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Picking the right hammer makes work easier.


Claw Hammer

Claw hammer 2825-2.jpg

  • Most popular hammer for DIY
  • General purpose hammer
  • Nail pulling claws on one side
  • Various weights, with 12oz - 16oz being most popular

Cross Pein Hammer

Cross pein hammer 2771-2.jpg

  • One flat face, one cold chisel face
  • Lighter hammer, 4oz & 8oz typical weights
  • For driving pins & small nails
  • Easier to use & more precise than a claw hammer
  • Limited hitting force available

Ball Pein Hammer

Ball-peen hammer 380mm.jpg

  • One rounded striking face, one flat
  • For metalwork
  • also known as engineer's or machinist's hammer
  • The rounded face is used for shaping sheet metal

Club Hammer

Club hammer 105-8.jpg

  • Fairly heavy hammer
  • 2 flat faces
  • 1kg & 4lb are common sizes
  • also known as a lump hammer, or baby sledge
  • the weight makes some hammering tasks much easier

Sledge Hammer


  • Very heavy hammer
  • Long handle for maximum swing
  • For serious violence, eg demolition, concrete breaking, splitting trunks with wedges, etc

Dead Blow Hammer

Dead blow hammer 2.jpg

  • No rebound
  • Hollow head contains shot
  • used for car work
  • more at Wikipedia

Copper Face Hammer

Round copper mallet.jpg

  • Does not produce sparks
  • For high flammability situations
  • a lot less likely to mark metal surfaces than steel hammers.

Brick Hammer

  • 1 flat face, 1 masonry chisel face
  • For brickwork

Scutch Hammer

  • a development of the brick hammer
  • Replaceable toolface
  • For brickwork & masonry
  • Cuts & dresses bricks

Chipping Hammer

  • Spring handle isolates mechanical shock
  • Chisel & flat striking faces
  • Removes arc welding debris

Drywall Hammer

  • Serrated face
  • Small blade for cutting board

Fencing Pliers

  • Hammer, wire cutter, wire twister, tensioner / puller all in one.
  • For wire fencing


  • Flat head on a pole
  • For vertical use
  • For compacting bases
  • Whacker plates & rollers are a lot more popular for most jobs.

Post Rammer

Post rammer
  • For hammering posts in
  • A large hollow tube with a closed top end plus handles
  • Placed on the post, its sides prevent it coming off the post in use

Framing Hammer


  • Larger claw hammer, heavier & longer
  • Gives extra force for framing work

Shingler's Hammer

  • Waffle face
  • Hatchet type blade for breaking slates
  • For roofing

Tack Hammer

Hammer upholstery2.jpg

  • Upholstery hammer
  • Small light hammer for tacks & brads
  • Magnetised face holds fixings

Rock Pick

  • Pointed spike on rear side
  • For stonework


Hatchet 622-7.jpg

  • Hammer and small axe in one
  • 1-3 lbs


Wooden Mallet

Wooden mallet.jpg

  • Large rectangular head mallet
  • For hammering materials that would be damaged by a metal hammer, eg wooden canes & posts

Carving Mallet

  • Round wooden head
  • For use with hand carving tools

Rubber Mallet

Rubber mallet 2770-2.jpg

  • Non-bounce rubber head
  • Softer than wooden mallets

Plastic Mallet

  • Non-porous plastic face


Hammer handles may be:

  • Wood
  • Fibreglass
  • Steel
  • One piece steel construction

Wooden handles are the cheapest, and usually come loose eventually, though it may take decades. They then require fixing with a wedge.

One piece steel hammers have no joint between head and handle, and never come loose. They are the highest cost type of hammer construction.

Handle Replacement

How to fit a wood handle

Hammer Safety

A lot of minor injury is caused by hammers hitting fingers. Either keep the taps gentle while fingers are in the way, or use pliers to hold the nail.

A misstrike can send a nail flying. Use safety eyewear. This is important with masonry nails, which are especially prone to missile-like behaviour, Sledge hammers can also impart huge energy to pieces of debris.

Hammers with a damaged head face tend to push nails sideways in use, increasing work times, increasing finger injuries and launching more nail missiles. Belt sand or replace them.

Hammers have hardened heads, and 2 hammers should never be struck against each other.

Loose heads can be dangerous, and should be repaired with a wedge. A flying head can cause severe injury.

  • Wood handled hammers are very prone to loosening in time
  • One piece metal hammers are immune to loose heads.


Metals, Brinell hardness:

  • 600-700 Hardened Tool Steel
  • 279 Soft steel
  • 150-190 Nickel Aluminum Bronze (Alloy #958)
  • 134 Malleable iron
  • 100 Yellow Brass
  • 70 Aluminium
  • 40-50 Copper
  • 30-40 Lead

Wood (Values vary significantly, these are only typical)

  • 2.6 Birch
  • 6.9 Hickory

Plastics, from harder to softer: Gar-Dur Plastic White Nylon BASA Urethane

See Also