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Get close enough to death, and you will become Death himself.
Equalizer publicity blurb

The Equalizer is an unlockable melee weapon for the Soldier. It is a silver-headed pickaxe with blood on both its ends.

Once this weapon is equipped, it has the unique ability to scale the damage of the player based on their health. It is therefore capable of destroying most buildings in two hits when the player is at low health. Consequently, the player receives 90% less healing from all Medic weapons when it is being used (healing from health kits and Dispensers is unaffected). Its critical hit animation is a backhanded swing, striking the enemy with the sharp end of the weapon.

Taunting with the Equalizer equipped results in the Grenade kill taunt. A variation of the taunt is available to players who equip the Lumbricus Lid.

Originally, the Equalizer increased the player's movement speed as their health diminished, along with the increased damage. These attributes were separated in the Beta Split Equalizer in the Team Fortress 2 Beta and added to the game in the June 27, 2012 Patch. The Equalizer's present attributes are taken from the Beta Split Equalizer 2, while the Escape Plan takes its attributes from the Beta Split Equalizer 1.

The Equalizer is automatically given to any player who obtains 5 Soldier achievements.

Damage and function times

Identical to: Shovel
Function times (in seconds)
Damage type Melee
Ranged or Melee damage? Melee
Attack interval 0.8 s
Values are approximate and determined by community testing.

Scales inversely with health. Approximately 107.25 − 0.37295 × H (107.25 minus 0.37295 multiplied H), where H is the player's current health, with a minimum of 33 when the player is at or above 100% health, and a maximum of 107. TF2 rounds upwards to the next highest integer.

The Battalion's Backup gives the player 20 extra max health, but does not change the minimum and maximum damage. As a result, the damage increases more slowly as the player becomes injured, but is greater at identical health levels.

Health Damage
Without Battalion's Backup equipped With Battalion's Backup equipped
Base damage Mini-crits Critical hits Base damage Mini-crits Critical hits
≥220 33 45 98 33 45 98
200 33 45 98 39 53 117
114 65 88 195 69 93 207
52 88 119 264 90 122 270
1 107 144 321 107 144 321
Values are approximate and determined by community testing.
A graph showcasing the damages the Equalizer does at different health, with and without the Battalion's Backup.


Healing sources Healing rate
In combat Out of combat
While Equalizer or Escape Plan is not being used While Equalizer or Escape Plan is being used While Equalizer or Escape Plan is not being used While Equalizer or Escape Plan is being used
Crusader's Crossbow Point blank 75 8 75 8
Medium range 113 11 113 11
Long range 150 15 150 15
Medi Gun / Kritzkrieg 24 / s 2.4 / s 72 / s 7.2 / s
Quick-Fix Healing 33.6 / s 3.4 / s 100.8 / s 10.1 / s
ÜberCharge 100.8 / s 10.1 / s 302.4 / s 30.2 / s
Vaccinator Healing 24 / s 2.4 / s 72 / s 7.2 / s
Overheal 8 / s 0.8 / s 24 / s 2.4 / s
Amputator 105 / 4 ticks 11 / 4 ticks 315 / 4 ticks 32 / 4 ticks



See also: Crafting


Class Token - Soldier Slot Token - Melee Scrap Metal Possible Results
Item icon Class Token - Soldier.png + Item icon Slot Token - Melee.png + Item icon Scrap Metal.png =
Item icon Equalizer.png Item icon Pain Train.png Item icon Half-Zatoichi.png Item icon Disciplinary Action.png
Item icon Market Gardener.png Item icon Escape Plan.png Item icon Freedom Staff.png Item icon Ham Shank.png
Item icon Bat Outta Hell.png Item icon Conscientious Objector.png

As a crafting ingredient

Equalizer Scrap Metal Homewrecker
Item icon Equalizer.png + Item icon Scrap Metal.png = Item icon Homewrecker.png

Strange variant

Related achievements

Leaderboard class soldier.png Soldier

Ain't Got Time to Bleed
Ain't Got Time to Bleed
Kill 3 players with the Equalizer in a single life without being healed.

Duty Bound
Duty Bound
While rocket jumping kill an enemy with the Equalizer before you land or just after landing.
Near Death Experience
Near Death Experience
Kill 20 enemies with your Equalizer while you have less than 25 health.

Spray of Defeat
Spray of Defeat
Use a grenade to gib a player.

Leaderboard class demoman.png Demoman

Slammy Slayvis Woundya
Slammy Slayvis Woundya
Decapitate an enemy Soldier who is brandishing the Equalizer.

Update history

December 17, 2009 Patch (WAR! Update)
  • The Equalizer was added to the game.

December 18, 2009 Patch

  • Fixed a server crash caused by using the Equalizer.

January 13, 2010 Patch

  • Fixed the Gunboats absorbing damage from the Soldier's grenade kill taunt.

April 15, 2010 Patch

  • Reduced the damage bonus the Equalizer receives as the player loses health.
    • The speed boost was not changed.

May 12, 2010 Patch

  • [Undocumented] The Equalizer was added in the crafting blueprint for the Homewrecker.

August 26, 2010 Patch

  • Fixed the Lumbricus Lid not playing the correct sound during the Grenade taunt kill.

September 30, 2010 Patch (Mann-Conomy Update)

  • [Undocumented] Self-damage for the Grenade taunt kill has been increased to 320, which prevents Soldiers from surviving the taunt when overhealed normally.

January 7, 2011 Patch

  • The Lumbricus Lid's Grenade taunt kill received a unique kill icon.

February 3, 2011 Patch

  • Updated model with optimizations and new LODs.

February 14, 2011 Patch

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

February 22, 2011 Patch

April 14, 2011 Patch (Hatless Update)

  • Tuned high-end damage range so it's no longer possible to one-shot certain classes.
  • Suppress the Medic call effect while active.

May 5, 2011 Patch (Replay Update)

  • [Undocumented] Added a voice response for the Grenade taunt kill.

October 25, 2011 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Added Strange quality.

June 27, 2012 Patch (Pyromania Update)

  • Removed player move speed modification and added it to the Escape Plan.
  • All owners of the Equalizer will be automatically granted the Escape Plan.
  • [Undocumented] Updated backpack icon and model (old ones were given to the Escape Plan)

July 5, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed not seeing team colors on the sleeves for the Equalizer and the Escape Plan.

July 5, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed the Crusader's Crossbow healing teammates with the Equalizer or the Escape Plan deployed.

October 29, 2013 Patch

  • Strange Part: Kills While Ubercharged can no longer be applied to Strange Equalizers and Escape Plans

November 12, 2013 Patch

July 2, 2015 Patch #1 (Gun Mettle Update)

  • Changed attribute:
    • Changed no healing penalty to 90% less healing from Medics while active.


  • Based on the hidden Poopy Joe page on the WAR! Update, the Equalizer was originally a pickaxe issued to American Monkeynaut Poopy Joe for him to "pierce the Vault of Heaven itself" before it was acquired by Mann Co. in entirely innocent circumstances.
    • The quoted promotional text references a line spoken by the Japanese mecha anime Gurren Lagann character Kamina to his blood brother Simon to use his drill to pierce the vault of heaven.
  • Before becoming an official weapon, the Equalizer was first conceived by community members Tom Francis and Jibberish. These users were to receive a unique version of the weapon, called "The Great Equalizer"[1], but currently they are both labeled "Community Equalizer".
    • Other promotional text (and meme) "Get close enough to death, and you will become Death himself." summarizes the equalizing effect of the weapon, that the Soldier becomes deadlier the closer he gets to death, death being the "The Great Equalizer"[2]


See also

External links