Blacksmith Starter Kit – The Essentials for Getting Started

A blacksmith working with tongs and sledgehammer with a glowing forge in the background.

While it would be nice to have all your basic blacksmithing gear in one all-inclusive kit, unfortunately that’s just not how it works.

Your best bet is to piece together a custom kit that will suit your particular needs.

In the following, I’ll guide you through each item individually and show you the best budget choices as well as some higher-end gear that will allow you to grow in skills and work on more complex projects. 

Here’s a quick peek at the bare basics.

Best Blacksmith Starter Kit

This starter kit contains a budget forge, anvil, tongs, apron, and gloves.

Budget Forge

Portable Propane Gas Forge Single Burner Knife and...

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This is a portable propane forge with a single burner.

The inside of the forge is lined with a 1-inch rigidized ceramic fiber designed to quickly help you reach welding temperature and save on fuel. 

It easily hooks up to a barbecue propane tank for convenient use. The regulator connection type is POL and will not connect to a propane tank with an OPD-type valve.

When the orifice is partly clogged, this forge will not get hot enough to produce anything other than yellow flames, even with the air valve open and the propane at maximum.

Make sure the orifice is clear.

Happybuy Single Horn Anvil

Happybuy Single Horn Anvil 24Lbs Cast Iron Anvil...

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This is a 24-pound anvil for easy transportation and small projects.

Made from high-grade cast iron, the surface is polished and treated to reduce an oxidation reaction.

Due to the size, this anvil is perfect for hobbyists or smaller projects such as knife smithing and other small forging work.

The rounded horn allows for bending and shaping, and the flat top dimensions are 6.8 inches long by 3.5 inches wide.

Though smaller than a traditional anvil, the Happybuy is great for any blacksmith starter kit.

Either clamped or bolted to a workbench, it’s perfectly capable of riveting, flattening, forming, and forging metal.

Holes in the base allow for easy bolting for a sturdy, unshakable working surface.

However, harder hammers and swings have been known to dent the surface.

This anvil is not for large or heavy projects, so if you plan on tackling a more difficult task, you should consider upgrading to a different option.

Picard Blacksmiths’ Tongs

Picard Hammer - Blacksmiths' Tong (0004930-300)

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Weighing roughly 1 pound, these Picard tongs are shorter for close handling and designed to grip small pieces of metal.

The tips close flat to better grasp and shape a variety of material thicknesses.

In terms of a beginner’s forge, these tongs are affordable and will perform as expected.

However, because of the shorter arms, it might bring you closer to the heat than you would like.

Keep in mind, they are meant for keeping smaller projects at close range.

QeeLink Leather Workshop Apron

QeeLink Leather Work Shop Apron with 6 Tool...

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This leather apron is made from split cowhide and is both heat and spark resistant.

A good coverage apron, the leather extends to these dimensions: 36 inches tall, 24 inches wide.

Sewn with heat-resistant US Kevlar thread, the QeeLink boasts durability and complete safety.

The apron has six pockets for tools and other accessories, including a pencil pocket and cell phone holder.

The straps cross at the back for maximum comfort during long projects.

Rapicca Leather Gloves

RAPICCA 16 Inches,932℉, Leather Forge/Mig/Stick...

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These gloves contain double-layer Kevlar-padding on the fingers, palm, elbows, and back for increased heat resistance and protection.

Able to withstand up to 932 degrees Fahrenheit, Rapicca’s gloves are leather Kevlar layered over flame retardant cotton and air-isolated aluminum foil for maximum comfort and safety.

Extending 16 inches, these gloves protect forearms and sleeves from heat and sparks. For ensured fit, the gloves only come in size XL to accommodate larger hands.

While not allowing for dainty movements, the Rapicca gloves will ultimately protect against burns while welding and forging.

These gloves are durable and long-lasting for any blacksmithing or welding needs.

Though you might buy them for a beginner blacksmith starter kit, you’ll likely use them in a number of jobs around the house, such as moving logs or hot coals in the fireplace.

Best Propane Blacksmith Forge

Budget forges work fine, but when you want to upgrade, consider a double burner.

Hell’s Forge Portable Double Burner

Hell's Forge Portable Propane Forge Double Burner...

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Hell’s Forge is renowned for its well-made portable forges, and this double burner unit is no exception.

Able to reach temperatures above 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit, this propane forge uses sleek mechanisms and an oval design to reach maximum efficiency and conservation of fuel.

The interior is coated with a 1-inch ceramic fiber blanket for insulation, and purchase includes a powdered form of Hellcoat 3000 refractory coating to protect the ceramic from potential damage.

Unlike other forges which have their ceramic fiber blankets coated before shipping, Hell’s Forge always sends the coating separately, which prevents accidental cracks during delivery.

The double burners allow for continuous heating so that larger projects are evenly tempered.

For smaller projects, this Hell’s Forge unit allows for single burner use to avoid wasting fuel and energy.  

Blacksmith Tong Set

Ordinary blacksmith tongs are great, but a quality set of tongs that you customize yourself can really make a difference in your work.

Rapid Tongs Bundle Set

MADE IN USA - Best-Selling Rapid Tongs Bundle Set...

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This bundle includes five types of DIY tong blanks, instructions for assembly, and rivets to complete the job.

Made from 5/16-inch mild steel, each pair is light and easily manipulated to handle smaller projects.

The bundle includes:

  • Bolt tongs.
  • Flat jaw tongs.
  • Slot jaw tongs.
  • V-bit tongs.
  • Scroll tongs.

Using a hammer, heat, and a hard surface, these tongs are easily assembled.

Already owning a working forge and anvil is ideal for this job, so consider purchasing this bundle after you have some experience with your blacksmithing projects.

Blacksmith Hammers

For smaller projects such as jewelry, smaller hammers make more sense. For larger projects, both large and small hammers have their uses.

Picard Blacksmith’s Hammer

Picard Hammer - Blacksmiths' Hammer (0000811-1000)

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This 1-kilogram cross peen hammer has a hardened face and a 15-inch hickory handle.

The head can often arrive with sharper edges or grooves that require smoothing out before use.

Once smoothed, this hammer is a very serviceable tool for blacksmiths at any level. Most buyers will also strip off the handle paint for a more comfortable feel.

The peen is a perfect stretching or texturing tool for smaller blacksmithing projects.

Vaughan Heavy Hitters Blacksmith Hammer

Vaughan 172-30 S48 Heavy Hitters Blacksmith Hammer...

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With a 3-pound head and approximately 16 inches for the handle, this hammer is a heavier option for less-malleable projects.

It needs less adjustment than the Picard but still comes with a stickered handle.

Stripping and sanding the handle is easy to do, making this hammer a convenient and handy addition to any forge.

Best Blacksmith Anvils

The choice between anvils depends on the size of your creations.

Olympia Tools 25 Pound Anvil

Olympia Tools 100-Pound Cast Iron Anvil (38-785)

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A cast iron anvil, this Olympia model has a polished surface of 7 inches by 2.75 inches for small metalworking and leatherwork.

The feet can be bolted down for harder hammer swings via holes on all four sides.

At 25 pounds, it is a smaller choice but durable enough for beginning blacksmiths. Hot metal will cause damage to the anvil if not placed on the polish surface.

Though quality may vary from purchase to purchase, this Olympia model makes a nice beginner’s anvil for small projects.

Happybuy Single Horn 66lbs Anvil

Happybuy Single Horn Anvil 66Lbs Cast Steel Anvil...

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This anvil is a larger, heavier-duty version of the Happybuy 24-pound anvil seen above.

Made of cast iron, it has a fully polished steel surface and is coated in a protective paint to prevent corrosion and rust.

Two hardy holes provide places to craft bends, holes, or other accessories. With a large countertop and a 6-inch horn, it is the perfect beginner’s anvil for medium-sized smithing projects.

Small indentations may appear on the surface if struck bare. If used properly with working metal, there shouldn’t be any denting issues.

Blacksmith Apron

The best blacksmith starter kit covers all safety concerns, and a quality, protective apron is a must-have.

FIGHTECH Heavy-Duty Leather Apron

FIGHTECH Leather Work Apron with Tool Pockets for...

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This genuine leather full-length apron is both heat and flame resistant and double stitched for durability.

It measures 24 inches wide by 36 inches long and can be adjusted from a medium size all the way up to an XXL. 

The X-style back straps and waist straps ensure that the apron stays snugly against your body to keep stray sparks out.

However, unlike most work aprons, this FIGHTECH apron has comfortable shoulder padding on the straps.

The multiple pockets can hold a wide variety of tools, and the rivets placed at all high-stress points ensure that this apron will hold up to a good bit of abuse.

Olson Deepack Leather Apron

OLSON DEEPAK Leather Welding Work Apron - Heat...

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Like most aprons designed for workshop use, this cowhide apron features double stitching and heat/flame resistant properties.

However, unlike other options available, this apron only has one chest-level pocket to eliminate the risk of hot sparks settling into the larger pockets commonly found on work aprons.

The cross straps and waist straps are fully adjustable for a comfortable fit and some users report that they often forget that they’re wearing it – it’s that comfy.

Others find that oiling the apron with neatsfoot oil or something similar improves the comfort, flexibility, and suppleness of the leather.

This Olson apron is friendlier on the budget and is backed with a money-back guarantee if you’re not fully satisfied.

Blacksmith Gloves

Hand protection is a crucial factor for any new blacksmith.

Kim Yuan Welding Gloves

KIM YUAN Extreme Heat/Fire Resistant Gloves...

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These welding gloves made from split cow leather are fireproof, heat insulated, and sweat absorbent.

Able to withstand temperatures of 662 degrees Fahrenheit, these gloves also contain reinforced palms to protect from handling hot or sharp objects.

The Kim Yuans are very soft and comfortable to wear, with denim cuffs and 14 inches of protection.

The durable Kevlar stitching keeps the gloves together for long-term forge use. 

Some buyers felt the heat to uncomfortable levels through these gloves, whereas others found them perfect for their needs.

WZQH Leather Forge Working Gloves

WZQH 16 Inches,932℉,Leather Forge Welding...

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Guaranteed to stand up to 932 degrees Fahrenheit, these forge gloves provide ultimate protection from heat and sparks.

These 16-inch gloves offer maximum safety with a forge. They layer split cowhide leather with air-isolated aluminum foil and flame-retardant cotton.

Kevlar stitching and double leather palms provide durability for long-term use.

They are not quite as stiff or bulky as similar gloves to make them more comfortable and a little easier to use.  

Related Questions:

How Much Does It Cost to Set Up a Blacksmith Forge?

The total amount of money you spend depending on the products you choose, whether they are on sale, and if you need to pay for shipping.

Generally, a beginner’s blacksmith forge costs between $200-$500 to set up. In this article, you’ll see how to easily build your own DIY version.

Can I Make My Own Blacksmith Tools?

You can make your own blacksmith tools. However, if you’re new to blacksmithing or metalwork, it’s better to buy tools first and learn with them before trying something new.

Blacksmith tools are easier to make if you have your own forge and anvil. If you don’t know how to use either, you’re better off purchasing your first set of tools.

What Can I Use Instead of an Anvil?

If you need a surface to hammer metal, you can use a thick block of iron or steel.

Depending on the type and the kind of hammering you’re doing, iron or steel blocks will work just as well as a shaped anvil and dent the same amount.

Can You Use a Welder’s Apron for Blacksmithing?

A welding apron protects from sparks much like a blacksmithing apron and may be used in place of a blacksmith apron.

Manufacturers tend to create blacksmith or welding aprons that are versatile and used for more than one purpose.

A welder’s apron works just as well for blacksmithing and vice versa. 

Quick Recap

The list of basic blacksmith gear for the beginner may seem overwhelming at first. There are advantages to building your own starter kit, however. 

  • You can select exactly what you want and think you’ll need and avoid wasting money on gear you’ll never use.
  • You’re not locked in to buying from only one company. Mix and match brands to fit your needs.
  • As you collect equipment and tools, you’ll gain a better understanding of what you’ll need in the future. 

So, start with the bare minimum – a good quality anvil, a durable hammer, and a decent pair of tongs and work your way up from there as your budget allows.

Don’t miss out on important tips, easy beginner projects, and answers to common blacksmithing questions.

Click here to view more blacksmithing information and guides.

Last update on 2021-07-30 at 20:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API