Inside: What are some of the variations of blacksmith’s hammer types. What should we know about the Blacksmith’s Hammer size, the different blacksmith hammer types, and what are some distinctive uses of a blacksmith’s hammer.
What is a blacksmith’s Hammer? I think that before I can answer that question, I must first answer the question what is a blacksmith? A blacksmith is someone who will use a hammer and anvil to forge hot metal into a desired shape or use. It seems that , What is a blacksmith’s hammer, would an obvious or easy question to answer, but in giving it some thought there are some definite features to look for in a blacksmith’s hammer. Let’s start with the size, type, and weight of the hammer. Then we may look different styles and dies and their uses. If interested you may want to check out my other article the Essential blacksmith tools for beginners.
Blacksmith Hammer Size
The size and weight of a hammer kind of go hand in hand. Hammers do come in a large variety of sizes it may be overwhelming when you go to choose one. I kind of look for one that has some heft but light enough to use all day long. Or in other words begin with a lighter weight to learn how to control the hammer, and then work up in weight as you see the need to. At the Hammer Source you can find blacksmith hammers from 10 oz. all the way up to 7 lb. So when it comes to size it will come down to what you can physically control, and what your preference is for the work that you do.
Blacksmith Hammer Types
When considering the types of blacksmith hammers that are sold, a little vocabulary may be necessary to help in the describing them. First the sledge, this is usually a rectangular shaped head normally of significant weight. Most sold in stores that I have seen come with the same flat die on each end of the hammers head. Then the Rounding hammer, this will come with a rounded die on one end and a flat die on the other end. The Peen hammers use a flat die on one end and a radiused fuller on the other end. These will also come in different configurations called cross-peen, diagonal-peen, straight-peen, or ball-peen. You may even see these different peens come in various styles based upon their design origination.
Blacksmith Hammer Uses
The main purpose when using a blacksmith hammer is to move metal in the direction that you want it to go. The use of the different dies, flat die, round die, or peen; will help aid in pushing the metal in a specific direction. Such as when using a cross-peen, the metal will move outward in a perpendicular direction from the strike of the the peen. Here is an interesting article regarding hammer control at the anvil, put out by Old World Anvils.