Hooligan Tool vs Halligan Tool: Clearing the Confusion

Every firefighter’s friend is a hooligan or a halligan tool. Both tools are life-saving tools in emergency situations. 

However, one misconception that prevails with these tools is that many people think these are the same tool. Although, they have similar functionality the hooligan tool and the halligan tool is different from one another. 

So what’s the difference between, the hooligan tool vs halligan tool

The Halligan tool is made of one single piece of metal and the Hooligan tool has 3 specific parts assembled together. This build-structure makes the halligan bar set apart from the hooligan tool even though they are pretty much identical. The second factor is the size and weight of the tools. The third factor is the different uses of the tools. And finally the quality check of the tools. 

This is just a little sneak peek. To get the full picture and details regarding the hooligan and the halligan bear with us till the end. 

So, let’s not waste any time. Let’s dive right in. 

Busting the Myth: Are Halligan and Hooligan Tool the Same?

The terms ‘Halligan’ and ‘Hooligan’ are used interchangeably by firefighters and general people. These terms define a forced entry tool, which is almost a must-to-have for every fire department and every fireman. Along with other essential tools for firefighters.

However, it’s a common mistake people do. Despite their similarities, a Halligan and a Hooligan tool are different from each other. Unlike the comparison between new york hook and the pike pole, the difference between the hooligan and halligan is very subtle. 

Although the differences are almost negligible. Both tools are pretty solid for forced entry. Like using the Halligan tool for door entry. 

But how did the 2 tools intertwine? To know about that we need to take a little history lesson. 

Let’s roll back the years and take a trip to 1948. In 1948 the Fire Deputy Chief of the New York City Fire Department (F.D.N.Y) was Hugh Halligan. You can get the idea from this that it was named after this Fire Deputy Chief. 

But why? The reason is, he is the pioneer of this fireman’s tool. He was the person who designed this tool. Fire Deputy Chief Hugh Halligan saw a drawback between the Kelly Tool and the Claw Tool. 

Kelly and Claw tools were being used as forced entry tools back then. He got an idea from the 2 tools. He thought instead of carrying two separate tools firefighters can carry 1 single tool. Which would do the work of both. 

His idea was to combine the 2 tools together to make it a single tool. Hence, births the idea of the Halligan tool. A single tool that serves the purpose of both the Kelly tool and the Claw tool. 

This tool has a range of functions that we’ll discuss shortly. 

With time this tool was adopted by almost every fire department across the U.S.A. No matter what helmet you wear, be it bronx bend or boston bend. Every firefighter is trained to use this tool. 

The first mass manufacturer of the Halligan Tool was the K-Tool Co. Currently is mass manufactured by Fire Hooks Unlimited. 

Now, when there is a tool that is being used so widely must have competitors right? So, with time similar tools were made by other companies. And people mostly started calling those tools Hooligan tools. 

Then with time, the term Hooligan and Halligan were used to describe the similar-looking tool. The multipurpose forced entry tool. 

Hence, sure you’re looking for the original Halligan tools for sale. An authentic halligan tool is often called a pro bar halligan tool. 

The Hooligan Tool vs The Halligan Tool: Quick Comparison

As we mentioned earlier, these 2 tools are different from each other. Let’s take a glance at what aspects the tools differ in. 

Differentiating Factor Halligan Tool Hooligan Tool
Build 1 Piece Metal Multiple Pieces of Metal
Size and Wight 2 sizes 4 sizes
Use Different Different
Quality Usually Superior Usually Inferior


Now you get the idea of what sets a Hooligan and a Halligan tool apart. It’s time to move forward for a more in-depth analysis. 

The Hooligan Tool vs The Halligan Tool: In-Depth Analysis

In this segment, we’re going the discuss the differentiating factors in detail. This will give you a clear idea of how the 2 tools are different from each other. 

Here’s the in-depth analysis:

Differentiating Factor 1: Build

The primary differentiating factor is the build of the 2 tools. Although the tools look almost identical the way they are built is different. 

Halligan Tool’s Build:

The signature feature of the Halligan is that it is made with 1 single metal piece. There are no separate parts of halligan. 

How they make it is, they first take a cylindrical metal block. Then the block is heated to almost its melting point. 

When the rod is red hot then it is shaped into what we know as the Halligan Tool or the Halligan Bar or the tactical halligan tool. 

Equipment such as a sledgehammer and industrial press is used to shape the Halligan.

tactical halligan tool
Source: media.cdn.lexipol.com

Hooligan Tool’s Build:

The process of making the Hooligans’ tool is not so different. Different manufacturers make it differently. 

However, for making  Hooligan’s tool 3 separate pieces are made. Usually, the fork, shaft, and pick are made separately. Then it is joined together either using pins or they are welded together.

Hooligan Tool’s Build
Source: pacfire.com.au

Winner: Since the Halligan is made with a single metal piece the structure is much stronger. So in this category, the winner is the Halligan tool. 

Differentiating Factor 2: Size and Weight

Another major differentiating factor is their size and weight. And this category is very important. Because firefighters need to get an appropriate size and weight according to their individual needs.

Halligan Tool’s Size and Weight:

The size and weight of the tool vary on the process how it’s made and the materials used. As the manufacturers ofter offer customizable sizes so the size and shape could be different in different places of availability. 

The world-famous Halligan’s tool typically comes in 2 standard sizes. The first one is the 30-inch size Halligan tool. This one weighs about 10.5 pounds or 4.7 kg approximately 

And the second one is a bigger one. And its size is 36 inches weighing around 12 pounds or 5.4 kg approximately.

Hooligan’s Tool Size and Weight:

The Hooligan tool’s size and weight also depend on the manufacturer, material, and order requirement. Because it too can be made in customizable size and weight. 

The Hooligan tool generally comes in 4 standard sizes. The first one is the 24-inch one. Which weighs around 9.2 pounds or 4.2 kg approximately. The second one is the 30-inch variation. This one weighs about 10.5 pounds or 4.8 kg approximately. 

The third variation comes in 36 inches in size. This one weighs around 11.9 pounds or 5.4 kgs approximately. And finally, the fourth one comes in 42 inches in size. It weighs around 13.2 pounds or 6.0 kg. 

Winner: In this category, the winner is the Hooligan’s Tool. Mostly because it comes in more variations than Halligan’s tool. 

Differentiating Factor 3: Uses

The halligan tool uses is also a significant category. This category depends a lot on the previous category. Because both tools are made for the same use. Which is a forcible entry. 

Firefighters use this tool in emergency situations for example fire in the car. This tool is used for breaching walls, doors, and other obstacles made of metal, wood, concrete, etc. 

Since the use of both tools is same, it’s difficult to differentiate the two.

However, one aspect that can set the tools apart is their size. Since the Hooligan’s tool can is available in smaller versions compared to the Halligan’s so it can be more useful. 

There could often arise situations in an emergency where you might need a smaller version of the tool. 

Winner: Hooligan’s tool because of its smaller size availability. 

Differentiating Factor 4: Quality

Well, it’s difficult to focus on the quality aspect. Because different manufacturers use different materials to make it. Including titanium, beryllium copper, or stainless steel.

Besides, the making process is also different. 

Although, one thing that can set it apart is how it’s built. Since Halligan’s tool is made of 1 solid metal it is more stronger and durable. 

Comparing it to the hooligan’s tool, this one could have hollow spaces in it. Because the fork, shaft, and pick are manufactured differently. Then welded together or pinned together. Which could create hollow spaces. 

Youtube video: 


Winner: So compared to the Hooligan’s tool, the Halligan’s quality of superior. 

Final Verdict

There is no clear winner between the two. However, firefighters and fire departments all around the U.S.A. use Halligan’s tool more. It’s mostly because of its build and superior quality. 

So, if you’re going for the build and quality then Halligan’s tool should be your go-to. 

However, if you’re looking for a smaller version of Halligan’s tool then the hooligan it the one to go for. In this regard, it could prove to be more useful in particular situations. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions for you. 

Do you need to clean and maintain the Halligan tool?

Yes, you need to regularly clean and maintain your Halligan tool. Because proper maintenance will increase its shelf life of it. In order to maintain it, it’s necessary to clean the dirt and debris off of it after every use. And in order to prevent rust you should oil it regularly.

Is it important to grip the handle properly while using the Halligan tool?

Yes, it is of utmost importance to grip the handle properly while using the Halligan tool. Depending on the work, hold the tool with both hands. One hand should be on the handle. And the other hand should be on the forked end or the adze end. Without proper griping, you’d be prone to accidents.

Is there any safety precaution that should be followed before using the Halligan tool?

Yes, there are safety precautions you should follow before using the Halligan tool. Should wear  personal safety equipment, such as gloves and eye protection operating the tool. In order to prevent injury from flying debris. In order to prevent unintentional accidents, should keep a safe distance.


Hopefully, by now you should know the difference between hooligan tool vs. halligan tool.

Hope this article could help you decide on a better tool for you. Well, that’ll be all for our reasoning. 

Now it’s time to use your reasoning the buy the one you prefer. 

Until next time!