The size is between a hand digger and a shovel. It makes nice, clean plugs better than a hand digger and is lighter to carry, and doesn’t draw as much attention as a full-size metal detecting shovel.
Recently, I have been metal detecting for older coins. Because of the vast number of detectorists locally, the older coins are in older urban areas that have been metal detected hard for years. To find them, you have to look for deep targets and dig down 6 to 12 inches. As well, my metal detecting outings tend to last all day, and using a traditional hand digger, digging deep holes for that many hours makes my hands sore, especially digging in soil that is compacted. I use a hand digger for the days when I don’t want to attract too much attention. But it wasn’t sufficient. I was having a problem digging deep with the hand digger and giving up on targets. My metal detecting buddies suggested I get a mini shovel and let me try a spare one they had to see if it was something I wanted to purchase. After using theirs for the day, I knew it was something I wanted to purchase.
I chose to purchase a Model 58(s) Little Eagle, mini shovel from Predator Tools. For those new detectorists, Predator Tools is a reputable shovel and hand digger manufacturer well known in the United States metal detecting community. I already own their Model 24 Phoenix and their Model 85 Hand Digger. I am always impressed with their quality and customer service. All their products are made in the USA and made with American Chromoly Steel, also known as Alloy Steel 4130. Chromoly Steel is stronger than carbon steel and better suited for applications that will take a lot of wear and tear. Using American Chromoly Steel does come with a price, making the shovel more expensive than the ones typically found in the gardening section of your local hardware store.
The Model 58(s) Little Eagle weighs approximately 2lbs, 2oz. It comes with a blue shaft and T-handle. The overall length is 26 ½” (67.31mm). The shaft is 1″ diameter x 18″ long, The T-Handle measures 1 ¼” x 5 3/8″. The blade measures 4″ x 7½” long.
I have used the Model 58(s) Little Eagle for four months while metal detecting once or twice a week. I definitely would recommend adding a mini shovel to your digging collection. Like the Predator Tools full-size shovels, there is an area you can use your foot to press the shovel blade into the ground. The double serrated blade is great; it helps cut the ground and get deep fast. Because of this, I can do faster plugs that are cleaner than using a hand digger. The double serrated edges are key for cutting through roots and difficult ground.
One small thing to note, Predator Tools sells quality footpads that fit their larger shovels but those footpads won’t work for the Model 58(s) Little Eagle. After using the shovel for four months, I found it to work just fine without the footpads.
Model 58(s) Little Eagle vs Lesche Mini Sampson 18” T-Handle
I tried both models. I prefer the Predator Model 58(s) Little Eagle over the Lesche Mini Sampson 18″ T-Handle because the 58(s) Little Eagle is serrated on both sides. I also like the case/holster better. It is an extra purchase but well worth it because it covers the entire blade versus the Lesche one that is really just a holster and doesn’t cover the blade. Other metal detectorists who own the Little Eagle warned me to get the case because at first they didn’t, and it ruined their car interiors by not doing so because of how sharp the blades are serrated. Note: the case is made by a third-party but sold by Predator Tools. Here is the link to it: https://www.predatortools.com/products/shovel-sheath-for-little-eagle-and-ultra-eagle-models
Predator Tools Customer Support and Shipping
With the quality of materials and manufacturing, Predator Tool products are made to last far past their five-year warranty. As always, shipping was fast. It came sooner than expected and it was packaged well. Predator Tools ships to most countries. Most of their sales are in the United States; however, they have detectorists that they have filled orders for in other countries, such as Canada, the UK, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Australia.
I definitely suggest adding Predator Tool Model 58(s) Little Eagle, mini shovel to your metal detecting equipment. Happy Digging.