Despite what all the cool guy “experts” on YouTube say – putting a lanyard on your axe is a bad idea. So save yourself some money and pass on the paracord.
You might think a lanyard would make an axe safer and keep it from flying out of your hand – I thought that too. But a lanyard actually makes your axe much more dangerous.
Lanyards Impact Grip
Unless you put the lanyard on your wrist every single time (which you won’t), it can make your grip worse. You often need to hold it back, to keep it out of the way. This can reduce the grip of your hold, and will honestly be annoying.
Lanyards Cause Axes to Swing Back
Does a swinging blade on a rope sound safe to you?
If you have a lanyard on and somehow lose grip of the axe, it will swing back like a pendulum on your wrist. And it will swing back at you blade first (that’s bad).
This could happen if it slips from your hand, or gets hit by a branch, or is caught. It’s safer to be able to let go.
You Should be Able to Drop your Axe
Dropping an axe can often be the safest way to deal with it when you need to act quickly – allowing you to use both hands or just get the axe away from you.
If you slip, fall, or need to quickly help someone else – it’s much easier to drop or toss your axe to the side (safely). It’s not great for the axe, but it’s much better for you.
The Lanyard Can Get Snagged
Whether it’s branches in the brush or just on your clothing, a lanyard can get caught and cause the axe to get pulled from your hand. Leading to all the troublesome scenarios mentioned already.
This is especially true if you are packing you axe in a bag or putting it on a belt. The lanyard just causes trouble.
Lanyard’s Prevent Safe Carry
The safest way to carry an axe or hatchet is up near the head (sheathed or not). This gives you the most control over the blade and prevents accidents from happening.
Learn more tips about the proper ways to carry an axe.
Even on a short hatchet, a lanyard stops you from being able to hold high enough on the handle. So you are more likely to take a shortcut, and carry your axe in a dangerous way – which can lead to injury.
Or if you have a long lanyard, it becomes that much more likely to be snagged on something during use.
Lanyards are Annoying to Use
If non of the safety reasons have convinced you, I have an even better one – it will annoy you instantly and constantly.
When I was first getting started I put lanyards on my hatchets and axes and quickly found they only get in the way. They interfere, often hanging down in front of your work, and the constant on/off will lead to annoyance or lazy use – either way, more trouble than it’s worth.
A Lanyard Hole on an Axe is for Storage
The lanyard hole is meant for a very small string or twine loop used to hang your axe on the wall at home.
The weight of leaning an axe against a wall for long periods can cause the handle to warp or loosen. The head can also develop rust from contact with the ground (depending on the surface).
Hanging the axe from the wall takes the pressure off the handle and puts the head in the air, away from debris and the floor.
I don’t like leather for this, I find it too thick. I like mason twine. It’s thin, tough enough, and neon to help you spot your axe in the woods. Here is an example on amazon, but I think I got mine from the dollar store.
If I missed something or you have any questions, feel free to leave me a comment below. I do my best to respond to everyone.
About the author:
I’m just a guy who likes axes – as a tool, the craft of restoring them, and the history. I got tired of only finding crap websites, so I set out to build a reliable one myself.
Jim B. – Owner, Creator