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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
  • Rubber
  • Polyurethane
  • Plastic
  • Wood
  • Raw hide
  • Leather
  • Copper
Types of mallets:
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:

    • 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.
    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.

  • Wooden 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 grips.

  • 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 strike.

  • Plastic 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 place.
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.

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