Buying a Hammer
Buying a hammer for the first time may be confusing for the beginning DIY person as there are many different types of hammers on the market.
For example these include:
- claw hammer,
- tack hammer
- ball peen hammer
- sledge hammer
Each hammer is designed for a specific purpose.
Over the years I have accumulated a number of different hammers – claw hammers, tack hammer, sledge hammers, wooden and rubber mallets.
When buying a hammer take into consideration the following points.
- Does the hammer feel comfortable in your hand and not too heavy or large?
- Is there muscle tension in your arm after a few minutes?
- Will you be able to use it for hours on end if necessary without getting an aching arm?
The claw hammer commonly comes with a steel head and either a wood, fibreglass/composite or steel handle.
Each type of hammer has advantages and disadvantages as shown below:
Wooden Handle Hammers
- Lighter – weight 16 – 20 oz (450grams to 500 grams)
- Cheaper $ 5 – 20
- Suitable for occasional use
- Wood expands and shrinks with changes in temperature- may split
- Cheap wooden handled hammers may come loose from the head of the hammer
Composite Handle Hammers – (Fibreglass, Graphite, Titanium)
- Unlikely to split
- Weight 16 – 24oz (450grams to 580 grams)
- Composite handle doesn’t expand or contract like wood
- Rubber grip can split may need replacing
- With heavy use head may dislodge from steel claw head
Steel Handle Hammers
- Handle and head all molded into one piece – handle cannot dislodge from head
- Suited to heavy long-term use
- Heavier than wood or composite 20 oz – 24 oz hammer
- Rubber grip may split over time
- Tack hammers are used in furniture making. However I find mine particularly useful for driving small short nails into ply or similar material.
- Sledge hammers come in both short and long handles. They usually have a wide steel head and because of the weight of the head are excellent for driving in wooden pegs or garden stakes.
- Mallet can have either a hard round rubber head which can be used for tapping blocks/pavers into place. Another type of mallet used in DIY can also have a rectangular shape wooden head which is used in woodworking to gently knock tight joins into place.
You may also like to check out: