The McLeod rake is a two-sided blade on a long, wooden-handle. It is a standard yet esoteric tool during wildfire suppression and trail restoration. The combination tool was created in 1905 by Malcolm McLeod, a US Forest Service ranger at the Sierra National Forest, with a large sharpened hoe-like blade on one side and a tined rake blade on the other.
The McLeod was designed to rake fire lines with the teeth and cut branches and sod with the sharpened hoe edge, but it has found other uses. It can remove slough and berm from a trail, tamp or compact tread, and can shape a trail's backslope.
The tool can also be used for hand crimping straw mulch into soil a minimum depth of 2 inches, and is sometimes specified by the State of Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety for use during erosion control and soil amendment activities.
Because of its large and sharp head, the McLeod is an awkward tool to transport and store, and is often considered undesirable by most. Some McLeod tools are made with a removable blade to partially mitigate this problem. Ideally it is carried with the tines pointing toward the ground for safety, with a sheath over the cutting edge. However, the mass distribution makes it difficult to carry in this orientation consistently.
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