In the same way that a surgeon uses a specific precision tool for a specific task, a builder uses one of a range of tools to enable him to undertake the works well and efficiently. Hammers, mallets, chisels and mauls each have their role in a builder’s armory, and each has a shape and structure that makes it an efficient tool for a particular task. Lump hammers are cheap and plentiful on the market — they are a highly useful and well-shaped tool and fit their particular purpose perfectly.
Size and Weight - Lump hammers are available at either 2 or 4 pounds in weight, and the handles come in a few different materials such as wood, fibreglass or synthetic resin. The business end of the hammer, the head, is a solid chunk of iron that has a hole in one long edge that fits tightly onto the handle. The handle is usually short so that the user has control of the metal head.
Uses For a Lump Hammer - The 2-pound hammer is the one most commonly used for home building projects, but the 4-pound version is useful for dealing with stone for patios or driveways. Its weight makes it useful for splitting rock or stone with sharp chisels, and for driving heavy-duty masonry nails into walls. Any task that requires some force to drive a nail or a chisel is made much easier with a lump hammer, and because of its handy size and shape, it is also a favourite with geologists for splitting rock.
Similar Hammers - Hammers that look similar to a lump hammer but have different purposes include a soft-faced hammer with a head made of rubber or plastic, and are useful when a metal hammer might cause damage. Sledgehammers have the same kind of head but are much heavier, have a longer handle for swinging, and are effective in breaking up stone and concrete. These are useful on their own, as a builder brings the head down hard on the material being worked.
Safety Advice - Wooden handles might become loose within the fitting if they dry out, making it dangerous to use the hammer. Should this happen, soak the head of the hammer in a bucket of water for 12 hours to allow the wood to swell and make a tight fit within the head. Additionally, because of the danger of flying masonry chips or wood when using this heavy hammer, always wear protective eye goggles and safety gloves, and keep children and pets out of the area when working.