Terms of the Trade: Rip Hammer vs. Claw Hammer

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We all know hammers are used to, well, hammer things. But they’re also useful for other DIY tasks, which is why the difference in the claw can be important depending on what you want to accomplish. The claw is the other end of the hammer head, and it can be curved—as the name “claw” suggests—or it can be straight –as the name “rip” does not suggest. Rip hammers, as seen in the image above, are heavy-duty and are useful for general demolition or ripping apart wood that’s already nailed together.

The image above is a claw hammer. Claw hammers are lightweight and are generally associated with woodworking and removing nails. For the beginning DIYer, a claw hammer may suit your needs just fine, but if you find yourself often needing to break things apart, a rip hammer will become your new best friend.