How to Replace Axe Handle

Using an axe for a long time might lead the handle to break or some kind of damage. Since wood is not a very durable material, it is bound to go through some damage. Hence, if you use an axe more often, it is integral for you to know how to rehandle an axe.

You could easily make a handle on your own or replace it with another, which will help you immensely in using the axe more often without the fear of damaging it.

Buy a New Axe Handle

Most of the time, axes will have handles that are of the same size. You might be wondering how to replace the axe handle, especially on your own. You can either consider buying it or making or your own. However, if you are not familiar with the wooden handle’s workings, you might make a durable handle.

Even if you purchase the handle and find it difficult or uncomfortable to use it due to its size, you can quickly whittle the wood more. However, if you decide to replace your axe handle yourself, you might want to get hickory wood, which is of the best quality.

The Tools Needed

There are a few tools that are required to replace the handle. First off, you must have a wedge kit. This comes with many handles. Other than this kit, you will need a piece of wood, punch, and saw. The two most essential things are drill and sandpaper.

Get Rid of the Old Handle

It is essential to know how to replace the axe handle properly. You will have to remove the old handle by using the saw. The handle should be cut beneath the axehead. You can also use a hammer after that to remove the remaining parts. Moreover, the handle is a bit wider at the top, and this requires you to cut it from the bottom instead of the top.

Another method that would be very easy to remove the handle is with the help of electric drills. Drilling a hole can help you eliminate the pieces of wood without any difficulty.

After you remove most of the handle, you can also use the sandpaper that drills or hammers can’t take out. You might want to mark the top and bottom of the axehead so that you get the exact proportion of where you want to start drilling holes to remove the handle.

Install the New Handle

Before replacing the old handle, you will have to ensure that they are no remaining wooden pieces in the axehead so that the new one can easily be installed. The purchased handles do have ready-made kerf that allows you to fit it in the axe directly.

Most of the time, such handles have a cut in the middle that is easy to fit in the eye. You can mark the handle as well to get an approximation of where it starts and ends. Measuring the new handle, in general, is also very essential since sometimes it might be bigger or smaller than the eye of the axe.

The handle should be installed with your hand first since using other tools might not fit it in the proper place. Once you get the correct position of the handle in the axehead’s eye, you can use wood so that the handle reaches the bottom.

It is essential to note here that metal tools should be avoided while fitting the new handle. They might break the wooden materials of the handle; hence, using wood is the safest option.

Wedge the Handle

As mentioned above, the wedge is an integral tool required to fix the handle in the right place. After it has been fitted in the eye of the axe, you will have to ensure that it stays tight and is safe to use. Wedging it will provide more assurance and is a very crucial step.

This is done especially if the new handle does not have a wedge. You can make your own with the help of a chisel or saw.

The wedge should not be of a different size than the eye of the axehead. If it is wide, it is necessary to remove it. Moreover, if the handle is also too big, you will have to make it smaller and narrower. You will have to know the measurements of the wedge and the eye as well.

You can keep the wedge to the head and fit it in the same depth that you require. Then, you can remove the handle following the wedge’s length, but it should be shorter.

The wedge should have perfect positioning so that it remains firm throughout. If there is any weakness while fitting in the wedge, it might not be safe to use the handle with the axe. You can also use glue that works with wood so that it is fixed well in the eye.

Lastly, you can use a steel wedge to finish up the handle’s fitting. Using a round one will allow the wood to come out from every direction and safer to use. The steel wedge should be driven right through the new handle for a firmer grip.

Final Steps

You will have to make sure that there aren’t any gaps or holes in the handle and the axehead’s eye. If there are a few gaps, you should be able to fix them with wood glue. Other than that, you can use various oil so that the handle is given a few finishing touches.

Hemp oil or tung can be used to coat the handle. Some people also tend to rub the handles with mineral oil.


These steps will quickly help you to know how to rehandle an axe. If you take note of the necessary tools and steps and follow them, there will be no problem replacing the handle.

Some people might find it challenging to do so, but if you do follow the steps precisely, the task is as easy as it can be.

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