How Do You Use a Hammer?
Hammers are our friend don’t be afraid to use them.
So what is the most effective method to use a Hammer?
Well, to begin with, I felt kinda dumb trying to teach you how to use a hammer. The vast majority of us have seen youngsters trying to hammer square pegs into round holes with toy hammers before the age of two. But they are just having fun no understanding how it works. All things considered, the futile act of repeating dumb things over and over again was presumably encoded in the human hereditary program a long time before hammers existed.
However, there is an appropriate hammering procedure. I think it is much like a large number of abilities that we underestimate. But not everyone knows what they are doing. I have seen a lot of experts swinging hammers while thinking they were the best but did they really know what they were doing? In the event that you know everything, just let this be a reminder to reinforce your already great habits. But who knows, you may not know everything and you might learn something about hammers today.
Holding The Hammer
This should come easy. Regardless of whether you’re nailing a twenty-penny nail or a finishing nail, the grip is the same. Wrap your hand around the handle. There are two ways you can do this, either place your thumb over the index and middle fingers or you can place your thumb above the index finger making contact with the handle.
You will want to make sure you hold the hammer closer to the bottom of the handle. When you hold it there you will get the most mechanical advantage. Let the weight of the hammer work for you, it is designed to be held there.
If you are not comfortable with your grip placement you can always choke up a little on the handle. The advantage to that is you will gain more control, but you will lose power. That means more swings to drive a nail.
But understand once you get comfortable you need to be at the end of the handle. When you use the hammer properly you will notice that you bend fewer nails. When you grip the end of the handle you have a better angle to strike the nail on the head, again making it easier to drive the nails.
Swinging The Hammer
First things first. Grab a nail. Hold the nail with the sharp point perpendicular to the material you want to drive the nail through. Before you swing, rest the hammer’s face on the head of the nail. Right now everything should be lined up ready for your swing.
Raise the hammer up a little, and hit the nail head a few of times, tapping the nail into the wood until the point is far enough in that is will stand on its own. Make sure you are holding the hammer firmly but with care. Aim at the head at the nail, swing with control knowing you want to drive the nail. Do not swing trying to end up below you material. The idea is to give a strong hit but also minimize damage.
Again let the weight of the hammer do some of the work for you. The more advanced sledgehammer works this way. A large portion of your work is really done toward the start of the stroke. Do not try to drive the nail all in one blow. Give the nail head ample power but with control. Keep safety in mind.
When you strike the nail at times the hammer will want to bounce back. Keep a firm grip at all times. Even when you go to raise the hammer to make sure you still have a firm grip on the handle. You don’t want the hammer flying out of your hand ruining someone else’s day. Once you get good you can use the bounce to gain momentum on the backstroke.
If your shoulder or elbow feel out of place when you are striking the nail you might be too tight. It takes some practice but with time you will get a feel for what it is like to get a clean strike on the nail.
Always!! Wear your security glasses when you are using your hammer. Especially if you are working with brittle material that can chip and end up in your eye. Even the most gifted of craftsmen miss every so often. don’t be the guy working with his favorite hobby only to end up blind because of pride in looking good.
Types of Hammers
You probably already knew this, but there are a few different hammers for different jobs. Everyone digs into their projects to find themselves asking for a larger or smaller hammer depending on the job needed. This can be a real safety concern. You can really hurt yourself if you use the wrong hammer. For what it is worth, that is usually the case for most tools. I have put together a short list of popular hammers people use to do their jobs. This is not an exhaustive list. So feel to do more research on your own. Make sure you click on the images to check out the hammers on Amazon.
16-ounce Claw Hammer
This is the hammer you drew up in grade school. This is the hammer that Bob the Builder uses. The claw on this hammer has a large sweeping bend. This is what makes it great for removing nails. This allows for a lot more leverage than other hammers, see below. So if you only get one hammer let is be this one. Because most likely it is the one you are looking for anyway.
16-ounce Ripping Hammer
You might be asking yourself, isn’t this the same hammer. Well, the short answer is no. These two hammers can perform a lot of the same tasks. What will notice on this hammer is the claw is much straighter. Not very good for removing nails, but it is suitable for many other heavy carpentry jobs.
This mallet is not used much to drive nails. You can use this mallet to hit finished metal surfaces so it does not mar the finish. Sadly I have used this incorrectly to break a bolt loose by hitting a wrench with this mallet. I am still alive but I do not advise. U
Soft Face Hammer
When dealing with delicate assemblies but you still need some umff, turn to the soft face hammer. This hammer can still drive nails but once you get to the end it is less likely to leave a large dent on your last swing on wood. If you are working on a metal surface you won’t even noticed that you were using a hammer. You might be asking, “How do they do that?” Well, as the name suggests the face of the hammer is made out of something softer like plastic or rubber. Because of this, you will have to replace it due to wear.
This one might look familiar from the Bible. Moses used this to build the ark… (I joke, I kid) People who work with wood, often times called carpenters, use this hammer to hit chisels that have a large surface to strike. You must be careful with a wooden mallet. Unlike the Soft Face Hammer won’t only wear it will also splinter and break if abused. So do not try to hit smaller nails with this one.
Ball Pein Hammer
Ball pein hammers (or Peen??) help in creating the cool curved surfaces in many metalworks. These are also used to strike punches and chisels.
Sometimes this is called a masons hammer. This is used to chip away at bricks when you a laying them in cool patterns.
Upholster’s or tack Hammer
This hammer is designed to hit small tacks into the upholstery. On some models, you will even see a split face that allows the small tacks and nails to sit. This makes handling much easier.
The serrated face of this hammer gives you a surface that tends to grip the nail head, allowing for a better strike. This also makes the same surface larger. Again easier to hit and drive nails into drywall. The back blade is best used for cutting drywall fast. This could be used fo making rough cuts for outlets.
For huge destruction, bring out the serious canons. Walls, dividers, and sidewalks are no match for a 10-pound sledgehammer. It additionally proves to be useful at state fairs when you are trying to win your young lady even the smallest stuffed animal.
Use this new skill!
Seriously one of the things I am always telling my friends is that you turn your hobby into an income stream. And I will continue to say that here. Use your gifts for good not evil (you know, your boss :-D)
Click here to find out more about some other tools to use when dealing with woodworking.