View Full Version : Urethane head carvers mallets?

Doug Shepard
03-03-2010, 6:49 PM
Anybody used one of these and have any comments pro or con?

Dave Lehnert
03-03-2010, 11:00 PM
I am not a woodcarver but do own a like item from Grizzly/Shopfox.
Works and balanced well and a bit cheaper. I use it on my chisels doing cabinet work.
Available in other sizes.



Mike Henderson
03-03-2010, 11:24 PM
Depends on what you're going to use it for. For carving, I find them a bit heavy. Mallets are so easy to make if you do any turning that I recommend people go that way. That also allows you to customize the mallet to your hand (weight, handle shape, head angle).


Doug Shepard
03-04-2010, 5:26 AM
I hear you on turning your own but it's a good 4-6 weeks before temps get back to workable enough for turning in my GaShop. I was hoping to drag a Workmate inside and get practicing with some of your tutorials in the meantime.

Thanks for the feedback. I like those prices even better.

Now the big question is 12oz or 18oz?

Kevin Adams
03-04-2010, 7:42 AM
Hi Doug,

I have a couple of the urethane mallets that I hardly use. I forgot the sizes, but I think I have the smaller 12oz. and then either the 18 or 20oz. I prefer a brass or wood mallet for my carving as you get more punch in a smaller package. I have the small LV one (almost too small) and also one of Dave Jeske's mallets, which I think is now my favorite. I use the urethane ones for other projects where I don't want to mar the wood.

If you are interested in the urethane, I found that the best ones are from "Wood is Good". I had bought one from Woodcraft before that was not this make (a cheap copy) and I found it less than satisfactory (the coating actually dented) so I returned it.

Hope this helps. And if you are interested in my mallets (new condition), just ping me offline.


Rob Bourgeois
03-06-2010, 8:59 AM
I like mine. But then its the only one I have ever used so its hard to compare.

David Keller NC
03-06-2010, 9:19 AM
One big advantage of the u-mallets over a traditional one (all wood) is the noise factor. If you've others living in the house, a u-mallet is a lot quieter than an all-wood one. One guy in my carving class bought the cheaper knock-off of the urethane mallet - the coating didn't hold up, and he eventually purchased one of the Wood is Good mallets.

I've both the 12 oz. and the 18 oz. Which one to get depends a lot on what you wish to carve. If you're carving bigger 3-d objects, I'd get the 18 oz. mallet for hogging off waste faster. If you're doing lighter bas relief work, I'd choose the 12 oz.

Doug Shepard
03-10-2010, 8:01 PM
OK next question.
I got one of the Grizzly ones that Dave linked to today and found something I hadn't really expected. The entore head turns freely on the handle. That seems somehow less than ideal for something used for striking, but is this normal for these type mallets or something unique to the ShopFox ones? The weight (18 oz) feels pretty good but it does seem a tad large. I'l start whacking and see how it goes.

Dave McGeehan
03-11-2010, 8:29 AM

When I first started carving, I used a lignum vitae mallet. A couple of old timers recommended I switch to something that provided some cushioning to avoid the problems they had developed in their hands and elbows that they blamed on years of using hard mallets. I bought a 20 oz Wood is Good and have used it for over 20 years with no loose head and not a dent in it. You might want to call Grizzley regarding that head turning. I'd think that's a problem.

Chuck Nickerson
03-11-2010, 12:32 PM
Doug - my Wood Is Good mallet head does not rotate. A rotating head seems like it would penalize off-centered blows. With my depth-perception issues (one good eye), that just wouldn't work for me.

Casey Gooding
03-12-2010, 9:19 AM
I have used a "Wood is Good" mallet for years. Though I must admit almost never for carving. I tend to use it in place of a dead-blow mallet during assembly.

Kevin Adams
03-12-2010, 10:01 AM

I would think a rotating head would not be a good thing...one more thing to worry about. I would send it back. Really, for the money, the "wood is good" are the ones you want.


Doug Shepard
03-12-2010, 10:09 AM
I think you're right guys. The Slop Fox is going back.