The Cricket is a Utility Air Hammer which requires shop air for operation.  

This original Cricket has a very small air volume requirement and could easily be run continuously with a 5 HP single stage air compressor.  It even runs a respectable duty cycle using compressors that produce as little as 4 CFM at 80 PSI.  

The original Cricket has a 20 pound ram, with an integrated guidance and control assembly that adds another 25 pounds to the falling weight (resulting in an equivalence to a 45# Ram).  The Ram assembly slides up and down on a Tower which is positioned adjacent to the anvil.  It has a Table (with a skirt…. not shown) which covers the Air Circuit components.  The dies are 1.5” x 4”.

When run with 80 PSI of pressurized air, it can cycle the ram, under operator control, over 200 times a minute.


  • Small foot print
  • Simple operation
  • The Operator can
    • Control the cycling speed of the Ram
    • Limit the maximum speed of the Ram
    • Move the position of the stroke
    • Clamp objects between the dies
  • Single-Hit capability
  • Only one moving part in front of the operator
  • High speed cycling
  • Simple construction
  • Integrated Ram and Guidance System
  • Easily scalable design
  • Low air consumption 

    Introduction to the Cricket (Clicking on this link will open a new window and run a video)


The Cricket is a somewhat-unconventional air hammer design in that the Cylinder is installed below the Ram.  An air Cylinder pulls the Ram down to strike the object being forged, then pushes the Ram up to complete a cycle.  A significant difference (from most power hammers) is that there is not a massive frame above and behind the Ram.  

There is only one moving part in front of the operator.

The appearance of the Cricket is radically different than most other power hammers, but most operational procedures are not.  An operator uses a foot Treadle to initiate cycling and controls the hammer in exactly the same manner as most other power hammers.  There are small nuances in the startup and shutdown procedures, but they do not come into play during forging operations.  

The position of the stroke is movable (not a regular feature of most hammers) by pulling out a lever and sliding a Stroke Adjustment Assembly up or down on a tower below the table.  

Although there are other Utility Air Hammer designs with inverted Cylinders, most conventional Utility Air Hammer designs have the Cylinder above the Ram (pushing the ram down to strike the object being forged, then pulling the Ram back up to complete a cycle).

The Air Circuit described in this document can be used with an air hammer that has the Cylinder mounted above the Ram.  The only change required would be to reverse the hose connections to the Cylinder.

The footprint on the original Cricket is just 13” by 15” (not including the Treadle).

The positioning of the Cylinder below the Ram became popular with the introduction of the “Bull” hammer, invented by Tom Troszak in 1996.  The Cricket adopts Tom’s innovative Cylinder position and ram guide approach…. and adds features not provided with the original Bull design.  The core of the Cricket Air Circuit design is similar to the Kinyon Air Circuit introduced in the early 1990s by Ron Kinyon… with some changes and additions to promote better performance and added features.

The basic design is such that (with Air Circuit component adjustments) The Cricket could easily be scaled up or down to virtually any size hammer a hobby blacksmith may want.


Next Section     Previous