Off Road Shovels Designed Just For You
Here at Off Roading HQ, we want to make sure you can get an off road shovel that is perfectly suited to your environment when you go off roading. Whether that means carrying a small folding shovel for your emergency off road recovery kit, or choosing instead to opt for our range of fixed off road shovels, we’re proud to offer plenty of options at the lowest legal prices!
So should you get a shovel & mounting kit for your off road recovery kit? Absolutely! We prefer to use an off road shovel & mounting kit – it includes a modular handle that has at least a shovel & axe head. If you are going somewhere you need off road shovels, it seems quite likely you could also use an axe. To be honest, we use our axe far more while we’re at camp & significantly less on the trail. However, it does come in handy for clearing downed trees on the trail as well as loosening hard ground to make it easier to use off road shovels.
One thing you’ll notice about off road shovels is that most of them have a pointy blade. Pointy shovels are clearly superior to square shovels because they can actually penetrate hard ground. Square shovels are incredibly frustrating for recovery unless you happen to be moving a lot of sand of snow which are both relatively easy to penetrate.
The toothed blade is even more efficient at penetrating hard ground due to the fact that it has multiple points. You’ll notice that high quality versions of these off road shovels have a tendency to be made with thicker steel than what a normal shovel would be made with. This ensures that the individual teeth won’t have any failures.
Our recommendation for maintaining toothed off road shovels is to sharped & deburr the teeth of the shovel with a file. Typically hard ground will end up dulling the blade, just like you’d expect from a knife. The trails can have unforgiving ground, and if you happen to hit a rock or stone it can sometimes dull the edge or give it a pretty significant burr. To be as efficient as possible, you’ll want a razor sharp edge on your off road shovel.
At first glance, you probably wouldn’t give the handle design of your off road shovel a second thought. From our experience, your really should, as shovels typically come in about three length ranges as well as different materials.
The materials that off road shovel handles are typically made of are:
- Fiberglass: Often used due to its lightweight & durable properties, fiberglass has been proven to be a great material for outdoor & recovery tools.
- Steel: Consisting of round tube, steel shovel handles are incredibly durable & quite strong. One thing to keep in mind with steel handle off road shovels is that you want a model that drains well to avoid rust & corrosion. Most off road shovels are stored outside in the elements, so any water or moisture that is inside the tube & unable to drain can freeze in the winter and split the handle.
- Wood: It’s no secret that wood is relatively light & cheap. It doesn’t make the best material for an off road shovel due to the fact that it will deteriorate in the sun and rain when strapped to your roof rack or spare tire mount. That doesn’t mean a wood handle can’t last a long time, but the expansion and contraction from the elements can cause the shovel to develop splinters eventually.
Off road shovel handles also come in different lengths / styles.
- Folding: One of the more common off road shovel styles, the folding style is great for your everyday recovery kit. While a folding off road shovel probably isn’t suitable for more intense digging, but it does a great job in a pinch. Another added bonus is that the folding style can obviously save a good amount of space.
- Short: The short handled shovel is what we would consider the best off road shovels. While a Normally, these shovels have a D handle on the end. This type of shovel is probably the best for off road shovels. We often prefer a long handle, but this shovel can get under your rig when you’re in a serious pickle.
- Long: Yes, a full length shovel handle is the best for serious digging. But it’s length means it’s usually harder to store and that it’s hard to maneuver under your rig when you need to do some serious earth sculpting.
So what do the best off road shovels look like?
For your normal, weekend trip off roaders we’d recommend either a short steel or fiberglass handle. The short length makes it incredibly easy to store & also very easy to maneuver in case you end up needing to move around underneath your vehicle.
Folding shovels are also a great option, although we personally prefer a fixed shovel. Folding off road shovels just don’t have the same strength & leverage as we’ve come to appreciate from short, fixed off road shovels.