A well-known instrument used by workmen, of which there are numerous varieties, adapted to the peculiar work they are designed for. The general form is that of an iron head, having a handle at right angles to it. The class called rivetting hammers have the handle fixed to them by passing it through a hole in the head, where it is made to fit or be wedged firmly; the face is formed of steel, as well as the rivetting end (called the pans), which are welded to the iron. These hammers are used by carpenters, smiths, engineers, and numerous artisans, and vary in some peculiarities of form; and as respects weight, from an ounce to many pounds, or that of a sledge-hammer. Of the last mentioned there are various sorts and sizes; also of hand or up-hand hammers, which are a medium size between the two before mentioned, and are so called from the capacity of the workman to use them with one hand. A variety of hammers having two claws, called claw hammers and Kent hammers, are extensively used by carpenters and other trades, as the claw, together with its handle, forms a powerful lever for drawing nails and other purposes requiring great force.
The late Mr. Walby, of Islington (who is succeeded by his son), distinguished himself by the construction of a very ingenious apparatus, by which he worked a hammer at the rate of 800 blows per minute, in the manufacture of a very superior quality of bricklayers' trowels. For the construction and mode of working those prodigious hammers, called tilt-hammers, see the article Iron.