You were working on the rough patch in your garden; it was stony and hard. You kept your cool and kept working on it as the shovel handle was already old. Plus, honestly saying it wasn’t maintained as it should have been.

The result was as expected. You hit a hard stone. The shovel kept lying below the rock, and the handle was in your hands! Lo! What to do now?

Well don’t worry, this article will take you towards a step by step guide on how to replace your shovel handle.

What is a shovel?

It is a simple gardening tool with a blade and a handle. Its primary purpose is digging. You dig for various purposes, and its numerous types meet the different needs.

When your shovel handle needs replacement:

If your handle is out of the shovel because it is worn out, or it gets broken. The other reason could be a lack of maintenance. You may replace it for a longer or shorter handle as the need may be. Replacement with a lightweight fiber optic handle may force you to go through the below-mentioned steps.

How to Replace a Shovel Handle

How to replace a shovel handle – Step by step guide

Step one: Prerequisites:

You need the following things ready before you can resume your head task. Getting stuff before the main operation not only saves your time but also helps to avoid the frustration that you may have.

Yes, the disappointment of leaving your work in-between and heading for the grinder that you may need during your task. So, gather all the tools that you need, no matter if they are with the neighbors for the last couple of months.

Now, you need a power grinder or hacksaw. It will assist in removing the old rivet. Other things required include a pin punch and a ball-peen hammer. Bring a dowel in hardwood.

The ones with a diameter of half an inch and length of 12 inches have found to be useful. You would also need an electric drill for fixing the new one.

Get one long rivet that should have the same size as the size of the hole in your shovel. Of course, for proper fixation and holding grip, you need screws, preferably of stainless steel.

They should be self-taping. Bring them according to your shovel handle needs. Last but not least is your new shovel handle.

Step two: Things to consider while selecting a new handle:

Well, the first thing is getting the one that fits your shovel. A long handle is usually preferred over the shorter ones as they go well with the standing posture.

Nowadays, fiberglass handles are also available that require less maintenance and don’t get affected by rain and sunlight. They are also lightweight.

Though a bit expensive considering the life they add to your shovel; you can spend some extra bucks on them.

Step three: Removing the old one:

Get a clamp. Fix your old handle in it. It will hold it in position. Now you need either an angle grinder or a chisel at the least for maneuvering the old rivet. With an angle grinder, it is secure.

But if you are using the simple hand tools, you need to use a chisel to work out someplace behind the rivet. This space will get your saw in. With the use of the saw, you can cut the rivet head out.

Now remove its tail with the help of a punch pin. Once the old and rusty rivet is out, your old handle is more comfortable to remove. So, you can remove the part of the grip that is held by the rivet.

The real headache is removing the broken remains left in the shaft behind. So, let us see how to remove this and get it prepared for installing the new one.

How to Replace a Shovel Handle

Step four: Preparing for the new one:

Now take a drill machine and work it through the remains of broken wooden pieces. It helps to break them down and easy removal. Once you have taken out the whole mess and shaft is free from all remains.

You can move it upside down and hit against any hard stone or wall to make sure nothing is left behind. Here comes the time for fixing the new one.

Step five: Getting the new handle in:

Before getting your handle in, set its proper position. The shovel handle has a straight grain. This should be facing in front, and to the shovelhead, it is positioned at its back. The wiggly ends should be on the sides.

This is the ideal position for a more durable and harder grip. Now go on to thump it against any hard surface. It could be the floor or wall. The shovel head is towards you, and you are trying to thrust it in the handle as much as you can.

Now fix it. How? Drill the hole for the new rivet with a drill machine. Once the rivet is in, fix it. Flatten its head with the hammer. Now you are ready with a new handle fixed and shovel ready for a treasure hunt down the earth!

Precautions needed:

For a longer life of the shovel handle, you shouldn’t expose it to sunlight and rain for longer hours. Coat it with beeswax and mineral oil often.


The long story cut short is to learn to make maximum out of your belongings. This is done by taking good care of them and spending time on their maintenance. Remove the old handle with a grinder, replace it with a new one.

Fix it with a new rivet. Be cautious in positioning the handle; the straight edge should be aligned with the shovel back head. Coat with protective oils.

The use of a new handle is not only exciting but also gives you pleasure each time you see it. That yes! You did it all by yourself. Now dig as long, and as hard you want!