Common Mistakes When Using Sledge Hammers

Sledge hammers can be useful tools in the right situations. If you need to get through drywall or masonry, a sledge hammer can offer a simple solution. Many times, though, sledge hammers can cause more damage than intended. Here are a few simple tips to avoid this.


Sledge hammers are available in a variety of weights. You can find them from 1 ½ pounds up to 30 pounds. A small job won’t require a huge sledge hammer. Many times people will have a sledge hammer in their tool shed and just assume it will work for whatever their needs are.

If you use a sledgehammer on drywall that is too weighted, you can cause damage to the surrounding items, like pipes, wiring, etc.  Using a hammer that’s too small to remove something like stonework can take considerably longer using a light hammer.

Controlling the weight of a heavier hammer can be difficult as well. Be sure you are choosing a weight that makes sense with your project. There is no sense in having to go behind and fix something that could have been prevented in the first place, and there is no sense in spending hours on a project that could have only taken twenty minutes.

Strike Force

When we see people using a sledge hammer in movies and on television, we see images of people putting a lot of force in to the swing and grunting as they strike. This is really not necessary. The hammer may be heavy and may require more force than you would use with a regular hammer, but putting all your body weight in to something can cause not only damage to the item you are working on, but can injure your body as well.

The sledge hammer is designed to carry a brute force of weight in the head on it’s own. It doesn’t require a massive act of strength to use correctly. Before you start hammering away at something, get a good feel for the sledge hammer. Bring it down a few times on something that won’t be damaged. Go outside and bring the hammer down to the ground a few times, in a grassy or dirt area to avoid damage to concrete sidewalks or driveways. This will give you an accurate idea of the strike force the hammer has, and how much muscle power you will need.

Strike Distance

Standing to far away from the project you are working on will greatly affect how effective the hammer will be. If you’re too far away you will risk injuring yourself while bringing the hammer down. You may also not get the full strike force necessary for the job. Standing too close can be just as bad. Before you start using your sledge hammer, get a good idea of how close you need to be to the project before beginning.