Dead-blow Mallets

Hi all, Having purchased a couple of Alan Revere’s books, most
recently “The Art of Jewelry Making” (which is great and highly
recommended to all), I’ve noticed his reference to the “dead blow
mallet”. I decided to look into purchasing one and have found only
two suppliers (Rio Grande and Gesswein) that offer them. I also did
some looking in the archives and found one posting a few months back
that did not recommend the Rio Grande product. Can anyone else offer
any advice as to the advantage/disadavantage of this tool and, if
recommended, a good supplier? Thanks. Jim

Jim Papuga
Spirit of New England

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Frei and Borel (800-772-3456) has the dead blow mallet that I like
the best because it is high quality, with a very firm wooden handle,
with a hard plastic face and steel shot within oil inside. Nothing
else works as well and leaves no mark. Item #137-892: Dead Blow #2 @$32.95.

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Hey Jim, I’ve used the Rio deadblow hammer for about a year and find
it quite acceptable. It is also possible to fine different ones at
auto supply places. I used a Tom-Tom brand 1.5# for years, until I
got the one from Rio. I still use the Tom Tom for certain forming
tasks, but I definitely prefer the newer one. MP

Jim: I have Alan’s new book too, very cool, a must have. I looked at
that mallet and didn’t really know about them. You can buy a deadblow
mallet in just about any hardware store thats made of one solid piece
of plastic with steel shot inside the head. These work real well for
general silversmithing use. The face on these is alot bigger than the
one in Alan’s book but I use it ALOT. I don’t see whats wrong with the
Rio ones they look perfectly adequate…Dave

I purchased my deadblow mallets from Frei and Borel. Personally I
find that they are wonderful tools. I still like my rawhide mallets
for some things, but the deadblow mallets have held up better and are
suprisingly versitile Larry Seiger

Hi, Since you are not used to working with this type of hammer I might
suggest that you buy an inexpensive one to start. These are
available at Harbor freight tools or Northern Tools. Both are mail
order houses 800# available at 800 Information. Keep in mind these
are not high quality, but will give you the idea of how to handle the
tool and at that point you may want to invest in a better hammer. I
use my dead blow hammers for this & that and love them.
Beth Katz

With all respect to my friend Alan the best dead blow mallet is the
one made by Lixie it is available from Gesswein, Mcmaster-Carr and
Small Parts Inc. They are made in 7/8, 1 3/8 , 1 7/8, 3 1/2
and 6 1/4 lb models with a hickory handle and cast iron head filled
with iron shot and replaceable urethane faces in four different
hardnesses. They also make sledge hammers in the same style (7 1/8
and 11 1/4 Lbs) that are available from Mcmaster-Carr The faces are
non maring but they hit with a real punch they are great for rounding
up rings , flattening sheet or rod if you do not have one get one

7/8  lb           part # 6047A82
1  3/8  lb         part # 6047A14
1  7/8  lb           part # 6047A16
3  1/2  lb           part # 6047A18
6 1/4  lb           part # 6047A21
7  1/8 lb            part # 5947A1
11 1/4 lb           part # 5947A3


James Binnion Metal Arts
4701 San Leandro St #18
Oakland, CA 94601

A last word on the subject of tool preferences. I find that most of
the time, many different options for tools or procedures can work
equally well. However it is our nature to favor what we learned with
and what we use, often even with prejudice against what we know
nothing about. This holds true for mallets. I know a lot of fine
craftspeople who swear by rawhide mallets, and yet I personally feel
that their best use is as kindling. (Rawhide mallets do not have
enough weight, no oomph, are too hard, fall apart, bounce back, etc.)
I respect the fact that others believe in them. However, I personally
prefer the wooden handled, German-made dead-blow mallets that come
from Frei-Borel, while some may prefer Rio’s metal-handled, larger,
softer faced mallet. Ultimately it comes down to the truism that we
would often like to deny: It is not the wand that makes the magic,
but the hand that holds it. Now go make some magic. Alan

Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts
760 Market Street . Suite 900
San Francisco . California . 94102 . USA
tel: 415 . 391 . 4179
fax: 415 . 391 . 7570
web site:

Jim, You listed quite a few weights for the hammer. Which one would
you reccomend for general jewelry use? thanks, AnastasiA