DIY Toolbox: Striking Tools

The hammer is perhaps the oldest tool and is still one of the most often used. There are now hundreds of varieties and accessories, but these are the ones you can't live without.

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    Claw Hammer

    Available in a range of weights, the standard is 16 ounces and good for general work. Heavier 20-ounce framing hammers speed the driving of large nails. Choose a curved claw for easiest nail pulling.

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    Tack Hammer

    A lightweight hammer with an elongated head, this tack hammer is designed to drive small steel upholstery tacks into furniture frames. One head is magnetic and holds the tack to the hammer for the first blow. Tack hammers are useful for driving small brads and finishing nails in tight quarters.

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    Brad Nails

    Use for jobs that need small-headed finishing nails that won't dent the wood surface. Brad nails such as these can be used with the appropriate staple/nail gun. Putty over the shallow hole in the wood surface for a seamless finish.

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    Center Punch

    The point on the head of this punch is designed to make an indentation in wood, metal, or plastic to guide a drill bit to the precise location of the desired hole. Without this dimple, a drill bit may wander off-target.

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    Centering Punch

    A cousin of the center punch, this tool automatically finds the center of a mounting hole, then marks it with a pointed plunger you strike with a hammer. This punch makes it easy to mark screw-hole locations for attaching hinges, handles, and other hardware.

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    Staple Gun

    An evolution of the hammer, this staple/nail gun uses a spring-loaded striker to drive a more robust version of the common staple or brad nail into wood, fiberboard, and other soft material. The guns are suited for upholstery, craftwork, insulation, and more.

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