We’re very excited to bring yet another product into our range that hasn’t been on offer in Australia until now – including one product that’s no longer manufactured.
Rinaldi has a 200 year history of tool forging and we’ve been testing their gear over the season with a view to stocking them. We’re very, very impressed with the anvils. Tony now uses his Rinaldi anvils for everything, while I prefer the Rinaldi peening anvils for thicker edges (i.e. for forming a new primary bevel) such as on our Günaş blades, and the Picard for peening the very edge of an already thinned edge (such as the Falci blades as they come to us).
So, what’s the difference? Mainly in the curves of the anvil faces. The Picard peening anvil has quite a pronounced curve across the shortest length of the anvil, compared to a relatively flat curve on the Rinaldi. This means that, by default, when you strike the blade, the anvil will be applying force to more of the edge. This aids in speeding up the process of forming a primary bevel on a previously unpeened blade.
Every Günaş blade I peen for customers is now peened on a Rinaldi anvil – at least for the primary bevel.
I personally still prefer a Picard anvil to finish the very edge, as it naturally produces a smaller impact point, while Tony just adjusts the way he holds his blade on the Rinaldi anvil to produce the same narrow strike.
I also managed to turn my world upside down when, by experimenting, I pulled off the neatest edge repair on an 80cm Falci that I’ve ever performed, by using a Rinaldi peening anvil and the broad face of a hammer – rather than a wide repair anvil and a narrow-faced hammer, as is usually recommended as the orthodox approach. Having seen the resultant impact pattern produced on the Rinaldi peening anvils, it occurred to me that the narrow-but-flat face of the anvil may offer a nice way of drawing steel out to the edge to fill an edge repair, and that it may be easier to strike on accurately than achieving an accurate blow with the narrow faced hammer. And it was – I very much wished I had taken a ‘before’ photo of what the edge looked like after I’d filed out a crack with a half-round bastard file, so I could compare it to this, the ‘after’ photo:
I’m particularly excited about the field anvils. I find myself choosing to sit on my lawn with a field anvil, rather than using my peening bench, because I’m enjoying the simplicity of that approach. And if there’s a sense of being more connected to the Earth while mowing with a scythe rather than an engine, it’s heightened by sitting down on the ground to sharpen your blade.
As for the hammers, well, it’s been similar – Tony loves the Rinaldi, while I’m still using a Picard (although this has been habit rather than preference). The Rinaldi has an interesting ‘bend’ in the head which gives a sense of greater ergonomics in that hammer – because the striking face isn’t just parallel with the handle, which makes the whole unit feel somehow better fitted to the task at hand. The handle itself certainly is more comfortable in the hand than the Picard, being more shaped.
The one area in which Picard does win hands down is in their mirror polished faces. We pay both suppliers extra for this finish, but Picard’s is certainly superior. I’d say the difference, though, is effectively aesthetic, since the Picard mirror polish itself isn’t likely to last that long under typical conditions anyway.
In short, both suppliers are producing tools that are more than fit-for-purpose. The choice – thanks to our scythe-tragicness – is now yours! Check out the Rinaldi gear here.