Most people, if they have a hammer, have a claw or framing hammer. I recently bought a ball peen hammer. A ball peen or ball pein hammer has a metal ball shape on the end where you would usually have a claw. The round ball part is generally used for shaping metal. I have no need to shape metal, but I bought a small ball pein hammer because of the price and the size. Also, it reminds me of the tomahawks we bought for our young boys years ago. It has a nice heft.
A claw hammer, which could be called a framing hammer, or several other carpentry name variants is a must-have tool around the house or garage. The flat round end of the claw hammer is used to drive nails into wood. If you do a bad job of hammering, then the claw part of the hammer is used to grab hold of the nail and either bend the nail straight if you bent it (so you can try driving it again) or pull the nail out completely with the claw. Claw hammers come in different sizes and weights.
I picked up the smallish ball peen hammer from the cheap tool bin at Ace Hardware. I thought it would be the ideal tool for creating a small hole in drywall with a nail and then tapping a plastic wall anchor into the sheet rock for hanging art on our interior walls. In addition, I’ve used it on two other projects (securing a TV antennae, and repairing a leather bound antique box).
I’ve seen the hammer referred to as Ball Peen and Ball Pein and have seen nothing to clarify the difference in names. I’ve been successful in using the little hammer so far. If I ever hurt myself hammering with it, I could probably throw it further than I could a claw hammer.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.
P Rose says
Correct spelling ‘peen’ meaning to hit with a hammer to shape, form, or temper metals.
A framing hammer is larger and heavier than a carpenter hammer due to the need to drive larger nails. They have longer handles and heavier heads with knurled striking surface. One needs good arm strength to swing one all day.
Don Doman says
Thanks for commenting. I saw both spellings . . . I’m guessing the Pein Peen might be from overseas. Actually, since I emailed the article in, I’ve seen “Ball Pein” being used in ads. You know, I’ve hammered in the morning . . . hammered in the evening . . . all over the Pierce County world. I think there are hammers for everyone’s taste, need, or feel. Arm strength was never the problem for me. It was the grip, which I’ve been losing for a long time.
Thanks for for sharing. I always like your notes.
I’m not sure what to say about this piece, other than it was a welcomed diversion from much of the other unreliable self centered swill I see. I read it all, which is unusual too. I do love tools. Thanks!
Don Doman says
Thanks for for the faint praise commentary. I wanted something that wasn’t hateful and heavy . . . the small Ball Peen hammer seemed to fit.
Thanks for sharing.
Sorry Don. I had just finished perusing regional newspapers this morning and may not have been in the best frame of mind. I see what you are saying about, “faint praise”. None the less, I liked your piece so much I felt compelled to thank you. Perhaps I should not have.
Don Doman says
Sorry, I was just joking with you. I’m glad you liked the piece.