A mallet is a kind of hammer, usually of rubber,or sometimes wood smaller than a maul or beetle and usually with a relatively large head.



A rubber mallet, used in construction, woodworking, and auto-body work.
A wooden mallet.
Stonemason's mallets of plastic, wood and steel
An iron mallet with copper faces. Solid head Copper mallets are produced with a round or square head.
An aluminum meat mallet, for tenderizing meat

Tool mallets come in different types, the most common of which are:

  • Rubber mallets are used when a softer blow is called for than that delivered by a metal hammer. They are typically used to form sheet metal, since they don't leave marks, as well as for forcing tight-fitting parts together, for shifting plasterboard into place, in upholstery, and a variety of other general purposes, including some toys. It is the most commonly used mallet.
  • Wooden mallet, usually used in carpentry to knock wooden pieces together, or to drive dowels or chisels. A wooden mallet will not deform the striking end of a metal tool, as most metal hammers would, but it also reduces the force available to drive the cutting edge of a chisel. Hardwood mallet is also used to knock in a cricket bat.
  • Copper and leaden mallets are typically used on machinery to apply force to parts with a reduced risk of damaging them and to avoid sparks. As copper is softer than steel, the mallet is deformed rather than any steel object it is hitting.
  • Meat mallets tenderise or flatten meat. Made from wood or metal, they are typically two-sided, one flat with slight bumps, and the other with more pronounced protrusions.[1] Their use has lessened with the invention of cube steak machines and other electric tenderisers.[citation needed]

Less common mallets include:

  • Rawhide mallets, which may employ rawhide covering a steel head, or simply consist of rolled-up rawhide, are used for leatherwork, jewellery, and assembling electric motors and delicate machinery.
  • Plastic mallets, made of nylon, polycarbonate, or polystyrene are used especially in leatherwork and jewellery.
  • Split head mallets, which have removable faces which can be changed to an appropriate material for the job.
  • Beetle mallet, or a large mallet with a circular wood or plastic head, with rounded ends about 18 inches to 15 inched in diameter, with a handle about 3 feet (0.91 m) long. It is used by paviours for putting paving stones into position when bedding. Beetles are also used in jobs such as timber framing to shift the bases of large wooden posts, fit joints, and drive in pegs.[2]
  • Dead blow mallets, which have an internal cavity filled with steel or lead shot. This addition evens out the time-impulse curve of the impact, enabling a more powerful blow to be delivered without risk of marring the target.

Mallets of various types are some of the oldest forms of tools, and have been found in stone age gravesites.

Musical instruments

Mallets used as drumsticks are often used to strike a marimba, xylophone, glockenspiel, metallophone, or vibraphone, collectively referred to as mallet percussion. They usually have shafts made of rattan, birch, or fiberglass. Rattan shafts are more flexible than the other materials. Heads vary in size, shape, and material. They may be made of metal, plastic, rubber, or wood, and some are wrapped with felt, cord, or yarn. Heavier heads produce louder sounds. Harder heads produce sharper and louder sounds and generate more overtones.


Mallets are commonly used as children's toys. Lightweight wooden mallets are used for peg toys. Toy mallets are also used in games such as Whac-A-Mole. Another type of toy mallet is a plastic mallet made of soft, hollow vinyl, with bellows and a built-in whistle, so that when the mallet is struck, it produces a sharp, chirping sound.

Sport and culture

  • Bat mallets are used to "knock in" new English Willow cricket bats
  • Carnival High striker
  • croquet mallets
  • polo mallets
  • mallets used in courts by judges, known as gavels


The accidents received from mistreatment of wooden mallets in the workplace became a classic gag in the Looney Tunes Hanna-Barbera Nickelodeon Disney cartoons and 3D. Characters like Snagglepuss, Toucan Sam, Lightning McQueen, Roger Rabbit, Tony the Tiger, Bugs Bunny, Donald Duck, Daffy Duck and Tom and Jerry made use of mallets as part of their arsenal in the Golden Age of animation.

In anime and Manga, it is very common for an angry character to pull out a large mallet, via hammerspace, and attack the person or thing that is angering him/her.


  1. ^
  2. ^ An illustration of the mallet can be found in Charles F. Mitchell's Building Construction, 11th edition, printed in 1930 by B.T. Batford, Ltd.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mallet — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Alain Manesson Mallet (1630–1706), französischer Ingenieur und Kartograph Anatole Mallet (1837–1919), Schweizer Ingenieur Auguste Mallet (1913–1946), französischer Radrennfahrer Demond Mallet (* 1978), US… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mallet — Desarrollador Andrew McCallum, con la colaboración de varios estudiantes y personas Información general Última versión estable 2.0 …   Wikipedia Español

  • mallet — (n.) late 14c., from O.Fr. maillet mallet, small wooden hammer, door knocker, dim. of mail, from L. malleus a hammer, from PIE *mal ni , from root *mele , *mel to crush, grind, with derivatives referring to ground material and tools for grinding… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Mallet — Mal let, n. [F. maillet, dim. of mail. See {Mall} a beetle.] A small maul with a short handle, used esp. for driving a tool, as a chisel or the like; also, a light beetle with a long handle, used in playing croquet. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Mallet — (spr. Mallä), 1) (eigentlich Malloch David), geb. um 1700 in Schottland, studirte in Edinburg, wurde Untersecretär des Prinzen von Wales u. st. 1765 in London; er schr.: Amintor and Theodora; Edwin and Emma u. William and Margaret (deutsch von H …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Mallet — Mallet, s. Malet …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Mallet — (Mallä), Claude François de, geb. 1754 zu Dôle, franz. General unter Moreau, Jourdan, Massena, 1805 von Napoleon als Republikaner entlassen u. verhaftet, wurde durch seinen Versuch, Napoleon 1812 zu stürzen, berühmt. Er wußte sich in der Nacht… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • mallet — index cudgel Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • Mallet —   [englisch, mælɪt], Gruppe von Schlaginstrumenten, bei denen der Anschlag mit rundköpfigen Schlegeln auf Platten (Vibraphon, Glockenspiel), Stäbe (Xylophon) oder Röhren (Glocken) erfolgt …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Mallet — Nom très répandu dans presque toute la France. Vu la fréquence du patronyme (plus de 22.000 naissances en cent ans), il semble difficile d en faire un porteur de malles, comme le suggèrent Dauzat et M.T. Morlet. On peut envisager un diminutif de… …   Noms de famille

  • mallet — ► NOUN 1) a hammer with a large wooden head. 2) a long handled wooden stick with a head like a hammer, for hitting a croquet or polo ball. ORIGIN Old French maillet, from Latin malleus hammer …   English terms dictionary

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