what is a rubber mallet used for

What Is a Rubber Mallet Used For?

When I was in the beginning stages of a home improvement project that I wanted to complete, I noticed that the instructions of the DIY guide I found required the use of a rubber mallet. Since I’ve never used one of these particular tools before, I consulted the internet to find out what their purposes are.

What is a rubber mallet used for? Rubber mallets are used for more than one purpose when it comes to construction and home improvement, as they are versatile. No matter what the project is, these tools are normally used for striking another object and applying force to it, similar to a hammer.

Some of the more specific tasks that rubber mallets can be used for include pounding out the dents in a metal surface or assembling pieces of furniture.

Rubber mallets, like any other type of mallet, are used to apply force to certain objects in order to drive them into another surface. There are so many ways that you can use a rubber mallet from hobby to business.

Whether you frequently complete DIY projects in your home or shop, it is very likely that you will find this information useful at some point in your endeavors. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about what a rubber mallet it used for and when you might need one in the future.

What Is a Rubber Mallet Used For?

A mallet is shaped very similar to the average hammer, with a handle and a cylindrical top that is usually made out of some kind of solid material from metal to rubber. Mallets are considered to be general tools, which means that they can be used for virtually anything you need them to be used for.

In this article specifically, we will be discussing the rubber mallet. This tool is made of solid rubber at the top, which is used to strike other materials and drive them into another surface.

Rubber mallets stand out from mallets that are made out of other materials due to the unique properties that they hold. Among the most versatile tools in any tool box, there is a lot to learn about this all purpose tool.

There are several used for a rubber mallet, and the list below will outline a few things that a rubber mallet can do.

Rubber Mallet Uses:

  • Even out dents in metal by pounding the area
  • Force components together in construction
  • Secure parts in assembly (ie furniture)
  • Breaking materials (ie. wood)

The first general function that you can complete with a rubber mallet includes evening out the dents in a metal surface. In order to do this, you would simply use the mallet to pound out the areas that need to be corrected.

While it might sound strange to try to fix dents in a surface by hitting it with a large rubber mallet, this is actually one of the main purposes that rubber mallets, in particular, are ideal for.

Due to the softer material that rubber mallets are made of on their heads, the surface that it comes in contact with will not suffer any additional damages. However, if you were to use a metal mallet or hammer, you could expect to see a lot of new dents in the material you were tying to fix.

Next, rubber mallets can be used to force two components to stay together. This is especially useful during construction projects or during a home improvement scenario where you need to pound two pieces of wood or other materials into one place.

Additionally, rubber mallets are very useful when you are trying to put something together, such as furniture. When you are in need of something to drive the nails or stakes into the individual pieces on a couch, your rubber mallet will certainly come in handy.

Even though it is true that mallets made of rubber are generally more gentle than any other variety, they can still be used to purposefully break things if ever needed. For example, if you needed to break up large pieces of wood into smaller segments, you could use your rubber mallet.

For surfaces that are tougher to break apart, you can use your rubber mallet to strike a chisel that is wedged into the object in question to separate it more easily, although other types of mallets such as leather are better intended for this purpose.

Contrary to a hammer, when a rubber mallet is used for any kind of task or project, it provides force to an entire area. For example, when you are using a hammer to drive a nail into a surface, you are hitting one spot on the nail to push it in.

However, when you use a mallet to pound two objects or frames together, you are applying general force to the entire area around both objects, so not only one place is targeted by all of the pressure at once.

The Advantages Of Using a Rubber Mallet Over Other Types Of Mallets

Since we are discussing the rubber mallet throughout this entire article instead of just mallets in general, you might be curious to find out what is so great about this type of tool.

To answer this question, you can find a list of advantages that come with using a rubber mallet over any other type of mallet down below. In this section, we will be going over why rubber mallets are preferred over other classifications.

Rubber Mallet Advantages:

  • Cheaper than other materials
  • Safer to use
  • Ideal for impacting another object
  • Usually larger than other materials
  • More lightweight than heavier mallets
  • No damage to surfaces
  • Accessible (can be found in any store) 

First of all, rubber mallets are much cheaper than other types of mallets that are made with more expensive materials. These other materials can include metal and wood, which can come with a larger price tag than rubber.

Due to the fact that rubber is a much softer material than the alternatives that were just mentioned, they are also much safer to use at the same time. Although it would still hurt to get hit anywhere with a rubber mallet, you will have a much better outcome with this type of mallet than one with metal on its head.

The properties of rubber are unique against all of the other types of mallets that you could possibly purchase. With that being said, there is something about them that makes them ideal for impacting another object. If you have ever used multiple types of mallets, including rubber, you will be able to agree with this comparison.

When rubber mallets are designed and constructed, they are normally made to be much bigger on the head than any other type of mallet.

For this reason, they are a lot more durable and better for the variety of purposes that you might need them for around your house or shop. This statement also goes along with the fact that rubber mallets are ideal for impacting other objects.

Rubber itself is a very light material, and even when a lot of it is compacted into a thick cylinder, it is still much lighter than metal and wood when it takes the same shape. With rubber being less heavy than bulkier materials, rubber mallets can be considered to be very lightweight.

If you know what a metal or wood mallet feels like, or you have both of them in your tool kit at your home or shop, you will be able to directly compare the masses of each and just how they feel in your hand. Upon completing this small experiment, you will most likely find that the rubber mallet is much easier to use and move around.

When you think of rubber, you might think of a very soft material that has a unique texture on the outside. This idea is still relevant when it comes to the head of a rubber mallet, and is something that you will notice while using it.

Due to the characteristics of the surface of a rubber mallet, the surface that you hit with it will not incur any additional damage. As an example, think about a solid block of material like wood.

If you were to hit this solid block of wood with something very hard like metal, you run a huge risk of breaking it or causing some other kind of significant damage to the surface.

However, if you were to hit the same surface with a rubber mallet instead, you would be able to complete the task you needed to without making any dents or nicks. With the versatility of one of these tools, you will be able to apply as much force as needed for the job without feeling like you will break something.

This reason on the list further explains the purpose that was briefly mentioned in the first section of this article. Since rubber mallets are so gentle and rounded on the corners, you can even use them by themselves to pound out any dents that are in a metal surface or something similar.

The fact that you would be able to apply direct force to a surface with a rubber mallet without the fear of making any cracks or dents should attest to the fact that these tools are among some of the most versatile.

The final reason why rubber mallets are preferred over the alternative is that they are very accessible to those who would like to purchase them. In fact, you might be able to find a whole aisle of them at any local hardware or home improvement store in your area.

While it is true that you can find almost any kind of mallet that you could ever need online, it is helpful to know that you can find a rubber mallet pretty much anywhere you look, whether you search for it online or go in person to try it before you buy it.

After reading this section, you might have already gotten a pretty good idea of what the disadvantages are that come with using other types of mallets in certain situations, but in case you didn’t, you can find a short recap below.

Disadvantages of Using Other Mallets (Instead Of Rubber):

  • More expensive
  • Less safety (harder surface on head)
  • Smaller and heavier than rubber
  • Can damage surfaces when pressure is applied
  • Not as widely available as the rubber mallet

While it is true that wooden and metal mallets are very useful in certain situations where they are specifically required, the purpose of this section was to highlight the versatility of rubber mallets in particular.

Although other types of mallets have the potential to get the same jobs done with similar quality, you will have more luck in your endeavors when you have the all-purpose rubber mallet in your tool box.

Are Mallets The Same As Hammers?

When the structure and functions of a mallet were being discussed earlier in this article, it was frequently compared to that of a hammer. So, what are the similarities and differences between mallets and hammers? Are they the same thing?

To answer these questions, hammers and mallets are not the exact same tool, due to their difference in structure and functions, but they are a part of the same family. In fact, a mallet is actually considered to be a type of hammer, but is more specifically referred to as a mallet.

There are so many different types of mallets and hammers that are available for a variety of very specific purposes. During a construction or home project, you might find yourself in need of the basic claw hammer or rubber mallet, or possibly a ball peen, cross peen, club, or sledge hammer, along with a joiner’s mallet or soft-faced hammer.

To get a better idea of the differences and similarities between rubber mallets and claw hammers, in particular, refer to the lists down below.


  • Handle
  • Rounded top (cylinder shape)
  • Used to apply force to objects
  • Can be used to pound out surfaces
  • Heads come in wood, rubber, or metal


  • Handle
  • Slender top
  • Circular surface in the front (2 claws in the back)
  • Used to drive objects (usually nails) into another surface
  • Heads almost always made of metal

As discussed throughout the contents of this article, a mallet consists of a handle and a rounded top that takes the shape of a cylinder. The main functions of any type of mallet, including rubber mallets, is to apply some kind of force to another object.

This can include forcing two objects together, driving one object into another surface, or even pounding dents out of something to smooth it out with blunt force. The heads of mallets most commonly come in varieties of wood, rubber, and metal.

Hammers, on the other hand, also consist of a handle and a similar structure, only the top of the head is much more slender and defined.

As you can see, both hammers and mallets have the basic structure of a wooden handle and another material on top of the head that is used to strike other objects. The specific type of wood that is most commonly used for this purpose is hickory. However, you might also see handles made of ash because it is a much cheaper material to buy.

The front of the hammer is a circular surface that is actually used to make contact with the other objects, and there are usually two claws in the back that can be used to remove objects.

The main function of a hammer is to drive smaller objects into larger surfaces, with the smaller objects usually being nails. Hammers are able to drive nails into almost any type of surface, from wood to metal and many more.

While hammers and mallets are part of the same family of tools, they have a few fundamental differences in when and how they can be used. Hammers are great for applying force to nails, but would not be the best for pounding the dents out of another surface, due to the fact that they are almost always made of metal.

In conclusion, the rubber mallet is one of the most versatile tools that you will be able to find, and makes a great general tool in anyone’s tool box, whether you like to build things for hobby or you are putting together an emergency homeowner’s tool kit, you will definitely be able to use a rubber mallet for something useful.

As you have seen throughout the contents of this article, rubber mallets themselves have tons of purposes, and can be used for a variety of projects virtually anywhere. Contrary to any other type of tool, rubber mallets basically allow you to apply force to a generalized area instead of a localized one.

The more gentle properties of a rubber mallet in comparison to other materials that are commonly found in mallets and hammers alike make them very useful in more situations than you could count.