What is a Bellows used for?

man lifting hot metal

Bellows in Blacksmithing

A bellows is a traditional tool used in blacksmithing to increase the airflow to the forge. Bellows are typically made from multiple layers of leather or canvas and are operated by a handle that is pulled and pushed to create a pumping action. The pumping action increases the oxygen flow to the forge, which in turn increases the heat of the fire. This allows the blacksmith to work with hotter temperatures and create a wider range of metal pieces.

Bellows have been used in blacksmithing for centuries, and they are still a popular choice among blacksmiths today. They are relatively simple to use and maintain, and they are also relatively inexpensive. They are also highly versatile and can be used with a variety of different forge designs.

blacksmithing bellows
Source: Wikipedia

Benefits of Bellows

Highly Portable

One of the main benefits of using this tool in blacksmithing is that they are highly portable. Bellows are lightweight and easy to move around, which makes them ideal for blacksmiths who travel to different locations or work in small spaces. Additionally, bellows are also easy to store and take up very little space.


Another benefit of is that they are highly customizable. Many blacksmiths choose to make their own bellows and customize them to suit their specific needs. This can include adding extra layers of leather or canvas to increase the airflow, or adding a fan to increase the efficiency of the bellows.

Airflow Control

In addition, bellows are also used to control the airflow to the forge in order to create different types of fires. For example, a strong blast of air can create a hot and intense fire, while a gentler flow of air can create a cooler and longer-lasting fire. This allows the blacksmith to work with different types of metal, such as iron and steel, and create a variety of different pieces.


Overall, bellows are an essential tool in the blacksmithing process. They allow the blacksmith to work with hotter temperatures, create a wider range of metal pieces, and are highly portable and customizable. Whether you are a professional blacksmith or a hobbyist, investing in good quality is an important step in ensuring that you can create high-quality metal pieces that are both beautiful and functional.

To learn more about forging in greater details, please reference our Blacksmithing Forge Guide & Directory

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

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