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Hammers Technical Information

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Basics of... Hammers

Always choose the proper tool for the job. Hammers, mallets and other striking tools are among the most common hand tools around; they come in many types and sizes (hammers are sized by weight) depending on the specific design of their use. Some important things to consider when selecting a hammer:

Selection Criteria

Bevel: a bevel allows hammer claws to easily slip under nail heads that are either embedded or just close to the surface. A bevel or chamfer on the striking face will reduce the chance of chipping or damaging the face, making the hammer safer to use.
Handles & Grips: higher quality wooden handles are hickory and ergonomically shaped. Fiberglass and tubular steel hammers should include a vinyl or plastic grip molded to the handle to prevent slipping. Solid steel handles should feature an air-cushioned grip for shock absorption.
Hardness: forged steel heads are best for strength, while heat-treated heads ensure a hammer's durability and wear resistance.

Head Components

Claw: may appear curved or straight depending on the type of hammer selected. A curved-claw hammer will provide greater leverage for removing nails, while a rip or straight claw design is better suited for demolition work.
Eye: should provide a secure head to handle assembly when manufactured separately. Today however, many hammers are forged from one-piece of steel, eliminating any chance for the head to separate from the handle.
Face: typically considered the business end of the tool. Quality hammers will provide a larger striking surface (a.k.a. "face-space") than hammers of equivalent weight for surer strikes and easier, quicker nail driving.
Poll & Neck: absorbs the impact of each strike. Quality hammers incorporate a hot forge, heat treating process to insure exact tempering of the steel to produce a durable, high performance tool.

Contractor & Machinist Hammers


  • Used for general woodworking
  • Curved claw provides better leverage when removing nails
  • Straight or rip claw are primarily used in heavy or professional carpentry for ripping and framing work


  • 20 oz. or less
  • Less than 13 ½" in length
  • Curved, Straight or Rip Claw
  • Fiberglass / Wood / or Graphite Handle or one-piece Forged Steel


  • More than 16" in length
  • 10 oz. or more
  • Plain or Checkered Face
  • Rip Claw
  • One-piece Forged Steel or Wood Handle

Replaceable Face

Replaceable Face
  • Faces are made of a variety of materials including tough plastic, nylon, urethane, copper and rawhide
  • These different materials are used in applications that require a non-marring effect on various surfaces
  • In many quality hammers, the plastic faces are replaceable
  • Applications that require non-marring blows, such as automotive, jewelry work or furniture assembly, soft faced hammers should be used

Standard Soft Faced

Standard Soft Faced
  • Steel shot in head for dead blow feature
  • Non-sparking, non-marring
  • Commonly refered to as Stanley® Compo-Cast®

Ball & Cross Pein

  • Ball Pein: used in metalworking for riveting, center punching and soft metal shaping or with cold chisels for cutting and chipping work
  • Supplied with a wood, fiberglass or steel handle
  • Some variations may include steel shot in the hammer head to reduce bounce back
  • Heavy-duty Cross Pein hammers are for use with unhardened metals. Pein is designed for shaping and bending metals
Micrometer Pre-set

Demolition Hammers


  • Designed specifically for metal work, but work well for most HARD-HITTING applications
  • The key difference between Blacksmith Hammers and other Demolition hammers is the unique shape of the head


  • Intended for HARD-HITTING in confined spaces
  • Compact and extremely durable
  • Drilling hammers are forged with hardened & tempered steel heads
  • Typically available in 2 to 3 lbs.


  • Similar to drilling hammers, in as much as they are designed for HARD-HITTING applications. However, these hammers are slightly heavier; ranging from 2.5 to 4 lbs.
  • Longer handle for extended striking applications in open areas


  • Large, heavy hammers designed for jobs where great force is required, i.e. driving stakes, fence posts, cement demolition
  • Octagonal head with flat face
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