Ball-peen (also known as ball-pein) hammers are basic components of any toolbox. Whether it’s for professional use, for a workshop or to simply keep at home, it’s safe to say that everyone will need a hammer at some point. If you want to learn more about this tool and its specific characteristics, below we offer you a complete comparative guide with all the information you need in order to choose from the best models of ball-peen hammers on the market.

These type of hammers are ideal tools to work metal- its round head is used to rivet metal. This type of hammer is a robust tool with handles made out of wood, fibre or carbon. The design of these hammers has changed very little. Just like the wheel, there has been no need to reinvent it. This type of hammer is differentiated by having a rounded head.

Key Facts

  • Ball-peen hammers are considered very useful when doing finishing work. Generally, the round part of the head is used to flatten and shape metals. This tool is also used in the riveting process and in forging work to mold metal.
  • These hammers are very simple tools and they don’t require much care. Even so, one should always check the condition of the handle. If the handle shows signs of heavy wear or cracks, it should be replaced right away to avoid accidental damage if and when the tool brakes.
  • Ball-pein hammers are affordable tools. Nonetheless, we should still pay close attention to the quality of the tool before making a decision. We should always choose hammers that are made with the best materials, in this regard, the brand often influences the quality of the tool.

Ranking: The best ball-peen hammers on the market

Here’s a list of the best ball-peen hammers on the market. Each one of these options has their own distinguishing characteristics. We hope you’ll find the tool that best suits your needs while staying within your budget.

No. 1: Silverline, HA35 Ball Hammer

The Silverline HA35 ball-peen hammer is a comfortable, versatile and well-crafted tool. Its polished steel head is forged to withstand time and shock. You can work metal and wood without problems and you can even use it to break masonry. It comes with a comfortable nylon pouch for storage.

The fibreglass handle is designed to endure and absorb shock, and buffers vibrations so that they don’t extend into the arm. These features allow you to work comfortably and without fatiguing quickly. Moreover, its rubber handle is designed to facilitate and enhance the grip. Weighing in at just over 1 kg, this is a very comfortable and functional tool.

No. 2: Tekton, 30409 Ball Peen Hammer Set

This is a complete set of 4 ball-peen hammers in various sizes. With this product you will have four tools for the price of one. The set consists of: (1) 8oz hammer, (1) 12oz hammer, (1) 16oz hammer and (1) 24 oz hammer. This is a very versatile set which will allow you use this tool in any space and circumstance.

All of the hammers are perfectly balanced for optimum comfort when working with them. Forged and tempered steel heads are specifically designed to withstand hard work. The handles in these tools are made of light-weight fibreglass, designed to absorb vibrations and make the job easier. Reviews report handles to have a soft and easy grip.

No. 3: Craftman, 9-38466 Ball Hammer

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If you are looking for a strong and reliable ball-peen hammer, this is it. The Craftman 9-38466 24oz hammer has a forged steel head of the highest quality. Great to strike chisels and punches, peining rivets and shaping metal. The hammer face and peen have a uniform design. The tool also features a 15 1/4-inch hickory, fixed-position handle.

This is a high-quality tool that has only positive reviews. It weighs in at under 1 kilogram making it ideal for long work sessions. It is always an added bonus when a product is backed by a lifetime warranty like this tool.

No. 4: Am-Tech, 32 BP Hammer

Am-Tech is one of the most recognized brands of tool manufacturers. The Am-Tech 32oz ball hammer is reliable, durable, lightweight and comfortable to use. The head is made of forged and tempered steel, which has undergone thermal treatment. These treatments prevent deformation and breakage, so you can work for longer without problems.

This tool is very easy to use and consumers report that it has a very comfortable grip. This is because it’s made of treated fibreglass, which absorbs shock and vibrations. The handle is covered with a rubber finish for easy grip and comfort when handling it. It is also light-weight at 1.12 kg, which allows you to work longer and tiring less.

No. 5: Pro-Grade, 15608 Ball Pein Hammer

This Pro-Grade ball hammer comes in diverse styles with diverse weights. From 1lb tools to 32 oz tools and lots in-between. It’s heads are made from forged high carbon steel and feature a polished striking head and peen. This ensures a homogeneous hardness so you can work with both ends without problems.

It has a jacketed fibreglass handle with the standard rubber grip for comfort. This hammer is specially designed to work with metal, removing dents and shape metal sheets. With a forged steel head and thermally reinforced so that it does not deform.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about ball-peen hammers

There are many different styles of ball-peen hammers, before choosing one, you should know all their main features. It is important that you understand how they work and what these tools are before you make the investment. To help you make a good purchase, here’s a list of the most frequently asked questions from other users.

Ball-Peen-Hammer

It is important to follow certain safety precautions.(Source: Gstockstudio: 41262247/123rf.com)

What is a ball-peen hammer exactly?

Ball-peen hammers are percussion tools. This means they’re designed to hit materials. These tools are usually made out of a combination of wood, steel and fibres. This type of hammer has a head with two ends: one end is round or a ‘ball’ – the other end is flat, this is the end that is used to hit.

In ball-pein hammers, the round head is used to form/forge the metal. This part of the hammer is mostly only used to shape metals. These tools are essential for smoothing metal sheets.

They are also used for riveting processes. They are used in mechanical workshops, forging, locksmiths work and metallic carpentries.

What are the main uses of a ball-peen hammer?

These types of hammers can also be called locksmith hammers. By combining the flat head of a hammer and a round head to form metal these tools have a variety of uses. . Locksmiths use them to shape metal sheets. They are also used in the process of riveting, smoothing and shaping metal. This style of hammer is a go-to tool among metal forgers.

What is the difference between a ball-peen hammer and a claw hammer?

There are a few other types of hammers with similar functions, but meant for their own specific job. Among these other types of hammers we can find claw hammers or framing hammers.These hammers are widely used in carpentry. For certain jobs however, a ball-peen hammer is a much better tool. Let’s see why they are ideal for riveting and working metal:

Ball-peen hammer Claw hammer
Head Ball-peen hammer has a flat head and a round head (ideal for working metal). Claw hammers have a head that curves downwards (ideal for removing nails).
Resistance Ball-peen hammers are very strong. The round part can even be used for demolition work. Claw hammers have a head curved downward ideal for levers.
Handle It is usually made of fibreglass. The handle absorbs vibrations to avoid damage to the arm. They usually have handles made out of wood or vegetable fibres.
Weight They usually weigh between 1 and 1.2 kg. They usually weigh less than 1 kg.
Functions Lock-smithery, riveting metal, working and shaping metal. Nailing, nail removal and carpentry .

When is it advisable to buy a ball-peen hammer?

Ball hammers have become an indispensable tool in many workshops. This type of hammer is reliable, comfortable and perfect tool for even the most demanding jobs. They are ideal in mechanic workshops, locksmith workshops and metal work. Below is a list of the advantages and disadvantages of these tools:

Advantages
  • Very versatile
  • Very powerful
  • Great variety of models and prices
  • Perfect for lock-smithery and metal work
Disadvantages
  • Heavy weight
  • You must take into account certain security and safety measures

What types of hammers are there?

There are six types of “essential” hammers: the carpenter’s hammer, the blacksmith’s hammer, the ball-peen hammer, the sledgehammer, the mallet and the shoemaker’s hammer. Each of these hammers is ideal for a specific type of work. Although the basic design is the same for all hammers, each have differentiating elements and special features. The most distinctive characteristic of the ball-peen hammer is it’s round head.

The mallet and sledgehammer are very hard and heavy tools- much bigger than other hammers. Both of these are designed to demolish and break things. The sledgehammer is the largest one of the two and is used in construction to demolish surfaces. The claw hammer has a curved head and the shoemaker’s head is made of “soft” materials so that it doesn’t damage the footwear.

Ball-Peen-Hammer2

Ball-pein hammers are very resistant, they can even be used to work metal.(Source: Pobuda: 32522016/123rf.com)

How do I use a ball-peen hammer?

Hammers as the tools we know today, have been around since 4,000 B.C. The design, since then, has changed very little and are considered irreplaceable tools, i.e. we cannot use another tool to nail with the efficiency of the hammer. The basic composition of a hammer is that it has a grip handle and a metal head with which to hit a material.

What safety measures should be followed in order to avoid accidents when using a ball-peen hammer?

As always, it is important to respect the basic protection and safety rules applicable to any job and any tool. Even though hammers are very simple tools, it is still necessary to follow some rules and safety precautions in order to avoid accidents. Take a look at a few of them:

  • The material being worked on must be struck perpendicularly. Making sure to strike at a 90 degree angle.
  • When hitting a surface, making sure to use the necessary force. This means not using too much or too little force. By going to far we can deform or break the material.
  • The hammer should be held from the end of the handle to give the best force to each blow. Moreover, this is the best way to avoid causing damage to the wrist when working with this tool.
  • Being specially careful with the fingers. Measure the blow to ensure hitting the material and not your body.
  • Making sure the hammer is always left well supported. If it falls, it could smash on a foot or brake something.
  • Whenever the work imposes risk to the hands it is important to wear protective gear. Gloves can save your fingers if something goes wrong.
  • The ball-peen hammer is an irreplaceable tool. We haven’t come up with a better tool to do its job.
  • We should wear safety goggles. Anytime we’re working with a ball-peen hammer.
  • If working with a chisel, it should never be hit with a round head hammer. If the tip of the chisel slips form the surface it could cause the blow of the hammer to be redirected to unwanted places.
  • Keep the tool clean and well cared for. If the hammer is damaged, it may break or pieces of metal may come off and cause an accident.

How much do ball-peen hammers measure and weigh?

Although this feature can vary greatly from one model to another. The total distance from the head to the end of the handle is usually about 30 cm. Ball-peen hammers rarely weigh more than 1.5 kg. These types of tools must be light so that we don’t get tired too quickly when using them for a long time.

Purchase Criteria

Next, we’ll discuss a number of variables you should consider before buying a ball-peen hammer. If you know what you’re looking for it’ll be easier to make a good purchase. Hammers can be really long-lasting tools, and we wouldn’t want you to be unhappy with your choice a few months down the road. If you want to choose the best ball-peen hammer for you, remember to consider the following criteria:

  • Price
  • Materials
  • Brand
  • Heads
  • Reviews
  • Weight
  • Intended Use

Price

Remember, you get what you pay for and sometimes a cheap tool can end up costing you more. Overall, hammers are generally cheap tools. A hammer rarely exceeds 50 CAD$ in price. Regardless, make sure to have a budget and don’t overdo it.

Nonetheless, if you do professional work by all means choose top-of-the-line models or tools from well-known brands. Even if these tools are more expensive to start off, you will definitely get a return from that investment.

Materials

Ball-peen hammers are generally made of metal, the heads are usually made of forged steel. Moreover, in some cases this steel has undergone heat treatments that make it stronger and lighter. These heads are better because they make the job easier and these tools tend to go longer without deforming.

As far as the handles go, they are generally made of wood. Beech wood is most often used in the making of ball-peen hammers, since it’s fibres absorb shock and vibrations. Fibreglass is also a commonly used material, being that it’s stronger and lighter than wood. The grips and handles will usually be coated with non-slip rubbers to improve grip.

Ball-Peen-Hammer3

There are ball-peen and claw hammers, these usually differ not only in features but also in their functionality. (Source: Santos: 17613484/123rf.com)

Brand

You can choose to buy a hammer from a recognized brand or one without the backing of a name brand. Unfortunately, with tools, their quality and resistance is often dictated by the brand and also it’s price. For this reason we suggest that whenever possible you choose a tool backed by a reliable brand.

Known brands offer high quality, professionally-tested tools. Name brands are known for using the best materials and adjusting size and weight of the tool to best handle its specific task. Cheap hammers are usually made of weaker materials, which means they break easily and this can cause serious accidents.

Heads

The heads are the most important part of a ball-peen hammer. It’s the head that withstands the blows and does all the hard work. For this reason this part needs to be made of the toughest materials. To make sure your ball-peen hammer is not deformed or broken by continued use, opt for a piece made from heat-treated and forged steel.

Review

An important source of useful information when choosing a hammer is the reviews left by other customers. When shopping on the Internet, it’s always a good idea to look at the comments and customer ratings. It’s an easy way to see how many people have bought this product and what they think of it.

This is a great way to get a better picture of the advantages and disadvantages of each hammer. Furthermore, we will be able to consider other important aspects that we may have overlooked. Try to not look solely at reviews that are personal opinions, these can often be biased. Consider reviews that talk about technical data, facts, uses and adjustments.

Weight

To choose the right tool for you, it is important to always consider it’s weight. Using a hammer requires moderate to intense force and repetitive movement of the arm. For this reason, if they are too heavy, they can cause muscle and joint damage to the shoulders and wrists. If you have any kind of injury, considering the weight of the tool is particularly important.

Intended Use

The type of hammer you should choose should largely depend on what your intended use is for it. A carpenter’s hammer is not the same as a mace or as a gaming hammer. If you plan to work with wood, ball-peen hammers are not the best choice. However, if you want to straighten a metal plate or do any kind of metal work, these tools are your best option.

We strongly suggest considering how you plan to use this tool and what type of work you will be using it for. Remember that ball-peen hammers are mostly used in forging- the ball-peen head is used to straighten and shape metal. Furthermore, even though the flat head is also used for nailing, this type of hammer has other, more specific uses. Ball-peen hammers are ideal tools for locksmith work and are often found in any workshop.

Summary

Ball-peen hammers are standard tools found in any workshop and lock-smithery. They offer great features and allow you to make all kinds of rivets and shapes out of metals. Even though they can also be used for nailing and even breaking and demolishing, their intended use is to work metal.

In short, any well stocked workshop will always have one of these tools laying around. If you intend to buy a ball-peen hammer, make sure to take into account the relevant criteria we covered in the last section of the article. Remember materials, heads, weight and brand are key aspects to consider, but so is safety and how you plan to use the tool.

Don’t forget to share this article if you found it to be useful. Don’t hesitate to leave us a comment with your thoughts.

(Featured image source: Cateb: 8239928484/flickr.com)

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