When doing auto body repair work on your car, a good dead blow hammer can come in handy surprisingly often. A dead blow hammer has several advantages over a traditional hammer that help you to control damage to the surface that you are hammering on. As you can imagine, if you took a regular hammer to the unibody of your car to try to hammer out a dent, you may get the large dent out but you will create many small creases and deformations in the metal in each spot that the hammer head struck. This can result in significant amounts of additional repair or make it necessary to use more body filler to repair the additional damage.
With a good dead blow hammer, you can minimize this type of effect. The reason for this is that unlike a more traditional hammer (such as a ball-peen hammer) that has a solid metal head, a dead blow hammer has a hollow head that is filled with sand or shot (similar to birdshot). There is some physics behind this that explain the phenomenon. A traditional hammer with a solid head is going to transfer all of the energy from the swing instantly upon contact. Conversely, when a surface is struck with a dead blow hammer, this energy transfer is spread out over time due to the fact that the sand trails the leading edge of the hammer. Not only does this transfer the energy over a longer period of time, but it also reduces the peak energy amount as a result, which minimizes damage to the striking surface. Similarly, it also reduces hammer rebound.
Another way to look at it is that a dead blow hammer behaves very much like a rubber mallet, but the dampening effect when striking a surface is even greater. As such, careful use of a dead blow hammer can reliably protect the surface you intend to strike from damage by softening each blow.
The Best Dead Blow Hammers
When it comes to choosing the best dead blow hammer, there are tons of options on the market. Our favorites are made by Tekton due to their quality and value. Tekton makes a series of dead blow hammers that share all of the same characteristics with the exception of the weight. As such, depending on your needs, you can get a Tekton dead blow hammer with a 16 ounce head, a 24 ounce head, a 32 ounce head, a 48 ounce head, or a 64 ounce head if you have some extremely heavy duty work to do. On the smaller hammers the handle is 10 or 11 inches long and on the larger hammers the handle is 12 inches long. Tekton also offers a three hammer kit that offers a little bit of discount versus buying each individually.
As for each hammer in the series, the body is made from steel and wrapped in an orange poly jacket. The handle is square, with small grooves molded into it for grip. These grooves are deep enough to provide grip when your hands are wet or full of oil. The head is full of steel shot which helps to dampen blows. Material quality as well as build quality are both good and you should have no doubt that Tekton’s dead blow hammers will last.
When it comes to value, Tekton is top of the mark and undoubtedly offers the best dead blow hammer deal around. Their dead blow hammers are extremely cost effective, which makes them an easy choice. As far as where to buy, Amazon’s free shipping deal makes their price one of the best, so we recommend starting there. That said, while we favor the Tektons, we know there are many great dead blow hammers out there so if Tekton’s tools don’t quite suit your needs, feel free to have a look at other hammers available on the market by clicking here. Happy wrenching!