Hand Tools for Trails

2005 Edition

The tools shown here are those used most often by Forest Service trail crews. They are categorized into tools for sawing, chopping, grubbing, digging and tamping, pounding, and hammering, lifting and hauling, peeling and shaping, and sharpening and rehandling. Each tool is described along with helpful techniques for use and maintenance.

by USDA Forest Service

Trail work requires many kinds of hand tools like saws, axes, picks, hammers, shovels, and grub hoes. To be safe and productive, trail workers must know how to select the best tools for the job, use them skillfully, and maintain them correctly. However, modern technology has caused a gap in our handtool knowledge. Most trail tools have become uncommon in our everyday work world, which contributes to accidents, low productivity, and frustration.

This manual should help reduce accidents and increase production. It is intended for Forest Service employees,
volunteers, and others who do trail work. It provides tips for using and maintaining common trail tools. Proper use and maintenance of hand tools contribute to safe and efficient trail work and to a better trail system.

Attached document published February 2005

About the Author


To sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

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