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How to Use a Ball-Peen Hammer

A ball-peen hammer is rounded on the back of the head.

A ball-peen hammer is similar to the common household hammer in structure, but in lieu of a claw, the head of the hammer is round. Ball-peen hammers are used for specific tasks, most commonly in blacksmithing and metalworking. Though many ball-peen hammer uses have been taken over by power tools, you may still need to use one to close a rivet or shape pliable metal. Ball-peen hammers are also used to hammer out small dents in cars with metal bodies.

Hold your hammer about 2 inches up from the bottom of the grip for maximum leverage.

Lightly tap the metal you are trying to shape with the ball area of the hammer.

Increase the strength of your taps until the metal begins to bend and move with each strike.

Work your way around the surface of the metal with the hammer, carefully tapping each area to ensure an even finish.

Tip

You can cover delicate metals with cloth before you begin tapping them with the hammer to soften the dents and prevent over-shaping.