Lixie Dead Blow Mallet Test – Some Fun in the Shop - Popular Woodworking Magazine

Lixie Dead Blow Mallet Test – Some Fun in the Shop

 In Shop Blog, Woodworking Blogs

The split in that pine board might hint at what we found out in our testing with the Lixie Dead Blow Mallet!

For an upcoming “Tool Test” in the February 2018 (#237) issue of the magazine, I reviewed the Lixie Dead Blow Mallet (the 30 ounce version, with 1 1/2″ diameter heads). While we’ll post the full mallet test when the magazine hits newsstands, we wanted to take the time first (before writing the review) to put the mallet to work out in the shop.

Testing tools like this is one of the most enjoyable and valuable (to our readers) exercises we go through here at the shop. Whether that means drop-testing clamps, sinking a few hundred screws with a new cordless drill or (in this case) smacking a bunch of pieces of wood with various mallet heads, the results lead to better and more informative reviews, and usually some fun or explosive moments in the shop.

So, enjoy the short video we made below to accompany the tool test!

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Showing 4 comments
  • jgtb

    Hey Brendan,

    Really interesting video – and I dare say you’re pretty easy to listen to.

    Just wondering whether the various heads would retain their respective hardness values over time. I have a pretty el cheapo hammer in which the faces became substantially softer over the 4 years that I’ve owned it.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Brendan Gaffney
      Brendan Gaffney


      First, thanks! I’m working on being a bit less bumbly on camera – I’m a talker in real life, but for some reason in past videos, once the camera goes on, every other word is an “Uh.” So, I appreciate the feedback, and, as they say, onwards and upwards!

      What I can relate on durability is maybe too small a sample size to be viable as a “study” of any kind, but the mallet we had at CR was at least a few years old when I used it, and felt (if my memory is correct) identical to this brand new mallet. That said, Lixie has been around for some time, and I’m pretty confident that, if the mallet heads do wear or soften, I’ll be able to get some replacement heads. They’re not too costly ($10 or so). But I have seen no sign of wear on the mallets I’ve used, and heard good things from several furniture makers who have used them for a long time.

      Thanks again!

  • Kyle Barton

    I noticed Lixie makes this mallet in several different weights (e.g., 30 oz, 22 oz, etc.). Which one were you testing?

    • Brendan Gaffney
      Brendan Gaffney

      Hey Kyle,

      This is the 30 ounce mallet, with 1 1/2″-diameter heads! I’ve used the lighter (22 ounce, if I remember correctly) mallet, and that was swell, too, but since I’m shooting for persuasion, I went with the slightly heavier mallet. Believe it or not, they actually go all the way up to a massive 110 ounce beast – but of course, that wouldn’t be particularly practical (though it would be undoubtedly fun to wield).

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