Sledgehammers are not your ordinary hammer. They are made for the most substantial jobs; those that require extra force. They have extremely head steel heads that need two hands to use and requires you to use your whole body to swing it correctly. The massive head then pulls the hammer down, with a little help from gravity and virtually no effort on the users part.
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You can’t use a sledgehammer to hang pictures on your living room wall, but you can use it to remove that wall altogether. Interior walls are framed with solid wood and a lot of nails that are then covered with drywall. It is possible to punch a hole in drywall, but not without hurting your hand. Sledgehammers, though, can blow through it like it is tissue paper. It will also break up the wood frame without having to remove all of the nails.
Exterior walls are built extremely strong to stay standing against even the harshest conditions. They are made of brick, concrete blocks, or solid concrete. Brick and concrete blocks break up reasonably easy since the mortar in between them cracks and loosens them up. Solid concrete walls are more difficult to break up because they are one big piece with no weak spots. A sledgehammer is the only hammer that can even make a dent in it.
Sledgehammers can also be used to break up concrete slabs to replace a portion of a sidewalk. This is a lot like hitting a solid concrete wall except it is even harder because it has solid ground underneath it. It will take many repeated hits, but eventually, it will crack and break up into smaller pieces that you can easily remove.
When you have large metal stakes that need to be put into the ground to hold a large party tent, you will use a sledgehammer. It would take forever to make any headway with a standard hammer, but the sledgehammer has the extra weight that is needed, and it won’t hurt the stake. They are also the tool that is used to drive railroad spikes when laying down the trains track.
Blacksmiths require heavy tools to forge and shape large, heavy iron pieces. Even with all of the modern tools that we have today, blacksmiths still use sledgehammers in their work.
Sledgehammers are not seen outside of blacksmith or constructions work because they are used for those jobs that require excessive force. They come in different sizes and weights. The longer the handle that the hammer has gives you more leverage upon impact. You will need a more substantial head to break concrete than you will to break out interior walls. No matter what size of a sledgehammer you have, they are worth having on hand for when you need one.
Header image credit: CC0 Public Domain, Max Pixel
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!