Wood Carving Blog

Carver’s mallet

Carver’s mallets are especially useful when working with hardwoods or with large chisels, but you can use them when carving any type of wood. You can tap the chisel gently or forcefully, thereby providing excellent control over the movement of the blade in the wood. The workpiece must be firmly clamped in a vise when working with the mallet.
Choose a mallet with a beater shaped like a truncated cone. A spiked mallet always strikes the handle with its entire operating surface, and the blade moves in the wood in the direction of impact. If, on the other hand, you work with a cylindrical beater, the blade of the chisel can move in the wood at a slight angle to the direction of impact. The tapered surface of the chisel also helps to keep the wrist parallel to the forearm while striking, which is the most comfortable position for the hand.
You can buy full wood, brass, or polyurethane beats in stores. I prefer polyurethane mallets because they are quiet and soft when hitting the handle of the chisel, without much recoil. Polyurethane picks are made weighing 350, 530, 600 and 900 grams. Choose the chisel that suits your size and weight. For large chisels and for carving hardwoods, you need larger mallets.

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