List of Tools for Bladesmithing & Blade Making 2020 [Updated]


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List of Bladesmithing Tools, Swordsmithing Tools & Blade Making Tools 2020 [Updated]

Just like blacksmithing, a bladesmiths skills are only as good as their tools. Photo by ben_osteen CC BY-SA

The crafts of bladesmithing and blacksmithing are very intertwined, with there being is a lot of overlap between the tools, and even techniques, used in these crafts.

Although many of these tools serve a similar core function between the trades, there are also a few more specialised tools that can accomplish specific tasks that are difficult to achieve through general purpose equipment.

In this article, we will discuss the useful bladesmithing and blade making tools and what they are mainly used for in these trades, as well as make recommendations on what models, brands and types of equipment to consider.


Complete List of Bladesmithing & Swordsmithing Tools

1) Forge

Photo by Roberto Cipriano CC BY-SA

The forge is a critical piece of equipment in a bladesmith’s workshop. This is the tool where the metal can be heated to a working temperature that allows the bladesmith to shape and form the blade without compromising the strength of the material.

A forge can be heated to different temperature ranges to accommodate the appropriate temperature conditions for your application. Forges can be fueled in different ways, including charcoal and propane gas.

Check out our full guide on forges and what we recommend in our article here!

USA Cast Master Elite Portable Double Burner Propane Forge Blacksmith Farrier Caster Deluxe KIT Jewelry...
  • 1. Dual burner forge with max temp. of 2433F.
  • 2. Our large size forge allowing maximum to the inner chamber.
  • 3. Insulated with 1.5" Kaowool fire blanket insulation

2) Hammers

Photo by MAURO CATEB CC BY-SA

Hammers are very versatile tools that allow the bladesmith to flatten the sides of a blade and increase the hardness through compressive forces. It is important that the hammer is strong enough to change the shape of a workpiece when it is struck, but it should not be tougher than the surface on which the workpiece is placed, which is typically an anvil.

There are many different types of hammers available for all kinds of applications, but if you don’t want to buy multiple hammers, a good all-rounder used for bladesmithing would be one with a flat and rounded face, such as a ball-pein (below). These two components will allow you to both flatten a blade and extend or stretch its surface when it is in a softened or heated state.

Hammers are easy to source at many hardware stores and online shops. You can see our recommended forging hammers here!

Craftsman 9-38466 24-Ounce Ball Pein Hammer
  • Ball Peen and tack hammer
  • Polished striking face finish
  • Fixed position handle

3) Anvils

Photo by Tamahagane Arts CC BY-SA

The anvil is a multi-purpose tool that basically acts as a flat surface on which to shape a heated blade. The main reason why this tool is used rather than a simple workbench is that an anvil provides a much harder and sturdier surface.

The anvil should be able to withstand repeated blows by a hammer to a heated blade positioned on top of it without exhibiting signs of cracking or degradation. Good anvils for bladesmithing can be difficult or expensive to source, but made hobbyists use a tough stone or slab as an anvil.

For a list of the best quality anvils for bladesmithing,  see our full anvil article.

RIDGID 69622 model 5 Forged Anvil, Peddinghaus Anvil
  • Made of drop-forged, high-grade steel for maximum strength and durability
  • Ground and induction hardened top face provides a lively work surface that withstands heavy blows
  • The model 5 Anvil has a 3-inch face width, 8-inch face length with a 5-1/2-inch horn, and its total...

4) Tongs

Photo by Tamahagane Arts CC BY-SA

Tongs are very useful tools in bladesmithing because they allow you to grab the hot workpiece and maneuver it with ease without having to grab it with your hands. Tongs allow you to move and flip over the blade when shaping it, giving you firm grasp on the workpiece along with ease of mobility.

Since there are a variety of tong shapes, it is important to find and use tongs that can properly hold material in the shape of a blade. For more information and some tong recommendations, refer to our comprehensive guide here.

BetterForge 18 inch Bolt Tongs with V-Bit Jaws for Blacksmiths and Farriers - Superior Blacksmith Tongs...
  • BUILT TO LAST - Heavy duty forged steel construction ensures these tongs will work as hard as you...
  • VERSATILE - One of our most versatile and popular styles, great for holding a wide variety of stock...
  • MORE HOLDING POWER - 18" Total Length gives added leverage to hold stock securely

5) Chisels

Mayhew Pro 60560 Cold Chisel Kit, 6-Piece
  • Comes in a pouch
  • Contains: 10200 1/4" Black Oxide Cold Chisel, 10201 5/16" Black Oxide Cold Chisel, 10202MAY 3/8"...
  • 10205 1/2" Black Oxide Cold Chisel, 10209 5/8" Black Oxide Cold Chisel, 10212 3/4" Black Oxide Cold...

Chisels can be used in the bladesmithing craft to cut the steel or to carve out channels in the handle or hilt of a knife or sword. This tool is typically made up of a wooden handle and a blade-like end that can cut through wood or metal when struck.


6) Sandpaper

120 To 3000 Assorted Grit Sandpaper for Wood Furniture Finishing, Metal Sanding and Automotive Polishing,...
  • MEETS ALL YOUR NEED - Including 3 sheets of each grit:...
  • PREMIUM QUALITY - Made of waterproof silicon carbide, electro coated ensures the grit distributed...
  • MULTIFUNCTIONAL - Suitable for use in art and craft, wood work, automotive, metal, and plastic...

Sandpaper is used to finish the surface of a blade. There is a variety of sandpaper made of different grits that can be used for a wide range of applications. Its rough, textured surface smooths out the imperfections accrued from working the blade and levels its surface. A clean surface finish could be attained using wet and dry sandpaper.


7) Punches

Mayhew Tools 62078 12-Piece Hardened Steel Pin Punch Set
  • Includes: 1/16, 5/64, 3/32, 1/8, 5/32, 3/16, 7/32, 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2" Pin Punch
  • Heat Treated for Maximum Strength
  • New Anti-Slip Pouch

Punches can punch holes through a metal blade, which can aid in the detailing process of bladesmithing. A heated blade can be placed over the pritchel hole part of the anvil to allow the punch to go through it.


8) Drifts & Swages

Mayhew Pro 62235 Line-Up Punch Kit, 4-Piece
  • Includes: 22003 1/4-Inch Black Oxide Line-Up Punch
  • 22010 1/8-Inch Black Oxide Line-Up Punch
  • 22011 5/32-Inch Black Oxide Line-Up Punch

A drift is similar to a punch, but its main purpose is to expand the hole created by a punch. Drift tools come in different sizes and face diameters so it is relatively easy to find one that will be appropriate for your application.

A swage can be used to round or make a groove in a blade. This is a tool that can fit into the hardy hole of an anvil to ease the process of bending the blade.


9) Pyrometers

BTMETER BT-1500 Non-Contact Pyrometer 30:1 Industrial Laser Thermometer Gun, -58℉ to 2732℉ (-50℃ ~...
  • 🔥【Wider Temperature Range】BT-1500 temperature gun accurately measures temperature from -50°C...
  • 🔥【Further Distance + Dual Laser】With distance to spot ratio 30:1, Dual non-contact digital...
  • 🔥【Multifunction IR Thermometer Gun】Measures with MIN/MAX/AVG/DIF modes, Allows you to setup...

Pyrometers allow bladesmiths to remotely measure the temperature of a surface. This is an incredible tool to invest in as a bladesmith and metalworker because it can help you determine how close you are to the ideal working temperature of a metal.

Sometimes a blade can be too hot to handle or too cold to work, so having a tool that can measure the blade’s temperature would be a great help.


10) Electric Saws

Sale
TACKLIFE Circular Saw with Metal Handle, 6 Blades(4-3/4" & 4-1/2”), Laser Guide, 5.8A, Max Cutting...
  • ➤METAL HANDLE & LASER DESIGN: Comes with a unique metal handle, which helps to reduce fatigue for...
  • ➤POWERFUL MOTOR & 6 BLADES: Features a 5. 8 Amps copper motor to deliver full-size performance at...
  • ➤FLEXIBLE 90° & 45° BEVEL CUTTING: Easy-set depth scaled gauge lever allows the cutting depth...

Electric saws greatly facilitate the process of sawing sheets of metal. They can make the process of removing excess metal from your starting materials to make it reach a closer size of the blade you intend to make.


11) Grinders

Palmgren 2" x 42" Belt, 6" Disc bench finishing machine
  • 1/3 HP, 120/240VAC motor, 3.5/1.75 amp, 3500 RPM
  • 2-Inch x 42-Inch Belt speed 4400 SFPM
  • 6-Inch PSA abrasive disc, 3500 RPM

Grinders are another great tool to have in order to smooth out the surface of a blade and to remove the excess metal. This process can be very tedious to do by hand, so an electric grinder could save you a lot of time and energy when bladesmithing.


12) Heat-Resistant Aprons

QeeLink Leather Work Shop Apron with 6 Tool Pockets Heat & Flame Resistant Heavy Duty Welding Apron, 24"...
  • SUPERIOR PROTECTION: Heat & Flame-Resistant heavy duty split cowhide leather welding apron. Extra...
  • MORE DURABLE: Made of thick split cowhide for durability. And it is wear & flame-resistant for...
  • TOOL POCKETS: 6 pockets for tools and work accessories. Include one cell phone pocket and one pencil...

An apron is a very important and useful type of personal protective equipment. Not only do they protect bladesmiths from the hot blades, but they can provide practical compartments in which to store tools that can be used during the bladesmithing process.

Aprons used in bladesmithing or blacksmithing are available in different designs and materials in many hardware stores and online.


13) heat-Resistant Gloves

WZQH 16 Inches,932℉,Leather Forge Welding Gloves, with Kevlar Stitching Heat/Fire Resistant,Mitts for...
2,052 Reviews
WZQH 16 Inches,932℉,Leather Forge Welding Gloves, with Kevlar Stitching Heat/Fire Resistant,Mitts for...
  • 【EXTREME HEAT RESISTANT PROTECTION】- Outermost layer:Genuine Cowhide Split Leather . ntermediate...
  • 【EXTREME WEAR RESISTANT PROTECTION】- The Gloves are made from 1.2mm thick and soft shoulder...
  • 【SUPERIOR PROTECTION FOR HAND AND FORERAMS】-The 16 inches grill glove with extra long 7.5 inches...

Gloves are a great safety measure when working with hot materials. They protect your hands and allow you to pick up and move objects without much risk of burns. There are many types of gloves made of different materials that can work with your particular application.


14) Safely Glasses

Polycarbonate Sodium Flare Glass Working Spectacles - Safety Frame with Permanent Side Shields
  • Excellent sodium flare reduction
  • Color enhancement features
  • Preferable choice for Lampworker's and Beadmaker's

Safety glasses can prevent serious injury to your eyes. It is important to wear safety glasses during the bladesmithing process, as there are many opportunities for injury if not careful.

 

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