How To Measure Axe Handle Length (With Replacement Guide)

How to Measure Axe Handle Length

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No one wants to know how to measure axe handle length unless it’s time to replace it. If you want your axe to have a perfect handle, you need to know what length your axe has. That’s what the article is about.

I’ll describe the proper way of measuring your axe using a 2-step guide. So, stick to the end if you don’t want to miss out on anything.

Why Measure Axe Handle Length?

An axe handle can vary in length, depending on what the axe is supposed to do. For instance, an axe for felling trees can be different from an axe for splitting logs. The handle is created while keeping specific functionality in mind.

Let’s assume you have a splitting axe that you use for splitting logs. The handle measures 28 inches. Now, for some reason, you have to replace the handle with a new one.

If you replace it with a 22-inch handle, will it feel the same in your hands? It won’t. You won’t feel comfortable using a 22-inch axe for splitting logs. So, axe handle lengths matter more than you think.

Another reason for measuring axe length is to alter the measurements. If you are not satisfied with the current handle length, you can make necessary adjustments by taking measurements. For example, you can turn a short-handled axe into a long-handled axe and alter it according to your preference. It allows you to utilize the same axe blade in different ways.

You will also need to measure axe handle length for heights. As I have mentioned, axe handles are the same length as the entire axe.

How to Measure Axe Handle Length in 2 Steps

It may sound like a straightforward task to do, but a lot of people don’t know where to measure the length of an axe. I’ll try to clear all confusion through this tutorial today. Let’s jump to it.

Step 1: Prepare the Work Table 

It’s very important that you keep your axe on a flat surface. The measurement won’t be precise if your axe keeps wobbling during the process. So, if you don’t have a work table or a workbench, make sure that the ground you’re using is even. 

If you use any cover to protect the axe, you need to remove it before taking measurements. Uncover your tool and lay it on the ground. Make sure it doesn’t move. 

Note that it’s very common to cut your hand when handling a sharp axe. So, don’t forget to maneuver the axe with caution. 

Step 2: Measure Your Axe Length

The next step will require a simple yet effective tool- a measuring tape. There are alternatives you can use. But a measuring tape will certainly make the procedure easier, hence accurate. 

The most appropriate measuring tape you can use is the kind that comes with a hook on one end. Use it to hook it on the axe’s head and stretch the tape till the end of the handle. 

If you don’t have a measuring tape, you can also use a string and a ruler to improvise the ruler as a measuring tape. Mark the measurement and write it down to avoid deviation.

The reading you got is the axe handle length. So, the proper way of measuring an axe handle is to measure the entire axe. Because, if your axe is 28 inches in length, the handle is also 28 inches long.

How to Replace an Axe Handle?

After taking the measurement of your old axe handle, pick a new handle if the former one requires replacing. Getting a store-bought axe handle will reduce your work. However, if you’re a DIY enthusiast, then you can make one by yourself.

  • Remove the old handle and store it in a proper place.
  • Clean the eye of the axe blade. Use sandpaper for sanding the inner area of the hole. Sometimes, the old handle leaves residue inside and makes it difficult for the new handle to fit.
  • Once the blade is clean, take the new handle and push it inside the axe eye. Don’t use any metal tools, or you will damage the wood.
  • If the handle requires shortening, cut it short.
  • Now, slit the head of the handle and make a kerf.
  • Use a wooden wedge to insert it inside the kerf.
  • Once the wedge has tightened the handle inside the axe eye, use two metal wedges to pin them parallel from one another. Using a combination of wedges will make the axe more secure and comfortable to use.
  • Use resin or glue to cover the top of the axe eye. It secures the wedges in place.
  • Let it dry overnight before swinging it again.


  • It’s important that the axe head weight to handle length ratio be balanced. You can refer to the axe eye size chart to avoid confusion.
  • Handle a sharp axe with caution. Use safety goggles, a proper outfit, and gloves to protect yourself.
  • Make sure there is no one around while the axe is lying open on the table.
  • Write down the measurement right away to avoid any confusion later.
  • If you are replacing a handle, measure the new handle with precision.
  • Store your axe in a safe place to avoid accidents. Make sure the axe is outside the reach of the kids.


What is the eye of an axe?

An axe eye refers to the hole where the handle is mounted. It’s essential to know the axe eye measurement before mounting a handle. However, this is only applicable if you’re making the handle by yourself. Axe handles are universal in measurement, so all store-bought axe handles are close to each other in size. 

How long should my axe handle be?

The ideal length of an axe handle depends on the type of work you’re doing. For instance, the axes people carry for camping can be 20 to 26 inches long. If you are shaping, 19 to 22 inches will be ideal. Similarly, axes that are intended for chopping or splitting will be most comfortable with a handle that’s 28 to 31 inches long.

How long is a double-bit axe handle?

The handle of a double-bit axe can vary widely. The range starts from 28 inches and can reach up to 42 inches. However, if you’re searching for a narrower range, the standard length would be 34 inches to 36 inches.

Final Verdict

I assume you don’t have any more questions regarding how to measure axe handle length. There are almost no ways to get the measurements wrong. Whether you’re measuring only the handle or with the blade, the readings will be similar.

No matter what tool you use, make sure to take the measurement at once. What I am saying is, don’t use a 12-inch ruler to measure a 29-inch axe handle, especially if you’re replacing the handle. A mere miscalculation will require you to do the entire procedure from the beginning.

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