13 Best Blacksmithing Books For Beginners & Experts (Reviews)


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List of the Best Blacksmithing Books for Beginners & Experts (Top 13 Picks)

Blacksmithing is a craft that is best mastered through experience. However, it is always helpful to have guidelines when first starting out or when trying to improve your skills. There are many kinds of blacksmithing books available that do just that for blacksmiths of all levels.

In this article, you will find a comprehensive list of books that provide useful advice and techniques about the blacksmithing trade. Even if you are simply looking for new projects to tackle, these books could supply the inspiration you seek.


1) Basic Blacksmithing: An Introduction to Toolmaking

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Basic Blacksmithing: An Introduction to Toolmaking
17 Reviews
Basic Blacksmithing: An Introduction to Toolmaking
  • Harries, David (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 160 Pages - 12/01/1993 (Publication Date) - Practical Action (Publisher)

Recommended for: Beginner Blacksmiths

Basic Blacksmithing provides a fantastic introduction to the trade and  helpful beginners’ techniques for toolmaking. It carefully describes the methods and steps used to fashion your own blacksmithing tools from common metals. This book is best suited for beginner blacksmiths than those who are more experienced, as it reviews elementary aspects of the trade. The ability to make your own tools for forging and blacksmithing can save a lot of money for the hobbyist or amateur blacksmith.

Despite the simplicity of the topics, this book is a great read for those who would like to get a start on blacksmithing projects without much experience. It covers the important aspects of the trade of which every blacksmith should be aware.

Pros Cons
  • Great for amateurs blacksmiths
  •  Step-by-step guide to making your own blacksmithing tools
  • Clear instructions
  • Not for advanced blacksmiths

 


2) The Backyard Blacksmith

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The Backyard Blacksmith
1,484 Reviews
The Backyard Blacksmith
  • The Backyard Blacksmith Traditional Techniques for the Modern Smith
  • Hardcover Book
  • Sims, Lorelei (Author)

Recommended for: Beginner Blacksmiths

The Backyard Blacksmith is another book covering the basics of blacksmithing. The author covers a wide range of topics, including types of tools used for blacksmithing, heating techniques, and a comparison of different types of materials used as forgings.  A great aspect of this book are the step-by-step guides to specific blacksmithing projects to get you started. The thorough explanation of each project is accompanied by detailed photographs of each step to allow the reader to easily follow each procedure. This book is a relatively quick read at 174 pages.

Pros Cons
  • Teaches how to make simple tools
  • Great for beginners
  • How to make useful gardening tools
  • Clear instructions with supplemental pictures
  • Not a lot of technical information
  • Author uses large scale smithing equipment

3) The Complete Modern Blacksmith

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The Complete Modern Blacksmith
347 Reviews
The Complete Modern Blacksmith
  • The Complete Modern Blacksmith
  • Weygers, Alexander (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Recommended for: Beginner-Intermediate Blacksmiths

The Complete Modern Blacksmith is a great book to have at your disposition. It is an extensive guide that touches upon three important areas of blacksmithing. These areas are modern blacksmithing, recycling of materials, the use and repair of tools, and the making of tools.

Due to the depth and breadth of the material included in this book, advanced blacksmiths would benefit the most from the information relayed in this work, as they would be able to reap and cultivate a better understanding of the topics with their experience. This book can also act as a quality reference book in any blacksmith’s library. It is a useful and inexpensive read available in physical and electronic formats.

Pros Cons
  • Great reference book
  • Comprehensive guide to blacksmithing
  • Good depth of material
  • Great for experienced craftsmen
  • The information may not be readily digested by beginner blacksmiths

4) New Edge of the Anvil: A Resource Book for the Blacksmith

New Edge of the Anvil: A Resource Book for the Blacksmith
95 Reviews
New Edge of the Anvil: A Resource Book for the Blacksmith
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Andrews, Jack (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Recommended for: Intermediate-Advanced Blacksmiths

The New Edge of the Anvil:  A Resource Book for the Blacksmith is an in-depth guide to the technical aspects of artistic blacksmithing projects. Not only does this book cover basic forging and metalworking methods, but it discusses the methods and metallurgical properties of commonly used metals with a good understanding of the science behind them. This book would be best suited for skilled blacksmiths and amateur blacksmiths who would like to gain a better technical understanding of the trade or start a business in this field.

Pros Cons
  • Technical book about blacksmithing
  • Discusses metallurgical properties of blacksmithing metals
  • Great for advanced blacksmiths and those planning to start a blacksmithing business
  • Great reference book with pictures
  • May be too technical for beginner blacksmiths
  • Could be better organized and clearly written

5) The Blacksmith’s Craft: A Primer of Tools Methods

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The Blacksmith's Craft: A Primer of Tools & Methods
106 Reviews
The Blacksmith's Craft: A Primer of Tools & Methods
  • Storey Publishing
  • McRaven, Charles (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Recommended for: Beginner Blacksmiths

The Blacksmith’s Craft: A Primer of Tools Methods is a fantastic book for beginner blacksmiths. It demonstrates you how to develop your skills and start creating things on your own with simple materials. This book really promotes learning through hands-on experience, which is truly the best way to gain an understanding of blacksmithing and the techniques associated with it.

The author clearly understands that amateur blacksmiths will not have easy access to expensive smithing equipment, so a lot of the projects features are made with common items and metals using simple techniques. A unique feature about this book is that it briefly reviews the history of blacksmithing.

Pros Cons
  • Great for beginners
  • Features simple projects
  • Reviews history of blacksmithing
  • Too basic for intermediate or advanced blacksmiths

6) Blacksmithing Basics for the Homestead

Blacksmithing Basics For The Homestead
61 Reviews
Blacksmithing Basics For The Homestead
  • DeLaRonde978, Joe (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 136 Pages - 04/23/2017 (Publication Date) - Gibbs Smith (Publisher)

Recommended for: Beginner Blacksmiths

Blacksmithing Basics is yet another great book for beginners. It provides a good foundation for new blacksmiths written by a master blacksmith who understands the intricacies of the trade. He introduces the basic tenets of blacksmithing in a way that is easy to understand and reproducible by novice blacksmiths.

Advanced blacksmiths need not read this book as it reviews topics that they should already know. The pictures included in this book even exhibit how you can set up your own forge and forging tools, which can be very useful for someone trying to set up their hobby or business. As suggested by the title, this book focuses on blacksmithing projects that create tools or items used in the homestead or ranch.

Pros Cons
  • Good book for beginners
  • Provides good foundation
  • Clear instructions for projects
  • Not meant for advanced blacksmiths.

7) Metal: Forming, Forging, and Soldering Techniques

By Jose Antonio Ares - Metal: Forming, Forging, and Soldering Techniques (2006-02-17) [Hardcover]
21 Reviews
By Jose Antonio Ares - Metal: Forming, Forging, and Soldering Techniques (2006-02-17) [Hardcover]
  • Hardcover Book
  • Jose Antonio Ares (Author)
  • 02/17/2006 (Publication Date) - Barron's Educational Series (Publisher)

Recommended for: Intermediate-Advanced Blacksmiths

Metal: Forming, Forging, and Soldering Techniques book takes on the topic of metalworking from a very technical point of view. This book would be great for a skilled blacksmith or blacksmiths of any level who would like to learn more about metals used in forging and more complex techniques that can be used in blacksmithing.

Pros Cons
  • Technical point of view of metalworking
  • Great for skilled blacksmiths
  • Complex forging techniques
  • Topics may be too complex for novice blacksmiths

8) Blacksmithing: Hot Techniques Striking Projects

Blacksmithing: Hot Techniques & Striking Projects
10 Reviews
Blacksmithing: Hot Techniques & Striking Projects
  • Ares, Jose Antonio (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 144 Pages - 11/04/2008 (Publication Date) - Lark Books (Publisher)

Recommended for: Beginner-Intermediate Blacksmiths

Blacksmithing: Hot Techniques Striking Projects is a very straightforward beginner’s guide to blacksmithing techniques and starter projects. The main attraction of this book is the inclusion of non-traditional methods of metalworking using simple tools. The beautiful color photos and illustrations inside the book are great supplements to the topics discussed.

The projects featured in the book are simple and  easy to understand, even for novice blacksmiths. The creative approach that the author takes in completing these projects makes this book a great reference when trying to finish a project with different tools.

Pros Cons
  • Straightforward book about blacksmithing techniques
  • Topics are easy to understand
  • Geared toward beginners, but skilled blacksmiths can benefit from the non-traditional designs and techniques discussed within this book
  • Some techniques may be too basic for advanced blacksmiths

9) Forged: A Guide to Becoming a Blacksmith

Forged a Guide to Becoming a Blacksmith
183 Reviews
Forged a Guide to Becoming a Blacksmith
  • Hoffman, Liam (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 162 Pages - 08/25/2017 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)

Recommended for: Beginner-Intermediate Blacksmiths

Forged: A Guide to Becoming a Blacksmith is a good read for someone interested in blacksmithing or considering moving their hobby to the next level. It provides basic descriptions of some of the tools used in blacksmithing, along with safety practices that are important to keep in mind when working on projects or setting up your own shop. The author mentions helpful tips and tricks for starting a shop or entering the craft while on a budget.

The cost of equipment and tools is a major point of discussion. The comparison between the cost of tools would highly benefit beginner blacksmiths who would simply like to begin working in this trade while they are still figuring out what tools are worth buying for their particular skill level and budget. Since this book is mainly geared toward beginners, advanced blacksmiths would not gain much new information after reading this book.

Pros Cons
  • Great for beginners
  • Budget-friendly advice
  • Good descriptions of tools and safety
  • Equipment and tool cost comparisons
  • Not for advanced blacksmiths
  • There could be more in-depth content on some of the topics

10) The Home Blacksmith: Tools, Techniques, and 40 Practical Projects for the Blacksmith Hobbyist 

The Home Blacksmith: Tools, Techniques, and 40 Practical Projects for the Home Blacksmith (CompanionHouse...
1,251 Reviews
The Home Blacksmith: Tools, Techniques, and 40 Practical Projects for the Home Blacksmith (CompanionHouse...
  • The Home Blacksmith Tools Techniques and 40 Practical Projects for the Blacksmith Hobbyist
  • Ridgway, Ryan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Recommended for: Beginner-Intermediate Blacksmiths

The Home Blacksmith is a highly-rated book mostly aimed at beginner blacksmiths. The extensive blacksmithing experience of the author and his comprehensive understanding of his craft are very apparent throughout the book, adding great value and credibility to his written work. As its title suggests, the book includes guides on 40 sample projects that can be attempted by aspiring blacksmiths.

Many of these projects include common items that are used within and around the home, such as gate latches and candle holders. Although this book acts as a solid foundation for novice blacksmiths, advanced blacksmiths can readily use this book as a reference book or as a way to discover different forging techniques for projects with which they are already familiar.

Pros Cons
  • Great for beginners
  • Knowledgeable author
  • Good foundation about blacksmithing
  • Technique descriptions at different skill levels
  • Projects are common items that have an everyday function
  • May be too basic for more skilled blacksmiths
  • Could use more detail in certain areas

11) The Artist Blacksmith 

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The Artist Blacksmith: Design and Techniques
79 Reviews
The Artist Blacksmith: Design and Techniques
  • Crowood Press
  • Hardcover Book
  • Parkinson, Peter (Author)

Recommended for: Intermediate-Advanced Blacksmiths

The Artist Blacksmith is a book lauded by many as an essential and incredibly useful reference book for blacksmithing. It can be used by a beginner blacksmith, but its content would be better digested by an experienced blacksmith who wants to gain a better understanding of the craft. Advanced blacksmiths can also readily put into practice the new forging techniques and designs discussed in the book.

The projects described within this book are detailed in a step-by-step manner, so even a reader with a basic understanding of blacksmithing and experience forging would be best served from reading this book. However, the quality of the end result may change depending on blacksmithing skill level.

Pros Cons
  • Great reference book
  • Good for experienced blacksmiths
  • Detailed instructions
  • Challenging techniques
  • The content may be too complex for beginner blacksmiths

12) Practical Blacksmithing and Metalworking

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Practical Blacksmithing and Metalworking
35 Reviews
Practical Blacksmithing and Metalworking
  • ISBN13: 9780830628940
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Tracking provided on most orders. Buy...

Recommended for: Beginner-Intermediate Blacksmiths

Practical Blacksmithing and Metalworking is an excellent and well-written book. It is best to read it if you are interested in blacksmithing as a hobby or already have experience in blacksmithing, but would like a different challenge. The material discussed in the book serves as a great reference and learning guide for blacksmiths of all skill levels. The pictures included in the book clarify and enhance the information presented in the text. This book is affordable and highly rated by readers due to the quality of its content and organization.

Pros Cons
  • Great for amateur blacksmiths who would like to enter the trade
  • Good reference book for blacksmiths of all skill levels
  • Pictures properly supplement the text
  • Well-organized content
  • Not the best for advanced blacksmiths who would like new, challenging projects

13) Steel Metallurgy

Steel Metallurgy
11 Reviews
Steel Metallurgy
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • S. K. Mandal (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Recommended for: Advanced Blacksmiths

Steel Metallurgy is a great textbook covering all topics about steels from their properties to their applications. Although this book is very different from the previous books discussed in this list, it is a great learning tool if you would like to understand the scientific facts about steels and why they are used in certain applications. The breadth of information that one can glean about steels in this book is invaluable when trying to better understand the intricacies of the blacksmithing trade.

The technical aspect of this book may not be appealing for most novice blacksmiths, but intermediate and advanced blacksmiths would highly benefit from this book to refine their craft and technique using the scientific concepts presented in this book. This is a well-organized and comprehensive book that can even interest people who are either engineering or materials science-oriented.

Pros Cons
  • Highly technical textbook
  • Great read for advanced blacksmiths or those interested in metallurgy and have a technical background
  • In-depth discussions and description of steels and their different properties
  • Good reference book
  • High-level information that may not be necessary to know as a hobbyist blacksmith
  • This is not a quick read or something you can just skim through

1 thought on “13 Best Blacksmithing Books For Beginners & Experts (Reviews)”

  1. Thank you for this post. It helped me figure out which books to get my son who would like to get started on basic blacksmithing.

    Reply

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