October 21, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros

Spec Ops Tools Review | Supporting Veterans and First Responders

Spec Ops Tools Review

Spec Ops Tools Exists to Provide Quality Tools While Supporting Veterans

We’ve spent the last couple of months getting to know Spec Ops Tools. Their story is bigger than just producing tools and if you have a heart for our military and first responders, it’s a story worth knowing.

Who is Spec Ops Tools?

According to their website, Spec Ops got their start in a gym when two Army veterans connected over a conversation about wheelchair ramps. One struggled to find funding for the ramps he needed, having been paralyzed in Afghanistan. The other was already deeply connected to the tool industry and saw an opportunity to make a difference.

spec ops tools

Fast forward to today and Spec Ops Tools has emerged with the mission statement, “Never forget those who serve us and never fail those we serve.”

We’ll dive into the quality of the tools in a moment. Hitting the first part of that mission statement, Spec Ops donates 3% of the proceeds from tool sales to non-profit organizations that serve veterans and first responders.

We can certainly get behind that!

Are Spec Ops Tools Any Good?

Having a good story is great for any business, but you need to product quality products if you’re going to be in it for the long haul. To get an idea of their scope, Spec Ops sent us a range of products to try out.

A quick glance through their product offering and you’ll notice they specialize in hand tools. We don’t have space here to go into a thorough review of each product, but we’ve collected our general thoughts about them.

Spec Ops Tools Screwdrivers | 6-Piece Flat and Phillips Set

You can tell a lot about a screwdriver the moment you pick it up and Spec Ops did a nice job creating a comfortable handle that offers a natural grip position.

spec ops tools

Their magnetized black oxide tips grab fastener heads well and we didn’t have any trouble getting enough torque behind the screws we were driving.

Printed tip indicators on the base of each handle make them easy to pick out from a bag while lanyard holes double as hanging slots for your pegboard.

  • Price: $24.99

MOS Assignment: Naval service on board “The Village Idiot” in the toolbox I keep on my flats boat

Specs Ops Tools Chisels | 4-Piece Set

Using the same handle design as the screwdrivers, Spec Ops chisels come in 1/4-inch, 1/2-inch, 3/4-inch, and 1-inch sizes. Strike plates on the handles ensure you won’t deform the handles (unless you failed your hammer marksmanship test).

spec ops tools

The bevels are good and sharp out of the package, and slice away wood well, leaving a nice, clean finish.

  • Price: $29.99

MOS Assignment: Base housing in the tool chest I keep for general carpentry, maintenance, and repairs around my house

Spec Ops Tools Framing Hammer

The 22-ounce milled face framing hammer comes with or without a soft mallet cap. It’s well-balanced with a solid feel and a comfortable overmolded handle. Like you’d expect, your sweaty hands can still find a secure grip and we appreciate the magnetic nail starter.

If you don’t already own a mallet, spend the extra $5 and get the hammer that comes with the mallet cap. It’s not a perfect replacement, but it’s a genuinely helpful accessory when you need to tap material that’s prone to breaking with the hardness of a hammer face.

  • Price: $32.99 ($27.99 without the mallet cover)

MOS Assignment: Base housing in the tool chest I keep for general carpentry, maintenance, and repairs around my house

Spec Ops Tools Pry Bars and Pullers

Spec Ops’ selection of pry bars and pullers are tough, well-built tools ready for the abuse of demolition work. We haven’t drop tested them to 100 feet as Spec Ops has, but you can beat and bang on these tools to dig out whatever is in your way.

spec ops tools
  • 15-Inch Flat Pry Bar: $12.99
  • 11-Inch Molding Bar: $14.99
  • 10-Inch Nail Puller: $10.99
  • 11-Inch Nail Puller: $12.99

MOS Assignment: Motor pool, tasked to my F-150 and traveling to all jobsites

Spec Ops Tools Stapler and Hammer Tacker

The stapler and hammer tacker are lighter than many thanks to the use of high-impact tool plastic. Both are easy to use with the stapler taking less force than a lot of models we’ve used and the balance of the hammer tacker allowing for quality strikes against material. Both have reasonably comfortable grips as well.

spec ops tools

The long-term question surrounds how well that composite housing is going to hold up compared to all-metal units over time. So far, so good for now, though, and we’re enjoying the lighter weight option.

  • Heavy-Duty Hammer Tacker: $24.99
  • 2-in-1 Heavy-Duty Stapler: $27.99

MOS Assignment: Firing range duty, securing paper targets at our outdoor range

Spec Ops Tools Retractable-Blade Utility Knife

Spec Ops’ retractable utility knife has the same basic design as my EDC folding knife (Zero Tolerance’s 0470 at the moment). It’s not as sleek thanks to its wider design that accommodates the folding action and 3-blade storage in the handle.

spec ops tools

Lacking a bearing system, it’s not as smooth to open, either, but it does have ambidextrous thumb studs to give it a one-hand opening and a liner lock for security. We’re also comparing a $13 utility knife to a premium pocket knife that’s literally 20 times more expensive, so there’s plenty of room for grace.

Four detents let you control the blade length and there’s a strap cutter slot built-in with an available edge no matter what position the blade is in. A glass breaker on the rear wraps up the features of this highly functional utility knife.

  • Price: $12.99 (includes 3 blades)

MOS Assignment: Motor pool, tasked to my F-150 and traveling to all jobsites

Spec Ops Tools Tape Measures

Available in 16- and 25-foot lengths, Spec Ops’ tape measures are agreeably compact for their length. Featuring a wide blade with easy-to-read black and red print on a white background on both sides, we were able to get over 10 feet of standout with both.

Spec Ops Tools Tape Measures

The blade coating isn’t as durable as some of the premium tapes we use, but the price isn’t as high, either. That’s the trade-off you’ll need to consider.

4 screws hold the tape together (3 on the edges and one on the clip). The clip isn’t as strong as some of the tapes we use, so there’s some risk of bending it out.

Overall, they’re a nice step up from the cheap tapes you might be tempted to pick up. We’d like to see a 35-foot option in the future.

  • 16-Foot Tape Measure: $12.99
  • 25-Foot Tape Measure: $17.99

MOS Assignment: Base housing in the tool chest I keep for general carpentry, maintenance, and repairs around my house

The Bottom Line

If you go after any of the tool types we reviewed here, you can find higher quality and more refinement if you want to increase your budget. However, there’s nothing we’ve seen that prevents us from recommending these for both homeowners and Pros. With 3% of your purchase going to non-profit organizations that support veterans and first responders (not to mention free shipping on orders over $35), they’re certainly worth a shot.

Related articles

Gearwrench 3/4-Inch Electronic Torque Wrench Review | 750 Ft-Lbs 85082

Gearwrench 3/4-Inch Electronic Torque Wrench Successfully Blends Technology And High Strength Any mechanical engineer will tell you that proper torque settings can be the difference between success or catastrophic failure. The Gearwrench 3/4-inch electronic torque wrench is designed with both the brains and brawn to tackle high-torque jobs and with outstanding precision. Gearwrench 3/4-Inch Electronic […]


DEWALT TOUGHSERIES Tape Measures Focus On Durability and User Experience Tape measures are crucial to nearly every job but they don’t always hold up as well as we’d like. DEWALT TOUGHSERIES tape measures are built to survive the jobsite with features designed to make your measuring tasks easier. We’re teaming up with DEWALT to tell […]

How to Use a Rivet Gun

When you need to fasten sheet metal or plastic together, one of the more viable methods on the market is the rivet gun. This tool really comes into its own when accessing the back end of the joint proves problematic. Plus, rivets tend to be relatively inexpensive and come in a wide variety of sizes […]

Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
luv tools

Manufactured where? Only 3% gets donated to a non profit and writen off for tax purposes, how many name brand companies donate that much or more to a non profit? I’m not convinced.

Spec Ops Tools

Thanks for the great review and support! 🔨

Mike Richards

Engineered in the USA isn’t the same as made in the USA. You support veterans but don’t manufacture domestically?


I bet it would help more veterans if they made these in the USA and employed veterans with a living wage. This marketing BS of putting they donate to charities is exactly that, BS. Research those charities and let me guess how they work, top “execs” get fat 6 or 7 figure paychecks and take care of 1 in a million vets that request support and show them around for their feel-good propoganda? Did i guess right? These tools are cringe aesthetically, and especially with their schtick. -a vet who has never believed in the BS charities or marketing types.

Kyle Broussard

Awesome article as what I’ve come to accept from y’all. Being a veteran myself its always great supporting fellow veterans. So i look forward to having some spec ops tools in the ole tool box.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x