Emergency Zone Folding Shovel with Pick and Compass, Multifunction Survival Tool Reviews

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3.3 out of 5 stars based on 101 customer reviews

Product Description

This is a multifunction emergency tool. Tool Functions Include: Shovel, Hoe, Pick, Saw Edge, Hammer, Bottle Opener, Nail Puller, Wrench, Compass, Waterproof Match Container. Extended length is 15 1/2-Inch.

Customer Reviews

Not a “survival” duty tool ~ reviewed by Gentle Miant

Other reviews have been very positive with phrases such as: “…components (…) are sturdy….it is a perfectly capable mini-shovel … and a solid 4 stars”, “Great Tool for car or backpack! This tool is just too cute and cool for words.”, and “It is a quality item “.

Lest someone get the idea from these comments and from the manufacturer’s name (Emergency Zone) that this is a real survival tool, I will try to describe the good and bad of this item more precisely.

When I read the first reviewer’s comment that “Waterproof Match Container” was inaccurate, I thought that maybe he had misinterpreted what was said in the product description to mean “Waterproof Container for Matches” when perhaps the description writer meant “Container for Waterproof Matches”. But no, the matches are NOT waterproof, nor is the space inside the handle.

The edge marked “SAW EDGE” has the general shape of saw-teeth stamped (probably) into it, but there is no “set” to them nor is there any sharp edge to the individual teeth. The edge marked “HATCHET EDGE” is just the metal thickness edge with the corners smoothed sufficiently for handling. This was not a problem for me; I sharpened the “HATCHET EDGE” by beveling the top surface of the shovel to nearly sharp, then put a very shallow bevel on the bottom side. I also beveled the bottom edge of the front of the shovel to make it cut into the ground easier.

Then I cut some vines as a test, which worked fine. But when I chopped a 1″ sapling, although it cut through more than half way the first chop, the head began to unscrew. The hatchet function is on the RIGHT edge, so, since the blade is on the left side of the handle when chopping, it will unscrew the bottom part of the handle from the top. On closer examination I noticed that the shovel no longer was in-line with the handle. The part forming the “hinge” to the handle had bent from the impact of less than half dozen chops.

I had taken the compass and the “survival kit” from the handle before subjecting the tool to any kind of impact. When I went to put the compass back, I noticed that the grip of the handle had worked so far forward that the compass was held out of position by the inner tubing of the handle, and would not allow the retaining ring to be screwed back on… until I twisted the plastic outer handle (or grip) relative to the tubing and pulled it out to where the inner handle no longer protruded. So the plastic outer handle (grip) is NOT fastened securely or bonded to the metal tubing part, but just a snug fit.

The method of locking the blade and pick in extended, right angle, and folded positions involves screwing a plastic collar against one of the flat surfaces that line up with the handle for each of these positions. After testing the hatchet function, I wanted to return the blade to the folded position, but on trying to loosen the plastic collar, I found that it was difficult and had a “gritty” feel. I expect that the threads in the plastic collar were not sufficiently engaged for sufficient length to bear the impact of the hatchet use, and possibly deformed. If so, several such uses would likely destroy the effectiveness of the collar completely.

The straps that snap to hold the tool in its pouch can also be used as belt loops. There are 10 and 12mm hex holes and a 10mm square hole in an offset piece of metal at the back of the blade. But since the metal is apparently not hardened and the “sockets” are only about the same thickness as the blade, I wouldn’t put too much pressure on them as wrenches.

I am attracted, as apparently so are other reviewers, to a tool with as many useful functions as possible. This tool has more than most and they needn’t necessarily interfere with each other if properly designed. Some of the flaws in this particular tool can be fixed with epoxy and the equipment that might be found in a home workshop. But some of them would best be handled in the manufacture of the item.

This item also contains a modest survival kit ~ reviewed by Andynator

I wanted to add a review to this item because it also contains a modest survival kit, which is not mentioned in the description. However, the handle is NOT a waterproof match container as stated.

The two base components (shovel/pick head base and handle) are sturdy. The folding shovel and pick are attached to the base section with a large steel rivet, which is good for strength. I was worried that the rivet might be aluminum, so I checked it with a magnet. Both tools fold out and tighten securely. The saw edge and hatchet edge need to be dressed with a metal file to be of any real use. As is, you can hack at very soft or weathered dead branches with them.

Because it is a steel tool, it will need to be cleaned and oiled after each use (digging or hacking).

The upper handle is steel that is enclosed with a survival knife-type plastic handle, and the plastic end collar unscrews to remove the simple ball compass. However, there is no compartment underneath, just the hollow handle.

My shovel had two very small, two-inch cardboard boxes wedged inside the handle. One was a matchbox containing 8 wooden matches, with striker paper on the outside. The other contained a small folding razor knife, 4 small nails, and a package containing fishing line, 2 small sinkers and 2 tiny fishing hooks. This is a modest survival kit and none of the items are high-quality, but it isn’t part of the product desciption and was unexpected. I appreciate the effort.

However, when I came back to this ad to place the review, I did see that it is advertised as “WATERPROOF MATCH CONTAINER”. It is not. As noted, the base section is hollow all the way through, and the upper handle is open on the threaded end that screws into the base. The handle is open all the way from the base rivet right up to the bottom of the compass. Any small loose items that are placed inside will fall straight down the length of the handle and come out at the rivet end. I’ve suggested to the seller that the product description be updated.

For the price, it is a perfectly capable mini-shovel to pack in your campsite ditty bag, and a solid 4 stars, as long as you don’t expect your shovel to do double-duty as a waterproof match container.

SEND IT BACK TO CHINA ~ reviewed by Tech Meister

I hate writing negative reviews, but this piece of equipment is utterly worthless. Nothing locks into place so you can use any of the tools. If you are thinking about purchasing this item…DON”T! You will be very disappointed!

Comically Bad ~ reviewed by Andrew Bacon

The shovel is halfway decent, but every other function on this shovel is very poor. The saw and hatchet edge are very dull, and the compass in the bottom points in a random direction every time I shook it. Will be going to buy a simple garden trowel as a replacement.

Looks can be deceiving ~ reviewed by Cory Truelove

I bought this item thinking it would be a good compact shovel. When I opened it up and put it together I knew I got ripped off. 1st of all the saw edge is not an edge at all you will not be able to cut with it. The hatchet side is not a hatchet at all as just the side of the shovel is just labeled “hatchet”. For digging it works alright except they put the nail remover in the middle of the shovel. So when you dig dirt or sand it will fall through the hole. After a few seconds the parts become lose and you will find yourself tightening it ever few seconds. This item is only good for someone doing a little yard work in their garden.

Not a good tool ~ reviewed by R. Dodson

First I want to start off saying that I’m very disappointed with the other reviews of this tool.

I think better reviews and honesty in reviews could save a lot of people a lot of time and money.

This “Emergency Zone” tool / shovel is a joke. Nothing is done well on this thing. If you had to rely on this shovel in a emergency you could make due… but you could also make due with a stick.
If I buy something for my vehicle, back back or home as an emergency tool or item I like to test them out before I HAVE to use them in a real emergency.

I started out to dig a small hole in cold but not frozen ground. With most small shovels like this its not an easy task and I understand this. But with this shovel it was less useful than a flat stick. The shovel head loosened so every time you try and dig into the ground your fighting the shovel head as much as you are the dirt. I would tighten the shovel head only to have it loosen every time I tried to dig back into the dirt. This flaw and weakness in the tool would disqualify it in my book as an emergency tool.

The handle is flimsy and uncomfortable. The saw edge is not an edge at all. You would practically kill yourself trying to use the saw edge to cut anything other than a piece of toilet paper which leads me to where this toll should go…. in the toilet.

Save your time and money and get the Gerber. No the Gerber doesn’t have matches or a compass. But it is a shovel and works very well.

The Hipster Spies With His Little Eye Something That Begins With–Junk ~ reviewed by The Mystic Eye Of The Hipster

Would have been good, if not made from a cheap grade of steel.

Broke the first time I tried to use it. Returned for refund.

I cannot recommend its purchase, for any use or reason.

I hate it. ~ reviewed by Michael

shovel seems more fit to make a sand castles then to help dig a trench . Seems like I would brake apart with heavy usage. more suited as a weapon then a tool.

Wait, seriously? ~ reviewed by DC5NYC

This ‘shovel’ is TINY. The pictures are pretty close to ACTUAL SIZE. The compass on the bottom doesn’t stay in place, what I mean is the part that screws on over it is some cheap plastic and the tread is thin. With a tiny tug it pops right off. Oh and thats supposed to be the ‘waterproof’ compartment, so if you plan on getting one good luck with keeping things dry. The handle itself is really cheap plastic, the edge marked ‘hatchet’ isn’t shaved down at all (same with the ‘saw’ side), it’d be the same as taking a regular shovel and using that as a hatchet. Paint job was pretty poor, they missed a big part on the inside where it’s folded at the top of the blade (part with the wrench, bottle opener, etc.)

Bottom line, if you’re interested in buying this just get a garden trowel; at least you’ll get what you paid for and it’ll most likely be bigger. I almost laughed when I saw the size of the box it came in, then the anger set in.

Way too small for anything other than planting flowers. ~ reviewed by Brenden Heidrich

I guess I didn’t scale correctly in my head. The only dimension on the page is a length of 15.5″. I have a Glock entrenching tool (folding shovel). This one had decent ratings as well and was much less expensive. The shovel is a toy and completely useless. I would return it, but the shipping makes it not worth the trouble. Maybe I can give it to my nephew for his sandbox.Buy it at Amazon

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