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50 Different Types of Hammers | Claw, Ball-Peen, Sledgehammer

Hammer is probably one of the oldest tools known to Man. In the pre-historic period, people used stones to hammer on objects, whether it is to crack nuts or break food. With the evolution of man, metal and technology, the shape and material of a hammer took an advancement but the idea remained the same: use the handle to hold the hammer and hit the object to make a powerful blow. You can use hammers to drive a nail into wood, shape a piece of metal, break an object and many other “hard hitting” tasks. In this guide, let us take a quick look at Different Types of Hammers that we encounter frequently.

Hammer and Its Uses

Whether you are a carpenter or metal worker or if you work in automobiles or construction, irrespective of the type and nature of the job, you will use a hammer very frequently. It is one of the simplest hand tools known to mankind and it has one job: hit an object with great impact.

The process of striking an object with a hammer is known as Hammering. Most modern hammers are made up of heat-treated steel head and a wooden, steel or plastic handle. Hammers are one of the essential woodworking tools.

Parts of a Hammer

The following image shows different parts of a claw hammer. These parts remain the same for other types of hammers with some minor differences.


  • Head: It is responsible for creating the impact while hammering. It is usually made up of metal but sometimes glass, wood and rubber are also used. Hammer Head can have a variety of size, shape and weight depending on its use and type of the hammer.
  • Face: It is the front of the hammer that makes contact with the object being hammered. Depending on the type of hammer, face can have different shape and size. Apart from these, some hammers also have a texture on the face of hammer so that you can give a special and unique finish to metal or wood.
  • Handle: As the name suggests, it is the part that we use to handle the hammer. Most hammers have a wooden handle but some of them have metal or plastic handles.
  • Neck: It is the part of hammer that attaches the head with the handle
  • Peen/Claw: It is on the other side of the face. We use claw to pull nails and peen to work on metals (peening). You have to make an important decision while buying a hammer whether it comes with a claw or a peen.
  • Grip: If the handle is made up of metal, then a rubber grip will help the hammer from slipping from your hands. Hammers with wood handles generally don’t come with grip.

Types of Hammers

Following is a list of different types of Hammers. The first six hammers in the list are most popular, while the remaining hammers are specialty, niche or purpose-built hammers.

  • Claw Hammer
  • Framing Hammer
  • Ball Peen Hammer
  • Tack Hammer
  • Sledgehammer
  • Mallet
  • Cross Peen Hammer
  • Straight Peen Hammer
  • Cross Peen Pin Hammer
  • Club Hammer
  • Dead Blow Hammer
  • Blocking Hammer
  • Engineering Hammer
  • Electrician’s Hammer
  • Blacksmith’s Hammer
  • Blacksmith’s Sledge Hammer
  • Welder’s Hammer
  • Body Mechanic’s Hammer
  • Tinner’s Hammer
  • Toolmaker’s Hammer
  • Lineman’s Hammer
  • Rock Hammer
  • Slater’s Hammer
  • Rock Climbing Hammer
  • Piton Hammer
  • Brass Hammer
  • Rip Hammer
  • Bushing Hammer
  • Hatchet Hammer
  • Half Hatchet Hammer
  • Drywall Hammer
  • Brick Hammer
  • Lath Hammer
  • Stone Sledge Hammer
  • Copper and Hide Hammer
  • Planishing hammer
  • Trim Hammer
  • Chasing Hammer
  • Knife-Edged Hammer
  • Shingle Hammer
  • Splitting Maul Hammer
  • Scaling Hammer
  • Soft Face Hammer
  • Railroad Spike Maul Hammer
  • Boiler Scaling Hammer
  • Scutch Hammer
  • Dental Hammer
  • Gavel Hammer
  • Power Hammer
  • Jackhammer

Let us now take a brief look at all these hammers one-by-one.

1. Claw Hammer


A claw hammer is perhaps the most popular hammer among home users, DIYers, wood workers (carpentry and furniture) and metal workers. You can drive nails with the face and remove the nails using the claw. A claw hammer is usually made up of a metal head and a wooden handle.

2. Framing Hammer


Even though it looks very similar to a claw hammer, the framing hammer is a specialized tool used for wood framing. It is a must have tool for carpenters and woodworkers who often drive nails into frames walls of houses. It is slightly longer and heavier than a typical claw hammer and also has a fairly straight claw. As a result, it is not the best option for removing nails.

3. Ball Peen Hammer


Also known as the machinist’s hammer, a Ball Peen Hammer has flat face on one side of the head and a ball shaped face on the other side. Metal workers often use the round part of a ball peen hammer to shape metal without denting it.

4. Tack Hammer


The tack hammer is also known as Upholstery Hammer as we use it to drive small nails and brads into fabric or leather. It is a precision tool with a slim profile and is light in weight. Some tack hammers have a magnetic head to easily handle nails and tacks.

5. Sledgehammer


A sledgehammer is a heavy-duty hammer that is often used for demolition work to break down walls and other masonry. It has a large metal head with face on both sides and a long handle to easily swing it.

6. Mallet


A mallet has a large rubber (sometimes wood but very niche) head with a relatively small handle. We use mallets to knock or tap on objects with soft blows without damaging or denting. You can use a mallet to knock on woods to join them or on a chisel while carving.

7. Cross Peen Hammer


One side of a cross peen hammer is a regular flat head but the other side is wedge shaped peen. If you are worried about hitting your fingers while peening a panel, then the cross-peen hammer is very useful due to wedged sides.

8. Straight Peen Hammer


It is very similar to the cross-peen hammer. But the main difference is that the wedge peen is aligned horizontally in a cross-peen hammer whereas it is aligned vertically in a straight peen hammer.

9. Cross Peen Pin Hammer


While a cross peen hammer is a specialty tool, the cross-peen pin hammer has a more specific use case. It is a slightly smaller version of cross peen hammer but it is not suitable for working on metals. We often use Cross Peen Pin Hammer to work with cabinets, furniture and other light wood working jobs.

10. Club Hammer


A club hammer is a miniature version of a sledgehammer in the sense that it has a small handle and a relatively small head (the head is still large when we compare it to other hammers). It isn’t practical to use a club hammer for hard demolition jobs but we can use it for light demolition works, or to break stones and masonry. We also use club hammers to drive chisels and masonry heads where precision is not important.

11. Dead Blow Hammer


Even though it is similar to a Mallet, a Dead Blow Hammer is very rarely used tool. Woodworkers and automotive garages use this hammer to give soft blows with very less recoil. It is often made with soft rubber or plastic as not to damage or form dents in the surrounding parts.

12. Blocking Hammer


Blacksmiths frequently use Blocking Hammers to work on detailing of metal. It has two faces, one with a flat and square head while the other is a cylindrical head. The handle is just a regular wooden handle.

13. Engineering Hammer

Engineering Hammer

The Engineering Hammer or Engineer’s Hammer is primarily used in locomotive and automotive repairs. Majority of engineering hammers have a heavy double round-faced head but some also have a round head and a cross peen.

14. Electrician’s Hammer

Electricians Hammer

An Electrician’s Hammer is very similar to a claw hammer but the main difference is its long neck. This longer than normal neck will help electricians reach difficult places such as access holes of distribution boxes.

15. Blacksmith’s Hammer

blacksmiths hammer

This a specialty tool often used by blacksmiths. One side of the head is rounded while the other side is tapered. Using this tool, blacksmiths can easily shape, bend or cut hot metals.

16. Blacksmith’s Sledge Hammer

Blacksmiths Sledge Hammer

It is very similar to a regular sledgehammer with the exception that blacksmiths use this hammer to work on heavy metals such as iron to create large impact force and shape the metal.

17. Welder’s Hammer

welders hammer

A Welder’s Hammer is also known as a Chipping Hammer as welders primarily use it to chip or remove the waste or slag around a welding point. It is a niche tool and is not for everyone.

18. Body Mechanic’s Hammer

body mechanics hammer

A Body Mechanic’s Hammer has a unique shape with a round and flat head on one side and a pointed peen on the other side. Its primary use case is in automobile body workshops for removing dents and other car repairs.

19. Tinner’s Hammer

Tinners Hammer

This hammer has a square and flat head on one side and pointed cross peen on the other. Metal workers often use Tinner’s Hammer while metal roofing as they can easily roll the edges of metal and also work on the seams.

20. Toolmaker’s Hammer

toolmakers hammer

At first glance, this tool doesn’t look like a hammer but is a special purpose hammer with a small flat head on one side and a rounded head on the other. There is also magnifying glass in the center of the hammer.

21. Lineman’s Hammer

A lineman’s hammer, as the name suggests, is used by linemen who work on utility and telephone poles. The main job of these tools is to hammer large bolts and screws. This hammer has dual circular flat heads on either side and a rubber grip handle that acts as a shock absorber.

22. Rock Hammer

Rock HammerDespite its name, a Rock Hammer is not intended to smash rocks but to break small rocks very carefully. Geologists, archaeologists and historians use these hammers for excavation, creating holes and removing vegetation. As a result, the Rock Hammer is also sometimes known as a Geologist’s Hammer.

23. Slater’s Hammer

The Slater’s Hammer is a specialty tool that can do up to four jobs. You can use the claw to remove nails, drive nails with hammer head, punch holes with the pointed head and trim the edges of a slate to fit it properly.

24. Rock Climbing Hammer

Rock Climbing HammerThese hammers are very important for rock climbing as it allows rock climbers to easily place pickets, anchors and also remove them. One end of the hammer has a pointed head that helps to loosen anchor’s bolts while the square flat head helps in hammering anchor bolts.

25. Piton Hammer

Piton HammerA Piton Hammer is also a rock-climbing hammer. It has a hole in its beak to remove any pits. Some Piton Hammers have detachable heads so that you can replace them with another head depending on the use case.

26. Brass Hammer

Brass HammerThe Brass Hammer comes with a double circular head that has a slightly larger impact area. We use this hammer for driving steel pins without affecting the surrounding areas. Woodworking and automotive workshops often have this tool.

27. Rip Hammer

Rip HammerIf you want to heavy-duty claw hammer, then a Rip Hammer is the one for you. But unlike a regular claw hammer, its claw isn’t curved but a straight one. This helps in demolition jobs to rip materials. Construction and demolition workers have this hammer in their collection.

28. Bushing Hammer

Bushing HammerA Bush Hammer or Bushing Hammer is used by masonry workers to create textures on concrete. The face of the head is not flat but has pyramid like structures to create decorative patterns on stone or concrete.

29. Hatchet Hammer

The Hatchet Hammer is a cross between a hammer and an axe. One side of the head is a circular hammer with a flat face while the other side has an axe blade. Most survival and emergency kits have these hammers.

30. Half Hatchet Hammer

Half Hatchet HammerThis is also very similar to the Hatchet Hammer with the axe blade being the dominating tool.

31. Drywall Hammer

Drywall HammerWhile a Drywall Hammer looks similar to a Hatchet Hammer, it is not ax axe. Using the hammer head, we can drive nail into the drywall. The axe like part isn’t actually a sharp axe but is used to chop of any extra drywall. Using the notch in the blade, you can hold the hammer without causing any damage to the drywall.

32. Brick Hammer

Brick HammerYou can shape or split bricks, concrete or stones using a Brick Hammer. One side of the head has a flat square face and the other side has a sharp chisel peen. Masons and bricklayers use these hammers in construction jobs.

33. Lath Hammer

Lath HammerA Lath Hammer is often used while working with paster walls. You can easily work with the flat strips of wood that are the basis of the foundation. The metal head has a square flat head to drive nails, an axe like head to chop the wood. The handle usually comes with a rubber grip to absorb the impact.

34. Stone Sledge Hammer

Stone Sledge HammerWhile the main purpose of a regular sledgehammer is demolition, a stone sledge hammer specialty tool that is designed to work with stones. You can easily break large stone or concrete into small pieces. One side of the head has a flat (square or circular) face and the other side has a soft vertical peen.

35. Copper and Hide Hammer

Copper and Hide HammerThis particular hammer is not that famous but is used to shaping metals. The head has a combination of copper and raw leather and it allows working on delicate metal parts such as car body without damaging other parts.

36. Planishing hammer

A Planishing Hammer is used to smooth or flatten metal with light blows. The head has a unique convex cylindrical shape on both sides.

37. Trim Hammer

Trim HammerThe Trim Hammer is another claw hammer with a relatively straight and short claw. This hammer is popular in the woodworking, especially carpentry, where you can easily drive trim nails with its smooth face without affecting the surrounding areas. A trim hammer is sometimes known as a finish hammer.

38. Chasing Hammer

Chasing HammerA Chasing Hammer has a flat circular head on one side and a smooth rounded head on the other. This tool is quite popular in the jewelry making business.

39. Knife-Edged Hammer

This hammer is not that common as there are other hammers and tools that does the job. In its simplest form, a knife0edged hammer has a flat square face on one side and a sharp axe like knife on the other. This is not a heavy-duty hammer but is often used to chop small wood.

40. Shingle Hammer

As the name suggests, a shingle hammer is used to cut shingles. It is also known as roofing hammer. Some shingle hammers have magnetic head to attract nails.

41. Splitting Maul Hammer

Splitting Maul HammerIt is a cross between an axe and a sledgehammer. One side of the head has a sharp axe blade to split wood and the other side has a heavy-duty sledgehammer using which we can hammer wood or drive nails very deep.

42. Scaling Hammer

A Scaling Hammer has a vertical chisel on one side of the head and a pick on the other. These hammers are often used to remove scaling, rust, paint and other coatings.

43. Soft Face Hammer

Soft Face HammerWhen we talk about hammers, we usually think of metals heads for hard impacts. But a soft face hammer is usually made from soft materials such as rubber, plastic, brass, copper, nylon, lead or cast iron. These hammers are used when working with delicate metals.

44. Railroad Spike Maul Hammer

Railroad Spike Maul HammerThis is a precision tool that, as the name suggests, used in railroads. Using this hammer, we can hammer railroad spikes onto tracks. The head is very thin when compared to other hammers but the long handle helps in applying a powerful impact.

45. Boiler Scaling Hammer

This is also a scaling hammer that we use in boilers to remove scaling and other deposits from metal. Welders and fitters have this hammer in their toolkit. The hammer head has a unique dual chisel heads on both sides with horizontal and vertical faces.

46. Scutch Hammer

A Scutch Hammer is similar to a scutch chisel but in the shape and form of a hammer. Bricklayers and masons use these hammers for dressing and cleaning bricks. One side of the face is a familiar square flat face while the other side is a chisel like scutch comb. These hammers are not known for their precision but they get the job done.

47. Dental Hammer

Dental HammerHammers and Chisels are used in dentistry from a long time. A Dental Hammer, sometimes known as Dental Mallet, is a small cylindrical steel block as a single piece with two rubber or plastic ends on the either faces. The handle is also made up of steel with an easy grip. Dentists use these hammers to condense the material that fills ups a cavity.

48. Gavel Hammer

Gavel HammerA Gavel Hammer is used by judges and auctioneers to control the crowd or make a statement. They are usually made up of hardwood and hence they are a type of mallet.

49. Power Hammer

This is a mechanical forging hammer that is powered either by electricity or compressed air. Power Hammers are available in a variety of sizes from small benchtop machines for small welders and forgers to large behemoths for industries.

50. Jackhammer

JackhammerThis is primarily used in demolition jobs to break rocks, concrete, pavement and other hard surfaces. A Jackhammer combines a chisel and a hammer and usually runs on compressed air. Small jackhammers are handheld but there are large hydraulic tools that are mounted to an excavator (or other similar large vehicles).

Different Types of Hammer – FAQs

1. Which hammer is widely used as a common choice?

Ans: A claw hammer, recognized for its flat head and claw, is commonly used for driving or pulling nails. It is not suitable for heavy hammering like ball peen hammers and is often made from softer steel alloys.

2. What is the term for a heavy-duty hammer?

Ans: A sledgehammer is a tool with a large, flat metal head attached to a long handle, designed for heavy-duty tasks that require substantial force.

3. What do you call a hammer that has a soft striking surface?

Ans: A soft-faced hammer or mallet is designed to provide driving force without damaging surfaces, and it reduces the force transmitted back to the user’s arm or hand by deforming more than a metal hammer.

4. What purpose does a dead hammer serve?

Ans: A dead blow hammer is used to absorb tremors during striking, preventing damage to soft surfaces and improving striking force by reducing rebound.


Hammers are one of the simplest yet very powerful tools. Almost every household has a hammer as it helps in driving nails, breaking objects or shape metal very easily. There are different types of hammers for a variety of jobs and use cases but the main purpose of any hammer is the same: hit an object with great impact. We saw 50 types of hammers in this guide along with their typical applications. There are a lot more types but either they are very niche or not that popular.

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