I finally sprung for a membership here because I have a question which probably should be very simple, but I’m stumped. My $5 craft store nylon mallet is finally coming apart, and I decided I’d like to upgrade to a nice rawhide mallet. Thing is, I have no idea how to choose one. Rio offers either lead-filled or plain rawhide, and several sizes/weights for each. I understand the general concept of the lead-filled, but I’m not sure if or how it might offer an advantage over the plain. And once I’ve narrowed that down, how do I decide on weight? Is heavier better, or should I start with something in the middle until I develop my own tastes?
(For context I am in my second year of silversmithing, having learned on my own with the help of various online resources, books, etc. No access to in-person classes or mentoring for the time being.)
Thanks in advance for your guidance!