Flintknapping Tools
  There are two types of flintknapping tools you can select
to use when knapping.  Those two choices are:  antler,
stone and bone tools, or copper tipped billets (called
copper boppers) and copper tipped pressure flakers.

   Those flintknappers who choose to only use traditional
antler, bone, and stone tools are called abo (stands for
aboriginal) knappers.  The real hard core stickler abo
knappers won't use anything that was not available to the
ancient flintknappers.  Some of thes abo knappers, like Jim
Spears, are quite good and the replicas they make compete
and sometimes exceed the quality of those made by
knappers using copper billets.  While some of these abo
knappers are strict conservatives of the knapping
community, others who use strictly antlers for percussion
will also use modern copper tipped pressure flakers and
modern abraiding stones for knapping.  
Dan Long, Ken
Wallace, and D.C. Waldorf are among the few I know that
are antler knappers that use copper pressure flakers but are
not strictly traditional abo.

   Knappers who use copper tools (copper boppers &
pressure flakers) are by far the majority within the
flintknapping community.  Some times you will hear them
called, or they will even refer to themselves as
"copperheads".  I enjoy using copper tools for flintknapping
due to their durability, low maintnance, and low cost.  I also
like the fact that I can put more weight onto smaller
platforms, because copper billets are forward weighted with
lead inside the copper cap so that they have the "feel" of
forward weighted antler billets, but are approximately 1/3 of
the diameter.  Another plus for copper billets is that I don't
have to swing as hard or have nearly as much snap through
with them, which saves a lot of wear and tear on my hands
and arms.  Some antler boys would argue with that, but it is
very much a matter of preference.

While there is a slightly different look to the flakes taken off
by antler tools and copper tools, the choice of which to use
falls into the catagory of whatever works best for the
individual knapper.  I started out using antler tools, but
found that I broke far fewer bifaces when I switched over
to copper tools.  I currently can use both kinds of tools, and
often switch up when I need to.  It's good to be able to use
both in case you have to do a demonstration for an
archaeological society.  My advice is to try both out, and
then assemble a tool kit that works best for you and your
current abilities.  If you do that, you can't go wrong.

 I buy all my copper tools from Dave and Angela Parker at
Red Rock Lithics.  They make great quality ergonomic
copper billets and make the best Ishi stick on the market.  I
highly recommend all of their products.
Traditional Antler Tools
Top left:  White-tailed deer antler billets, Top center:  Moose antler
billets Top right:  Stone billet, Middle:  Stone abraiders and flake
abratiding tool, Bottom:  Antler and deer ulna pressure flakers,
Underneath tools:  Moose hide leather protective pad for the thigh
Modern Copper Tools
Top left:  3/4 inch and 1 inch diameter copper billets, Top center:  Solid
copper spalling billet Top right:  1 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch copper billets,
Middle:  Stone abraiders,  flake abratiding tool, and modern abraiding
stone (square), Bottom:  Assortment of copper pressure flakers and a
horseshoe nail, Underneath tools:  Moose hide leather protective pad for
the thigh, and small hand pad