Mauls, mallets, and hammers are used for a variety of impact tasks during leather working. The choice of which to use is driven by a combination of use and personal preference. Generally, mauls work well for punching and tooling. Mallets can be used with tooling and punching. Hammers work well for forming leather, especially in show making and saddlery.
When choosing a maul, mallet, or hammer, it’s important to think about how they’ll be used most. The biggest factor in selection is the combination of surfaces – the hitting surface, and the surface being hit.
For example, hitting a metal punch with a metal hammer can damage both the hammer and punch. So for this use, a nylon maul or a natural hide mallet (both softer surfaces than metal) would work. Let’s explore more about each.