Different Types of Hammers and Their Uses

Whenever I see a hammer, it reminds me of either Thor or Triple H. Likewise; they use two different hammers, there are other types of hammers as well.

Different work requires using different types of hammers. Not every hammer functions the same. Although all the hammers can hammer materials, they do have other functions too.

If you are confused about which hammer to choose that will help you to do your job effectively, this guide to the types of hammers, will surely benefit you.

Parts of a Hammer

No matter how many hammers you see, by design, you can always tell that is a hammer. The basic design and shape of hammers have not been changed for hundreds of years.

Hammers heads are made of metal. That is the main part that has many variations, and that is the reason why there are several types of hammers.

A hammer’s head is attached to the handle through a hole known as the eye, and it is secured by wedges. The part which is used for hammering is known as the poll, hammer flat face and the other side which is smaller is known as the peen.

Types of Hammers

I'm going to discuss about hammers focusing on their type of work. It will be easy to have an idea which section you need to look on.

A. Hammers for Metal Work

The hammers below are used for metal work.

1. Raising Hammer

It hammers against a metal or wooden stake and gives hollow shape. Both the sides of the head have a rectangular cross-section.

A raising hammer is used for giving shape to the sheet metals to a cylindrical and concave shape like vases, bowls.

2. Forming Hammer

Forming hammers faces are slightly doomed that matches to the shape of the stake on which the hammering will be done.

These hammers are used on the inside of a metal curved shaped surface to expend or sink into the expected refine shape.

3. Planishing Hammer

The hammers of this type have a convex shape head and a cylindrical die on the other end. This hammer can exert enough force to even damage a metal surface to some extent.

Typically, it is used for giving shape to the metal and make it even smoother.

4. Creasing Hammer

The shape of this hammer gets narrower on the faces from its cheek. Creasing hammer are used for making creasing on a metal disc which helps to bend the metal into curvature.

5. Embossing Hammer

These hammers look like forming hammers; expect for the heads are round shaped on both the ends and quite lengthy.

An embossing hammer constantly strikes the metal from its back for raising zones.

6. Chasing Hammer

Chasing hammers are little different than usual hammers when it comes their shapes. They got a long round handle with hammerheads of a flat impact area followed by a ball-peen.

These hammers are used on small metal work-piece to give proper shape.

7. Riveting Hammer

The name tells itself where the hammer is used. One end of this hammer has a square shaped head and used for general hammering. And the other end is used for the riveting head.

8. Goldsmith’s Hammer

This hammer is for jewelry hammering purpose. It comes with a wedge shape, and the other end is round flat. If you need a hammer for light forging or riveting, this might be the one you are looking for.

9. Cross Peen Hammer

It is quite similar regarding its shape with a regular type of hammer that most of the households have. One end of this hammer is parallel shaped which can be used for tapping without accidentally hitting the fingers. And the other end is the flat face for regular hammering or forging.

10. Ball Peen Hammer

This is the most widely used hammer you see. The peen of the hammer is ball-shaped, and another end is flat.

Ball peen hammers are used by the engineers and general households for spreading rivet heads, giving a round shape to the edges of metal fasteners and pins. Of course, you can use it for regular forging purpose as well.

Most of these hammers have a wooden handle. But these days, they come with a developed handle that reduces vibrations during hammering.

B. Hammers for Carpentry

Carpentry hammers are used for constructing and repairing building structures made mostly from wood and other soft materials.

1. Claw Hammer

It is the most common type of hammer used for carpentry purposes. One end of the hammerhead is flat shaped which is used for flushing nails. And the other end is of claw and fork-shaped which is used for removing nails. Claw shape allows the hammer to rock while removing nails.

These hammers are best for woodworking, finishing and prying purposes.

2. Trim Hammer

Trim hammers are lightweight and compact which gave them popularity among carpentry industry. Its handle got a delicate finish than the traditional nail and claw hammers. Also, the hammerhead got polished steel and adequate texture.

Using this hammer, you can easily trim nails without affecting the surface surrounding it.

3. Framing Hammer

By appearance, anyone can get confused between a framing hammer and claw hammer. The difference between these two hammers is that the claw hammer has a curved shaped head and the trim hammer has a straight head. And its weight is double compared to a claw hammer.

This hammer can trim nails without affecting the surface around it.

4. Bricklayers Hammer

These type of hammers are also known as Stonemason's hammer. Typically, they are used for cutting brick and concrete masonry unit.

5. Prospector Hammer / Geologist Rock

Paleontologist and geologist use these hammers for digging out fossils. They come with a traditional flat face that works for breaking stones, and C chisel shaped face is designed for complicated and specific works.

6. Brick Hammer

These hammers are very popular among construction workers. Mainly, a brick hammer is known as a stonemason's hammer. Its flat face works great at breaking bricks and stones, and the chisel-shaped face comes handy at removing rough chips from materials' surface. 

7. Club Hammer

A club hammer is the smaller edition of a sledgehammer. It is used for breaking masonry and stones. In addition, club hammers do a great job at light demolition work. You can use them for driving nails as well.

8. Piton Hammer

Have you seen on TV people climbing on mountains using hammers? Those were the piton hammers that they used for climbing purpose. The head face has a metal spike that easily gets stuck into rocks by cracking them.                                                                                       

9. Scutch Hammer

Scutch hammer is another widely used hammer on construction sites. Mainly a scutch hammer is used for chiseling and cutting bricks and concretes, and removing mortar from paving and bricks.

There are two variations of these hammers. One comes with a single chisel, and another one is a double chiseled hammer.

10. Bushing Hammer

The shape of the bushing hammers is quite unusual. They mostly resemble zigzag like structure that imprints onto stones and concretes.

These hammers are used for texturizing stones and concretes. They are also used for decorating purposes. If there is any further work needed, bushing hammers are used for allowing greater adhesion.

11. Sledge Hammer

It is the type of hammer that Triple H used to bring into the ring. The size of its hammerheads is quite large, and the handle is longer than other hammers. Due to the massive size, sledgehammers are considered as the big fish within the hammer industry.

They are used to hammer on rocks, bricks, concretes, rods, other brittle materials that require a strong impact.

12. Roofing Hammer

These hammers are used mostly by roofing industries. The roof of your house had to dealt with these kind of hammers.

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13. Roofer Hammer

Roofer hammers are widely used for attaching wooden slates on the roof. The hammer spots a square flat face and a pointed peen to forge nails and creating holes to remove attachments. There is a groove in the middle of the cheek for removing nails.

14. Tinners Hammer

A tinners hammer comes with a square like flat face and a chisel on the peen. Some of them have cross peen head for spreading the rivet head.

These type of hammers are used for metal roofing works.

15. Electrical Hammers

The electricians use electrical hammers for various electrical fixing purposes.

16. Electrician Hammer

These hammers are similar to claw hammer by the appearance. As their job involves potential risks of electric shock, so their equipment needs to be shockproof. Therefore, these hammers are made of fiberglass that can absorb shocks as well as vibrations in case of an impact.

The curved face head is for removing nails and the flat face is for hammering the nails.

17. Line Man Hammer

These hammers are fully polished and have well build fiberglass handle that is capable of absorbing shocks and vibrations. The hammerhead has double rounded face head for various electrical hammering purposes.

18. Mechanical Hammer

These are the hammers that are used for various advanced mechanical works.

19. Hammer Drill

The hammer drill works by creating holes with its rotary drill and then quickly hammers with less efforts. These hammers are good for sudden hammering thrust onto brittle materials. They are electrically powered while some of them are operated through batteries. 

20. Steam Hammer

They are also known as drop hammers. These large sized hammers are mounted to a piston that moves within the cylindrical area. You will hardly find these type of hammers nowadays.

21. Jack Hammer

These hammers are the combination of a hammer and a pointy shaped tool or chisel that digs and breaks roads, concretes, stones, etc. Jack hammers are operated by compressed air while electric motors drive some of them.

22. Special Hammers

There are hammers for special using purposes. You might have seen many of them, but surely not all of them if you are researching about hammers first time.

23. Gavel Hammer

If you have been in a court hearing before, you must have seen judges seeking attention with a wooden hammer. These hammers are also used in public conferences. Gavel hammers have flat faces on both the heads that hit on sound blocks.

24. Reflex Hammer

Reflex hammers are used by the neurologists and orthopedic surgeons to test the patients’ tendon reflexes.

25. Rail Road Spiking Hammer

You will see these hammers only used in railroad tracks. They have hardened steel hammerheads which is elongated and pretty large with a long handle. Due to its size, it can create sufficient force for making an impact on railroad spikes. 

Safety Advises For Using Hammers

If you are using a hammer, then you probably dealing with tough works. Hammering includes leftover fragments, flying debris and other issues to consider. In addition, hammer-working environment is also potential thread to injuries. Therefore, safety is a must –

1. Wear goggles

When you remove nails, break concrete or other solid materials, make sure you wear protective goggles to save your valuable eyes from impacts.

2. Always use the head

Do not attempt to strike with the handle of your hammer. The handle is not tough enough to bear strong impacts. You might imbalance while holding the handle and cause the head to fall.

3. Roughen the hammerheads

The face of the hammer gets polished when you use. At one stage, it will slip of nails on strike. Therefore, periodically toughen the face with abrasive paper.

4. Use scrap wood

You do not want to ruin your delicate works with the hammering marks. To prevent that, use scrap wood and place it onto the surface you are about to hammer. Now you can hammer without making any damage.

5. Use the right hammer

To make things easy, always use the right hammer suitable for your work. You can prevent unwanted accidents as well if you avoid inappropriate hammers.

6. No claw hammer for hard surfaces

Do not use claw hammer if you need to hammer on hard surfaces.

7. Avoid using with the broken handle, cracked eyes or claws

If your hammer’s handle is broken or not tight enough, never in a lifetime attempt to use that hammer on any sort of work. There is a high risk of getting injured in that state.

Similarly, do not use a hammer that has cracked eyes and claws. Fix the hammer or buy another one before starting the hammer-work.

8. Grip the handle

Make sure the handle of your hammer has good grip onto it. Otherwise, you might end up throwing your hammer accidentally and cause injuries to people.

9. Maintenance

Your hammer needs some maintenance work too. Soak the wooden handle in water. It will expand the wood and tighten and secure the head further. Add new wedges if needed.

Final Words

That was a hell of types of hammers! Do not be surprised if you come across with a hammer that I have not listed.

There are more of them, and most of them are modified variants of what I have listed. But hopefully, you will find the suitable hammer from the list above.

Again, do not take safety measures lightly. Even if you are about to nail a pin, take proper cautions first.

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