Tool Shopping Advice From Veteran Farriers

Pictured Above: It's important to select reliable tools that will withstand the rigors of day-to-day farriery. It doesn't stop there. It's equally important to properly store and maintain your tools. 

What’s a better way to celebrate the dawn of your farrier career than tool shopping?

There’s no doubt that the temptation runs high to grab the top-of-the-line pair of nippers that are polished so brightly that a pair of sunglasses should come standard with them. While the feel and performance of a high-quality tool often are worth the price, many young farriers have a steep financial mountain to climb when starting out.

“Young people, especially those coming out of school, need to budget their money,” advises Lucedale, Miss., farrier Dan Bradley, a clinician for GE Forge & Tool. “You can’t compare the cost of being in the business now to what it was in the early ’70s or late ’60s. Buy a tool now that’s a little less expensive and budget money for down the road to be able to get the more expensive tool.”

Yet, there’s an old adage that many farriers live by — you get what you pay for.

“Good tools are not expensive,” says Bob Schantz, owner of Spanish Lake Blacksmith Shop, “cheap tools are.”

Do You Need It?

Resisting the impulse buy is important for another reason — you might not need it.

“Largely, it depends on what level of work you are doing — not the quality of your work, but how many and…

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Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the Lead Content Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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