The Mallet 1 is the lowest priced pedal and comes with steel wings, Chromoly axle, aluminium body and a weight of 540g. The Mallet 2 and Mallet 3 pedals are also aluminium bodied pedals but have been machined down to reduce the weight. The Mallet 2 weighs in at around 470g. The Mallet 3 comes with 6al/4v titanium wings that reduces the weight even further to somewhere around the 435g mark.
While they look like standard platform pedals they are not designed to be used with regular shoes. You need to clip in to get the proper performance that you would otherwise get with a standard platform pedal.
Some people feel that you need to service a set of Crank Brothers Mallet pedals at regular intervals, although this can sometime be up to the person using them. You will want to do a bearing/bushing service every couple of years but this is a fairly simple exercise.
Something that is often talked about when it comes to the Mallets is the amount of float that you get with them. Some people love the extra float and others dislike it. Float refers to the amount of movement your foot gets before it is released and with the Mallets that amount differs depending on the cleat you use. One cleat has a release angle set at 15 degrees and the other is at 20 degrees. You can alter the release angle by swapping the cleats from one foot to the other.
The Mallets are designed so that you will get a lot more movement of the feet before they release which some people thinks feels more natural.
The initial Crank Brothers Mallet was the Mallet C and this was followed by the introduction of the Mallet M which is a lighter bodied pedal made from magnesium. The only problem with the softer metalled magnesium Mallet was that it was susceptible to wearing both from the shoes and from the way the central spindle would rub against the sprung wings.
The newer Mallet 1, 2 and 3 pedals are now fully bushed which makes the need for servicing greatly reduced compared to the C and M.