How to Find the Best Replacement Axe Handle – Our Top 5 (2021)

You may have a collection of axes in your forestry tool collection, but what happens when the handle breaks or wears down? You might be wondering how to find the best replacement axe handle to give you years more use out of your tools.

There are a few options here – should you go for wood or fiberglass? Curved or straight handles? What about length and fit? And how do you fit them after you’ve found the perfect one?

We’ll cover all these questions in detail, so you’ll be able to find the best replacement axe handle for you.

First, let’s see how our top axe handles compare to each other.

At a Glance: Best Replacement Axe Handles

Model Material Length Curved or Straight Price
Seymour 6470 36in Premium Bent Single Axe Handle Wood 36 inches Curved $$
Council Tool 70-055 Fiberglass Axe Handle Fiberglass 34 inches Straight $$$$
TRUPER MG-HC1 Replacement Axe Handle Wood 14 inches Straight $
Seymour 100-99 Fiberglass Curved Axe Handle Fiberglass 34 inches Curved $$$
True Temper Replacement Double Bit Handle Wood 36 inches Straight $$$

What to Look for in a Replacement Axe Handle

Here’s everything you need to know about looking for a replacement axe handle, including the main things you should look out for:

Material

When it comes to the material of your replacement axe handle, there are a few choices:

Wood

Wood is a classic choice for axe handles. It’s relatively cheap and strong. It also has decent impact absorption (this is important – repetitive use of an axe with bad impact absorption can lead to repetitive stress injury over time).

The downside to wood is that you’ll have to treat it from time to time and keep it away from moisture. It’s also not going to last as long as fiberglass, so it may need to be replaced more often.

Hickory wood is perfect for axe handles. This is because it is strong, flexible, and fairly inexpensive.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is solid and has excellent impact absorption. It requires less maintenance than wood, too, and it’s durable – a fiberglass axe handle can last for a long time. However, fiberglass handles can be heavier and may be more expensive than wooden ones.

Steel

The last of the three is steel. These are rarer to find. Steel axe handles have excellent strength, and they’re also super durable and require very little maintenance. However, they’re heavy to hold, and the impact absorption is poor, meaning you’re more likely to strain yourself with repetitive use. Plus, steel axes tend to have the handle permanently welded to them, making it impossible to replace.

This article will focus on wood and fiberglass axe handles as steel handles without the blade are so difficult to find.

Fit

This is a crucial point – if your axe handle doesn’t fit your axe head, it won’t be much good! Wooden handles need to fit snugly, but not too tightly. Fiberglass handles are a bit more flexible as refitting them involves filling in gaps with epoxy resin.

Some fiberglass handles come with epoxy kits (which you have to mix yourself) included, but others don’t, so you may have to purchase this separately.

If your wooden handle is too tight, you can sand it down a little bit, but a loose fit won’t work as you won’t compensate for the gap around the blade using epoxy.

Each axe handle has a compatible weight listed (for example, it may say ‘for axes weighing 3-5 pounds’) which should give you a rough guide on whether your axe head will work with a particular handle.

Length

Length is really a personal preference – it may be worth experimenting with a few axes to see the length that suits you. Longer axes give you a bit more power, but shorter axes give you more control.

Brand

You don’t need to match your axe head to the replacement handle. The main thing to look for is the size, so as long as you’ve got the measurements right, the brand doesn’t really matter. However, if you prefer a particular brand, nothing stops you from choosing their axe handles over other brands.

Shape

There are two choices here – curved or straight. This is another personal choice. Curved handles may give a bit more accuracy as they have more balance. But if you’ve been using a straight axe for a long time, you may already be adept at using it accurately anyway. So really, it’s down to what you’re used to and what feels the most comfortable.

Single or Double Bit

Single-bit axes have one cutting edge, whereas double-bit axes have two. Obviously, a double-bit axe is a great idea if you want versatility or if you want to fit a sledgehammer head onto it, but single-bit axes may be a bit safer to use.

Extra Features

Some replacement axe handles come with extras, like hang-up hooks so you can hang your axe on a pegboard or soft cases to store them inside.

Top 5 Replacement Axe Handles

Here are our top 5 picks for replacement axe handles – we’ve tried to include different materials, sizes, and handle shapes, so you can hopefully find the best one for you.

Seymour 6470 36in Premium Bent Single Axe Handle – Best Curved Wooden Axe Handle

Key Specs

  • Material: Wood
  • Length: 36 inches
  • Handle Shape: Curved
  • Axe Weight Compatibility: 3-5 pounds
  • Handle Weight: 1.35 pounds

The Seymour 6470 36in Premium Bent Single Axe Handle is a solid choice if you want a wooden axe handle. It’s made from strong, durable hickory.

It’s designed to work with axes weighing 3-5 pounds and is strong but lightweight enough to feel comfortable to use.

It also has a hang-up hook on the end of the handle, allowing you to hang your axe on a pegboard. The downside is it just comes with the axe handle with no extras to speak of.

Pros

  • High-quality hickory wood
  • Comfortable but lightweight
  • Includes hang-up hook

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with any extras (like a storage sleeve or case)

Council Tool 70-055 Fiberglass Axe Handle – Best Fiberglass Axe Handle

Key Specs:

  • Material: Fiberglass
  • Length: 34 inches
  • Handle Shape: Straight
  • Axe Weight Compatibility: 3-5 pounds
  • Handle Weight: 2.07 pounds

The Council Tool 70-055 Fiberglass Axe Handle is a strong, durable replacement axe handle. If you want to try out a fiberglass handle, this is a really good one.

It is designed to fit axes weighing 3-5 pounds. It’s strong, but it’s fairly heavy compared to wooden axe handles because it is fiberglass, which is something to bear in mind.

It comes with an epoxy kit, so you’ll have everything you need to fit it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a hang-up hook, which is a shame.

Pros

  • Strong fiberglass
  • Durable
  • It comes with an epoxy kit

Cons

  • Heavier than wooden axe handles
  • It doesn’t come with a hang-up hook or any other extras

TRUPER MG-HC1 Replacement Axe Handle – Best Camp Axe Handle

Key Specs:

  • Material: Wood
  • Length: 14 inches
  • Handle Shape: Straight
  • Axe Weight Compatibility: Not stated
  • Handle Weight: 0.51 pounds

The TRUPER MG-HC1 Replacement Axe Handle is designed for camp axes. A camp axe, or a hand axe, is a small axe designed to take care of everything you need to do on a camping trip – splitting wood, clearing an area, making kindling, and so on. It’s obviously short and strong, so it will work well to make accurate cuts.

It has a straight handle, and it’s made from American hickory wood. It’s durable but may need sanding down, as it feels a bit rough to use.

It doesn’t have anything else included, like a hang-up hook or a case to store it in.

Pros

  • Strong
  • Made from good quality hickory wood
  • Perfect for camp axes

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with any extras

Seymour 100-99 Fiberglass Curved Axe Handle – Best Fiberglass Curved Axe Handle

Key Specs:

  • Material: Fiberglass
  • Length: 34 inches
  • Handle Shape: Curved
  • Axe Weight Compatibility: 3-5 pounds
  • Handle Weight: 2.3 pounds

The Seymour 100-99 Fiberglass Curved Axe Handle is a great choice if you want a curved fiberglass axe, and it’s a strong, durable axe handle that should last for a long time.

Like all fiberglass axe handles, it’s a bit heavier than a wooden one. However, despite the weight, it does feel pretty comfortable to hold and use.

It comes with an epoxy kit, but the downside is that it doesn’t come with quite enough epoxy to fill the gaps if you have a smaller axe head. It doesn’t come with any extras like a hang-up hook or case other than the epoxy kit.

Pros

  • Strong and durable
  • Comfortable to hold

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with any extras
  • May not have enough epoxy resin

True Temper Replacement Double Bit Handle – Best Double Bit Handle

Key Specs:

  • Material: Wood
  • Length: 36 inches
  • Handle Shape: Straight
  • Axe Weight Compatibility: 3-5 pounds
  • Handle Weight: 1.38 pounds

The True Temper Replacement Double Bit Handle is a great choice if you want a double-bit handle. It’s made from strong, durable hickory wood and should last for a long time.

It’s pretty lightweight, but it’s unfinished, so you will have to treat it to avoid getting splinters.

It comes with a single-use wood wedge, which will help you to secure a sled hammerhead to the handle (if applicable to you). It doesn’t come with epoxy resin, though, which is a shame.

Pros

  • Strong
  • Durable
  • It comes with a wood wedge for fitting a sledgehammer head

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with epoxy resin
  • Handle is untreated

Frequently Asked Questions

Before you go, here are some of the most commonly asked questions about replacement axe handles:

Question: How do I replace my axe handle?

Answer: There are a few steps involved in replacing a wooden axe handle:

First, remove the blade from the old handle. That can be difficult, so it’s important to take it slowly and carefully. Next, check the axehead eye to make sure there is no wood still stuck inside it.
Carefully fit the new handle – this involves lowering the head into the ‘kerf’ (this is a pre-made cut down the middle of the handle, which allows it to fit into the eye of the axe). You may have to extend this kerf a bit if it’s not quite long enough.
Use a mallet or a piece of wood to gently fit the axe head to the handle. It’s important not to use hammers or metal tools, as this can split the wood of the handle.
Wedge the handle into place. This involves driving a thin wedge into the kerf, making it stay put.
You can now use wood glue if you want to (but there shouldn’t be any gaps if fitted correctly). In addition, you can now coat it with an oil, like linseed oil, to make it more comfortable to use.

Meanwhile, to fit a fiberglass axe head, you’ll need to:

First, remove the old axe handle, making sure no small wooden parts remain if the previous handle is made from wood. If the old handle is fiberglass, you can use epoxy solvent to remove it.
Insert the new fiberglass axe handle into the bottom of the axe head.
Wrap a piece of masking tape around the base of the handle (where the handle meets the head) – this will stop the epoxy resin from leaking out while it sets.
Mix the two parts of epoxy, stirring for two minutes. With the handle pointing downward, pour the epoxy mixture into the top of the head, into the small crack around the handle. Wipe away excess using a rag.
Lean your axe up against a wall to hold the epoxy in place – it will take one week to harden completely, so make sure you give it enough time to really take hold.

Question: Is it worth buying a replacement axe handle or just buying a new axe instead?

Answer: It’s always worth trying to replace the handle itself. For one thing, it’s great to have a new skill if you’ve never done it before. But more importantly, it’s good to save money and avoid wasting resources by replacing parts as they break, rather than throwing away perfectly usable parts.

A good axe head can last a long time – this is why you sometimes see axes being passed down through generations. If they’re well maintained, they can keep going for years. So learning to rehandle an axe is a beneficial skill for anyone working with wood regularly.

Question: Are more expensive axe handles worth it?

Answer: Not necessarily. It really depends on what you’re looking for, but the most expensive does not necessarily mean it will automatically be the best for you.

It’s always a good idea to see what comes with your axe handle – for example, if it doesn’t come with an epoxy kit, this will bump up the cost more, as you’ll have to buy it separately.

Question: Is hickory wood grown in the US?

Answer: Yes, usually. Hickory wood is native to North America and has been a popular choice for a variety of purposes, including tools, for a long time. It’s known for being strong, durable, and relatively cheap.

Question: Can I replace any type of axe handle?

Answer: Most types of axes allow you to replace the handle, including camp axes, brush axes, and more. The only type of axe you may struggle to replace is a steel axe – they tend to be welded together, so you can’t really separate the axe head from the handle.

Our Verdict on the Best Replacement Axe Handle

We can’t really pick the best axe handle for every person, as it’s all subjective depending on what you need.

However, of our top picks today, we’d say the Council Tool 70-055 Fiberglass Axe Handle is an excellent choice if you want a fiberglass handle. It comes with a good epoxy kit, too, so you won’t have to buy that separately, with plenty of epoxy resin to fill in any gaps.

If you prefer a wooden handle, you could go for the Seymour 6470 36in Premium Bent Single Axe Handle. It’s strong, made from durable hickory wood, and it’s comfortable to use. It’s a bit more lightweight than a fiberglass handle, and it comes with a hang-up hook, so you can hang your axe on a pegboard if you’d like to.

Which one you choose will be down to personal preference, and it may take a while (as with any tool) to find the kind of axe that you like the best.

We hope this has helped you to find the best replacement axe handle for you!

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