Blacksmithing is a distinct mechanical trade, and consists of working and shaping iron and steel for ornamental, structural, and general repair work. One branch of the trade is devoted to horseshoeing. The equipment of the blacksmith consists of a forge, an anvil, and the necessary tools.

The forge is generally a structure of iron, although it may be built of brick or stone, upon which a smith's fire is built. In the bottom of the hearth, upon which the coal is placed, is an opening known as the tuyere through which a forced draught is applied by bellows. The mouth of the tuyere is generally covered with a perforated sheet which allows the air to pass through freely, but prevents cinders or any other foreign matter from dropping into the blast pipe. A hood, the purpose of which is to catch and conduct the smoke to the chimney, covers the forge. This hood is constructed of sheet metal, and is fastened to the chimney. In a modern shop, the forge is operated by a suction draught. Fastened to the forge, for the convenience of the smith, is a water and coal trough and a rack for tongs.

The anvil is a heavy body of cast or wrought iron with a case-hardened steel face welded onto it. This steel face prevents indentations being made in the anvil by hammering. One end of the anvil is horn-shaped for the rounding and shaping of small work. The opposite end contains two holes, one square and one round, into which fit the ends of the various anvil blocks.