Hello, fellow shell hunters!
If you’re looking for the best sea shelling tools, you’ve come to the right place.
I love looking for seashells and I hunt for them every time I hit the beach. And I’ve found that having the right tools makes it easier to find wonderful shells.
I recently visited Ocean Isle Beach in NC to look for seashells and I couldn’t find my shelling bag to bring on the trip. I had to use a plastic bag instead and it ripped after I filled it with too many shells.
Looks like I will be purchasing more shelling bags from my friend, Amazon.
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!)
- The Ultimate Sea Shell Identification Guide
- 19 Proven Tips For Finding Sea Shells On The Beach
- Cool Birds of The Coastal Carolinas
1 – Shelling Bag
A shelling bag is the #1 most important sea shelling tool to me. 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.
2 – Sand Dipper
Use a sand dipper to search through the sand and water for shark teeth or shells. The long handle keeps you from having to bend over. You can adjust the length and even take it apart to fit in a suitcase.
3 – Sand Flea Rake
A sand flea rake is an excellent tool for shelling in the water. It 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.
4 – Shell Identification Guide
I have a free printable shelling guide HERE. For a comprehensive shelling book, I recommend Smithsonian’s Shelling Handbook or Seashells of Georgia and the Carolinas.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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!
15 – Sun Hat
It’s easy to get sunburned at the beach 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
Ok, I don’t have one of these yet, but it’s on my wishlist.
A fat tire electric bike is the best way to explore a long stretch of beach. You can cover more ground and find more shells in a shorter amount of time.
When I do get a fat tire ebike, I can’t wait to head to the Outer Banks in North Carolina and cruise up and down the coast finding shells in remote areas.
The 2 fat tire electric bikes that I have my eye on are the Aventure Ebike by Aventon and the RadRover by Rad Power Bikes. They are both affordable and get great reviews.
My husband and I both have the Aventon Pace 500 e-bike and love it! Read my review of the Aventon Pace 500 ebike HERE!
These are the 16 most useful sea shelling tools ever.
See my full list 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!
- How To Find Sea Shells On Ocean Isle Beach, NC
- 82 Amazing Things To Do In Atlantic Beach, NC
- Why I Love Okaloosa Island, FL
- View My Web Story About Best Sea Shelling Tools
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All of these tools make Sea Shelling fun! Thank you for sharing them.
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.
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!
Love this list of the best shelling tools. I really like that shelling bag especially!
Once you use a shelling bag, you’ll never use anything else!
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.
That will be so much fun to take her to the beach for the first time. She’ll love looking for seashells!
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!
I hope you get a chance to go shelling. It’s kind of addicting though. 🙂
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.
Great list of seashelling tools! Which I had had this list before we visited Sanibel!
Sanibel is on my list to visit. I can’t wait to go sea shelling there!
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!
My shelling bag is my favorite.
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!
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.
I can’t wait to get a fat tire ebike to take to the beach. What an adventure!!!
There’s also a good book for shells in the Carolinas and Georgia or one specifically for Florida.
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!
I hope you get a chance to go shelling soon. It’s so much fun.
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.
Glad you liked the tip. And the shelling bags are cheap. I love them!