How to Use a Pickaxe

Have you ever been curious about learning how to use a pickaxe? We’ve all heard the stories of miners using them to break through hard rocks and build tunnels deep underground, but have you ever stopped to wonder how they do it? Well, look no further!

How to Use a Pickaxe

If you’re ready to try pickaxe, here are the basics. The first thing to remember is that safety comes first.

In this post, we’ll introduce the basics of using a pickaxe and cover topics such as its construction, proper handling techniques, safety measures, and more. Whether you are looking for some information or want help acquiring the skills needed to effectively wield your new tool – by the end of this blog post, you will be an old pro with your trusty pickaxe. So read on, and let’s get started!

What Will You Need?

Before you can start pickaxe use, you’ll need to ensure you have the right equipment. These are given below:

  1. A pickaxe
  2. Protective clothing, such as a hard hat and safety goggles
  3. Work gloves
  4. Steel-toed boots
  5. And any other safety gear you may need depending on the environment you’ll be working in

You’re ready to begin once you’ve acquired all the necessary items!

10 Easy Steps on How to Use a Pickaxe

Step 1: Get in Position

The initial step in using a pickaxe involves positioning your body correctly. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart for stability. Your body should be aligned with the area you aim to strike. This stance sets the groundwork for your swing and ensures you have a solid footing to prevent any accidents.

Step 2: Grip the Pickaxe

To grip the pickaxe, extend your dominant hand towards the base of the handle while your other hand should be near the top, close to the head of the pickaxe. Ensure your grip is firm yet relaxed to allow for flexibility during the swing. Remember, the power of your swing is not just from your arms but from your entire body, so a good grip will help you control the pickaxe effectively.

Step 3: Swing the Pickaxe

To swing the pickaxe, raise it above your head, keeping your arms straight and your eyes on the spot you intend to hit. Use your body’s force and gravity to force the pickaxe down forcefully. It’s important to control your swing to avoid unnecessary strain or potential injury. Always remember to keep your joints relaxed to absorb the shock of the impact and prevent jarring.

Force the Pickaxe Down Forcefully

Step 4: Remove the Pickaxe

After the pickaxe has made an impact and penetrated the ground, your next move is to remove it. If the pickaxe is stuck, avoid yanking it out directly, which can cause injury. Instead, wiggle the handle slowly back and forth while pulling upwards until the pickaxe is freed. It’s important to take your time with this step to prevent straining your muscles or causing damage to the tool.

Step 5: Keep a Firm Grip

After the pickaxe is removed, keep your grip firmly in place. This will help maintain control of the tool and ensure it doesn’t slip out of your hand unexpectedly. If you need to set down the pickaxe, ensure it’s done safely with its pointed end away from yourself and others.

Step 6: Check the Pickaxe

It’s important to check your pickaxe after each use. Inspect it for any visible damage or cracks in the head and handle. If there are any signs of wear and tear, replace the parts so it can be used safely again. Remember to give it a quick clean and oil to ensure that its performance is optimal.

Step 7: Store the Pickaxe Safely

When you’ve finished your work, make sure that you store the pickaxe properly. Avoid leaving it in direct sunlight or wet areas, as this can cause rusting and other damage. You should also hang it up somewhere safe where it won’t cause any accidents.

Step 8: Practice with the Pickaxe

Once you have the basics of using a pickaxe down, practice your technique regularly for maximum efficiency. The more frequently you do this, the quicker and smoother your strokes will become — allowing you to get through tough jobs quickly! Don’t forget to practice safety measures as well!

Basics of Using a Pickaxe Down

Step 9: Find A Mentor

If you’re serious about learning how to use a pickaxe, finding a mentor can be an invaluable experience. An experienced miner or handyman can answer any questions you have and provide tips on proper techniques that will help accelerate your progress. Additionally, they can provide insight into pickaxe use and advise on choosing the right tool for each job.

Step 10: Take Breaks

Using a pickaxe is hard work, so don’t forget to take proper breaks in between working. Make sure you give yourself enough time to rest and hydrate — this will help keep you energized and reduce the risk of fatigue-related accidents. Remember, safety comes first!

By following these steps, you can use a pickaxe confidently and effectively. It’s important to remember that practice makes perfect, so don’t give up if it seems overwhelming at first. With enough patience and dedication, you will become an experienced pickaxe user in no time!

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. When swinging the pickaxe, use a smooth rather than a jerking motion to ensure maximum efficiency.
  2. If you’re unsure of the material you are working with, use a smaller pickaxe head for better control and safety.
  3. To get the most out of your tool, ensure it is sharpened regularly and check for any wear and tear after every use.
  4. When chiseling rocks, use a back and forth motion rather than striking in one direction to prevent the pickaxe from getting stuck.
  5. Before you start your work, familiarize yourself with the area for potential hazards such as underground cables or gas pipes.
Use a Smaller Pickaxe Head

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on becoming an expert pickaxe user. As long as you keep safety and efficiency in mind, you can confidently complete any task!

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Don’t use a pickaxe with a broken or damaged head, handle, or other parts.
  2. Don’t strike too hard, as this can cause the pickaxe to break, resulting in potential injury.
  3. Avoid wearing loose clothing, which could get caught while swinging the pickaxe.
  4. Don’t forget to wear protective gear such as gloves and goggles when working with the pickaxe.
  5. Don’t use a pickaxe if you don’t feel comfortable or confident in your abilities.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you will be able to use a pickaxe with ease safely.

How Do You Sharpen a Pickaxe?

Sharpening your pickaxe regularly is an important part of proper pickaxe maintenance. It helps keep the blade and head in good condition for maximum performance. To sharpen the pickaxe, use a file or whetstone at a 45-degree angle to the blade.

Move slowly and steadily, sharpening both sides of the blade equally until it appears shiny and even. Once you are finished, wipe down the pickaxe head and inspect it for any signs of wear and tear.

Sharpening your pickaxe can seem intimidating at first, but with practice and patience, you’ll be able to master the skill in no time! Remember all safety instructions while sharpening your tool for optimal results.

Additionally, if you don’t feel comfortable sharpening the pickaxe alone, a professional sharpener or blacksmith can do it for you. This may cost more but will ensure the job is done properly and quickly.

By following these steps, you can use a pickaxe with maximum efficiency confidently.

How Do You Use a Pickaxe for Digging?

Using a pickaxe for digging is an effective way to break up hard soil and quickly remove large chunks of material. To start, you’ll need to select the right type of pickaxe for the job. A heavy-duty pickaxe with a wide head can penetrate even the toughest soils more easily for digging.

Using a Pickaxe for Digging

Once you’ve selected the right pickaxe, you’ll need to ensure that it is safely secured in your hands and use a steady swinging motion. Aim for flat surfaces rather than rounded ones, as this will help improve efficiency. Additionally, you should watch for any potential hazards, such as underground cables or pipes.

By following these steps, you can dig efficiently with your pickaxe. Remember to take breaks in between digging to give your arms a rest and stay safe!


Now that you’ve learned how to use a pickaxe, why not try it? You’ll be surprised by the number of tasks you can accomplish with this versatile tool. Few activities are as satisfying and therapeutic as using a pickaxe to shape and sculpt hard material or make headway through rough terrain. Plus, it’s a great workout for your muscles!

Remember that it is important to use safety glasses when using a pickaxe; safety should be your main priority. With all of these possibilities, there is no reason why you can’t use a pickaxe to take on any task or project. It could be just what you need to make major progress in whatever challenge lies ahead of you – so grab that pickaxe and get started!

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.

Leave a Comment