6 Different Anvil Types and Their Benefits

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Anvils are essential editions to blacksmithing. They play a very critical role, but there are several different types of anvils. Anvil types all have a particular purpose of use. We will go over various purposes anvil types have. 

Generally, we see anvils made of steel. However, there are also many anvils made of iron and metals of lesser strength. 

Each type of anvil performs a different duty to a welder. Depending on your needs, a specific anvil is necessary for your work. When you are starting a new job, you may wonder what anvil is best for you. 

It is important to keep in mind the material of the anvil in comparison to what you need. If you need a heavy-duty anvil, an anvil made of cast iron would not suit you best. 

From here, we will go over the different types of anvils and how they could benefit you as a welder, depending on what you are attempting to accomplish.

Different Types of Anvils

To understand what anvil you need, you must first understand the different anvil types and how people use them. Here are the 6 anvil types:

Forging Anvils

RIDGID 69622 model 5 Forged Anvil, Peddinghaus Anvil

These anvils are made of steel, and they are commonly used in blacksmithing. Generally, the range from as light as seven pounds to 200 pounds.

Forged tool steel is the best material for this type of anvil. Overall, these products can be used for light forging as well as heavy forging, depending what you need them for. 

Cast Iron Anvils

Olympia Tools 9-Pound Cast Iron Hobby Anvil 38-789

These anvils are rightfully made of cast iron, and it is considered to be brittle. Meaning, these anvils are much more prone to chipping and breaking. 

In fact, these anvils are often referred to as ASO, which stands for anvil-shaped object because of its lower quality. 

However, cast iron anvils tend to be less expensive than cast steel iron anvils, making it more much more budget-friendly. 

Farrier Anvils

NC Tool 70 Lb. Anvil with Turning Cams

Farrier anvils are best known for their attribution to horse shoes. These anvils are mostly used to make that product, but forged anvils also produce these products as well.

They are typically made of ductile iron, but forging and cast steel harden this material Typically, they weight anywhere from 70 to 150 pounds. 

Stake Anvils

3-1/4" Solid Cast Iron T-Type Stake Anvil Jewelry Making Metal Forming Metalsmith Tool

Stake anvils are exactly what the word sounds like. They are anvils that bottom acts as a stake when driven into wood or a standing tree. 

These anvils are not used for heavy-duty forging, but they are often used for jewelry purposes that are lightweight. This anvil also comes in many different shapes for various applications. Some versions of stake anvils are often used to create brass horns.

Bench Anvils

Bench Anvil Basic Combo Kit -Ring Mandrels, Anvil, And V Slot Bench Pin SFC Tools - 13-136

These anvils tend to be small in weight, possibly weighing a max of 50 pounds. These anvils are often supporting equipment for other pieces hammered or shaped on a bench.

Bench anvils are typically made of steel and railroad rail. They are more suitable for light forging much like the stake anvils. They are also used often for bench work hence the name. 

Jewelers Anvils

SE Jeweler's Anvil - 8753JA

Jewelers anvils are often the most lightweight anvils. Some weigh as little as just a few ounces. As hinted by in the name, these anvils are often primarily used for jewelry work. 

Typically, they are made of steel, either forged or cast tool steep. They are usually highly specialized, meaning they can be much more expensive for their size. 

What Should You Look for in a Good Anvil?

Good anvils should always be tough. Considering welding and blacksmithing can often lead to hammering and hot temperatures, anvils should be able to withstand those conditions. Steel is often the best material to handle these conditions. 

Size is always important. Depending on your needs, the size of the anvil will differ. If you’re working with small jewelry pieces, a forged anvil is not what you need.

You should always check out the condition of an anvil prior to purchasing. If there are dents and cracks already existing on the surface, it could be rather concerning. 

Good anvils should also not absorb all of the impact from a hammer. Ideally, the impact should affect the object. The texture of the anvil should also be as flat as possible. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best anvil made of?

The best anvils are of cast steel. Cast iron is often considered unsuitable for heavy-duty environments that anvils must do that. 

Cast steel maintains a better quality, and they offer the right strength for many blacksmiths and welders. 

What is a good size anvil?

A good-sized anvil depends on what the work that you are trying to complete with this anvil. The size of the hammer should also play a role in this. 

Ideally, anvils should not be too large or heavyweight. For heavy-duty work, they also should not be exceptionally small or lightweight. 

Anvils are a great tool for blacksmithing and forging. However, with all the different types of anvils, it is important to know what type you need for your work. Some anvils are best for different jobs. As you are deciding what anvil to use, consider the need of the job as well as the size needed. That will help you narrow down your decision about which anvil type is best for you.


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