Team Fortress 2 Demoman Weapons Guide

Make use of this detailed guide, which breaks down the pros and cons of all weapons at the disposal of Demoman. Demoman likely has the most balanced pool of weapons in Team Fortress 2, making it difficult to evaluate how they perform in comparison to each other.

Team Fortress 2 Demoman Weapons Guide

Demoman is capable of more overall damage than any other class in Team Fortress 2, through his explosive weapons splash damage. This power comes at a cost, his playstyle is fairly unique and requires a good amount of effort and practice. However, with the number of weapons at his disposal, there are many potential playstyles for this powerful class. Learn the ins and outs of each weapon available. Each of these playstyles comes with its own pros and cons, and many of these can be recognized by simply evaluating the weapons being used. Ultimately, a traditional Demoman, Demoknight, a Quickie Demosniper, or even a Hybrid Demoknight could all be viable playstyles depending on what playstyle you are most suited to. 

Demoman’s Primary Weapons

Stock Grenade Launcher

The Demoman likely has the most balanced pool of primary weapons in Team Fortress 2 at their current state. The Loch n Load and Loose Cannon do see slightly less play than Stock and the Iron Bomber, but they are all popular options that offer differing playstyles. 

The Stock Grenade Launcher is extremely powerful in terms of overall damage, although it does take more effort to do direct hit damage with this in comparison to all other Demoman primaries. But this effort is rewarded with killing power, and a Demoman that can hit all of his pipe bombs along with doing consistent splash damage from his Stickybomb Launcher will do more damage than any other class. Dealing 100 damage on a direct hit and 22-64 damage after rolling/bouncing and exploding, it is nearly as powerful as a Rocket Launcher. But the difficulty of hitting direct pipes (grenades) is why this is generally a spammy or last-resort weapon to use after using the Stickybomb Launcher. It is more consistent at extremely close range than the Stickybomb Launcher due to the delay in detonating stickies. 

Iron Bomber

The Iron Bomber used to be a bit different in comparison to the stock Grenade Launcher, but after the recent nerf/bug fix, it is very similar. The Iron Bomber’s grenades do not roll or bounce but instead, hardly move after landing. This makes receiving splash damage after missing a direct hit easier because stock grenades have a tendency to bounce and roll far from their target before exploding. Additionally, these grenades have a 30% shorter fuse before exploding. The downside to the Iron Bomber is a 15% reduced explosion radius, which reduces splash damage for missed grenades. Direct hits still do 100 damage, but splash damage is reduced even at the center of the explosion if there is no direct hit. These stats are noticeably different than the Iron Bomber on launch, which had an even smaller explosion radius and dealt 10% less damage from grenades that explode due to timer.

Promotional material released for the Smissmas 2014 update. Note that these stats are no longer accurate.

Promotional material released for the Smissmas 2014 update. Note that these stats are no longer accurate.

Loose Cannon

The Loose Cannon is the unusual option for Demoman that adds a bit of flair and entertainment value but is still very damaging in the hands of someone who has mastered its unique mechanics. He fires cannonballs that explode after 1 second, and they can be primed in the barrel before firing to trigger the explosion earlier (by holding down fire and releasing to shoot). Holding down for an entire second will cause a misfire and deal 63 to 74 self-damage. The cannonballs have the stat of moving 20% faster than the normal grenades, but due to their increased size, they end up moving at about the same speed. The cannonballs do not explode on impact and instead deal damage and knock the player back, continuing to bounce around and hit anything in its path before its fuse explodes.

If the cannonball is primed correctly so that it explodes within a half second of impacting an enemy, the explosive damage will do mini-crits to the impacted enemy and ignore damage falloff, meaning the damage from a Double Donk will almost always be 131 damage. This is not a very easy feat, but if it can be mastered you have the ability to one-shot light classes and juggle/disorient other classes, leaving them with very little health as well. While on paper this could be considered stronger than stock, without mastering the timing of the Double Donk, you will be doing a bit weaker damage with the upside of greater knockback/crowd control. 


The Loch-n-Load is the sniper of the Demoman primaries, firing grenades that fly 25% faster and consequently further as well. These aerodynamic grenades also deal an additional 20% damage to enemy buildings. These grenades will explode if they hit an enemy or enemy building, or their fuse expires. But if they hit anything else they will shatter and do 0 damage. They have a reduced blast radius of 25%, but this is a relatively minor downside as you need to do a direct to hit your main target. 3 grenades are held per clip instead of 4. These grenades deal 100 damage on a hit with an enemy, and 120 damage against a building on a direct hit. 

Promotional material released for the Australian Christmas update of 2010. This marked the release of many Demoman items, including the Loch-n-Load.

Promotional material released for the Australian Christmas update of 2010. This marked the release of many Demoman items, including the Loch-n-Load.

Ali Baba’s Wee Booties/Bootlegger

The Booties remove your primary weapon, but increase movement speed if you’re holding a shield, increases turning control by 200% with a shield, and increase max health by 25. Keep in mind the turning control is mostly unchanged with the Tide Turner, making it not required for movement. Melee kills result in a 25% shield charge recovery and the maximum possible overheal is increased to 300 health. This does make Demoknight a lot more tanky and increases survivability, but you are limited to only melee weapons. This makes it much more difficult to take down opponents who are aware of this. However, the Shin Shredders hide the Bootlegger/Ali Baba’s Wee Booties, which will make your enemies think you may be holding a grenade launcher as well.

The current stats of the Ali Baba's Wee Booties and the Bootlegger, which function identically.

The current stats of Ali Baba’s Wee Booties and the Bootlegger, which function identically.

Secondary Weapons

Demoman’s Stickybomb Launcher, Strongest Explosive Weapons Damage in Team Fortress 2

The Stock Stickybomb Launcher has long been considered the staple of the Demoman’s damage, and ultimately the reason why he is able to do the most damage of all classes. Stickies (sticky bomb grenades) are king when it comes to splash-damage, and doing a large amount of total damage is done fastest by lobbing splash damage at clusters of enemies. Stickies can be detonated 0.7 seconds after firing and can be fired every 0.6 seconds. 8 stickies can be placed at a time, and additional stickies will explode the earliest placed stickies to maintain only 8 existing at once. The center of the explosion deals 120 damage and has a radius of about 6ft. Stickies detonated within 5 seconds of firing deal reduced damage, based on the distance between the target and the center of the explosion.

However, stickies detonated after 5 seconds deal 120 damage to all targets within the radius of the explosion, regardless of distance. This is why pre-laid sticky traps seem to be more damaging than sticky spam. Maintaining a distance between yourself and your enemy is essential because for sticky spam your most effective range is medium. Once they enter close range you will most likely die without killing.

Quickiebomb Launcher

The Quickiebomb Launcher is the first alternative to the Stickybomb Launcher that is actually comparable in terms of killing power but in different ways. What it loses in overall damage, it gains effective range. The regular Stickybomb Launcher can be charged to shoot bombs further, but it takes a while to charge up, 4 seconds for the max charge. The Quickiebomb Launcher charges up to max in only about 1.2 seconds and can be fired every 0.5 seconds, 0.2 seconds faster than stock. The more charged up the Quickiebomb Launcher stickies are, the more damage they do, up to 35% more at full charge. This is a new form of gameplay for the Demoman, which is effectively “sticky sniping”.

Charged stickies retain their damage buff, allowing for even more powerful sticky bomb traps. The downside for this weapon is 15% less damage and a clip of only 4 stickies. However, it can still have 8 stickies out at a time. As an additional upside, the Quickiebomb Launcher can destroy enemy stickies. This is a side grade with insane potential once one has mastered its entirely unique mechanics, much like the Loose Cannon. This playstyle allows Demoman to do approximately 100 damage over great range, provided you land the extremely fast sticky bomb near the enemy. Consecutive shots can be fired every 0.5 seconds, and charge up after 1.2 seconds, making Demoman a fast splash-damage Sniper. YouTuber FishStickOnAStick has a video made in appreciation for the Quickiebomb Launcher, and his clips show just how powerful it can be both at close, medium, and long range.

[TF2] I Adore The Quickiebomb Launcher

Splendid Screen

The Splendid Screen is generally considered the most powerful shield at Demoknight’s disposal, ultimately due to the damage it brings to the table. There is bash damage and a melee damage boost on a successful bash, which both scales based on the distance charged. Damage also scales based on heads collected by the head-collecting melee weapons (Eyelander, Horseless Headless Horsemann’s Headtaker, or Nessie’s Nine Iron). Damage increases by 8.5 per head, capping at 5 heads to deal a total of 128 damage. This is enough to one-hit a light class.

With 5 heads, the Chargin’ Targe only deals 75 damage per bash. The Splendid Screen can charge again after an 8-second cooldown. As a downside to the stronger offensive power, it has less defensive resistance in comparison to the Chargin’ Targe. The Splendid Screen is limited to only 20% explosive resistance and 20% fire resistance. Although it is worth noting that charging will remove the fire debuff, along with Jarate, bleeding, and Mad Milk.

Chargin’ Targe

The Chargin’ Targe is considered generally weaker than the Splendid Screen. While it does have more defensive bonuses, it is very weak in improving damage. When charging, this shield also removes debuffs. It has 50% fire resistance and 30% explosive resistance. Ultimately, since most fire damage can be avoided by charging, the main added resistance is a measly additional 10% explosive damage. The Chargin’ Targe has a 12-second cooldown, 4 seconds longer than the Splendid Screen. The reduced overall damage and also a significantly shorter window of time for guaranteed crit results in a lot less killing power.

Tide Turner

The Tide Turner is likely the least popular shield for Demoknights, but it does have its own effective niche. Charging is the easiest with the Tide Turner, which offers full turning control. Charging damage is identical to the Chargin’ Targe, scaling at the same rate from heads collected. Melee damage after the charge is also scaled based on the length of the charge, just like the other shields. The Tide Turner has the least defensive bonuses, with only 15% fire resistance and 15% explosive resistance, and taking damage while charging reduces the length of the charge. However, melee kills recharge 75% of the charging meter. While 12 seconds is required to ready your charge after use, a kill reduces the cooldown by 8 seconds. 

Current in-game stats of the three shields available for use by Demoman.

Current in-game stats of the three shields available for use by Demoman.

Sticky Jumper

The Sticky Jumper is the Demoman’s version of the Rocket Jumper, which deals no damage and is used entirely for movement. However, it has been nerfed to only allow a maximum of 2 stickies out at a time. Previously, you could detonate all 8 stickies under yourself to fly at the speed of sound and hit the opposite corner of the map in a single frame. Now, you must actually sticky jump in a manner comparable to actual sticky jumping, because jumping with any more than 2 real stickies would probably result in death. With some effort, jumping behind the enemy is still very possible and not much harder. But without the Market Gardener or even Manntreads, Demoman has little incentive for these shenanigans. The Caber used to somewhat fit this niche, but it no longer has the killing power.

Scottish Resistance

The Scottish Resistance is an unusual sticky bomb launcher that has a greater focus on defensive play and creating traps. In the hands of a practiced Demoman, it can do significant damage, but it cannot be used for reactive spamming. With a priming time 0.8 seconds longer, it takes an entire 1.5 seconds before detonation. It also has the stat of destroying enemy stickies.

With the ability to detonate traps individually, this launcher seems to have a very large amount of damage potential. However, the inability to react to your opponents by firing directly at them is a very large detriment. Even with good prediction skills, 1.5 seconds is enough time for your opponent to leave the radius of the explosion. This leaves you with two options, creating hidden traps or trapping your opponent after they push into you, preventing their retreat. Most players retreat unconsciously after a failed push, and even if they do see your stickies, they must now decide between staying and fighting or risking death to splash damage. This type of pre-emptive sticky spam is actually suited to the Scottish Resistance because, despite the increased priming time, it has a 25% faster firing rate, a 50% larger ammo reserve, and a total active sticky capacity of 14 as opposed to 8.

Promotional material released for the War! update.

Promotional material released for the War! update.

Melee Weapons

Eyelander/Horseless Headless Horsemann’s Headtaker/Nessie’s Nine Iron

The top of the board would be the head collectors, which scale your max health and damage based on heads collected in a single life, capping at 4 heads. While your max health is reduced by 25 health, a single head adds 15 health and an 8% movement speed increase. This results in 210 total health and a 32% speed increase, which is just a little bit slower than a Scout. If you desire Scout’s speed as opposed to Demoman’s, check out another one of our articles also evaluating Team Fortress 2 weapons. These weapons, along with most Demoknight weapons, have random crits disabled so that you have to earn crits with your shields. This is a bit important as melee is often used as a last-resort panic weapon for most classes, and consequently, the random crit chance for melee attacks is significantly higher than any other weapon type. 

The Eyelander's first appearance, from the War! comic released in anticipation of the 2009 update.

The Eyelander’s first appearance, from the War! comic released in anticipation of the 2009 update.

Scotsman’s Skullcutter

The other powerful melee at Demoknight’s disposal is the Scotsman’s Skullcutter. This weapon is a bit busted, and likely due to a technical oversight. This is the only melee weapon made for Demoknight (a Demoman melee with extended reach) that has random crits enabled. As previously stated, the odds of achieving a random melee crit is significantly higher than any other type of random crit. So for Demoknight to get crits, you must time your bash correctly. That is true, with the exception of this weapon.

When this weapon is active, speed is lowered by 15%. Additionally, it has a 75% slower deploy and holster time, a 50% increased range (the standard range for all Demoknight melees), and a 20% damage increase. This damage increase is pretty inconsequential for the most part, but the inclusion of random crits is truly ridiculous. Random crit chance also increases based on overall damage in a single life, so after a few kills, you will be throwing critical swings very often. Putting this weapon in a server with disabled random crits removes its largest upside, which is why weapon stats that focus on random crits are considered a divider in the community. 


Half-Zatoichi is a strong weapon for Demoknight and also a somewhat reliable option for a regular Demoman loadout if you are seeking a bit more healing/sustainability. While it is weaker than a boosted-up Eyelander, the Half-Zatoichi has the potential to win fights by out-healing an Eyelander by eating up nearby opponents for health. It has the same range as the other swords, along with the 75% slower deploy and holster time that the other swords have. However, after drawing this sword, you deal 50 damage to yourself for holstering it if you have not gotten a kill with it since drawing it. If holstering it would kill you, you are unable to holster it until you have at least 51 health. Upon getting a kill, you receive 50% of your base health instantly. When fighting someone else with the Half-Zatoichi, the first person to land a hit instantly kills the other. This is both an upside and a downside, but it is fun.

Claidheamh Mòr

The Claidheamh Mòr is the weapon of choice for those who like to charge. Melee kills recharge 25% of your charge meter (yes, this in conjunction with the Tide Turner will instantly refill your charge meter on kill). Your charge length is also increased by 0.5 seconds, bringing it to 2 seconds. The main considerable downside to the Claidheamh Mòr is a 15% increase in all damage received. But those who want to charge as far and as often as possible will happily take this minor downside, making it a relatively popular Demoknight weapon. 

Persian Persuader

The Persian Persuader is the charging Demoknight’s alternative to the Claidheamh Mòr which provides the ability to charge perhaps even more often, although not as far. On hitting an enemy, you receive 20% charge, and the ammo picked up fills up your charge meter. This allows you to charge pretty often, provided the battlefield is littered with ammo boxes atop corpses. Note that the range of this weapon is the same as his other swords, despite the fact that it appears to be slightly shorter.

The main downside to this sword is that you are almost completely unable to use any type of grenade or sticky launcher with it. Picked-up ammo does not fill your actual ammo reserves unless you have a full charge. Additionally, your max primary and secondary ammo are reduced by 80%. So do not expect to use your primary or secondary weapons very often with this equipped, you are almost entirely forced to commit to a Demoknight playstyle. Fun fact, the Persian Persuader has a depiction of the Loch Ness Monster’s head on the hilt of the sword.

The Persian Persuader weapon model alongside the famous photograph of the Loch Ness Monster. Can you see the resemblance?

The Persian Persuader weapon model alongside the famous photograph of the Loch Ness Monster. Can you see the resemblance?

Stock Bottle

The Bottle sits just below these options, as it excels at nothing but still maintains the standard of doing 65 damage and has the ability to random crit. If you desire a weapon that deploys and sheathes at regular speed, this is actually your only option other than the Pain Train. Despite this, many traditional Demoman loadouts run swords because they need stronger protection at close range as a last resort.

Pain Train

The Pain Train is the only other option that can be deployed quickly and has the same damage stats as the Bottle as well. You are given the gigantic downside of taking 10% more bullet damage, the fastest and most common type of damage in Team Fortress 2. The upside is a faster cap rate, which can indeed be a game-winning factor on Capture Point maps. However, flying in like a maniac to try and save the capture point is a job better suited to Soldier, which is why this incredibly risky weapon is a little better in his hands. Still, a dedicated team player is always able to take this up on either class and take on 10% more damage from bullets in order to have a larger impact on objectives. If your team has a combined 9 snipers and spies who do not want to get too close to the objective, consider the Pain Train in order to make up for the dead weight. 

Ullapool Caber

The Ullapool Caber used to truly be a drunk man’s Market Gardener, still able to one-hit opponents even after missing the falling melee attack. In order to make up for this power, it only has one use unless you return to the resupply cabinet. The explosion used to do an insane amount of damage. Now, it deals 130 damage. 55 of that damage is from the hit itself, and 75 is from the explosion. However, it does function as a normal explosion, and damage will vary depending on which part of the body is hit. If the hit is placed perfectly (and blessed by the RNG gods) you can receive up to 83 explosive damage, bringing it up to 138 damage. This is unfortunately only enough to one-shot light classes, and this is still a somewhat difficult objective. Due to how the damage ramp-up bonus was reduced as well, it is often not enough to deal 125 damage depending on your placement of the attack.

Before the 2015 nerf, the explosive damage was much greater and the base damage was 75 as opposed to 55. The Ullapool Caber was nerfed about as badly as the Sandman, changing it from a very powerful option to an almost entirely unused option.

Promotional material showcasing the Ullapool Caber from the Australian Christmas update.

Promotional material showcasing the Ullapool Caber from the Australian Christmas update.

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