Encyclopedia > Hammer

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A hammer is a tool meant to deliver blows to a target, causing it to move or deform. The most common uses are for driving nails, fitting parts, and breaking up objects. Hammers are often designed for a specific purpose, and so their design varies quite a lot. Usual features are a handle and a head, with the balance firmly in the head. The hammer is used in many professions, and is one of the most basic tools along with the knife.

Like the knife (and almost all tools), the hammer is also a weapon. The concept of putting a handle on a weight to make it more convenient to use may well have led to the very first tools or weapons ever invented.

The use of a hammer to fix broken machinery is jokingly referred to as percussive maintenance.

Well-known forms include:

  • Carpenter's hammer, including framing hammer and claw hammer
  • Mechanic's hammer, including ball-peen hammer
  • Construction hammer, including sledgehammer
  • Stonemason's or club hammer
  • Steam hammer
  • Mallet

See also: Club, Chisel, hammer throw (field sport), War hammer

A small padded stick or cane used in pairs to play the hammered dulcimer. Dulcimer hammers are made of a variety of materials, most frequently wood with a hammer head covered with a strip of leather or felt.

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