The Hammer is said to be the oldest tool in the world, dating from as far back as 2, 400, 000 BC. Indeed, it’s not too hard to imagine it evolving from primitive man’s use of a stick or a bone for that instrument’s most basic purpose, which is, put simply, to hit things.
Of course, the purpose of a hammer isn’t as simple as “to hit things.” While the hammer does perform that function, it does so to serve a particular end. Just as it could be used to break objects apart, it could also be used to help fix them. It is a tool used in many varied professions; by carpenters, mechanics, metal smiths and others. As such, one hammer isn’t just as good as any other, so they come in a variety of types especially designed for specific tasks.
Perhaps the most common hammer variety is the Nail Hammer, that familiar toolbox fixture of carpenters and handymen everywhere. Ranging in hammer length from 13-18” (inches), the nail hammer comes in 2 types. The first one is the Straight Claw, which is typically employed by professionals. The head of the straight claw hammer comes in different weights measured in ounces: 10 oz, 16 oz, 20 oz, 24 oz, 28 oz, and 32 oz.
The second kind of nail hammer is the Curved Claw Hammer. Made to be used at home, this type comes in different head weights specified for different purposes. A curved claw hammer with a 7-oz head weight is normally used for light tasks. A hammer with a head weight of around 10-13 oz is suitable for household carpentry or working on cabinets. For heavier work such as crating or framing, a head weight of 20 oz is appropriate.
Another type of hammer is the Ball Peen Hammer, which is equipped with cold chisels, as well as a small shank intended for cutting, rounding the ends of rivets, and shaping unhardened metals. The diameter of the ball peen’s striking face is roughly 3/8” bigger than the object that it would be striking. This hammer type usually weighs either 12 or 16 oz, but there are a few variations that weigh between 2-48 oz.
Weighing approximately 2-4 lbs (pounds), the Hand-drilling Hammer is particularly useful in pounding hardened nails into hard surfaces such as concrete or brick. And then there’s the ever-reliable Sledgehammer, the go-to hammer type for hard and heavy hitting. The length of the sledgehammer’s handle varies from 14-36”, while its head weight ranges from 2-20 lbs.