How To Pick the Right Jewelry Hammer or Mallet

Each hammer or mallet we carry is designed for a specific purpose or application. Here are some of the different types and their uses.

Last edited: 11/15/2019
Four hammers and one mallet

When should you use a ball peen hammer and when should you use a chasing hammer? When it comes to jewelry-making hammers and mallets, each one serves a specific purpose. This quick guide explains the differences between common types of jewelry-making hammers and mallets and will help you choose the right one for the task.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

B


Ball Peen
Ball peen hammer
An all-purpose hammer with one round and one half-domed face used to drive chisels, punches and stamps.
Bordering
Peddinghaus bordering hammer
Bordering hammers, sometimes called ‘creasing' hammers or cross-peens, feature a wide head with an upper surface that slopes downward to form narrow, rounded horizontal faces, each with a different radius. Ideal for working in confined areas, creasing or crimping metal, forging, and finishing edges and thickening rims on hollowware.
Brass Mallets
Premum brass-head mallet
The ideal choice when stamping, dapping or chasing, or when cutting metal with disc cutters. Brass-head mallets feature a heavy head that maximizes the efficiency of each blow and reduces bounce-back. The relatively soft brass head won't damage steel tools.

C


Chasing
Fretz chasing hammer
The chasing hammer has one large, slightly convex, smooth face for striking chasing tools or planishing metal, and one round end for peening and riveting. The handle has a tapered neck that creates a slight springiness that allows some bounce-back with each strike, producing improved control and reduced muscle fatigue.

D


Dead Blow Mallets
Del rey deadblow mallets
Dead blow mallets feature a hollow head filled with loose steel shot or weights. With each blow, the shot slides from one end of the head to the other, maximizing the power of the strike, stabilizing the impact and reducing rebound and reverberation back into the hand and arm. Ideal for bending, forging, shaping and flattening metal without marring, minimizing finishing time required.

E


Embossing
Peddinghaus forming embossing hammer
Embossing hammers have a long head with smaller, round faces, ideal for working metal from the back or inside to create raised, three-dimensional forms, a technique also known as repoussé. This hammer produces dramatic texturing on flat or curved metal and is ideal for doming or stretching metal.

G


Goldsmiths Hammer
Fretz R-FG revere goldsmith cross-peen hammer
This hammer features one cross-peen face and one flat, round face—perfect for riveting and shaping. Intended for fine detail work on softer metals, this hammer is ideal for light forging, shaping, riveting and contouring.

I


Interchangeable
Fretz planishing interchangeable hammer
An alternative to buying multiple tools, these hammers allow you to complete a wide variety of tasks— repoussé, embossing, forming and more—with a variety of interchangeable faces included.

N


Nylon Mallets
Peddinghaus nylon-head mallet
With two high-impact nylon faces, nylon mallets are ideal for use directly on metal for forming, bending, shaping and flattening. The nylon faces won't mar the metal, minimizing the finishing time required afterward.

P


Planishing
Fretz planishing hammer
Planishing hammers feature two round faces, one flat and one convex (slightly domed). Ideal for refining the outside surfaces of jewelry and hollowware designs and for finishing work, smoothing and removing tool marks left by previous forming steps.
Plastic Mallets
Del rey deadblow mallet
Long-wearing and non-marring—ideal for moving metal without scratching, marring or otherwise damaging the surface. Use this mallet directly on the surface of the metal.

R


Raising
Fretz raising hammers
Raising hammers are used to create a seamless form without thinning the metal (but used incorrectly, may stretch metal easily). They have two rectangular, blunt or wedge-shaped cross-peen faces, used to "raise" the metal from flat sheet to dimensional form by striking the outside of the form.
Rawhide Mallets
Rawhide mallets
The rawhide mallet, with a head made from hide, is an excellent choice for forming, bending and flattening metal by hammering directly on its surface. A conditioned rawhide mallet won't score or mar the metal, minimizing finishing time. To get the best results from your rawhide mallet, we recommend that you break in the head before using it on your metal.
Riveting
Fretz precionsmith riveting hammer
The riveting hammer features one round and one chiseled cross-peen face for riveting, tacking and lightweight forming. Use the wedge-shaped cross-peen face to set the rivets, then use the flat face to refine and finish the rivet heads, as well as for general forming applications.

S


Specialty Hammer
Bonny doon urethane forming hammer
Ideal for use with metalsmith stakes and dapping bowls, this hammer has one flat face and one cross-peen face; the flat face can be unscrewed and replaced with different urethane hardnesses and shapes, making the tool highly adaptable to the job at hand. Use this hammer directly on metal surfaces, with steel stakes, or against wood, leather or other forms to shape or refine contours and for sinking or stretching the metal.

T


Texturing
Fretz raw silk texturing hammer
While almost any hammer can be used to create texture, texturing hammers are specially designed to help you create attractive and unusual textures on your jewelry designs; the pattern on the hammer face is transferred to the metal with every strike.