A Guide to Different Types of Hammer for the Average DIYer

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The average DIYer needs only two or three different types of hammer in their toolkit to do most jobs around the house and garden. But that doesn’t mean there are only two or three different types of hammer on the market. In fact, there are plenty of specialist hammers around that most people never use.

For the sake of this article, let’s forget about specialist hammers and instead focus on the types of hammer you’re likely to use when doing DIY jobs around the home.

Claw hammer

The claw hammer is the most popular hammer for DIYers. It’s a versatile tool that’s typically available in three different weights – 80z, 16oz and 20z. This weight refers to the weight of the head, not the entire tool. 

The head of a claw hammer performs two jobs – the flat face knocks-in nails and the claw pulls them out. You can also use heavier claw hammers for light demolition work such as breaking up old furniture.

If you only have one hammer in your toolbox, make it a claw hammer. If you click the following link, you can read a more in-depth guide to claw hammers.

Lump (or club) hammer

The lump (aka club) hammer is much heavier than a claw hammer. They’re typically used for hitting chisels to break up hard materials like concrete, brickwork and other types of masonry. They usually have short, stubby handles.

Weightwise, you’re looking at around the 2-3 pound mark for most tools but you can buy heavier ones.

Cross pein pin hammer

The cross pein pin hammer is typically used for woodworking. Think knocking-in lightweight fixings such as clips, tacks and panel pins. The head performs two functions. You start with the thin end of the cross pein hammer until you have enough purchase, then finish the job with the wider opposite face. The design and this process protect you from hurting your fingers.

Ball pein hammer

Ball pein hammers have a different shaped head again and are typically used for metalwork. One side of the head has the traditional flat face and on the other side of the head, there’s a rounded striking surface for manipulating metal.

The head is typically made from hard steel, while the handles are traditionally made from wood. But you can buy models made completely from fibreglass.

Ball pein hammers are available in a range of weights including 4oz, 8oz, 32oz and 48oz.

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