How To Make An Axe (Step by Step)

Making an axe is quite similar to axe restoring. There may be a few more complicated steps, but it won’t be hard if you do them right. Please remember that you will need a little better equipment and knowledge to make an axe.


1. Head making

- Find a piece of metal for the head

The smallest dimensions of that piece of metal should be width: 2 inches, length: 5 inches, and height: 3-4 inches. It would be best if that piece of metal is in the shape of a rectangle, and all its angles were at 90 degrees. Also, make sure that the piece of metal does not catch corrosion because it will damage the blade later.

Old piece of metal which can be used for a head making

- Select the type of blade and draw it on the metal

You must first select the type of head you want on your axe. Watch out for the type you choose because you may need a larger piece of metal. After choosing the type of blade, you need to draw that blade on the metal so you can shape it correctly.

- Start shaping the head carefully

Blade shaping is complicated, and you need to have patience. It can be done with metal cutting machines (they are expensive and only blacksmiths have them), and it can be done with hand tools such as a grinder.

Start by scraping the metal until you reach the line you drew. Continue until the blade takes the shape you drew a step ago.

- Sharpen the blade and protrude the other edges

When you shape the blade and drill a hole for the handle, then continue to the next step which is sharpening the edge and protrude the other sharp edges (if you leave them sharp it can lead to injury). It is best to do this step with a grinder, but you can find some tool in the best maintenance kit if you don’t have one. When you have completed this step, take the axe’s head in the course; feel it and see if you missed an edge. And remember, the only edge that needs to be sharp is the blade.

Blade conclusion

In essence, making a blade is not difficult; you only need a little better equipment and a lot of goodwill. In the last step we stated that you need to sharpen the blade, but maybe it would be better to sharpen the blade after putting on the handle because you can cut yourself while merging the handle and the blade.

2. Handle making

Making a handle is not difficult; in fact, it depends on what type of handle you choose. But there is also the biggest problem because you need to choose between metal and wooden handle. If you opt for metal, then you will have to weld, and rarely does anyone have a welding machine. And wood is much weaker, so it can crack if it is of poor quality wood.

To make it easier for you, we will separate these two handles, and explain how to deal with each of them.

- Wooden handle

If you have opted for a wooden handle, you have to decide whether you want to buy a new one from or make it yourself. We will not talk about what to do if you buy a new one, because you just need to put it on, but we will talk about making a new one.

  • Find a wooden pole for a handle or buy a new handle

First, you need to find a wooden pole. That pole must not be too old or too young, but something in between. If you can’t find a dry tree, go to a nearby forest and cut off one branch. Scrape it off and leave for a few weeks to dry.

Wooden branch of which can be made handle for axe
  • Choose handle dimensions

The thickness of the handle should be between 1 and 2 inches, more and less is bad. The length depends on you; if you want to make a small tomahawk axe, then the handle should be up to 15 inches. If you're going to use an ax for felling or chopping woods, then the length should be above 30 inches. Of course, pay attention to the blade’s size because you can’t put a large blade on a small handle and vice versa.

  • Shape the handle

What does handle shaping mean? Well, it means to give some shape to the handle. The most productive axes are those with a curved handle. So we will suggest that you do the same. What is needed for that is a scraping knife and a little force. First scrape the middle until the curve is noticeable, then grab the wood with both hands and press it with your knee. This will further bend the handle, but do not overdo it as the handle will crack.

  • Boil the handle

This step is optional but desirable. If you didn’t know, when a pole is boiled, it becomes several times stronger and will last longer. Depending on the length of the handle you will need a sickle, a cauldron or a boiler. Pour in the water in and wait for the water to boil. As soon as the water boils, put the handle in it and leave it for 30-60 minutes (of course, let the water continue to boil). Then take it out and let it dry and cool.

  • Merge head and handle

This is the last step in making a wooden handle. Namely, first, make a notch on the top of the handle. Later you will hammer wood or metal in that notch. That wood or metal will spread the handle, and the head will not be able to fall out easily. The next thing is to put a handle in the head's hole; it may be a little harder, so use a hammer to speed up the process. The handle should protrude from the top 1/3 inch maximum. When the head is planted, take the hammer and put the wood or metal into the notch you previously made. And that’s it; you made an ax with a wooden handle.

I will leave you this video which will show you to make wooden handle. So this video will help you make a wooden handle.

And now let’s show you how to make an axe with a metal handle.

- Metal handle

A metal handle can be a little easier to make than wooden, but you will need better equipment for it. So let’s begin.

  • Find the metal bar for the handle

First, you need to find a metal bar with a thickness between 1 and 2 inches. It would be great if the bar is round because you will have a better grip. If you choose, for example, a quadrilateral, then it will be uncomfortable.

old rusty steel bar which can be used for making metal handle
  • Shorten it to the desired length and plug the ends

You need to shorten the bar to the desired length. Small lengths are best for camping and survival axes, and large lengths for felling axes. Then plug its ends (of course, if the bar is filled with iron, then it is not necessary). The best way to plug the ends is to weld the metal to them and then shape it further.

  • Weld head and handle

The next step is to weld the head to handle. That's why you need a welding machine; if you don't have it, then you can't go on. Namely, first, push the handle through the hole and let the handle protrude 1/3 max. Then start welding it from the top and bottom of the head. When you finish that process, let it cool to harden the welds. When it cools check one more time that you haven't missed to weld somewhere, if you haven't, take sandpaper or a grinder in your hands to polish the welds a bit (do it so that it doesn't look ugly).

  • Wrap handle with some material

The last step is to wrap the handle with some material. In this way you will protect the handle, and it will be more comfortable in your hand. We recommend a rubber for this because it’s the cheapest and most comfortable.

Handle conclusion

Making a handle may be complicated for someone. Just try to follow all the steps, and you will not have any problems. I'll also leave you a video if it's easier for you to make an ax with a metal handle. See you next time!

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