The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Post by Gunmetal Crew Chief » Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:52 am

Hi Guys and Gals...I recieved a Crovel Ex awhile back from Gear Up here locally, and I just wanted to show you all the first part of the review....this is what me and the guys who write for GunMetal call "Stage 1"..."Stage 2" is where we do the testing and eval of features and such, which usually happens a couple months down the road....then we either do "Stage 3" w/ final tests, final eval after 6 months to a Year of hard use, our Product Scoring System number, and the final thoughts on the product. So anyways, without further ado...here is the first part of the Crovel-Extreme review. I know some of you wont like this Product, but I also know some of you will like it...so for those of you that do like it or wanted to know more about it, enjoy the info. If you want to see any more in depth studies, let me know.

So few times in my life am I actually speechless when I first grasp a new product right out of the box...today(the day I got it in the mail), with the CROVEL EX, was one of those times. I pulled it out, and immediately was struck with the quality and solid feel. CLEARLY they were NOT messing around when they designed and made this beast. Tim Ralston and his team have put a product, well worth its weight, into the pipeline of survival tools and equipment. The simple fact is, there just aren't enough badass pieces of gear out there that can do multiple tasks well...well it looks to us like Tim Ralston, GEAR UP, and the whole CROVEL Team intend to change that, with an iron (or should I say Hardened Steel) fist!

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Normally I am a huge advocate of lighter is better, but the CROVEL EX comes in at 5.5 lbs. However, the consideration you need to make is, you dont need a hammer anymore(although some of you dont carry a hammer in your car survival tool kit), you dont need as many crowbars anymore (some preppers carry a few types for different doors and windows), you dont need a nailpuller anymore, you dont need a shovel anymore, and you will also likely have the Z Spike for any of lifes 'other' problems. So with the 5.5lbs CROVEL-EX, you have replaced twice that weight or more in tools, The CROVEL EX really is Hitting well above its weight in utility, features, materials, accessories, and overall strength.

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- The C-EX is a little over 28" Long w/o the 'Z-Spike'

- Hardened 10gauge Steel Shovel Head, Saw Edge, and Hollow Handle Shaft with storage compartment

- 1.25" x 1.25" 4140 Steel Hammerhead w/ threaded hole for Knurled End Cap or 'Z-Spike' Attachments (new 'Z-Sling', and 'Super Spike' Attachment available as well)

- The Shovel head is roughly 8.5" long and just under 6" wide...with just under 5" of Sawteeth and a nice bottle opener

- Custom Built Knurled Steel Collar, along with a Top of the line Grade 'A' Washer, both of which on the beefy Over-Sized Threads that assure STRONG, No-Slip locking positions

- 'Z-Spike' Attachment is roughly 3.125" long (not including threads) and roughly 1" diameter, other accessories include: the 'Z-Sling' which is a Slingshot Attachment that is able to be taken down and stored inside itself...the 'Super Spike' which is a larger and sharper spike that doubles as an end cap...and a 3 pack with the 'Z-Spike, 'Super Spike', and 'Z-Sling' all in one package for your using pleasure.

- And A LOT MORE info on its other features in our next part of the review...as well as more attachments and tools coming soon too.

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So I am assuming you all wanna know what really makes the C-EX so unique...why should you buy one (or 10)? Well, below is a long list of info on the C-EX straight off the GEAR-UP Website. Everything you will read below is 100% correct, and the features and reasons to buy dont stop there either. Have a look...

**What makes the Crovel EXTREME superior?

THE HANDLE: The Crovel Extreme boasts a 14 inch hollow steel handle that allows storage of key survival items such as: a fire stick, fishing hooks and line, water purification tablets, snare wire, flashlight, knife (fillers/accessories not included), while maintaining its heavy duty handle integrity. The handle is plugged at the end out with an aluminum-threaded plug.

THE HAMMERHEAD: The Crovel Extreme's hammerhead has also been upgraded to give a wider surface to the head allowing for easier use.

THE CLAW: The Crovel Extreme's crowbar claw has been upgraded include a woodworking chisel as well as a pry.

Pending-PATENT PENDING: Its unique patent pending design combines the functions of over 13 tools into one indispensable tool that can handle a multitude of tasks.

THE QUALITY OF MADE IN THE USA: The shovel head boasts a 10 gauge hardened steel with a grade “A” washer and a custom steel collar with an oversized thread pattern assuring a strong no slip locking position. The forged steel hammer head adds to the list of survival tools that the user can use in the field.

THE EDGE: The strength and sharpness of the shovel edge gives you the ultimate cutting, chopping, sawing surface that will keep its edge even if you lose yours.

EXTRAS: 550 paracord is wrapped on the hand to add grip strength and to give you 15 ft.. of life saving material that can be use in thousands of different ways.

"Introducing 'CROVEL Extreme', the 'The Ultimate Survival Tool' and NEW MUST HAVE Multi-Tool."

ALL-IN-ONE: Like its predecessor The Crovel Shovel, The Crovel EXTREME eliminates the need for several tools- eliminating extra weight and increasing versatility. **

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Stay Tuned and keep a look out for our next installment (Stage-2) of our testing period for the CROVEL EXTREME. You wont be disappointed when you see what we have in store.

A HUGE Thanks to Tim Ralston, Scott Conditt, and everyone at GEAR-UP for their tireless work and amazingly insightful innovations in the Survival/Prepping World. Myself, and all of your fans will be watching you guys to see whats next from your team, and we are all sure it will be amazing. Get ready everyone, cause these guys are just getting started!! Here's where to order your own CROVEL and all the attachments...
http://www.gearupcenter.com/exclusive-crovel-shovel/

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In my humble opinion, this is one of the absolute BEST Survival Tools of 2012!!

I will leave all of you out there with this final thought: I can say, with some serious authority, if you are on the fence about the CROVEL, in ANY of its forms, get off the friggin' fence, get out your cash, and make the best damn purchase you will make for your survival prep all year!
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Re: The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Post by TheFishinMagician » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:00 am

Five and a half pounds of mediocre task accomplishment? No thanks.

I'll take my Cold Steel shovel and a pair of fence pliers over that thing.

The problem with multitools like this is that they are designed to accomplish a multitude of tasks, but they don't really do anything well. Also, if you break or lose it, you're not just out one tool...you're out a whole toolbox worth of tools.

EDIT: Oh, and seriously....a bottle opener? Really? :roll:
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Re: The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Post by Stercutus » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:23 am

Looks well made but at $110 it had better be.
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Re: The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Post by Turtlewolf » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:54 am

I have to say it is mildly interesting, but realisticaly the Truckers Friend Axe is a better multi tool in my oppinion and less than half the cost. It is also American made and from the looks of the funcky Crovel design the Truckers Friend is much more user friendly as well.
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Re: The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Post by Redeyes » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:11 am

The problem with this tool, other than price, is that it has sharp bits at the end of the handle. Now they have added a removable spike which adds a new way to injure/maim/kill yourself. The only tool that I have used where pointy bits at both ends is a good idea is a crowbar. This is because with a crowbar you set one end on/in/under whatever needs to be pried and push the bar down and away from you. On a tool that is meant to be swung like an axe, or used like a shovel, pointy bits near or on the handle are dangerous.
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Re: The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Post by shrimpwd » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:48 am

I would be willing to try it out, but not for $110. I am curious how it would handle digging in the North Georgia mountains, with the rocks and red clay and such.
I don't have a hammer, shovel or crowbar in my kit, so it would really be adding 5.5lbs without removing anything. I know others are in the same position. 5.5lbs is a lot of weight if you're not replacing things. 1/2 gallon of water and a day of food for the same added weight...

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Re: The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Post by Blitzen2k5 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:59 am

I have been watching the Crovel's development for quite awhile. And I gotta say at first it was an awesome concept. But since they early days they just keep trying to add more and more options. I am sorry but no. Eventually you have to say enough is enough. You dont just keep adding on more things. The more you add the more you take away from every job. It becomes mediocre at best.

And now they are talking about adding more things to it. Eventually its just a mishmash of cludge that cant preform anything even remotely mediocre. I cant wait for the Crovel Extreme Plus that has all that the original CE has but also comes attached with laser sight, disco ball, smoke grenade launcher, MP3 player, full cookware set, Nintendo 3DS, Wi-Fi, HAM radio, tent, hammock, and last month's issue of Field and Stream. When will it end?
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Re: The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Post by Gunmetal Crew Chief » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:57 pm

Well...I still Like it. Nobodys gonna change my mind. I feel like its one of those pieces of gear I had to get in my hands before I really got its total impact. It is a cool concept, and I see why they have all the attachments. They're just trying to give people options. The options available for the AR15 have pushed far past the ridiculous, but they keep going, and keep making millions. And all the attachments for the Crovel are removable. You dont have to have the spike on there.

I was thinking I might do a giveaway for a Crovel-Ex here, but maybe I shouldnt? I dont want to give something away that you guys dont like. *shrug* :?
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Re: The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Post by Redeyes » Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:16 pm

What I would do is loan the tool out to some of the well established members here. P.M. Woodswalker, Davepal, Ninja-elbow, Omegaman, etc. and ask if they will use the tool and write a review. If we get a lot of positive reviews from well established and respected members, who are known for either camping a lot or being abusive to gear, then you will have changed the mind of the Z.S. community.
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Re: The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Post by Gunmetal Crew Chief » Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:41 pm

Redeyes wrote:What I would do is loan the tool out to some of the well established members here. P.M. Woodswalker, Davepal, Ninja-elbow, Omegaman, etc. and ask if they will use the tool and write a review. If we get a lot of positive reviews from well established and respected members, who are known for either camping a lot or being abusive to gear, then you will have changed the mind of the Z.S. community.
Hmmm...thats a good idea. Thanx Redeyes.
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Re: The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Post by omega_man » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:38 pm

First off, anything I say about the Crovel are just first off opinions from looking at it. I applaud the makers for making a truely unique item that actually looks robust and well-made. Is that a powder coating? I also like the looks of the locking mechanism.

I agree with everything previously mentioned; now, here's my input.

I'd like to mention that not all innovation...
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Is necessarily worthwhile innovation...
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As was previously mentioned, too many functions can lead to too many compromises. With this in mind, my primary focus will be on the shovel aspect of the Crovel. Now, having dug a fighting hole or two more than I have ever wanted to, there is a technique required whilst using an e-tool. It usually involves locking the blade at 90 degrees, grabbing the folding handle with 2 hands (the outside "triangles"), and flailing about like a red-assed ape.

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Obviously, this tried and true technique for digging large and deep holes with a little shovel will not work with the Crovel.

What I would like to see, is that sweet-looking pick on the shovel end like the old-school e-tools. That would be very effective and much safer.

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I think there are plenty of people who will buy this for the "wow" factor. It's definitely not my cup o tea, but it does have some apparent quality craftmanship that looks promising. Again, that locking mechanism looks serious.

I'll be looking forward to future reviews
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Re: The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Post by Arkane » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:39 pm

Turtlewolf wrote:I have to say it is mildly interesting, but realisticaly the Truckers Friend Axe is a better multi tool in my oppinion and less than half the cost. It is also American made and from the looks of the funcky Crovel design the Truckers Friend is much more user friendly as well.
Another vote for this one. I've got a Truckers Friend in the toolbox on my truck and that thing is built like a tank.

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Re: The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Post by Czechnology » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:52 pm

Adding "Pointy Bits" to the handle-end of a shovel is an excellent way to guarantee I will not use it as a shovel, because I don't like opening up wounds on my forearms, face, shoulders, etc when using an e-tool sized shovel the way it's intended (Lying flat, or crouching, swinging like a madman). I have a 1930's Reichswehr straight-handled E-tool that will likely outlast me, and a pick-mattock in my truck. I have never needed a dedicated hammer outside my home, in my life, let alone a conical puncturing... thing, that widens out into a hammer head.
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Re: The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Post by squinty » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:14 pm

How does this compare to the chi-com bat shovel we talked about a coupla years ago?



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Re: The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Post by Woods Walker » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:40 pm

shrimpwd wrote: 5.5lbs is a lot of weight if you're not replacing things. 1/2 gallon of water...
When a person gives water top billing odds are they have some experiance living out of their pack.

I have a general dislike for heavy multitools as often there are too many compromises to justify the weight and expense. I also wonder if there isn't an aspect of danger which could manifest if the user was under stress. Heck I have a hard enough time keeping my body parts safe from the knife or axe edge and have the scars to prove it. :oops: Pulling nails with a sharpened shovel? A crow bar with both a saw and sharp edge? However these comments could be applied to nearly any tool within this class. I do like it was in the USA. I also like when people post gear reviews on ZS so keep them coming.
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Re: The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Post by Dawgboy » Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:06 am

I have to chime in on the "too many pointy things" bandwagon. Especially the pry bar end just in the right place to rip you open...

I have a Korean war vintage USGI entrenching tool (with pick) and i think it's even better than the D handle ones due to the weight. It will break up the hardest soil. I would not want to pak it that far, but it's always in the car on trips. I have moved a lot of snow and chipped ice, and dug myself out of holes many times. I have another not so cheap copy that gets used in the garden a lot.
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Re: The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Post by Gunmetal Crew Chief » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:42 am

I understand the objections to the sharp bits, but getting hung up on that, you miss the point of the spike being removable. :roll: You dont have to use it...there's no law on the books saying you must. :lol:

Anyways, I review a lot of gear, can't please everyone. It is a good way to gauge what stuff to give away though. :wink:

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Re: The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Post by funkychicken » Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:36 pm

omega_man wrote: As was previously mentioned, too many functions can lead to too many compromises. With this in mind, my primary focus will be on the shovel aspect of the Crovel. Now, having dug a fighting hole or two more than I have ever wanted to, there is a technique required whilst using an e-tool. It usually involves locking the blade at 90 degrees, grabbing the folding handle with 2 hands (the outside "triangles"), and flailing about like a red-assed ape.
LOL! Did you see the inventor on Doomsday Preppers? He cuts a pig in half, pulls nails, and pops a beer with it. However in the same episode he also shoots off one of his finger in the desert by putting his hand in front of his pistol during a ftf situation. There's something to be said there.
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Re: The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Post by Dawgboy » Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:57 pm

The removeable spike is fine, I am much more concerned with the L shaped prybar foot on the end. If it had a nice leather cap for that end included, I would be much more likely to consider it. I could easily see myself furiously beating on a tree root and hooking my ribs or forearm with that, leading to some bleeding. and, "Nobody makes me bleed my own blood!"

Other than that, I think it looks like a very good quality tool. I would also be very happy to test one out for a week. We had some test and pass knives and stuff a while back, so ask the Vendor if they want to try a ZS loaner program?

About the dog, that's Boss. He is a 100 pound Lab/Staffie (Pittbull) mix that my ex wife brought home to me right before we broke up. He is a rockhead, but very loving and I ended up having to give him away. Fortunately I was able to find a great home for him with my girlfriend's ex husband, so I get to visit him, and get 'bonus points' from my GF because the dog tortures the shit out of his new master!
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Re: The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Post by Gunmetal Crew Chief » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:12 pm

Dawgboy wrote:The removeable spike is fine, I am much more concerned with the L shaped prybar foot on the end. If it had a nice leather cap for that end included, I would be much more likely to consider it. I could easily see myself furiously beating on a tree root and hooking my ribs or forearm with that, leading to some bleeding. and, "Nobody makes me bleed my own blood!"

Other than that, I think it looks like a very good quality tool. I would also be very happy to test one out for a week. We had some test and pass knives and stuff a while back, so ask the Vendor if they want to try a ZS loaner program?

About the dog, that's Boss. He is a 100 pound Lab/Staffie (Pittbull) mix that my ex wife brought home to me right before we broke up. He is a rockhead, but very loving and I ended up having to give him away. Fortunately I was able to find a great home for him with my girlfriend's ex husband, so I get to visit him, and get 'bonus points' from my GF because the dog tortures the shit out of his new master!
I dont know the Vendors very well, only thru the marketing dept that we contact to get samples for the blog. But I will ask them about a small leather or kydex cover for the prybar part...maybe make it an optional part for those who want one. I can see how someone could hurt them-self, I didnt, but I could see it happening.

I will ask them about a ZS Loaner program. I am planning to send mine to omegaman and his crew for their GTG/camp out at the end of Sept. They can play with it and beat it up. Dawgboy, Are you going to that?

He looks like a cool dog. I like any dog who can get good pics. :) Sorry you had to give him away...I would hate that. "Rockhead" LMAO! :lol:
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Re: The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Post by Czechnology » Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:01 pm

Nothing against you, or the inventors, I just know how I've used E-tools in the past, and if I were to repeat that same action under stress, I'd see where that claw could hand me an ass-whoopin'.
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Re: The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Post by Gunmetal Crew Chief » Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:57 am

Czechnology wrote:Nothing against you, or the inventors, I just know how I've used E-tools in the past, and if I were to repeat that same action under stress, I'd see where that claw could hand me an ass-whoopin'.
Oh I feel you. I have always believed that's why there's so many options and products on the market, some stuff works better for some, some better for others. Its all good. :)
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Re: The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Post by Redeyes » Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:30 pm

Gunmetal Crew Chief wrote:I will ask them about a ZS Loaner program. I am planning to send mine to omegaman and his crew for their GTG/camp out at the end of Sept. They can play with it and beat it up.
Sweet! I plan to go to that camp out. Regular Guy (The Chapter President) has made kydex sheaths for knives before. When we have the tool in front of us, I will ask him if he thinks making a kydex sheath for the claw and the shovel blade is possible.
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Re: The Crovel EXTREME...Reviewing the beast!

Post by Gunmetal Crew Chief » Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:53 pm

Redeyes wrote:
Gunmetal Crew Chief wrote:I will ask them about a ZS Loaner program. I am planning to send mine to omegaman and his crew for their GTG/camp out at the end of Sept. They can play with it and beat it up.
Sweet! I plan to go to that camp out. Regular Guy (The Chapter President) has made kydex sheaths for knives before. When we have the tool in front of us, I will ask him if he thinks making a kydex sheath for the claw and the shovel blade is possible.
Sounds good. I want to be clear about this though...I DO NOT work for these guys. I blog about this gear, so I am always willing to let others take a look as long as the gear comes back here. (Sometimes the companies want their gear back when we're done)

I was thinking they could make the Crowbar/Hammerhead removable...make it so you can unscrew it and just have a normal shovel end or a triangle piece like the that Folding E-Tool pictured above.
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