Forget waiting for other people to attend to little DIY jobs — learn how to use a hammer the right way and you’ll be a DIY pro in no time!
There are a few types of hammers available, but a claw hammer will cover most DIY jobs. It’s called a claw hammer because of the metal fingers on the backside of the head used to pull out skew or old nails.
How to use a claw hammer
1. When holding a claw hammer it’s important to hold it firmly, similar to pulling a fist. Hold the handle about three quarters of the way down from the hammer head.
2. When striking a nail you don’t have to use all the force possible – rather let the hammer do the work, striking the nail more times is better than striking it too hard and missing. Try to hit it straight.
3. When learning how to use a hammer and nail, the point is not to see the head of the nail as the point of impact, but rather 2 cm below the head. The hammer must hit and rest, hit and rest, not hit and pull back, hit and pull back.
4. To avoid hitting your fingers, a good method is to secure the nail first with a few gentle taps with the hammer. Another way is to use a piece of cardboard or the teeth of a comb to hold the nail.
5. When hammering into a hard surface, it’s a good idea to drill a pilot hole – the same width of the nail to securely fasten the nail onto the substrate before hammering. To soften the sound of hammering, tape a few layers of insulation tape around the head of the hammer to soften the metal-on-metal sound.
Top tip: To remove an old or bent nail, the best thing to do is to gently pry it out using the claw of the claw hammer. Pull it out using the substrate as leverage.
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How to use a Hilti hammer
Hilti hammers make putting nails into a wall much easier. They basically work by creating a firm brace around specially designed nails. The only place the nail can go is precisely into the wall.
1. Place the Hilti nail into the metal pin in the centre of the brace. There is an exact size hole in the centre of the metal pin to hold the nail in place. Different sized nails are designed to hold different weights.
2. Place the nail in the metal pin in the desired spot on the wall, and gently push until the red sleeve around the metal pin is flush with the wall.
3. While holding the red sleeve firmly against the wall, take your hammer and hit the head of the metal pin that is protruding until it’s flush with the red sleeve. Don’t worry about over-hitting the metal pin as it will move to the perfect depth.
4. Gently remove the red sleeve away from the wall. Your Hilti nail should be perfectly straight and exactly where you want it. Before you hang anything on the nail, you should place the white plastic ‘cap’ onto the thread of the nail.
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