How often do you reach for your hammer while you're doing home improvement projects? Most homeowners have a common claw hammer on hand for pounding in nails, but this basic tool can do a lot more. Hammers can fill in when needed for a variety of tools to make your life a little easier, whether you're doing a home improvement project or some quick fixes around your home.
The main use of a claw hammer is to pound in and remove nails. However, you can also use this versatile tool for other purposes, such as minor demo, digging holes, or straightening out thin metal.
The Basics of a Claw Hammer
A claw hammer is what most people imagine when they think of hammers. It features a rounded, flat head on one side, which is designed for driving nails. The other side has a curved, claw-like end that can be used for a variety of purposes. Framing hammers and rip hammers are similar, but they have a straight claw instead of a curved one like the claw hammer has.
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Hammering and Removing Nails
The most basic use for a claw hammer is driving nails into materials. This could include something as simple as pounding in a nail to hang a picture or as involved as installing studs to frame out a room. The flat, rounded side enables you to drive nails perfectly.
If you need to remove nails, the claw side provides the leverage to pull them out of a board, wall, or other materials. This part comes in handy if you drive the nail in the incorrect spot or you're taking something off the wall that you no longer want to display.
Minor Demolition for Projects
If you're completely gutting and remodeling your bathroom, you'll likely need a wide range of tools for the demolition. However, a hammer can help you with some parts of a small demolition project. It works well to pry off trim or pry apart other materials. You can also use the flat, rounded part to smash through materials, although a sledgehammer will be much more efficient for larger jobs.
Splitting Small Pieces of Wood
The sturdy, metal claw portion of the hammer is strong enough to chop through small pieces of wood. Think of it as a tiny version of an axe. If you don't have an appropriate cutting tool available, use the claw to split a block of wood for a project. It's not efficient for large-scale wood-splitting projects, but it can come in handy for a quick job.
Digging Small Holes
In a pinch, you can use the claw end of the hammer to dig a small hole. The claw end is very strong, so it can dig down into dirt, even if it's very hard or frozen. Use it to dig little divots in the ground for the legs of your extension ladder, or use the claw end to pry a stubborn rock out of the ground when you're working on a landscaping project. If you need to break up a larger stone, pair your hammer with a chisel to tackle the job.