4 Main Hammers & When To Use Them

Hammers are among the most commonly used tools in both professional and DIY settings. They come in various shapes and sizes, each with unique features and functions. With so many options available, it can be challenging to know which type of hammer to use for a particular job. In this article, we will discuss the four main types of hammers and when to use them.

Claw Hammer

The claw hammer is the most common type of hammer and is known for its versatility. It has a flat face for driving nails and a curved claw on the opposite end for removing them. Claw hammers come in different sizes, usually between 16 and 24 ounces. The weight of the hammer you choose will depend on the size of the job you are undertaking.

Aged claw hammer isolated on white background.
Photo Credit: formatoriginal via Envato Elements

When to use a claw hammer:

  • Driving nails into wood or other surfaces
  • Removing nails from wood or other surfaces
  • Demolition work, such as breaking down walls or removing flooring
  • General DIY projects

Framing Hammer

A framing hammer is similar in shape to a claw hammer but is much larger and heavier. It typically weighs between 20 and 32 ounces and has a longer handle for added leverage. Framing hammers are designed for heavy-duty work, such as framing houses, building decks, and other construction projects.

Man with framing hammer in front of frame of new house
Photo Credit: Image-Source via Envato Elements

When to use a framing hammer:

  • Framing houses or other buildings
  • Building decks or other outdoor structures
  • Heavy construction work


The sledgehammer is a large, heavy hammer with a long handle. It is designed for heavy-duty demolition work, such as breaking concrete or stone. Sledgehammers come in different sizes, with the most common weighing between 8 and 16 pounds.

Man wearing safety glasses and work apron holding a sledgehammer.
Photo Credit: seventyfourimages via Envato Elements

When to use a sledgehammer:

  • Breaking up concrete or stone
  • Demolishing walls or other large structures
  • Heavy-duty demolition work

Dead Blow Hammer

A dead blow hammer is a specialized type of hammer that is designed to reduce recoil and minimize damage to the surface being struck. It has a hollow head that is filled with sand or shot, which absorbs the shock of impact and reduces rebound. Dead blow hammers come in different sizes, with the most common weighing between 1 and 3 pounds.

Man hammering with a bright orange dead blow hammer
Photo Credit: Amazon

When to use a dead blow hammer:

  • Automotive repair work
  • Metalworking
  • Woodworking
  • Any job where you want to minimize damage to the surface being struck

Choosing the right hammer for the job is essential to ensure that your work is done efficiently and effectively. By understanding the different types of hammers and when to use them, you can ensure that you have the right tool for the job. Whether you are a professional contractor or a DIY enthusiast, having a good set of hammers in your toolbox is essential for getting the job done right.