How To Measure Axe Handle Length

When it comes to woodworking and outdoor activities, having the right tools is crucial. One such tool is the axe, a versatile instrument that can be used for chopping wood, clearing a path through the wilderness, or even for artistic wood carving. To ensure that your axe is suitable for your needs, it’s essential to know how to measure its handle length accurately. In this article, I will take you through the steps to measure axe handle length, providing you with the knowledge to make an informed decision.

Understanding the Importance of Axe Handle Length

Before we dive into the specifics of measuring an axe handle, it’s essential to understand why the length of the handle matters. The handle length directly impacts the axe’s usability, balance, and comfort during use. A handle that’s too short or too long can affect your accuracy, efficiency, and even safety while wielding the axe. Therefore, measuring the handle length is a crucial step in selecting or modifying an axe to suit your specific needs.

Tools You’ll Need For Measure Axe Handle Length 

To measure the axe handle length accurately, you’ll need a few simple tools:

1. Measuring Tape

  • A measuring tape is an essential tool for precise measurements. Make sure it’s long enough to measure the full length of the handle.

2. Straight Edge or Ruler

  • A straight edge or ruler will help you ensure that your measurements are straight and consistent.

Step-by-Step Guide to Measuring Axe Handle Length

Now that you have the necessary tools, let’s go through the process of measuring an axe handle length step by step.

Step 1: Preparation

  • Start by placing the axe on a flat and stable surface. Ensure that the axe head is securely placed on the surface, and the handle is pointing upwards.

Step 2: Locate the Starting Point

  • Identify the starting point for your measurement. This point is usually at the very bottom of the handle, where it meets the axe head.

Step 3: Extend the Measuring Tape

  • Carefully extend your measuring tape from the starting point towards the top of the handle. Make sure to follow the curve of the handle to get an accurate measurement.

Step 4: Read the Measurement

  • Once you’ve reached the top of the handle, read the measurement indicated on the measuring tape. This measurement represents the length of the axe handle.

Factors to Consider

When measuring your axe handle length, it’s essential to consider your specific needs and preferences:


  • Depending on your intended use for the axe, you may prefer a longer handle for added leverage or a shorter one for better control.


  • Consider what feels comfortable for you. The handle should be long enough to provide a secure grip without straining your posture.

Weight Distribution

  • The length of the handle also affects the balance of the axe. Experiment with different handle lengths to find the right balance for your tasks.

Axe handle length for height

The length of an axe handle is not typically determined by a person’s height but rather by the type and intended use of the axe. The length of an axe handle affects its balance, control, and the force that can be applied when using it.

Here are some general guidelines for choosing the length of an axe handle based on the type of axe and its intended use:

Felling Axe: Felling axes, used for cutting down trees, usually have longer handles, typically around 28 to 36 inches (71 to 91 cm). The longer handle provides more leverage and power for chopping.

Splitting Maul: Splitting mauls are designed for splitting wood. They often have even longer handles, ranging from 32 to 36 inches (81 to 91 cm). The added length helps in delivering a powerful splitting blow.

Hatchet: Hatchets are smaller and used for lighter tasks like limbing branches or processing smaller pieces of wood. Hatchet handles are usually shorter, around 12 to 20 inches (30 to 51 cm). Shorter handles provide better control for finer tasks.

Camp Axe: A camp axe or camping hatchet falls in between a full-sized felling axe and a hatchet. The handle length can vary but is often around 20 to 24 inches (51 to 61 cm).

Personal Preference: Ultimately, the choice of handle length may also depend on personal preference. Some people may feel more comfortable with a longer handle, while others prefer a shorter one. It’s important to choose a length that you can control effectively and comfortably.



Measuring the axe handle length is a straightforward yet crucial step in ensuring that your axe is tailored to your specific needs and preferences. By following the steps outlined in this guide and considering the factors mentioned, you can make an informed decision when selecting or modifying an axe. Remember that comfort and balance are key, and the right handle length can significantly enhance your woodworking and outdoor activities.

FAQ For How to determine axe handle length

1. What’s the standard axe handle length?

  • There is no one-size-fits-all answer, as the ideal length varies depending on the type of axe and personal preferences. However, a typical length for a full-sized axe handle ranges from 28 to 36 inches.

2. Can I trim an axe handle to make it shorter?

  • Yes, you can shorten an axe handle if it’s too long for your liking. Just be sure to do it carefully to maintain balance and integrity.

3. What’s the best material for an axe handle?

  • Hickory and ash are popular choices for axe handles due to their durability and shock-absorbing properties.

4. How often should I replace an axe handle?

  • The frequency of replacement depends on usage and maintenance. If a handle shows signs of cracking or damage, it’s time for a replacement.

In this article, we’ve covered the essential steps to measure axe handle length, ensuring that you can make the right choice for your woodworking and outdoor needs. So, grab your measuring tape and get ready to enhance your axe-wielding skills!

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