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  1. #1
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    Clearing Trail Tools

    What tools do you use to clear a trail?

    In the woods here it's tough work clearing dead wood and stumps (which we usually chainsaw in to mini kickers)

  2. #2
    smartass
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    Depends on what needs cleared.

    For downed trees and bigger stumps, a chainsaw. For smaller woody brush, a power scythe works well. Then dig out roots with a hoe, pulaski, or something like that.

    You can get a lot done with a machete if you don't have to remove anything that needs a chainsaw.

  3. #3
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    For clearing trees/branches/brush I use a chainsaw for big stuff, folding saw for medium stuff, loppers for smaller stuff. Power scythe / hedge trimmer for dense brushy or weedy areas.

    To clear the ground usually some type of Rogue Hoe to scrape the surface, dig out stumps, bench cut, clear drains, etc.

    I can do a lot of work with my Silky folding saw and Rogue 55HX hoe.

  4. #4
    bigger than you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustMtnB44 View Post
    For clearing trees/branches/brush I use a chainsaw for big stuff, folding saw for medium stuff, loppers for smaller stuff. Power scythe / hedge trimmer for dense brushy or weedy areas.

    To clear the ground usually some type of Rogue Hoe to scrape the surface, dig out stumps, bench cut, clear drains, etc.

    I can do a lot of work with my Silky folding saw and Rogue 55HX hoe.
    This right here, although I prefer a proper McLeod over a rogue hoe in most cases, unless I have to cut through a lot of roots.

  5. #5
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    Silky saws/loppers for clearing, then pick mattocks, rogue hoes, Pulaskis, McLeods for tread. It all depends on your particular environment.

  6. #6
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    That Rogue 55HX looks like a great multitool for the job

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    Rogue hoes are awesome for scraping drains and shaping/smoothing clay tread but rocks are murder on that awesome blade with any kind of chopping motion. A guy once took my brand new Rogue during a build day and started hacking granite rocks. Geez.

    You really need a pick axe to grub out roots, small stumps and protruding rocks if there's a lot of that to deal with.

  8. #8
    WillWorkForTrail
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikefaceyall View Post
    That Rogue 55HX looks like a great multitool for the job
    That's the tool they didn't make when I started making my own trail tool. I like mine better, for a lot of reasons, but in terms of function they are nearly identical. When I hand build trail I only carry one tool in each hand, and my custom tool gets one hand, a 16" Lamberton Rake gets the other hand.

  9. #9
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    My usual go to tools are a pick mattock, a square shovel and a rock bar. Loppers for clearing corridor and the small stuff. But we have been doing a lot of work in the high desert sage brush lately. Forest service / BLM does all chain saw work ahead of time. If we have to do some tree work a pruning saw such as Silky, or a cross cut saw are what we use.

  10. #10
    saddlemeat
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    Usually a pulaski and a sharpened zak trail shovel.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikefaceyall View Post
    That Rogue 55HX looks like a great multitool for the job
    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    That's the tool they didn't make when I started making my own trail tool. I like mine better, for a lot of reasons, but in terms of function they are nearly identical. When I hand build trail I only carry one tool in each hand, and my custom tool gets one hand, a 16" Lamberton Rake gets the other hand.
    Yeah since it's basically a large cutter mattock it's great for roughing in trail tread, scraping out drains, cutting out small stumps and roots, and chopping through small logs that are on the ground. The only thing it doesn't work well for is tamping or moving large amounts of dirt since the hoe side is not flat on top and smaller than the other Rogue hoes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clayncedar View Post
    Rogue hoes are awesome for scraping drains and shaping/smoothing clay tread but rocks are murder on that awesome blade with any kind of chopping motion. A guy once took my brand new Rogue during a build day and started hacking granite rocks. Geez.

    You really need a pick axe to grub out roots, small stumps and protruding rocks if there's a lot of that to deal with.
    We don't have a ton of rocks around here and I agree a pick axe is needed for rock and rocks kill Rogue hoe edges. But most Rogue hoes can chop through roots and stumps just fine if kept reasonably sharp.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustMtnB44 View Post
    Yeah since it's basically a large cutter mattock it's great for roughing in trail tread, scraping out drains, cutting out small stumps and roots, and chopping through small logs that are on the ground. The only thing it doesn't work well for is tamping or moving large amounts of dirt since the hoe side is not flat on top and smaller than the other Rogue hoes.
    Right. My tool uses a hoe that's actually a tad LARGER than a standard Rogue. The downside is, some people feel like my tool is a little heavy. The upside is, it cuts well, it works very well for tamping, and you can drag dirt around with it pretty well. Also, I used a long handle on mine, so tall people don't have to constantly bend over to use it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    Right. My tool uses a hoe that's actually a tad LARGER than a standard Rogue. The downside is, some people feel like my tool is a little heavy. The upside is, it cuts well, it works very well for tamping, and you can drag dirt around with it pretty well. Also, I used a long handle on mine, so tall people don't have to constantly bend over to use it.
    Larger than a Rogue Hoe? The 80R is already 8in wide. If you need larger than that, use a McLeod maybe?

    My crew mostly work with a 80 behind the machines, but for handwork, we prefer the 70H (7in wide).
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HypNoTic View Post
    Larger than a Rogue Hoe? The 80R is already 8in wide. If you need larger than that, use a McLeod maybe?

    My crew mostly work with a 80 behind the machines, but for handwork, we prefer the 70H (7in wide).
    I use the 80R and don't find it unwieldy at all.

    McLeods are not popular with builders in my part of Pennsylvania. Stuff here is either soft clay and small roots that a Rogue scrapes through awesome or else big rocks and thick roots intertwined that you need a sharp pickaxe blade to deal with.

    My crew used club-bought McLeods one time and ditched them quickly as useless. I was curious whether they work better in sand, gravel, or deep pine needle organic material found elsewhere in the U.S.?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by HypNoTic View Post
    Larger than a Rogue Hoe? The 80R is already 8in wide. If you need larger than that, use a McLeod maybe?

    My crew mostly work with a 80 behind the machines, but for handwork, we prefer the 70H (7in wide).
    Again, those are newer models I think. The old standard Rogue - back when there weren't a bunch of options - is what I say mine is wider than. Because mine are hand made, literally from old agricultural disc blades, some of which are different sizes, I'd say mine vary from 5" to 7" wide and are very much shaped like a slice of pie with a bite cut off the center. I leave the original cutting edge, because it does what it was designed to well - cuts into the ground.

    McLeods are useless in this area. All we have is rock and clay. Too much real cutting needs to be done to dig. Hence the use a 16" Lamberton as a finishing tool.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayncedar View Post
    McLeods are not popular with builders in my part of Pennsylvania. Stuff here is either soft clay and small roots that a Rogue scrapes through awesome or else big rocks and thick roots intertwined that you need a sharp pickaxe blade to deal with.

    My crew used club-bought McLeods one time and ditched them quickly as useless. I was curious whether they work better in sand, gravel, or deep pine needle organic material found elsewhere in the U.S.?
    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    McLeods are useless in this area. All we have is rock and clay. Too much real cutting needs to be done to dig. Hence the use a 16" Lamberton as a finishing tool.
    I agree, I'm having trouble envisioning what types of soil McLeods work well for. Soft, sandy, dry soils maybe? I agree they are not very useful here in Western PA either. I have one and rarely use it. We use Rogue hoes 95% of the time for both building new trail and tread maintenance.

  17. #17
    saddlemeat
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    ^McLoeds work well for clearing back forest duff to expose bare soil. A heavy duty rake and hoe. That's about all they work for, without breaking.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb View Post
    ^McLoeds work well for clearing back forest duff to expose bare soil. A heavy duty rake and hoe. That's about all they work for, without breaking.
    Makes sense.

    Where I am in SE Pennsylvania, there just a thin layer of dead leaves, a little mineral soil, and then straight to red clay that the Rogue loves.

  19. #19
    Keep on Rockin...
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    NE trial building...

    Cutter Mattock. Heaviest one I can find. One hand.

    Fire rake or McLeod. Removes duff and weeds and brush, and builds berms. Other hand.

    Nippers in a pocket.

    Corona folding saw in side pocket. I found Silkys to be way over rated, and pricey.

    Flask of water in the other back pocket.


    Tried all sorts of Rogues, and other gadgets over many years. The setup above is the most portable, fast, efficient, effective setup I've found for our terrain.


    Chainsaw work is typically saved for a different day.

  20. #20
    WillWorkForTrail
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    Have to see if this works - for scale, the tool half in the picture bottom left is a 16" lamberton rake. The handles on these two tools, when side by side, are actually very close in height.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/lsZegZiz...n-by=cotharyus

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayncedar View Post
    Rogue hoes are awesome for scraping drains and shaping/smoothing clay tread but rocks are murder on that awesome blade with any kind of chopping motion. A guy once took my brand new Rogue during a build day and started hacking granite rocks. Geez.

    You really need a pick axe to grub out roots, small stumps and protruding rocks if there's a lot of that to deal with.
    We worked on about a mile of trail last weekend. The forest service dropped us off at eight o'clock Saturday morning and picked us up again Sunday afternoon. We had two 8" Roque Hoes among our tools. I am thoroughly impressed with that tool in the right situation. Great for chopping sod and shaping turns.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by endo_alley View Post
    We worked on about a mile of trail last weekend. The forest service dropped us off at eight o'clock Saturday morning and picked us up again Sunday afternoon. We had two 8" Roque Hoes among our tools. I am thoroughly impressed with that tool in the right situation. Great for chopping sod and shaping turns.
    Agreed. Nothing cuts blocks of non-rocky ground out faster than a Rogue.

    Or perfectly shapes existing hardpack clay trailtread as needed for placing new drains, berms, etc.

  23. #23
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    Tried a Rogue hoe last week. Rogue hoe works well.
    Last edited by endo_alley; 2 Days Ago at 12:24 PM.

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