(a) Simple as the hammer is, there is a right and wrong way of using it
(fig 3). The most common fault is holding the handle too close to the head. This
is known as choking the hammer and reduces the force of the blow. It also makes it
harder to hold the head in an upright position. Except for light blows, hold the
handle close to the end to increase the lever arm and produce a more effective
blow. Try to hit the object with the full face of the hammer. Hold the hammer at
such an angle that the face of the hammer and the surface of the object being hit
will be parallel. This distributes the force of the blow over the full face and
prevents damage to both the surface being struck and the face of the hammer.
(b) Never strike a hardened steel surface with a hammer. This misuse is
a serious safety hazard. Small pieces of sharp, hardened steel may break from the
hammer and also from the hardened steel. Besides causing damage to the work and/or
the hammer, a serious eye injury may result.