Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
as others have said, anything makes a suitable mallet. But for chisels splitting resistance is the primary property to optimize. Locust splits easily, maybe the easiest of any wood I deal with. It is trivial to split fence posts from seven foot logs, even knotty logs. Dogwood is the best chisel handle material.
A second property for chisels is weight. Many prefer a light handle to keep the center of gravity low on the tool. Again, locust not the best choice for weight.
It makes long lasting fence posts, the best use for it.
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- Black locust mallet?