Introduction: Crovel Tactical Shovel Alternative

Picture of Crovel Tactical Shovel Alternative

I like the concept of a beefy tactical shovel/crow bar/entry tool to add to my prepper inventory for my truck or the up coming Zombie wars. I really like the Crovel tactical shovel design but it's out of my price range and so here's a low cost alternative.

I'm using a 1966 military pack shovel as the core but improving the handle and adding some more functionality to the other end. The pack shovel has a decent small shovel and a pick that collapse or can be fixed into position. I decided to add a hammer/entry tool and a crow bar function to the other end.

Step 1: Remove Old Handle - Make a New One

Picture of Remove Old Handle - Make a New One

I removed the old handle and fabricated a new one from 3/4" steel heating pipe 24" long. The shovel end has a piece of 1/2" steel pipe and a solid piece of tapered metal forced together as shown. You could use what ever you want as long as the new handle extends up into the shovel to the hinge point for max support. Drill 2 holes for 1/4-20 bolts and nuts.

Step 2: The Handle End - Triple Double Duty

Picture of The Handle End - Triple Double Duty

The handle end has a 3/4" "T", 1" threaded section, 3/4" cap to act as a hammer/smasher and a 4" piece of 3/4" pipe flattened and sharpened on one end to act as a pry/crow bar.

Step 3: Time for Some Teeth

Picture of Time for Some Teeth

I cut some aggressive teeth in one of the shovel edges and sharpened the others for cutting and chopping.

Step 4: Assemble the Pieces and Paint

Picture of Assemble the Pieces and Paint

Assemble the pieces, paint and wrap the shaft with 45' of 550 paracord. It wrighs about 6.5lbs. It's heavy enough to do some real work or damage which ever you prefer.
Good luck. Let me know what you think.

Step 5: Here's a Video


optimalcolt (author)2016-10-03

I would narrow the shovel a bit to make a spear as well as the rest of the crovel to make a formidable E-tool/weapon indeed

batwood4 made it! (author)2015-03-29

Boom, Sweet little idea.

JackBrandt (author)batwood42016-01-06

It looks like you used a newer e-tool for yours. Question, how did you attach the e-tool shaft and the inner brace to the additional shaft you added that is wrapped in paracord? I have a couple of e-tools like the one you used, and would be using one of them to make my 'crovel'

thetoolman made it! (author)JackBrandt2016-07-06

fence post screw + 1/2" steel pipe + 3/4" pipe = new handle

thetoolman (author)batwood42015-11-04


bigbuckkilla1986 (author)2015-06-07

Around spring, the Dollar General co., they have a tool for $8, exactly like it, but they call it something else, theres a carry case for it that's like a knife sheath, (tip-- if you wait around fall, Dolls General stores monthly have a half off post seasonal, so $4 can't hurt) Thanks, hope you enjoy it, oh, and its in the home improvements aisle

thanks for the tip

ROD917 (author)2015-03-09

I don't see step 5. The video
Great tactical shovel!!

thetoolman (author)ROD9172015-03-10

Step 5 is the video.

espdp2 (author)thetoolman2015-03-17

I can see the link in Step 5, but it won't play a video. Have you uploaded it to YouTube or similar?

thetoolman (author)espdp22015-03-18

I just tried it and it takes a minute or so to load. Please be patient.

burnerjack01 (author)2015-03-12

Pretty cool. What would be cooler still? Making an alternative to the locking ring mechanism. Why? Because it jams when infiltrated with sand, etc. I won't even think of trying to use one anymore for that one reason. The whole tool needs to be remade with the AK-47 philosophy: accurate enough to get the job done but sloppy enough to make it immune to contaminants.

thetoolman (author)burnerjack012015-03-13

Good to know.

espdp2 (author)thetoolman2015-03-17

I've dug many a hole with one of those, and while they do get dirt inside the locking ring, the trick is to never tighten it as much as you think it needs. If it's a little too loose, then you can closed it up when done. If you have to lube the threads, ONLY use something dry like graphite spray.

joe.riebe (author)2015-03-17

I like it - reminds me a lot of one that my dad and I tweaked back in the 80s. One thing you can do for that pick end is use a 4-way threaded 'cross' pipe fitting... cap that bottom end and you can tuck a variety of very small items inside that handle.

Gregbot (author)2015-03-17


grangerknives (author)2015-03-12

I would suggest filling the chisel/prybar with JB Weld, which is a two part epoxy that is about about 35% - 40% steel. I think it would put a few more ounces of weight in the chisel tip and bond it extremely well. After all, the plumbing is probably medium to low carbon content and has a relatively low hardness rating. I think the JB Weld would help it be an even more long lasting tool. Excellent project BTW!!!

thetoolman (author)grangerknives2015-03-13

Thanks for the suggestion.

According to the MSDS for JB Weld, it is only 5-10% steel. It is 10-30% limestone though, which is still pretty heavy. If you really wanted to add some weight, melt some lead and pour it in there.

dougbyte (author)2015-03-12

I like it!

thetoolman (author)dougbyte2015-03-13


mrandle (author)2015-03-09

You could even store survival stuff like matches in the handle, especially since the cap unscrews and should be more or less waterproof.

thetoolman (author)mrandle2015-03-10

Yes that's true but the handle is screwed on very tight to allow use of it as a hammer or pry bar. If it was loose enough to turn off, it would defeat the purpase but thanks for the suggestion.

I think you misunderstood my idea. Screw the cross on tight. Screw in the 'plug' snuggly. Just remove the plug.

If you wanted to use the handle for storage, use a cross instead of a "T". Using a plug instead of a nipple and cap would still allow the handle to be used as a shovel with minimal discomfort.

Chakazuluu (author)2015-03-12

Are the teeth case hardened...

hulk1371 (author)2015-03-12

My thoughts on the handle would be two parts of near equal length with a pin that would allow you to shorten it for packing and telescope it for use.

dragonem (author)2015-03-12

I would make two pieces connected in the middle, not directly in the middle, 30 inches seems like a long hammer handle. If you made one piece 8 inches and the other 22 inches. That way you would have a more manageable hammer.

srohwer (author)2015-03-11

Very cool. How did you flatten the 3/4" pipe in step 2?

thetoolman (author)srohwer2015-03-12

With heavy hammer and a big ask vise.

JuniorMint (author)2015-03-10

Super cool, how long is it with the shovel head folded?

thetoolman (author)JuniorMint2015-03-10

About 30" closed. I'm tall so I had to make the handle a little longer.

CFL_Browncoat (author)2015-03-09

You should enter this in the Apocalypse contest.

thetoolman (author)CFL_Browncoat2015-03-10

I have and thanks for the suggestion.

About This Instructable




Bio: Alan Walker a.k.a. "The Toolman" has been creative and worked with his hands all of his life. He has been employed in a ... More »
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