SPARtool Chops, Digs, Saws, Pries and Hammers

SPARtool on Kickstarter. (Photo courtesy of Stewert Yeoh.)SPARtool on Kickstarter. (Photo courtesy of Stewert Yeoh.)

An outdoorsman from Salt Lake City, Utah has designed a multi-use survival tool for heavy use in the wild.

The SPARtool, a Halligan-style tool that combines a shovel, ax, saw, pry bar, pick and hammer into one – is being launched on Kickstarter.

Kit Up is not endorsing this product or trying to convince you to donate to the effort. But as a gear blog, we are always interested in new efforts that could make life easier when you find yourself in the suck.

“SPARtool began as a quest for the ultimate survival tool – the one item you would want to have with you to do any task in an urban or wilderness survival scenario,” says SPARtool designer Stewart Yeoh. “It would need to be light enough for backpacking, where every ounce counts. It also needed to be so durable that no conceivable use or misuse could damage it.”

Some wilderness tools on the market are too heavy, Yeoh maintains. Others looked and felt flimsy and cheap. Most models were poorly laid-out, or lacked tools that were deemed essential, he says.

“I decided to focus on a few core tasks that come up in nearly every outdoor excursion, and make sure that this tool could do them well,” Yeoh said, explaining that the SPARtool needed to be able to dig, chop, saw, hammer, pry and open a cold beer when the work is done.

SPARtool on Kickstarter. (Photo courtesy of Stewert Yeoh.)

SPARtool on Kickstarter. (Photo courtesy of Stewert Yeoh.)


The SPARtool features a six-inch x 8-inch shovel head with integrated chopping edge and saw blade. The 1075 carbon steel and Zytel handle is topped with a flat pry bar, hammer, and 4-inch pick that functions as a handle for digging and sawing. The total tool length is 22 inches, and the weight is 2 pounds 15 ounces.

One side of the hardened and tempered steel shovel head is ground “scary sharp,” giving it a 9-inch cutting surface.

“When used against small branches the thin edge acts like a machete, passing through with minimal resistance. When employed to split logs, the curvature of the shovel head acts more like an ax, forcing the wood apart cleanly. The edge of the shovel is carefully aligned parallel along the center of the handle, creating the most direct transmission of force, and reducing the chance for dangerous glancing blows, Yeoh says.

It’s equipped with a saw blade on the other side.

“Saws are often one of the weakest links in multi-tools due to disregard for their mechanical and design principles. Our saw teeth are an aggressive 4/inch, 60° tooth layout, cut at a 15° rake,” Yeoh says. “Our saw is laid out as a crosscut saw, with a 15° fleam and a wide alternating offset tooth pattern to clear a wide kerf. Once again the saw edge is parallel to the handle to allow pure single axis motion.”

SPARtool on Kickstarter. (Photo courtesy of Stewert Yeoh.)

SPARtool on Kickstarter. (Photo courtesy of Stewert Yeoh.)

The 4-inch pick spike can break hard earth and rocks or forcefully open padlocks. The curved pick also serves as a convenient and comfortable handle when digging or sawing, Yeoh says.

The SPARtool handle ends in a flat pry bar with a rounded, shepherds-crook curve and designed for prying open doors or crates, pulling nails, chiseling, and other demolition tasks. The handle has a .20-inch thick carbon steel bar, forged half round to fit in your hand. Inside the half round’s curvature is an impact grade Zytel polymer insert; which provides stiffness in the secondary direction and is textured to give a secure grip.

Currently, the SPARtool has a prototype sheath built from 1050 denier ballistic nylon with MOLLE-compatible strapping and belt loop. The cutting surfaces on the shovel head are protected by a nylon and Kydex sheath which is fully detachable from the backbone of the sheath. The cutting surfaces of the pry bar and pick are similarly protected with a Kydex guard, and are freely detachable with secure snaps. When in use, the cover guard for the opposite end is left in place and protects the user from accidental injury.

SPARtool on Kickstarter. (Photo courtesy of Stewert Yeoh.)

SPARtool on Kickstarter. (Photo courtesy of Stewert Yeoh.)


About the Author

Matthew Cox
Matthew Cox is a reporter at He can be reached at
  • Norm

    My only comment is that the nail puller/pry bar end should be facing the other way. You’re going to be putting the heel of your hand on that sharp part when you try to use the shovel by grasping it on the end. Overall, it’s hard to tell if this would work or not. Sometimes, trying to put too many functions into one tool means it won’t do any well.

  • Hi Norm,

    We actually tried a prototype with the pry bar facing the other way and found it created a dangerous situation where one was applying force with a sharp edge pointed towards their body. The tool has been designed so that when in use by a right handed person all other sharp projections point away from the user (since I’m actually a lefty we are also working on a left-handed variant). In any case, you are correct that when digging there was a sharp edge in a likely place where one would grasp, so we are including a detachable cover for the pry bar / pick end that will snap in place and protect the tool edges.

  • LIAM

    Good idea but I am inclied to have back ups when out in the forrest! especially when camping in the winter as I do!

  • Alvert

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  • howard

    ok i’d suggest the maker include a hard cover for the extended pick spike.
    save a few ‘uh-ohs’…

  • Molyy

    Great and interesting blog