The Farrier Anvil in Blacksmithing: A Comprehensive Guide

Farriers anvil

What is a Farrier Anvil?

The farrier anvil is an essential tool for blacksmiths, as it serves as a solid surface for shaping and forming hot metal. Farrier anvils are specifically designed for working with horse shoes and other horseshoeing related tasks, but can also be used for general blacksmithing.

The anvil is typically made of steel or iron and has a flat top surface with a horn, a round surface at one end, and a square or rectangular surface at the other end. In this guide, we will discuss the various parts of a farrier anvil and their uses, how to properly care for and maintain a farrier anvil, and some tips for using a farrier anvil in blacksmithing.

Parts of a Farrier Anvil:


The horn is the rounded surface at one end of the anvil and is used for bending and shaping metal.


The face is the flat top surface of the anvil and is used for striking and shaping metal.


The heel is the square or rectangular surface at the other end of the anvil and is used for cutting and punching holes in metal.

Pritchel Hole:

The pritchel hole is a small hole located near the heel and is used for punching small holes in metal.

Hardy Hole:

The hardy hole is a larger hole located near the heel and is used for holding tools such as fullers and swages.

Care and Maitanance:

  • Keep the anvil clean and free of debris.
  • Apply a coat of oil to the anvil to prevent rust and corrosion.
  • Check for any cracks or damage to the anvil and repair or replace as necessary.
  • Store the anvil in a dry, covered area to protect it from the elements.

Tips for Using a Farrier Anvil in Blacksmithing:

  • Always use a proper hammer when striking the anvil.
  • Use the correct surface of the anvil for the task at hand (e.g. use the horn for bending, the face for striking, etc.)
  • Place the metal on the anvil in a way that allows for the most control and leverage.
  • Always wear proper safety gear, including gloves, goggles, and a face shield.
  • Practice proper technique to avoid injury and achieve desired results.


A farrier anvil is a versatile tool for blacksmiths. Understanding its various parts and uses, as well as proper care and maintenance, will ensure that the anvil lasts for many years and serves as a reliable tool for shaping and forming hot metal. With practice and proper technique, a farrier anvil can be used to create a wide variety of projects in blacksmithing.

This post is part of The Forge Hub’s Blacksmithing Complete Guide & Directory.

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