Below you will find some of the most popular, community-recommended blacksmithing books. The first 5 books focus on the general practices, history, styles, and guides to blacksmithing at beginner - intermediate levels. The last 5 books offer more specific focus on topics such as bladesmithing, knife making, medieval armor, and metalsmithing expansions.
The Backyard Blacksmith by Lorelei Sims
Info: One of the most highly recommended books for any new blacksmith. Tasks and tips are explained clearly in an easily digestible teaching style with excellent supporting photography. While the information focuses on beginner level, there are things that even advanced blacksmiths will benefit from.
New Edge of the Anvil: A Resource Book for the Blacksmith by Jack Andrews
Info: Another highly recommended read for new blacksmiths. Clear words, excellent pictures, good explanations, tables, charts, diagrams; all you need to encourage you to pick up a hammer and start hammering
The Art of Blacksmithing by Alex Bealer
Info: Essentially one of the best reference resources for blacksmiths: an excellent overview of the history, context, and general techniques of blacksmithing. Everything you need to know about the tools and techniques used by blacksmiths including blueprints and plans for numerous end products, how to set up a shop, build a forge, etc. Contains over 400 quality illustrations.
The Complete Modern Blacksmith by Alexander Weygers
Info: Clear and concise writing with informative, hand-drawn illustrations. Covers everything from tools to techniques, scrounging and recycling raw material, forge design to making your own custom anvil.
A Blacksmithing Primer: A Course in Basic and Intermediate Blacksmithing by Randy McDaniel
Info: Another excellent hands-on resource for new blacksmiths. This covers a description and use of all necessary equipment with shop tips and guides, advice on hammering techniques, variety of metals, fires, heating metal, instructions for various projects such as hooks, chains, hinges, nails, handles, along with types of welds heat treatment, finishes, scrolling and collaring.
The Complete Bladesmith: Forging Your Way To Perfection by Jim Hrisoulas
Info: An excellent primer on bladesmithing, covering everything from laying out your shop to tools/equipment, steels/alloys, grip materials, leatherwork, construction, heat-treating, grinding, sharpening, and tempering. Also includes topics such as Japanese heat-treating and polishing techniques and how to forge several patterns of Damascus steel. Comes with clear charts and illustrations, as well as an easil digestible writing style.
Wayne Goddard's $50 Knife Shop, Revised by Wayne Goddard
Info: Gives you a basic idea of how to put together an entry level knife making shop on a budget. Also explains the difference between different types of forges, stock removal, and gives a lot of good tips in the field. However this is not a step-by-step guide to making knives which some people have pointed out may confuse people who purchase this book with that intetion.
The Artist Blacksmith: Design and Techniques by Peter Parkinson
Info: Accurate information, delightful pictures and plenty of inspiration. Shows what can be done with metal in the hands of a skilled craftsman, along with covering the range and use of tools and materials; fundamental blacksmithing processes; working at the anvil; drawing down, bending, upsetting, and spreading; hot cutting; punching; and finally, twisting and joining. Illustrated with over 200 diagrams and photographs.
Techniques Of Medieval Armour Reproduction: The 14th Century by Brian Price
Info: An excellent working handbook for aspiring and active armourers who want to develop their skills in the production of medieval armour in the style of the 14th century.Contains more than 1,000 detailed photos and clear instructions. The book is divided into four sections: a sweeping history of armour and its production from its medieval roots to its modern revival; a practical introduction to all the tools and supplies necessary to equip a modern workshop; a thorough review of key techniques; and a series of actual courses in constructing armoured defenses for the head, body, arm, hand and leg.
The Complete Metalsmith: An Illustrated Handbook by Tim McCreight
Info: One of the most recommended books for learning metalsmithing in general: covers some of the best techniques of working with gold, platinum, copper, brass, steel, plaster, and more. Very straightforward, concise information with great illustrations.