Everyone needs a rubber mallet in their toolbox. You might not use it that often, but there are definitely times when you need one in preference to a regular hammer. You need to have a mallet to use on materials that can dent, shatter or break. The metal of a hammer is often too hard for such instances, but a rubber mallet shouldn't harm the material.
When you’re laying stone over mortar or sand, you’ll need to tap the stone into place to level it. Use your level, then tap the stone with the rubber mallet. Since the head of the rubber mallet is larger than a hammer, it does the job more efficiently. Also, because it’s softer, it won’t chip or crack the stone.
Using a rubber mallet with brick achieves the same affect as with stone. You’ll be able to tap bricks into position, whether they are bedded on mortar or on sand, without damaging or chipping them in any way. It should only require a few taps of the rubber mallet to put a brick into position. The force of the mallet is less than that of a hammer, so you don’t risk pushing the brick down too much or breaking it.
Tile is very brittle and can shatter easily. This is why you need to use a rubber mallet when you’re working with tile. You can edge the tile in position with the mallet and the larger, softer head means that the force of the blow is spread over a wider area, thus minimizing the risk of shattering or cracking the tile. With tile, you need to be especially gentle, so you’ll only need to use the mallet very lightly when tapping.
4. Laminate Flooring
People don’t generally think of laminate flooring as brittle, but it actually is. It’s also very easy to dent if you’re not careful when using a regular hammer. The best strategy when you’re working with laminate flooring is to use a rubber mallet. Not only will you be able to tap each piece into place without damage, but if you need to push a piece down, the mallet can do that without putting an indentation in the surface of the floor.
If you have two pieces of drywall where the fit is too tight, you can use a rubber mallet to very gently make the fit a little better. It won’t dent the drywall in the same way as a blow from a regular hammer would.
Also with drywall, you can very carefully use a rubber mallet to take soundings on the wall in order to find the studs behind it. If you tried this with a hammer you’d put dents or holes in the wall.
The low rebound of a rubber mallet makes it good for auto body work. It reduces the risk of dents, which is vital when you’re working on the exterior panels of any vehicle.
When Not to Use a Mallet
You shouldn’t use a rubber mallet when you’d normally use a hammer. It won’t work for hammering in nails, for example.