The 17 Best Sea Shelling Tools Ever

Best sea shelling tools for the beach

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Hello, fellow shell hunters! If you’re looking for the best sea shelling tools, you’ve come to the right place.

I hunt for seashells every time I visit the beach. And I’ve found having the right tools makes it easier to find amazing seashells.

I recently visited Ocean Isle Beach in NC to look for seashells, but I couldn’t find my shelling bag to bring on the trip. I had to use a plastic bag instead, which ripped after I filled it with too many shells.

I will soon purchase more shelling bags from my friend, Amazon.

Seashells I found at Ocean Isle Beach in NC
Some of my seashells from a recent beach trip to Ocean Isle Beach in NC.

In this article, I’ll share my top 16 sea shelling tools that will help you find more shells. (Just don’t forget to pack them on your next beach adventure.)

Related Posts:

1 – Shelling Bag

A shelling bag is my #1 most important sea shelling tool. You wear it over your shoulder to keep your hands free to collect shells. It makes it easy to store your shells while you walk the beach.

Sea Shelling Bag
Seashell Collecting Bag
Find on Amazon →

2 – Sand Dipper

I use a sand dipper to search the sand and water for shark teeth or shells. The long handle keeps me from having to bend over. It’s easy to adjust the length and even take it apart to fit in a suitcase.

The Sand Dipper is a tool used for finding seashells and shark teeth at the beach
Sand Dipper
Find on Amazon →

3 – Sand Flea Rake 

A sand flea rake scoops up multiple shells below the water’s surface. You can then dump the shells on the beach and look for treasures. It’s also good for finding sand dollars and starfish.

The downside to a Sand Flea Rake is that it’s a bit bulky, and you have to be careful not to hit the sharp edge against your leg.

This tool comes apart for easy transport and storage, so I would suggest putting it together when you get to the beach and taking it apart before you leave the beach. This will help prevent hitting the sharp edge against your leg, as I have done when using it at the beach.

Sand Flea Rake For Shell Hunting
Find on Amazon →

4 – Shell Identification Guide

I have a free printable shelling guide HERE. But I recommend Smithsonian’s Shelling Handbook or Seashells of Georgia and the Carolinas for a comprehensive shelling book.

Seashells of Georgia & the Carolinas
Find on Amazon →

Related Posts:
The Ultimate Beach Packing List
24 Best Shelling Beaches In NC

6 – Scuba Boots

You can wear scuba boots any time of the year to protect your feet from sharp, broken shells. They’ll also keep your feet warm and dry if you shell in the winter.

Scuba boots
Find on Amazon →

7 – Polarized Sunglasses

Polarized sunglasses cut the glare on the water and help you see what’s below the water’s surface more clearly. The glasses pictured below on my husband also have photochromatic lenses that adjust to the light.

Advantages of Polarized Sunglasses
Polarized Sunglasses
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8 – Sifting Pan

A sifting pan is great for shelling at the water’s edge. It allows you to sift through sand and shells to find treasures. It’s especially helpful when hunting for shark teeth.

Sifting pan for shelling or finding shark teeth at the beach
Sifting Pan to find seashells or shark teeth
Find on Amazon →

9 – Headlamp

A headlamp is a must-have for night shelling or early morning shelling. It will help you spot shells that are otherwise hidden in the darkness while keeping your hands free to collect shells. The one below is my husband’s favorite headlamp. (And he’s tried many.)

Find on Amazon →

10 – Sunscreen

Don’t forget the sunscreen! Even if it’s cloudy, you can still get sunburned at the beach.

11 – Beach Chair or Towel

You’ll want to take a break from shelling and just enjoy the ocean view. I prefer bringing a chair because it’s easier on my back. But towels work great, too and don’t take up as much space.

I prefer the Tommy Bahama Beach Chair because it has straps to carry it on your back, a storage pouch, and cup holder.

Tommy Bahama Beach Chair
Tommy Bahama Beach Chair
View on Amazon ➡

12 – Beach Umbrella

This is a must if you shell on a hot, sunny day. It will provide some much-needed shade.

13 – Water and Snacks

You’ll need to stay hydrated and fueled while shelling. I like to bring protein bars or trail mix for a quick snack. I love the S’well Water Bottle below because it keeps your drinks cold for several hours.

S'well Water Bottle
S’well Water Bottle
Find on Amazon →

14 – Water Shoes

You can wear these to protect your feet from sharp shells or broken coral. I have the exact pair below. They’re comfortable and affordable – 2 of my favorite things!

Water Shoes for the beach
My favorite water shoes
Find on Amazon →

15 – Sun Hat

Getting sunburned at the beach is easy if you’re out for very long. A sun hat will protect your face, head, and neck from exposure to the sun.

16 – Fat Tire Ebike

I absolutely love taking my fat-tire ebike to the beach for shelling. It’s the best way to explore a long stretch of beach.

I can cover more ground and find more shells in a shorter amount of time. I can also quickly ride to parts of the beach that others haven’t explored.

I own the Jaguarundi by Magicycle. You can read my full review here. This fat-tire ebike folds in half to fit in my car.

You can’t believe how much fun an ebike is at the beach until you try it.

Kristen riding the foldable fat tire ebike Jaguarundi at the beach
I love seashell hunting with my fat-tire ebike by Magicycle.

View the Magicycle Fat-Tire Ebike here.

17 – Chacos Sandals

I love wearing my Chacos Sandals for shelling because they are waterproof and protect my feet from sharp objects.

I’ve had them over a year and they have held up well no matter what kind of beating I give them. I wear them paddleboarding, hiking, biking, and at the beach.

Kristen wading in Chacos sandals

See all styles of Chacos on Amazon or REI.

That’s it!

These are the 16 most useful sea shelling tools ever.

See my full list of shelling tools on Amazon HERE.

With the right equipment, you can find shells anywhere – even in the darkness! So get out there and start exploring the beach. Who knows what treasures you’ll find!

Happy shell hunting!

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24 Responses

  1. I am 83 yrs old & love to go shelling, have a large shell collection. your list of tools was great, going to order the bag for sure.

  2. Your list of shelling tools is thorough and impressive. I never thought of wearing scuba boots or even water shoes while shelling. North Carolina is one of the most awesome places to go shelling so I can tell you know your stuff.

  3. whoa! I had no idea there were so many neat tools to help with shelling! How fun! I love the bag, and especially the sand dipper! Thanks for teaching me something new, now I just need to plan a beach trip!

  4. What fun tools for the beach! I want to get a shell bag and sifting tool for my little granddaughter. She’s visiting the beach for the first time in August.

    1. That will be so much fun to take her to the beach for the first time. She’ll love looking for seashells!

  5. Shelling seems like so much fun! I want to get one of those bags and try this out next time we go to the beach!

  6. Oh a Sea Shelling book would be so fun! Even if you don’t like to collect sea shells it’s fun to identify the different types. Also those net bags are such a smart beach bag too.

  7. Haaving the right sea shelling tools would definitely make things a lot easier and more efficient, especially the collection bag. I have never seen one of those before! Of course, I’m always in for a good book as well!

  8. haha Amazon is my friend too. Or maybe my enemy? I’ve never heard of any of these tools, what a great addition for finding some great shells. I’d love to get that shell book so I actually know what I’m looking at when I find something!

    1. Like any adventure having the best tools is essential. I love riding e-bikes, they are so great, they would be a great add to a list of seashelling tools.

    2. There’s also a good book for shells in the Carolinas and Georgia or one specifically for Florida.

  9. You have a great list of tools here! I hadn’t thought of a lot of these, like using a sifter for shells and sharks’ teeth. What a good idea! I’ll keep this list in mind when I head to the beach!

  10. I didn’t realize there were so many tools that would help me more efficiently find seashells. I usually spend hours walking the beach looking for unique shells while we are on the beach. My husband used to help me, so I loaded his pockets with my treasure. Your shelling bag suggestion would be much more efficient than the grocery store bag I sometimes use because I don’t plan ahead. Thanks for all the wonderful tips and the free shell identification guide.

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