The best anvils are must-haves for anyone who would like to get into the world of blacksmithing.
The right anvil will make it effortless to forge metal. Whether you are crafting a sword or shaping a decorative piece, anvils can save the day!
To the uninitiated, all anvils look the same. It is a big piece of iron with a lump end.
Truth is, anvils are different in more ways than one. They are available in different sizes and styles. Anvils are also made of different materials, which will directly impact performance.
If you are looking for the best anvils, read on and we’ll let you know some products to consider.
The Different Parts of an Anvil
Before we start rounding up the top choices for the best anvils, let’s quickly look at its parts and functions:
- Face: This is the primary work area in the anvil, which is also the most important part. It should be flat and smooth. In most cases, it has rounded edges.
- Horn: It is the conical projection that you will find at one end of the anvil. This part is often used for bending.
- Step: This is the part that connects the face and the horn. It is a part that is often used as the cutting area.
- Hardie Hole: It is a hole that will allow securing various materials in the anvil, such as chisels.
- Pritchel Hole: It assumes a similar role to the Hardie hole. The main difference is that it is circular.
Reviews of Our Top Picks for the Best Anvils in the Market in 2023
Are you clueless about the right anvil to buy? Here are some of the top products that should be on your radar and the things that make them exceptional.
Olympia Tools 50-pound Cast Iron Hobby Anvil
First, it should be noted that this is a hobby anvil. Because it isn’t meant for professional use, it is cheaper and lighter compared to other anvils.
The polished surface is made of cast iron. There is also a log-shaped horn that makes it versatile for multiple applications.
The base of the anvil comes with four holes in strategic positions. This will allow you to secure the base so that it remains stable regardless of how hard you pound on the surface.
One thing that most people loved in this anvil is its ergonomic design. This will make it easier to work on any material.
Lastly, for your peace of mind, it is also good to know that the manufacturer is offering a lifetime warranty. They can replace the anvil at any point if you are unhappy with the quality.
Olympia Tools 9-pound 38-789 Hobby Anvil
This is from the same manufacturer as the product mentioned above, so you can expect that they share the same great features.
The biggest difference would be in terms of size. This model is only nine pounds. It is lightweight, which also means that it is ideal only for light applications.
Despite being smaller, it is also made of cast iron. This is a durable material, although, it is not as strong as anvils made of forged iron.
Ridgid 69632 9-1/4 x 11-inch Black Model 9 Forged Anvil
Known for its quality and craftsmanship, this is one of the best anvils in the market. It is also from a reputable brand, so you can be confident about its quality.
This 165-pound anvil is made of drop-forged steel. There is also an induction-hardened face. With its construction, you can expect that it will have impressive recoil and transfer strength.
As for the height, it is 10.5 inches tall. Meanwhile, it has a 7.5-inch conic horn. It also comes with a Pritchett hole. Meanwhile, there is a rounded surface that accommodates various materials.
Lastly, this German-made anvil is made of high-grade steel. This material is known for offering maximum durability, so you can expect it to withstand many years of use.
HappyBuy Single Horn Anvil
If you are looking for the best anvils perfect for hobbyists, this is one option that deserves your attention.
This rugged anvil is made of cast iron, which is also the reason why it isn’t built for professionals. It is 55 pounds, which makes it smaller compared to premium anvils.
This anvil comes with a flat and fully-polished face. It has a protective enamel, which will not easily peel, unlike in ordinary paint.
The rounded horn at one end of the anvil will make it versatile. Whether it is for forging, flattening, or riveting, this will be a good anvil.
Like most of the anvils in our recommendations, it has a flat and solid base. There are also four holes so that you can secure the anvil properly.
PMC Supplies LLC All-Purpose Jewelers Horn Anvil
Buy from Amazon
This is one of the smallest anvils from our list. With that, take note that this is not in any way built for professional blacksmiths. Rather, it is designed for jewelry makers.
This 2-pound anvil is made of solid cast steel with a shiny chrome finish. Unlike its heavy-duty counterparts, the surface can easily peel, especially with repeated hammering.
JHM Certifier 100 LB Anvil
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For those who are looking for a farrier anvil, this will make a great choice. A farrier anvil has rounded edges and a wider horn compared to a traditional blacksmith anvil.
With a weight of 100 pounds, this is one of the heaviest anvils on our list. This is a good thing because it is stable and this can withstand the heavy pounding.
The main material that is used in this anvil is ductile steel. Its material was heat-treated, which makes the anvil long-lasting.
You can use it in numerous applications. For instance, with the anvil’s turning cams and tapered heel, it will be great for bending steel.
Lastly, it comes with a 100% guarantee from the manufacturer. This ensures your satisfaction when you purchase this anvil.
NC Big Face Anvil
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Similar to the product that has been mentioned above, ductile steel is also the main material that is used in this anvil.
It comes with a 4-inch face, which is big enough for most applications. Across the face, there is a ¼-inch punched slot. Although, there is also a version of this anvil without a punched slot.
It should be noted, however, that it does not come with a hole at the base. This means that you cannot secure it on any base using screws. This can be an inconvenience for some users.
Grizzly Industrial G8147 55-pound Anvil
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If you are on the lookout for the best anvils designed with the needs of beginners in mind, this is one product that should be on your radar.
Whether it is for flattening or forming, among other tasks, you can expect that this will be an exceptional choice.
This anvil has built-in notches, which will ensure a secure attachment. Regardless of the pounding that you will do on the surface, you can be sure that the anvil stays in place.
This model weighs 55 pounds. The width, on the other hand, is six inches. It also comes with a one-inch wide square hole.
Lastly, this is 100% made in the U.S.A., so you can be confident that the quality is hard to match.
Tools ‘n More 55-pound Rugged Cast Iron Anvil
Buy from Amazon
This is another option for a top-grade anvil. The main material is cast iron, but it does not run short in terms of the performance that it can deliver.
Looking at the technical specifications of this anvil, it has a length of 15 inches. The working surface area, on the other hand, is 8.5 x 4 inches. Its weight, meanwhile, is 55 pounds.
It comes with a smooth and durable surface. It is flat and polished. It also has an ultra-strong coating, which will make it withstand even heavy pounding.
Lastly, the anvil comes with a sturdy and well-balanced design. This makes it supportive for whatever needs to be done.
Pro Tools 59101 25-pound Heavy-Duty Anvil
This 25-pound anvil is made using cast iron. Cast iron is not the best material in terms of strength, but for its price, the quality is acceptable.
This is recommended for hobbyists or casual users. For the pros, on the other hand, we recommend that you choose one that is made of forged steel instead.
It is also worth noting that the company stands behind the quality of their product. They are offering a lifetime warranty, which can provide you with peace of mind.
How to Choose the Best Anvils
Picking the right anvil is not easy for the uninitiated. Here are some of the things that will help you narrow down the possibilities.
Types of Anvil
Start by considering the type of anvil that is most suitable for your needs. It must match your intended use. Here are some of the most common options:
- Forging Anvil: This is one of the most anvils used by blacksmiths and in general shops. There is a greater concentration of mass underneath its face compared to the horn.
- Farrier Anvil: It is a specialized type of anvil with more concentration of its mass on the horn. It has clip horns, which will act as its toe clips.
- Bench Anvil: With its weight ranging from five to 50 pounds, this is a small anvil. As the name implies, it is often used in workbenches.
- Jewelers Anvil: It has a square body and long slender bricks. The design of this anvil has remained the same for the past 300 years.
- Stake Anvil: It is rare to find this type of anvil these days. It is designed specifically for heavy use.
One of the most important considerations is the material used in the anvil. This is directly related to its performance and durability.
Iron is the main material that is used in anvils. For the cheaper anvils, they are made of cast iron. The more expensive anvils, on the other hand, are made of wrought iron.
Most of the small anvils are made of cast iron. They are limited to the use of hobbyists. They are unsafe to use in professional applications.
When choosing the best anvils, don’t make the mistake of choosing the lightweight models. They are not any good.
In most cases, heavy is always better. The heavier the material, the more durable the anvil is. Also, this means that it will be easier to use.
Anvils can have two shapes. The first is London Pattern Anvil. There is a single tapered round horn. This is the more common type of anvil you will find in the market.
On the other hand, in the case of a European pattern anvil, it has two horns. There is a large square tapered horn and small tapered round horn.
If you have questions about anvils, we’ll try to answer some of them before we conclude this buying guide.
Q: Are cast iron anvils any good?
A: Yes, cast iron anvils are good, but only if you are a beginner doing light-duty tasks. While it is inexpensive, it is not as strong as anvils made of forged steel.
Q: Why are blacksmith anvils expensive?
A: Blacksmith anvils are often expensive because they are hard to find. Supply is low compared to demand. Also, the best materials are not easy to produce.
Q: Why are anvils heavy?
A: One thing that is common in most high-quality anvils is that they are heavy, which is an indication of using high-quality material. They need higher inertia to be more effective.
Q: Where should you place an anvil?
A: Place an anvil in a sturdy base that can withstand impact. Choose a fire-resistant base. If the material is loose, this can end up being unsafe.
The best anvils are made using premium materials and have a well-balanced shape.
While it might be tempting to pick just any anvil, that should not be the case. They are different in many ways.
Keep an eye on our recommendations above for a high-quality anvil that will help in blacksmithing.