Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Finding Blacksmith’s Tools

Where can beginning blacksmiths find tools?  That is a simple question with a complicated answer.  Here in the northeast, local farms date to the early19th century.  Farm auctions, antique stores, and junk shops may have some useful tools.  There are also a growing number of vendors selling new blacksmith’s tools over the internet.  Finally, hardware stores and Sears still carry blacksmith’s hammers, punches, and chisels.

I often recommend that people interested in blacksmithing try it before buying a lot of tools.  Meet the blacksmiths in your area, look for educational blacksmithing organizations locally, and go to a hammer-in or take a class.  The national organization for blacksmiths is the Artist Blacksmith Association of North America. My sidebar has links to several blacksmithing organizations in NY.  Setting up a shop is a commitment of time and money.  But a hobbyist can start with only a few basic tools to get started.

The core shop tools of blacksmithing are the forge, anvil, and vice.  The core hand tools are the hammer, tongs, chisels, and perhaps a hacksaw.  After you have those basics, the tools you need will be determined by what you are doing.  Many smiths today use propane-fired portable forges rather than a coal fire and bellows.  Each style has benefits and drawbacks.  Talking to other smiths and taking classes that let you use a variety of tools can help in the decision-making process.  Buying new tools, making tools, and refurbishing old ones for another generation of use is part of the fun of blacksmithing.


  1. a blacksmith, I think, must make 90% of the tools that he uses. nice articole

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Hi. Not sure, if this is an active site still? I love on an old property and have an old shop in back of our house. It has a forge and a cistern. Much of what was inside was sold years ago. Although, there is an old vice and a few tools. I'm looking for someone to send pics to in order to get a professional opinion, if it was a blacksmith shop and help me try to date it. I am in the process of trying to find the previous owner, but the land was divided in tracts and I'm not 100% positive who owned it back then. Would appreciate any help at all. Thanks! Denise from Ohio


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