Ordinarily, we wouldn’t even bother burning the calories required to click the link when presented with a video titled “Chinese Military Shovel” (especially when it means risking seeing that god-awful Gundam pachinko ad again). But after being recommended it by our Japanese sister site RocketNews24 Japan, we sat down to watch a demonstration of how China’s bravest men make the most of a tool that few of us would think of using for anything more than digging a hole in the ground or patting the tops of sandcastles flat with.

As it turns out, this is one handy little tool to have, with the Chinese military demonstrating some 24 different uses for it in this peculiar video. And we thought Swiss Army knives were versatile…

Sure, the list starts off with the usual dig hole/scoop soil/whack a mole examples of how to use the military shovel, but as we get further down the list and into the video we soon learn just how ingenious an invention it is.

Check out this list of uses before heading down to watch the demonstration video.

  • Digging holes in the ground
  • Moving earth around.
  • Making holes (for cover?) in sloping or vertical surfaces.
  • Chopping down branches.
  • Using as a saw.
  • Chopping vegetables.
  • Peeling vegetables.
  • Using as a measure.
  • Using as pliers to cut wire to length.
  • Cutting through barbed wire.
  • Digging footholds for climbing.
  • Anchor/grappling hook.
  • Casually using as a shield while a madman attacks you in your car.
  • Cleaving the enemy’s head in two.
  • As a hammer (for nails, not heads).
  • As a nail puller.
  • Bottle opener when it’s party time.
  • Can/tin opener.
  • Tightening and twisting wires.
  • Hoisting heavy objects up to high places.
  • Prying materials from surfaces.
  • As an oar in a tiny boat.
  • Clearing the land.
  • Putting up tents.

See it all for yourself in the video here, complete with suitably heroic music that’s bound to get stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

Is it just me or does anyone else suddenly want to sign up for the Chinese army?

Video: YouTube electronixtar
[ Read in Japanese ]