I went to a particular beach to metal detect and that week it was all rock; so rocky no sand scoop could handle it. I really needed a shovel and my current excursions were really highlighting it was time to upgrade my diggers and get a decent shovel.
When talking to fellow detectorists I highly respect, they all suggested Predator Tools. I kept on hearing these are the best diggers on the market, but is that the case? I was one who never spent much on diggers. I would buy a budget tool like a cheap Fiskars, so cheap the handle would break off when using it. Having gone through at least 7 of them (hey they were under 10 dollars, what can I say), I began to keep a backup in my car. When I first started metal detecting, I bought a foldable camping shovel, which didn’t even last one day. It broke on my first outing snapping in two at the neck.
As I advanced in my metal detecting skills and hunts, I began to hike more into places where I had to pack gear and take a bit of a trek to locations. With that in mind, the last thing I want is a shovel that would break mid-hunt or having to carry two shovels for backup, only adding more weight to my pack. It was time I truly needed to get something that would last and endure all kinds of soil and rock conditions. Depending on my workload, I try to get out and metal detect at least two times a week, and some of my hunts last 5+ hours. My equipment certainly takes some abuse. I admit, like other metal detectorists, at times, I use my shovel like a crowbar. Not what a shovel company wants to hear, but at some point, most detectorists have done it to move a rock and to get to a find deep in the ground.
I followed the guidance of veteran metal detectorists asking what shovel they used, most have bought Predator Tools. Because of the unique locations I metal detect, they advised me to call Predator Tools, ask for Pam, and explain to her what kind of places I metal detect so she could recommend my best option. For my circumstance, I would be using it at rocky beaches, where sand scoops were not possible, also while relic hunting in river beds and the common places like fields, old homesteads, and forest.
Pam recommended the Model 24 Phoenix, retailing at 89.95usd, saying this would be the best for my needs. Also for pure comfort got two Footpads each retailing 10.00usd.
The Predator Tools Model 24 Phoenix has a D Handle and the shovel base is ideal if, like myself, you are metal detecting in and around riverbeds and rocky beaches. It also has enough versatility you can use it when field or relic hunting in the woods. The D handle helps get under rocks and pick them up to move them out of the way, but also works while field hunting, just as well as the rocky ground. The perfect versatile shovel for my needs.
Made in the USA, Predator Shovels are not mass-produced. This gives them the ability to have maximum strength. Each shovel is heat-treated to remove air molecules putting the metal in a solid-state making it stronger. Unlike other shovels, the handle is also heat treated.
Made from American Chromoly Steel, also known as Alloy Steel 4130, known for stronger and higher quality then Chinese Chromoly Steel, it gives it stronger durability. For those who don’t know why Chromoly Steel is important, it is used when more strength is required than carbon steel. Chromoly Steel often comes at an increase in cost; this explains why Predator Shovel’s price tag is higher than a shovel you would find at the local hardware or garden store.
Their Shovels come with D or T handles. The D handles are for more pressure and are shorter. T handles are longer. The D handle comes in handy when using the shovel on rocky ground or, dare I say when using it as a crowbar to move something out of the way.
Due to the quality materials and manufacturing, there is a high likelihood a Predator Tool product will survive with you for years to come; however, they have a 5-year warranty and have great customer service.
Shipping was fast. It came sooner than expected. When I got it and told a friend, explaining the manufacturing quality, the strength, durability, sharpness, and sides, they put it perfectly. “If there was a Zombie Apocalypse, this is definitely the shovel I would want to have.”
I have now used the shovel metal detecting for a couple of months and confidently say it is worthy of the hype and price. There is no fear of it breaking mid-hunt or dulling easily. It fits my metal detecting needs perfectly: it works great at rocky beaches, riverbeds, fields, and out and about in the woods. It is very versatile and comfortable, in my hand and on my foot. I love the footpads.
Predator Tools has many models for all styles of metal detecting, I have the Phoenix but their known models are the #60 Volcan, #55 Barracuda, and #35 Piranha. They are so popular you might have seen various Predator Shovels used by recognized YouTube Metal Detectorist such as Nugget Noggin, Gypsy Jewels, Hoover Boys, Quarter Hoarder, Coinboy, Digging with Matty, Digging Canuck, Naughty Dog Treasures. As well as popular Instagrammers, ADiggerDegaz (Amanda), DiggerDrew1980 (Drew Waholek), DiscoveryDaisy (Daisy), SirCribb (Charles), BayouDigs, BlueHuntsCoins, and FinderBinders.
When talking to Pam, she explained metal detectorists buy them outside of the US. Orders come in from Canada, the UK, Italy, Ireland, Czech Republic, and even Australia. I live in the States, but I am Canadian and Czech, so it is nice I can recommend the shovel to my friends who metal detect outside the US.
I also learned they have many repeat customers, from metal detectorists who own a couple of their diggers and shovels to some full-on collectors who own many.
Outside of metal detecting a variety of people and organizations buy their shovels such as parks maintenance crews, the US air force, landscapers, and sprinkler installers. Even fire departments add their shovels on their firetrucks to use to break and dig for trapped people in fires.
Thank you, George, Pam Lesche, and the Predator Tool Staff for making a great American made shovel.
If you need a shovel and want a quality shovel for metal detecting, I definitely would recommend Predator Tools. You will not be disappointed in their products and well their customer service.
Joanna Jana Laznicka, a Czech-Canadian residing in Southern California, is passionate about all things associated with metal detecting. She mainly detects on the West Coast, from Southern California to Northern British Columbia. As the founder of Focus Speed, her goal is to bring quality content to metal detectorists.