Wrapping the handle of a tomahawk, axe, or hatchet with some paracord has many advantages. It can protect the handle a little bit from a missed strike, where the handle might get marks or nicks in the wood.
The paracord also makes the handle less slippery. It makes the handle comfortable to work with, when the tomahawk or hatchet is gripped high up, (Or choked.) for finer controlled work.
Another advantage is that you can have a use-able amount of paracord that can be enough to help with shelter building, or to secure tripods, etc. A length of cordage can also be utilized for a bow drill, which is handy for bushcraft and survival use.
Whipped paracord on the handle can also look nice and give the tomahawk a personal touch.
(In this how to article, I will use the term tomahawk, axe and hatchet interchangeably through the article, as they all can easily be wrapped with paracord the same way.)
How to wrap a tomahawk or axe handle in easy steps.
There are dozens of knots, techniques and ways to secure the paracord to the handle, however this is an easy way and holds the cordage secure.
1. For wrapping the handle, use roughly about 12 feet (Approximately 365 cm.) of paracord. Or for an easy measurement, use about two wingspan lengths. This will cover about 4” (10 cm.) to 5” (About 13 cm.) length of the handle, depending on the thickness of the tomahawk handle. With a thicker axe handle, you might need more length of paracord, such as 18 feet. (Roughly 548 cm.)
2. Safety first. Before we start whipping the handle, ensure the mask or sheath is on the tomahawk, or axe head. If you haven’t got a leather mask, cover the sharp blade with thick tape. Or make a temporary cardboard, wooden, or plastic mask.
3. Fold the cordage in half, creating a bight and place the cordage on the handle parallel. (Leave enough tag end, so you can grip it and pull this later on in the finishing steps.)
4. Start wrapping around and down the handle.
5. Continue down the handle.
6. Wrap the paracord all the way down, leaving just the loop exposed.
7. Insert the tag end of the paracord through the loop. (Indicated by circle.) Pull the other end of the paracord, (Indicated by arrow.) until it pulls about one third to half way of the excess paracord under the wrapping.
8. Cut the excess tag end or ends. (One or two tag ends might show, depending on excess and how far you have pulled the paracord under.)
You can burn the tag end or ends. (If you burn the end of the paracord, be careful it isn’t bulky like a mushroom, or bulb as the clump makes it hard to pull through under the wrapped paracord.)
Optional – For extra security, a drop of superglue can be used to make sure the tag end stays secure.
Other paracord wrapping options and tips.
Bankline, hootchie cord, Nano cord, etc., all can be used to wrap around the handle. For thinner diameter line, you need about twice the length, compared to the thicker paracord.
Bright paracord or cordage like fluro orange, yellow or bright blue, makes the tomahawk easier to see if you put it down in the woods.
The handle can be wrapped the whole way up and down. (For an axe, you normally slide your hand on the handle, so this method may not be practical.)
You can also use multiple colours, or even put a wrap of fishing line underneath the paracord, or just the paracord hollow sheath. (With the inner strands removed.)
The lower half of the handle can be wrapped, where the handle is mainly gripped. This binding can move easily and unwind with a lot of use, so the wrapping has to be done securely.
You can also use Jute twine, which can be used for an emergency birds nest / tinder bundle (Mixed with other dry materials to make it bigger.) for fire lighting. Or wrap using FireCord, or Titan SurvivorCord.
To give the handle, or haft the most protection, oil the handle and let dry before wrapping with paracord.
With a lower handle wrap, you can leave excess cordage for a lanyard loop.
Black and dark color whipping, looks good for tactical tools.
You can also use this method on a hiking stick. Or a long torch, like the old Maglite torches.
With some hard plastic knife sheaths, this method of wrapping works as well.
You can use a leather collar to wrap and protect the handle, which can give the axe a nice old-style unique look.
Disadvantages of wrapping the handle.
If the paracord gets wet, storing the tomahawk for a long time can damage the wooden handle if not dried properly.
If the wrapping is not done securely enough, it may come loose and unwrap. Which could be dangerous swinging the tomahawk about.
Eventually the paracord will wear and need replacing. Especially if over-striking regularly when chopping.
Summary – How to wrap a tomahawk handle with paracord.
While there are plenty of other ways to wrap the handle, this way is simple and doesn’t take much time.
Extra grip, handle protection, emergency cordage and a unique look, are just some reasons to wrap the handle of a tomahawk, axe, or hatchet with some paracord.
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