Andy Smith
MIne-action specialist
Manual demining handtools

Between 1995 and 2001, I designed a range of hand-tools after becoming aware of the frequent hand and arm injuries that occur in demining. See Developing Safer Handtools in Zimbabwe. Blast resistant handtools are recommended in the International Standards for Mine Action (IMAS).

Hand-tools are a part of any deminer's Personal Protective Equipment. Inadequate handtools cause severe injury and their provision is an abrogation of the employers' Duty of Care. See Handtools as PPE.

My tools are all made out of hard wearing but malleable materials so that they should not shatter in a blast. They are designed so that their parts do not separate. When possible, they also include flexible hand-guards to protect the user more fully while not getting in the way during use.

They have been tested against a range of mines and are currently manufactured in Africa. In 2016, they are in widespread use around the world having been brought by military organisations, commercial demining companies and demining NGOs.

As usual with my work, I take no income from the exploitation of the designs, details of which are freely available.

A tool-bag contained a comprehensive range of tools was also designed. I continue to work on new tool ideas, and encourage others to do the same. I take no income from the exploitation of my designs but there is "psychological pay" in seeing them in use from Peru to Tajikistan, Sri Lanka to Mozambique.

Blast resistant tools based on my designs are available from varied sources - search online - and from

If you are interested in tool design, see Handtool design critera.

My Manual Demining Tool Bag and Tools was on Page 56 of the US Army CECOM NVESD Catalogue but has now been removed, apparently along with almost all the work they sponsored in early years.


“Demining trowel”

"MIT profile” probe

“MIT" two-handed excavator

“Root cutter”

Demining brush

Demining markers

Demining shears


Demining tool-set



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