Blacksmithing is a craft nearly as old as human civilization itself. From the days of creating swords and spears in ancient times to the modern-day makers of cutlery, chains, and all other kinds of metallic work, it is a profession still relevant as ever.
And the most important among the blacksmith’s working tools is the anvil. The designs of anvils reflect the use they are intended for. Hence, for any blacksmith, it is important to choose according to your needs.
In that regard, allow us to help you with our best anvils for blacksmithing and knife making review.
Best Anvils for Knife Making and Blacksmithing -[My Top Picks]
- Best Overall: RIDGID 69632 Model 9
- Runner Up: RIDGID 69622 Model 5
- Best Value: JHM Certifier Anvil
- Best Ductile Steel: NC Tool Big Face
- Best for Farriers: NC Tool Turning Cam
- Best for Beginners: Grizzly G8147
- Best Budget: Grizzly G7065
Best Anvils for Blacksmithing and Knife Making – (Reviews 2023)
Here are the top 10 anvils for blacksmiths and knife makers.
1. Ridgid Model 9 Blacksmithing and Knife Making Anvil – Best Overall
- Made of high-quality steel.
- Induction hardened the working surface to make it better for working on.
- Excellent choice for knife making professionals.
- It’s expensive.
Our top pick among the best anvils available at present, is this 69632 Model 9 anvil from Ridgid. It weighs 165 lbs, which is excellent for all kinds of projects – blacksmithing, knife making and others.
This best new blacksmith anvil is German-made, and it can be used with power jointers. Its constituent material is a high-grade steel, making this anvil very durable.
The anvil is also drop-forged, and the top face is specially treated so as to give you an ideal working surface. And the said surface is designed to produce a high degree of hammer rebound and is suitable for any metal that you may want to work on.
It has been ground and hardened using induction, and additional features include a pritchel hole and a hardy hole that can accommodate the usage of different kinds of tools. The product offers ten and a half inches of the working face.
2. JHM Certifier 100 Lb. Anvil – Best Anvil for the Money
- Robust and long-lasting.
- Provides good value for money.
- Tapered heel and turning cams for steel bending.
- Heat-treated to create an ideal working surface.
- A little lightweight for stationary use.
The second product on our list is this ductile iron anvil from JHM. This is a farrier anvil and one of the most reputed ones. Often touted as the finest anvil brand made in the USA, this particular product is made of ductile iron and machined and heat-treated so as to give you ideal work experience.
What truly sets it apart is its lightweight design, which is very suitable for beginners. It also has a three-inch tapered heel, along with turning cams that facilitate the bending of steel.
And the dimensions of the anvil are as follows: Pritchel Hole 0.5 inches, Face 4 inches x 16.5 inches, Hardy Hole 1.0 inches, and Height 9.5 inches.
This thing is made sturdily and will certainly give you a long-lasting service. Moreover, the price tag is extremely reasonable, especially if you consider all its features.
Seeing how much value it provides for the money, we must say that this is the best anvil for the money.
3. NC Tool Big Face Anvil for Blacksmithing / Knife Making
- Made of steel, robust and durable.
- Smooth surface and working area.
- Suitable for projects of many sizes
- No bolts for mounting, which may be inconvenient to some users.
Next up, we have this ductile steel anvil from NC Tool Co. It weighs 70 lbs. In terms of features, this anvil comes with a smooth surface that has a ¼-inch punch slot.
The heel has a pritchel hole, a 1-inch hardy hole, and a 1 and ¼ inch chamfered round turning hole.
You can also go for a version that comes without the slot, should you want to purchase that instead. This NC Tool anvil is also a cast steel anvil and hence more robust, durable, and long-lasting compared to non-steel anvils.
There are no bolting slots or holes, the way you mount it is fastening the anvil over whatever you are using as a perch.
4. Grizzly G8147 Anvil – Best Beginner Anvil
- It’s affordable.
- Does not require a specially made mount.
- Suitable to start blacksmithing.
- May require a steel plate welded on top of it for better working surface.
For our next pick, we bring in this entry level anvil from Grizzly. This, very lightweight anvil, is suitable for working on steel and uses such as making knives, along with many others.
Its main constituent material is cast iron and has a casting seam in the middle of the snout. You’ll like the fact that for this you won’t need a specially-made mount as regular ones would suffice.
The anvil weighs only 55 lbs, and is 6 inches wide. Also, it has a 1-inch wide square hardy hole. This product is an entirely USA-made anvil. All and all, this is perhaps the best beginner anvil in our books.
5. Happybuy Single Horn 66 lbs Anvil
- Very easy usage with maximum strength.
- Rust free, brings out smooth quality results.
- Great balance in stabled weight and size.
- Made of cast iron.
At number five, we have this 66 lbs anvil from Happybuy, which is made of cast iron. It’s a mid-level anvil. This anvil comes with a smooth steel-plated surface that makes it more durable.
Blacksmiths will love its fully polished surface to work on. The rest of the body is dished in protective enamel, allowing it to endure the hardest of the impacts naturally.
It has the tapered-rounded horn for level shaping and bending. The other side comes with a pritchel hole and a hardy hole for punching, accessories, and more bending.
You will be able to form, forge, revert or flatten excellently, and the quality shall still remain top-notch.
6. Grizzly G7065 Anvil – Best Cheap Anvil
- Smooth surface and metal horns, good for working on metal.
- Less expensive, a good option for beginners.
- No hardy or pritchel hole.
Next up, we have is this basic anvil from Grizzly. Very lightweight, measuring at around 24 lbs, and standing at the height of 5 and ¾ of an inch, this anvil is designed to satisfy your needs for a variety of metal-based works.
It comes with a smooth surface and metal horns and is relatively portable, given the aforementioned low weight. The lower price is another major selling point for this product.
If you are a beginner or you do not want to go high budget on an anvil just yet, then this may be the right pick to further your interest while not depleting your pockets too much.
In short, it is the best cheap anvil, according to us.
7. NC Tool 70 Lbs Anvil with Turning Cams
- Sturdy and resilient.
- Working area is very smooth.
- Great for different kinds of forging.
- No mounting bolts may be difficult for some handlers.
NC Anvil has the horn with a style of flatter top. It also includes cams to turn heels on horseshoes. Blacksmiths can bend bar stocks using the cams as well.
The anvil itself is very robust and durable because of its steel made body. This 70lbs anvil is superb for novices out there.
You will find the 1” hardy hole and pritchel hole close to the heel. However, the mounting bolts are not available, which could be a bit problematic for new users.
Are you into forging small to medium-sized knives? Do you love working on different sized projects using only one tool?Then this is the well-built anvil to get for all-purpose.
8. Olympia Tools 100 Lbs Cast Iron Blacksmithing Anvil
- Features four holes on four sides of the base for a secure hold.
- Considerably robust and durable.
- Surface is smooth and enables heavy-duty work.
- Possibility of slight denting on the face.
This cast iron anvil from Olympia Tools weighs about 100lbs will ensure it does not budge once placed in your workshop. Mid-level blacksmith or knife makers will enjoy working on this anvil.
It can withstand repeated hammer blows even though it is smaller than normal anvils. The polished grey surface with a graded cast iron body will give a classic and unique character to your workplace.
The longhorn will undoubtedly offer more angling options. Whether you run a small business or a hobbyist, this is certainly a great deal for both!
9. Happybuy Single Horn 55 Lbs Anvil
- Well-polished working area.
- Parts are given enamel paint layers as a protective measure.
- The horn that aids your bending/shaping of metals.
- Not suitable for large projects.
- Less durable, it is made entirely of cast iron.
The penultimate entry on our list is this cast iron anvil from Happybuy. This product comes with a well-polished working area. The flat surface is well ground, and the other parts have been covered with a layer of enamel paint.
Also, the anvil is ideal for smaller projects such as silversmithing. It weighs 55 lbs, and the hardy holes come with four anchor points. As for the surface area, it’s big enough for any task.
There is also a horn to help you with the bending and shaping of metal works. It is especially well suited for use by casual hobbyists who take up blacksmithing as time passing activity.
10. ToolsNMore 55 Lb. Rugged Cast Iron Anvil
- Good rebound.
- It’s less expensive.
- Made of cast iron and thus not very long-lasting.
We are finishing it off with this cast iron anvil from ToolsNMore. It has a working surface area measuring at 8 and ½ inches by 4 inches.
This product is 15 inches long overall and stands at the height of 6 and 5/8 inches. The hardy hole is a 1-inch square; the weight is registered at 55 lbs, and the anvil has a rugged design that can take abuse.
Hammer rebound is also what most users would find desirable. The company is also known to be very efficient with regards to its shipping and transport.
Best Anvil for Blacksmithing and Knife Making – [Updated Buying Guide]
If you’re a Blacksmith, then you’ll know the importance of having the right anvil. Before buying an anvil, you should consider few essential criteria.
We made a list of such measures to help you out, and we recommend you to check the anvil buyer’s guide below.
1. Size and Shape
Anvils are available in different sizes. Generally, bigger anvils are more substantial, and they are suitable for professional blacksmithing works.
The face of an anvil is the place where you’ll do the most of your forging. A large face will offer you more versatility where you’ll be able to work on a large metal efficiently. The heavier the anvil is, the better the performance will be. If you’re a beginner, you can start with a smaller one.
The two common shapes of anvils are – London Pattern Anvil and European Pattern Anvil.
London pattern anvils come with single tapered round horn, a face, a step or table, a Hardy hole and a Pritchel hole.
European pattern anvils have two horns – a smaller tapered round horn and a large square tapered horn, a face, a Hardy and a Pritchel hole. These anvils tend to have no step or table.
The London pattern anvils are the most commonly used anvils. You can choose any of them according to your choice and needs.
2. Hardy Hole and Pritchel Hole
The Hardy hole is the square hole which is an essential part of the anvil. Sometimes you’ll need to use specialized tools for making a scroll, cutting or bending a heated metal and the Hardy hole will hold those tools for you. Generally, all kinds of anvils come with a Hardy hole.
If you want to make a hole in the metal that you’re forging, you’ll need another circular hole which is known as Pritchel hole. This hole allows you to punch holes in the metal without damaging the anvil’s face.
You can also use the Pritchel hole to hold down the metal by spring steel. Smaller anvils generally don’t come with the Pritchel hole.
3. Construction Material
The construction material of the anvil is another significant aspect you should consider before buying. The common types of anvil constructions are – Cast Iron, Wrought Iron, Ductile Iron, and Cast Steel.
Cast iron anvils are brittle, very weak. The face of the cast iron anvil easily gets damaged. You’ll end up creating deep hammer marks on the face due to the softness of the material.
Wrought iron anvils are better than the cast iron anvils. A wrought iron anvil will provide you with the required performance for regular blacksmithing works.
Ductile iron and cast steel anvils are the superior ones. Most Farrier anvils come with ductile iron construction. A cast steel or a ductile iron anvil will serve you for years.
In general most of the smaller anvils come with cast iron construction, and you should not use them for professional blacksmithing works. In the beginning, you may not want to spend a lot of money on an anvil. In that case, you can start with a cast iron anvil.
But if you’re a professional blacksmith, we recommend buying a cast steel or ductile iron anvil.
Frequently Asked Questions – [FAQs]
What is an Anvil Used for?
You can use an anvil for various purposes. If you’re a Blacksmith, then you’ll need to use an anvil for forging the hot metals. Farrier uses an anvil to make shoes for horses.
What are the Parts of an Anvil?
The parts of a blacksmithing anvil can differ from anvil to anvil. But a standard anvil comes with a face, a Step or Bench, a Horn, a Hardy hole and a Pritchel hole.
What Material are Blacksmithing Anvils Made of?
You’ll find blacksmithing anvils with various constructions. The common materials are Cast Iron, Ductile Iron, Cast Steel and Wrought Iron.
How Big of an Anvil Do I Need?
If you’re a professional blacksmith, then an anvil around 150 lb to 200 lb will provide you with excellent performance. If you’re a beginner, you can start with a small anvil, but remember small anvils are less efficient.
If you’re a beginner, then you can start with the Grizzly G8147 Anvil.
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