How to Make Axe Handle

Are you looking to make an axe handle yourself? It’s not as difficult as you may think! With the right materials, tools, and a bit of time, you can have your own customized axe handle in no time. Let’s get started on how to make one.

How to Make Axe Handle

Making your own axe handle is a great way to add a unique, rustic touch to any outdoorsy project. Whether you’re looking to replace the existing handle on an axe or want to create something special – like a walking stick made with decorative accents – crafting your own axe handle is not only achievable but can be surprisingly approachable and enjoyable.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the basics of how to make axe handle from scratch, including what materials are needed and tips for crafting one that will have lasting quality. So read on for more details about creating your very own functional art!

What Will You Need?

First, you’ll need to gather the supplies and materials necessary for making your axe handle. These include:

  1. A piece of hardwood, such as hickory.
  2. An axe head with a pre-drilled hole for the handle.
  3. Sandpaper and finishing products to smooth, seal, and protect all surfaces.
  4. Shaping tools such as chisels, rasps, and files.
  5. Drill with assorted bits for boring holes or enlarging existing ones.
  6. Glue, such as epoxy resin, to secure the handle in place.
  7. Hammer and saw for cutting wood to size and shape.

Once you have all your tools and supplies, you can start crafting your axe handle!

10 Easy Steps on How to Make Axe Handle

Step 1. Use the Saw

Start by cutting the hardwood of your choice to the desired size and shape. Be careful to ensure that your handle’s size and shape match your axe head’s specifications. Otherwise, your axe handle will be too loose or too tight and won’t work properly.

 Cutting the Hardwood of Choice to Shape

Step 2. Drill the Hole

Use the drill and bit to create a hole in the middle of your handle. This should be wide enough for your axe head to fit snugly but not so wide that it’s too loose or wobbly. If necessary, you can use chisels and rasps to widen or enlarge existing holes as needed.

Step 3. Shaping

Using shaping tools such as chisels, files, and rasps gives shape and character to the handle by duplicating its curves and details. Be sure to take breaks during this process to not tire yourself out! Because of how long this step can take, it’s best to approach it in stages if time permits.

Step 4. Sanding

Once all the curves have been made how you want them, use sandpaper or a power sander to smooth and finish the handle. This may take several passes with various grits of sandpaper, starting at the course (80-100 grit) and ending at fine (200-400 grit). Additionally, you can use a power sander with sandpaper of different grits to speed up the process.

Step 5. Glue

Once you’re satisfied with how your handle looks and feels, it’s time to glue the axe head in place. For this step, you’ll need epoxy resin or other strong adhesives approved for hardwood use. Be sure to follow all safety instructions and precautions when using these products.

Step 6. Fit the Axe Head

When your glue has dried, fit your axe head onto the handle. This should be snug but not too tight. Otherwise, it could cause the handle to crack or break.

When Your Glue Has Dried

Step 7. Hammer

Secure the axe head in place by gently tapping a hammer around the edges of the axle head and handle to ensure a tight fit. Pay extra attention near the hole you drilled, as this is usually where gaps can occur if not properly secured. If the fit is too tight or too loose, use a file to make adjustments.

Step 8. Finishing Touches

Using sandpaper, smooth out any rough edges that may have occurred during shaping or hammering your handle. Additionally, use finishing products such as oils and waxes to seal, protect and give your project an attractive finish. Don’t forget also to use a cloth to buff out the finish and make your finished handle shine!

Step 9. Test

Now it’s time to test how your handle works with the axe head. Make sure that it fits snugly and securely but can still be shifted and adjusted as needed. It will be helpful to practice using your axe before using it for larger tasks.

Step 10. Enjoy!

You’ve done a great job in creating your own axe handle! You should be proud of how far you’ve come and how much effort you put in. Now, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor by making use of your new creation.

By following these steps on making an axe handle, you can create a safe and durable tool that will last many years. Have fun and happy crafting!

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Choose the right type of wood for your handle. Hardwoods such as oak or hickory are strong and durable, making them ideal for axe handles, whereas softwoods like pine tend to be too weak and splinter easily.
  2. Cut the wood to size before you begin shaping it. Measure the length of your desired handle and mark it with a pencil, so you know how much of the wood needs to be cut off. Make sure to leave some extra length in case you need it later on in the process.
  3. Start by shaping one end of the handle into an eye shape that will fit snugly around your axe head when reassembled. Use a rasp or file to work away at this area until it fits snugly gradually.
  4. As you work your way down the handle, gradually taper it until it is about 4-5 cm in diameter at its narrowest point. Again, use a rasp or file to do this so as not to ruin the shape of the wood.
  5. Finally, sand off any rough edges and varnish or oil the handle to protect it from moisture and preserve its strength over time. Use a clear sealant or natural wood wax, depending on how much gloss you want your axe handle to have when finished.
Choose the Right Type
of Wood for Handle

With these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to craft a strong and sturdy axe handle that will last for years!

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Not using the right type of wood for your axe handle. Different woods have different levels of strength and durability, and you should choose one that can withstand the force generated when chopping.
  2. Not cutting the wood to the correct size and shape before shaping it into an axe handle. The axe handle must fit securely in your hands and be able to bear the weight of whatever object you are cutting.
  3. Forgetting to sand down any rough edges on the wood or any splinters before starting to shape it into an axe handle. These can cause discomfort while using an axe, so ensure they are smooth before continuing with construction.
  4. Neglecting to ensure all joints on the axe handle are securely connected with either screws or nails. Loose joints can lead to an unstable axe handle that may slip off during use and cause serious injury.
  5. Not applying a finish to the handle once it has been completed. A sealant will prevent moisture from seeping into the handle and protect it from any dirt and grime buildup.

Follow these tips when making an axe handle, and you’ll be sure to have a sturdy and safe tool that you can rely on for years to come!

What Wood is Best for Axe Handle?

The best type of wood for an axe handle is usually hickory, as it is both strong and durable. It also has a good shock-resistant quality, which will help to reduce the impact felt in your hands when cutting with an axe.

Ash and maple are other good woods to use, but hickory has been found to be superior in many tests. What’s more, hickory handles have a classic look that can add character to any tool or furniture piece.

Ash and Maple Are 
Good Woods to Use

No matter what wood you choose, ensure it is properly treated before using it for an axe handle!


Constructing an axe handle is a great way to get started in woodworking and test your abilities in craftsmanship and creativity. Not only can making the axe handle provide you with a sense of accomplishment, but it will also help to develop useful skills that can be applied to many different woodworking projects. Although good axe handles start with a solid foundation of knowledge and practice, they are easy enough for anyone to achieve success with.

With the right materials, tools, and supplies on hand, and some patience and dedication, you too can learn how to make a custom axe handle you can proudly display in your workshop or current project.

Hopefully, the article on how to make axe handle has given you the confidence and motivation to try your hand at creating one on your own. Good luck, and happy crafting!

Photo of author

Enrique Howard

Hi, I am Enrique. I started my professional life as a handyman and did a lot of external and internal repair of home and office with a little bit of electric and plumbing support. I have extensive experience in tools testing such as drilling, turning, milling, and non-conventional machining like EDM. So let me help you on your journey towards becoming an enlightened DIYer with amazing tools that you can use on your project.

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