How Expensive Is Blacksmithing as A Hobby? (Expense Breakdown)

People have been practicing blacksmithing for centuries, and it was an important craft in the community.

While today blacksmithing might not be needed as before, more people are still attracted to getting this craft as a hobby.

However, most people are worried about the cost of starting blacksmithing as a hobby.

So, How Expensive Is Blacksmithing as A Hobby?

Blacksmithing can be both an expensive and cheap hobby based on the level you want to go. As a beginner in blacksmithing, you might only need to spend about $200 to $500, while the cost of advanced blacksmithing might be a few thousand dollars ranging from $2000 t0 $5000. How expensive blacksmithing is as a hobby depends on the type of work you are planning to do and the needed equipment for the blacksmithing project.

What Are the Factors That Influence Blacksmithing Costs?

Blacksmithing needs a few basic items to start, but the price varies considerably.

Instead of buying everything at once, you can go for just the basic requirements and later purchase everything else if you fully enjoy the hobby.

Let’s look at the items you require to begin blacksmithing as a hobby and how they influence the cost of the hobby.

1. Anvil

To start with, you will require something to serve as a table to work on.

An anvil serves this purpose for blacksmithing.

An anvil offers a hard metal surface on which the heated metal can be worked efficiently and fast. Depending on its size, the weight of an anvil can range from 10 to 500 pounds.

An anvil comes with numerous parts, with each serving a specific purpose.

The blacksmithing techniques carried out on the anvil include;

  • cutting
  • punching
  • upsetting
  • and drawing out.

Bending is normally done on the anvil horn, while drawing out is done on the anvil face.

Understanding the anvil concepts and how to work with them enables you to work more safely, comfortably, and efficiently.

The price of an anvil depends on the size and material.

The heavier the anvil, the more costly it is.

Cast iron anvils are the cheapest ranging from $20 to $200, while forged steel anvils are more costly due to their enhanced mechanical properties.

They normally range from $100 to $2000 based on the size.

The ideal size to work with will depend on your working projects. You should also consider how portable you want the anvil depending on if you will be moving it constantly.

2. Forges

The main expense when starting blacksmithing is finding a proper forge to use.

If you look at the websites of most blacksmithing supplies, most forges cost about $500 to $1000.

There are two main types of forges;

  • gas
  • and coal forge.

For beginners, it is recommendable to go for a gas-powered forge for its simplicity and relatively cheaper cost going for around $200.

These forges are also relatively lightweight, weighing about 25 pounds.

If you are searching for a high-quality coal forge, you might end up spending a few more hundred dollars on one.

You can also make your forge instead to save on your cost.

3. Forge fuel

Whether it is propane or coals, you will require to spend money on something that will fuel the fire of your forge.

Fortunately, you won’t spend a lot in the area.

If you have a used propane tank, you can refill it for about $20. You will probably spend about $50 on the tank and gas if not.

Coals also go for approximately $30 to $50 for a 50 pounds bag.

This depends on the brand of coal you purchase.

Generally, fuel for your forge will not cost you much, and a single propane tank or a bag of coal could last for months based on how regularly you operate your forge.

4. Hammer

A blacksmithing hammer is the primary equipment for blacksmithing that enables you to shape, cut, and bend heated metals from the forge.

These hammers are available in different sizes, weights, and shapes.

For a basic decent hammer, you should expect to spend about $50, but you will effectively make your own hammers with time.

5. Tongs

Blacksmithing tongs are other tools that you need to have.

They help you to move your things around effectively without burning your hands.

You will also use the tongs to pick, hold, and manipulate the forged or hammered item.

A pair of tongs suitable for general purpose work goes for $30 to $100.

6. Safety Equipment

When working on your blacksmithing craft, it is essential to wear safety gear, particularly if you are a beginner blacksmith starting at home.

While it is tempting to try it out without having the safety gear on, it can backfire instantly if a spark ends up in your eye.

The most important safety gear is getting a pair of goggles.

The googles don’t have to be costly or fancy; anything can work, even if it’s a pair of swimming goggles. You can find these for as low as $5 to $10 for each pair.

The next safety equipment is an apron.

High-quality leather blacksmith aprons are available on the market for about $70 to $100.

While the aprons are high quality and you should consider purchasing one in the future, they are not a necessity when beginning blacksmithing as a hobby.

Instead, opt for a basic apron that cannot catch fire. You can find a non-flammable apron for as cheap as $20 to $30.

7. Gloves and shoes

When starting your blacksmithing hobby, you don’t want to forget about gloves.

When working with hot metal, you easily burn your hand accidentally.

Getting a pair of fire-resistant gloves will help protect your hands. This will cost you about $20 for a pair of welding leather gloves.

Similar to protecting your hands, you will want to protect your foot as well.

A great pair of fire-resistant work shoes will work just fine.

If you are operating massive, heavy objects, it’s advisable to wear construction-grade shoes that protect your toes if you accidentally drop something on them.

Total Cost

It is not necessarily costly for a beginner to start blacksmithing as a hobby at home.

The total costs can range from about $290 to $500, and while it is not a cheap amount for some, it is relatively cheaper than the amount most blacksmithing experts would say is required to start.

As stated earlier, the major expenditure will be the forge.

However, here is also where you can save a lot of cash to build your own forge.

Although it may be risky to take a DIY approach to build a forge without the needed skills, it can save you a lot of cash.

If you check out YouTube videos on making DIY forge, they can guide you on creating your forge safely.

You can check out the YouTube video to get an idea of what we are talking about.

If you manage to make your own forge, you could spend as little as $100 for all other necessary supplies to begin.

Bottom Line

We hope this article has shown you how expensive blacksmithing as a hobby is.

Blacksmithing is a great hobby but can be relatively pricey as a beginner.

But for a beginner blacksmith, the total expenses are approximately $450 as you won’t need a lot of equipment and tools.

You will only need an anvil, a forge, tongs, and a hammer. However, for advanced and professional blacksmiths, the cost can go from $1500 to $2000.

Additional Hobbies For Consideration