Within the outdoor industry (particularly within ultralight culture) there is the pervasive belief that you should "bring only what you need." From pillows that double as seats to jackets that turn into daypacks, it seems as if this ideology is morphing into: "bring only what you need ... AND the things you do bring should be useful in 4,956,756 different ways!"
While this can sometimes result in gimmicky products that do a wide range of tasks poorly, when its versatility is genuine and thoughtful, it makes for a kickass product.
Perhaps multitools are the best of example of this. A great multitool can be a life saver, while a crummy multitool is a waste of space. After playing around with the Military Folding Shovel Multitool RS by Fivejoy, I can confidently say it falls within the former category!
The Fivejoy Shovel itself comes in a compact carrying case that easily and safely stores the various components. The shovel is 21-inches long, weighs around 2.19 lbss, and has a wide range of different uses. While obviously its primary use is as a shovel, it also serves as a hoe, ax, knife, saw, hammer, fire starter, and more. The shovel has extension tubes (sold separately) that can give the shovel extra power, length and leverage.
In judging the Shovel Multitool, we are going to look at 3 categories. Durability, individual functionality, and overall utility.
Durability: I really did try to break it. I hacked at rocks, dropped it off porches, and stomped on the shaft with all 165 lbs. of my pale gingery fury! All of this resulted in absolutely no damage to the shovel.
The shovel head is made out of 420 high carbon steel, and seems very solidly connected to the shaft. The shovel easily transforms between uses, and its structural integrity does not seem to become compromised as it shifts from shovel to hoe to ax.
I felt no concerns about the multitool's strength when performing any of the aforementioned actions. While the components and materials themselves seem fairly indestructible, the only concern I encountered pertained to the shaft.
The handle/shaft is made up of a series of screw-on attachments that allow the user to lengthen or shorten the handle based on the task. While I dig the idea, if the multitool is used too aggressively, I did notice that the handle/shaft would loosen in parts, requiring small adjustments to correct.
Individual Functionality: While the multitool has a wide range of functionality (shovel, hoe, ax, saw, hammer, rescue knife, wire cutter, bottle opener, fire starter, whistle, glass breaker, paracord), we are just going to focus on the main elements: shovel, hoe, ax, and knife. The other components work just fine, they just don't require as in-depth an analysis!
Shovel: The shovel is strong, sharp, and great for everything from digging a cathole to do your business in to gardening in your backyard! When you're not camping, it seems like a great tool to keep in the back of your car just in case you find yourself stuck in some unpleasant road conditions.
Hoe: While I have yet to use the hoe for anything other than "using the hoe to see how it works," the hoe feature operates well. The shovel's head easily snaps 90 degrees down into the hoe (and after several hearty attempts to break the the locking mechanism that keeps the hoe in its 90-degree angle position), I left feeling satisfied that the multitool could live up to all my future hoeing needs!
Ax: One side of the shovel head is pretty dull and the other is sort of sharp. The "sort of sharp" side does an alright job at chopping, slicing, and hacking; if you wanted it to do a good job, you could simply sharpen the "sort of sharp" side. It would be that easy.
When asked why it doesn't just come sharp to begin with, Fivejoy states that they leave both shovel sides relatively dull for safety reasons. Makes sense for all the family campers out there.
Knife: If you are someone who ALWAYS has a knife on them when in the outdoors, this knife will safely stay out of sight and out of mind. If you are someone who on occasion needs a knife and never has one, this knife is ideal.
It has a serrated and a non-serrated side. The serrated side serves as a small but efficient saw, while the non-serrated side is great for everything else! If also has a bottle opener on it because ... why not?
After spending a couple of days playing around with the Folding Shovel Multitool, it seems like its perfect uses lie within the realms of short backpacking trips, car camping, and basecamping.
While not particularly heavy, for those looking to shave every ounce, 2.19lbs can be a little much to fit in. On top of being great for the uses laid out above, the Shovel Multitool also seems ideal for keeping in your car in case of bad conditions, survival situations, general lawn work, and making the best darn sand castles imaginable. We dig it, and you can to! It's currently available on Five Joy's website or on Amazon.
******This is a sponsored post; however, as always our opinions are 100% our own***