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How to Replace Sledge Hammer Handle (DIY Guide)

In this article, I’ll teach you how to replace your broken sledgehammer handle with a new wooden handle in a few minutes.

Working on a contract job, I recently broke my sledgehammer handle and needed to replace the broken handle with a new wooden one; I thought some of you would benefit from my process. Wooden handles are the most popular handles for sledgehammers. They provide a firm grip, often last longer, and are easy to replace. Broken or loose handles can cause the hammerhead to slip and cause an injury, so quickly replacing damaged or old ones is best.

To install a new wooden handle on a sledgehammer:

  • Cut the broken handle off with a handsaw
  • Drill out the remaining wooden handle on the hammerhead or hit it with a replacement handle
  • Insert the hammerhead on the thin end of the new wooden handle
  • Slide it into the handle
  • Cut the thin or narrow end of the wooden handle with a handsaw
  • Install a wooden wedge
  • Install a metal wedge

I will cover more detail below. Let’s start.

How to Install a New Handle on a Sledgehammer

Installing a new sledgehammer handle requires the following tools:

  • Vise
  • Hand saw
  • A propane torch 
  • Hammer
  • Cardboard
  • Wood rasp
  • 2-part epoxy
  • Metal wedge
  • Wooden wedge
  • A stone
  • A cordless drill
  • Drill bits

How to Remove the Damaged Handle on a Sledgehammer

I recommend wearing eye protection and gloves. The wooden shavings can pierce your eyes or hands.

Follow these steps to accomplish that:

Step 1: Clamp the Head Section of The Sledgehammer

Secure the head portion of the hammer between the jaws of a vise. Set the damaged handle to face upwards.

hammer between the jaws of a vise
Video | Mr. Hardware

Step 2: Saw Off the Damaged Handle

Place the blade of the hand saw against the bottom section of the hammer’s head. Allow the saw blade to rest on the ruined handle. Then, steadily cut off the handle with a handsaw.

Step 3: Drive out The Remaining Portion of The Handle

Obviously, after cutting the handle, a piece of it will remain on the head of the sledgehammer. There are several ways you can use to remove it. Let’s discuss three techniques to free the hammerhead off stuck studs.

Technique 1: Use the New Wooden Handle

Grab the replacement handle and place its thin end at the stuck handle. Use a regular hammer to strike the new handle. Apply sufficient pressure to remove the stuck stud.

Technique 2: Use a Drill Bit

use a drill bit on sledgehammer
Video | Mr. Hardware

Use a drill bit and drill several holes into the stuck handle inside the opening on the hammerhead. This way, you can expel the cheese-like section of the wooden handle with any object or the wood handle of a regular hammer.

Technique 3: Heat the Head of The Sledgehammer

Torch the head of the sledgehammer at about 350 degrees on the stuck portion. It is set in epoxy. Let the hammer cool to room temperature (25 degrees) and remove the remaining part of the handle.

You can use other methods to remove the last piece of the ruined handle at will. For example, you may hit it with large nails and a wooden sled if you don’t have a cordless drill.

Replacing the Damaged Portion

After successfully removing the damaged handle, you can replace it with a wood handle.

Let’s now install a wooden handle.

Step 1: Insert the New Handle on Your Sledgehammer

Get the replacement handle and insert the thin end into the hole or opening on the hammerhead. Use a rasp to further thin the end if it doesn’t fit well in the hole.

Do not overdo this (rasping the replacement wood) otherwise; you will have to get another handle. Only shave a few layers of the wooden handle to allow the handle to fit firmly in the hole. Then remove the hammerhead from the vise.

Step 2: Slide the Hammerhead Into the Handle

Place the thick or the wide end of the handle on the ground. And slide the hammerhead on the thin side of the handle. Then, push down the hammerhead to set it on the wood handle.

Step 3: Drive the Head Tightly on The Wood Handle

Raise the assembly (handle and the sledgehammer) to a certain height off the ground. And then strike it on the ground with adequate force. That way, the head will tightly drive onto the wood handle. I recommend tapping the assembly on hard ground.

Step 4: Install the Wood Wedge

Wood wedges are usually supplied with a handle. If not, you can make one from a stick with a knife. (1)

So, get the wedge, slide it into a slot on top of the handle, and extend beyond the hammerhead.

Strike the wedge with a regular hammer to drive it into the handle. Wood wedges reinforce the wood handle on the hammerhead.

Step 5: Cut the Thin End of The Handle

Remove the thin end of the wood handle with a handsaw. To do that efficiently, set the handle on a block of wood and the thin end. (2)

Step 6: Install a Metal Wedge

Metal wedges also come with a handle. To install it, insert it perpendicular to the wooden wedge. Then, hit it with a hammer. Drive it into the handle until it sits even with the top of the hammerhead.

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

(1) knife – https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/cooking-tools/best-kitchen-knives/g646/best-kitchen-cutlery/
(2) efficiently – https://hbr.org/2019/01/the-high-price-of-efficiency

Video References

Mr. Hardware

Country Living Experience: A Homesteading Journey

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About Sam Orlovsky

AvatarCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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