Bladesmithing Hammers


Weight forward “Japanese” style bladesmith’s dog head hammers and double diagonal pein directional hammer.



These bladesmithing hammers are individually hand forged from carbon steel and each one is differentially hardened and tempered to have a resilient face and shock absorbing body.

I have been using and making weight forward hammers for some time now and find that they have real advantages over ordinary blacksmithing hammers when used for bladesmithing.

I would use these hammers on a higher than normal anvil and find that the self aligning offset head aids in attaining consistent ding free bevels. I also find forging with these hammers is easier on my body and feels less fatiguing than forging with a standard blacksmiths’ hammer.

The double diagonal pien hammer is a great adition to your forging arsenal.  Based on a saw tuning hammer used by saw Doctors..I use this hammer as a directional forging hammer. The off set faces allow easier drawing out . and give metal good metal movement to lengthen the steel or if you flip the face over to get more width into it. I use these to get the required width from the kitchen knives I make. An essential addition to any bladesmiths tool box.

These are job specific hammers and not suited for the general tasks of turning decorative work, they do however excel at the singular task of forging blades.

Although this type of hammer is now almost extinct in the modern world they were very prevalent across many cultures and crafts, they are referred to as dogs head hammers or cutlers’ hammers and were used in antiquity by swordsmiths, cutlers, bladesmiths, saw doctors and file makers the world over.

My hammers come lightly crowned so as to minimize marking, however if you really want to perfect your forged blade bevels I would recommend “tuning” your forging hammer to your own personal hammering technique.

Tuning your hammer involves observing the marks you leave when you are forging bevels, you then gently remove the area on the hammer face that is leaving marks with a belt sander….gently! Repeat this process of observing your hammer marks and tuning your hammer until you are leaving a ding free surface when you forge bevels in.

By tuning your hammer to you individual forging style you make it into a very personal tool. DO NOT LET ANYBODY ELSE FORGE WITH IT !!

These hammers are hand forged by myself and also by toolmaker James Wood. The hammers I have made are marked with an OB stamp and the ones James has made are marked with his flower.

All weights are nominal and vary a little as the hammers are hand forged. Hammers come fitted with ash or hickory handles and are soaked in linseed oil for long life. I am also happy to supply just hammer heads, with no handle.

If you are interested in a different weight or type of hammer, I am happy to take commissions.