How to Measure Your Walking Stick for a Ferrule
Replacing a ferrule can be confusing, not least because you first need to make sure you've got the right ferrule for your stick or cane. To make things as easy as possible for you, we've put together this quick and easy guide on How to Measure Your Walking Stick for a Ferrule.
Why Might I Need A New Ferrule?
Due to wear and tear, your ferrule can wear out over time. If you use your walking stick frequently outdoors, this can happen very quickly, meaning the ferrule will need replacement in just weeks.
The right ferrule improves your grip and stability, and it is important to find the right fit.
How Do I Find Out What Size Ferrule I Need?
To find out what size ferrule you need, you need to measure your walking stick. You need to measure the diameter of the walking stick without a ferrule.
For example, a walking stick with a diameter of 22mm without a ferrule would need a ferrule of 22mm.
What Is the Diameter?
Ferrules are measured using the diameter of the walking stick they're compatible with, rather than the circumference. The table below illustrates the difference between these two measurements.
As you can see, the diameter is the "across" measurement, taken from one side of the ferrule opening to
How Do I Measure My Walking Stick's Diameter?
- With the old ferrule already removed (see below if you need help with this) look at the bottom of your stick
- Hold a tape measure or ruler up to the bottom of the stick at the widest part (i.e. the centre)
- Read the measurement off of your ruler or tape measure; this is the size of ferrule you will need
- E.g. a stick with a diameter of 22mm will require a ferrule with a diameter of 22mm
Does the Sizing Have to be Exact?
It's important to pick a ferrule size that matches the size of the end of your walking stick. But it's also to important to keep a few things in mind, depending on your ferrule material:
- Rubber Ferrules: they usually have a little give, so can the diameter of the opening can 1mm smaller than the end of your walking stick and still fit
- Metal Ferrules: much more rigid than rubber ferrules, but as they might have to be hammered or nailed into place, it's OK is they're 1mm larger than the end of your walking stick
Choose a New Ferrule
You may already have a new ferrule in mind. If so, feel free to skip straight this section.
If you do need a ferrule, here is a quick overview of the options available to you:
The most common type of ferrule is made using rubber, as this material is ideal for maintaining grip on hard, smooth ground, as you'd find indoors or in the city.
Sturdy with a time-tested design, the Heavy Duty Type Z Rubber Ferrule is a staple, stable base seen on many walking sticks. It is appropriate for use in most conditions.
A more modern take on the rubber ferrule, the Flexyfoot Shock-Absorbing Ferrule is able to bend and compress on contact with the ground for a unique stable feel.
A reliable and durable choice, metal ferrules will outlast their rubber counterparts but are better suited to soft ground and country walks.
More durable than its rubber alternatives, the Type K Metal Ferrule for Walking Sticks offers a firm connection on soft ground, but isn't the best choice for hard surfaces.
With a spike tip, the Spiked-Tip Steel Ferrule generates even firmer grip on soft surfaces and less reliable grip on hard surfaces. It is ideal for soft, slippy, even boggy terrain.
For some of the benefits of both kinds of ferrule, it is possible to get a metal ferrule with a removable rubber tip – known as a combi ferrule.
The top half of a combi ferrule, the Combi Spike Walking Stick Ferrule provides excellent grip on soft surfaces and terrain, ideal for walks through country fields.
The corresponding rubber tip, the Type E Combi Ferrule for the Combi Spike Walking Stick Ferrule is able to be removed or replaced quickly for good grip on hard surfaces.
How to Remove Your Old Ferrule
This can vary by ferrule. Rubber ferrules can almost always be pulled off, but metal ferrules often feature a screw fastening which needs to be removed carefully to avoid damaging the wood.
Sometimes it is possible to remove these using a screwdriver and sometimes the whole ferrule can be unscrewed by hand, but it is best to proceed with caution as methods can differ greatly between models.
Attaching Your New Ferrule
Attaching a new ferrule is much easier step than removing an old one. For most rubber ferrules the only requirement is to push the ferrule firmly onto the bottom of the stick so it goes as far on as it can.
Some metal ferrules will require fastening, however – much more so than when removing a ferrule – these mechanisms should be self explanatory.
What If My Ferrule Is the Wrong Size?
If you find your stick is the wrong size for your replacement ferrule, the easiest option is always to purchase a new ferrule. These are generally cheap items (much cheaper than the stick itself) which you want to avoid damaging.
With that said, if you cannot find an appropriate ferrule, it is possible to shave down the bottom of a wooden stick to fit a wooden ferrule. If you do this, always be careful not to take off too much of the stick, because once wood has been taken away there is no undoing it!