What is The Best Hammer for Me?
Options, options, options...
Choosing the right hammer for you can be a complicated decision to make - ultimately it's about choosing what meets your needs! Unless you're the mighty God of Thunder, I'm sorry to say that Mjolnir may not be the one for you (unless you're worthy, that is!). Those needs may warrant a more basic and generic hammer, or a hammer with a specific purpose or function. Regardless, today we are going to help you figure out which hammer is the best for you!
Where Do I Start?
First off, let's look at the different types of common hammers that exist and what purpose they serve!
- Soft Mallets: Usually has a brass or copper head, making it softer than most other metals - meaning no sparks and less damage. Also suitable for welding since they can be used as backing plates, because it won't stick as much with copper.
- Chisel Mallets: Commonly used to hit chisels for use in wood-working.
- Rubber Mallets: Mainly used as they won't damage what you're hitting.
- Dead-Blow Hammers: These contain lead pellets which prevents bouncing and allow for more single-hit purposes - often used with chisels as well.
- Engineering Hammer: Essentially a smaller version of a sledge hammer.
- Blacksmith Hammer: Fairly recognizable, has one head for striking objects, and another for stretching metal whilst it's hot.
Other Common Hammers
- Sledge Hammers: These are used almost exclusively for heavy-duty jobs, needing a higher force hit on an object. They have a flat and heavy head, with a long, arm-length handle. This creates a perfect mixture to hit stuff really hard, with great success!
- Welding/Metal-Working Hammer: Mainly used to chip away slag from a weld. Different metal-working hammers all have different heads depending on the type of body-work you'd ideally be doing, all different shapes and sizes!
- Magnetic/Tack Hammer: Normally has two identical-looking heads with one that is magnetic. That head allows you to stick tacks or nails onto it magnetically for easier installation into things like furniture or other surfaces.
- Screwable-Tip Hammer: This one is really interesting since it allows for total user-customization, depending on your needs. So if you need a softer hit, you can change the head out for a softer material and vice-versa.
- Ball-Peen Hammer: Used to ball metal into rivets by creating a mushroom shape when hit, thus securing it within the rivet.
- Drywall Hammer: This hammer usually has a flatter head on one side, and a hatchet head on the other, used often to make cuts within drywall.
- Roofing Axe: Mainly used on roofs to drive nails into shingles and to cut them as well. Often times have magnetic heads for better use with nails.
- Framing Hammers: A popular hammer - used mainly for the easier removal and installation of nails. Usually has a waffle-head for better grip when striking the nail, and can come in several different weights and grip styles for different user preferences.
- Brick Hammer: Similar to a blacksmith hammer, since it has a flat head on one side, and a sharper, blade-like head on the other. In this case though, the sharper end is normally used to break and shape brick and other rocks & minerals and the material is usually a stronger metal like steel.
So which one do I pick?
With all of that information out of the way - you still come back to: Which is right for me? That answer may not be as clear cut as it is for other people, but generally unless you have a specific purpose need as mentioned earlier, you're likely going to be gravitating towards a more basic hammer - which is okay! You may even just need a rubber or brass-head mallet for a softer, bouncier hit - or just an engineering hammer, for that hard hit. If your needs aren't as specific, then it may just be the best bet to get a commonly-used claw hammer!
Now that you know about all the various types of hammers and their respective purposes, the choice is up to you! Nothing else to do except to get to work, and start hammering! And if you need some inspiration on what to use your new hammer for, check out our other Fix blog articles!