Best Blacksmith Tongs: The Ultimate List for 2021 (+ Buying Guide)
Alongside the hammer and anvil, blacksmith tongs are the crucial tool in every blacksmith’s workshop. The primary purpose of the forging tongs is to firmly hold a heated metal without the risk of severe burns. They also allow for gripping, rotating, lifting, and place the metal into the burning coals to be heated at the desired temperature. It serves as the extension of the blacksmith’s will, making him easy to manipulate and move the metal piece.
Usually, every blacksmith has his custom-made blacksmith tongs that are perfectly fitted for each project. But, if you are not in that level of expertise, you will probably want to buy one. Or more, because a blacksmith cannot have too many pairs of forging tongs.
There are many options on the market, so choosing the best one can be a challenging task. Therefore, we are bringing you a detailed blacksmith tong buying guide to help you choose the best for your budget, type of work, and level of blacksmithing skill.
Where to buy blacksmith tongs? The best place to buy the right smiting tongs is certainly Amazon online store, simply because there you can find the greatest prices, best deals, discounts, coupons, and it offers the fastest shipping across the US.
1. Picard Hammer Flat-nosed Blacksmiths’ Tong ($37.04)
Picard Hammer – Blacksmiths’ Tong, flat-nosed, is made of C35 steel and designed with the user in mind. Although cheap blacksmith tongs, they are quality assured, made to withstand even the most challenging jobs. The tips of the tongs touch when closed, suitable for mainly holding ½”. They are great starter tongs, proven and tested for durability and function in real-life situations.
Excellent basic tongs
2. Caliburn Blacksmith Railroad Spike Tongs ($49.99)
These steel tongs are designed specifically for use with railroad spikes. Caliburn Blacksmith Railroad Spike Tongs provide an excellent grip on the railroad spike head. They are 14″ long and weight approximately 2.2lbs.
Can be adjusted
They do not hold full-sized railroad spikes
3. Calliburn Blacksmith Wolf Jaw Tongs ($49.99)
These tongs are highly durable, made for professionals and DIY blacksmith enthusiasts who need stability, strength, and control over their work. They can hold a variety of stock but are not so heavy – it is possible to use them with only one hand.
Calliburn Blacksmith Wolf Jaw Tongs are very durable and high-quality blacksmiths tongs that can be used by bladesmiths and farers, too.
Handles tend to bend inwards
4. V-Bit Bolt Blacksmith Tongs ($57.99)
These heavy-duty forged steel tongs ensure versatility, with the 18″ total length to hold stock securely. BetterForge V-Bit Bolt Blacksmith Tongs can hold various stocks – from round, square to oddly shaped items.
Provides a firm grip
Loose jaws in some cases
5. BetterForge 17″ Z-Type Offset Tongs ($57.99)
Z-jaw tongs have an offset structure that is perfect for knife-making. BetterForge 17″ Z-Type Offset Blacksmith Tongs for Knife Making are specialized, solid-holding tongs while working on the anvil. The offset helps a lot whenever there is a need to turn the workpiece from one end to the next.
The stock can be held in the middle instead of only at the end.
Very secure grip
Limited accommodation of different stock width
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6. Blacksmith Duckbill Tongs ($59.99)
ForgeTongs Blacksmith Duckbill Forge Tongs are made of carbon steel, with a finished black bronze coat for corrosion protection.
They provide a comfortable fit in your hand, with front and side V-bit that provides alignment.
Can have a looped design
Not so much versatility
7. GEDORE 230-500 Blacksmithing Tongs ($64.17)
These flat-nosed (or flat-jaw) tongs are the best choice when dealing with flat metal pieces. GEDORE 230-500 Blacksmith’s Tongs are very simple to use, so they are a good choice for beginners. In addition, having flat rectangular bits makes them perfect for heating up and bending into other types of tongs, such as wolf jaw, v-bit tongs, or box jaw tongs.
Easily shaped into other types of tongs
Not so versatile
8. Alvade DIY Rapid Tongs Bundle Set with Rivets ($42.99)
This blacksmith tongs set include 5 essential types of tongs blanks:
- 1 Bolt Tongs
- 1 Flat Jaw Tongs
- 1 Slot Jaw Tongs
- 1 V-bolt Tongs
- 1 Scroll Tongs
Alvade DIY Rapid Tongs Bundle Set Five Type of Tong Bundles Set with Rivets is made of 5/16″ thick mild steel. First, you need to drill of hammer hole to rivet; enjoy your first blacksmith fun by easily shaping jaws by heating and riveting the two tongs together.
Easy to assemble and use
No instructions on assembling
9. Blacksmithing Tongs Set Wolf Jaw Plus V-bit ($99.99)
Another blacksmith tong set on our list. It consists of wolf jaw and V-bit tongs, two of the essential types of tongs. With the BetterForge Blacksmith Tongs Set, you will be able to handle the most common types of stock.
It is a great beginner set, keeping you much safer and at a more comfortable distance from the hazardous flames. They open at about a 45o and hold stock at ¼ to 3/8″ securely, so having these is quite valuable.
Nothing we could find
10. Sunluway 6pcs Tongs Set ($188.99)
This highly valuable set contains:
- One 3/8” V-bolt tongs
- One 1/2″ V-bolt tongs
- One 5/8” V-bolt tongs
- One 1/4″ Flat jaw tongs
- One pick up tongs
- One scrolling tongs
This set is made of hard heavy-duty 1041 steel and can withstand very high temperatures. In addition, Sunluway 6pcs Blacksmith Tongs Set is designed to hold your stock in place without flopping or wiggling. This makes you have complete control over your work, and the result is more accurate hammer blows for less grinding.
Extremely versatile set, it has everything you need
Nothing we could find
Blacksmith Tongs Types
Before we proceed to the tong types, let us tell you something about the tongs’ anatomy. They consist of several parts:
- Reins are the handles of the tongs, used by a blacksmith to open and close them.
- A joint is a place where the reins meet; it is made of the hinge plate and a rivet.
- Jaws or bits are the part of the tong beyond the joint. They are in direct contact with the metal, designed to grasp and grip it.
There are many different types of blacksmith tongs. While there are no universal tongs designed to do everything, finding the right one for your purpose is possible. There are so many different types of tongs that you can find in the Amazon:
V-bit tongs are designed to hold round or square stock, with a short nose with a large circular mouth and balls on their handles to enhance movability. They come in the V-bit bolt and straight V-bit variation. Their ability to firmly grasp the metal is making them a tremendous multi-purpose tong.
Wolf Jaw Tongs
As the name suggests, its wavy tooth-like shape provides a secure grip. They have a multi-purpose application, holding flat, round, and square workpieces. They can be relatively light in weight, allowing even beginners to master blacksmithing.
Box Jaw Tongs
With the flat, rectangular grabbing points, they are perfect for holding flat bar stock. They are also great for the knifemakers due to their narrow jaws, with the heated metal held inside the tong without the shape warping.
Also known as Z-offset tongs are a great choice in knife-making and bladesmithing. They are highly specialized tongs, for that reason, not recommended for beginners. They have a distinct Z-shaped bit designed to accommodate the shape of the knife.
Duck Bill Tongs
They have the shape of the duckbill and are best for holding flat pieces of metal. Some models may have loop jaws through which the edges of the flat metal pieces can be placed. They are not so much of a versatile type.
Pickup tongs are perfect for picking up the hot metal that you have dropped. They are also suitable for steady and safe holding chisels, punches, and other tools you need to hit with the hammer.
Bent Knee Tongs
Their bits are bent at nearly 90o angle, making the picking up action much easier from a standing position. Used to pick up primarily flat pieces from a lower height but can also be used for picking up pieces that have a hollow opening (for example, a ring or a hammerhead).
The reins of these tongs work in reverse of regular tongs, which means that when you squeeze the reigns, the jaw spreads apart. As a result, they are very useful for the detailed bending, adjusting, and other intricate shapes, for example, for scrolls and spiral metal baskets.
Off-center Side Jaws
If you want to hold the blade perpendicular or with the back on the anvil, these side-jaw spreading tongs for blacksmithing will do the trick.
They have smooth jaws, rounded and tapered to about a 1/8″ point. They are used for scrolling and bending ironwork without marring the surface. They are especially perfect for the hard-to-reach areas. The handles can be round to flat with balls on end.
How to Buy Guide?
Assessing your requirements is the crucial point before you start looking for the best tongs for you. According to your skills, selecting the right tool that does not put too much strain on your wallet is the winning combination.
If you are a hobbyist, you may be looking for more affordable options for the beginning. Maybe the best advice is to buy the tongs that can accomplish a variety of projects.
Because the process of forging and learning is happening simultaneously, the chances of making a mistake of any kind increase; in that case, you will not have much guilt purchasing the more affordable tongs.
If you are a professional, you will probably want products of top quality. These come with a higher price range but ensures the durability and efficiency of the product. Having a set of blacksmith pliers is also a good option.
When looking at forging tongs for sale, always check the length of the reins. They come in various sizes, from 12” to 36”.
Longer reins are heavier but provide more leverage while keeping you away from the fire. However, they can affect your maneuverability around the workshop and also can cause fatigue after a long day at work. Therefore, they are more suitable for gas forges.
Shorter reins are lighter, offer more maneuverability, but allow you to come closer to hot metal. They are a handier for working with a coal forge.
Finally, it is a matter of personal preference which one to choose.
It is hard to recommend the ideal weight as everyone is different – some prefer a lighter touch while others prefer a heavier grip.
When starting, the best thing is to select a lighter set of tongs to get used to the various kinds of movements around your workshop.
Just ensure you find the right weight of the tongs because you need to take care of your hands. Too many death gripping with heavy tongs can result in repetitive stress injuries in your wrists, elbows, and forearms.
- BetterForgde tools is a USA-based supplier of high-quality blacksmithing, knife-making, and farrier tools. The tongs they craft are made with care and inspected for quality before leaving the doors. In addition, all their products are inspected to ensure they conform to high-quality standards.
- Caliburn tools provide the highest quality forging equipment. Their sturdy and heavy-duty tongs are easy to grip with the gloves on, made for beginners and professional blacksmiths.
- Picard is a leading manufacturer in the field of hand tools, with the aspiration to make high-quality and robust tools for different uses.
Every hand tool must be appropriately maintained to retain its efficiency and durability for a long time. Maintaining the tongs is relatively easy; just follow these practical tips to ensure the usage of your tongs for years.
- Your tongs should be kept away from humidity, water, and moisture because of the higher chances of developing rust.
- When using a bolted tong, always check the bolts and nuts are tightened.
- Prevent the accumulation of dust by regularly cleaning your tongs with a dry cloth or brush.
- Allow the tongs to cool down before you put them away completely.
- Ensure you do not leave them on the stock while in the fire.