If I had to pick a hammer . . .

. . . I’d have a problem knowing which one to select!  I had no idea there were so many specialized designs from which to choose.

Popular Mechanics has just put up a gallery of 23 different types.  For example, here’s a vehicle body mechanic’s hammer, used with a small curved anvil called a dolly to remove dents from car panels.

Here’s a chasing hammer, designed to hammer and shape metal jewelry.

And a toolmaker’s hammer, used for delicate work in the machine shop. The hole in the head is a magnifying glass.

There are many more illustrations of different types of hammer at the link.  Very educational for amateur bashers and batterers such as yours truly.

I’m sure most of us are familiar with Abraham Maslow‘s famous dictum:  “If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”  I wonder if he knew how many types of hammers were involved?  Would the sheer variety of them have caused him to rethink his observation?



  1. Most useful hammer I've come across, besides the standard claw hammer, is a drilling hammer. Like a short handled sledge, but the drilling hammer has domed faces that make sure most of the force goes into the chisel, drill, or stake even if the head is slightly rotated when it impacts. Sledges with flat faces skitter off if the impact is skewed on a narrow object.

  2. Drilling hammer, so named because it along with a star drill, a hardened steel rod with a phillips like point, was used to drill holes in solid rock back in the days before steam drills. Whack the head of the drill, turn in the hole, whack again. Repeat until the hole reaches the desired depth.
    Then of course you load a charge in the hole, fuze it, tamp it, yell "fire in the hole," light the fuze, and run like hell.

  3. Um. How come you had no idea there were lots of specialized hammers?

    I mean, I can see some random teenager not knowing about tools, but…

    Yeah, I could name a bunch more.

  4. @Anonymous at 2:03 PM: I knew there were lots of specialized hammers. I just had no idea how many there were, or how specialized some of them get. I've mostly used one to bash nails on the head, which doesn't require much in the way of finesse or specialization.

  5. Biggest collection of hammers I've seen for a specialized purpose was in a Harley Davidson mechanics' toolbox. He had maybe a dozen brass hammers of various weights, used to align the crankshaft when building Harley engines. Well, that and when he chiseled out parts of his Sportster crankcases for clearance for a stroked crank assembly.

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