Blacksmithing: Best Hammer Size & Anvil Setup
Whether you are first starting out with blacksmithing or you are a veteran, you want to make sure you are hammering using both the proper anvil height and the best hammer size and weight. This anvil and hammer guide with go over what you need to ensure you are setting yourself up for success. See our full blacksmithing guide for even more information.
If hammering is performed incorrectly, not only can you hurt yourself, but you can damage your surroundings, or even the tools and anvil you are using. Follow this guide to ensure you are taking the necessary steps to become a pro!
Best Hammer Size To Use When Blacksmithing
The first thing you need to know is how big of a hammer you will need. There are generally three main sizes of hammers to use:
- Small Hammers are typically 1 to 2 lbs, or 0.5 to 1 kgs
- Medium Hammers are typically 2 to 4.4 lbs, or 1 to 2 kgs
- Large Hammers are typically greater than 4.4 lbs or more than 2kg.
Which Hammer Size is the Best?
Out of the three sizes the best hammer size for blacksmithing, if you are a beginner, you should typically aim for a smaller hammer. Don’t let your ego get the best of you and go straight for the heavier hammers!
Choosing a hammer from the small weight selection will mean more precision on your swings and less strain on your muscles that you may not typically use as often as you think. This will mean you can work longer on your passion and minimize your risk of injury or muscle tiredness.
As you grow and feel more comfortable with a smaller hammer, if you feel you can still remain precise, then jump up a weight class if you want to explore.
Proper Height of the Anvil
The height of the anvil will again be a key factor in ensuring you do not sustain an injury. Here are the steps you should follow to determine the ideal height of the anvil for hammering:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart beside the anvil
- Have your striking hand fully extended downwards, in a fist
- The top of the anvil should be placed wherever the bottom of your fist is (where your knuckles hang)
Setting the anvil height to match the bottom of your hanging fist will ensure that when you strike with the hammer, it has time and space to extend properly and minimize injury or unnecessary stress on your body.