Our other sites:

What are the parts of a pick axe?

What are the parts of a pick axe?

Shop for Pick axes

Pickaxe handle and head
There are two parts that comprise a pick axe: the head which is the metal part and the handle which can be made of either wood or fibreglass.

Pick axe head

Pickaxe head, Chisel, Eye, Pick Today, pick axe heads are made from metal, which is most often a form of forged steel that has been heat treated and tempered to improve its strength and toughness.

The eye of a pick axe head is the hole in the centre through which the handle is fitted.

The flatter, broader side of the pick axe head is referred to as the chisel, while the rounder more pointed end of the head is called the pick.

A pick axe head will normally weigh between 2-3.5kg.

Pickaxe heads are curved in shape

Why is the pick axe head curved?

The curve in the head of a pick axe serves to make the contact of the pick with the ground or rock more of a right angle, making it more effective, and also reducing the chance of the pick becoming bent as it strikes.

Pick and chisel

Pickaxe being used to break up a road surface The pick end of the pick axe head is used to break, split and chip rocks and hard earth.
Pickaxe prying apart rock, pickaxe chisel prying apart rock The chisel is used to pry and separate splits and fractures within the rock.

Pick axe handle

There are two types of pick axe handle: wooden (usually ash or hickory) handles and fibreglass handles.

They range in length from 66-97cm (26″-38″) and normally weigh around 1kg (2lb 3oz).

Wooden Pickaxe handle A wooden handle
Advantages  Disadvantages
  • Can be sanded and shaped to give a more comfortable grip.
  • Top of the handle can be sanded to give a better fit on the head if required.
  • Does not degrade under UV (ultraviolet) light
  • More prone to expansion and contraction due to heat and moisture causing the head to loosen.
  • If left damp can rot over time.
  • More likely to suffer from splits and splinters.
  • Needs maintaining with linseed oil.
Fibreglass Pickaxe handle A fibreglass handle
Advantages  Disadvantages
  • Less prone to expansion and contraction due to heat and moisture, so the head is less likely to work loose.
  • Often have a rubberised handle for better grip and reducing shock through the handle.
  • Usually brightly coloured so easier to find when needed.
  • No maintenance required.
  • Can be harder to achieve a tight fit on the head if the handle and the head are not a perfect fit, as it can’t be sanded down.
  • Can degrade and become brittle under UV (ultraviolet) light if left out in the sun.
 Wonkee donkee pickaxe length, Pickaxes used by the British Army must be precisely 3 feet long to enable soldiers to use them for measuring as well.

Wonkee Donkee Tools