How to Replace Shovel Handle | A Money Saving Guide for All Beginner


Many valuable tools are thrown away because the handle is damaged by abuse or hard work. The owner can’t or won’t complete the repairs. The solid-bottomed, round-bottom shovel was found in the trash, looking rusty and with a broken handle. Before being repainted, this is the shovel cleaned up with the original handle cut down and ready to be riveted. These are the steps to replace shovel handle. Let’s have deep discussion.

How to replace shovel handle

Replacing the handle

It is easy to replace the handle by simply purchasing a new handle and sliding it into its retaining sleeve. To help the handle fit into the sleeves, hold the shovel with the blade in your hand. You can feel the grip have settled by tamping it a few times. If the handle is too large to fit in the sleeves, sand it or shave it until it does. Make a wedge from a piece of hardwood-like oak and place it in the sleeve. You can tap it until the handle is in the sleeves.

Before replacing the handle, inspect it carefully

Sometimes curiosity pays off. To highlight the grain of the wood, the handle’s end will be sanded. This is how the fibers are oriented. The pattern can be seen where they change. If you look at it from another angle, the grain is straight but directed towards where the handle is broken. This indicates that the handle is used around the shaft to do not follow the fibers’ directions and can cause brittleness. These observations are only valid for what they are. It’s only an observation. Choosing the right kind of wood handle is essential, so you don’t damage it again.

Take out the broken piece

Use a pair of large pincers to remove the original nail. Then, you can remove the wood stuck in the socket at the tail end. To make it easier, leverage the shovel to position the clamp. Turn the shovel upside-down to remove any contents. Then, place the shovel’s side against a wall or staircase.

Place the new handle

As shown in the photo, place the handle in the shovel. You can also set the soil between the handle and the spade by doing it in the opposite direction. You should also be aware that the handle shouldn’t have a particular curvature. If it does, you need to reorient the installation. If you are unsure how to go about it, try to imagine that the handle is straight and then curve it as if it were being subjected to a lot of force.

Align the grain

It’s not difficult to replace the shovel handle. Still, it is essential to be aware of the grain direction when inserting the handle. The wood grain should be running up and down the handles and not at the top or bottom. The hold will break faster if the grain is at the top. Next, attach the blade to your grip with a rivet (preferred) or a screw.

Secure the handle by inserting it

Although this part may not be evident to others, it is highly effective. Let the tool’s head hit the handle by letting the other end touch the ground. This will ensure that the iron locks along with the handle. Continue this process a few more times until everything fits snugly. Finally, place the tool or shovel on its side. Attach a new screw to the handle. You might even find a hole already there. To be specific, rotate the handle if you don’t find one. If you don’t have a long enough screw to embed it correctly, it will be difficult.

Rivet versus screw

After you have replaced your handle, you can attach a screw to it. Tight the screw again and again. You could end up with the blade falling off mid-shovel if you don’t pull it properly, or even worse, a knife that is clogged with cement or soil. A rivet is faster and easier to use than a screw. Although it may take slightly longer, it is not difficult. It will be stronger.

Attaching a handle to a screw

Once you have aligned the grain to each side of the handle and then set it up, drill 1/4-inch pilot holes through the rivet holes on each side of the shovel blade. Attach a stainless self-tapping, 8-x-3/8-inch screw to each pilot hole on the handle.

Read more: How to remove grass with a shovel

How to replace the shaft of a hand shovel

Secure your shovel

Place the shovel’s head in a vice. The socket and broken shaft should point towards you. You can also ask someone else to hold the shovel. To anchor the shovel, place it horizontally on the ground.

Take out the screw

You can remove the screw holding the shaft in place with a drill. If it’s a rivet, you can also use a pair of pincers. Attach the pincer’s jaws to the rivet head and pull it out. It may take a lot more twisting and turning.

Remove shaft

Remove the shaft from the socket. To help remove stubborn pieces, drill one to two holes of 6.35mm (1/4 inch) in the wood. Next, tilt the shovel’s head so that the socket is facing downwards. Then tap the blade with a mallet. After a few blows, the lodged piece should come out. After everything was end, clean and remove all debris.

The shaft is worth a try

Place the shaft in a tapered position and test it. You only get one shot at driving the post in. Replacement shafts secured with a rivet might not fit perfectly and maybe too big. Use a wood rasp to trim the shaft until it is appropriately shaped. To drive into the socket later, the top of the shaft should gradually be tapered. Again, you can use the original shaft shape as a guide. Make sure to measure the handle between each filing and then sand to smoothen it. If the socket is too loose, cut a wedge from a piece of hardwood like oak and place it in the socket. Tap the shaft until it is securely in the socket.

Insert new shaft

Once you’re satisfied with the shaft size, insert it in the socket as far and wide as it will fit. Hold the shovel upright while you drive the shaft into its socket. Give it a few gentle taps on the ground to help it do so. Do not force the post in, as this could cause splitting of the wood. Before attaching a wooden shaft to a vehicle, check the direction of the grain. Secure the shaft with a rivet or a screw. You could quickly lose your blade mid-shovel if you don’t pay attention or leave cement on the blade. A screw is faster and easier to use, but a rivet is more durable.

Drill a pilot hole with a 3mm (1/8″) bit through the socket of your blade. This will allow you to insert another drill bit or a screw into the shaft. To make the hole more extensive, you will need a bit with the same diameter as the rivet. Here is where your pin will go.


Above, we have a deep discussion on how to replace the shovel handle and how to replace the shaft of a hand shovel. Those things are pretty easy to do. But those who don’t know how to do it waste money on it. Now don’t waste the money. Read this guide correctly and do it yourself.

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