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How to Cold-Hammer Coins and Keys Into Useful Survival Tools

At first glance, some common pocket items seem just about worthless as wilderness survival supplies. Take coins and keys. What are you going to buy with your coins in the wild? And what will you unlock in the woods with your ring of keys? Not much, right? But don’t forget that metal is a precious resource, even non-precious metals. And with a little creativity, these items can take on new life. Here’s how to cold-hammer coins and keys into useful survival tools.

Cold hammering (also known as cold working or cold forging) is the art of working metal through percussion without adding any heat to it. This practice goes back into antiquity, as ancient artisans hammered out shapes from copper, bronze, silver and gold. The latter, both coveted and beautiful, is the only one that can be cold worked indefinitely without fracturing or becoming brittle.


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