The hammer is a basic tool of many professions. They are used in various ways such as in construction, manufacturing, geology and in homes. A hammer is a tool meant to deliver an impact to an object. The most common uses for hammers are to drive nails, fit parts, forge metal and break apart objects. Hammers are often designed for a specific purpose, and vary in their shape and structure.
The usual features are a handle and a head, with most of the weight in the head. The basic design is hand-operated, but there are also many mechanically operated models, such as steam hammers, for heavier uses.
Most injuries are broken or badly bruised fingers and thumbs. A badly broken finger or thumb can result in more than a month off work, and leave lasting disabilities.
Other injuries, especially to eyes, are caused by chips of metal, wood, sparks flying off damaged hammer faces or burred punch and chisel heads.
How many kinds of hammers are there? There over are 12 kinds of hand hammers, including claw, sledge, bricklayers, peen, chipping, tack, and soft-faced. (The list do not include power actuated hammers) Maybe you can think of others.
Popular hand-powered variations include:
• Ball-peen hammer, or mechanic’s hammer.
• Carpenter’s hammers (used for nailing), such as the framing hammer and the claw hammer.
• Construction hammers, including the sledgehammer.
• Cross-peen hammer, or Warrington hammer.
• Drilling hammer – a lightweight, short handled sledgehammer.
• Gavel, used by judges and presiding authorities in general.
• Geologist’s hammer or rock pick.
• Knife-edged hammer, its properties developed to aid a hammerer the act of slicing whilst bludgeoning.
• Lathe hammer (also known as a lath hammer, lathing hammer, or lathing hatchet), a tool used for cutting and nailing wood lath which has a small hatchet blade on one side (which features a small lateral nick used for pulling out nails) and a hammer head on the other.
• Lump hammer, or club hammer.
• Mallets, including the rubber hammer and dead blow hammer.
• Soft-faced hammer.
• Splitting maul.
• Stonemason’s hammer.
• Tinner’s Hammer.
• Brass Hammer, also known as non-sparking hammer or spark proof hammer and used mainly in heavy flammable areas like oil fields.
• Upholstery hammer.
In working with hammers the following suggestions can help to keep you from injuring yourself or ruining the tool, no matter what kind of hammer you use:
1. Use the right type and size hammer for the job. Use a carpenter’s hammer, for example, for driving or pulling nails. Not for striking star drills or cold chisels. Don’t use a lightweight hammer for a heavy job. You’ll work harder and increase the chances of hurting yourself or damaging the tool.
2. Strike the surface squarely, always using the head of the hammer and never the side. A glancing blow increases your chances of striking a finger or chipping the hammerhead. Don’t strike one hammer with another. Hammerheads are made of hardened steel, and pieces may chip off and fly.
3. Control the hammer by holding it toward the end of the handle. Beginners have a tendency to choke up on the handle, reducing the force of the blow and making it difficult to hit the target squarely.
4. Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes against flying chips when striking objects such as chisels, punches, and drills.
5. Be sure the target is stationary and firm. When driving stakes or hitting a large cold chisel, be sure the person holding the work uses tongs. This will protect him from being hit a glancing blow.
6. Keep hammers clean and in good condition. You can get into trouble by using a hammer with a loose or worn head, or one that has a cracked or broken handle.
7. Examine your hammer. Inspection of your hammer will assist in identifying potential hazards or defections before using the hammer.
Be Safe in using a Hammer. It takes only one strike when you’re using a worn hammer, the incorrect hammer for the task, or even when you’re using the right hammer incorrectly.
Home Improvement Tools – How To Use A Hammer.
Copyrighted by Matthew J. Key from his forthcoming book “The Safety Corner”.