Chisel mallet preferences?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by laketrout36 posted 12-01-2013 04:24 PM 2031 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View laketrout36's profile


200 posts in 2590 days

12-01-2013 04:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: mallet chisel

My next project is a mallet for my new set of chisels. Any specifics you would recommend? Dimensions? Woods to consider or exempt due to certain characteristics? Angles? Adhesives? Tips?

Thanks for reading and any input.


12 replies so far

View Tedstor's profile


1678 posts in 3196 days

#1 posted 12-01-2013 04:52 PM

I have this hard maple (?) mallet…..except its not a mallet….its an antique potato masher. But it works great.
That said,I wouldn’t over-think the design too much. As long as it feels good in your hand, and gets the job done, it can be considered a good design. Pretty much any tight-grained hardwood should work.

View MisterInquisitive's profile


32 posts in 2660 days

#2 posted 12-01-2013 05:50 PM

The Wood Is Good urethane head mallets are excellent. Right weight and balance, indestructible, easy on the striking end of wooden handles, and the urethane has a bit of grip to ensure that you don’t have glancing blows. A bit pricey but one of those tools that’s actually worth the price.

View jdh122's profile


1104 posts in 3381 days

#3 posted 12-01-2013 06:58 PM

I’ve been really happy with the one I made following this tutorial:
I made mine out of ash and it has stood up well to hard work and even some abuse (cocking holdfasts, for example). Any of the harder domestic woods will work fine – maple, yellow birch, hickory, oak.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View Woodendeavor's profile


276 posts in 3170 days

#4 posted 12-01-2013 11:04 PM

I recieved this last year for Christmas and have fallen in love. I use it as a mallet when trying to chop or palm it to persuade delicate cuts,41504,43688&ap=1

View A10GAC's profile


191 posts in 3642 days

#5 posted 12-02-2013 12:16 AM

I’ve used a wood handled urethane mallet to chop mortises, it worked well, but I always felt like it bounced/rebounded a little too much. I switched over to a plastic dead blow hammer and was happy with the lack of bounce, but missed the ability to just swing away without worrying about hammer orientation. I think my next project will be a round wooden mallet with enough free floating lead shot in the head to dampen the bounce. I have an overweight ash baseball bat billet that should fit the bill nicely.

-- Men have become the tools of their tools. - Henry David Thoreau

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2764 posts in 3485 days

#6 posted 12-02-2013 01:03 AM

I bought one from “Wood is good” many years ago.

-- No PHD just a DD214

View sgmdwk's profile


308 posts in 2436 days

#7 posted 12-02-2013 02:45 AM

I made a mallet out of some scrap hard maple I had in the shop. I have been satisfied with its performance, and I enjoy using a tool I made myself.

-- Dave K.

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2850 days

#8 posted 12-02-2013 05:22 AM

Happy reading!

-- John, BC, Canada

View planeBill's profile


506 posts in 2973 days

#9 posted 12-03-2013 09:02 PM

I don’t know who favors what but I personally do not like round mallets, I have trouble consistently getting a good solid strike with them without looking at the tools in my hands rather than the work being done. Too, I don’t like long grain striking surfaces as opposed to end grain, it gets crushed too easily whereas end grain holds up very well. Materials selection is endless, depends mostly on what you have on hand I guess. I have mallets made of white oak, hornbeam and walnut. Walnut was not a good idea.
About angles, I put two different angles on each of the mallets Ive made, meaning that each side of the heads have differing angles, one shallow and one not.
You can get away with a smaller head with a heavier wood. Ive been wanting to make a nice small mallet and using laminated construction and filling a cavity left in the middle with lead, of which I have more than I know what to do with.
Good luck with your mallet.

-- I was born at a very young age, as I grew up, I got older.

View Andre's profile


2889 posts in 2370 days

#10 posted 12-03-2013 09:38 PM

This is the first mallet I made, Oak and Maple, way to big for most of my projects, made a smaller one from
Maple only and love it. I did buy that brass one from Lee Valley but sort of forgot about it so have not tried it yet!
Had a old Beech square mallet but found it awkward, but good for assembly.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 2991 days

#11 posted 12-04-2013 03:45 AM

It is weird but round gives so much more control. So yes round it is!

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View bobasaurus's profile


3616 posts in 3748 days

#12 posted 12-04-2013 06:07 AM

I’ll second the Wood Is Good urethane mallets. Love mine. You can also turn one easily if you have a lathe.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics