Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Stubby Hammer

A miniaturized version of the real thing makes small tasks much easier to tackle.

stubby hammers with magnetic slot built into the head
Some stubby hammers have a magnetic slot built into the head that holds a nail until you sink it on that first, critical hit.Spifflyer

You may have chuckled when you first saw a stubby hammer. After all, they look like the wannabe kid brother of a full-sized hammer. But it turns out that these half-size hammers, with smaller heads and shorter handles, are extremely useful for several purposes. In fact, certain people use them instead of full-size hammers for all kinds of jobs. The smaller head is easier to swing without much force, making it ideal for hammering brads, tacks, and small nails, and if you’re working in a tight space, the short handle won’t get in the way.

stubby hammers with magnetic slot built into the head
This model is half the weight of a standard hammer.EFFICERE

If you’ve ever hammered small nails with a standard 16-ounce hammer, you know how easy it is to bend one or knock it out of its starter hole if you don’t hit the head exactly square. A stubby hammer is half the weight of a full-size hammer, so you can soften the blow to keep that nail going straight in. If you need to hammer wooden dowels or any other sort of breakable object, you can apply a light touch, so you don’t break what you’re hammering.

Spifflyer 8 OZ Magnetic Small Claw Hammer Mini Stubby Hammers and Nails Tool
The pliable grip on this model gives you better control.Spifflyer

If you’ve ever had to hammer a nail in a cabinet, between two shelves, or close to a corner, you know how unwieldy a full-length hammer can be. Your backswing space is limited, so you need to choke up on the handle, which just gets in the way in tight spaces. The short handle of a stubby hammer lets you get into tight spots and hammer away.

stubby hammers with magnetic slot built into the head
This two-piece kit has one full-sized and one stubby model.Benchmark

Some stubby hammers incorporate a magnetic nail slot on the top of the head. Simply place the nail in the slot and swing the hammer in a short arc to start the nail, then use the club face of the hammer to complete the job. You won’t have to hold a nail with your other hand, speeding up the job and eliminating the risk of bashing your fingers.

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