Recommendations for Forge, Anvil, Hammer, Etc.

Jun 21, 2020
Hey everyone!

I'd like to get into forging now that I'm getting the hang of making knives from stock removal. Could you guys give me recommendations on the tools I'll need? What I mean is what forge should I buy, what anvil, what kind/brand hammer, what tongs, and whatever I'm forgetting.

I should also mention my wife and I are trying to save to buy a house- so I want high quality but not something that's gonna break the bank.

Oct 29, 2015
Don’t buy a new anvil. They are way too expensive for what they are. Look around and you can find good deals on quality used anvils. Look for someone who’s not selling to the collector market. Those will bring $5-8 a pound. I found a great quality German anvil that weighs 386 pounds for less than $3 a pound. Also, buy the biggest anvil you can find that you can afford. It’s so much easier to move metal on a large anvil.

As far as forges go, I built mine. I probably wouldn’t do it again as I’ve got nearly as much money in it as as I would have if I’d have just bought one. I can’t recommend specific brands, but look for one with a forced air burner or a ribbon burner.

For a hammer, just buy a cheap $8 harbor freight hammer and a nice chunk of 4140 steel. Then make your own good hammer. They’re not difficult to make, it just takes some time doing it by hand. Then once you’ve made your hammer, you can buy 1/2” mild steel bar and build all the tongs you want.

That’s what’s great about blacksmithing. You can build nearly all the tools you will ever need.


Gold Member
Dec 24, 2016
It depends on your budget.

You can use a heavy scrap iron drop off or a piece of railroad track for an “anvil”.

I built my blown forge for around $100 plus materials I had on hand. (It could be done cheaper also.)

If your buying, Atlas offers forges and anvils at respectable prices.
You can pick up a decent Vaughn or Seymor hammer for sub $30.

You can pick up tongs from etsy or ebay or make your own. I’d suggest buying one pair, not made from rebar.

Just stay out of harbor freight.

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

ilmarinen - MODERATOR
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Aug 20, 2004
Check out Atlas Knife and Tools. Charles is a member here and makes very affordable forges and anvils.
If you want to spend more on a forge, I highly recommend the NC Too and Forge company Whisper forges. The Lowboy is very versatile. The Knifemaker is great if you will only do knives.

Kayne and Sons (Blacksmith Depot) is a great source for tongs and hammers.

If you use the custom search engine in the stickys you will find a lot of treads on your questions:
Here is some past advice I gave on this question:

I recommend that you start with a few basic tongs and a hammer or two. Once you get started, you will find what you need and get those items. I have over forty hammers and buckets of tongs....but use two hammers and three tongs for 99% of all forging.

For about $150 I would get:

Tongs - bladesmiths don't need huge long tongs. All we need to do is hold hot stuff while hammering it. Use the shortest tongs that will do the job. I highly recommend Blacksmith's Depot tongs and hammers:
One pair of simple short "pick up" tongs for doing HT and putting things in and out of the forge. I recommend the "half-round 300mm tongs

One pair of general use blade forging tongs, like the 1" blade tongs.

One pair of offset tongs with general use jaws, like the Gooseneck "V" bit tongs.

Hammers can come in many shapes and sizes. To start with get a very basic hammer and learn to forge. Specialty hammers will come to you as you need them. Going to HF and getting a basic blacksmiths cross peen hammer isn't a bad starter. If you want a real, smiths hammer, a 2# or 1000g forging hammer is a good start. This is a good hammer for a reasonable price -