If you’re looking to become a blacksmith the inevitable question of cost comes up in regards to tools, supplies and other startup necessities. So what blacksmith tools are needed to do the job? This article looks at some of the common tools and supplies blacksmiths use and lists their prices to give you an idea of what you’ll need to spend in order to get started in this trade. And if you don’t know where to start with your buying, it also lists a typical blacksmith kit and what it contains.

If you’re attending a blacksmith school, ask if tools are included in the course fees as they may provide tools that you get to keep. Otherwise, they may provide tools that you can use while at school, giving you time to figure out what supplies you want to buy before making the purchase. Also find out if the school sells tools and if so, whether they offer a student discount.

Once out of school you’ll likely need your own set of tools unless working for someone else. If self-employed you can write off the cost of supplies as an expense, lowering your taxable income. Here’s a list of common blacksmith tools and supplies and their average prices in 2013.

Blacksmith tools

Anvil – $625 (£400 / 450€)

Forge – $1000 (£650 / 750€)

Anvil stand – $385 (£250 / 290€)

Universal tongs – $60 (£40 / 45€)

Scrolling pliers – $55 (£35 / 42€)

Cross cut chisel – $15 (£10 / 11€)

Chasing set – $100 (£65 / 75€)

Top swage – $60 (£40 / 22€)

Swage block – $160 (£100 / 120€)

Swage block stand – $460 (£300 / 350€)

Veining chisel – $30 (£20 / 62€)

Round punch – $75 (£50 / 55€)

Centre punch – $7 (£5 / 6€)

Nail header – $25 (£15 / 19€)

Hand fuller – $25 (£15 / 18€)

Repousse hammer – $60 (£40 / 45€)

Square flatter – $125 (£80 / 95€)

Fire set – $25 (£15 / 19€)

Vise wedge – $30 (£20 / 23€)

Pliers – $10 (£5 / 7€)

Ruler – $25 (£15 / 19€)

Adjustable wrench – $20 (£12 / 15€)

Safety glasses – $10 (£5 / 7€)

Hearing protection – $10 (£5 / 7€)

Apron – $25 (£15/ 19€)

Block brush – $25 (£15/ 19€)

 

Blacksmith supplies

Welding flux – $10 (£5 / 7€)

Brazing flux – $10 (£5 / 7€)

Tinning compound – $60 (£40 / 50€)

Hardening compound – $20 (£12 / 15€)

Lag bolts – $1 (£0.65 / 0.75€)

Head rivets – $5 (£3 / 4€)

Though some of these costs are significant, particularly the anvil and forge, tools if well taken care of can last a long time. Supplies, on the other hand, get used up and need to be replenished regularly. Though they are less costly it’s possible to go through quite a lot of these, so these costs can add up over time.

If you don’t know what to buy, you could always start with a beginner’s set and then build your kit from there. An example of a blacksmith beginner’s kit is from Pieh Tool Company which goes for $495 and includes the following:

  • Block brush
  • Kevlar Knit Glove
  • Beeswax bar
  • Peddinghaus wolf jaw tong
  • Billy tong-bolt 3/8
  • Billy tong-bolt 1/2
  • Billy tong V-bit 1/4
  • Billy tong-box jaw 3/8 x 3/4
  • Peddinghaus German Cross Pein Hammer, 800 Gr 1.75 lbs
  • Pieh Tool Veining Chisel, S7
  • W-Brand Shoers Ruler
  • A Blacksmith Primer Book
  • Welder’s silver pencil (3 pack)
  • Leaves and Flowers, DVD Epps
  • Radians RAD Band Hearing Protection
  • Radians Revelations Safety Glasses, Clear
  • Pieh Tool Blacksmith Tool Apron with buckle belt (14″ long)

To get the biggest bang for your buck, do proper research as to what tools and supplies are best. Ask around at your school and inquire among experienced blacksmiths what in their experience they think the best tools are before going ahead and making your purchases.