How High Should My Anvil Be?

There’s a lot of debate about what the correct height to set your anvil should be. Some ‘rules’ about anvil height stem from folkloric rules of thumb, like “at the height of your knuckles when your arm is relaxed at your side and you make a fist.” That will work well for some people, but will be too low for most.

What you want is an anvil height where when you work you stand upright and not hunched over, and your hammer lands flat and parallel to the anvil when you use your natural swing while forging the thickness of stock you use most often. That is usually around wrist height, but your mileage may vary.

Here are a couple of sketches gleaned from the interwebz that illustrate what happens if your anvil is too high or too low, as well as an excellent method of testing to determine whether your anvil is too high or too low.

Illustration of an anvil too low for the user

Illustration of an anvil too high for the user

Photo of a board with hammer marks

If you’re struggling to find the best anvil height for you, or if you share an anvil with people of different heights, consider making an Adjustable Height Anvil Stand.