What is an Entrenching Tool – Complete Discussion

Hoe, shovel, saw, hammer, wire cutter or ax are many familiar tools. But you may don’t know what is an entrenching tool or e tool.

During camping or in any other outdoor survival situation you can use an entrenching tool as an alternative to that product. You will get lightweight and carry convenience using an entrenching tool. 

To dig a little hole, dent or entrench you can use this instrument definitely. Even in some unexpected survival situation, it will help you. 

You may feel the need of hoe, shovel, saw, hammer, a wire cutter or an ax during adventure camping or in any other outdoor survival situation, in these cases entrenching tool will help you a lot.

What an entrenching tool actually is?

You may ask what is an entrenching tool. It is a collapsible spade consists of a blade and a handle. The blade is formed of steel, aluminum or other metal.

A leather bag is provided to carry this whole short shovel system easily. Generally, this is used as gardening, camping equipment or as various military purpose equipment.

In which Purpose you can use an entrenching tool usually

Adventure purpose

One of the most common uses of the entrenching tool is in adventure jobs. From beginner to professional level, anyone can use this material for their jobs. Forming tent, cleaning the obstructs of the way and even in cooking, entrenching tools use has brought a huge change in adventures jobs.

Military affairs

Military people know much what is an entrenching tool. During war soldiers, military entrenching tool use is the more common scenario. To make a trench in order to protect and to stay there, you can use this lightweight tool make that operation. 

It is very much comfortable for military purpose as it is very much easier to carry and small in size and light in weight.

In cold regions

For local people and also for adventurers living in a cold region it is a common situation to face ice on their way. Sometimes you need to overcome the obstacle due to the ice to move on.

Generally during winter season when too many snowing causes stopping the way entrenching tools can clear their obstacles.

Purpose of Gardening 

The hobby of gardening is much familiar, you surely will try to make this work done easily. Using a hoe, spade and so more instruments of heavyweight are very much troublesome for a gardener, entrenching tools has brought a solution of this problem as it can be used as a multitasking instrument for various jobs.

Setting up a tent

Sometimes boring holes in the ground surface is necessary for setting up a tent of higher strength. The corners of a tent need to set up on the ground, in those cases, an entrenching tool is of great use for you.

They can bore holes easily with the help of entrenching tool. So you don't need to carry heavy weights spade or shovel during camping.

To make cooking stove

During camping sometimes you may need to cook food. By entrenching tools it is easier to dig space or hole in the ground to make a stove.The edge of the blade used in entrenching tool is sharp enough to dig a smooth hole of required size and shape. Because of this advantage, you do not need to worry about to carry heavy weight cooking stoves.

Chop on demand

While camping, you may feel the necessity of cooking any veg or non-veg food. If there stands any situation of shortage of knife or any sharp object entrenching tool will be helpful.

The range of Chopping vegetable or meat is large. The scarcity of food may arise in any situation, on those spot entrenching tools use may figure out a solution by processing food to cook.

Available types of entrenching tools

1. Gerber entrenching tool

This one is better for digging and it is military-grade. You can dig holes and trench by its Shovel-head. Shovel-head is carbon steel of powder-coated.It can face various types of stiff terrain. Its edge is serrated blade and handle is made of nylon filled with glass.

2. Ames entrenching tool

You can use this for digging and for cooking platform also. It also offers few more features. You can use this also in the boat using purpose as a paddle and an anchor. Over 250 lbs can support its grappling hook. Works as an ax, saw, knife and more. You can also use this as a defensive weapon.

3. Fiskars entrenching tool

Locking the blade in a different way will let you use this entrenching tool like a digging instrument or as a hoe or pick. It is about half a meter in length and weighs around 1.3 kg.

4. Sog entrenching tool

You can cover cutting and slashing action by its blade. The blade is of tempered steel. This one’s handle is of triangular shape. It helps you fits much and work more efficiently. Also, it assures strong handle to work in the heavy situation. It weighs around 1.5 pounds. It Comes with a length of 18.25 inch.

5. U.S. Military Original Issue E-Tool

Generally used by US military. That's why made with the workmanship and superior material. It has long durability. You can use this one as mattock, shovel saw or ax. The blade is complete of steel and handle is made of aluminum.You can lock down handle in two positions. It has powder-coat finish.

6. Avalanche shovel

Most of the E tool will not offer you suitable performance in making snow caves, this one will help you do so smoothly. Its weight is much less to work comfortably for a long duration. It is made of aluminum and weighs 1lb 14 ounces.

7. Survival shovel

It has fewer features for you. To dig out car wheel, to make any trench or shelter you can use this one. It is 16" in size when closed and 26" when extended. It weighs around two pounds and made of 100 high carbon steel.

8. 11 in 1 Military Folding Shovel

A multipurpose shovel you can carry in your vehicle. Most of the people don’t want to use this because of its massive weight. It weighs 5 lbs and made of high carbon steel. You can use best when you need to chop ice in the cold region. It comes with an ice ax, fish knife, pickax and so more features.

9. Folding shovel

It weights like others but contains more features. Designed to feel comfortable. Whistle, rescue knife, ax blade and fire starter tool is attached there. 420 carbon steel is used to make this. Weighs 15 pounds. Its mechanism of lock adjusting will help to adjust shovel angel.

10. Glock Entrenching tool

This e tool will offer you to lock down the blade in 3 different positions. In order to enhance endurance, no rivets or welding is used. It is half in weight compared to a conventional E-tool. Telescopic design can be more favorable to you.

How can you ensure the perfect maintenance of your entrenching tool?

1. Rust Protection

You should keep your Entrenching tool in dry place to avoid rust. But very much dry or warm condition may results shrinkage. You may oil the blade part of the E tool when you are not working with this. The unoiled entrenching tool is very much liable to be rust affected.

2. Sharpening

After use of entrenching tool, you may get less sharpness then previous period. In this case, you may use a metal file to sharpen the edges. Rub the metal file against the edges of the blade smoothly. You should not rub deeply, it can cause bass on the edge.

3. Clean after use

You should not leave behind the entrenching tool after use. Always after use clean your entrenching tool. Neither you may face rust, addle and ineffective entrenching tool.

Dirt, soil or organic item can hang up on your entrenching tool. These will cause many unexpected results with your entrenching tool.

4. Accurate use

If you strike your entrenching tool against any rock or hard object this may fracture or blunt. So while hitting a surface you need to have a clear concept about beneath of the surface. Before use sharp your tool so that it works properly. Blunt one faces more damage.

5. Your Heading Here

Cleaning supplies such as detergent, sponge, sprayer and so more; Cleaning tools as example scrub brush, wire brush or rotary wire brush, metal file, sharpening stone sharpening tools and few other sharpening tools.

Lubricating oil and safety equipment such as eye protection, gloves, and a dust mask these all material should keep close at hand.

6. Use cover

The cover provided with the entrenching tool is of great advantage. It prevents rainwater and doesn't let to be exposed to the air. You may get away your tool from rust and scratch using cover.

Also, it helps to avoid unconscious grind and strike incident which may cause blunt.

7. Regular Maintenance

Irregular maintenance can't help you a better performance either can bring durability. Every time after use remove all the dirt, soil and everything. Clean with water and other cleaning supplies let it dry and oil this.

For more info please check this video.

Cautions you need to remember while using an entrenching tool?

  • You should avoid hitting entrenching tool with rock or stone.
  • After use, clean the spade part of the entrenching tool asap.
  • Don't expose this tool in the environment for a long time.
  • Smooth and sharp edges may cause an accident, so while handling and using you need to be much careful.
  • Before buying; You must avoid fake, used and fault copy version.


You just can’t believe yourself what is an entrenching tool if you don’t have used it yet. You can keep entrenching tools close at hand easily and use it for various purpose. There are various types of entrenching tools, each of them is best particularly. 

You need to choose the best one for your necessity and choice. If you are a beginner you need to have a clear concept of what is an e tool.

Military entrenching tool surplus sometimes is found to be outdated. To get the best use of entrenching tool you must check date out, fake, used ones before buying.

John Bryan

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: