Tool handles can be made from a variety of hardwoods as well as fiberglass and steel. Each material has certain advantages and disadvantages for replacement handles.
The best replacement handles are made from American hickory and American ash because of their strength, elasticity, and ability to absorb shock. Hardwood handles do not conduct electricity.
American hickory is dense, heavy, and a natural shock absorber making it ideal for striking and cutting tool handles.
The long fibers and unique cell structure of American hickory allow it to flex repeatedly and return to its original shape. It absorbs and dissipates shock before it reaches the user’s hands.
The best American hickory logs come from Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina. This region has the ideal combination of soil minerals, rainfall, and sunshine to produce trees that grow slowly and uniformly for exceptional strength.
Wood from slower growing trees is denser and thus stronger than the lighter wood that comes from faster growing trees.
All Link hickory comes from the Tennessee region of the USA. Some hickory grows in the northeastern United States, but it is generally of lower quality than the hickory grown in the Tennessee region.
Most agricultural tool handles such as shovels, rakes, and hoes are made from American ash. It has a uniform grain structure that provides both the strength and the elasticity needed for the bending stresses these tools must endure.
When ash or hickory is not used, other hardwoods suitable for the application
For example, a leaf rake does not need a strong and expensive handle when compared to more demanding applications such as axes and shovels.
Fiberglass handles are strong, lightweight, and do not conduct electricity. Fiberglass, however, is not flexible and does not absorb shock.
Fiberglass handles cost more than hardwood handles.
Link has a line of nine fiberglass replacement handles.
Steel handles are extremely strong, but they are heavy and expensive. They are not flexible and do not absorb shock. Steel handles conduct electricity.
Link does not make steel replacement handles.
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