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Thread: No shovel has stood up yet. Found a possibility for only $5

  1. #1

    No shovel has stood up yet. Found a possibility for only $5

    I carry around my stuff in a backpack 'cuz I don't really want to have a tool belt. Already the pinpointer is restrictive on it's own. My first trip out with Dan I had a folding shovel. The threaded section of the shaft broke, probably from the frozen ground, and it's a special thread so I couldn't cut the shaft and re-thread it using a die. I then bought the SOG folding shovel. Since it's bigger than the trowel I use it when I need the leverage. I've killed that one now with the folded piece breaking near where the edge is riveted to the spade. I used the spade from the original shovel to fix the SOG. The Ames trowel is already breaking by the handle. The other trowel styles I saw at HD I am skeptical about. There are some with a solid rod from the spade with no shotty welding, but it doesn't have a serrated edge and the bend in the rod means the force is not in line with the spade. The smallest shovel HD has is about 2' long and has a wooden handle. I feel there is something better than a lesche trowel tho. Due to it being Sunday and stores closing early the only store other than HD that was open was tractor supply. First I saw a shovel about the same size as the HD shovel but fiberglass handle. Then I found a telescoping trowel. It's all solid and seems comparable to the big ones Dan and Bri have. I am hoping this one can stand up to the abuse I put to it. So this kinda stands as a review of the stuff I've tried that have failed.
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  2. #2
    Administrator del's Avatar
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    Jim ,with all the money you go through buying "disposable tools" the lesche or predator digging tools save you money and aggravation in the long run and are almost unbreakable.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member rsarge1's Avatar
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    I agree will del, that adj, shovel has a hollow shaft and from the way you have explained your use of shovels it wont last long either better to get the best in the beginning
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  4. #4
    Do your self a favor Jim, bite the bullet and order a digger from Predator Tools. Two years of hunting cellar holes every weekend, rolling logs prying out large stones with mine and it's in perfect condition still.
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  5. #5
    That predator raven looks mean but the three shovels and 1 trowel so far are about 1/7 the cost of just one raven. Granted the headache part is another aspect. Just figured I'd put it out there what hasn't held up so far. The Ames trowel I only killed using it to pry up the big things in the ground. My mistake there. But I think the telescoping one I just got should be a good investment. I dont have a need to extend it. Plus the predator is like 4' or larger.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by MangoAve View Post
    That predator raven looks mean but the three shovels and 1 trowel so far are about 1/7 the cost of just one raven. Granted the headache part is another aspect. Just figured I'd put it out there what hasn't held up so far. The Ames trowel I only killed using it to pry up the big things in the ground. My mistake there. But I think the telescoping one I just got should be a good investment. I dont have a need to extend it. Plus the predator is like 4' or larger.
    I hear ya Jim, but the raven shovel is honestly one of the best investments for me and all the cellar hole hunting I do. To me... having a shovel break in the middle of a hunt and also the time and gas used to buy new ones just makes no sense to me. To each his own and happy hunting
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  7. #7
    Administrator del's Avatar
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    the little sampson/eagle i use is only 31 inches long and only weighs 2.2 lbs. , about half as heavy as those ravens Dave and Todd use but i would rather have one of them though ....

    if i was attacked by a bear or moose
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  8. #8
    Haha. I'm not fighting you on getting one, Todd. To me it needs to be justifiable. I have only got 8 cellar holes this summer so far. So the remainder were parks and schools and little areas. I do have to try again at the ones I found the carriage at, there's more to try near that place, and one I found near me to try soon. But on the reverse logic, if I'm breaking them at places with less boulders, then I need something really sturdy if I do cellar holes. Well, it's usually the large iron and the few aluminum cans that sound good enough go dig coupled with packed dirt etc, that I pry and break the tool. Dan, yeah its the size and weight that's a factor of my choice. Bring the half breed I think it would look a bit crazy walking yo a park with a 4 foot shovel. People will question it. Esp the raven. I shall try this one, the SOG is a backup, and I gotta find a trowel. The leaches was only 40? The others listed in the predator site like 35 series was $50.

  9. #9
    I'm guilty of a couple repeat purchases, just due to being poppin' fresh in the hobby mostly. But it's all about comfort too Jim, and dependability. Spending 8 or 10 hours in the woods isn't a problem for me. But it is when your stuff is fighting you (like my headphone cord), or like Todd said, breaks.

    First was the $20 Cheapo Depot trenching shovel (I was able to return it). Banned due to looking like a bright red graverobber item. For you, this might work. Cut the fiberglass handle down to a happy length and slide a new grip over the cut end. Not a t-handle, but meh. It'll last.
    Other bad purchases was the carry bag for my Garrett, and knee pads that don't stay on my knees. Shoulda brought those back too.
    My Husky belt and pouches may be redundant too. Not sure if I want to go with a backpack, or suspension rig. Not thrilled with a loaded belt hanging off my hips all day.

    My Lesche shovel was only 75 bucks through Amazon. Not quite up there with the Predators, but oh so worth it. One less thing to think about for a long time.
    I had planned on adding the matching Lesche hand tool, but my Fiskar's garden knife for 10 bucks is putting up with the woods abuse so far. And cuts a nice plug in lawns. When it finally pops the welds I'll order the Lesche. I think only places like Ace and Star Hardware carry it though, don't bother with Cheapo Depot.
    Last edited by Trooper Bri; 09-02-2014 at 08:23 PM.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Thiltzy View Post
    I hear ya Jim, but the raven shovel is honestly one of the best investments for me and all the cellar hole hunting I do. To me... having a shovel break in the middle of a hunt and also the time and gas used to buy new ones just makes no sense to me. To each his own and happy hunting
    Yeah no doubt buy a predator everything else just simply will not stand up and inevitably break at the worst possible time.

  11. #11
    Veteran Member Bell-Two's Avatar
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    The Predator line of tools is for my money the best buy. I have seen posts of hand diggers breaking. That includes the Lesche but have never seen apost about a Predator tool breaking. That is why I bought the Dixie for my field hunting, light, strong and has never let me down.
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  12. #12
    Full Member kpmoose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by del View Post
    the little sampson/eagle i use is only 31 inches long and only weighs 2.2 lbs. , about half as heavy as those ravens Dave and Todd use but i would rather have one of them though ....

    if i was attacked by a bear or moose
    No worries Dan, I won't attack ya.

    I'll agree on the Lesche trowel & Predator shovel. Like you Jim, I don't get out to as many cellar holes as other guys, but to me, it just made sense to make the investment now & not have to think about replacements for many many years. Good luck on whatever you decide to get.

  13. #13
    home cheapo products made in china.buy American you'll save money in the long run.predator/Lesche best investment you can make like Todd said
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  14. #14
    For trowels I have seen the razor edge gator digger which costs about the same as a lesche. It looks similar and gives lifetime guarantee. I did see a pro series digger with lifetime guarantee and costs a lot less. All are stainless steel, unlike the aluminum diggers.

    There is also a 4' shovel at a local hardware store, not the big box stores. It had a fiberglass handle and carbon steel spade. There were no teeth or sharp edge. The top of handle was round. Only $30.

    Most haven't seen that the post was a review of the stuff that hasn't worked. But, I do like to see all the options as well and then decide. Was anyone's first car a Ferrari? Bell, Lesche is part of Predator tools if you saw a post about one breaking..... I do wonder tho for those who own a predator, how well does the serrated edges or sharp edges hold up? Do you guys sharpen them from time to time. Even if they were coated with diamond dust they would eventually wear down over time. Esp hitting those rocks in the ground.

    Oh, and there are a few gator type trowels out there which is single piece rolled 1/16th" steel. The handle being the rolled part, covered with a rubber grip. But I have seen from others who own that type, the end wears down and the grip slides down the handle. Some of those cost as much as the Lesche trowel but poor design on the handle grip!! Single piece means the metal holds up 'cuz no *shoddy* welds.
    Last edited by MangoAve; 09-08-2014 at 10:32 AM.

  15. #15
    Lesche/Predator might be discontinuing one of their models but I was able to find and 18" T-handle for only $68.

  16. #16
    The end of last summer I did order a trower from metaldetector.com. It had lifetime warranty rating with serrated edge. It stood up and had no problem so far and only cost $18. It was merely a single piece of steel and rolled for the handle, but it was thick steel. Mine came with a black rubber handle but it was the best trowel so far.

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    Since Sept (ref above post) I been eyeing a Lesche (aka predator) Sampson. Since someone had posted on here about a ready shovel belt clip which I looked into. The new shovel and clip arrived Friday. Still yet another thing to wait for the snow to clear to try out. I just wanted something shorter than the 36-48" shovels they made. Insert short joke here___ . Jk. I didn't wanna carry around too much. I almost always use the trowel so that would be in one hand with the detector in the other leaving no hand free to carry a larger shovel. Looks like it's perfect tho for the coming season.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Nesdore's Avatar
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    Looks good mango cant wait for the thaw Sunday here in Ohio said low 40s sounds like the worst is on its way out
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  18. #18
    Administrator del's Avatar
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    whats that , the 18 inch predator digger Jim?? the pluses are its lightweight and with that clip holder it hangs nice and up out of the way . the down sides to it is you might be struggling on the deeper holes or prying roots and stones because the it lacks the leverage the 31 inch sized ones have .
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  19. #19
    Nes, lucky you. We're not so lucky with a -6 right now yet two days ago snow was melting a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by del View Post
    whats that , the 18 inch predator digger Jim??
    Yup. That's what I went with. I did read somewhere too about steel toe boots and big shovels causing interference with the detector. I actually wondered if the boot moving toward the coil at the same time the coil was swinging toward that side. Idk... It still seems like the weld on the spade is good enough for prying whether it's only the 18" or the 31". Thats where my issue was. I even broke the big square spade shovel at home digging right where the handle meets. The maneuverability of the smaller one is why I chose it. I lift the rocks out of the way by hand and I leave roots bigger than 1/2" alone and try to dig under them with the trowel. There have only been a few holes deeper than 10" and they end up as something ridiculous like an aluminum sign. I tend to now give up on items deeper than they read on the display. Hope I'm not missing any caches by doing that. Lol.

  20. #20
    Senior Member lee's Avatar
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    if i was attacked by a bear or moose [/QUOTE]

    say what now ???????

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