Whether you need to bang out dents or tap a tight-fitting carpentry project into place, the right type of mallet is the key to success.
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Rubber mallets are excellent additions to many toolboxes. They give you the ability to adequately address specific tasks, like banging out dents in metal, hammering wooden dowels, or nudging flooring tiles into place. Think of a rubber mallet as a padded hammer. Avoid using this type of hammer on metal nails because it will damage the mallet’s soft rubber head. A rubber mallet comes in handy when you need a little extra force, but you don’t want to damage ceramic flooring, tiles, or other fragile materials. When you shop, consider the size and weight of the mallet you plan to swing and choose one according to the task. If you aren’t certain how you will use this tool, find an average-sized mallet, around 16 ounces.
The best rubber mallet for you will also have an appropriate head, grip, and handle material. The head of a rubber mallet can be made entirely of the same soft rubber, but it may have a soft rubber on one side and hard rubber on the other. Manufacturers typically make mallet handles from wood, steel, or fiberglass, with fiberglass having the edge on weight and vibration absorption. The type of grip it has is a personal choice. Some people prefer a smooth grip on their mallet, while others want a rubberized grip to absorb any residual impact force that reverberates through the handle.
Our Top Picks
The products below are top-rated due to their size, head type, handle material, and grip to help you find the best rubber mallet for your toolbox.
When you need a 16-ounce rubber mallet to tackle various tasks and materials, including soft and hardwoods in construction and cabinetry or chrome, aluminum, or magnesium on vehicles, the TEKTON 30603 Fiberglass Handle Rubber Mallet can come in handy. The entire black rubber head of the mallet is made of the same density rubber throughout so that you know you will get the same strike with either side. This rubber mallet has a highly durable yet lightweight fiberglass handle that naturally absorbs the vibration and impact from your strike, which saves your hands. The handle’s fiberglass core is surrounded by impact-resistant poly that will protect the tool’s structure from any missed strikes. The handle also has a directly integrated non-slip rubber grip that gives you excellent control and further protection from vibration.
If you regularly work with light-colored material, such as birch or ash, you may not want to take the risk of leaving a big black rubber mark on the wood caused when you hammer in the dowels. The Alltrade White Rubber Mallet allows you to complete your next woodworking project without leaving a trace. The sizable white rubber head will firmly drive any dowels or tighten joints without leaving a spot behind. The rubber mallet is a moderate weight of 16 ounces, which allows the average person to swing it repeatedly without growing weary. The handle is made of lightweight tubular steel that won’t bend or break with the mallet’s blow. However, tubular steel doesn’t absorb vibrations well, so Alltrade added a textured rubber grip to protect your hand and to help give better control of it.
The premium-priced Estwing Rubber Mallet is just 12 ounces in weight but can be used effectively on a range of tough projects, including sheet metal forming, upholstery work, and automotive repair. The mallet’s two rubber heads allow it to deliver this impressive range. There is one soft rubber head for lighter materials and one hard rubber head for firmer materials. The double-face rubber mallet has a high-quality, curved hickory handle explicitly contoured to fit the grip of your hand. This ensures you have optimal control over the head of the mallet when you swing. This mallet has a smooth wood finish that gives it a natural appearance that looks great in any workshop.
Best Bang for the Buck
If you want an inexpensive mallet to add to your camping gear, Coleman designed its rubber mallet with a tent peg remover to fulfill this very need. This mallet is available at a budget-friendly price and saves you time and energy because it allows you to quickly and effectively drive tent pegs into just about any ground material. It also boasts a tent peg remover on the handle so you can pull the tent pegs out of the ground when it is time to pack up. You can also use the tent peg remover as a simple hook to store the mallet when it’s not in use. This black rubber mallet weighs just 5.3 ounces and has a lacquered wood handle. The high-impact rubber head is ideal for use on both plastic and steel tent pegs. The smooth, finished handle is strong and durable. This craftsmanship adds up to a long life for the mallet to have in your workshop or camper.
The small, 12-ounce TEKTON Double-Face Rubber Mallet isn’t designed to strike incredibly hard, as a larger mallet would, but the two unique faces of the mallet allow it to be used in a wide variety of jobs and with a variety of materials. You’ll find the mallet’s soft rubber face is ideal for hammering lightweight materials or delivering firm blows to fragile materials. The mallet’s hard rubber face is intended for work with hardwoods and solid metal pieces that need a hard but forgiving surface. The double-face mallet handle is made of durable, lightweight tubular steel, which effectively shifts the mallet’s balance toward the head. This shift in balance allows you to swing the mallet more effectively in a tight space. One word of caution: The design can also increase fatigue if you don’t properly control the mallet. Tekton designed this rubber mallet with a soft, rubber grip to enhance control and absorb impact vibration.
Best Fiberglass Handle
To take advantage of the lightweight, durable feeling of a fiberglass handle, consider the ABN Fiberglass Handle Rubber Mallet. This 32-ounce mallet has a rubber-coated fiberglass handle that absorbs the impact, energy, and vibration from any high-force strikes. The rubber coating protects the fiberglass core––and your hands––from any misplaced hits that made direct contact with the handle instead of the mallet head. The mallet has a large, black rubber head that is ideal for heavy-duty impact on larger materials, such as sheet metal. The handle has a textured grip for better control and impact absorption. The entire mallet has an oil-resistant design so you can easily clean it even in the dirtiest environments.
Best Wood Handle
The classic grip of a lacquered wood handle on your mallet is hard to replace with a fiberglass or steel handle that is wrapped in rubber. Stanley’s rubber mallet with a wood handle is made with the classic design that many tradespeople and DIYers have come to love. It features a tough, black rubber head that is molded to a solid wood handle so that you never have to worry about the head separating from the handle. The 16-ounce rubber mallet is a great size and rubber density for a range of projects, including fine carpentry, metal working, flooring, cabinetry, and automotive repairs. You will have a comfortable, firm grip for accurate strikes due to the smooth finish on the wood handle and its contoured shape. Note that this handle does not have absorption material, like fiberglass or rubber, so it will carry some impact energy and vibration through to your hands.
Best Mallet Set
Mallets have a number of different purposes that can change depending on their size. You will likely have what you need for almost any light, moderate, or heavy-duty job in this set that includes three mallets of different sizes. The three mallets increase in size, measuring 8 ounces, 16 ounces, and finally 32 ounces. The selection ensures you won’t have to improvise to make one mallet work for various jobs. The mallet heads are all made of the same durable black rubber and each is molded to a classic hardwood handle with a length appropriate to the respective mallet. The hardwood has a smooth, contoured shape that fits comfortably in your hand. It is designed to improve the number of accurate strikes to the target material. Note: Although the hardwood is designed to absorb vibrations from the head of the mallet it is not as effective as a fiberglass handle or a rubberized grip.
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