How to Fix Shovel Handles


Shovels are one of the most important tools for gardeners and homeowners. Because of neglect, shovel handles will splinter or break. Fix a shovel handle quickly by replacing the handle. Screws or nails secure the shovel to the shovel handle. There is a correct way to install a new handle to fix your shovel that most people do not know. To properly fix the handle, install the grain of the wood handle correctly to avoid future problems.

Step 1

Put on a pair of goggles and leather gloves to protect your eyes and hands. Place the neck shovel head into a bench vise with the rivet heads pointing to the ceiling. Clamp the vise tight to the neck. The neck is the portion of the shovel that fits around the handle.

Step 2

Attach a grinding wheel attachment to the drill and grind the heads off the rivets. Place the point of an appropriate-size punch over the rivet area and tap the end of the punch with a hammer to drive the remaining rivets into the broken handle.

Step 3

Pull the remaining portion of handle out of the shovel head. Remove any wood debris out of the neck of the shovel head.

Step 4

Insert the new shovel handle into the neck of the shovel head. Look at the wood grain on the handle. Rotate the handle until the larger circular rings of the wood grain are on the side and the more straight, narrow wood grain is to the front and rear of the shovel.

Step 5

Drill a hole slightly smaller than the rivets you are installing to secure the shovel handle. Drill where the original rivet holes are on the shovel head and drill through the wood handle.

Step 6

Change the drill bit to one that is the same diameter as the rivets and drill again. Insert the rivets into the holes and position the rivet heads over a solid metal support like a sledgehammer head or on top of the bench vise.

Step 7

Tap the other end of the rivet with a ball-peen hammer to flatten the rivet end around the shovel head. This will provide a long-lasting and secure attachment of the shovel handle.

Things You'll Need

  • Goggles
  • Leather gloves
  • Bench vise
  • Drill
  • Grinding wheel attachment for drill
  • Handle rivets
  • Ball-peen hammer


  • Popular Mechanics: Fix a Shovel Handle
  • On The House: Shovel Repair
  • This Old House: Replace Tool Handles
Keywords: fix shovel handle, repair broken shovel handle, replace shovel handle

About this Author

Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with over 10 years of writing experience. Ken has written over 350 Home Improvement articles for Demand Studios. He has also been published by The American Chronicle. Kenneth holds an Associates Degree in Business Administration from Commonwealth College in Richmond, Va.