BushcraftOz | The Australian Bushcraft Forum

This is a sample guest message. Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Simple leather grip for Cold Steel Spetsnaz shovel / axe / machete / etc.


Russell Coight
Jan 4, 2021
Reaction score
Howdy all.

I felt like making something tonight, and after doing some weeding and wood chopping with my beloved Spetsnaz shovel the other day (this one, for those who haven't seen it before), I decided I'd make something to give me a better grip on the otherwise very smooth wooden handle. It's a bit cheap and nasty looking, but if you have a similar tool and you want to improve the grip, this will certainly do the trick. I apologise for the quality and quantity of the photos, I might try and upload some better ones once I've treated the leather tomorrow.

The method was very simple:
  1. Cut a long strip of leather. I have an old roll of leather I've been slowly getting through for the past couple of years, just thin furniture stuff, so I cut a strip off the edge ~12mm wide to use. I chose to use the flesh side of the leather as the outside surface because it's the best for grip, though I assume the grain side would be more durable.
  2. Cut some strips of duct or gaffer tape to the length of the grip you want to make. The number of strips will be based on the circumference of the handle and the width of the tape: you should have twice as many strips as you would need to wrap around the handle. You could use glue of course and it would be a stronger bond, but this method isn't as potentially messy, won't harden the leather, and can be easily removed if needs be.
  3. Fold those strips over on themselves along their length, forming a tube with the sticky side on the outside, and overlapping ~5mm so they are effectively double sided.
  4. Stick these double sided pieces of tape onto the handle, smoothing them down at the edges so they are close to flush, trying to cover the circumference evenly, and making sure they line up length ways.
  5. Begin wrapping the leather strip at one end of the tape. The first and last wrap around will be perpendicular to the length of the handle, but the rest will be slightly diagonal - make sure there are no significant gaps between the wraps.
  6. If there is any excess tape once you've finished wrapping, cut it off with a small knife.
There you have it. I might do it again to cover a greater length of the handle, and make a more even strip at the same time.