5 Gas Forges Under $500

Five Gas Forges Under $500 - Brown County Forge

So you’ve already decided that you prefer gas forges over coal. You like how easy they are to light, keep lit, and manage the temperature with.

But maybe you’re not sure how far your money can go.

Let’s break down five gas forges you can buy for under $500.

We’ll talk about pros and cons of each and where to buy them starting with the most expensive first.

Affiliate disclosure: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

1. Whisper Deluxe Gas Forge – NC Tool Co. – $498.00

NC Tool Co Whisper Deluxe Gas Forge Review - Brown County Forge

This is a double-burner gas forge with a stainless steel door.

Firebox dimensions are 3″ x 12″ x 6″.

The hose, regulator, and gauge are included.

What I Like About This Forge

This forge is very similar to the first gas forge I ever owned.

I bought it from the resident blacksmith at the John C. Campbell Folk School way back in 2011.

Being a used forge, it cost me around $225. I used it for about three years and it survived multiple moves across the country and around the Northwest.

Never had a single issue with it. Easy to light, it got hot, and it stayed hot. A great way to start off blacksmithing on your own.

I made my first few hundred hooks with it.

Sold it to a guy in Corvallis, OR for close to my purchase price to free up space for my next move.

Possible Drawbacks

This is right at the threshold of $500. If you include shipping costs from NC Tool Company in Pleasant Garden, North Carolina you’re a little above the mark.

I’ll use a Southern Indiana zip code to get a shipping estimate:

From 27313 to 47404, I’m looking at $23.65 for shipping. My total would be $521.65. That’s for 2-Day UPS Ground.

Let’s see if we can get the price a little lower, though.

2. Whisper Baby Gas Forge – NC Tool Co. – $465.00

Whisper Baby Gas Forge - NC Tool Company Review - Brown County Forge

Also from NC Tool Company, the Whisper Baby is a good portable forge with a single burner.

The new design has a port on each end to allow longer pieces to pass through end-to-end.

Firebox size is 3″ x 7″ x 6.5″ making it just over half as wide and half an inch deeper. More of a square firebox shape.

Hose, regulator, and gauge all included.

It should be noted that NC Tool Company makes most of their forges to suit farriers. Many of the forges are built to be mobile, easy to lift, just big enough to do the job.

However, a farrier’s forge can easily be a knife maker’s forge or a traditional blacksmith’s forge. If it gets it hot, it will work.

What I Like About This Forge

  1. It’s small so it will get up to heat quickly.
  2. It’s lightweight so it’s easy to move if you need to store it.
  3. NC Tool Company has a long history of making quality forges and anvils.

Possible Drawbacks

Depending on what you’re forging, this may be too small. Most knives will fit great. Hooks are no problem.

But if you’re trying to do something large and/or ornamental, you’ll have some trouble.

Next, let’s see if we can find a less expensive forge with more burners and a little more room.

3. Three Burner Knifemaker Deluxe – Majestic Forge – $450.00

Majestic Forge Three Burner Knifemaker Deluxe Review - Brown County Forge

I prefer two burners for what I do, but I thought I’d throw in a three burner for comparison.

The forge box is 18.25″ long by 9″ wide and 7.5″ high.

The firebox (interior) is 18.25″ x 6″ x 4.5″.

Full pass-through for long pieces (swords, fence pickets, etc.).

Control valves on each burner so you can keep your heat localized.

I currently use a Two Burner Knifemaker Economy Forge from Majestic (see below). It’s a great forge so I’m confident that this bigger one is too.

To set this forge up, all you will need is a propane tank. The regulator, hose, and gauge are included.

Majestic says “Setup usually takes less than 10 minutes and is very simple. Full setup instructions are included.” – MajesticForge.com

What I Like About This Forge

Majestic forges get hot! The one I have in the shop can get up to forge-welding temperature if needed. Great on conservation for production work.

I generally can get a single 20 lb. propane tank to last 6-10 hours depending on what I’m doing. At $12ish per fill, that’s $1.20 – $2.00 per hour. Excellent.

Possible Drawbacks

Three burner forges will go through gas pretty fast. Keep that in mind when considering what to buy.

Let’s get a little more economical and see what else Majestic has.

4. Two Burner Knifemaker Economy – Majestic Forge – $325.00

Two Burner Knifemaker Economy Gas Forge Review - Majestic Forge - Brown County Forge

This is the forge I currently own. I bought it in March of 2019 for $325 plus around $50 shipping.

Two burners with a factory rigidized vacuum-formed ceramic liner. High siliconized ladle brick on the bottom. Very durable interior.

Overall dimensions (without top burners): 13.75″ x 9″ x 7.5″

Firebox (interior): 13.5″ x 6″ x 4.5″

Full pass-through for longer pieces. I’ve only run into issues with pieces longer than 20 inches. They don’t balance well if you have the tip of the piece inside the forge.

The solution is to have a forge rest to prop up the end that’s outside the forge.

What I Like About This Forge

I like the price, the durability, and the fuel conservation. Solid forge all-around and durable enough for a full-time blacksmith’s shop.

I use this forge to teach 100 – 200 students each year and it holds up under their use.

Possible Drawbacks

A little on the short side for very long pieces as I mentioned above.

No control valves for the individual burners. You’ll have to control both with the main regulator.

Running it at 4-5 psi will do great for upwards of 6 hours depending on atmospheric conditions in your shop.

*This would be my choice for a beginner’s forge. I talk about it in the Blacksmith Starter Kit article.

Now let’s look at an unknown (to me) forge that’s just under $300 and has a great deal on shipping.

5. Atlas Single Burner Knifemakers Forge – $295.00

Atlas Single Burner Knifemaker Forge Review - Brown County Forge

This one is a gem of a forge and it’s reasonably priced.

From their description:

“The best forge for bladesmithing! Compared to the forges on eBay/Amazon, it gets hotter, the insulation will last longer, it won’t rust, and it only uses $1 propane per hour!”

Overall Dimensions: 12″ x 12″ x 6″

Firebox Dimensions: 2.5″ diameter x 11″ long (cylindrical chamber)

Stainless steel. Comes with a regulator and hose.

Purchase from Centaur Forge.

What I Like About This Forge

I’m a sucker for stainless steel and compact forges. The Atlas Single Burner weighs 19.8 pounds total.

It also has a sliding tool rest. That’s tricky to do on a compact forge.

The price is impressive as well. Shipping from Centaur Forge is only an additional $14.95 Flat Rate (Flat Rate shipping is one of the reasons I love Centaur Forge).

Possible Drawbacks

It’s very small. The chamber is just 2.5 inches across so you’re probably making one thing at a time.

That said, you’re going to save a lot of fuel in such a small firebox.

That nice stainless steel will likely get a tempering rainbow fairly quickly as it heats up.

Nothing too major here. Heck, and at that price I might buy one just to see how it does.

The Verdict

You can get a durable, high quality gas forge for less than $500. If you take good care of it, you’ll be able to pass it down to your great-grandkids.

For my money, I would go with either the NC Tool Co. Whisper Deluxe or the Majestic Forge Two Burner Knifemaker Economy.

I’ve owned both of them and they’ve kept my business running for years.

Have you found a good deal on a gas forge (used or new)?

Leave the story in the comments below. Your experience can help others.


Terran the Blacksmith - Brown County Forge
Terran the Blacksmith


9 Common Blacksmith Terms to Know

Common Blacksmith Terms - Brown County Forge

If you’re familiar with Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner, you’ve come across blacksmith terms before.

The coyote is always scheming to drop an anvil on the roadrunner, but ends up getting flattened himself.

In this post, I’m going to lay out 9 common blacksmith terms to know.

1. Blacksmith Terms #1: The Anvil

Now that blacksmiths are a lot less common, our first introduction to anvils probably came from watching Looney Tunes.

It seems like some cartoon character was always getting turned into an accordion after being flattened by an ACME anvil.

For blacksmiths, the anvil is one of the most essential pieces of equipment.

It’s where all the work gets done.

All traditional anvils have a similar shape:

  • Horn – for bending hot metal
  • Face – the flat area where you do most of your work
  • Hardie – the square hole used for tools with square posts that fit into the anvil
  • Pritchel – the round hole used for punching holes and making holes wider through drifting
  • Neck – the center mass of the anvil
  • Feet – the base of the anvil

2. The Forge

Blacksmith's Forge - Brown County Forge

This blacksmith term can be confusing sometimes because it refers to two things:

  1. A forge is the blacksmith’s shop, the building where he or she works.
  2. The forge is also the contained fire that the blacksmith uses to heat up metal. (The above photo is of a propane forge in my shop.)

Brown County Forge refers to the blacksmith shop where I work.

Inside that blacksmith’s shop, there are a couple of forges I use to heat the steel I hammer on.

Forges can be coal, gas, charcoal, or wood-fired.

The two most common fuel types for forges are coal and propane.

Charcoal and wood are less common because they aren’t as efficient. Meaning they don’t get hot enough or they burn up too quickly.

3. Blacksmith’s Tongs

Tongs of all types are used to pick up things that are too hot for your bare hands.

Whether it’s a steak on the grill or steel from the forge, it’s the same idea.

Blacksmiths rely on tongs in two ways:

  1. To keep distance between their hands and hot metal.
  2. And to grip the hot metal securely while they hammer on it.

There are many, many different styles of tongs out there. Each type is suited to picking up and holding a particular size of steel.

Some tong types are more versatile than others, meaning they can be used for many different projects.

The type of tongs I use most often in the shop are V-Bit Bolt tongs. They have square jaws that make it easy to pick up round, square, and flat pieces of steel.

I use them for 98% of the things I make in the shop.

4. Blacksmith’s Hammers

Blacksmith's Hammer - Brown County Forge - Terran Marks

Blacksmith’s hammers are a little different from common claw hammers:

  • They weigh more: 2-3 pounds vs. 1-1.5 pounds.
  • They have a cross peen on the back rather than a claw for pulling nails.

You don’t need a cross peen hammer to hammer on steel, though.

As long as your hammer is at least 2 pounds and it’s manageable for you, you’re good to go.

Common phrase that we use today: To go at something “hammer and tongs” means to be fully committed and working hard.

5. Drawing Out

Drawing things out means to make them longer.

You’ve probably come across this term in everyday life if you’ve been frustrated that someone is drawing out a process that you think should already be finished.

That blacksmith term comes directly from blacksmithing.

To draw out a piece of metal, you:

6. Upsetting

If drawing out makes things longer, upsetting is the opposite: it makes things shorter and often thicker.

You upset steel to make corners and to bulk up pieces that are too skinny.

7. Hardening and Tempering

Tempering Steel - Brown County Forge

Hardening and tempering are the two components of heat treating.

First you harden. Then you temper. Always in that order.

If you only harden your steel, it will be very tough, but also very brittle.

To make it useful you need to temper it to relieve some of that brittleness.

You’ve heard the phrase “to lose your temper.”

This comes from blacksmithing.

If you lose your temper, you’ve probably gotten your piece of steel hotter than you meant to. You’ve lost control.

The same is true when we lose our tempers. We’ve lost control.

If you’ve ever been in one of my classes, you’re familiar with a couple types of tempering:

  1. The soft back draw temper which is what we do in class.
  2. The oven tempering process – something you can do at home.

8. Losing Your Heat

As blacksmiths we need the metal to be nice and hot to be able to work it effectively.

If you lose your heat that means the metal has gotten too cold – usually around cherry red in color.

When you’re first starting out this can feel kinda stressful, but it doesn’t need to be.

If you lose your heat, you just put the steel back in the forge and heat it again.

There’s never a rush in blacksmithing. If you’re rushing, there’s something wrong.

9. Quenching

Quenching is an essential part of the blacksmithing process.

Contrary to movies and TV shows, you don’t quench everything that comes out of the forge once you’re done hammering.

Quenching is a controlled, intentional cooling of the metal to get a specific result each time.

When you quench a knife, you mean to harden it so it’s nice and tough. This is the first half of the heat treating (hardening and tempering) process.

If you quench part of a hook to make a bend, you won’t necessarily want to leave it hardened. So you will heat it back up to reverse the quenching process.

What do you use to quench?

The quenching liquid that we use will vary depending on the project:

  • For fast localized quenching, we use water. This is common when you’re making hooks and other decorative items.
  • In knife making, we use oil. Motor oil is common, but I prefer vegetable oil. It’s a good, inexpensive quenching oil. It also smells a lot better than burning motor oil.

9 Common Blacksmith Terms

Common Blacksmith Terms - Brown County Forge

The world of blacksmithing is full of blacksmith terms, but there’s just a handful to get you started.

From the anvil to basic tools to quenching, there’s a lot to get into.

If you’d like to keep learning more, check back on this blog regularly for new posts!

You can also send me questions at the shop email address:


Thanks for reading!