Hand tools are instruments that rely on its user's own physical force, as opposed to power tools. They may be used by infantrymen to prepare earthwork defenses such as gabions, trenches, and foxholes, although these tasks are nowadays performed with earthmoving vehicles. They may also serve as makeshift weapons, occasionally outperforming purpose-built close combat weapons such as bayonets. Certain military forces such as the Spetsnaz have even created fighting techniques around implements such as entrenching tools.
Hand tools are among the melee weapons available to players in Battlefield 1. Per hit, they inflict the most damage, but are slow with follow-up attacks, and need to be loosened from the victim following a takedown. Certain tools also have the ability to break barbed wire, destroy wooden objects, and pierce light armor.
|Shovel||The small size of shovels made them suitable for melee combat in the trenches. One edge was often sharpened to make them able to cut into the enemy.||
|Hatchet||Primarily designed as a tool to destroy or modify various equipment on the battlefield, the hatchet also made for a vicious cleaving weapon up close.||Can break barbed wire and wooden objects.||
|Pickaxe||Useful as an engineering tool on the battlefield, pickaxes were also used in melee combat to conserve ammunition or to stay relatively silent.||Can break wooden objects and pierce light armor.||
|Kukri||A machete-style knife, still commonly found and used in Nepal.||Can break barbed wire.||
|Billhook||An agricultural tool that found its way to the front lines.||Can break barbed wire and wooden objects.||
Takedowns occur any time that a melee weapon would inflict lethal damage on an opponent, although rear and prone takedowns can be performed on enemies with full health. Melee weapons inflict less damage to enemies facing the player, but may still result in a takedown.
|Front||Standing/Crouching||The attacker chops into the target's left collarbone, who then drops to his knees. The attacker then forcefully removes the weapon from the targets neck.|
|Left||Standing/Crouching||The attacker chops into the target's back, who drops to his knees. The attacker then grabs the target's shoulder to free the weapon.|
|Right||Standing/Crouching||The attacker chops into the target's chest, then kicks him off to free the weapon.|
|Back||Standing/Crouching||The attacker does a quick chop into the target's back.|
|Front||Prone||The attacker chops into the target's upper back.|
|Left||Prone||The attacker kicks the target onto his back and hacks into his chest.|
|Right||Prone||The attacker does a heavy chop into the target's neck.|
|Back||Prone||The target is spooked as the attacker does a two-handed chop into his right collarbone.|
- In the rare cases where a kill occurs without a takedown, the victim may still be revived.
- Teammates generally cannot be saved from takedowns once the animation begins, as the player is considered killed on the first hit. Players may still find themselves briefly caught in takedown animations, but saved if their attacker is killed before the animation begins for their teammate.
- Despite appearances, the shovel cannot be used to dig. Ground can only be lifted via explosions.