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Hammer Buying Guide

A hammer is a hammer, right? Not really. Projects go a lot better when you have the right tool. Learn about the different types of hammers, such as framing, roofing, drywall, ball peen, bricklayer's and even sledgehammers.

Rip Claw Hammer.

Hammer Types

The wide variety of hammer designs lets you find one that's right for your project. Here are some of the common types of hammers:

 

Type Uses / Features Example
Curve Claw Hammer
  • Driving and removing nails. Performing general carpentry.
  • Curved claw provides leverage when removing nails.
  • Usually ranges from 16 to 20 ounces with a wooden, fiberglass or steel handle.
Curve Claw Hammer.
Rip Claw Hammer
  • Driving and removing nails.
  • Performing general carpentry.
  • Straight claw designed for ripping out boards.
  • Usually ranges from 16 to 25 ounces with a wooden, fiberglass or steel handle.
Rip Claw Hammer.
Framing Hammer
  • Driving and removing large nails. Performing heavy carpentry work.
  • Often heavier than ripping or curved claw hammers with longer handle.
  • Added weight and longer handle give added power to the hammer.
Framing Hammer.
Shingler's Hammer
  • Installing and cutting roofing materials.
  • May have a serrated (waffled) face for better grip on nail heads and hatchet-shaped back for cutting roofing material.
Shingler's Hammer.
Drywall Hammer
  • Installing and removing drywall.
  • May have a serrated face for better grip on nail heads and hatchet-shaped back for cutting drywall.
Drywall Hammer.
Ball Peen Hammer
  • Bending and shaping metal.
  • Ranges from 4 to 32 ounces with a wooden or graphite handle.
Ball Peen Hammer.
Bricklayer's / Tilesetter's Hammer
  • Setting or cutting brick or tile.
  • Usually 15 to 24 ounces with a wooden, fiberglass or steel handle.
Bricklayer's Hammer.
Rubber Mallet
  • Assembling fragile pieces such as those made of wood.
  • Usually 12 to 28 ounces with wooden handle.
  • Most have non-marring, bounce-resistant (dead blow) heads in black or white.
Rubber Mallet.
Engineering / Drilling Hammer
  • Heavy hammering or demolition.
  • Ranges from 1 to 5 pounds with a wooden, fiberglass or steel handle.
Engineering Hammer.
Sledgehammer
  • Driving stakes, pins and wedges or performing demolition.
  • 8 to 16 pounds with a wooden or fiberglass handle.
Sledge Hammer.

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