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Pterygotus

What’s the difference between a geologists hammer and a normal hammer?

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Pterygotus

Hello everyone, 

 

I’ve been looking to buy a geologists hammer but first would like to know if there is a difference between it and a normal hammer. Does it split rocks easier? I’ll mainly be working on the rocks around Lyme Regis which seem to be very hard.

 

Thanks

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Pterygotus
18 minutes ago, FossilDAWG said:

A carpentry type hammer is not tempered for hammering hard rock, it is designed to drive nails into relatively soft wood.  Such a hammer may chip and send hazardous fragments flying into your eye.  A geological hammer is less likely to do that (although you should still wear protective goggles).  The geological hammer will have a pick or chisel end that is useful for prying open or splitting rock, and a carpenter's hammer has a claw used to pull out nails that is not designed to split rock.  Lastly a good geological hammer will have the handle and head made of one piece of metal, so the handle is unlikely to break and allow the head to go flying off and hit someone.

 

Don

Thanks for your reply

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Troodon

Take a look at Estwing hammers they are one of the leaders in the industry

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Pterygotus
9 minutes ago, Troodon said:

Take a look at Estwing hammers they are one of the leaders in the industry

Thanks

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caldigger

As Frank says, you can't go wrong with an Estwing.  I have both Estwing and Vaughan and like them both.

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Kane

I've moved the topic to the Collecting Gear subforum where you'll find several threads on geologic hammers. ;) 

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FossilDAWG

I agree Estwing sets the standard for geological hammers.  They are as I recall on the pricey side though.  As a compromise, I have used a good bricklayer's hammer, which is tempered to break bricks (much harder than nails into wood) and it has a chisel end intended to (again) split bricks in a controlled fashion.  It probably isn't ideal for hammering on really hard rock like a massive limestone or granite, but for most purposes it will do OK.  Once again, when bashing rocks use eye protection, regardless of how "good" your hammer may be.

 

Don

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FossilNerd
5 hours ago, Pterygotus said:

I’ll mainly be working on the rocks around Lyme Regis which seem to be very hard.


I’m not certain of the type of rock you will find around Lyme Regis, but if you are trying to split stuff that is really hard, you may also want to consider a crack/drilling hammer or engineering hammer. They are basically miniature sledge hammers. Maybe even some rock/stone/mason chisels. 
 

I tend to use my standard geological hammer the most. For knocking small chunks off of pieces, splitting small rocks, digging around in the dirt, etc. However, if I have a large piece that I need to reduce, or something that is very hard, I break out the heavy equipment. ;) 

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T. nepaeolicus

a geologist’s hemmed is harder than your average hammer, the head shape differs too.

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T. nepaeolicus

I use a mason hammer!

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Tidgy's Dad

My hammer is my friend. 

I love my hammer. 

My hammer has a name. 

He is called Harry. 

(not very original, I know, but it was 40 years ago.) 

Normal people have normal hammers. 

Exceptional people have geological hammers. ;)

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Ash

I have geologist hammers split bits of steel off which then imbedded pretty good into my leg. That rock was haaaarrrddddd.

Always use eye protection.

 

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