I can’t recall what paths my life took to give me an abundance of experience with shovels, yet here we are.
Several weeks containing a few bouts of trail work, a couple snowfalls, and a day of property surveying have passed with a DMOS packable shovel hard at work in my hand or conveniently stowed at arm’s reach. These things are made of lightweight 6061 (DMOS Stealth) or 5052 (DMOS Alpha) aluminum that’s only a bit heavier than the box each was packed in, these shovels go anywhere without any complaint... from you or the tool.
I’m the guy who’s broken both wooden and fiberglass handled shovels (and one steel shovel tip) digging rocks out of my yard and trail, so I went purposely hard on DMOS’ collapsible shovels. Aside from cosmetic scratches and grime, both the DMOS Stealth Shovel and the DMOS Alpha Snow Shovel I was entrusted with are still like new.
We don’t get a ton of snow in TN, but this winter birthed one solid five inch bout of the “devil’s cocaine” for me to play in with the DMOS Alpha. The entire mid-state was at a complete standstill, so I had plenty of places to play. This thing absolutely moves snow. Pitted against the plastic snow shovel I own, there’s no comparison. The DMOS isn’t flimsy or wobbly to use like a conventional snow shovel and the gnarly teeth on the front of it obliterate any ice chunks that threaten to slow your work. The Alpha would be my choice for a snow shovel even without its key feature: packing down to the size of a small backpack (complete with webbing slots in case you actually wanted to wear it like a backpack.) I left it in my trunk through the coldest part of the winter and forgot about it, peace of mind banked for anything I might encounter.
We do get a lot of dirt and rocks in the Nashville area, so as much as I loved the the DMOS Alpha, the Stealth Shovel quickly became my favorite. My neighbor Brad, a surveyor by trade, immediately fell in love with it while we walked our property lines locating and digging up old metal survey markers. This slightly lighter yet beefier shovel is more accurately titled as a portable trail tool. I scooped pile after pile of rock-laden earth and even cut through a few frustrating roots with the DMOS Stealth and its front fangs. The biggest surprise I got from trail clearing with it was a sudden realization of how comfortable it was to use. The t-handle is a superior method of controlling the end of a shovel, and the shaft’s anodized aluminum is smooth, light, and cool to the touch.
DMOS Collective makes shovels that just work. That they engineer them to be portable enough to tote into the backcountry or stow in your camper, car, or RTV is just short of magic. I never thought I’d be the guy to geek-out over a shovel, let alone a pair of them, yet here we are.