Jump to content
I Forge Iron

looking for some input

Recommended Posts

Looking to get a new anvil. Got it down to 2 brands Nimba gladiator and the No.9 - 330 Lb.refflinghaus. I like them both but can only get one .The only thing i don"t like about the nimba is the pritchel hole in the horn. which one would you choose.
Jason Crawford

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • The Gladiator is 450#. I've never used a Refflinghaus so I can't compare. I've used the Nimba Gladiator and the Centurion before purchasing my Gladiator. I've never had a problem with the Pritchel hole being at the base of the horn. I may be prejudiced but I recommend the Gladiator!:D
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just bought a new 200lb TFS Smithy Special2 dual horn with a side shelf & upsetting block for $1100. So far I am very happy with it. They also make a 300lb. I tried to soften the edges with a file and it just skated across. It is a solid cast tool steel anvil made in Texas. Amy Pieh was making deals at the CBA conference last month. I was able to get it for about $100 less than normal with no shipping or tax. That made a big difference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have both
A nimba gladiator and two refflinghaus anvils.
The Nimba is around 460 lbs
One refflinghaus is 220 lbs and the other is 1243 lbs.
I have a fair amount of anvils and most are in pretty good condition including most of the more popular brands.
The ones that I have bought new are
560 lb vaughn brooks
200 lb Emerson
260 lb JHM

By far my all time favorite is a Refflinghaus as it is quite simply the best anvil that I have ever used.
The size is not as important as the shape and style that ( YOU ) prefer but I like to think that it is easier to do small work on a large anvil than it is to do large work on a small anvil.
Whatever style,brand name that you decide on i would reccomend purchasing the largest that you can afford.
People will buy a new truck for 20,000 that will wear out in a realitively short time and them skimp and spend as little as they can on an anvil that should last several generations.

If you are still not sure come on by and you can try out any of mine and then decide.

Mike Tanner

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jason just corner Mike at the next guild meeting...like he said. He will take you through the pros and cons of all of them. I remember from the last meeting the concern on the horn shape. I know you want to have the horn like what is on Mike's 1245 pound one on the 330. Maybe Dick can ring in on it here. He is an IFI member: "blksmth"

One day I will own a Refflinghaus...after seeing Mike's two, and talking with Dick about them. I am sold on that anvil brand 100%.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jason, I just read your post with the other comments. I am the USA Ernst Refflinghaus anvil dealer. I would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about Ernst Refflinghaus Anvils. You can e-mail me directly at blksmth@charter.net or ask on this forum, although I do not look into this forum as often as I would like. There are only a couple of major differences between the Nimba and the Refflinghaus. The major difference between the anvils is in the hardness. Nimba is advertised at RC50 to 52 while the Refflinghaus is guaranteed RC59 or harder. There are a lot of good reasons for wanting a hard anvil and only a few reasons for wanting a soft anvil. Another difference is that the Refflinghaus has the hardy hole near the round horn and the Nimba has that hole near the tapered flat end. If you are right handed and like the round horn on the left, then the hardy hole in the Refflinghaus is out of the way and you can leave a hot cut in the hardy hole while you forge. In using the Nimba you should take the cut off hardy out when you are done with it as it is not safe to leave in the anvil. Of course if you are left handed you might like the placement of the Nimba holes. Also Nimba puts the pritchell hole in the round horn. I think that would be very inconvenient, but I'm sure there is a reason for it. As far as I know only a few older Italian style anvils had the pritchell hole in the round horn, but it certainly is not common. Hope this helps and ask if you have questions. I would also be willing to send you close up pictures of the 330 lb. #9 if you would like.
Dick Nietfeld

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of course you can always turn the anvil around so the horn is pointed the other way and so the hardy would be out of the way then. I have anvils mounted pretty much all 4 ways in my shop and use whichever one is best set up for what I'm doing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've always used my with the horn to the right, I am right handed also.

It really comes down to how you are used to orienting your anvil and what you like.

One thing that I'd like to know, not having enough experience on many different anvils is; after a certain level of hardness, is the difference really that noticeable?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the hardy bothers you being in the anvil, there's nothing at all wrong with putting it in a vise, swage block or a dedicated tool holder.

The only problem with an anvil being "too" hard is the potential for chipping on a missed blow. Much over 60R and there's a real risk even the first time.

Of course this says a lot for developing hammer control.

Simply put, the harder the anvil the easier the metal moves. The less deflection means faster rebound and higher % of energy returned.

To some extent it works the same for a heavier anvil as it doesn't move as much as a lighter one.

Rigid makes a big difference. If it didn't those cast iron ASOs everybody gripes about would be just as good as "real" anvils.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some comments on hard and soft anvils: An anvil that is only subjected to hot iron or hot steel, would take a very long time to wear out or become dented, dished, or have a rough surface. I know of blacksmiths that use anvils of mild steel (A36) and those anvils last a long time with care (Brazeal brothers for example). In reality, though, a typical anvil is subject to the forces of cold iron and steel. There are missed hammer blows, struck hardy tools, pounded bolsters, etc. that can abrade, dent, or chip the face of an anvil. The harder the anvil and the thicker the hard face, the less the anvil face will abrade, dent, or become dished and the longer the anvil will have a smooth flat face with good edges. It is true the harder the edge, the more susceptible it is to chipping, but suceptibility to chipping is also affected by the kind and quality of the steel. Most of the good anvils made 60 to 150 years ago had hard faces of RC 58 or higher. Most of the anvils made today are made at RC55 or less. Most modern blacksmiths will certainly not wear out a RC52 (Nimba) or an RC47 (Czech) anvil as they are not subjecting the anvil to the use that was typical of a blacksmith shop of yesteryear. About the worst that will happen to a modern home shop RC52 anvil is a rougher face over time due to the dents and dings that will eventually occur, and the edges can get pounded rounder. An anvil with a face full of dents and dings is normally not a problem in general blacksmithing. My RC 52 anvil after 10 years of weekend use has a pretty dinged up face, but is still a very good anvil. If I did not have access to a harder anvil (Ernst Refflinghaus), I would still be using my softer anvil. A dinged up anvil face might not be appreciated by someone like a bladesmith. A blacksmith can normally hammer out an edge dent in a softer anvil. In a harder anvil the edge may chip. A smith should always use a hammer that is softer than his anvil not only in an effort to keep the anvil from denting and chipping, but also for safety reasons. Most of us know what can happen when 2 pieces of hardened steel are hit together = chips can fly that are very dangerous. The harder an anvil, the easier it is to find hammers that are softer. Shady Grove Blacksmith Shop

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...