How to Replace an Axe Handle Like a Pro: Within 8 Steps

Replace axe handle like a pro
June 12, 2023

The axe is one of the implements made up of sharp-edged iron fixed in a wooden handle used for chopping, shaping, and splitting wood and trees. It is also used in harvesting timbers for daily life purposes

The wooden handle is an essential part of an axe fitted into the sharp wedged metal head at the top. It acts as a third-class lever, where the user’s shoulder acts as Fulcrum, and the effort is applied by swinging the axe handle. So, the length of the axe handle is the effort distance, and it decreases the amount of force to be exerted by magnifying the applied force. Thus the axe handle is the force multiplier that makes splitting the wood and timber quicker and easier. However, a too long axe handle is difficult to control as it can’t absorb the impact after hitting the target.

The most commonly used material for preparing the axe handle is Hickory and Ash. Some may also use Oak and Maple. Currently, Fibre-glass is also popular due to its high shock-absorbing capacity. The material of the handle also determines the ease of grip and efficiency of the axe. So, it’s essential to choose the material for the handle wisely to ensure durability and comfort to the user’s hand. The handle contracts and shrinks on exposure to very high or low temperatures. The moisture also makes the handle get swollen. Thus, you should give proper care and protect the handle from extreme environmental conditions.

The workability and efficiency of the axe starts decreasing when the cracking, swelling splitting of the handle itself occurs. Sometimes, you may hit the metal or concrete surface, missing the target. It produces a lot of shocks that the handle couldn’t bear, and then cracks or splits. The continuous exposure to extreme conditions also makes the handle slippery, very rough and challenging to grip. In those situations, replacing the axe handle will be a wise and intelligent decision to make. You should be well aware of the steps to change the old handle to a new hand. It will be a lot easier if you have the backups for the materials of the axe handle beforehand. You can then change the handle of your instrument in no time.

Thinking about how to start the process?
No worries! In this article, we’ll be guiding you throughout the process with the very simple and easy steps for replacing the handle of the axe. Stay tuned till the end. We’re here to familiarise you with the problem and its solution to the problem you may face while using the tool.

Materials/Tools required

Saw or trimming machine, Sandpaper, Mallet hammer, Linseed oil, wooden rasp or file, wooden and metal wedges.

Steps of Replacing Axe Handle

Here are a few steps to replace your axe handle with a new one:

If you have wooden material as a block, you should first trim it to the shape and size of the handle you want. You can put the old handle on its top, mark the boundary with a pencil and then trim it using an automatic wood trimmer or saw. After getting the shape, you should again mark the top for its required width in between the hole of the axe head.

1. Now, slip the handle to the axe head to see how it fits. Remember not to bang the axe on the table, it causes the wood to split. What you’re gonna do is, get your mallets, hold the axe off the ground, and you hit the end of it.

2. After checking the seating of the handle, use sandpaper to the area with slick to get your handle seat properly. Repeat this process until you get the head to sit on your desired length.

3. Check if your wedge fits the handle width and trim it to make it as wide as the handle if it doesn’t.

4. Make a slot in the middle of the top of the handle to fit in the wedge. Use the diluted linseed oil on both the handle and the wedge to increase its adhesion and lubrication. You can wrap up the handle with a cloth or old bicycle rubber to protect the handle in the vise from the clamp’s jaws.

5. Open up the slot in the handle with the flat screwdriver, insert the wedge in, and now grab your mallet to tap it in. The wedge may split, but you should focus on driving it in there.

6. After getting the wedge inside, mark the extra portion above the axe head and trim it off.

7. Take the metal edge, make a little cut, and tap it in with a heavier hammer to insert it in.

8. The final step is sanding the handle to get the grains in position and coating the handle with linseed oil to seal the grain and protect the handle.

Where to get an Axe Handle?

You can get the axe handle from your nearby hardware and suppliers offline. You can also order the handles with the best quality online through different online shopping platforms like Amazon, Walmart, eBay, etc., by comparing their prices, quality, and general reviews.

Features of a Good Axe Handle

Though new or replaced, an axe handle should possess the following features to be called reasonable:

    • The quality of the wooden material is the primary characteristic of a good handle. So, you should always choose excellent quality material.
    • The fitting of the axe head to the handle should be firm and secure, and the gap perfectly covered by wedges.
    • The handle should be durable with a comfortable grip.
    • The length of the handle should be appropriate for the purpose it is designed for.
    • The handle should have good shock-absorbing capacity.

Can You Replace an Axe Handle By Yourself?

Yes, Replacing an axe isn’t a complicated process. You need some essential tools and quality wooden material. But one should use sharp instruments and wedges while replacing them, which adds to the potential risk of injury and wounds. So, you should follow all safety precautions, such as wearing protective gloves and eye goggles while trimming the wood to prevent injury. You can also get familiarised by watching the tutorial videos before starting the process. We can thus replace the axe by ourselves if we are well aware and skilled in using those necessary tools and handling the sharp metal head safely.

Final Verdict

Reading those simple steps, you may have already mastered the idea of replacing the axe handle in your mind. It may get a little hard to handle those tools for beginners, but as you go on, working with wood is fun and exciting. You will definitely enjoy the process and the satisfaction gained from it.