When it comes to making handles – for chisels, gouges, files, rasps, screwdrivers, awls,
you name it – there’s a wealth of opportunity to experiment with sizes, shapes and styles.
Traditionally, variations on a simple octagonal cross-section have long been favored for
handles. No special tools are required to make them, the flats give you positive feedback on
the position of the tool and they won't roll off the bench. I've come to like these advantages
so much that I even include an octagonal section on my turned handles these days. They also tend
to be without a ferrule, which simplifies the making, but also means you must be careful that you
don't split your new handle. But no matter, twenty minutes with a block plane and you can make
A non-round handle isn't as limited in style and shape as you might think. It can be whatever
you like, from long, short, fat, thin, tapering, bulbous or squashed, a crudely finished piece
from the firewood pile to a highly polished version in exotic hardwood.