Choose the right hammer for all your home repairs

December 23, 2014

Knowing what kind of hammer to choose is a matter of understanding your needs and deciding on the features you like best.

Choose the right hammer for all your home repairs

When choosing a hammer for home repairs, you’re going to want to head to the hardware store and spend some time surveying the selection. However, just because some of the hammers look cool, or are extra shiny, or covered in some grippy rubber, that doesn’t mean they’re the hammer for you. Here’s how to choose a hammer for your home repairs.

A hammer by any other name

There are a ton of hammers on the market and they all have pretty awesome names like ball peen, claw hammer, mill face, shingling hatchet, two-way mallet. Plus, a lot of these hammers look pretty cool, made of shiny metal with long claws capable.

You can get any hammer you want, but the reality is that the more fancy and specialized they are, the more likely it is that they're overkill for most home repairs.

Stop: hammer time

Unless you’re doing framing, you're probably be better off using a 16 ounce claw hammer with a flat face.

This kind of hammer is what carpenters use for most jobs, and it will serve you well around the home. While 28 or 32 ounce hammers might be appealing as you imagine yourself driving nails in with one blow, you’ll soon find you lose a fair bit of finesse with heavier weight gear and get exhausted faster.

For handles, you'll be able to choose between wood (usually hickory), fibreglass, steel or graphite. Wood, of course, is the classic and there’s a reason it has been used for so long: it’s comfortable and durable. However, wood can break, and occasionally, the head of your hammer can come loose.

Newer materials such as graphite or fibreglass offer better shock absorption, and can sometimes be lighter than wood.

Remember to look for a solid rubber grip around the handle. This will help you keep a grip on your hammer on hot, sweaty days, and protect the hammer should you drop it, or throw it at the garage door in frustration.

Classic construction

When it comes to staple tools like hammers, sometimes the classics are best. For most home repairs and construction jobs, knowing how to choose a hammer for your personal needs will involve a few basic rules and testing a few hammers in the hardware store. Don’t be afraid to ask an expert.

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