As an alternative to a wooden mallet I’ve been using a Halder SIMPLEX soft-face mallet (aka mechanic-style mallet or rubber hammer) over the past month and I’ve found it to be surprisingly useful. Made in Germany, Halder mallets are used in a wide variety of sectors – including automotive, engineering, metal fabrication, construction, landscaping and woodworking – to prevent surface damage and for precise positioning and aligning parts.
The kit I’ve been using is the 40mm Carpenter’s Mallet Bonus Box Set (#3117s001). It has an aluminum housing, hardwood handle, and comes with four 1-1/2″/40mm inserts (two TPE soft, one TPE medium and one superplastic). You also get a Pica Pocket pencil holder and pencil.
A nice feature of the Simplex mallet is that it weighs only 3/4 of a pound making it super light in the hand. The weight is very evenly distributed along the full length of the mallet – thanks in part to the aluminum housing. Even so, it packs a punch and gives good feedback. And, because of it’s shape it doesn’t roll around on the workbench.