Does Your Wheelbarrow Need New Handles? Make Them Yourself!

How to Make Replacement Wheelbarrow Handles

I use my wheelbarrow doing yard work, like everyone else. When I went to use it a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that one of the handles had completely rotted at the front end near the tire! Rather than buy new handles, which would equal the cost of an entirely new wheelbarrow, I made my own for almost nothing. For today’s project, I’ll share how to make replacement wheelbarrow handles easily and inexpensively!


Start by inspecting the existing bolts for rust. If they are rusty, soak them with a solvent such as WD-40 and have a partner help you remove them. I painted my wheelbarrow a few years ago and at that time, replaced the old bolts with new galvanized bolts so they were easy to remove and didn’t have to be replaced.


I removed the existing handles and measured them. They measured 1-1/4″ x 1-1/2″. I ripped a pressure treated 2×4 into two 1-1/4″ wide pieces on the table saw for the new handles. I clamped the old handle on top of the new piece, and drilled through the existing holes of the old handles into the new handles. I also placed a mark where the rounded portion of the handles ended (where you hold the handles), then marked the entire length of the handles and cut them on the miter saw.

The existing handles were rounded at the end and to mimic this, I used a router with a roundover bit to soften the hard edges from the end of the handle to the the marks I made where the rounded portion ended on the old handles. They aren’t exactly round like the old ones but they are comfortable in the hand.

I also cut a piece as a stretcher to pull the handles together so it wasn’t as wobbly. This piece had 5° angles in each end and was secured with 3″ screws from the outside of the handles.

I put everything back together so I could use it for yard cleanup the next day!

These handles will last just as long as purchased hardwood handles without the expense. Have any questions about how to make replacement wheelbarrow handles? Leave a comment below!