How To Pick The Best Wood For Mallet (All You Need To Know)

Want a mallet that is both effective and durable? Then you must choose the right wood for the job. The right wood can change your mallet’s performance from 0 to 10. 

But, what is the best wood for mallet?

The best wood for your mallet depends on your requirements. It also depends on the availability of wood in your region. Most hardwood that is strong enough can be used for making mallets. But few of the wood that is considered to be the best is- red oak, Sapele, hard maple, birch, etc. 

There are several options available. However, you must determine which wood is best for you. To do so, you must first understand their core characteristics.

So, if you’re interested in learning more, keep reading.

Let’s get started. 

Types Of Wood Suitable For Mallets

best wood for mallet 

Mallets can be made with most hardwood. But when it comes to quality and popularity, some are more superior to others.

These wood choices are being used by many with satisfactory results. So they can be coined as the best wood for mallet

We noted a detailed list of all of the options down below. 

1. Red Oak 

Red oak is a common choice for making mallets. And it’s quite a good option. Its end-grain striking surface makes it quite large and durable. 

If you’re using it to drive something like a steel drift pin, it may get a bit roughed up. 

It isn’t the most appealing in terms of appearance. But it does get your job done quite effectively. 

But if your main concern is aesthetics, then try other options. It could be walnut, maple, ash, etc. The contrast makes them aesthetically appealing. 

2. Genuine Lignum Vitae

If you’re looking for the best of the best, then Genuine Lignum Vitae is the one for you. It’s strong, heavy, and very durable. 

In fact, it’s one of the heaviest wood species by volume sold in pounds. However, it’s not available in every region. 

Apart from its availability, it’s also quite expensive. And if you find it, you’ll have to pay a huge sum of money to get it.

3. Sapele

Another great option for your mallet is Sapele. It is pretty hard which makes it a good choice for a mallet. Its stiff and heavy attribute also makes it less likely to get scratched. 

But unlike Sapele, its look-alike Mahogany is not a good option for making a mallet. It may look the same, but Mahogany is barely half as hard as Sapele. Making it too soft and unsuitable for a mallet. 

4. Hard Maple 

Hard maple is pretty hard and resilient due to its large size and end grain striking surfaces. Which makes it a really good option for making a mallet.

It’s also found widely in most areas. It is quite hard. But when pushing something like a steel drift pin, it gets a little mashed up.

5. Birch 

Birchwood is a very sturdy and long-lasting hardwood. Making it an excellent choice for solid hardwood tools, like a mallet. It also features a beautiful appearance. Its fine grain and pale hue give it an elegant appearance. 

So if you have a thing for beauty, you’ll appreciate it.

Which Wood Should You Choose For Mallets?

When it comes to making mallets, your best choice is not limited down to one material. Most hardwood can be used for making mallets. However, it needs to be hard enough to be used as a mallet.

Anything in the ~1000 + Janka hardness range will work fine. The best wood option for your mallet also depends on the availability of the wood species in your area. 

For a mallet with a wonderful outlook, go for Birch. However, for durability, genuine lignum vitae is the best. But if you’re lacking in budget, try Sapele or Hard Maple.

If they’re a bit too soft, you can see how you can increase their weight for a better hit.

What To Do If Your Mallet Is Too Light?

If you go for the woods in our list, you won’t face a problem with its weight. But you might prefer it to be heavier. Or already own a mallet that is too light for you.

In that case, you can use linseed oil. 

Linseed (flaxseed) oil raises the weight of your mallet, making it easier to use. It also increases its durability by preventing water absorption from the atmosphere. This could otherwise degrade or deform the mallet over time. 

Furthermore, it makes the mallet attractive to the eye. Imparting a patina that makes an otherwise identical store-bought tool extra great!

By submerging your mallet head in this oil, you can make it heavier and long-lasting than before. But the quality of your linseed oil is good. 

Here are our top picks of linseed oil for making a mallet heavy.

Now, you can make your mallet as heavy as you like. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How heavy should a wooden mallet be?

Answer: The weight of your wooden mallet depends on you and how much you can carry. But on an average scale, it should be around 390g to 620g. 

Question: What type of mallet is used for chisels?

Answer: Wooden mallets should be used for striking chisels. Most modern woodworkers use a larger English-style “Joiner’s Mallet” to strike their chisels.

Question: What makes a good mallet?

Answer: The right kind of hardwood makes a good mallet. Almost any hardwood can be used for mallets. If you want a good mallet, you must use the right kind of wood.


If you made it this far, give a pat on your back. Now you can easily find the best wood for mallet!

We hope you found this article helpful. We tried our best to provide you with all the relevant information.

Thank you for having patience and sticking with us till the end.

Kevin Smith

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