Your axe may have the best sharpness, but when the handle is not comfortable or broken, you won’t be able to perform accurately. That is why sometimes you need to replace the handle for smoothness in the work. It is not a tough job if you know how to replace an axe handle. This article is going to share the detailed process that anybody could follow.
We have divided the process into multiple steps so that you can easily understand what to do and what not to. Just follow each step and complete the task.
Why Replace Axe Handle?
Axe handle used to come in wooden material. Like any other object, wood also has a particular life. Especially when you are using the axe regularly, wood will get damaged. As a result, it could either break down or become rough which is tough to hold. On the other hand, you may have purchased an axe and you have found the handle doesn’t fit your palm. For instance, a bushcraft axe handle must have to be comfortable for perfection in work. In such cases, changing the handle is mandatory.
How to Change Axe Handle?
Before you start the changing process, you need to gather all the essential tools so that you can do it in the right way. The tools you need are –
- Wedge kit
As mentioned earlier, you need to follow some particular steps to replace the old handle. Here are the things to do –
Step 1: Find the Right Handle
The first thing to do to replace an axe handle is getting a new one. it is not that difficult to find something good. Just make sure that the handle comes in a standard size, which means the handle fits all common handles. If you have a special type of axe, find the handle accordingly. Before finalizing the handle, check the wood quality and the length. If the quality is good and the length suits you, buy it. If the handle is too large, no problem! You can fix the length by cutting it down.
Step 2: Remove the Old Handle
Now that you have a new handle to attach, remove the old handle from the eye of the axe. To remove the old handle flawlessly, cut it down on the bottom with a sharp saw. Be steady and pass the saw on the handle. As it may already have been damaged, cutting through the handle won’t be difficult. Once you have cut the top, now it is time to remove the remaining part from the axe eye. For this, you need to use a good hammer that can create enough pressure. As there may be a wedge, hammering from the bottom would be a good idea. You can use the top piece of wood for creating pressure and remove the piece from inside the axe.
Step 3: Clean the Axe Blade
You may have used the axe for a long time, so it is not uncommon that the axe may have some spots and stains. It is time to clean the axe eye for longer life from it. Use a mixture of baking soda and water and pour it on the axe eye. Wait for at least 15-20 minutes. Now use a scrubber and clean the axe. If necessary, you may wash it thoroughly.
Step 4: Attach the New Handle
So, your axe is ready to fit a new handle. You need to set the axe eye on the pre-made kerf of the handle. Mark the kerf ends with a pencil so that you could know how deep the new handle needs to go. Put the new handle inside the axe eye and go deeper until it reaches the end of the kerf. If you can’t go deep enough, use the hammer and tap on the top so that the handle goes inside and goes for the next step.
Step 5: Secure the Handle
Once the new handle is placed, you need to wedge the handle. For this, you can use a small piece of wood or mallet that can secure the handle. Put the wedge kit inside the axe eye and tap with a hammer. It should go inside with enough pressure. If you find that the handle is not secure enough and there is no chance of moving it inside the axe eye, cut the extra part of the wedging kit.
Step 6: Fix the Length of the Handle
If your chosen handle is a bit extra-long, you need to adjust the length according to your need. Cut the unnecessary part of the handle with a sharp saw. Use sandpaper and make the top of the handle smooth.
If you have done all these things, you are ready to use the axe again. This time you would find it more comfortable.
Some Additional Tips
While changing the old handle, follow the following things –
- Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands
- Use a good hammer that is heady
- Don’t create too much pressure on the handle
- Always buy axe handle with pre-made kerf
- Be extra safe when tapping with the hammer
Now you know the exact process of how to replace an axe handle. We have shared the easiest process. Take enough time for the whole process and complete it. If you have some issues at any point, we highly recommend taking some expert advice. Try to pick a new handle that is durable enough for a long life so that you don’t need to replace it within a short time.