This past season proved to be a terrible one for tool handles. Next spring I will be in the market for three rake handles and two hoe handles. I oil them probably three times a season and try to take good care of my tools, but this year was a bad one for handles. I'd like to buy good, long lasting handles,,,can anyone tell me the best ones to look for?
Wow, you really gave those handles a work-out this year, eh?
Usually a lot of handles are either oak or hickory but I've seen some at Lowe's/Home Depot that are a very lightweight and light-colored wood, possibly spruce? (darius might know).
What I was taught is to be sure to line the grain of the wood properly. Look at the end of the handle. With the tool in front of you in its working position the handle should be inserted with the grain running upwards, NOT horizontal.
try the fiskars stik tools - they're lightweight, but very heavy duty and won't break off like the wood handles do. they also have a great grip that you can use with both hands as well as a 'step' at the bottom.
I am surprised that you have gone through so many tool handles in one season, MossRose. I am still using garden tools inherited from my father-in-law. He painted all of his handles with red paint. I have a pitch fork standing out in the rain as we speak. Perhaps I do not use my tools enough to give them a good workout.
If you are going through that many tool handles in one season, you might want to consider the WOLF-Garten "Interlocken" gardening system. It features a mix-and-match assortment of comfortable handles and quality tool heads. They have a wide variety of handles from very short to very long.
They have both wooden and lightweight aluminum handles. The aluminum handles wouldn't be damaged by exposure to moisture and weather. There are several sources of WOLF-Garten garden tools here in the United States. Lowes home stores carry some of them. There are also online stores. For two pages of handles, see:
I am using the "Interlocken" multi-change system, and plan to add some components to it next year. As a kid on the farm we did a lot of hoeing, and we modified our wooden hoes with aircraft aluminum tubes to make them lighter and smoother. The WOLF-Garten system improves on that.
-- Burton -- (not associated with any vendor mentioned)
Thanks Maineman,,,I'll visit all the links you gave. The older I get the lighter I want the tools; and being on the short side I've been known to shorten a hoe handle. Actually all my gardening tools are quite old and I feel they've lasted many years. Most of them could stand to be replaced completely, but I have one weeding hoe that's my favorite and I'd like a new handle for it. Holds an edge better than any tool I've ever had.