Introduction: Build a Disc Brake Utility Hatchet

Picture of Build a Disc Brake Utility Hatchet

This build came about as I was going through my shop and looking at some random parts. I figure the bike brake is pretty good steel and will hold a nice edge. I found some other parts and leather to really make this a nice project. Enjoy

I also made a carving knife set with other parts of the disc brake, check it out here!

Step 1: Round Up Your Parts and Tools

Picture of Round Up Your Parts and Tools

For this build I can't give an exact parts list, I kinda threw together some odds and ends I had laying around. But I will give a quick run down. I put the back spike and cap to add weight. The thin metal from the brake is pretty light. Parts: used bike disc brake, wood for the handle (I used diamond willow), 1/2 or bigger steel round rod, steel cap, leather, paint & primer. Tools; band saw, grinder, belt sander, leather working tools

Step 2: Cut and Fit

Picture of Cut and Fit

Get your parts together and figure out exactly how you want it to look and function. Trace out the blade. Using a grinder or band saw cut out the blade and shape other materials. * be sure to have water handy to quench the hot steel. Do not over heat* use your safety gear!

Step 3: Prep and Paint

Picture of Prep and Paint

Sand the metal parts, prime and paint

Step 4: Leather

Picture of Leather

Gather some leather strips and stamp a design into it, this will form the handle. I also cut some black strips for the top and bottom of the handle. I also cut some super thin strips to tie down the blade and spike.

Step 5: Finish Up

Picture of Finish Up

This would be a good time to gather all of your parts. Sharpen the blade. Install the blade, spike and cap with the thin leather strip. You may need to use epoxy to hold things in place, but I did not. Do any wood finish you want here as well.

Step 6: Bonus: Sheath

Picture of Bonus: Sheath

I built a quick and simple leather sheath with snaps and rivets. I won't go over the details but I think the picture explains it well.

Step 7: Final Thoughts

Picture of Final Thoughts

It's sharp! I chopped some small branches and wood and it held up perfectly. The steel hold a good edge. My only major concern is the top hole in the blade creating a dent or wearing away. Thanks for looking!


Nate5b (author)2017-05-14

Cool project! It's always fun to see repurposed items.

taxilunar (author)2016-10-07

This tomahawk done with brake disc, to be cast iron, porous, can not resist the shock. This alternative made with motorcycle crown is more efficient. It is a very hard iron!

NW66 (author)2015-12-29

why not use the rests of another disk brake to weld together a handle.

fiestybeaver (author)2015-12-03

That thing is awesome. I live in the middle of nowhere so there a hundreds of dead vehicles and bikes so finding the parts for this won't be too hard. In fact, I might just go look for what I need now.

As a side note, all I'm thinking of is making a whole bunch of throwing axes...

fiestybeaver (author)2015-12-03

That thing is awesome. I live in the middle of nowhere so there a hundreds of dead vehicles and bikes so finding the parts for this won't be too hard. In fact, I might just go look for what I need now.

As a side note, all I'm thinking of is making a whole bunch of throwing axes...

JackDC2000 (author)2015-07-19

Looks amazing. As a person who likes biking and is in need of a hatchet, this might just be my next project.

Qwertyfish (author)2014-11-15

I'm going to do this, I'm Gonna get a disk brake and an old broom handle. Then saw a line in the bro handle, secure the disc brake axe head. THEN BOOM

Jake_Makes (author)2014-09-30

Awesome 'ible. I made one out of a circular saw blade instead of a disc brake, works great. Thanks

The Dragknslayer God (author)2014-01-14

what size disc was it?

Tensephilly (author)2013-07-31

Woah. Gotta make this! Awesome!

troopersmachine (author)2013-03-07

Very cool, I like giving new life and purpose to old parts. I made a hatchet from a window regulator gear.

Thanks, I love repurposing old parts into something useful. Feel free to post a picture of that hatchet you made in the comments, I'd love to see it!

I made as a gift for my brother.

Xthinker (author)troopersmachine2013-04-26

Looks great, however that looks more like a battle ax than a hatchet!

That thing looks pretty gnarly man! Good job.

basementhacker (author)2013-04-22

I made a hatchet similar to this one, but instead of a disc brake, I forged the head. Unfortunately I was too zealous in my youthful pounding and made the head a little too thin, so I can't actually use it for anything really helpful - it's maybe limited to home defense. :P
I did make an easy, effective case for it though, which I have been planning to make an I'ble for.....

Absyrd (author)2013-03-28

большей ерунды в жизни не видел...

eyewalk (author)2013-03-12

This is a cool idea - I had a free afternoon and my bent brake disc and so, why not? All made with an angle grinder (steel cutting wheel, sanding wheel) and hand drill. Easy! Thanks for the inspiration :)

mammasboy (author)eyewalk2013-03-21

what was your disk brake from? it looks far too big to be from a regular bicycle

abadfart (author)mammasboy2013-03-25

it might be a motor bike brake

mammasboy (author)abadfart2013-03-25

yep, i looked at my dads motorbike and its disk brakes are the perfect size, gonna ask around and see if any shops have a few to spare

abadfart (author)mammasboy2013-03-26

well it shouldn't be to hard sport bikes are well known for warping there front rotors

mammasboy (author)abadfart2013-03-26

yep, i asked around and the first shop said i was welcome to them but they haven't done any brake jobs in a while, the second shop was all stingy and would let me have any xP

RangerJ (author)eyewalk2013-03-23

That is a nice looking job.

desertsniper (author)eyewalk2013-03-12

That's outstanding! I dig the lines in that hatchet. Great job.

eyewalk (author)desertsniper2013-03-12

Cheers! Got to find some better wood for the last piece left of that disc - a friend of mine really needs a tomahawk

Fish Nerd (author)2013-03-21


desertsniper (author)Fish Nerd2013-03-21

Thank you! Please vote for me if you think this is a winner.

SmellierCow (author)2013-03-13

Absolutely Awesome

desertsniper (author)SmellierCow2013-03-13

Thank you very much! If you like what you see here please vote for me in the contests! Thanks.

Ray from RI (author)2013-03-12

Very Nice... how often do you need to sharpen the ax... per amount of use?

Also do you know what kind of Steel that the disc brake made out of ....???

desertsniper (author)Ray from RI2013-03-12

I have not had to resharpen it yet, as long as you don't over heat the steel while cutting and grinding you won't have to temper and heat treat. Not sure of the steel but it holds a great edge.

Ray from RI (author)desertsniper2013-03-12

Excellent to hear, then it might be made out of tool steel....!
If it was stainless that holds a very crappy edge and you would have to resharpen it often....

cody.lomas (author)2013-03-12

really like the tommohawk if you want it to look more primitive try soaking raw hide dog treats and cut them into strips to wrap it around the handle

jobard (author)2013-03-11


desertsniper (author)jobard2013-03-12

Thank you!

actionjksn (author)2013-03-10

That green belt and disk sander looks like the Harbor Freight model. I got the same one on sale for about 40 dollars with my Inside Track Club membership, it works pretty well. I would like to have the next size bigger model but it was out of my budget. I would make this hatchet but I don't have the disk brake. I will keep an eye out for one.

desertsniper (author)actionjksn2013-03-12

Yes that is the one from HF, it works ok I guess. Just keep an eye out for one!

triumphman (author)2013-03-10

I like it! Almost looks like the "Assassin's Creed" tomahawk! Check out the trailer for that it is really cool!

desertsniper (author)triumphman2013-03-12


Basement_Craftsman (author)2013-03-09

Great build! I love seeing all your creations!


cart562 (author)2013-03-08

Great idea! Although I would probably need to modify it for me, just because I break anything that isn't strong enough.

desertsniper (author)cart5622013-03-08

It's meant to chop small wood and sharpen sticks. Small fast work.

cart562 (author)desertsniper2013-03-08

I think I had my old crank shaft laying around here somewhere with the three big gears, do you think that would be good enough metal too? Although I could probably get a disc brake from someone I know.

desertsniper (author)cart5622013-03-09

You could build it out of a gear, but the edge would not hold up long. Ideally you want a harder metal with a high carbon content. An old file would work better. Great thinking though, let me know how it turns out.

phillipnolan (author)2013-03-08

clever -- way to recycle.

fred27 (author)2013-03-08

Some nice recycling. Unfortunately I just threw away a bent motorcycle rear disc. (I rode off with a disc lock on. Doh!)

desertsniper (author)fred272013-03-08

I bet that is some really good and thick steel! I had a buddy do the same thing, seems easy to do and a costly mistake. Thanks for the complement.

Tupulov (author)2013-03-08

AAHHHH!!! Now it's even harder to keep from adding to my scrap pile!
Well done! :-)

About This Instructable




Bio: I enjoy building things and being creative.
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