The function of a blacksmith's tongs is simple. An orange heat is approximately 1800° F, so is a crematorium; 'nough said.

A blacksmith must have a way of holding the heated metal without seriously burning himself. Tongs were the perfect solution. Tongs allow a blacksmith to grip, lift and rotate red-hot metal in his forge. They also allow the blacksmith to place metal deep into burning coals so that it can be heated quickly.


There are a number of different types of blacksmiths' tongs, each used for something different:


Blacksmith tongs vary in size, depending on the intended use. Smaller tongs for more delicate work usually come in at around 8 inches in length and resemble typical pliers of today. Larger tongs for things like sword and horseshoe making are usually between 14 and 15 inches. However, custom tongs can be made by a blacksmith to be just about any size if needed.

Tong Clips

Tong clips (or rings) are used to keep the reins of the tongs closed while holding whatever metal you're working on at the moment.

my collection of tong clips
My collection of tongs clips/rings. Left and right are "store bought" and the ones in the center are made by me.
I saw a picture once of the one on top and tried to duplicate it. The one in the center is a piece of pipe fullered
in the middle. The one on the bottom is my version of an adjustable clip.

    Gee Mom, look what else I've found!

"We all do better when we all do better."
       - Paul Wellstone, US Senator from Minnesota (1944-2002)

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