Brass Mallet

by Deb Mae
(Livonia, MI)

What is the purpose of a brass mallet? When do you use one? Thanks Deb Mae

Stacy's Answer:

Hi Deb Mae!

Thanks for your question! With all the hammer choices out there, it can get to be a bit overwhelming. But different hammers DO have their uses!

A brass dead-blow style mallet like the one pound one I talk about and offer for sale in my Etsy store are a perfect choice for dapping, hitting punches for creating discs and stamping. I also use them to hit a steel tool I use to spread tubing to create a rivet.

The reason a brass mallet is used vs. a heavy steel hammer say, is that it's never a good idea to forcefully strike steel-to-steel as the impact may shatter steel that has not been properly tempered. Also, the brass provides a nice solid thwack that is not slippery. I've had steel hammers slide off of items which can possibly lead to an injury or marred item. You also do not need to use quite as much force to do the job. This is especially evident when hitting design or alphabet stamps. One solid blow produces a very nice impression with no slipping! Also, when using a lot of force like when creating discs, a larger hammer face means it's less likely you'll miss and hit your hand instead.

My dead-blow mallet is pretty beat up and when I use it to hit a plain disc or sheet metal, it leaves a wonderful impression texture in the metal. No, it's not designed for regular hammering, but I've "up-purposed" mine. :-) The brass dead-blow mallets are also available in a 2-pound size, but my arm gets tired using a one-pound one, especially if I'm stamping, so one pound is the limit for me. That's a personal choice.

Comments for Brass Mallet

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Jun 14, 2011
1 lb vs 2 lb
by: Deb Mae

Thank you for your awesome response as always. One more question. I bought a Swanstrom Disc Cutter and it recommended 2 lb, which I got but as per my question I had no idea why.... and it is heavy for sure. Would a 1 lb. be ok when using 22 or 24 guage metals then as I can see where this 2lb will get really heavy.
Thank you again

Hi Deb Mae!

I can see the advantage of a 2-pound mallet, like less force necessary perhaps. And I'm sure the beefy looking guy in the Rio video has no problems with it. :-) But I use a one-pound mallet like the ones I have in my Etsy store ( and it works awesome! Easier on the arm too! (2 pounds gets very heavy - very quickly.)

I use it for punching discs in sheet up to 18 gauge, and for making bead caps, stamping, etc. I find the one-pound weight is easier to control too. My mallet is about 7 years old now and it's still going strong! AND because the face is so beat-up, it creates a really cool texture on metal discs, sheet, etc.


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