Why Are Wood Carving Mallets Round?

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When you need to procure wood carving mallets, the first thing you’ll notice is that many of them are round. Why not any other shape? Why are they only round? There is a lot you can learn about wood carving mallets.

Why are wood carving mallets round? Wood carving mallets are round for multiple reasons. For one, you get a better surface area for striking a chisel. Then another feasible reason is that while concentrating on your workpiece, you don’t have to take your eyes off it to check the orientation of your mallet.


When we discuss hammering, the tool that comes to mind is a hammer. But we use a hammer to drive hard objects. When it comes to hitting soft objects like a wooden or plastic chisel hammer, then it is a mallet that you need.

We also use woodworking mallets while joining sections of wood together. If you need to hit the wood but do not want to damage the surface, a mallet is the best choice. You can use it to hammer together dowels or a mortise and tenon joint.

So, we use mallets to avoid damaging chisel handles or the delicate parts of wooden structures, especially when the wood is soft. A mallet gives you better control than a hammer and imparts a more distributed impact.

A mallet is a specialty tool. Just as we get different types of woodworking hammers for a variety of purposes, the types of woodworking mallets are numerous as well. Whether you are a wood carver or any other type of woodworker, you will always benefit from keeping a set of mallets in your toolbox.

Wood Carving Mallets: Size and Material

Tools vector logo design template. chisel, mallet or surface gauge

We get a variety of sizes in wood carvers’ mallets that we use to drive bench chisels or gouges. The size depends on the nature of the task at hand.

If you have a rough carving job, like when you first start to carve an object, you need to take off a large quantity of material. In such a case, you will use a large mallet to drive a heavy chisel.

On the other hand, if your task involves carving intricately delicate details, then you might use the smallest size of a mallet to tap the tiny chisel in your hand lightly.

Most wood carving mallets are made of wood. But some mallets have metal, usually brass heads. This is when you need to drive a tool with a non-wooden handle or a screwdriver. Mallets such as the deadblow mallet have plastic or nylon heads.

Why Are Wood Carving Mallets Round?

Coming to the main question – why are wood carving mallets round? We use mallets to drive soft objects such as spindles, pegs, dowels, chisels, and gouges. These can split if you strike them with a hammer.

A wood carver’s mallet allows you to work with precision and often in tight, inaccessible spaces. Another reason for round mallets is that you can strike objects at different angles without worrying about the orientation of your mallet. That way, you don’t have to keep moving your arm to accommodate different angles.

Round Head vs. Square Head Mallets

Getting further into our discussion about wood carving mallets, let’s consider the shape of two types – round head and square head mallets.

To begin with, square head mallets serve well if you want to hammer on forcefully. Examples of such jobs are carpentry tasks like working on doors, windows, and cabinets. They also work well on mortising and similar chopping tasks.

You can best use a round mallet for light work where you need to drive chisel handles of various sizes. A lot of the preference for round head mallets boils down to the easy handling that it offers. You can concentrate more on your job and less on the tool you are wielding.

Types of Mallets

Having established why wood carving mallets are round, we can now take a brief look at the different types of mallets you can find as follows:

Wood Carver’s Mallet

The wood carver’s mallet is a mallet that you won’t see all woodworkers using. These mallets come in different sizes. They are round, rather shaped like Indian clubs. The wood carver’s mallet is best-suited for driving gouges.

They work exceptionally well with bench chisels as well, especially when you have to remove material in a precise way. A wood carver’s mallet will cause you minimal fatigue over extended world sessions here you have to remove large amounts of stock.

Small Wood Carver’s Mallet

This mallet is a miniature version of the wood carver’s mallet. We use a small wood carver’s mallet where precision is of utmost importance. You can work with it in tight spaces with minimum effort.

Brass Wood Carver’s Mallet

The brass wood carver’s mallet is a tool that you can use to work with tools that have non-wooden handles and have a through the shank. The brass head with a short handle also gives you scope for delivering a compacted blow in tight quarters. You will find that a brass wood carver’s mallet gives you comfort but full control as well.

Bench Mallet

Here is a mallet that is probably the most widely used type of mallet in the family of mallets. These mallets are typically made from high-impact wood such as hornbeam. You will find it perfect for driving high-impact tools like a large, wide woodworking chisel.

The design of a bench mallet’s head facilitates comfortable hammering on a tool or workpiece while in a standing position. You can also use the mallet by turning it sideways if you aren’t too concerned about pressure marks on your workpiece.

We also use a bench mallet to release holdfasts. It is one of the handiest tools to have in a woodworking workshop. You will realize how indispensable it can be when you start keeping one in your workshop and using it.

Deadblow Mallet

All the mallets we have mentioned so far are those that we use to drive other tools. Here, we have a mallet that we use directly on the job. We use a deadblow mallet while assembling projects.

The head of a deadblow mallet has two soft plastic or nylon faces. These knobs are hollow and are usually filled with lead shot or ball bearings to give them a “dead” weight. The extra weight in the mallet head prevents the tool from rebounding on impact.


Judges Wood Desk With Gavel On The Sound Board Isolated

If you are not very familiar with round mallets, now is your time to start trying them out. You can carry out light chiseling and precision work with ease using round mallets. By design, they offer a comfortable and easy working experience, allowing you to focus more on the wood you are working on.

Do not neglect to investigate the features of other types of mallets. You don’t need to have a huge collection. Five or six different types of mallets, including a few round ones, can make a huge difference to your woodworking toolbox.

It is important to know the functions of different types of mallets. If you have a variety of them, you can try all of them out in the course of your woodworking projects. Gradually, you will develop a particular work pattern in how you use your woodworking mallets. It can make your woodworking projects more fulfilling.