In this video and in many others I've seen, smiths use 2 different "hammers" to forge metal together. One seems to hit it repetitively with less force (0:30 in the video) while the other "squishes" the metals together with larger force in a slower motion (1:10 in the video).

My question is, what is the difference? why not use one or the other?


One is called a press, the other is called a hammer.

At this point I am just regurgitating what I have read.

You can see that the press is able to shape the metal more which is is good in that it is faster but worse in that you have less control.

The hammer takes longer to shape the metal but that means you have more control.

In addition, the press is in contact with the metal for longer and over a larger area which cools down the metal faster so you don't have as long to work something on it which you might need such as when fine tuning something.

Does a table saw, a chop saw, a bandsaw, and a scroll saw do the same thing? Or a a rasp and sandpaper? Maybe, but there are certain tasks that are far more convenient with better results on one piece of equipment than another. Sometimes you even have a big hammer and an identical small hammer in your toolbox.

  • $\begingroup$ Great answer! Thanks! $\endgroup$ Jul 8 '21 at 5:12

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