When I started school, the big score was to be the first one to get an Anvil. Every weekend people would follow up on leads, scour the Haliburton Highlands and beyond in search of the elusive big score.
With no car and no money I had to sit on the sidelines on this one and watch with envy as people came in on Monday's to show off their finds.
Where ever I looked the advice was to buy the biggest anvil you could afford. Full stop, no qualifications.
After school I was starting to assemble my kit and I followed this advice. Looked for the biggest I could find, and endured the endless arguments online British vs German, old vs. new. Eventually I settled on a 460lb Fontanini anvil from Jackson Wyoming. Cast H13 steel and it is a cracker. I am glad I bought it, no regrets.
But as a business decision it was poor. The cost of purchasing in American dollars from Canada was high, shipping was expensive, customs and duties were even more. Easily the price was double what I budgeted by the time it arrived. Getting back that money in the early days of my studio was not feasible.
If I could go back in time I would say buy the cheapest that will work, and expect to replace it as the quality of what you make improves and you are financially solvent. Cant eat anvils, they done make comfortable pillows and laws being what they are you can't drop it on the bill collector.
Owen Bush made a great comment on a post recently about the craze for anvils that are driving up prices. I am paraphrasing but what I took from his comment is that most of the anvils are worth far more than the things that are made on them.
So, I would say any ASO is a good buy at the start. Once your skill is greater than the tool you are using can accommodate, then upgrade. My 2 cents on a debate without end 😉