How to Forge a Fire Poker - A Beginner's Guide to Basic Blacksmithing

A fire poker is a great forged item for beginners to make. It’s useful for tending wood fires and makes a wonderful homemade gift. In this tutorial, you’ll learn the basic blacksmithing techniques needed to forge your own fire poker at home.

Why Have a Fire Poker?

A fire poker is an essential tool for anyone with a wood burning fireplace or campfire. It allows you to arrange the logs, stir the coals, and move the wood around for better airflow and burning. The hooked end is also useful for grabbing pots off a campfire or pulling logs closer. With a simple fire poker, you’ll be able to easily manage fires and keep them going strong.

Forging a Fire Poker Step-By-Step

Forging your own fire poker is a fun beginner blacksmithing project. With just a few basic tools and materials, you can make a beautiful hand crafted poker in your home forge. Follow these simple steps:

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Anvil
  • Forge or other heat source
  • Hammer
  • Tongs
  • Punch and chisel (for splitting)
  • Metal rod or rebar (around 1/2″ diameter)
  • Can of beeswax or paste wax


Step 1: Form the Handle

  • Heat one end of the metal rod in your forge or heat source until it is glowing red/orange. Use heavy duty tongs to hold the rod.
  • Once heated, place the end on the anvil and use the hammer to draw out the end into a taper. Strike repeatedly to thin and lengthen the section.
  • After creating a taper, position the rod straight up on the anvil and use the hammer to forge a shoulder. Hammer all around to define the shoulder shape.
  • Reheat the end and continue hammering to refine the taper into a round, ring-shaped handle. The goal is a comfortable grip shape.

Step 2: Taper the Shaft

  • Reheat the untapered portion of the rod about 4-6 inches from the handle end.
  • Start forging to create an octagon shape by hammering on each face.
  • Continue hitting on the corners to draw out the edges into a square section.
  • As you taper towards the end, use edge chamfers every 1-2 inches to gradually thin the shaft.

Step 3: Cut to Length

  • Measure the overall length you want and mark the rod with chalk or soapstone.
  • Use a hacksaw or angle grinder to cut off any excess rod beyond your mark.
  • File or grind the cut end smooth.

Step 4: Split and Shape the Hook

  • On the tapered end, isolate extra thickness for the hook shape. Hammer thicker on one side.
  • Heat, then create a chisel split down the middle stopping about 1/2 inch from the end.
  • Reheat and use a hot rasp to open up and shape each side into a hooked shape.
  • Forge symmetrical tapered points extending outwards.

Step 5: Refine and Smooth

  • Once cool, use a file or angle grinder to refine the shapes and blend transitions.
  • Reheat and tweak with the hammer if needed to adjust curves and points.
  • Create smooth lines from handle to hook end.

Step 6: Finish and Seal

  • Sand lightly with fine grit sandpaper once poker is cool.
  • Rub beeswax or paste wax thoroughly over the metal to protect from rust.
  • Buff with a clean cloth to make the metal shine.

The process takes some practice but this beginner blacksmithing project is achievable with basic skills.