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How to Use a Hammer Safely

Jul. 15, 2022

A regular hammer is one of the essential tools in every toolbox. There are many types of hammers that can be used depending on the type of work you are doing. A hammer is a very useful tool because of its simplicity and versatility allowing for many different uses. Therefore, it is important to understand how to use a hammer safely, as the consequences of improper use can be very serious. Here are some safety tips for using hammers at work and at home, so be sure to keep them in mind when working with a hammer.

Choosing the right hammerHow to Use a Hammer Safely

It is important to choose the right size and weight of hammer for your needs. Improper use can cause facial cracking and lead to serious injury. There are several types of hammers. A ramrod hammer can be found in most homes and is a good all-around choice that can also be used to drive nails easily. If you only want a hammer, this is also a good choice. If you need a more specialized hammer, read about types of hammers.

Check your hammer

Make sure the hammer head is securely fastened to the handle and that the handle is not loose, cracked or split. If the hammer is old and rusty, do not use it. The wood of the handle may be rotten or the steel head may be corroded. In these cases, the hammer may break, or the head may fly off.

Wearing goggles

Always wear goggles when using percussion tools. Most people don't realize how important it is to wear goggles when hammering nails. But nails can deflect and fly into your face, pieces of concrete or wood can break off and be thrown, or pieces of the hammer face itself can break off and fly apart. 

Observe your surroundings

When using the hammer, make sure your swing is unobstructed. Since you must swing the hammer above your head, it is recommended that you leave enough space behind, above and in front of you when using the hammer. It is best not to allow anyone to stand in front of or behind your bench.

Hold the hammer correctly

To hold the hammer properly, grasp it near the end of the handle. Get used to the feel. Swing it loosely in your hand. A well-made hammer will have a good balance with a small sweeping or widening section at the end of the handle to help you grip.

Pinch the nail properly

Hold the nail near the top, just below the head, with the tip at the point you want to nail. Hold the nail completely perpendicular to the face of the nail. 

Swing the hammer correctly

The hammer works under its own power. It is common practice to swing the hammer upward to the top of the head and then lower it so that the plane of the head touches the nail. As the hammer travels downward, it gains momentum and its full energy is transferred to the nail at contact. Your hand is only there to facilitate the movement of the hammer, and no energy is transferred from your hand. For safe use, hold the handle of the hammer firmly, but not too tightly. The hammer should have some play in your hand, but should not fly out of your hand as you swing it.

How to Use a Hammer Safely

Knowing how to use the hammer safely will ultimately make any work you do safer and more efficient. Taking the proper safety precautions outlined in this guide will help you prevent any injuries to yourself or others, as well as to the various different materials, spaces or objects you may be working with. Everyone should know how to use a hammer safely.