So I’m using a 10×10 tamper to help cram about 100 gallons worth of weeds into a 50 gallon sized garbage can. After about the third smash, OH SNAP! (pun intended) Broken tamper handle.  Here’s how I fix that broken tool handle.

This is what I’m looking at. No problem. Time for some tool handle repair.



Go and grab:

  • Cordless drill (you DO have a cordless drill, RIGHT?)
  • Spade bit (or paddle bit) that’s big enough to remove most of the broken handle. You’ll see.
  • BFH (Big F*cking Hammer)
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Saw (Sawzall (reciprocating saw) if you have one, and you should)


Step 1: Pull out the set nail.

Most large tools like this have a set nail that’s just a nail through a hole in the base that keeps the handle IN the tool. Pull it out.

Pull that nail out.

Hi, the department of redundancy department mandated that we show this picture of someone pulling the nail out even though it should be pretty obvious how to do this.


Step 2: Clean up that broken handle.

YES, you get to use your Sawzall for 3 seconds.

Saw off that broken part.


Step 3: Get the broken piece out.

Some of these tools also have a spike built into the base pointing up from the inside that the handle is pounded into that helps it stay in place as well. That also means when the handle breaks off it’s a real pain to get the broken piece out. The best way is just to drill out what you can and force the rest out.

Get a spade bit that will remove as much material as possible, the biggest bit in your kit is probably 1-inch, so use that.

1-inch spade bit ready to drill.

Drill it out.


Here’s what you’re left with.

Drilling done.


Now get your BFH (Big f*cking hammer) and the flathead screwdriver and whale away at it. As soon as you break off one piece the rest will come out in 2 seconds.

Whale on it.


Step 5: Shove the handle back in and nail it.

You’re almost done. Shove the handle back in and give it a couple whacks with the BFH to set it down into the base in case there’s a set spike in the bottom of the base. Then replace your set nail.

Replacing the set nail. This is a galvanized roofing nail. It came in this garage sale tamper. I’m not sure what would have been in here originally.


Step 6: Enjoy your manliness.

Done with the tool handle repair.


If it weren’t for the photo shoot this job is about 5 minutes. Of course now the handle is about 3 inches shorter, but it’s better than hucking it down to the hardware store and buying a new handle.


Thanks for coming.

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