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How to Use a Hammer

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Here are a few hints on how to use a hammer. Don't get nailed!

  • Don't buy a hammer with a visible casting seam. It could fly apart as you work with it. Good hammer heads are all one smooth piece and won't shatter.
  • If the handle on your wooden hammer comes loose, soak the entire tool in linseed oil for several hours to encourage the wood to swell—and tighten the head.
  • Just like when you hold a tennis racket, the closer to the end of the handle you grip, the more power you will wield.
  • Wear goggles when you hammer, especially if you are working with masonry or hardened nails or tackling a project above your head or at eye level.

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When pulling a nail, always

By Ron McGilvray

When pulling a nail, always turn the hammer on the horizontal plane, grabbing the nail near the bottom and bend it down. The nail will bend but you get more power in the pull.

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