It may not surprise you to know that all hammers are not the same and that they take a bit of practice to be able to use correctly. Probably the best general purpose hammer is a standard, curved claw hammer.
You can use this for pulling out nails as it offers quite a bit more leverage than its straight clawed brother.
There are several different weights of hammers and you will use different weights depending on what job you are doing, its important to pick the correct weight and not to use something that’s too heavy for the job in hand. Otherwise you are likely to damage the material that you are hammering into.
When you are buying a hammer a good test is to turn it upside down and see if you can get it to balance at a 45 degree angle. It’s a very simple test to see where the weight is held in the hammer.
It is much easier to handle a hammer that holds most of its weight in the head. When the weight is mostly in the head then the hammer will stand more vertically. When most of the weight is in the handle, then it will be hard to balance which will make it a lot harder to use accurately.
To hit a nail with the required force and accuracy you will need to practice and perfect your technique. Just keep your arm as relaxed as possible and swing slowly. If you keep your arm too stiff you will lose a lot of power.
I found this video on YouTube extremely helpful for perfecting your technique. Have a look at it as its much easier to watch something than to try to explain it.
Try to hold your hammer in as relaxed a grip as you can, though still in control of it. Lift your full arm until its parallel to the floor. Don’t try to rush the hammer nut start it off with a light push and let gravity do the rest, while you guide it in the right direction.
As you get close to the nail just straighten you wrist and this will give you the extra power required to knock the nail in.
The idea is that the hammer be totally parallel to the nail when you hit it and will be driven straight in. If you are not straight on impact then its likely that you will keep bending nails, this is very common and it caused by not striking the nail squarely on.
Skinny nails are very easy to bend so getting the strike correct is the most important part of the technique. Don’t worry if you have hit the nail a few times , just persevere with getting the strike correct. Power will follow and you will find it easier and easier to become more accurate.
Now although they are slightly different, the basic principle of using them is the same and you should be able to apply these basic techniques to every different type.
We have looked at every type, and compiled buying guides and recommendations for you to make it easier to get the right hammer first time. You can view those by clicking on any of the links above.