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Woody2Shoes

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I was working on some masonry the other day with a friend and I had on hand a cold chisel, a claw hammer and a club hammer. I wanted to knock a piece out of a concrete block and used the claw hammer to hit the chisel. He took me to task, saying I would damage one of them - the chisel I think. I told him I thought there wasn't much difference - who was right and why?
 

MikeG.

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Hmmm. I think that's someone who likes to keep his claw hammer looking tidy. Personally I would never use a claw hammer with a cold chisel because I like to keep my hand looking tidy.

Well, you know. Tidy-ish.

OK then.......no uglier than now.
 

Bm101

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I like a bigger weight in the hand rather than too light personally. No jokes.
I can't see a hammer would damage a cold chisel though. Makes no sense.
I can see that someone might think it is not in the nature of the tool. I make you right mind.
A chippy I was working with once told me not to hold a claw hammer round the neck. This fella was a great guy. So I told him to F off. Then he lectured me on dynamics. I looked at him for a while and he shut up.
About 3 days later I walked past and he's tapping a nail in using my method.
*agghhhhhhhh. Come here you fecker!
He runs . Lol
 

MikeG.

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Bm101":17gancn7 said:
......A chippy I was working with once told me not to hold a claw hammer round the neck.......
They normally ask "haven't you paid for it all yet, as you're only using half of it?". Electricians can often be seen with a half-length hammer, because nailing cable clips in place between joists means they've not got room for anything else. Funny thing is, with mallets it's extremely rare to see them held anywhere other than right up by the head, but if you do that with a hammer it just looks wrong.
 

Trevanion

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I wonder if a claw hammer face is marginally harder than a club/lump hammer, I've seen mushroomed lump hammers and they're specifically designed for hitting something that's hard likes chisels and knocking bricks off so ideally, you want the hammer to absorb the impact and marr rather than chipping pieces of the face off because it's too hard. I've never seen a mushroomed claw hammer (Well, I did once but it was a very poor quality Stanley that had a hard life) and they're designed for driving soft fixings and knocking wood apart/together so in theory they can be made to a higher hardness because there's less likelihood of chipping the face in regular usage. Ergo, I think your brickie mate was worried you were either going to chip the face of the hammer, or chip off a piece of the chisel which in the bad old days could puncture someone quite easily since chips can travel very quickly, I think there are old case studies of people's femoral arteries being punctured by metal chips being shot off hammers and chisels.

That probably only applies to older hammers and chisels though, modern ones seem to have a beating and not chip at all due to better metal composition, or lesser hardening.
 

Phil Pascoe

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I wonder if it's because there is/was a greater chance of the hammer or the cold chisel chipping? With a lump hammer you've a very broad face so it would be less likely? You're probably more likely to skate off too with a small hammer.
I must admit to liking carver's mallets because you hold them so close to the head, although I made a couple of heavy short handled carpenter's ones a couple of years ago that are nice to hold up close to the head.
 

Lons

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If you look at a club hammer you'll see the edges are rounded to stop you smashing the bones in your hand when you WILL hit it. :lol: Still bleedin hurts though!
A claw hammer is too small and dangerous with your hand near the point of impact and it's light so you need to use force where a club hammer operates almost under it's own weight.

I hold a carvers mallet by the head as I just tap the chisel not bash it and it's far easier to control that way.
 

Phil Pascoe

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I think if I were a carver I'd devise something solid that strapped into my palm, just to comfortably tap away on light, delicate work.
 

Lons

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phil.p":1o1snej1 said:
I think if I were a carver I'd devise something solid that strapped into my palm, just to comfortably tap away on light, delicate work.
Wouldn't work Phil at least not for me as I alternate between chisel in hand then mallet, would be a faff. I only use a mallet when absolutely necessary as normally a slicing cut with a gouge is all I need.
 

ED65

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Woody2Shoes":1qbgod41 said:
I was working on some masonry the other day with a friend and I had on hand a cold chisel, a claw hammer and a club hammer. I wanted to knock a piece out of a concrete block and used the claw hammer to hit the chisel. He took me to task, saying I would damage one of them - the chisel I think. I told him I thought there wasn't much difference - who was right and why?
The convention is that lump hammers are tempered soft and claw hammers are tempered harder which would account for traditional advice/thinking on the matter. Text books were still mentioning this in the 80s or early 90s, no idea if they still do.

Of course these days who knows what they'll be like? I have a Continental cross-pein hammer which I was pleased as punch to pick up cheaply at a car boot as I'd wanted one for ages. Dutifully made a handle from scratch for it, only to discover it's as soft as anything :( Just hammering a regular nail flat slightly marks the face.

But even historically there will have been some variation. I've seen plenty of vintage hammers now and some had slight mushrooming while others in good shape had chips of steel missing from their edges which clearly shows they weren't all heat treated the same.
 
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