The 6 Best Wooden Mallets
This wiki has been updated 7 times since it was first published in August of 2019. If you're a carpenter, a wooden mallet is an indispensable part of your toolbox. Its relatively soft head will not damage surfaces, so it is great for tapping in fine joinery and installing dowels. Because they are lighter than most hammers, they afford excellent control while chiseling, too. Our picks will satisfy a wide range of style, function, and price preferences. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
September 11, 2019:
There are many styles of wooden mallet and each can be useful given the task at hand. Traditional joiner's mallets like the Crown Tools 106 and the Godhammer 22 oz are great all-around joinery mallets that are also great for heavy chisel work like cutting mortises.
I included several models of mallets that come unfinished from the factory. This may seem like it should count against them but, as I see it, it's better this way. You can apply whatever finish you prefer and you don't have to sand off the factory finish. With most of my tools and their handles, I like to use a few coats of boiled linseed oil (make sure its boiled, otherwise it will take weeks to cure). It deepens the natural color of the wood and won't crack like some lacquers.
I also included the Big Horn 22108, which is a carver's mallet with a urethane head. It's not really a wooden mallet, but it is an excellent option that will perform most of the same functions that you would want a regular carver's mallet to do.
Working with wood produces fine dust particles that can be harmful to inhale. Always use face masks to avoid breathing problems.