How to Replace the Handle of an Axe

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If your axe handle breaks, it's not difficult to replace and it's also less expensive than buying a new axe. When you replace the handle of an axe, it's important that the new handle fit properly to prevent injury to yourself and to those around you.

Things You'll Need

  • Broken axe
  • New axe handle
  • Vise
  • Wood rasp
  • Wood mallet
  • Bucket
  • Linseed oil or water
  • Wood wedge
  • Several metal wedges
  • Saw
  • Drill bit--either 1/4 inch or 3/8 inch
  • Drill
  • Punch
  • Remove the head of the axe. Secure it in a vice and drill several holes into the core of the axe handle. Make the holes using either a 1/4 inch or 3/8 inch drill bit. Drive the remaining wood from the axe core with a large punch.

  • Shape the end of the wooden handle to fit your axe head with a wood rasp.

  • Force the wooden handle into the axe head, but stop about ½ inch above the area where the axe handle widens.

  • Take off the axe head and use a saw to cut a slot across the wood at its longest point. This slot will be used to hold the needed wedges.

  • Hammer the handle back into the axe head with a wooden mallet.

  • Position a wooden wedge parallel to the slot, along the center line and a hammer it into the slot.

  • Place a metal wedge at a right angle to the wooden wedge in the handle. Hammer the metal wedge in completely, to hold the wooden wedge in place. Insert one or two more metal wedges in the same manner.

Tips & Warnings

  • Soak the axe head and the attached top of the handle in water or linseed oil for a day. This will not only preserve the wood, but also seal the new handle's fit.
  • In time if the handle should come loose, drive in an additional wedge to tighten the fit.
  • Don't remove too much wood from the end of the handle using the wood rasp or the axe head will not fit properly and will be too loose.
  • Use a wooden mallet to put the handle into the ax head, because using a metal hammer may damage the new axe handle.

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