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noob needs anvil advice

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Being in central michigan, it seems I'm blessed to have a few options for used anvils. Some areas out west and in newer areas are really rough in that regard. anyway, if you have the time to peruse the included links and offer opinions, I would be very grateful!

I'm leaning towards the modified williams or the cheap hay

PS I need to fill in a profile, seems a few people here are from MI as well


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I am bias, the cheap HB is mine!

I use it regualry and it has lots of life yet, Plenty of ring and a straight back. Only reason I listed it was I found a substantially bigger one to replace it. I also have a nice champion 104 forge setup I would sell reasonable to

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The broken anvil would be neat to own, but way too expensive. It's not a "sword making" anvil, it's a london-pattern anvil that's been heavily damaged. Yes, it will work for making a lot of stuff, including knives, but it is also limited because it doesn't have the horn or hardy and pritchel holes. Of course, you can make do with a vise and buy some tooling to make up for the loss of the horn.... but you can also buy a far cheaper hunk of steel at the scrap yard that does everything that broken anvil does. Why spend all that money when you don't have to?

The Vulcan anvil doesn't have the best reputation, iirc. While it looks to be in great condition, I would opt for a slightly more worn Hay Budden anvil. The size and weight of the anvil will mean a lot in terms of what work you can do (the larger the anvil, the heavier the stock you can reasonably work on it), that being said, though, there is a point of diminishing returns. You're not going to enjoy forging 1" stock with a hand hammer, regardless of what size the anvil is.

Get the biggest anvil you can afford and learn to smith on it. Either one of the Hay Budden anvils look very good and come attached to stumps. That saves you a bit of work, and both of them are very reasonably priced. The larger one has some bad edges, but nothing awful. At around $2/lb, it's a good buy.

The smaller one.... the price is very very nice, though, and I'd be hard pressed to pass up on it. That Marc took good care of it and knows how to treat an anvil says a lot. Getting a sweet forge/anvil combination....... that's almost too good to be true. I would seriously consider that option. My only anvil is a 120# jobbie that has some awful edges, but it does everything I could ask of it.

Coming in between 120# and 150#, they are both right in that sweet spot that's awesome for the hobby smith. Small enough to move around, but big enough to do anything you could reasonably want to do. I don't think you could go wrong with either.

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Wow some folks out there are *barking* *mad*!

I bought an anvil just missing the heel for $40 (and it's a "rere brand", Powell), I'd say that missing horn and heel that one was worth about $25 at most particularly in that area.

Vulcan is pretty much the bottom of the "real anvil" list in terms of quality and they have it priced like it was top of the line. I don't think I would buy a Vulcan even if I had to pay US$100 more for a HB the same weight and condition. (except of course if I had to have a quiet anvil---and even then I would go with the HB and mount it so it was silent!)

That is not a "colonial anvil" wrong look to it.

Go with an HB!

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I don't see a 185# HB, but the best deal, and nice looking anvil too is the 125# HB for $185.

Since this seems to be Marcus' anvil ask him to hold it for you.

Yes, some of those prices are up there. Probably comparing to Matchless Antiques on Ebay for prices!


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I've secured the 125lbs HB and a Champion 104 forge and blower from Marcus. My first pieces of equipment.

I havent so much as a swung a hammer yet, I was planning on using a railroad tie and backyard firepit.

I sense this will be alot like guns/cars/boats/knives/bows etc....sigh....another obsession

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