How It Works
Science of hammers

Hammer time

Science of hammers

Get to grips with the different types of hammer and their uses for your home

A hammer is a large mass on the end of a lever. When you swing the hammer, the handle extends the effective length of your arm, so that the end of the hammer sweeps a larger arc. This means there is more time for your arm muscles to accelerate it. When the hammer strikes the nail it is travelling fast and because the head is very hard, it doesn’t absorb the blow. This means the kinetic energy is instantly transferred to the nail. The resultant force is large enough to overcome the friction of the material you’re driving the nail in to.

There are dozens of different designs of hammer depending on the task at hand. Learn about some of the different types here, so you can nail your next DIY job.

Hammers page
Each type of hammer is suited to particular tasks (click to zoom)

 

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Article by Luis Villazon originally appeared in How It Works issue 88, available now from the Imagine Shop

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