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Assert your DIY dominance with these essential hammers.
If you've ever found yourself staring at a stuck part on your car, it might be time to upgrade your hammer collection. After all, hammers are some of the most useful tools a mechanic can have in their toolbox. All hammers are not the same, however, and are used for different things—so make sure you're using the correct one.
For this list, we used our experience in the field (aka our garages) to determine which hammers are truly essential. Whether you wrench professionally or just on weekends, you'll want to make sure a drawer in your toolbox is set aside for these agents of brute force. So add some shiny new specimens to your hammer collection and show that rust bucket who's boss!
Essential Wrench Sets to Add to Your Toolbox
If you have to do some fabrication that requires welding of any kind, make sure to pick up a welding hammer to make the welds look good. Built to clean up weld splatter, this hammer also features a handle that absorbs contact shock. A bonus steel wire brush is included.
Slide hammers are incredibly useful for removing stuck bearings, seals, and gears. This kit comes with a bunch of adapters to save some frustration. Just fasten one end of the hammer to whatever needs yanking, and drive the slide toward you, providing oomph to pull rather than push.
This hammer features five removable heads: brass, copper, ABS, nylon, and rubber. The brass head is used primarily in the automotive world and is handy for its anti-spark properties and overall softness. It's excellent for driving in fragile bearing races or hammering around the fuel system.
A good rubber mallet is key to have in your toolbox for working on cars or even jobs around the house. The rubber head works to prevent dents and dings that would be caused by metal heads. If you have a stuck part, this is a good place to start.
This is your smaller ball peen hammer, which is a common type for most mechanics. This one weighs just eight ounces, so it's great for when you need just a little persuasion. The light weight means it's easy to wield and aim, but it'll still bust a thumb if you're not careful.
This might be your most-used hammer out of the bunch, and we like this made-in-the-USA Estwing. The grip is patented to reduce shock by 70 percent, and the 24-ounce weight is a perfect balance between wieldability and power.
Now we're getting into the big boys—this dead blow ball peen from Snap-on is a brute. The internal steel canister features loose shot to provide an extra punch behind your swing. The 32-ounce weight should be enough for most jobs, and it'll last you a long time, too.
This four-pound soft-head dead blow from Neiko is a great option for when you need serious power without scratch marks. The steel shot in the head provides extra bashing power, while the poly-coated surface won't leave unwanted marks. The coating will eventually wear out and crack, but at this price, it's no biggie.
Weighing in at eight pounds, this dead blow sledgehammer from Blue-Point is an absolute beast. It measures 30 inches from head to end, so you'll need some serious oxygen to wind up and swing. Free-flowing shot acts like a secondary punch, and the molded urethane cover is tough. Rusted rotors, beware.
When you pick this up, watch as the shop grows quiet and murmurs of awe spread like a dawn dew. Phones start to pop out, because you're about to go viral—for better or worse. This is your Big Hammer: an eight-pound solid alloy steel sledgehammer that will make any seized part quiver in fear. You'll rarely need to use this on a vehicle, but bring it out occasionally to keep the haters at bay. Oh, and you better stretch first.