Hammers, Hammers, Everywhere!

OK, you know I love hammers.  But you know how many I own?  I’m going to show you all my various beauties over two posts, explaining some of the differences along the way.  Today, I’ll start with an overview.

Almost every single hammer I own

To me, this seems like a small number of hammers.  I can think of a bunch off the top of my head that I would like to have.  I’m sure it seems like to many to my non-metalworking friends.

Claw Hammers

These claw hammers are not for my metalworking, but for house maintenance things.  They’re for hammering nails.


Here is my collection of mallets. The big, black rubber one is mainly for closing paint cans, but the other four are for metalworking.

Sinking and Planishing Hammers

My sole sinking hammer (I would like to have a couple more with different size ends) and one of my two planishing hammers.  This is the one I use for riveting.

Forging Hammers

My two forging hammers.  The larger one is so heavy it’s almost a sledge hammer.  It is also the one that smashed my thumb.  I use it mainly for texturing metal.  The smaller one I use all the time.  It’s my favorite hammer for fold forming and if you finish the ends nicely this could possibly be the only hammer you’ll ever need.  Unless you want to sink something…

Raining hammers

My three raising hammers.  I mostly use the one on the left, but the other two have their purposes also.  I use them for texturing wire and edges and for raising bowls.  They also work nicely with some fold forming techniques.

Specialty Hammers

And lastly, here is a grouping of some specialty hammers.  The one on the left is supposed to be a riveting hammer, but the handle makes it way too bouncy to effectively rivet with it.  Seriously, don’t buy this hammer, get one with a wooden handle that is much thicker than this.  The middle hammer is for chasing and also works great for tube rivets.  The hammer on the right is similar to a goldsmith hammer and has a brass end and a delrin end.  The cool thing is that both ends screw off and you can change the heads.  I use this for riveting and closing gaps in seams and setting stones, and a myriad of other small operations.

I hope you enjoyed this overview.  My next post will focus on the ends of hammers, what is known as the pein. And if you want more detailed information on what each hammer does, check out my “Better Know Your Hammer” series.

***Better Know Your Hammer – the book is now available as a paperback or ebook!  It includes info about all these hammers plus a glossary, hammer resources, and info on why hammers work the way they do and tips on using and buying one. (updated 7/2011)***

6 thoughts on “Hammers, Hammers, Everywhere!

  1. Your detailed hammer page is very informative! I have bookmarked it for future reference. If I win the lottery I want all of Otto Frei’s hammers…..oh wait, that means I have to actually buy a lottery ticket doesn’t it! Thanks Wendy for all that you share with us.


  2. Hi Wendy,
    I have a question for you. Awhile back I read one of your post that I can’t seem to locate. I read that after you do a heat patina you take a hammer to it to help keep the patina. Can you explain to me how you do this, what type of hammer you use? I am working on a project and I want to use this process on this project.



  3. Basically, I just meant that I don’t pickle after annealing. If I’m making a bowl, that means that I planish the heat patina into the surface of the metal (I usually so this with nickel.) With the fold forming, it just means that I don’t clean it after annealing, but just work the metal with what ever hammer or mallet I’m using for the job. Planishing is what really works it into the metal though. I hope this answers your question, Norma!


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