The Best Next Generation Entrenching Tool

The Best Next Generation Entrenching Tool

The Best Next Generation Entrenching Tool

E-Tool, entrenching tool, entrenching shovel, military folding shovel – whatever you want to call it, this versatile tool is a must-have for so many situations that we hardly know where to begin. The original entrenching tool – we’ll go with “e-tool” – began as standard-issue military gear used for digging foxholes, trenches, latrines, or as a last-resort weapon.

Also known as a folding spade, the design was first perfected in the modern era by the Austrian and German military forces. In 1943 during WWII, the U.S. Army engineered their own version, the aptly named M-1943. This wooden-handled shovel featured a blade that could be locked in place at either a 90 or 180-degree angle. It wasn’t until after the war that manufacturers thought to design a folding handle as well.

Civilian e-tools today have expanded on the USGI military original issue e-tool entrenching shovel. As a result, they’ve evolved into multi-use tools for campers, backpackers, disaster preppers, and the all-around outdoor enthusiast. Next generation improvements have made these folding shovels so useful you’ll wonder what you did without one. So, what are the top features you’ll find in the best entrenching tool?


Lightweight & Portable, Yet Tough

● Most e-tools are made with reinforced fiberglass handles and high-grade anodized aluminum shafts which make them easy to pack, store and carry. Typical e-tools weigh only two pounds on average, so they’re ideal for trail work, backpacking and primitive camping.

● Designed to take lots of abuse, blades are most often made of stainless or carbon steel and should last for years.

● Just as durable as the fixed-handled M-1943s from WWII, today’s e-tools are even more compact. Most entrenching shovels are collapsible so they can be stowed in packs, duffels or tucked away in the back of your vehicle.

Multiple Uses

● Use as a straight shovel or a pick-hoe, depending on the blade angle you set. Locking mechanisms will hold the blade position so that it doesn’t loosen up unexpectedly.

● For camping and backpacking, use these shovels to dig fire pits and for smothering coals when breaking camp. The blade’s serrated edge makes them perfect for clearing away brush, chopping small branches or dried saplings to use for kindling. For extended primitive camping trips, use them to dig cat holes for when nature calls.

● When you’re offroading, these entrenching shovels are an absolute necessity to dig your vehicle out of mud, ice or snow. The compact size lets you easily store them away in your truck’s toolbox, just to be prepared for the unexpected.


There’s a reason the military has relied on these folding shovel entrenching tools for years. They’re compact, lightweight, durable, and they can do everything a full-size shovel can do and still fit in your backpack! There are tons of these shovels out there, some that have dozens of blade and tool attachments, from wire cutters and bottle openers, to safety hammers and harpoons. But there’s something to be said of simplicity and fewer moving parts to break down or get lost. That’s why we’re proud to offer the USGI Next Generation Improved Entrenching Tool. Competitively priced, it’s one of our most popular tools, evidenced by the 5-Star reviews from our customers.

Key design improvements to the surplus entrenching tool include an ergonomic handle made of lightweight reinforced fiberglass, anodized extruded aluminum shaft and a hardened carbon steel. The tightening nut has also been moved next to the handle instead of on the blade-end keeping operation easier and the tool cleaner. Plain and simple, this is a must own item. Weighing in at only 2.2 lbs., these are unused in the original manufacturer’s box. The blades are made in Finland by Fiskars and assembled in the USA by Gerber Legendary Blades.