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Ever since I was a teenager (I'm 58 now!) my dad taught me basic DIY - how to change a plug, light bulb, cistern washer etc. When I divorced my first husband and set up home on my own dad bought me a selection of simple tools so that I could look after myself. I remember one year he bought me a wrench for Christmas and he wrapped it up and put a label on it which read 'a Hamley's Christmas Toy'! Bless him - he always could make me laugh!
But I digress.....................
One of the things that he bought for me was a Stanley Fibreglass Claw Hammer and, even though it is over thirty years old, I still use it regularly. I have taken a look online and found out that this currently costs in the region of £10 to £12. It is available to buy online or in any good DIY shop such as B & Q or Homebase.
The hammer is a 16 ounce (0.45kg) one so it is light enough for me to use it easily. It has a textured, soft grip fibreglass handle which helps to absorb shock and reduce vibration making it more comfortable to use. At the other end is a heat treated carbon steel head which has the flat hammer head on one side and the V shaped claw on the other.
I find the handle very easy to grip and it doesn't rub the skin on my hands at all. The hammer is light enough for me to use easily whatever job I am doing with it and it is manoeuvrable too.
Over the years some of the jobs that I have used it for are as follows:
I have used it for the obvious reason - to knock in nails! I have never been a great one for DIY so I don't actually build things as such but I have been known to knock in the occasional nail to hold things together. I have also used this hammer to knock in picture hooks to hang my pictures and support my mirrors.
I have used the claw end of the hammer head to prise things apart and to open things.
More recently I have used the claw bit to remove nails from the various pieces of old wood that we get given for use on our log burner. I prise the nails out with my claw hammer so that I don't scratch or cut myself when I am putting the wood onto the fire.
The main way that I use the hammer these days is for splitting wood. What? With a hammer? Well I do it with my trusty old hammer and a small axe. I put the axe on what looks like a weaker part of the wood - maybe a crack in it - and then hit it with my hammer until it works its way into the wood splitting it apart.
To be fair the hammer does look a little the worse for wear these days - the end of one of the claws has snapped off and the hammer bit is battered, but when it comes to using the hammer it does the job just as well now as it did when dad first bought it for me all those years ago.
So there you are - a simple tool with a variety of uses, light enough for a lady to use and a good brand at a good price. What more could you ask for?
"16oz (0.45kg) / Textured, soft-grip fibreglass handle absorbs shock and reduces vibration / High quality heat-treated carbon steel head / Features: Carbon Steel Head; Shock-Absorbing Handle."