Welcome to MSC, this site is screen reader friendly.

  • Help
    • 1-800-645-7270
    • Live Chat
    • Help Center
    • About Us
  • Cart
Help

24/7 Customer Care

  • 1-800-645-7270
  • Live Chat
  • Help Center
  • About Us

Hammers Technical Information

Shop All Hammers
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

Claw

  • 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

Nailing

Nailing
  • 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

Framing

Flaming
  • 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

Blacksmith

Blacksmith
  • 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

Drilling

Drilling
  • 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.

Engineer

Engineer
  • 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

Sledge

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