Hammers come in all shapes and sizes. Here is a list of different hammers and their various uses.
The most common type of hammer is used for driving in nails. The claw is used to lever out old or bent nails. Always buy a hammer with a good grip and balance.
Ball peen hammer
A hammer with two striking surfaces, one flat and the other rounded. The ball peen hammer is ideally used for riveting, centre punching and bending or shaping soft metal.
A lump hammer, or club hammer as it is also called, has a heavy head and is used with a bolster or cold chisel for cutting or splitting bricks and blocks. It can also be used for demolition work. Lump hammers are available in different weights, the most common being: 1.1kg (2.5lb), 1.4kg (3lb) and 1.8kg (4lb).
This distinctive hammer is designed specifically for plasterboarding. The heavier rounded part of the head is used to drive in plasterboard nails, while the flat, hatchet shaped part of the head is used to tuck in trimmed edges of board. A small triangular notch can usually be found on this part of the head for pulling out bent nails.
A lightweight hammer with a small head used for the accurate fixing of panel pins and tacks. The wedge shaped face of the head is used for working in tight corners.
Wooden / rubber mallet
Also known as soft hammers, mallets are used when heavy impact is not required. They are often employed in carpentry to knock joints together or to drive dowels into position. Mallets are also used in conjunction with wood chisels and the strike face is angled to deliver square blows to the top of the chisel handle. This gives the user greater control. Furthermore, a wooden mallet will not damage chisel handles. Mallets can be made of rubber or wood.
A sledgehammer is basically a heavier version of the lump hammer with a longer handle. The head is made of forged steel and the handle from either hickory or fibreglass. Generally a sledgehammer is used for demolition work, breaking up large pieces of hardcore and driving fence posts into the ground. Sledgehammers come in different weights, the most common being: 4.5kg (10lb), 5.4kg (12lb), 6.4kg (14lb) and 7.2kg (16lb). Always wear a hard hat, goggles and steel toe-capped boots when using a sledgehammer.