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Types of hammers

Hammers are available in many sizes, shapes, and weights. Different uses require different styles. You only really need one or two types of style for your home.

Although Hammer heads’ shape has not changed significantly over the years, modern materials have been used in the handle as well. Handles were traditionally made of wood that was attached to the head via a hole. This allowed them to be easily changed if needed. Modern hammers have modern materials. Handles are often built into the heads, often with a shock absorber.

Claw Hammer

The most used hammer, this hammer can be used for general tasks. Available with a wood (often hickory), steel-fiber or metal handle. The most used weights range from 455-680g to 16-24oz. The claw is usually curved with a V’ cutout to draw nails out of wood. The claw can also be used to raise floorboards or any other place where a lever may be required.

Ball Pein

The pein is an engineering tool. It is usually used by engineers. Ball pein hammers are available in sizes 55-1105, 4 oz to 2 Lb. 110g – 165g (11 oz – 2 lb) are best for general usage. The handles are made of wood, most commonly Ash or Hickory.

Straight Pein

Peins are used for shaping metal. They can be parallel to or at right angles with the handle. The cross-pein is the most practical domestically. Here, the pein can also be used to create panel pins or tacks. Handles are usually made from wood, but more often Ash.

Cross Pein Pin Hammer

The Cross and Straight Pein hammer comes in a lighter version, which is great for cabinet and light joinery. Weight 55g (4oz).

Club Hammer

Lump Hammers are also known as double-faced hammers. They can be used for light demolition and driving steel chisels. Safety glasses and gloves should be worn as debris is likely to fly. It is best to use it for domestic work at 1135g (2.25 lb). Handles are typically made of wood or Hickory.

Sledge Hammers

These are used to do heavier jobs, like driving stakes or breaking up concrete or stone. For lighter jobs, only the head can be used. However, for more difficult work, the Hammer is swung as an axe. Wear protective clothing. Safety glasses are recommended.

Joiner’s Mallet

Useful for driving chisels or tapping wood joints together. Note the tapered head to ensure correct contact with the work. Both the handle and the head are typically made of wood.

Soft faced Hammers

There are many types to choose from, including those with hard or soft rubber faces and those made of plastic or copper. There are a variety of interchangeable faces available for some types. This is great for striking materials like chrome wings outs. This can sometimes be used as a replacement for a mallet to do cabinet work.

Special Hammers

Specialized hammers are available to suit the specific needs of different trades. For example, a Brick Hammer is used to strike a bolster or split bricks. A Woodcarving Mallet has a rounded body. Veneer Hammer is used for pressing and tapping veneers. Upholsterer’s Hammer is used for driving tacks, nails in tight spaces. Sprig Hammer is used for picture frame makers.

Powered nails

These make it easy to fit staples and nails. They are perfect for situations where there are many nails to be attached, like fixing floorboards. They come in a range of sizes, from lightweight (for fixing edges moldings, picture frames, etc.) to heavy-duty nailers that are used to fix floors and garden decking. These can be powered either by compressed air or electricity.

Advice for using hammers

  • Use the right hammer to do the job. It will make your job easier and save you from possible damage.
  • Never touch nails with the side of a hammer. These points can be damaged as the metal is not as hardened to the striking face.
  • You can use scrap wood to attach delicate work. This will prevent any damage to the workpiece.
  • A nail punch is used to sink nails in the timber. Again, this will protect your work piece. A nail punch has a flat (or slightly concave) end to fit the nail head, unlike other punches which have a pointed end.
  • The handle is held in place by steel wedges. Make sure to check them regularly. The handle of a timber tree can shrink when exposed to dry conditions.
  • If the handle of timber becomes loose, immerse the head in warm water overnight. This will cause the handles to expand and tighten.
  • If your hammer seems to slip off the nails, you can roughen up the head with medium abrasive papers.
  • Always wear safety glasses while driving masonry nails or breaking up concrete.