Hammers and Mallets
With a bewildering choice to choose from how do you choose a hammer or mallet that’s right for you? All have specific tasks they achieve, for instance bricklayers need a scutch hammer for instance, ground workers will need a pavers rubber mallet or demolition workers may need a sledgehammer, and every home should have a general purpose claw hammer.
The first consideration when selecting a hammer or mallet is balance. A correct head-to-handle weight ratio is key, as a good balance delivers a blow that seems to swing itself, perfect for lots of hammer and nail work. Think about it for a moment, if the hammer and weight ratio is perfectly balanced, then the user uses less energy when pounding a chisel for instance. Some manufacturers often ignore little details like this, but we think they’re essential.
Once it feels right, consider how it’s made. The most important procedure when manufacturing a hammer is controlling the hardness of the head. The depth of the hardening on the striking face is key. Since you cannot see hardness, it is often overlooked and this neglect affects the hammers durability. When the hammers head is correctly forged and combined with a properly formed striking face, it reduces the chance of chipping with off center strikes. Not only does this prolong the life of the hammer, it increases the efficiency when in use, as the striking face automatically corrects off-center strikes. This process is especially useful for ball pein hammers. As ball peen hammers are commonly used to drive cold chisels and shape metal, they are need the correct hardening of the striking face.
Commonly referred to as a machinist's or engineering hammers, ball pein hammers have two ends on the head, one that is round and the other that is flat.
Choosing the correct grip on a mallet or hammer is a personal choice, so choosing one that’s comfortable is a good place to start. Comfort is one thing another is the material it’s made from. For instance all our wood handle hammers are made from hickory or ash. Hickory and ash are used for their strength, and ability to withstand shocks without splitting or cracking. But its horses for courses as fiberglass handles are more durable than wood. For instance, they won’t crack, shrink or get loose, even when left out in the weather. This makes them great tools for tossing in the back of a flat back van and forgetting about. Fibreglass and tubular steel shafts are also fitted with soft grips handles for added user comfort. This said; fibreglass and tubular steel handles cannot be adapted like a wood handle can.
As the old adage goes, the most expensive hammer you can buy is the cheap hammer, which can become a dangerous liability in its short lifespan. A quality, Draper Tools hammer or mallet is a lifetime investment yet also inexpensive.