I picked up a splitting maul at a yard sale last year. I used it for the rest of the season with no problems. It has been in the wood shed and exposed to some sun, but mostly shade.

I picked it up the other day and it stuck to my hand. When I tried to let go, it slid from my hand, leaving behind black goo and rubber from the handle. Now it's so bad the whole rubber part is gooey and if I try to rub anything on it the rubber comes off. It's permanently soft and sticky and is coming off the handle.

Can I save it or is it done?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Suggestion: this should be moved to Lifehacks. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 3:00
  • $\begingroup$ Take it off, then Plasti-Dip. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 14:14

1 Answer 1


I've had the same problem with other types of rubber-coated tool handles. The best solution is to completely remove the rubber coating, which takes a lot of scraping and then scrubbing (outdoors) with paint thinner on paper towels. Invariably, as you have already noticed, everything touched gets coated with hard-to-remove black goop.

Another choice would be to wipe off the loose stuff and then over-wrap the handle with a strong cloth tape, checking carefully that it will not slip when you use the maul.

You might cover the tape with heat-shrink tubing, if you have the right diameter stuff, or with tubing cut from an old bicycle inner-tube (cheap or free, and makes a good grip).


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