Well, I know this isn't so useful, but I'd have to say that a lot of it
First, on me-- am I "in shape" for forging? If I haven't really used a
hammer for a few months my hands and wrists get weak and I just can't
swing a really heavy hammer all day. If I've been getting in a lot of
forging in then I can swing a four or five pound sledge for hours on
end. So I need to fit the hammer to myself, first.
It also depends on the job... When I'm driving a drift through a fairly
thick piece of metal I like a short-handled sledge, and I give it a
good pounding... When I'm working on more delicate stuff, like small
knives or s-hooks, I like a light hammer, maybe 500--750 grams.
I think the forging hammers I user the most are:
General-purpose "go-to" hammer: 1,000 gram Peddinghouse
For Heavy work: 1,500--2,000 gram French-pattern Peddinghouse
Rounding hammer (the ones I have are pretty standard -- not sure of
I don't think I have any hammers that feel bad to use... maybe just too
heavy. Just so you know, I have about 15 hammers, some cheap ones from
Harbor Freight, and some hand-made ones for sheet metal work.On all of
them I sand the handles to gently undulate so they fit my hand better.
I don't like straight-handled hammers, but prefer them to have a bit of
a swell where I hold them. I try to put one "swell" where I usually
hold it, and another farther down the handle so I can get a good swing
going. I tend to like long handles, at least for medium (1,000 grams)
to light weight hammers.
I have a Uri Hofi-style hammer, with a shortish/squarish head and
handle, and I've been trying to get used to it. The one I have is a
smaller one, and I think I need a heaver version to really do it
justice. I've seen demos with people using that style of hammer, and
they really kick ass at moving metal, but I haven't been able to get
the good hammer mojo going... So far I prefer the 1,000g Swiss-style
Now that I think of it, the only hammers I've had that feel bad to use
have needed their faces dressed properly. Once the face was ground and
sanded a bit they have all worked fine.
Well, I hope this was useful!
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