Don’t Put a Lanyard on Your Axe: It’s Dangerous

hatchet in a stump with a paracord lanyard dangling down

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.

example of a lanyard on a hatchet limiting how high on the handle you can hold

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.

Axe being stored hanging by a lanyard in a garage

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.

Please comment below If I missed something or if you have any questions. I do my best to respond to everyone.

About the author:

Jim of axeandtool.com in the woods with axe

About the author:

I’m also on Instagram: @axeandtool

Jim of axeandtool.com in the woods with axe

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  1. Yessssss… Thanks for taking the time to post this, Jim. Friends don’t let friends put lanyards on their axes. Also good words on how to store the axe.

    1. Ha! It’s one of my pet peeves – especially with a lot of the YouTube “experts” more concerned about looking cool. Appreciate the comment.