Different Types of Hand Tools for Wildland Firefighters

Amanda Delatorre |

Different Types Of Wildland Firefighter Tools

Out on the fire line, wildland firefighters rely on a variety of hand tools to carry out their important duties. A hand tool simply refers to a type of tool that can be held in one’s hand and operated without the use of electricity or power. Hand tools serve a number of important purposes for wildland firefighters such as clearing debris, cutting through brush and small trees, and fire line construction. Below, we will discuss some of the many different types of hand tools for wildland firefighters.


One of the most frequently used hand tools that wildland firefighters carry is an axe. Axes are often implemented when cutting a fire line and during mop-up operations. They can be used to chop up stumps and logs, drive wedges, and fell snags among other necessary applications.

Two of the most commonly used axes that wildland firefighters use are single-bit axes and double-bit axes. Single-bit axes have a striking surface on one side and a cutting edge on the other. Double-bit axes, however, have cutting edges on both sides.


A pulaskis is a specialized hand tool that is created for fighting wildfires. It consists of a strong handle of wood, plastic, or fiberglass which is topped with a head that combines an axe and an adze.

One side of the head has a cutting edge while the other, known as the grubbing edge, serves as a tool to cut trenches or dig out roots below ground level. Because the tool can dig soil as well as chop wood, pulaskis are often used for constructing firebreaks. Pulaskis are also effective for aiding in mop-up operations and cutting firelines. 


Another type of hand tool that wildland firefighters use is a shovel. This common tool serves a wide variety of purposes for wildland firefighters. In addition to the obvious application of digging, shovels can also be used for smothering, scraping, tamping, and cutting light fuels. As such, shovels are useful in both active fire suppression procedures and mop-up operations.

Fire Rake

A fire rake is a type of wildland firefighting tool that consists of a wooden or fiberglass handle topped with a rake head with four triangular steel blades. Fire rakes are similar to an average garden rake; however, their tines are broader and more triangularly shaped.

Typically, fire rakes are used to rake firebreaks, as their sharp blades allow them to access fire that has spread in undergrowth. They are also useful for loosening surface debris. As such, fire rakes are generally implemented in mop-up, burning-out, and fireline construction operations.

The Supply Cache recognizes the importance of having top-quality hand tools that can stand up to the harsh conditions that wildland firefighters face. As such, all of the wildland fire gear for sale that we provide are incredibly durable and crafted to adhere to optimum quality standards. Our inventory consists of a wide array of modern and traditional tools including pulaskis, shovels, fire rakes, axes, and other essentials. To supply your crew with the high-quality hand tools they need at the most affordable price, shop the Supply Cache today.