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How do you hold your hammer?

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RGIvy

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My late father-in-law owned a woodworking factory in Zimbabwe for many years, and often had walk-in job applicants.
His first and basic test was to simply get them to hammer a nail into a piece of wood. Those who had some degree of proper training held the handle towards the end. Those with no formal training tended to hold it slightly closer to the head.

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Unless he was really short of labour (or the job was unskilled) the "hold-it-near-the-head" applicants failed immediately.
I've often thought about that when I use a hammer!
 

novocaine

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for knocking nails in, from the end, for precision adjustment, close to the top.
for lumb hammers, anywhere including thumb at the side of the head.

my dads expression was "what did the hammer do to you that have to strangle it" when ever I shifted my grip up the handle as a youngster. stuck with me.
 

RGIvy

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Doesn't it depend on how hard you want to hit the nail?
Yes, and sometimes a short-handled hammer is easier for some delicate jobs (for me anyway).
...hence why I sometimes imagine his displeasure ;)
But when I knock a big nail in I'm always mindful to hold correctly
 

owen

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My dad always used to tell me off for strangling the hammer too. It's surprising how you can get used to certain hammers. I can use my estwing blindfolded but give me a different hammer and I seem to really start to think about how I'm using it.
 

Lons

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I just squeeze the trigger and it goes bang! ;)

Seriously though I had to think about that and under most circumstances hold near the end of the handle automatically even a lump hammer. A carving mallet almost always close to or around the head though I rarely bash a carving chisel.
 

AJB Temple

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This is a really big deal. My dad was an engineer and he would go nuts if you held a hammer anywhere except the end of the handle. This was deeply ingrained in me from age 2. When my wife breaks the rules and gets hold of one of my hammers, she always holds it half way down the handle. I have explained a trillion times that this is wrong and an affront to tools. However, she adroitly bends the nail or misses the post wherever she holds it. :cool:
 

bjm

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I was taught that if you had to hold the hammer in the middle (to exercise control) then you were using the wrong size hammer! It's something you often see blacksmiths doing though! It's all about leverage.
 

sunnybob

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I'm another who was taught by my engineer fabricator father. I still have a half dozen of his hammers, some of which must now be a 100 years old.
The end of the handle gives the maximum force to the blow. If thats too much force, use a lighter hammer.
I watch forged in fire, and am constantly amazed at how many of those knife makers who think they are THOR, and use a giant hammer and hold it with their fingers touching the head. They are the ones who always get exhausted and have to have medical assistance.
 

Trevanion

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I have a 8lb head on a foot long handle, it’s a great thing for convincing things to move.
 

Nigel Burden

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At the end. A lump hammer I might hold nearer the head, but my mallet is held near the head.

Nigel.
 

novocaine

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sometimes e..g for electrical problems, you need to hold it by the head no matter the size of hammer. :)
 

Tris

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An old carpenter watching me put up a fence said 'you hammer like lightning', 'I'm not that fast?' I replied, 'no, you never hit the same thing twice' he said.
Oldest one in the book apart from being sent for a long weight!
 

MusicMan

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I was taught with virtually all hand tools to hold them at the end (or in their handle) with index finger pointing along the tool for directional control, Hammers, saws, files, etc.
 

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