A Guide to Hammers
You'll be in the swing with these handy hammers.
Drive nails, tacks, and brads with a lightweight nail hammer like this 12-oz. model, shown at left. Grip the handle near the end for a powerful swing, and lay your thumb along the top for better control.
Woodworkers accustomed to putting pieces together with screws and glue might not think of a hammer as an essential tool. But even if you don't drive 16d nails, here are two hammers and a mallet that will earn their keep in your shop.
While most carpenters rely on a 16- or even 20-oz. nail hammer, a lighter one, say 12 or 13 oz., often serves cabinetmakers and furnituremakers best. One like the 12-oz. claw hammer, shown left, fills the bill for general woodworking use.
If you drive a lot of small brads or escutcheon pins, try a Warrington pattern hammer as your nail hammer. Instead of the usual nail-pulling claws, this one has a straight cross peen, shown at left. The narrow face makes starting small nails easy, as shown.
We like a hardwood handle--particularly hickory or northern ash--for a nail hammer. Wood absorbs shock for more comfortable use, and it's replaceable.
- Driving nails, brads, and tacks.
- Setting nails with a nailset.
- Tapping a centerpunch to mark drill centers on wood.
- Striking woodworking chisels, cold chisels, or star drills.
- Driving masonry nails. (A heavier hammer is better.)
- Pounding metal against an anvil.