Mallet - Tools

Tools

Tool mallets come in different types, the most common of which are:

  • Rubber mallets are used when a softer blow is called for than that delivered by a metal hammer. They are typically used to form sheet metal, since they don't leave marks and are softer, as well as for forcing tight-fitting parts together, for shifting plasterboard into place, in upholstery, and a variety of other general purposes, including some toys. It is a tool of preference for wood workers using chisels, with plastic, metal or wooden handles - as they give a softened strike with a positive drive. It is the most commonly used mallet.
  • Wooden mallet, usually used in carpentry to knock wooden pieces together, or to drive dowels or chisels. A wooden mallet will not deform the striking end of a metal tool, as most metal hammers would, but it also reduces the force available to drive the cutting edge of a chisel. Hardwood mallets are also used to knock in cricket bats.
  • Copper, Brass and leaden mallets are typically used on machinery to apply force to parts with a reduced risk of damaging them and to avoid sparks. As these metals are softer than steel, the mallet is deformed rather than any steel object it is hitting.
  • Meat mallets tenderise or flatten meat. Made from wood or metal, they are typically two-sided, one flat with slight bumps, and the other with more pronounced protrusions. Their use has lessened with the invention of cube steak machines and other electric tenderisers.

Less common mallets include:

  • Rawhide mallets, which may employ rawhide covering a steel head, or simply consist of rolled-up rawhide, are used for leatherwork, jewellery, and assembling electric motors and delicate machinery.
  • Plastic mallets, made of nylon, polycarbonate, or polystyrene are used especially in leatherwork and jewellery.
  • Split head mallets, which have removable faces which can be changed to an appropriate material for the job.
  • Beetle mallet, or a large mallet with a circular wood or plastic head, with rounded ends about 18 inches to 15 inched in diameter, with a handle about 3 feet (0.91 m) long. It is used by paviours for putting paving stones into position when bedding. Beetles are also used in jobs such as timber framing to shift the bases of large wooden posts, fit joints, and drive in pegs.
  • Dead blow mallets, which have an internal cavity filled with steel or lead shot. This addition evens out the time-impulse curve of the impact, enabling a more powerful blow to be delivered without risk of marring the target.

Mallets of various types are some of the oldest forms of tools, and have been found in stone age gravesites.

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    But lo! men have become the tools of their tools.
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