A hammer is an essential tool. Here are a few simple tips on how to select one:
1) Examine the Head
A slightly angled head can make each stroke more impactful, while a textured head slips less against a nail than a smooth one.
2) Grasp the Hammer
Hold it like you’re nailing trim as well as driving a nail. [Not sure what the difference is? See here.] The grip should feel instantly comfortable– you don’t “break in” a hammer! Synthetic handles or slip-resistant coverings are usually more comfortable than exposed wood or metal handles.
3) Swing the Hammer
In a safe spot, swing the hammer a few times and see how the vibrations feel in your wrist and fingers. Does gravity seem to work in your favor when swinging? Is your hand, wrist, or arm tired after only a few swings? If you have concerns, seek a hammer labeled as anti-shock or anti-vibration. Consider a lighter hammer is you tire quickly.
4) Try To Pry
Flip the hammer over and see if you could comfortably use the hammer to pull out a nail.