Replace a Maul Handle or Other Striking Tool Handle

A fiberglass handle will add years to the life of a sledgehammer

The best fix for a broken sledgehammer, ax or maul is a replacement fiberglass handle—an almost indestructible upgrade from the traditional wood handle. Fasten the handle in place with epoxy rather than the metal wedges used for wood.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Knock the old handle out, then epoxy the new handle in place

When you're swinging a big-impact tool like an ax, maul or sledgehammer, every miss takes its toll on the handle. Eventually the handle will break or the tool head will loosen. Replacement wooden handles secured with wedges are OK, but for a few dollars more you can buy a replacement fiberglass handle that could still be swinging in 100 years. The kit contains a fiberglass handle and an epoxy packet. The epoxy and hardener are in one packet with a divider rod in the middle. When you remove the divider rod, you can mix the contents without mess or smell.

Photos 1 and 2 show how to remove the most stubborn old handle. Next, clean the inside of the eyehole (Photo 3). Epoxy won't bond to rusty or greasy surfaces. Insert the new handle and bounce the bottom of the handle on concrete if you have trouble getting the top of the handle core flush with the top of the tool head. If they're still not flush, file or carve the new handle to fit.

The epoxy mix (Photo 4) will seal all the gaps between the handle core and the sledgehammer head, but it must be thoroughly blended or it won't set up. The temperature needs to be between 75 and 115 degrees F for proper curing. Pour the epoxy between the handle core and the hammerhead as shown in Photo 4. Wipe off any excess and let it cure for a week before using the tool.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Cordless drill
  • Drill bit set
  • Hammer
  • Vise

You'll also need a large bolt, sandpaper and a copper fitting brush.

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Fiberglass replacement handle with epoxy glue packet