A hammer is among the oldest tools, and it has evolved over the years beyond simple constructions to meet the wide range of customer needs. A hammer is an important tool in mechanical operations and general purposes. The tool is used to remove scrap metal or create an impact on an object’s surface.
There is a wide range of hammers that varies in weight, size, and shape. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the various types of hammers before you make a purchase. Some modern hammers are highly specialized, and they can even handle jobs previously performed by axes.
Other types are quite versatile and enable you to perform different tasks. This article shall guide us on the various types of hammers. This information will help you make an informative decision on the type of hammer to buy.
Different Types of Hammers and Their Uses
A mechanic toolbox cannot be complete without a hammer. Hammers come in various structures, sizes, and shapes. The type of hammer you choose will depend on the operation. An average person can have two or three types of hammers in a workshop or garage.
Some of these tools are designed for versatility, while some are for special tasks. Now how do you know the type to buy? Here are the most common types of hammers and their uses:
1. Claw Hammer
A claw hammer is quite common, and it is most likely you have seen one or used one. These hammers are lightweight, and they weigh between 16 to 24 ounces. It is versatile, and you can apply it to a wide variety of tasks in any environment. It features one flat rounded side and a V-like structure on the other side for pulling nails.
The purpose of claw hammers is either removing nails or pushing pins and nails on a surface. It is designed as a lever for removing nails from the wood surface. The tool’s claw connects to the nail’s head, and with a strong wiggle, it helps to loosen and remove it. The flat side is used for hammering mails on an object or surface.
Claw Hammers are ideal for use with woodworks. However, it is not suitable for hard hammering on metal objects or surfaces. The handles of different claw hammer types are made of metal, wood, or fiberglass, sometimes covered with rubber.
2. Cross Pein Hammer
Cross Pein is also known as cross peen hammers. It is one of the auto-body hammer types. The peen in these handles is perpendicular to the handle. These hammers are not the typical types that we find in households. The use of this hammer depends on its weight which influences its head’s strength.
Cross-peen hammers come in different styles, sizes, and weights. The German style is the most common. It features a centered and balanced peen. Its overall shape is functional and minimalistic, making it ideal for a wide range of projects. The other cross-peen styles include the French cross-peen and Swedish cross-peen hammers.
Just like we said before, Sledgehammers look like club hammers, but they are much larger. Their handles are longer, and they weigh about 15 pounds. Some of the versions have smaller weights, but not like club hammers. Sledgehammers are demolition-specific.
Sledgehammers are of many types. They include dead blow, soft steel hammers, and machinists. Machinist has a downward-angled steelhead making it ideal for striking or splitting objects. Deadblow is a specialized hammer designed for partial demolition. This tool can strike with precision, and provide maximum impact and minimal surface damage thanks to its unique design.
Soft steel hammers are lighter compared to other sledgehammers and weigh around 10 pounds. Their handles are thinner and more extended. Sledgehammers, unlike club hammers, are suitable for commercial works.
4. Ball Peen Hammer
Ball Peen hammers are also called mechanic or engineer hammers. They feature a round and ball-shaped head designed for shaping metal surfaces. Metalworkers use the flat face of this auto-body hammer for impacting metal to harden its density.
Most ball peens weigh between 4 ounces to 2 pounds. Their handles are made of wood or hickory. The modern versions of ball peen hammers are made with vibration-proof handles. You can also use the tool for closing rivets, metal shaping, and rounding the edges of fasteners and pins.
5. Club Hammer
Club hammers are also called lump or drilling hammers. It is the smaller version of the sledgehammer. This hammer features double-sided flat heads, just like a sledgehammer. However, it is lighter and smaller than a sledgehammer, thus easy to use with one hand.
Club hammers can be used together with steel chisels to cut metal and stones. The hammer acts as an impact tool since its head will drive the chisel deep in the metal or stone being cut. It is ideal for driving nails in masonry work and other light demolition works. It is, however, not a great choice for commercial work.
6. Joiner’s Mallet
A joiners mallet is a type of traditional wooden hammer made with a solid wood block. The hammer is useful in inserting dowels, chiseling, project assembly shops, and general-purpose pounding operations. The best thing about this mallet hammer is that it is less damaging to metal or wood compared to traditional metal hammers.
Some Joiner’s Mallet heads are covered with leather making them even safer on metal and wooden surfaces. Its wide head spreads its impact over a wider area, thus minimizing the risk of dings and dents.
7. Hatchet Hammer
This is an unusual hammer since it is a combination of a hammer and an ax. One side of the hammer is a flat head, while the other one is an ax-shaped edge. The ax-shaped edge is used for cutting. This hammer can be used in a variety of industries which include mountaineering, carpentry, and construction.
The head is ratchet hammers made with steel and carbon alloy. The hammer weighs approximately 22 ounces. The handle is, in most cases, made of hickory and is 18 inches long.
8. Electrician Hammer
The electrician hammer is a variation of a claw hammer. This hammer type is heavier compared to the normal ones. It is beneficial in driving wire staples in areas that are tight and hard to reach. One side of the electrician hammer resembles the claw, while the other side has an extended head.
The extended head of the electrician hammer helps in impacting force. Its handle is made of hard fiberglass, which absorbs shock and helps in withstanding multiple impacts. The handles are covered with rubber to insulate electricity and prevent you from electric shock.
9. Chasing Hammer
Chasing hammers are different from normal hammers. The head of the hammer has two sides. One of the sides has a rounded peen, while the other features a flat impact head. The ball side is beneficial in smoothing or peening out dents.
The flat impact head is useful in indenting or chasing the metal. These specific hammer types are mostly used in making jewelry. Its head weighs around 3 ounces, while its handle is 2 to 3 inches long.
10. Mechanics Hammer
Mechanics hammers are one tool that should not miss in a mechanic hammer set. They are used for removing dents from panels and vehicles. The hammer features a long peen with a conical die and a flat head. Mechanics use it together with a dolly to get rid of dents on a car panel.
11. Welding Hammer
The welding hammer is also known as the chipping hammer. The hammer features a vertical pein on one side and a round chisel on the other. Its handle is a unique spiral design that resembles a spring. The spiral design assists in dissipating heat while the hammer removes leftover slag from welding points.
12. Geologist Pick Hammer
This hammer is also called a geological or a rock pick hammer. One side of the geologist pick hammer is a square head, while the other side resembles the pick or a chisel. The purpose of this hammer is to break apart or split rocks. The chisel is useful in soft rock splitting, forming small holes, and removing the vegetation.
The tool is used by field geologists whose main task is to determine rocks’ composition, nature, orientation, strength, and mineralogy. Geologists also use this type of hammer for uncovering fossilized remains. It is beneficial for scaling in impromptu measurements.
13. Shingle Hammer
It is also called a roofing hammer. One side of the shingle hammer’s head is a square head, while the other is a spike head. The spiked head features a claw at the end of the spike, which helps pull out nails.
The spike in this shingle hammer also helps put nail holes in shingles and slates, which are too fragile to put in nails without an existing hole. The spikes prevent the slates and shingles from breaking and shattering.
14. Tinners Hammer
Tinners hammers feature a pointed cross pen and a square head. They are beneficial in establishing a rolled edge and meeting seams in metalworking. You will mostly find this hammer in the metal roofing industry. The flat head is perfect for hammering rivets, while the rounded edge helps to sink them into the ceiling.
15. Lineman’s Hammer
Another hammer in the types of hammer pdf is the lineman’s hammer. It is perfect for driving larger screws and bolts in materials like electric poles. The lineman’s hammer is made to swing slower than the traditional claw or ball-peen hammer. This allows the hammerhead weight to do its job perfectly.
Lineman’s hammer features two rounded, solid hammerheads. Its handle has a rubber grip and absorbs shock. This tool is, however, not ideal for precise and repetitive work. It is mostly used for working on telephone poles.
16. Bushing Hammer
Bushing hammer is beneficial in providing texture to concrete and stones. This missionary tool exists in several forms, from manual to machine-powered. The bushing hammer features pyramids and small cones on the hammerhead, leaving an imprint on concrete or stones.
This hammer is ideal for creating rough texture to concrete or stones to make them less slippery or improve their appearance. The tool also increases the bonding effect when you apply new concrete on a concrete surface.
17. Brass Hammer
A brass hammer features a thin cylindrical brass head ideal for hitting steel pins in various materials without causing damage. This hammer can be used in various areas, but you can mostly find them in the woodworking industry and automotive shops. Brass hammers have less reverberation compared to steel hammers. This feature helps in the prevention of unwanted movements.
18. Tack Hammer
The tack hammer is also called an upholstery hammer. It is a lightweight hammer mainly used for installing upholstery fabric on furniture using small nails or tacks. The tack hammer has a flathead on one side. The other side of the hammer is magnetized. This feature helps to position tacks or small nail removers such as claw hammers.
19. Blocking Hammers
Blocking hammers are one of the best autobody hammers. This heavy-duty tool is used to block or shape sheet metals to a specific appearance before settling into a flattened state. Blocking hammers helps to leave a blemish-free and beautiful metal surface.
Blocking hammers are useful in metal shops where that perform steel or aluminum-based projects. This hammer features a double-sized head where one side is cylindrical, and the other is square-shaped. Most of these hammers have a wooded handle.
20. Toolmakers Hammer
Toolmakers Hammer is among the most unusual-looking hammers. This tool is made with a high-powered magnifying lens located below the hammerhead. The lens is mounted on shock-resistant rubber.
The lens makes it easy for one to find your punch and strike zone when working. Toolmaker’s hammer is made with forged steel and chromium finish. The tool weighs approximately 4 ounces.
21. Power Hammers/Nail Guns
Nail guns are revolutionized hammers. They simplify the process of setting floorboards, stapling fabric, fitting nails, and driving nails in materials. This tool is quite useful when driving in a huge number of nails, especially when working on large projects. Power hammers will help to drive nails accurately and quickly.
Power hammers can carry out heavy-duty work like building garden decks and floorboard maintenance or light-duty work like upgrading picture frames or moldings. Therefore, these hammers can be used in DIY projects, carpenter shops, construction sites, or any place where you require driving in multiple nails.
How to Correctly Use a Hammer
Almost all households have a hammer, and you have probably used it at one time in your life. The tool is easy to use and is beneficial in almost all types of projects. It is, however, crucial to learn how to use a hammer for maximum effectiveness and safety correctly. Here are tips on how you can use a hammer easily without injuring yourself:
Step 1: Choose the Right Hammer
A hammer is not just a hammer. I have heard some people ask how many types of hammers there are in the market. There are many types of hammers and what we have discussed above is just a number. Some hammers can do various jobs, while some specialty hammers are only designed for particular tasks.
Therefore, before you even think of using a hammer, ensure you have the right type for the kind of task. Using the right tool will help you to perform the job easily and effectively.
Step 2: Wear Eye Protection
Your safety is quite important when using a hammer. Some people tend to ignore this since hammers are not power tools. However, nails can deflect and move toward your face, or pieces of wood or concrete can splinter off and go flying, causing harm to your eyes.
Make sure that you wear a pair of eye protectors each time you hammer, and it will protect you from great harm. The safety eyewear should cover your entire eye and have the strap tightly secured.
Step 3: Inspect and Clean the Hammer
Before you start using a hammer, inspect it to ensure it is in the best working condition. Do not use rusty hammers, those with splintering wood or loosehead, for it can lead to injuries. A loose hammerhead can fly off when swinging, causing serious problems.
If the hammer is dirty, clean it first before use. You can easily wipe off debris, oil, or dirt with a clean cloth. Debris or oil on a hammer can make it slip out of your hands when hammering. Do not use water to clean the hammer, for it can cause it to rust.
Step 4: Hold the Hammer Correctly
The right method to hold a hammer is by gripping it at the end of its handle. Wrap the handle with your fingers and let the thumb sit on the shaft. This gives you a lot of control when hammering.
The thumb position will assist you in controlling the amount of force you use to drive in the nail. Ensure that you hold the hammer tightly, so it does not slip from your hands. Squeeze its handle firmly, so it stays in place when hammering.
Step 5: Hold the Nail Correctly
Most people make a mistake by holding the nail down at the bottom. In case you miss the nail’s head when hammering, the hammer will most probably land on your fingers. Hold the nails near the top, which reduces the risk of hurting your fingers in case of a mishap.
Step 6: Swing the Hammer Correctly
Before you swing the hammer, ensure nothing is hanging or a person behind you. Line up the nail and the hammer before swinging for s straight and solid strike. Hit the nail properly with the right amount of force. The strike should neither be too soft nor too hard.
Step 7: Follow Up Consistently
Pound the nail with consistent force and pace until it properly sets and flushes to the wood. The more you use a hammer, the process becomes more comfortable, and your efficiency increases.
NB: Sometimes, when hammering nails, they may cause the wood to split. To avoid this, you can blunt the nail’s tip before hammering them in. Blunt nails sever the wood fibers instead of bending them, thus preventing splitting. One way of blunting the nail is by tapping its tip lightly using a hammer.
Another way to prevent wood splitting and make it easy to drive in nails in dense woods is by drilling a pilot hole. Use a smaller bit than the nail you intend to use to drill the pilot hole. Pilot holes reduce the nail-holding power. This technique is ideal in the installation of trim moldings or other works that do not need maximum holding power.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What Is the Most Popular Type of Hammer?
The most common type of hammer is the claw hammer. One side of its head is flat-rounded, while the other side has a fork or V-like structure. This hammer is quite versatile, and that is why it is found in almost all homes and professional toolboxes. The tool can be used for driving in pins or removing nails.
Claw hammers weigh between 16 to 24 ounces. Their handles are made of wood or steel. In some cases, the handle is covered with rubber for a more comfortable grip. Its smooth rounded head ensures clean finishing, while the claw enables the hammer to remove nails easily.
Q: For What Is a Hammer Used?
Most people know hammers for driving in brads, nail pins, and other fasteners. There are, however, many types of hammers designed for specific tasks. Hammers this day are designed for their specific use. For instance, we have hammers for mechanics, geologists, welders, electricians, and so on.
The most popular type is the claw hammer, and it is used for driving in and removing nails. Other hammers can be used for shaping or bending metal, riveting, finishing, upholstering, assembling furniture, cabinet making, nail pulling, framing, and general carpentry.
Q: What Is Thor’s Hammer Called?
Thor’s hammer is called Mjolnir. This means the “hammer of the thunder god,” and it is a symbol of power. This hammer weighs around 42.3 pounds. Thor’s hammer was mainly used as a religious amulet.
Q: What Is a Straight Peen Hammer?
Straight peen hammers are also known as heavier cross hammers. They are mainly useful in shaping metal. They have also identified ad mechanics or engineer’s hammers. A straight peen features a wedge oriented parallel to its handle. They are also used for closing rivets, starting nails, or rounding edges of fasteners and metal pins.
Q: What Is the Most Common Hammer Type Used in an Automotive Shop?
Most hammers used in automobile shops are under a classification known as mechanist hammers. The most common types include dead blow hammer, club hammer, ball peen hammer, claw hammer, sledgehammer, cross peen hammer, blocking hammer, and straight peen hammer.
With the many types of hammers out there, you need to be cautious when selecting. It is recommendable to use the right hammer designed for the type of task you are performing. Some hammers, such as claw hammers, are quite versatile and can be used in many projects.
However, some specialty hammers, such as welding hammers, electrician hammers, geologist hammers, and scaling hammers, are only made for specific purposes. When working on large projects that require you to drive lots of nails, you can consider the nail gun. This powered hammer makes the work easier, quicker, and more efficient.
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