Don't Let Your Tools Die Young

A veteran farrier shares insights he’s gained on getting more life out of your shoeing tools

What’s the best way for farriers to avoid tool damage? “Don’t use them,” Bob Schantz jokingly told those gathered for his presentation on tool care and maintenance and maintenance at the 2010 International Hoof-Care Summit. The Foristell, Mo., farrier says that if you are going to use tools, it only takes a small amount of time to extend the usability of your tools.

To begin, Schantz categorizes horseshoeing tools differently from the common classification of floor and forge tools. Instead, he separates them into two other categories: those that require a normal amount of maintenance and those that require a higher amount of maintenance.

In normal maintenance tools, Schantz places riveted tools (nippers, clinchers, pulloffs), rasps and tongs.

“These things don’t need a lot of attention when we’re using them,” says the Farrier Product Distribution clinician. “If we use them properly and give them a little bit of care, they will last a long while.”

Higher maintenance tools include hoof knives and those battered by the hammer (pritchels, creasers, forepunches).


Bob Schantz, owner of Spanish Lake Blacksmith Shop in Foristell, Mo., told attendees of his 2010 IHCS lecture on tool care that if your fire tongs are too weak in the toe or heel, you need to heat and adjust them so they will better fit the piece you are working with. Never quench tongs at a high temperature, but let them cool at room temperature.

Make Your Job Easier

Schantz says before you start any repairs, ready your equipment…

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Jeremy mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern is the former Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is president of American Horse Publications.

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