Different types of hammers: a professional guide
There is a hammer designed specifically for almost any job, and hammer manufacturers continue to work with new designs and materials to make sure the hammers you select will do the job, be easy to use and last longer.
For example, improvements in claw hammers have increased the curve of the claw so it cradles 2 x 4s. A double bevel provides more clearance so claw hammers slip easily under nail heads at the surface. The secondary bevel grips nails of all sizes.
A bevel on the striking face will reduce the chance of chipping the face with off-center strikes. A properly crowned striking face drives nails flush without marring the wood surface, and minimizes nail deflection and bending.
Although many professionals still prefer a hammer with a wooden handle because of its shock absorbency, lighter weight and good balance, steel and fiberglass handles are one of the construction tools preferred by pros and construction workers for their added strength and durability in tough applications.
Among the different types of hammers, the most durable hammer is a single piece, such as a titanium-handled hammer, in which the head and the handle are forged from the same piece of metal. With no joint to break, these hammers are almost indestructible. Wood and rubber implants in the head of steel-handled hammers reduce vibration to eliminate the “sting” when the hammer strikes. Whether you prefer wood, fiberglass or steel, pick a handle that’s comfortable.
Try before you buy to be sure the hammer has good balance. Good balance will create less stress on you and help eliminate some of the common injuries associated with using a hammer.
Facts about different types of hammers
- Never hit nails with the side of a hammerhead. The metal on the side is not hardened as much as the striking face and could be damaged.
- If the handle is held in the hammerhead by steel wedges, check regularly to be sure the wedges are tight. Wood can shrink when it’s dry, and the handle can loosen. If that happens, place the head in water overnight to expand the wood handle and tighten the connection.
- Never strike a hardened steel surface, concrete or stone with a claw hammer. Metal chips can result in injury.
- Never use a hammer with a loose, cracked or broken handle or with a chipped, cracked or mushroomed face.
Strike the surface squarely – avoid glancing blows.
If a hammer tends to “slip” off nails, roughen the face with a medium abrasive paper.
Always use a hammer that’s the right size and weight for the job; it will make the job easier and you’ll work more efficiently.
Guide to hammers
|Claw hammer||The most popular general purpose style. The striker crowned side removes the nails flush without damaging the surface of wood. Double bevel ears provide more clearance for the nail heads and grab any size nail.||Weigh 7-24 ounces
|Carpenter hammer||Heavy duty construction. It has a straight ear for the extractions. Use only with no hardened, common nails or finishes.|
It has heavy heads, long and expensive milled or handles in the form of grille, grab the head of the nail and reduce the effect of inclined holes and nails that fly. Some have a magnetized slot to hold the nails along the top edge of the firing surface.
|Ball hammer||To shape metals and close rivets. The mouth is round.||Weigh
|Hammer rivet||To carry out and expand rivets. Firing flat surface with rounded cross mouth||Weigh
|Drywall hammer||Dado tablarrocas and nailing. The face is crowned and slotted for nailing without tearing the paper.|
Notch in the blade to remove exposed nails.
|Tack hammer||For jobs that require a lighter touch.|
Polished magnetic face that holds and places the tacks. The flat opposite face is used to guide the tacks.
|Hammer for masons||To place or break bricks and for descaling the mortar from the brick. It provides accurate blows that break the brick.|
It has a curved, like a chisel and a square and small firing surface.
|Rotary Hammer||For minor demolition and to guide masonry nails and steel chisels.|
Knurled handle for a better grip.
Solid forged head resists fractures and chipped.
|Sledgehammer||Used for heavy work, such as guide stakes or break concrete, stone or masonry.||Weigh 2-0
|Harness||Used for impact materials when a steel face could cause damage. Available with heads of copper, plastic or soft and hard rubber that will not harm.||Weigh up to