What is a hammer


Claw hammer

The hammer is in the truest sense of the word a hand tool is one of the oldest tools.


The hammer consists of a head and a handle. The hammer head has a track and a fin. The face is the flat side, the fin is the pointed side. The hammer head can weigh between 50 g and 12 kg.


Its ancestors were the hand axes and stone axes of the Neolithic. In the Bronze Age, the stone was replaced by a metal head.


A hammer is used in various areas of manufacturing. Among other things for smashing, hammering and shaping. An object can be struck into another body with a hammer, e.g. B. a nail in a wall or a chisel in the workpiece. Objects can also be shaped, such as sheet metal for peening or iron for forging.


Manually operated hammers

In the narrow space between the tracks, the hammer has to be used crosswise. This hammer belongs to Wolfgang W., chief track builder at MiWuLa. After an estimated 250,000 geisnails, the faithful piece is clearly deformed "to the waist".

There are different hammer shapes for different areas of application:

  • Auction hammer with striking block
  • Roofing hammer
  • Fäustel
  • Veneer hammer
  • Geologist's hammer
  • Goldsmith's hammer
  • Rubber mallet
  • Wooden hammer (mallet, beater, mallet)
  • Claw hammer (carpenter hammer more common in Anglo-Saxon countries)
  • Ball hammer
  • Plastic hammer
  • Claw hammer (carpenter's hammer)
  • Mason's hammer (Mottek)
  • Paver hammer
  • Upholstery hammer
  • Engineer's hammer
  • Carpenter's hammer
  • Shoemaker's Hammer
  • Sickenhammer
  • Splitting hammer
  • Sledgehammer
  • Chiselling hammer

Mechanically operated hammers

Even through the use of water power, but at the latest with industrialization, machines were also invented that are modeled on the hammer:

  • Demolition hammer
  • Hammer drill
  • Steam hammer
  • Drop hammer
  • Hydraulic hammer
  • Jackhammer
  • Scabbard hammer
  • Counter blow hammer


The Teutons interpreted the lightning as a visible sign that Thor, the god of thunder, had thrown his hammer (Mjölnir) to earth. Since Thor was also responsible for the consecration of marriage, the hammer was also considered a symbol of fertility.

In the flag of the former Soviet Union (hammer and sickle) the hammer stands as a symbol for industry. The hammer was also included in the GDR's national coat of arms as a symbol for the working class.


There are a few idioms related to the hammer. Here would be first know where the hammer hangs and Show someone where the hammer is to call. While the former means that the person referred to is very knowledgeable about something, the latter is used as a synonym for when someone is reprimanded.

The second group of idioms revolves around auctions. Since these are ended in their original form with a hammer, the formulations are used come under the hammer or. put under the hammer for things that are auctioned.

When a person's mind is in doubt, they are sometimes said to be have a hammerwhich means that he acts like he was hit on the head with a hammer. Something that is particularly eye-catching, awesome, or shocking is often called a the hammer designated.

Finally, there is the idiom between hammer and anvil It is advisable to mention, which says that someone gets between two fronts and could be crushed with the force of a hammer that is struck on the anvil during forging.

The hammer is one of the 12 black signs of the zodiac.


The sport of hammer throwing originates from Ireland and Scotland (Highland Games) and was originally practiced with blacksmith hammers. There is also the hammer finish, which looks like the painted object has been processed with a hammer.


  • Karl Pichol, Hand hammer, machine hammer, hammer mill (1993)