Tool Maintenance: Down to the Numbers

Wear and tear adds up, one hammer blow or usage at a time

Horseshoeing tools seem simple enough, but they withstand a lot of wear and tear during years of use. Dan Bradley believes investing in high-quality tools and properly maintaining them, will cost a farrier less in the long run than buying cheaper tools.

When Dan Bradley discusses farrier tool maintenance, the numbers just keep piling up. And the farrier from Lucedale, Miss., and longtime clinician with G.E. Forge & Tool, says those numbers don’t lie. Your tools are taking a beating, he told farriers during the 2011 International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Bradley bases his estimates on a full-time farrier who shoes five horses a day, 5 days a week and shoes 50 weeks in a year.

What’s going on with your tools if you fall into that category? Well over a 3-year period, with your riveted tools, you will:

  • Open and close your hoof nippers 195,000 times.
  • Open and close your clinchers 120,000 times.
  • Open and close your pulloffs between 75,000 and 100,000 times.

Your striking tools will take even more of a pounding. Once again, while shoeing five horses a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year, for a 3-year period, you will:

  • Hit a clinch cutter 180,000 times.
  • Hit something with your driving hammer 300,000 times.
  • Hit something with your rounding hammer 300,000 times.

Hammer blows will be falling on horseshoes, punches, pritchels, bar stock and more. Your anvil will be absorbing some of the force of those blows, as will your stall jack if…

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Pat tearney

Pat Tearney

Pat Tearney is a long-term newspaper and magazine veteran writer and editor. Before retiring, he served for a number of years on the American Farriers Journal staff and continues to share his writing talents with our readers.

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