One of the main plot points in Chamber of Secrets is Ron's malfunctioning wand:

Ron was having far worse problems. He had patched up his wand with some borrowed Spellotape, but it seemed to be damaged beyond repair. It kept crackling and sparking at odd moments, and every time Ron tried to transfigure his beetle it engulfed him in thick gray smoke that smelled of rotten eggs. Unable to see what he was doing, Ron accidentally squashed his beetle with his elbow and had to ask for a new one. Professor McGonagall wasn’t pleased.

Since cracking a wand seems like a very easy thing to due, and considering that Hogwarts is made of kids, an age group not known for their responsibility, why doesn't Hogwarts have a stash of backup wands for the students?

Please don't answer that Hogwarts doesn't carry backups, because they do carry backup spellbooks (HBP) and backup brooms.

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    Presumably it's because wands choose wizards (or witches), whereas books are whatever and brooms seem to be more like bicycles that you can be used to a particular one but there's no deep personal connection. May 1, 2018 at 17:04
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    Do we ever hear of another student breaking a wand until Deathly Hallows? Maybe they're just super careful. May 1, 2018 at 17:04
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    Actually, this questioin makes me wonder why a certain Headmaster did not use his OP wand to fix said wands. I mean, the elder wand was able to repair Harry's broken-by-dark-magic-hit wand, surely it could have fixed Ron's. Non-competition agreement with Ollivander's? ahah
    – Jenayah
    May 1, 2018 at 17:25
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    @Jenayah -That might give away the secret that Dumbledore has the Elder Wand.
    – Simpleton
    May 1, 2018 at 17:38
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    @Simpleton I bet people would just chalk it up to "wow, Dumbledore is personally OP." May 1, 2018 at 17:40

3 Answers 3


(so, I edited this to include the other theories I started to develop in comments. PMar's answer states the "obvious" but is actually quite plausible. So, theories to follow are assuming Hogwarts could have spares, but just won't.)

(after-writing note: so it's quite long, and sometimes biased, but it was fun to think and write about...)

Because they wouldn't work as well as one's original wand.

I think they wouldn't work quite well, and a working wand seems to be essential for studying magic.

"The wand chooses the wizard" (Ollivander in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)

In this answer, you can see how a wand that didn't choose you just refuses to work properly. Unless Hogwarts was to buy a workload of spares to gamble with statistics (which would be expensive), it's unlikely each student would find a spare wand that fits him. At this point, you could even have Ollivander set a branch in Hogwarts.

They might deprive new wizards of wands.

So there's this eleven-years-old kid who goes to Ollivander's after receiving his letter. He's been treated like a freak for all his life by his Muggle family and can finally see the light upon knowing that he's part of an other universe, one of magic, full of promises - you get the idea.

So the kid's been trying dozens of wands at Ollivander's, but there's just nothing, you know? And the last one in the shop still doesn't fit him. "Isn't there another?," the kid asks Ollivander. Ollivander replies that no, it was the very last one, he's sorry, but a teacher came before him and bought the yearly amount of school spares,picking at random. Maybe his was in the lot? The kid gets a little hope and expects to find his at Hogwarts, but then he's told that he can't go to the school without a wand. So he goes back to his Muggle unloving family. How do you sleep at night, Hogwarts staff?!

Seriously though, if there's really only one wand that will accept to be your first wand (statistically unlikely, but hey, why not), you do not want anyone to buy a spare one "just in case". Also, it's even a statistical wonder that all these wizards find the perfect match. And that Ollivander, which we can assume makes wands partly randomly, still manages to create "the one" for nearly all the English wizard community. But I digress...

Budget-related issue.

A wand is seven galleons, as reminded by Simpleton. There are about 280 students in Hogwarts, according to this source. Let's say that we account for 10% of spares. That's more or less 200 gold galleons. What's to do with 200 gold galleons? Hogwarts seems pretty filthy rich as is, maybe they'd have 200GG to spare on spares (pun not intended).

I don't really have an answer for this. I could say something along the lines of "well, just because a school has funds, doesn't mean they'll spend it wisely (source: all the years I've spent as a student)", but it's a lame answer. So because I don't like to be speechless, and because OP said he loved my headcanons, and because there's a ton of others things I should be doing, but won't, and because it'll serve to introduce a neat transition, I'll say this.

Hogwarts uses the spare money to pay off newspapers and the Ministry itself, in order to continue to exist. Given the events that happen each year, you'd think a lot of parents would like their kids to be homeschooled (wasn't there something about parents retrieving their kids from Hogwarts in Deathly Hallows?). And, you'd think that some anti-Hogwarts people at the Ministry would like to fire the whole staff, even close the whole school, and start a new one somewhere else, which they'd have full control of.

But really...

Hogwarts just doesn't care if you stay alive (except if your name is Harry Potter).

I know, I know. Hogwarts is "the safest place you could think of", or something like that. True, the place itself isn't bad, apart from the moving staircases, rather low gates on the astronomy tower, etc.

The staff is nice and kind. It's true that many professors will try to save your life when you're faced with deadly beasts they've put in the castle themselves. Oh, and from other teachers as well. Thinking about it, 200 gold galleons spared per year could be used to hire a HR person to recruit legit DADA teachers (legit, as in they're not Death Eaters, dangerous beasts, frauds, or Ministry harpies).

Well the place AND staff have flaws, but what doesn't? You'll make friends anyways, right? Oh, I forgot, some of the kids are quite messed up themselves, going around controlling giant snakes to kill little girls and then blaming their peers. And some of them come from families that worship evil himself, and are tasked to kill the Headmaster. Other than that you're good.

So if you as students' representative were to suggest to buy spare wands to the face of a staff that has no problems with letting you face beasts, questionable teachers, living in a hazardous place + hazardous surroundings (Forbidden Forest, merpeople much?), and if on top of that you're not Headmaster's favorite student, well, I think the best answer you'll get is something along the lines of "Meh".

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    While a different wand would not work as well, it wouldn't necessarily be catastrophic (see Harry using Malfoy's wand), and quite likely still better than using an outright broken wand.
    – Irishpanda
    May 1, 2018 at 17:08
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    They don't work as well. Its untrue that they don't work properly.
    – TheAsh
    May 1, 2018 at 17:09
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    Malfoy's wand DID choose Harry but even the blackthorn was better than Ron's broken wand. Harry never ended up belching slugs or losing all of his memory.
    – Bishop
    May 1, 2018 at 17:10
  • Agreed, had not thought of that.My bad :) Then how about this: if you buy a spare wand, you might deprive a wizard/witch of the one wand that would have chose him/her, therefore condemning him/her to a life a low-efficiency magic. For a school, that's contradictory, to say the least. EDIT: well, true, it still does not answer the "students might kill themselves with their broken wand" situation.
    – Jenayah
    May 1, 2018 at 17:14
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    Accepted for 'Hogwarts doesn't care if you stay alive' Good observation.
    – TheAsh
    May 3, 2018 at 12:34

Wands probably don't break often enough to justify spares. Even Muggle-born underage witches and wizards would have to understand just how essential an intact wand is [see other answer], and would take steps to avoid placing their own wands in break-potential situations. [in particular, I'll bet Quidditch players aren't allowed to carry wands during a match, just to make sure they don't get broken]. Ron's wand is really an unusual case [though undoubtedly not a unique occurrence].

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    Quidditch players are allowed to carry wands. Harry does it several times, and I think it’s discussed in Quidditch through the Ages
    – wyvern
    May 1, 2018 at 18:34
  • If Quidditch players were banned from carrying wands during a match, it would most likely be to prevent them from hexing each other and the balls (i.e. cheating), not to prevent breakage.
    – FreeMan
    May 2, 2018 at 20:25
  1. Wands choose their owner, they simply wouldn't work as good as their original ones.
  2. Wands are very expensive.
  • 1
    Hi! Welcome to SciFi SE! It seems that both the points in your answer have already been mentioned in Jenayah's answer. Answers must add something new, otherwise they are better suited as comments. Once you gain a reputation score of 50, you will be able to comment everywhere.
    – Simpleton
    May 6, 2018 at 10:31

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