Pitchforks are an ideal tool for moving straw or manure around your garden and property. As with all tools, however, pitchfork handles wear out and break. The only way to repair a pitchfork handle is to replace it. Most pitchforks have a long neck into which the handle fits, secured by rivets. When installing a new handle, it's a good idea to use bolts instead of rivets. Bolts will secure the handle more firmly, and hand rivets tend to leave the handle loose inside the neck of the pitchfork.
Place the neck of the pitchfork in a bench vice with the tips of the fork pointing down. Rotate the vice handle clockwise to secure the pitchfork. Locate the two or three flat rivets that secure the pitchfork handle to the pitchfork neck.
Put on safety goggles and work gloves. Drill through the centre of each rivet with a steel-cutting drill bit that's the same diameter as the rivet head. Drill all the way though the neck and handle of the pitchfork.
Grasp the broken handle with both hands and pull it out of the neck of the pitchfork. Push the new handle into the pitchfork neck. Tap the end of the handle with a rubber mallet to fully insert the handle into the neck.
Drill holes through the handle where the holes are in the neck of the pitchfork. Insert threaded 3-inch flathead bolts through the holes with the threads pointing toward you. Place flat washers and nuts on the end of each bolt.
Tighten the nuts with a wrench. Cut off the excess bolt threads above the nuts with a hacksaw. Take the pitchfork out of the bench vice.
Replacement handles are available at home improvement and garden supply centres.
Tips and warnings
- Replacement handles are available at home improvement and garden supply centres.