SOG Elite Entrenching Tool

SOG Elite Entrenching Tool

The Elite Entrenching Tool from SOG is another piece of gear that’s a great fit for National Preparedness Month. This tool comes in handy for camping as well as small jobs around the yard, and can be pressed into duty during an emergency as well.

SOG designed this shovel and saw combo to take up very little space when folded up into its included nylon pouch, but it extends into a compact shovel, and has a saw blade hidden in the handle. To use, simply twist the lock for the shovel head and unfold it. Another twist of the knob, and it’s locked in that position solidly. Pull the handle out, and rotate it to lock it into place as well. Now you’ve got a shovel roughly two feet long. On the end of the handle is a large nylon nut. Remove that, and gently pull at the top of the threads. The saw blade can then be removed. Place the base of the blade back into the handle, secure it with the nut, and BAM!, a seven inch saw that rips through branches quickly. If that wasn’t clear, SOG provided a video that covers it just as well.

SOG Elite Entrenching Tool saw blade

Whether digging a latrine while camping, or just planting some flowers in your garden, the SOG Elite Entrenching Tool gets the job done, as long as the soil is reasonably soft. And the saw blade makes quick work of smaller tree branches. When I used the saw portion of the Elite Entrenching Tool to cut up some green branches as thick as my wrist, I had no trouble at all reducing them to short lengths for our fire pit. I also did some digging in the yard to try out the shovel, and despite the soil being about 30% rock, it worked well. Locking the blade at 90% to the handle allowed me to use it as a pick, which worked ok too, although it’s too light to be effective in hard, dry soil.

My only complaint was that the handle did loosen a bit on me, which was easily fixed by giving it another twist. The saw is a bit odd to use with the shovel on the other end, but while camping, or just doing some quick pruning in the yard, it was not really an issue. Overall, it’s a great tool for car camping, and if you don’t have a bunch of gardening tools already, could serve you well in an emergency. The MSRP is $74 if you buy it direct from SOG, but it pays to shop around, as online pricing varies.  Shop well, and it’s a very good value. I picked mine up at Outdoor Retailer, when I was checking out all the other cool stuff from SOG. You can find them all at

– Brian

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