A Guide to Hammers
Dead-blow Hammer and Wooden Mallet
The dead-blow hammer's hollow head, filled with steel shot, delivers a solid blow without rebounding. Some dead-blow hammers feature replaceable steel or plastic faces. For woodworking, however, we prefer a 14-oz. urethane-encapsulated type, shown at left.
The resilient covering, coupled with the no-bounce hit, minimizes surface marring when you use this hammer against wood. There's no better tool for tapping joints together or knocking them apart. You usually won't have to take mighty swings with this hammer, which also prevents damage to project parts.
- Assembling/disassembling joints.
- Aligning parts.
- Setting dowels or splines.
- Adjusting/tuning tools.
- Striking chisels.
- Driving nails or other fasteners.
- Hitting sharp objects that could damage the covering.
If you own woodworking chisels, you need a wooden mallet like the one shown at left. It's the tool best suited to driving chisels.
The mallet's large, flat, angled faces ensure that you?ll hit the chisel squarely every time. Hitting the end of a chisel with a nail hammer's small face calls for unerring aim and concentration-which means you end up watching the top of the chisel handle when you should be paying attention to the sharp end. (A steel hammer head can clobber up a wooden chisel handle pretty badly, too.)
- Striking woodworking chisels--the tool's main purpose.
- Assembling or disassembling joints.
- Aligning parts.
- Striking anything metal or sharp.
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