$2 Mallet Westerly RI
West Kingston, RI
My favorite chisel whacker comes from my hardware store’s plumbing department. It’s two pieces of malleable black pipe (not cast iron), a nipple and a reducing coupler, wrapped with a bicycle inner tube for a comfortable grip. It costs $2, which is far less than the price of a turned wooden mallet, weighs 24 oz., which offers plenty of mass, and stands on its head when you’re done. My handle is stout. You might find 3/4-in. pipe easier to hold.
I prefer a round- to a flat-headed mallet because I don’t have to hold it so precisely. An iron or brass mallet like this is fine for durable plastic-handled chisels, but I use a lighter-weight wooden mallet on wood-handled carving tools.
The reducing coupler doesn’t come with a smooth surface, however. To sand off the seams and lip, I put 60-grit sandpaper on my disc sander, threaded the coupler on the nipple to make a handle and rotated the coupler against the sanding disc. For the wrapping, I cut an old inner tube 24 in. long and tapered one end. I tucked this end under the wrapping to secure it.