Mallet for mortising chisel?

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Forum topic by Brett posted 06-24-2012 10:18 PM 4163 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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660 posts in 2706 days

06-24-2012 10:18 PM

What type of mallet is best for use with a mortising chisel? Is a standard wooden carpenter’s or carver’s mallet sufficient, or is a heavier mallet required?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

4 replies so far

View KenBry's profile


484 posts in 2470 days

#1 posted 06-25-2012 12:55 AM

View bandit571's profile


20212 posts in 2706 days

#2 posted 06-25-2012 01:06 AM

Seems I have a 32oz Ball Pean hammer handy when I chop mortises out. Kind of a short handle on it, a more compact swing, i guess. For those items where i can make a nice long swing, I have a long handled 20oz BP. Mortises or cold chisel work, all the same hammer to me.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2873 days

#3 posted 06-25-2012 04:09 AM

Dead-blow hammer adherents will tell you you’ll be in the game longer if you use their weapon of choice. All of the energy goes through the hammer.

The whole story, well, 90% of it, is to move the chisel into the wood. The other 10% would be a handle that feels good.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Oldelm's profile


75 posts in 2198 days

#4 posted 06-26-2012 05:53 PM

I never gave the size of the mallet I use much thought. I have used a round carpenters mallet for 25 years or so for everything. I did weigh it after seeing your post, it weighs in a 1lb 2oz. I use it for everything on the bench from barely tapping a small gouge to a hard hit on a mortise chisel. The largest mortises I cut are 1/2” and lately have been in red oak. It seems to me that if I take really heavy blows on my mortise chisels in the oak it tends to dull the chisel faster and not drive it much farther than what I feel is just a medium hit. That is with a 30 degree grind and a very slight secondary bevel. The dulling could be a function of the chisel itself, my chisels are older and not the best. The mallet has become an extension of me over the years so I guess I have that muscle training that it talked about today. I would like to see more comments on this subject. Is it mallet weight, power of the strike, chisel weight? Good subject.

-- Jim, Missouri

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