Choosing Between Lacquered and Unlacquered Axe and Hammer Handles: Understanding the Differences

Choosing Between Lacquered and Unlacquered Axe and Hammer Handles: Understanding the Differences

When it comes to selecting the perfect axe or hammer, the handle might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it plays a crucial role in your overall experience with the tool. One important consideration is whether to opt for a lacquered or an unlacquered handle. At Warwood Tool, having historically serviced railroads, mines and heavy construction jobs, we primarily produce lacquered handles, but understanding the differences between the two options is key to making an informed decision.


Lacquered Handles:

Lacquered handles, like those crafted by Warwood Tool, are coated with a layer of lacquer, a clear protective finish. Here's why lacquered handles are preferred by many:


Durability: The lacquer provides an extra layer of protection against moisture, dirt, and other elements that can cause damage to the handle. This added durability ensures that your axe or hammer handle withstands the test of time, even in harsh outdoor conditions.


Smooth Finish: The lacquer creates a smooth and polished surface, enhancing the grip and comfort of the handle. This is especially beneficial during extended use, as it reduces hand fatigue and improves control over the tool.


Resistance to Wear: Lacquered handles are less prone to wear and tear compared to unlacquered handles. The protective coating helps maintain the integrity of the wood, preventing splintering and cracking even after repeated use.


Easy Maintenance: Cleaning and maintaining a lacquered handle is a breeze. Simply wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris, and the handle will retain its pristine appearance for years to come.


Unlacquered Handles:

On the other hand, some individuals prefer the natural look and feel of an unlacquered handle. Here are a few characteristics of unlacquered handles to consider:


Natural Aesthetic: Unlacquered handles showcase the raw beauty of the wood, providing a rustic and authentic appearance. For those who appreciate the natural grain and texture of wood, an unlacquered handle offers unparalleled aesthetic appeal.


Enhanced Grip: While lacquered handles offer a smooth finish, some users prefer the slightly rougher texture of an unlacquered handle, which can provide a more secure grip, especially in wet or slippery conditions.


Customization Options: Unlacquered handles can be easily customized with stains, oils, or other finishes to achieve the desired look and feel. This flexibility allows users to personalize their tools according to their preferences.


When shopping for hand tools today, you’ll come across a large majority of them with lacquered handles. If that’s not what you’re looking for, you can easily take the lacquer or varnish off with some light sanding, leaving a smooth wood handle that can be treated with boiled linseed oil or any other finish of your liking. The same can be done if your lacquer finish is showing signs of wear, cracking or uncomfortable.

Both lacquered and unlacquered handles have their unique advantages, and the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference and intended use. At Warwood Tool, we take pride in crafting high-quality lacquered handles that offer durability, comfort, and performance. Whether you prefer the sleek finish of lacquered handles or the natural charm of unlacquered handles, you can trust Warwood Tool to provide you with a reliable and expertly crafted tool that meets your needs.

Back to blog