Any craftsman will tell you that no shop is complete without the right tools for the job. When it comes to blacksmithing, there’s probably no piece of equipment more important than your anvil. With their broad, flat top and sturdy, solid construction, anvils are perfectly designed to provide the stable surface your work needs as you work and shape it.
You might be wondering just how heavy an anvil is, really. Unfortunately, that’s not as easy a question to answer as you might think. Anvils come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so if you’re looking for the perfect anvil it can be hard to know exactly what to get. Because different shops have different needs, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact specification of a standard anvil. However, in most smithys, a typical anvil weighs anywhere between 75 and 300 pounds.
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How to Buy A Blacksmith Anvil
If you’re looking for an anvil, it’s not as easy as you might think it is. While some big box stores do sell anvils, the truth is that it can be hard to find the perfect anvil for your needs. The first thing you need to know is what sort of anvil you’re looking for.
If you plan on doing a lot of shaping, there are a variety of specially-shaped anvils with horns, curves and other spots that can help you shape and draw out your metal. For larger surface areas where more striking is required, a saw doctor or cutler anvil is the way to go. You can also go with an ASO (anvil-shaped object) that can also do the trick.
However you go, remember that the striking surface of your anvil is vital. It must be flat, level and smooth. Any imperfections can have a negative impact on the eventual outcome of your work.
What Are Blacksmith Anvils Made Out Of?
While there are varieties of anvils out there, the majority of anvils that you might find in a blacksmith or similar shop are typically made with a combination of cast iron and steel. The anvil itself might be iron, because iron provides the heavy sturdiness required. If an anvil is too light it will shift during use, causing malformed tools.
The problem, though, is that iron is not a great striking medium. It is too soft a metal for smithing, and after repeated use the surface of an iron anvil gets dented and cracked, rendering it useless.
Also Read: How Anvils Are Made?
In addition, the relative softness of the iron does not provide a good bounce for the hammer. This lack of recoil means more work for the smith, as he has to manually lift the hammer before each strike instead of having it bounce back up into position. This tires the smith out, making it harder to do the work. To combat this problem, steel was added to an anvil’s composition centuries ago, and now almost all anvils have steel at least on the surface as a thick coating, if not as part of the interior of the anvil itself. This steel is harder and stronger, scratch- and dent-resistant and more able to provide the bounce the blacksmith needs to work longer.
What Determines the Weight of a Blacksmithing Anvil?
This leads us back to the original question: how much does an anvil weigh? Well, knowing that anvils can come in different sizes and shapes, and anvils can be made of iron and steel in various combinations, it’s impossible to say exactly how much every anvil weighs.
In general, though, most anvils are going to fall somewhere between 75 and 300 pounds. The heavier an anvil, the more expensive it will cost. A good, solid 100-plus anvil can set you back over a grand. In addition, heavier anvils are harder to move around the shop, with the heaviest being essentially stationary for the entirety of their use.
To save costs, some people consider buying used. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it’s important to make sure that the used anvil still has a flat, smooth surface to work with.
As you can see, there’s no cut-and-dried answer to the question of how heavy an anvil is. However, the heavier the work, the heavier the anvil. In a blacksmith’s shop, you can expect large anvils that weigh a lot. Other places – like a jeweler’s shop, for instance – might use a much smaller anvil.
Regardless, we hope this has helped teach you more about anvils, what they weigh and how important it is to get the perfect anvil for your shop.