Start with a log the length and diameter of the finished mallet.
Decide how thick you’d like the handle. Place your saw blade against the face of the log and make a mental note of how deep the blade needs to go to achieve your desired depth.
Begin sawing around the circumference of the log where you’d like the handle to end.
Cut all the way around, this is called a “stop cut” and will prevent splits made for the handle from traveling into the head of the mallet.
Use a froe, axe, or knife to begin removing wood from the handle. Be careful not to try cutting deeper than your stop cut or you’ll split the entire log in two!
A froe or batoning with a knife allows for very precise, powerful cuts.
You can see how the splits stop where I sawed the log.
An axe can also help for removing wood quickly.
Much of the carving can be done with an axe.
Carefully cut to the extent of the stop cut all the way around the handle, clean it up nicely.
Use a knife to finish the finer carving.
If you’re so inclined, drill a hole for a lanyard with a scotch auger.
Hang it up with the rest of your kitchen tools. A mallet is super useful for tenderizing meat, mashing potatoes, crushing ice, or a hundred other things. I use mine a lot.