Big Handles for Comfortable Grips

If you have arthritic hands,  big hands, or big arthritic hands (like I do) adapting the handles on your garden tools can increase comfort when doing gardening chores.

Making Garden Tools Work for You

A simple way to adapt a garden hand tool.


  • Plumber’s foam pipe insulation ~ 1.5 inch diameter
  • 18″ duct tape
  • 18″ compression wrap (athletic tape)
  • Scissors


  • Cut a piece of foam the length of the garden tool handle.
  • Cut a vertical slit to open the foam.
  • Place foam over the handle of the garden tool.
  • Secure in place by wrapping the duct tape around the foam.
  • Make certain there are no uncomfortable seams (blister risk).
  • Using the same procedure in step four, cover the tape with athletic web wrap to allow for a better grip surface.
  • Make certain there are no uncomfortable seams.
  • When the wrap gets dirty, remove it and replace with a clean piece of wrap.

By Amy Wagenfeld, PhD, OTR/L, CAPS