Back Scratcher

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When asked about it, the Pyro claims to have found it in the garden and has been using it as a backscratcher, though we must admit we have always wondered how the bent teeth and bloodstains got there. Now we know.
Back Scratcher publicity blurb

The Back Scratcher is a community-created melee weapon for the Pyro. It is a heavy-duty gardening rake, consisting of a wooden handle with a green metal head at one end, and a rubber cap on the other. The teeth on the head are bloodstained and bent.

The Back Scratcher increases melee damage by 25% when compared with the Fire Axe and raises healing from health packs by 50%, as well as dropped lunchbox items, which function as small and medium health packs. As a result, small and medium health packs bestow 52, approximately 30%, and 132, approximately 75% health. However, there is an overall cost of 75% slower healing from Medics, Dispensers, and Payload carts. Players are therefore forced to rely less on continuous healing sources and more on health packs scattered around the map.

As an interesting bonus, the rate at which a Medic's ÜberCharge is filled is not slowed, allowing heavily-injured Pyros to greatly build up an ÜberCharge.

The weapon was originally created for the Fancy vs. Nasty Update as a replacement skin for the Axtinguisher and has since been officially added to the game.

Damage and function times

See also: Damage
Damage and function times
Damage type Melee
Ranged or Melee damage? Melee
Base damage 100% 81
Critical 244
Mini-crit 110
Function times
Attack interval 0.8 s
Values are approximate and determined by community testing.

Healing rates

A graph comparing the healing rates of various sources with and without the Back Scratcher.
See also: Health

From Medi Gun, Kritzkrieg, or Vaccinator:

  • Injured 10 or less seconds ago: 6 per second
  • Injured 15 or more seconds ago: 18 per second

From Quick-Fix:

  • Injured 10 or less seconds ago: 8.4 per second
  • Injured 15 or more seconds ago: 25.2 per second
  • Injured 10 or less second ago with ÜberCharge: 25.2 per second
  • Injured 15 or more seconds ago with ÜberCharge: 75.6 per second

Overheal from Vaccinator:

  • Injured 10 or less seconds ago: 2 per second
  • Injured 15 or more seconds ago: 6 per second

From Medicating Melody:

  • Injured 10 or less seconds ago: 6.25 per second
  • Injured 15 or more seconds ago: 18.75 per second

From Dispenser:

  • Level 1: 2.5 per second
  • Level 2: 3.75 per second
  • Level 3: 5 per second

From Payload Cart:

  • 2.5 per second

Healing rates are approximate and determined by community testing.



See also: Crafting


Axtinguisher Scotsman's Skullcutter Back Scratcher
Item icon Axtinguisher.png + Item icon Scotsman's Skullcutter.png = Item icon Back Scratcher.png
Class Token - Pyro Slot Token - Melee Scrap Metal Possible Results
Item icon Class Token - Pyro.png + Item icon Slot Token - Melee.png + Item icon Scrap Metal.png =
Item icon Axtinguisher.png Item icon Homewrecker.png Item icon Back Scratcher.png Item icon Powerjack.png
Item icon Sharpened Volcano Fragment.png Item icon Maul.png Item icon Postal Pummeler.png Item icon Third Degree.png
Item icon Lollichop.png Item icon Neon Annihilator.png Item icon Freedom Staff.png Item icon Ham Shank.png
Item icon Bat Outta Hell.png Item icon Conscientious Objector.png Item icon Hot Hand.png

Strange variant

Related achievements

Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro

Kill 6 people with your axe in one life.
Kill 3 people with your axe in one life.

Update history

December 17, 2010 Patch (Australian Christmas)
  • The Back Scratcher was added to the game.

December 21, 2010 Patch

January 7, 2011 Patch

  • The Back Scratcher was given a unique kill icon.

February 14, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed melee attacks not destroying remote detonation pipes (Stickybombs).

July 22, 2011 Patch

  • [Undocumented] The damage bonus attribute was changed from "+25% damage done" to "+25% damage bonus".

March 22, 2012 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Added Strange quality.

November 12, 2013 Patch

December 21, 2017 Patch (Smissmas 2017)


  • The Crusader's Crossbow is unaffected by the stat "-75% health from healers on wearer", causing full healing to be applied to the Pyro.


  • Usually in the shape of a miniature rake, a backscratcher is a tool used for scratching areas that cannot easily be reached by one's own hands, typically the middle of back; that is, to "scratch one's own back".
    • A flanking Pyro may ambush an enemy from behind, "scratching their back" for them with the rake.
    • Scratch (someone's) back is an idiom for doing someone a favor, such as Healing; but, the health pack buff makes it easier for (or requires) the flanking Pyro to "scratch their own back" with Health Pickups.


See also