Dead-blow hammers

Most hammers can easily damage the surface they are striking. A dead-blow hammer helps prevent this.

The Lasher fibre handle mallet (green and yellow) has a head of hard rubber, not quite the ideal dead- blow material. The Wera 50mm soft-face non-recoil hammer (black and white) is a true, high-quality dead-blow hammer.
Photo: Chris Nel

A dead-blow hammer is a specialised tool that controls the striking force with minimal rebound from the struck surface. This reduces damage or deformation to the surface in precision work, especially in tight locations. It conveys less peak force, spread over a longer interval, than that of a conventional hammer of similar weight.

The head is usually hollow and partially filled with sand, lead or steel shot that distributes the energy of the strike over a longer period. Some dead-blow hammers have solid heads of rubber or resilient ultra-high molecular weight plastic (UHMW) to absorb shock and reduce rebound. Others are made of solid polymer.

Replaceable screw-on striking face inserts are available for some hammers; these allow the user to select the appropriate hardness of the striking face to optimise transfer of impact energy and reduce damage to the object being hammered. Worn or  damaged inserts can be replaced.

A dead-blow hammer can be used in woodworking to knock joints together or apart without denting the wood. The hammers shown above cost R100 incl. VAT (green and yellow) and R600 incl. VAT (black and white) at Builder’s Warehouse. Replacement screw-on faces come in pairs.