If I Had A Hammer

If I Had A Hammer

When Pete Seeger wrote “If I Had a Hammer” in 1949, a contractor’s tool box looked a lot different than it does today. Every time I visit a building supply store, I’m amazed at the variety of tools that are out there. As fasteners, technology, and building products evolve, we are required to use specialty tools more often than we’ve had to in the past.

One tool that practically every contractor does have in their toolbox is a hammer. But did you know that there are dozens of varieties of hammers to choose from? Below I’ll feature some of the more common hammers and what they are used for.

Claw Hammer

Claw Hammer

A claw hammer is a tool primarily used for pounding nails into, or extracting nails from, some other object. Generally, a claw hammer is associated with woodworking but is not limited to use with wood products. If you are going to only have one hammer in your home, this would be the one.
Ripping Hammer

Ripping Hammer

A rip (straight claw) hammer is often the choice of professionals because it is usually a slightly heftier tool that is used to rip apart wood that has been nailed together. Framing hammers also typically have a straight claw and can be used for ripping as well.
Framing Hammer

Framing Hammer

Framing hammers, used for framing wooden houses, are heavy duty rip hammers with a straight claw. The hammer heads typically weigh from 20 to 32 ounces for steel heads, and 12 to 16 ounces for titanium heads. Many framing hammers have a milled face which reduces slippage when striking nails.
Demo Hammer

Demo Hammer

A Demo Hammer is a multi-functional tool designed to overcome even the toughest demolition job. With an over-sized strike face for breaking through drywall and an elongated claw curve for easy prying of nails, standard hammer features have been optimized for demolition applications.
Mini Hammer

Mini Hammer

A mini hammer is smaller version of a claw hammer. This is a great hammer for small spaces, hanging pictures, and putting flat-pack furniture together. Mini hammers are light weight and are small enough to fit in most kitchen drawers.
Ball Peen (Pein) Hammer

Ball Peen (Pein) Hammer

A ball-peen (also spelled ball-pein) hammer, also known as a machinist’s hammer, is a type of peening hammer used in metalworking. It is distinguished from a cross-peen hammer, diagonal-peen hammer, point-peen hammer, or chisel-peen hammer by having a hemispherical head.
Drywall Hammer

Drywall Hammer

Drywall hammers are generally less than a pound. They usually weigh about 12 – 13 ounces. Their rounded design helps prevent unnecessary nicks and dents in the drywall paper surface. The hatchet-like tail on the back side of the hammer originated as a tool for plaster workers to chop wood lath strips quickly.
Shingler's Hammer

Shingler's Hammer

A shingler’s hammer is designed for roofing installers. The blade edge is for splitting wood shakes/shingles & typically has a nail notch for removing old nails. The strike face is designed to set roofing nails, while the dowel provides the user with a gauge to set the reveal of each shingle.
Rubber Mallet

Rubber Mallet

A rubber mallet is a general use tool which can be used for many different jobs. They are much lighter and cheaper than metal mallets and are much safer to use. A rubber mallet is the most commonly used for impacting on another object.
Engineer's Hammer

Engineer's Hammer

An engineer’s hammer, also known as drilling hammer or a baby sledge hammer, is a tool used for heavy hammering or demolition work. An engineer’s hammer weighs from one to five pounds. It has handle that it about 8 inches long – much shorter than that of a normal sledge hammer – made of wood, fiberglass, or steel.
Dead Blow Hammer

Dead Blow Hammer

A dead blow hammer is a specialized mallet helpful in minimizing damage to the struck surface and in limiting peak striking force, with minimal elastic rebound from the struck surface.
Tack Hammer

Tack Hammer

A tack hammer (also called an upholstery hammer) is a lightweight hammer used for securing upholstery fabric to furniture frames using tacks or small nails. Usually, one face of the hammer is magnetized to aid in placement of tacks.
Sledgehammer

Sledgehammer

A sledgehammer is a tool with a large, flat, often metal head, attached to a lever (or handle). The size of its head allows a sledgehammer to apply more force than other hammers of similar size. Along with the mallet, it shares the ability to distribute force over a wide area.
Soft Face Hammer

Soft Face Hammer

Soft face hammers and mallets are made of various non-ferrous materials (wood, rawhide, rubber, plastic, copper, brass, lead, etc.). Heads are cylindrically shaped with two flat striking faces. Similar to dead blow, these hammers are designed to eliminate bounce-back and prevent marring.
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