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I Forge Iron

Anvil differences??

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What you want in an anvil:

Hardened Face mandatory!
Nicely shaped horn
Usefull hardy hole
Mass of anvil below the face
lack of ring---user's choice

If you have a properly hardened face with enough mass under it you have an anvil even without a horn or hardy hole. Too soft and without the mass under the face you don't have an anvil no matter how prettily it is shaped.

Look at Nimba anvils for a good example of a non-london pattern anvil that is *well* designed.

Look at harbour freight for examples that are poorly designed.

The difference is like riding in a rolls royce and riding ina yugo. They will both get you there but one is an enjoyable ride...


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If you're on a tight budget, any hunk of steel with a relatively flat face will do. If you have, and are willing to spend, the money buy a more expensive anvil. It is all up to you. My anvil is the 100$ special, it's 110 pounds and it serves me quite nicely. I've worked on nicer anvils and there is a large difference. But I'm going to drive this one into the ground. I get enjoyment out of forging no matter what I am beating on! Another thing, what kind of use will it be getting? I mean will this be your first time at the forge, or are you well versed in the ways of the hammer and just wish to have some other people's oppinions?

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Cheers, some useful stuff to think about.

I have done a uni course doing blacksmithing a few years ago, so not familiar with actually buying my own equipment. This is my first workshop. So just trying to work out what actually accounts for the difference in price. :confused:

I am leaning towards getting a decent one, maybe around 200 pounds.
Ones i am looking at vary from €770 to €1354 (in $ around $965-$1697 ish!) The cheapest 100 pound anvil i've found is around €400 ($500).How does that compare to USA prices??

The most expensive one above is a London pattern, (shipped from UK, I can't find one in France) single bick 'professional grade' and is 280 pounds and is hardened to a minimum of 60 on the Rockwell scale. (Although for the other anvils i am looking at i don't have this info to compare to!)

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I think there is a big difference between buying a new anvil and buying a used anvil. I'm not saying that one is better then the other, just that its a different experience. If you want to buy a new one, I'd recommend 150+ lbs and the best quality you can afford. Get a good pattern from a good distributer. On the other hand, I think it's fun to look for used anvils, though time consuming. But there is more variation, more style, more life, and more history to be had..

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In your search for an anvil have you checked for auctions that are liquidating a farmstead? Where I live, eastern Ontario in Canada, auctions liquidating a farmstead are few and far between. However, they do come up and do list blacksmithing tools and anvils. probably about 2-3 per year in eastern Ontario.
Try a search for auction listings in your area or even a little further away.
You never know.


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Cheers all

Yep i think i will go for a good quality one. Now to persuade other half it's a good idea!!! (Even though i am still not quite sure what makes up the quality part, is it all down to materials and hardening??)

Thanks again


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an older anvil will generally have a work hardened face that's harder than the face on a new anvil. bigger is better, the more there is down there the more it hits back. peddinghaus is made in either germany or france and they are top notch, forged construction, you cannot go wrong with these and they should be cheaper over there than here.

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