Benefits of Forging vs. Casting

There currently is a lot of debate over which is best, forging or casting.   Much of the reason for the debate is economic.   For centuries "forged" has been specified for tools and hardware that had to be the most durable and of the best quality   Manufacturers of less expensive cast goods try to convince their customers that cast is as good as forged.  

The best, perfect, casting may theoreticaly approach a forging in performance but can never achieve the exact same properties.   And castings are rarely perfect.   Castings often hide hidden defects below the surface (cracks, porosity and sand inclusions) that would be exposed as defects in a forged billet.   When a steel billet is created it is rolled or forged, improving its structure.   This also closes porosity, welds cracks and there are no sand inclusions from molding.   When an item is forged from this billet its integrity is proven again under the hammer and its structure is further refined.  

We, as blacksmiths who make a living forging should appreciate the qualities of forged steel and use the best forged steel tools in our shops.  

The Peddinghaus Line of Forged Steel Anvils (c) 2003 Jock Dempsey


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