Chisel mallet preferences?

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Forum topic by laketrout36 posted 12-01-2013 04:24 PM 1724 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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199 posts in 1838 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


1643 posts in 2444 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 1908 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


953 posts in 2629 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 2418 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 2890 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

2564 posts in 2734 days

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

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

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View sgmdwk's profile


307 posts in 1684 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


1019 posts in 2098 days

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

Happy reading!

-- John, BC, Canada

View planeBill's profile


506 posts in 2221 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


1445 posts in 1618 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


2327 posts in 2239 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


3337 posts in 2996 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)

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