Mallets belong to a class of hammer-like tools ,
serving the same purpose as a hammer, that is striking objects, but the
difference is that unlike a hammer, a mallet is used to strike those
objects that would be damaged by a blow from a metal hammer. In other
words, a mallet has large heads like a normal hammer but the mallet head
is not metal made but made of rubber, plastic, wood or leather. A mallet
is manufactured in different designs according to their intended use.
Besides manufacturing and construction, mallets are also used in sports
such as croquet and polo, and as a type of drumstick. Basically mallets
are in use where you do not want to damage surface.
Materials used in making mallet heads
Types of mallets:
- Raw hide
Some common types of mallets are as follows:
- Rubber mallets: Rubber mallets are the most commonly used
mallets and are used when a softer blow is required than that
delivered by a metal hammer. They are used to serve different
purposes like as follows:
Rubber mallets are available in various colors, the most common
one being black or white, with wood, fiberglass, or plastic handles.
They are available with different weights but they are strong and
lightweight. Some mallets fitted with a rubber sleeve for added
comfort and grip.
- To form sheet metal as they don't leave marks.
- Used for shifting plasterboard into place.
- To force tight-fitting parts together.
- Used in upholstery.
- Used in assembling furniture.
- Used to bent dents out of metal and
- A variety of other general purposes.
Mallets: This type of mallet is completely made of wood, both
the handle and the head or it is made of wooden head with plastic or
fiber glass handle. Usually made of hickory, they are ideal for
non-marring applications. It is most commonly used in carpentry to
knock wooden pieces together or to drive chisels or dowels. This
type of mallet will not deform the striking end of a metal tool but
it also reduces the force available to drive the cutting edge of a
chisel. They have a varnish finish. Some of them are multi-ply,
laminated compressed wood. Some of them are fitted with flushed-in
Fiberglass hoops which give extra safety and are much tougher than
the normal solid wood mallets.
- Copper and leaden mallets:
They are preferred to be used on machinery so that they can apply
force to parts but where the risk of damage is reduced compared to
heavy metal hammer and can also avoid sparks. This type of mallet
has plenty of striking power without the danger of damaging finished
iron, brass or steel surfaces. They are well balanced, ideal for
tasks where other types of mallets might damage delicate parts. They
are available with both square or round copper heads with wooden or
fiberglass handles. They also come with non-slip textured rubber
- Meat mallets:
They are used to flatten or tenderise meat. They are made from wood
or metal or plastic. The hammer head has two sides-one flat with
slight bumps and the other head has greater pronounced protrusions.
The usage of meat mallets has lessened after the the invention of
cube steak machines and other mechanical tenderisers. These mallets
can also be used to crush ice, which is done by covering the ice in
a fabric and crushing the ice with the mallet until the desired ice
size is achieved.
- Rawhide mallets: These
type of mallets have heavily shellacked heads of finest quality
rawhide maybe cow or buffalo hide on selected wood handles. They
have malleable iron or metal heads with replaceable rawhide faces. A
steel head may be covered by raw hide and these mallets are used for
rounding rings on a steel mandrel after stretching and when you
don't want metal to be destroyed. Rawhide mallets are also used for
jewelry, leather work and assembling electric motors and delicate
machinery. These mallets are available in different weights and are
weighted with metal in the center of the head to give a heavier
mallets: Made of nylon, polycarbonate, or polystyrene, plastic
mallets are used especially in leather work and jewelry. They have
smaller heads and are typically used to drive small pins into
machinery. The nonporous material in such mallets won't mar and are
easy to clean.
- Split head mallets: The unique feature of this type of
mallets is that it has removable faces which can be changed or
replaced to an appropriate material for the job. Various faces like
rawhide, plastic, nylon, urethane are available on such mallets. In
other words, the split-head hammer does the work of different
hammers because the face can be easily changed.
- Dead blow mallets: These type of mallets have an internal
cavity filled with steel or lead shot. They enable a more powerful
blow without risk of destroying the target. The heads of such
mallets are loaded with a loose weight which helps in preventing
bounce, and are covered with a non marring material. They are
typically used for assembling pieces that have to be tapped into
Sizes of all mallets, except wooden mallets, are specified in either
head weight or diameter, such as 2-1/4" . Wooden mallets are
specified by head diameter only.
Mallets are used in jewelry, brass and automobile work. They also are
used in applications where it is necessary to avoid sparks.