Rawhide mallets, though lacking the durability of poly mallets, offer a steadier and more consistent impact on leatherworking tools including: leather stamps, leather punches and rivet setters. Rawhide mallets are popular in 11 oz. and 20 oz. sizes, and the heavier option is better reserved for tasks like setting copper rivets or tubular rivets.
Which mallets have more to offer, plastic mallets or rawhide mallets?
Again, it comes down to personal preference in the end…however, it is good to keep in mind that:
Poly mallets are susceptible to stuttering or double bouncing, especially when striking a tool with a lot of force—in some cases, a tool may even fly off the granite with a hard hit using a plastic mallet.
So, what rawhide mallets lack in durability, they make up for in stability. Also, when rawhide mallets begin to wear down, you can sand down the worn end to replenish years of utility.
In addition, a lighter weight rawhide mallet is a great high-endurance alternative for tasks requiring a bevel.
Pro Tip for Setting a Rivet, Eyelet, Grommet, or Snap :
When setting rivets, eyelets, grommets or snaps, you're looking for moderate weight for some nice control. A mid-weight rawhide mallet offers good, clean punches every time.