Hammers are mainly designed for pounding nails into objects such as walls. The claw hammer has the added functionality of being able to remove nails from objects. There are two types of claw hammer: the finishing claw hammer and the rip claw hammer. A claw hammer looks simple, yet there are many parts that aid in its use. These parts are designed to give maximum force with the least amount of effort.
The handle of a claw hammer is essentially a lever to give added force to its head. A finishing hammer handle is generally less than 16 inches long while a rip hammer handle is over 18 inches long. One end of the handle is tapered to fit into the eye of the head of the hammer. The other end is slightly curved to give a better grip for the swing. A claw hammer handle is most often made out of wood or metal.
The head of a claw hammer is several parts molded into one. The main parts are the face, head and claw. The head has a tapered hole, or eye, in the middle through which the hammer handle is inserted. The head's job is to hold the claw and striking surface to the handle. It also adds weight to increase the amount of force applied when striking.
Face, Neck and Throat
The face of a claw hammer is the flat, round part of the hammer that is used to drive a nail into objects. It is a specific distance from the center of the head for balance. The section between the face and center of the head is called the neck; it is simply a spacer. The curve of the neck is called the throat. The throat curves inward to improve the balance of the head.
The claw of the claw hammer head is a tapered wedge within two projecting and curved metal arms. The claw curves toward the back of the claw hammer handle. When you slide the head of the nail into the grove of the handle, the hammer becomes a powerful lever, providing force to overcome an object's hold on a nail as the nail is pried out.