There are scoops for every budget, but what is the difference between making one and buying one of those fancy models?
Well, here is a quick review on some of the popular styles that I have owned over the past five years.
1. This DIY style scoop has lasted over 5-years.
All materials were repurposed from leftovers found on construction sites, so the cost was $0.00. The downside is the diameter is narrower than most coils and it can take many scoops to dig out targets. Nonetheless, it is fantastically efficient when you come across a coin spill in the dry sand.
2. A hand scoop made from steel is an upgrade from the PVC.
The handle is positioned to maximize the force from your hand and it will easily slice through shells and small stones. It is great for wet or dry sand, but almost impossible to use in the surf unless u are snorkeling. The cost is often less than $30 which makes it an affordable investment for most people.
3. An aluminum scoop with a short handle is the ideal size for kids to use or great for retrieving targets from the DRY sand.
The caveat to this scoop is the short handle requires most adults to hunch over and it doesn’t slice through the wet sand easily. Therefore operators will tend to use his/her foot to push it into the sand BUT using your foot will likely bend the aluminum back plate and eventually crack the welds. At costs up to $60, I recommend self control and only using it in the dry…OR…it can make a great donor for those with welding skills.
4. At 3.7 lbs. this long handled aluminum scoop is nicely balanced, enables you to dig while standing and works great in the water.
Some effort is needed to push through seaweed, shells, and rock, but in tough surf it doesn’t cause injury or lacerations as easy as sharp angled scoops. FWIW, I’ve owned three of these scoops over the years (from various mfg’s) and all of them bent the handle and/or cracked the welds within the first 30 days of use. After finding a reputable welder, side support plates were added which prevented further damage.
5. At 3.6 lbs. and including the weight of a wooden handle, this Stainless Steel scoop by Sunspot is marginally lighter than the aluminum and the weight can be further reduced by using a carbon-fiber handle in place of the wood.
The angled design slices through seaweed, shells, and small rocks but in rough surf it has caused more than one not so pleasant encounter with my legs. The size and sheer quantity of holes make water sifting almost effortless and dry sand sifting easier than the round aluminum scoop; however, the scoop has a greater capacity and can get heavy with a full load. Targets are retrieved expediently and it has been my primary scoop without failure over the past 3-years.
Regardless of budget, there are a lot of options for getting into beach hunting.
Just keep in mind the old saying of “Get the correct tool for the job” It will likely increase your enjoyment of the hobby!
David Sielaff (DnD)
St. Augustine, FL
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-Images compliments of reviewer: David Sielaff