I'd REALLY like a "stiddy" ..but.. 'taint happenin'. Yet .. I've a definite need for a small anvil.


I picked up the smallest anvil Harbor Freight offers.

  • Material … Cast Iron
  • Work Surface … 8.5” x 3” (21.59 cm X 7.62 cm)

  • Milled face

  • Hardy hole for accessories, punching and bending

  • Product Height … 3.75” (9.53 cm)

  • Product length … 9.75” (24.77 cm)

  • Product width … 3” (7.62 cm)

  • Product weight … 15 lbs. (6.8 Kilogram)

  • Price (after std 20% off coupon) … $ 15.19

  • NOTE: This is NOT an anvil one would forge on. This is a SMALL anvil intended to be used for lite hobbyist work .. making jewelry, peening pins, things of that nature.


As most know .. Harbor Freight is NOT the place to purchase tools one intends to make a living using. The product they offer is .. well, CHEAP. It's meant for the homeowner on a budget ..or.. the hobbyist, again, on a budget.


I did some initial shopping online ..... craigslist , local hardware stores , etc.

!!! .. Anvils are NOT inexpensive .. !!!


SO0o .. I checked Harbor Freight .. I'm lucky enough to have a brick & mortar version close by.

Their smallest is this one .. a 15 lbs. anvil listing for $18.99. NOTE: I'm on their mail list & as such, get their flyers which contain their std 20% off coupon. AND .. they return the coupon to you after each purchase such that one can use it multiple times ..just.. only once per visit. Rather nice of them. The final price was $15.19 .. 'bout a dollar a lbs.

I read the on-line reviews. Most were positive. The negative ones .. I got the strong impression those folks expected a $300.oo anvil for their $18.99 ..so.. took it in stride. i.e. I'm not purchasing this for forging .. I'm purchasing it so I'll have a SMALL anvil to peen pins on & the like.


It did NOT come with mounting holes present on the bottom side. As such .. I milled 2 - centered - 0.50" wide X 0.75" long (1.27 cm X 1.91 cm)slots on either end of the btm. I'm writing this while taking a short break from doing just that. I then intend to mount it on an 11" X 15" X 1.5" (27.94 cm X 38.10 cm X 3.81 cm) "breadboard" I picked up @ the local Salvation Army.


Anyway .. It's something that I'm sure I'll find useful. I'll post some pics of the final mounted version down in the comments & add further information as I proceed to use it.



D ale

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Replies to This Discussion

D ale,

I think it will come in quite handy.  I am surprised that they did not make mounting holed for one so small.  We have them in all sizes and yes, the small ones do come in handy also.

Anvils have sky rocketed since forged in fire began...I should have thought to buy 3 or 4 when we knew it was coming out LOL.  A dollar a Lb was going rate, now 5- $6.00 a Lb is what we are currently seeing.  

Don't get me wrong I love the show, just wish I had been smart enough to think of it

It's been in the 90's (heat index 102 ~ 107) all week ..so.. good time to do this in the relative coolness of the basement garage. For my 15 dollars & 19 pennies .. I did NOT get mounting slots in the bottom. On the one hand .. I'm surprised because it would be such a simple change in the casting & actually require less material. However .. while reading the reviews before purchasing the item .. I found a few negative reviews. The negative reviews led me to believe they expected a forging anvil for their <$20 expenditure. In which case.. they'd have cracked or broken the btm legs off .. given it's cast iron. That would have been a liability .. from Harbor Freight's view. I don't really know .. that's only a guess !!


Anyway .. I've taken a more realistic view on what to expect .. given the monetary expenditure. And .. I milled a couple mounting slots on the btm side & will not be striking it so hard as to risk breaking it.I intend to mount it on a 1 & 1/2 inch thick "Bread Board" to help provide some "portability" & to keep from injuring any surface I may set it upon. I'll countersink the holes on the underside of the bread board The result will also "spread out" whatever forces are generated by my pounding on the anvil & again .. add some protection against marking whatever I may set the whole arrangement on.


Also .. the "horn" .. or, more precisely .. what is supposed to pass for a horn is not exactly round. Or, even finished for that matter. There are still casting marks on it. I'll likely either take a file to it ..or.. possible support it such that I can implement the 1 X 30 sander & round off that area into more of a proper horn.


Regardless .. I feel I "got my money's worth" .. all 15 dollars & 19 pennies worth.


I'll post some more pics when I get it mounted & report back how it works after I use it a bit.



D ale

D ale,
I think the cost is reasonable for you. You have the background and experience to fashion this into a working type of stiddy. Even for 15 plus I would have liked to have seen a mounting of some sort and I agree the horn could use some rounding.
Sometimes though we tend to forget that not everyone will use these for knives LOL. Maybe the intended audience was wide enough that they felt this design worked as a starting point for most applications?
Either way I am glad you found one that will work for your needs and I appreciate your sharing the tool with us and the modifications!

It ought to do just fine for what you have in mind. Definitely not a "forging" anvil. Think I add a pritchel hole to the tail end as well. A simple bent spring hold down comes in mighty handy on a bench anvil.

Yeah FIF has really made finding good used anvils more difficult and a lot of crappy ones are bringing way too high a dollar. Glad I already have a good selection in hand. Not to worry once the "fever" dies down and these wannabes find out just how hard it is to make fire, hammer and anvil do what they are supposed to do, there will be plenty of anvils out there for sale. Hopefully the prices will drop some, but doubt we will ever see them get below $3/# again.

Minor correction though: Not the smallest anvil HF sells (or sold, haven't seen any in a while). Check out this one, also cast iron from India. Just under 3" long x 3/4" wide. I use it and another one as paperweights/attractors on my show tables. Wish I'd bought the whole pallet of them - could have sold every one of them at a handsome profit. Making a hammer to match the anvil was interesting. That one is sitting on a 350# Fisher.

!!! .. Cute .. !!!

I'll bet it does attract some attn on the show table.

I'd also bet making the hammer was some fun too. Looks too well done not to have had some fun doing it.


a miniature knife to boot.


Carl Rechsteiner said:


Although the mini's are tedious for the obvious reasons, I really do enjoy making the mini-knives. The hammer was pretty simple, worst part was fitting and shaping the handle to look right.


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