Not All Hammers are Created Equal
Heavy Duty & Demolition hammers are a different breed than the common hammers we looked at in part one. These hammers are designed to deliver the maximum force possible to the target. They feature heavier heads with striking faces designed to deliver sharp powerful blows. There are no provisions on these hammers for removing fasteners, but with one swing of a sledge you could knock a hole clean through your wall. But which of these hammers is right for your needs? Take a look below at the 4 major types of heavy duty hammers on the market today.
Ball Peen Hammers
The Ball Peen Hammer
Originally designed for the metal working industries the Ball Pein hammer is a versatile tool when you need to use more force than a traditional hammer allows. The rounded peening edge of the hammer was traditionally used to work metal to reduce stresses from welding on the metals joints or harden a metals surface. Today the Ball Peen hammer is mostly used to drive rivets, chisels and for light duty demolition work. Unfortunately, I have seen these hammers far too often in many mechanics toolboxes. While it does make quick work removing corroded on rotors and wheels the high likelihood of damage to cast iron components makes this a poor choice for the automotive field. For automotive work I would highly suggest looking at the dead blow hammer below.
Dead Blow Hammers
The Dead Blow Hammer
The Dead Blow hammer is a pretty recent invention. It’s traditionally comprised of a polyurethane shell with a head that’s filled with lead shot. The movement of the lead shot in the head maximizes the force at the striking face and minimizes the rebound you normally experience with a metal faced hammer – hence the phrase dead blow. This makes the hammer an ideal choice when you are trying to impart force in an environment where collateral damage needs to be minimized such as the automobile industry. The softer face and more fluid transfer of force also helps prevent cracking in materials such as iron which is a common problem when using a metal faced hammer. This would be my hammer of choice for automotive work when that little bit of extra persuasion is required.
Hand Drilling Hammers
Hand Drilling Hammer
The hand drilling hammer resembles a mini-sledge but it was developed to drive chisels and punches into hard materials. The head is usually heavy weight, weighing at least 2 pounds. The striking face is gently beveled and normally polished. Make sure you select a hammer with a hot forged head, cast head hammers need not apply. These are also a great choice for driving larger duty hardened “spikes” like the ones you would use anchoring landscape timbers.
The Sledge Hammer
This hammer is synonymous with destruction. A sledge hammer is used when you need to put the maximum force possible down on your target. With heads weighing in at up to 20 pounds it’s often used in demolition work and to break up concrete slabs. Unlike most other hammers using a sledge hammer is a full body experience with a motion similar to using an axe. These aren’t for gentle work, but they are ideal when you need maximum force. Sledge hammers are also used when working on substantial machinery like farm equipment, heavy construction equipment and for driving fence posts into the ground. If your a serious DIYer with a desire to do renovation a sledge would be a great choice to add to your toolbox.