How to Fix a Luggage Handle

Updated February 21, 2017

Business trips, travelling, moving from one house to another: All require using luggage to transport your belongings. However, heavy or regular use of a suitcase can result in ripped material or a broken handle from the weight of the contents as the bag is lifted or pulled. You can try fix a broken handle--but it will likely break again. However, you can easily replace it and avoid spending money on new luggage.

Find your purchase receipt and any information that came with the luggage to learn if the piece is under a manufacturer or store warranty. Contact the maker or store to learn how you can return the luggage to be fixed free of charge. Ask if you are responsible for any shipping charges, as it may be less expensive as a do-it-yourself project.

Check the luggage to see what type of the handle it has. It will either have a retractable or recessed handle. The handle can be screwed or bolted into place or additionally attached using rivets.

Use the correct tool for removing the old handle from your luggage. To remove a recessed handle, you will need a simple screwdriver. A retractable handle may require a pair of pliers or wrench to help pull out the bolts or rivets.

Buy a new luggage handle from a luggage store or the manufacturer. Look for the same colour and, in particular, the type and size that matches your luggage.

Remove the damaged handle. Begin by unzipping the suitcase and looking around the inside where the handle is attached. Use the screwdriver to undo any screws; pull off the old handle. For a bolted or riveted handle, use pliers or a wrench to remove the hardware.

Affix the new handle using new screws--the original screws are probably stripped and worn. Position the handle in the same place as the old one so that it is correctly balanced when you lift it. To secure rivets into place, use a rivet gun or hammer so that the head of the rivet is splayed to hold the handle in place.

Put items inside your suitcase to simulate the weight of clothing. Test the new handle by lifting it. If the handle feels loose, go back and tighten up the hardware.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers or wrench
  • New luggage handle
  • Screws or bolts/rivets
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About the Author

Based in Bristol, Philippa Jones has been a music journalist and script writer since 2007, working across a range of radio programs in the U.K. and Australia. Her articles have appeared in "Impact Magazine," "The Mic" and in local newspapers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in politics from the University of Nottingham.