Deuce of Spades

I’m a skeptic. I assume it’s the nature of my German roots. So when someone tells me they have a trowel that will win me over from either carrying my dirt cheap (pun intended) Coghlans plastic trowel, or simply skipping this packing chore and digging with either a tent stake or the end of my trekking pole, I figured I might as well see why someone wanted to try to re-invent the wheel. Credit to Mr. Cecot-Scherer… he seems to have a gift.

For starters, let’s talk details: The Deuce of Spades is listed as a .6 ounce tool. To its credit, it checks in at a hair under this on two different scales (one of them mine) between .594 and .595 ounces. The color is bright and not likely to be lost (I have the blue). My immediate comments to the person who sent it to me were “I see how this does well in loamy forest soil, but I can’t imagine it holding up in the dense East Coast clay and rock that I end up on frequently.” So off we go to the proving grounds.

Deuce of Spades

The Deuce of Spades proved able to dig easily in any soft forest soil. It cut through pine needles like a knife into the medium below it. Surprisingly, it also was keenly able to dig up clay mounds and lightly rooted soil patches. The design allows for a good straight-sided dig that prevents you from digging too wide and disturbing more of the native environment. As much as I expected it to bend in dense matter, it just didn’t (not that it didn’t experience drawbacks there. More on that later).

Deuce of Spades

From a versatility standpoint, the Deuce also makes a pretty reasonable ‘dead-man’ stake for sand or snow. I ran cord (has to be thin or a threaded paracord) through the lash hole on the handle and then created a small loop around the point to accomplish this. And yes, as a desperate river paddler on the Susquehanna, I even mocked a lost kayak paddle and was able to get more thrust on the side that I augmented my hand paddling with the trowel. Ever have a need to do a little leveling to your tent site? It makes pretty light work of that also. For hammock hangers, attach it to the end of your drip line and create a pseudo rain gutter.

Now the drawbacks: the most pronounced is the handle design from a comfort standpoint. Obviously, minimizing weight is the thrust here, so I understand no padding or buffered handle, but digging in hard mediums caused some pretty good markings on my palm when barehanded. However, the fix is within your grasp. You know that TP or that paper towel that those of us who are poison-ivy-wary take with us for the ‘clean up’? Utilize it first to wrap the handle for your dig. The aluminum edges are then much less impactful on your palm. The only other gripe is pretty minor. I’m wondering if a small bore hole in the blade might prove useful in increasing the utility of the tool without compromising strength? (Guess what my gear mod is?)

Deuce of Spades

So, I’m a pleasantly swayed critic who has certainly found enough utility in a .6 ounce tool to justify carrying it on all trips from backpacking to canoe camping.


  • .6 ounces
  • made of 7075-T6 aluminum
  • 6.8” long X 2.5” wide X .84 inches deep
  • 100% recyclable

The Deuce of Spades











  • Super Lightweight
  • Versatile Use Options
  • Works in all Environments


  • Handle Uncomfortable
  • Could use Hole in Blade

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