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Hammer Time: A Look at Different Hammer Types and Their Uses

When you're working on pounding something in, a hammer is a hammer, right? Not necessarily. There are a wide variety of specialty hammers for a range of purposes, some of which work for general use and some of which do not. Here's a quick rundown on the different types of hammers available today:

Different Hammer Types and Uses

Claw Hammer - When most people think of a hammer, this is the kind of hammer they're picturing. With a flat face, sometimes cross-hatched to provide a better "grip" on the nail's surface and a curved claw on the back for removing nails or prying up board ends, a claw hammer is the most widely-used hammer on the market and shows up in most tool kits on a regular basis.

Framing Hammer - Though it's very similar to the claw hammer in appearance, a framing hammer has a claw that is much less curved than you'll find on a claw hammer. This is because they're typically used for assembly rather than general purpose. To make up for the lack of leverage that a claw hammer's curve provides, these hammers also feature longer handles and are heavier to pack a stronger punch on every blow.

Ball Peen Hammer - Though they're used for a variety of purposes, the ball peen hammer is, at heart, a metalworking hammer. Used for peening rivets and other small metalworking tasks, the hammer has a flat face for flattening pieces of metal and a ball face that is half rounded to focus force on a very small area of metal, mushrooming it out to finish the connection the rivet holds in place. They also are designed to slip along the metal, so you'll have a harder time trying to drive nails with them.

Cross and Straight Peen Hammer - Used in metalworking, upholstery and cabinetmaking, a cross and straight peen hammer provides two different surfaces, one of which is used on metal and the other of which is often used to start tacks or panel pins. The straight part of the peen can be either in the same angle as the handle or perpendicular to it.

Cross Peen Pin Hammer - Lighter in weight than the cross and straight peen hammer, the cross peen pin hammer is a favorite of cabinetmakers and for joinery work. It can also be used in fine metalworking, such as miniature work and jewelry making.

Brick Hammer - In terms of profile, a brick hammer resembles a framing hammer, but the similarities stop there. Instead of a claw, the brick hammer has a chisel, used to score a brick with a line that is then broken using the face of the hammer.

Chasing Hammer - Another metalworking hammer, a chasing hammer is used to spread out a sheet of metal or put a curve into it. They'll often have two different faces on them and can be used in jewelry making.

Welders Hammer - Resembling a cross between an old-fashioned wood stove tool and a hammer, the welder's hammer has a coil that helps dissipate heat and prevent burns, typically with a pointed tip on one end of the head and a chisel on the other. 

Club Hammer - This is essentially a sledge hammer with a shorter handle for working in smaller areas or when the full leverage of a sledge hammer isn't needed.

Sledge Hammer - When you really need to drive something home, a sledge hammer is the way to go. With a head starting out at about eight pounds and a long handle, this hammer gives you the advantage of leverage in delivering a powerful blow.

With this level of detail, you can see that choosing the right hammer for the job isn't nearly as simple as grabbing one out of the tool kit and going to work. Specialized jobs mean specialized tools, so get the right one from our hand tool section. At Wallboard Supply Company, we've been supplying the four-state region for over 40 years and are happy to help answer any questions you may have. 


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Photo Credit: 

http://www.stanleytools.com/en-US/products/hand-tools/hammers/sledge/212-lb-jacketed-fiberglass-engineer-hammer/56-202

http://www.stanleytools.com/en-US/products/hand-tools/hammers/ball-pein/16-oz-wood-handle-ball-pein-hammer/54-016

rockindave1 / Foter / CC BY

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Wallboard Supply Company is a third generation, family run business that has been serving New England's building needs since 1970. Bob Filion started the company with a commitment to provide quality drywall and finishing products with unmatched customer service. The company has grown over the years, expanding its' product range, but never wavering from its' core values.