The Complete Anvil Buyer's Guide
Professional veterans of blacksmithing and hobbyists alike can benefit from enhancing their education on anvil uses, types, and parts with our Centaur Forge complete anvil buyer's guide.
Use this guide to help make clear any parts or functions of the anvil that may be unknown to you, and reference it as you browse our selection of modern, multi-purpose, and specialized anvils.
Table of Contents
Though some anvils are made for multi-purpose use, many of them have one or more specialized parts for custom use by professionals in different smithing fields.
The farrier combines his or her veterinary knowledge with highly specialized smithing skills that include:
Farriers take advantage of turning cams on their anvils to help create the sharp radii of horseshoes and make fine adjustments to curvature easier.
Suggested item: NC 112 lb. Cavalry Anvil
The blacksmith is a generalist who creates functional metal pieces for use across disciplines and industries.
The blacksmith's anvil often has a more rounded horn for creating rings and a flatter face with sharper edges for crafting strong items with consistent corners.
Suggested item: Cliff Carroll 125 lb. Anvil
Coppersmiths can work copper cold or hot, but working it cold increases the risk of breaking the metal.
Because it is so soft, smiths can use any anvil for copper smithing provided it has the surfaces needed to shape the end-product. Functional copper pieces may require a blacksmith's anvil, but decorative pieces may be easier to create with a farrier's anvil.
Silver is much more robust than copper; accordingly, it requires a heavy-duty steel anvil to work with.
Goldsmithing also requires an anvil with denser metal more tightly packed into its shape.
Smiths also work with other metals such as pewter and tin, and can be named for the products they forge such as swords, knives, and arrows.
All anvils come with a face and horn. Some anvils have multiple horns, turning cams, and special attached tools for specialty jobs.
Two main different types, or styles, of anvil exist that have functionality adequate for most smithing jobs.
Farrier & Shoeing Anvils
The farrier anvil is specially equipped to create shallow, rounded edges and deep curves. It often features rounded edges on the face, a broader horn than the blacksmith anvil, and two knobs called turning cams that help make fine adjustments to the shoe. They also often come with a pritchel hole for making nail holes in horseshoes.
TFS 70 lb. Farrier Anvil
The blacksmith anvil is specially equipped to create sharp, tight corners and flat surfaces. It is often square at the heel to help keep finished surfaces level. The horn is usually more cone-shaped and not quite as wide as a farrier anvil so that blacksmiths can create ring shapes.
Kanca 110 lb. Drop-Forged Double Horn Anvil
Anvil shapes vary greatly, but the metallurgic processes through which they are designed most often fall into one of two categories:
The casting process uses molten metal cast or injected into custom-made molds. Very little refining occurs after the metal has been cast, but it comes with these advantages:
The drop-forging process uses dies, compression, and temperature to shape the anvil. It comes with these advantages:
In general, drop-forged anvils tend to be stronger and longer-lasting, but cast steel anvils allow for more flexibility in function and sometimes command lower anvil prices.
What Size Anvil Do I Need?
The size of your anvil, measured in weight, should be determined by the size of the items with which you plan to work. Smaller anvils are not only used by beginner blacksmiths and farriers; they are also particularly useful for master craftspeople such as jewelers.
<100 lbs.: Best for training and jewelry
100 lbs. - 200 lbs.: Best for general blacksmithing and farrier work
200 lbs.>: Best for large-scale metal projects
Prices for Anvils & Where to Buy
The price of your anvil will vary most often by weight. Though material costs and forging processes factor into total cost, the greatest differences will occur when selecting the weight of your anvil.
The price of an anvil can range from as little as about $200.00 for a 35-pound anvil to about $2000.00 for a 400-pound anvil. Don't forget to calculate shipping with your costs if you're buying online.
Most anvils of professional quality can only be purchased from a specialty retailer. Your retailer will likely be set up with an online ecommerce system and shipping process to ensure that you can pay easily and that you'll receive your items quickly and in new condition.
Shop Centaur Forge's collection of anvils and use this buyer's guide to ensure you get the right forge for your farrier and blacksmithing needs.