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Choosing the right Style and Sizing your cane

What is the difference between a walking cane, stick and staff?

The basic difference between these "sticks" is height.

  • Canes - Cane height is determined by the overall height of the user. 

Ideally, it is based on the size of an existing cane that has been deemed comfortable to the user. 

Alternatively, you can measure the cane user by having them put on a shoe height they would normally use when walking with a cane.  Then, have them stand upright, let their arms fall to the sides naturally and bend slightly at the elbow.  Using a tape measure or yardstick, measure the distance from their wrist joint down to the floor (round up to the nearest half inch).

If these options are not available, determine the overall height of the user and divide by 1/2 (rounding up to the nearest half inch).  Then add an inch to this height. For example, if the user is 5 ft. tall, that would be 60 inches divided by 2 = 30 inches + 1 inch, or 31 inches total height for the cane.

  • Walking Sticks - Sticks are generally used for hiking and are about shoulder height. They might be as little as 42 inches or up to 54 inches.  To size a walking stick, hold out your hand at a comfortable angle and imagine you have a stick in your hand and are walking on rough ground.  Measure from that hand to the ground and you have a good fit.  The stick can stop at this hand-hold point or extend 6 inches or so above your hand-hold.

  • Walking Staffs - Staffs can be used for hiking or just to show off!  They generally extend above the head and are definitely show-stoppers!  Because it can be difficult to find a nice, straight piece of wood for a staff, Aspen is generally used.

  • Of course, all of these stick choices lend themselves to the avid collector, regardless of height and sizing. Additionally, some of the more delicate, deep relief carvings, such as flower petals and deep relief leaves are a better choice for a collector, since a cane used for every day walking will be dropped many times in its lifetime. 



My Preferred WOOD SPECIES for these projects are:


Chinese Tallow





Sticks & Staffs


Diamond Willow



When choosing your preferred size, shape and species for any of these choices, please keep in mind that because the products are made from natural materials, there will be variations in wood grain, color and appearance.  All of my canes, sticks and staffs are unique and environmentally friendly!


  • With an interview about the specific needs of each user, we can determine the need for any modifications or additions to accommodate physical or medical limitations.  These might include an ergonomic handle or stabilizing foot. 

  • ITEMS FOR SALE: Many of the pieces shown on this website are for sale and some are not. However, anything can be reproduced or used as a model for your project. Please contact me if you see something you would like to purchase or model after.










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