Treestep Wrench

It’s that time of year to move or hang treestands in our prime locations. Things might have changed since last year and that stand location isn’t as promising as it was last season. For properties and locations that allow screw-in treesteps, I’ve come up with a wrench that is not only handy for screwing steps into trees, but works great for removing them.

To make the wrench, you’ll need:

  • A foot long piece of 1″ X 3/4″ square metal tubing,
  • A 2 1/2″ X 3/8″ carriage bolt (I like an unthreaded shank best ) with a corresponding nut,
  • 27/64″ and 3/8″ drill bits and
  • A drill

Drill a 3/8″ hole about an inch from the end of the tubing and a 27/64″ hole a few inches higher as shown in the photo. The larger hole (the 27/64″) will fit over the foot of the step, and the bolt will fit through the smaller hole.

With the step inserted through the larger hole and the carriage bolt lip snugged up to “catch” the step, the rounded lip will slide nicely over the tree bark as the step is screwed into the tree. If you have a tap and die set, the square tubing may be threaded to fit the carriage bolt; if not, a nut on each side of the bolt will anchor it securely against the tubing.

To help start or remove the step, place the open end of the wrench over it as shown in the photo above. If you have steps that won’t fit into the open end of the wrench, simply lay the wrench parallel against the step and use it for leverage to push or pull as needed.

Here are some safety tips when using treesteps. I’m sure there are more, but remember to be “Safety Smart” when using screw-in treesteps:


  • Check local laws and regulations.
  • Secure landowner permission if hunting private land.
  • Without fail, use a safety rope while ascending and descending the steps.
  • Never place steps into dead or dying trees.
  • Inspect steps to make sure they are secure, especially if not removed at season’s end.
  • Make certain that steps fit flush against the tree.
  • Place steps so that you step down onto your stand.

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  1. Flyfisher November 1, 2017 at 10:02 am - Reply

    I use a similar method to install tree stand steps, however, I always carry a large adjustable wrench. The wrench jaws are useful for installing removable step studs. The handle of the wrench has a large hole in it which I insert the standard steps into. It’s difficult to explain, but using the leverage of the wrench while resting on the perpendicular portion of the step, they’re quite easy to install. I also like to carry a cordless drill with an undersized bit and predrill holes for each step. I’ve never had any of the steps fail using this method and it’s a huge time saver. I only do this on my own private property, of course.

  2. Matt November 1, 2017 at 10:11 am - Reply

    Screw in steps are unsafe, obsolete, and unnecessarily damage trees. Between ladders, sticks, and all the ways we climb there are better ways, and those traditional screw in steps I’ve personally seen them “pop out” of trees, break, grow into trees, and stab if one slips onto one. They are a liability to anyone who hunts, and damage the trees.

  3. Jeff Vadney November 1, 2017 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    As an avid trad. bowhunter, Bowhunter Education instructor and a landowner in a bow only area, I would like to say this. The first paragraph indicates that some stands may be left up in the same tree all year long, from season to season. If so this leads to bad relations with the landowner, potential damage to the stand from mother nature (NOT SAFE!!) and damage to the tree. Take your stands down at the end of each season. Secondly, take the screw in steps and see if you can get something for them as scrap metal, or properly dispose of them. They are not as safe as strap on sticks and can damage trees. They can make streaks in the lumber that the tree may be used for later. They get left in the tree and ruin chainsaws and sawmill equipment. Yes they are light weight and easy to use, but since when have Trad. folks been to lazy to do things the correct way?

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