National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Tool – Combination Shovel and Grub Hoe

NFES Number: 
Storage and Shelf Life Checks: 

Initial Inspection/Disposal Criteria

  1. Inspect for structural damage to pick, hoe blade or both that cannot be repaired or serviced by replacing components.
    1. Inspect pick for the following:
      • If bent or twisted.
      • If shorter than 4½” long in extended position.
      • If cracks or enlarging exist around hinge leg bolt hole.
    2. Inspect hoe blade for the following: 
      • Cracks or looseness in the area of the hinge leg rivets.
      • If hinge leg bolt hole is enlarged or cracked.
      • If shorter than 6” (measure from turn step to blade tip).
    3. Inspect handle for the following:
      • Cracked, bent, twisted, or has open grain.
      • Has been shortened (except for detachable handle smokejumper version, which has a 4” shorter handle).
      • Has a nonstandard handle.
  2. Return to stock if item passes initial inspection, is clean, sharp and in unused condition.
  3. Refurbish if damage is repairable or replaceable, or if handle reconditioning or tool sharpening are required.
  4.  Dispose of tool if it fails initial inspection or has been modified such that it cannot be return to like new condition.

Refurbishing Procedures

A. Cleaning

  1. If friction nut does not turn freely, flush with water. Blow clean with air gun. (Wear safety glasses). If the nut does not turn freely after flushing, remove the hinge leg bolt and friction nut and clean the threads inside.  Do not use oil on the friction nut threads or hinge bolt, since oil attracts dust and debris.
  2. If tool head cannot be tightened, inspect hinge leg surface contact with friction nut. Remove hinge leg bolt; grind hinge legs as needed so they meet flush with friction nut.
  3. Clean handle to remove dirt, tree sap, or other foreign debris.
  4. Wash tool head with water and mild detergent.  Dry completely before storage.

B. Repair

  1. Sharpen both blade and pick at 45 degree angle per hand tool.  Refer to tool sharpening gauge NFES #000510.
  2. Tighten handle in ferrule by peening rivet head.
  3. Sand handle if it is chipped, dinged, rough or has tape residue. 
  4. Wipe handle with linseed oil after sanding.
  5. Apply rust inhibitor to tool head.  Local cache option for painting tool head.  Black paint only.
  6. Handle replacement:
    1. Grind off end of rivet. 
    2. Punch it through the handle.  Remove the handle from the ferrule.
    3. Place the new handle in the ferrule and drill hole through handle.
    4. Replace the rivet with #6 x 1-13/16 inch long rivet.  Tap rivet with a hammer to mushroom the rivet head or until the handle is tightened.  Replacement handles are available from DLA (NSN 5120-01-296-3592).

C. Testing for Performance

  1. Extend hoe blade and pick at right angles to tool handle.
  2. Tighten friction nut (wear gloves). Move blade and pick up and down and further tighten friction nut.
  3. Repeat process to ensure that the blade and pick can be maintained tight by the friction nut.

D. Repackaging

  • 10 each in NFES #000384 carton (46” x 11” x 8”).   


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