifications: - weight: 26.6 oz - overall length: 19.68 inch - handle: hardwood - thickness: 2mm (shovel head) - sheath: cor-ex sheath
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This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.
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I can say, on initial inspection, that the CS is much better constructed than the the original Russian military surplus version I already had. The metal on the CS is thicker and more securely attached to the handle. The CS is noticeably heavier but not quite as well balanced as the the Russian. The coating on the CS is glossy and does not provide as good a gripping surface.
If I were to choose between the two....it's really tough. As a weapon, I'd choose the Russian one. For chopping reeds, grass or light limbing of trees, the Russian one is just better balanced and better in the hand.
For most other uses, the CS is far superior in construction and should perform better. It's just heavier and I can tell that, over time, my wrist and hand would become fatigued.
I really prefer the original but I know that if I had to depend on it in a survival situation, the thickness of the metal would cause the blade to fail with heavier use. But...the Russian one is the one I prefer in the hand and that is by a wide margin.
Chopping: On the way to our campsite there were several fallen trees that blocked the trail. I had worked the edges of the shovel (which were decently sharp to begin with) with a sharpening stone before heading out, so I thought using it to chop a few branches would be a good first test. It did a decent job of chopping smaller branches, up to about an inch and a half thick. Larger diameter branches were a lot tougher, requiring considerably more effort. Because the head of the shovel doesn’t have as much mass as a typical hatchet or axe, and the relatively short handle doesn’t afford as much leverage, it took quit a bit of energy to chop those bigger branches. That being said, I was able to chop through a branch that was about three inches in diameter, but I don’t think I’d ever want to do that again!
Digging: What good is a shovel if it doesn’t dig? Fortunately, this little shovel more than met my expectations. I dug a fire pit in some pretty hard soil which was riddled with roots. I honestly couldn’t tell I was cutting through the roots until I saw them in the turned dirt! I dug the pit larger than I normally would just because it was so easy. I also dug a latrine a short distance from camp. The soil there was more rocky, but the shovel did just fine. The head of the shovel is a little shallow though, so while digging wasn’t an issue, removing dirt from a hole does take some time. I actually found I could move more dirt with my hands ham with the shovel, but that’s something I’ve found necessary when using any shovel of a similar size.
Throwing: I don’t typically throw my tools around, but after seeing the demo video on Cold Steel’s website I thought I’d give it a try. Standing about five yards away from a fallen tree, I was able to pretty easily stick the shovel about an inch and a half deep into the wood. It’s really well balanced, and getting a single spin before impact was the best way I found to get it to stick. Beyond throwing it at a target, I also decided to just chuck it into the woods to see what would happen. I heaved it about as hard as I could and bounced it off a few trees before it finally hit he ground. The shovel, more specifically he handle, didn’t have a scratch on it when I was finally able to find it!
Overall, I’m really impressed with this tool. I expect that it will stand up to any abuse I throw at it, and at just over twenty bucks, it’s a real value.
*** BTW, THE SHOVEL, FROM THIS SELLER, DOES COME WITH A SHEATH: "COLD STEEL SC92SF CORDURA SHEATH"
- Also be sure to order a Nicholson 8"Ax File to go with it, to keep the 3 edges sharp and true - https://www.amazon.com/Nicholson-06706N-Axe-File-8-Inch/dp/B006DWT7HG/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1528342405&sr=8-4&keywords=nicholson+8+file
- Check out YouTube regarding the shovel: Just search "Cold Steel Shovel Fowler"
(ZACHARY FOWLER is the man who won the $500,000. prize on season 3 of "Alone" survival reality challenge from History.com, surviving 87 days, using this shovel as one of the allowed 10 items the contestants could bring with them )
- This shovel is modeled after the original Soviet "Spetsnaz" Special Forces Entrenching tool
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On a normal shovel that would not be an issue. But on a compact shovel 10 centimeters is a lot. Otherwise everything looks fine. It looks like a fairly sturdy shovel I will try it out to see if 10 centimeters are a deal breaker.
EDIT: went back to digging and the handle broke! In contact now with the supplier to see what can be done. Will let you know the outcome.
EDIT 2: seller offered to refund my money and have me send the broken product back. Rather then wait for a new shovel, I contacted cold steel directly to have a new handle sent out. In the mean time I fashioned my own handle to use until it arrives. Very happy with this product regardless of bad luck in the handle.
As for the shovel itself, a few words. I just got it and can't comment on durability or how it will hold the edge. That said the overall construction is solid and I really like the 2-screw handle attachment as opposed to rivets because the screws you can fix in the field. The down side of the screws, And I don't know if I just got unlucky, is my screws were put in at an angle and the caps stick out from the handle. They could be put in flush, but they weren't. Means I will have to remember to use gloves when I use it. I may also commit to taking the screws out, rotating the handle, and improving the entry angle.
The factory edge on the blade is superb. I am very much impressed.
The wooden handle had a few dents and little Knicks, so did the shovel blade. I suspect this happened in transit to the seller or at the seller facility. It could not have been in transit from the seller to me because the rest of the items in my order were not hard enough to beat up a hardwood handle.
Overall I wanted a Soviet design shovel with a western manufacturing precision. I ended up getting the Soviet manufacturing precision. I am fine with that.
Thick, glossy paint. Nice coating on wood handle.
Will probably never need to buy another small shovel.
Der Stiel ist aus Weichholz. Der wird nicht lange halten. Warum macht man den nicht aus Hickory, oder Esche wie sonst bei solchem Werkzeug üblich ?
Ansonsten ist der Spaten sehr robust