Tool Tips From A Tool Master

Wisconsin farrier Roy Bloom shares several quick tips for getting the most from the tools you use everyday

All tools wear out — that’s guaranteed…

If Drummond, Wis., farrier Roy Bloom is at a clinic, it’s a good bet that tools are going to come up. After all, the Hall Of Fame farrier and American Association of Professional Farriers/Canadian Association of Professional Farriers treasurer has built a reputation as a superior toolmaker.

At the March 20 clinic at the Duggan Farrier Supplies/Minnesota Horseshoeing School in Ramsey, Minn., the owner of Bloom Forge Tools shared some quick tool tips with those in the audience. Here are several of these:

Sharpening Your Nippers

Nippers are some of the most misunderstood tools in your shoeing box because of how they should work, according to Bloom.

“It’s extremely important that when holding nippers up toward light, you should see a slight gap between the two blades because there are two angles. They don’t match when they come together.”

For clear evidence that your nippers are working properly, Bloom says to use a business card. Place the card between the blades by a corner, holding the nippers vertically. Close the nippers so that the card stands vertically as well. After squeezing the reins, the card should jump straight up after the cut, indicating the nippers’ cutting edges match.

However, if the card leans one way or the other, then you need to adjust them.


Cutting a business card is the best method for testing the sharpness of your nippers.

Sharpen your knife at a buffing wheel without wearing gloves so that…

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Jeremy mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. He has been a member of the American Farriers Journal staff for 7 years and serves as the Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is a member of the board of directors for the American Horse Publications organization of equine media.

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