Welcome back to our series on automotive tools for the new comer to automotive work and tools. In this article I’m briefly going to cover the basic theory of what kind of hammer to use in mechanical automotive work. Auto body work and hammer use is a much more complex topic, and often takes years of training to understand fully. Hammers are used in mechanical automotive work to “Persuade” a tight object to come loose. Do not use a hammer to pound something into complete submission.
You may be familiar with the much more common carpenter hammer. They can be useful for some forms of automotive work, but they are not the preferred hammer to use. By carpenter’s hammer, we are talking about a claw hammer with one end serving the purpose of removing nails. What you really want is a ball peen hammer. However, if you already have a claw hammer and don’t want to buy a replacement, the claw hammer will probably be okay for most jobs. Just make sure that it doesn’t have a loose head as claw hammers often develop. The shank of the hammer absolutely must be securely sunk into the head of the hammer or you run the risk of it dislodging and damaging you or your car. A flying claw hammer is not a great safety idea so please use caution when using a claw hammer to work on your car.
As is the rule with everything that requires force and automotive work, use forceful blows judiciously. Many of the car parts under your hood are made from cast aluminum that will crack and break if struck hard. Just be sure that you are aware of what you are hitting and how hard you hit it, or you could end up with a much larger repair than you intended.