How to Use a Hammer Safely: 15 Important Tips to Follow
Hammer is a very basic tool that we usually use for a variety of reasons. This tool helps us to perform multiple tasks like driving nails into woods, shaping a piece of metal, breaking something, etc. It’s an easy-going tool that consists of a heavy weighted head made of steel which is usually fixed with a handle made of wood or metal.
Almost every person keeps a hammer in his toolbox. In spite of being a very basic and common tool, hammers can sometimes cause some serious injuries if we do not use them properly. So, it is very important to know how we can use a hammer safely.
This article will provide you with some easy ways to use a hammer safely.
Table of Contents
- 1 Hammer Selection Guidelines for Safe Execution
- 2 Safety Precautions for Using a Hammer
- 3 Swinging the Hammer Correctly
Hammer Selection Guidelines for Safe Execution
The most important thing that you need to do before you try to perform any task using a hammer is to choose the right hammer. You should choose a hammer that is very much comfortable to you. Select the one that has the proper size and weight and best suited for the job.
Selection of the wrong types of the hammer may also cause some serious injuries. Let’s have a look at some guidelines to select the perfect hammer:
1. Sowing Nails
The most common use of a hammer is in case of sowing nails. We usually use a hammer for sowing nails without searching for any alternatives. And for sowing nails, we need to use a claw hammer. This hammer is the oldest and most traditional types of hammer.
It comes with a metal head and typically contains a wooden handle. You can use both the sides of the hammer for either sowing nails or removing nails. Use one side to sow nails on the wood or walls and use the other side to remove nails from the wood.
To remove nails from the woods, try holding the hammer upside down. You also need to align the claw by the nail. Then try pulling it up using moderate pressure. You can also use this hammer to hang some artworks, attach planks and many other activities.
2. Working on Demolition Site
If you are thinking of working on a demolition site and confused about the fact whether you can use a hammer for that work or not, then I must suggest you go for the work without any confusion, because you can easily perform any kind of demolition work using a sledgehammer.
Sledgehammer is one of the heaviest hammer types that come with a weight of almost 5kg. People use this hammer mostly for tearing down drywall. This type of hammer contains a head of cylindrical shape. The head looks the same from both sides.
You can use both the sides to perform demolition work. As it has a heavyweight, be sure to use some extra caution while using this hammer.
3. Assembling Furniture Parts
There may create a situation when you need to use a hammer for assembling furniture parts or doing some handwork. That time you may work with lightweight items and you may not want those items to get badly damaged just because of using excessive force.
That time you need to be gentle in using the hammer. Mallet is the best choice for performing these types of tasks. Mallet is a kind of hammer which may be of either wood or rubber.
If you are doing a woodworking project or going to chisel wood, then you should use wooden mallets. But if you want to work on furniture, then go for the rubber mallets, because you will get a strong blow with a nominal bounce-back.
4. Working on Automobiles
Sometimes you may need to work on automobiles like removing dents from the car panels, reshaping the car panels and many other tasks. This time you can also use a hammer to do these types of automobile works.
To perform these works you need to use the Body mechanic’s hammer. This hammer is small in size and comes with a tiny curved anvil often called the “dolly”. This anvil is very strong and made of metal. The anvil is perfectly attached with a wooden handle.
You can use this type of hammer only for automobile works. Never try to use this hammer to sow nails, because this may cause serious damages.
5. Punching or Driving a Chisel
Are you thinking of driving a chisel or punching something using a hammer? If so, then you should choose the ball peen hammer. Especially the metalworkers use this hammer. This hammer is best suited for punching or driving a chisel.
You will find a ball peen hammer with a head typically made of solid metal. It comes with a rounded top which is the best for crushing metals. By using this type of hammer, you can easily shape metals and also can reach into small spaces.
Safety Precautions for Using a Hammer
Once you choose the perfect hammer for your work and you are ready to start using the hammer for the task, take a few minutes to make sure that you’ve taken the basic safety precautions. It is also an important thing that you need to consider before starting work. Like other power tools safety, hammers need extra care too. Don’t forget to take the following precautions:
6. Inspect the Condition of Hammer
To ensure the condition of the hammer, you need to inspect the hammer before you use it. Checking this will allow you to understand whether the hammer is in a good condition or not. First of all, make sure the head of the hammer is tight. Never start working with a hammer with a loose head.
If you use a loose headed hammer, then it may fly off while swinging it. Try avoiding a rusty hammer and also avoid if the wood is splintering, because these things may result in some unexpected serious injuries.
7. Clean the Hammer and Work Area
Check the hammer whether it is dirty or clean before you start using it. You may notice some dirt, debris, oil, etc on the hammer. If you find anything like these things, remove them immediately and clean the hammer properly using a piece of clean cloth.
If any debris or oil remains on the hammer, it will slip out from the hands while using it and cause damage. So try cleaning the hammer as much as possible. But remember one thing that you should avoid using water for cleaning the hammer, as the use of water on the hammer may cause it to rust.
You also need to keep your working areas free of any kind of debris or other objects or other power tools that may cause either a slip hazard or trip hazard.
8. Use Eye Protection
As it is all about using a hammer safely, it is a must for you to ensure the safety of your body parts. You need to be very much careful while using a hammer for any kind of work. To protect your eyes from getting badly injured, you must wear safety eyewear.
Your eyes get unexpectedly injured if nails or other flying objects hit your eyes. Even there is a possibility of losing your eye if this thing happens.
Make sure that both of your eyes, as well as the entire area, is properly covered while you are wearing safety glasses. Also, check out whether the strap is tightly secured or not.
9. Stay Focused
Focusing is an important thing in case of using a hammer. You must try to keep your focus on what you are doing. You should keep focusing all the time to prevent any kind of injury.
If you become careless and remain unconscious, you may hurt yourself by hitting your own fingers rather than hitting the nails.
Keep your full concentration on your work and keep the attention on your hammer. You can avoid unexpected accidents by keeping your full focus on the hammer and the entire work as well.
Swinging the Hammer Correctly
Swinging the hammer is the basic activity of using a hammer. You must know how to swing the hammer properly. There are several ways of swinging the hammer correctly. Here are some of the very common steps:
10. Look Behind Before Swinging
At first, you should look behind you before you start swinging the hammer. This will definitely help you to avoid any kind of injury. If you mistakenly swing the hammer except checking this thing, it may cause some serious injuries to the person standing behind you. In fact, you can also hurt yourself.
So, don’t forget to have a look over your shoulders before starting to swing the hammer just to be sure there is no one staying behind you. Also, make sure that no overhanging items are there behind you.
11. Grip the Hammer Properly
Gripping the hammer properly is a vital matter to consider. In case you fail to grip the hammer properly, your safety will be completely ruined. It will definitely cause injury.
Even if you don’t grab it properly, it may cause some serious pain on your palm after using a hammer for a long time. You can grip the hammer properly by rapping your fingers over the handle and covering the entire handle.
This way your thumb will be perfectly placed on the top of the handle. This will allow you to have the best control over your hammer.
12. Hold the Hammer Tightly
You may think that only gripping the hammer properly is enough to avoid injuries and ensure safety. But this thought is totally wrong.
Once you grip the hammer properly, then you need to hold it tightly. Unless you hold the hammer tightly, will slip out of your hand and fly away when you swing it. This will create a wound. So never hold the hammer loosely.
Sometimes the object on which you will work may also get badly damaged if you hit the object without holding the hammer tightly.
13. Line-up the Hammer and the Item
The most common injury that occurs to our body part while using a hammer is the finger injury. We often fail to hit the object and mistakenly hit our fingers. This mistake may result in broken fingers. And this injury mostly occurs just because of failing to line up the hammer as well as the item properly.
Before making your first swing, line up the head of the hammer to your working object. This will help you to focus on the object and make a solid strike. Even following this way you can strike the item using full force.
14. Start with a Light Blow
Nailing with hammer is the most common activity done using a hammer. In case you are thinking of sowing a nail onto a hardboard or wood or into a wall, then try starting with a light blow and use nominal force before increasing your power.
At first, you need to place the nail on the surface and hold it to the surface. Then hit the nail very gently until it gets into the surface. Use lower power at that time.
After it gets into the surface, increase your hammering power to drive the rest part of the nail. You can move your hand once the nail sets.
15. Sowing the Hammer Using Your Entire Arm
Unless you are sowing nails using a hammer, you must grip the hammer from the very end. Hold the hammer tightly and use a moderate and balanced force to hit the object. That time you should use both your arms and your elbow to swing the hammer. You need to hold the handle of the hammer tightly and bring your arm above your head. Then hit the surface. If you break down drywall or even working on automobiles, you should follow this way.
Last Few Words on Safe Hammer Usage
Using a hammer is never that much difficult. Even you can easily use a hammer after ensuring the safety of your body parts. Just follow the instructions stated above and start performing your task using a hammer.
Remember one thing, you must protect yourself from any kind of injury and ensure the safety of your body parts first before you start using a hammer. So, after reading this article carefully, I believe that you are now clear about the ways of using a hammer safely.