Finding the best ball peen hammer (also known as a ball-pein hammer, or a Machinists hammer) involves choosing a tool that is perfect for the projects you work on.
There are a variety of factors to consider when looking for a good ball peen hammer, and in this article, we will help you out by discussing these in-depth.
We found this one to be the best option.
After reading through these reviews you should be well equipped to buy a good ball peen hammer.
Best Ball Peen Hammer – Our Top Picks
There are smaller models which typically weigh about 8 ounces, these are usually used for jobs such as upholstery.
Then there are also much heavier options available (which are usually used for metalwork). These heavier ball peen hammers weigh upwards of 30 ounces.
People who work in various different circumstances would benefit from owning both the lightweight variant and the heavier variant so that they have the right option for whatever tasks arise.
Let’s now take a look at our top picks for the best ball peen hammer. This guide is designed to help out metalworkers, or anyone really who needs this special kind of hammer.
#1: Estwing Ball Peen Hammer
- FORGED IN ONE PIECE – The most durable, longest lasting striking tools available
- VERSATILITY ON THE JOB – Used for forming and shaping sheet metal, striking punches, chisels & peining rivets
- BUILT FOR THE PRO – machinists, metalworkers, jewelers, mechanics, contractors, tradesman & serious DIYers
- PATENTED SHOCK REDUCTION GRIP – Comfortable, durable & reduces impact vibration by 70%
- MADE IN THE USA – Our tools are proudly crafted in Rockford, IL using the finest American steel
This is a very strong hammer, by design. The reason it is so strong is that it is made out of forged steel (in other words it was forged as a single piece). With any hand tool, it is important that it’s comfortable to use.
In this regard, the Estwing ball peen hammer fits the bill perfectly. It has a grip designed specifically to reduce impact vibrations which makes the use of this tool very comfortable and less harsh than some other popular models.
As far as looks go, this is a slick-looking hammer with fully polished surfaces all around.
Estwing is well known to produce quality hammers, and this hammer is no exception. Overall it is perfect for professionals in workshop settings or just hobbyists also.
Some consumers have noted slight visual defects in the appearance of the hammer (with the tool still being perfectly functional).
#2: TEKTON 30402 Fiberglass Ball Peen Hammer
- High-strength fiberglass handle core helps absorb vibrations
- Exterior poly jacket protects handle core from missed strikes
- Soft and comfortable, non-slip rubber grip
- Forged and polished steel head
- Permanent head-to-handle epoxy bond will not loosen over time
This is a much more lightweight option in comparison to the previously reviewed hammer. Although it is available in a variety of different weights to suit each use case from 8 ounces through to 48 ounces.
Despite being made from fiberglass and potentially very lightweight this is a strong tool still. It has a comfortable non-slip grip made to stay attached via a strong epoxy glue that will remain forever.
This hammer has a patented designed exterior coating that protects the handle when you accidentally miss a strike. This tool is basically unbreakable and is incredibly still lightweight.
This ball peen hammer from Tekton is perfect for those who’re concerned primarily with the weight, comfort, and longevity of their tool.
One fairly common complaint from consumers of this tool is that the head on this hammer may become dented over time with serious usage.
But overall Tekton is great at making quality tools and this product is no exception.
#3: Wilton BASH Ball Peen Hammer
- UNBREAKABLE HANDLE TECHNOLOGY: Steel core eliminates breaking during overstrikes.
- TRADEMARK GREEN HEAD: Hi-Vis, drop-forged 46 HRC steel head endures the most demanding applications.
- ERGONOMIC HANDLE: Shaped and thickened for improved comfort and less vibration.
- LANYARD HOLE: Safely secure hammer to wrist or stationary object.
- NO-SLIP GRIP: Vulcanized rubber handle for secure grip while striking.
This may well be one of the best ball peen hammers out there. Weighing about 32 ounces this Wilton hammer is sturdy and well built. It also ticks all the boxes required by us to consider this a very good option.
The handle is constructed using unique patented technology with spring steel rods, they ensure rigidity while also reducing impact vibrations.
As far as comfort is concerned this option again ticks all the required boxes. It is very ergonomic to hold onto and is made to resist slipping with a rubber “No-Slip” Grip.
The tapered design of this hammer also aids in reducing unwanted vibration to make for a more comfortable experience when using this hammer. Overall this is another good option that comes at a fair price.
#4: Pittsburgh Stubby Ball Peen Hammer
If you’re planning to be working in confined spaces a lot, then you need a smaller ball peen hammer. If this is the case then the Pittsburgh stubby hammer may be the right choice for you.
This hammer is only 6.5 inches in length, so it certainly lives up to its name. It weighs only 8 ounces so it is also a relatively light option.
As far as durability is concerned, this hammer has got it covered. The head of this ball peen hammer is drop forged steel, and the handle is fiberglass.
The handle is specifically designed to reduce vibrations from hitting the hammer. A nonslip rubber coating is also on the outside of the handle creating a very comfortable grip to hold onto.
The nature of a smaller hammer like this means that it is perfect for projects that are in confined spaces. When you’re working in a confined space you need to be aware that the size of your tools must be catered to the situation.
Some people have even commented that they’ve taken to using this hammer in jewelry-making projects.
The main con of this hammer is also a pro depending on how you look at it. It’s short, so it won’t always provide adequate reach.
But that being said because of its usefulness in niche-specific cases it is potentially vital to have one of these in your tool arsenal.
Ball Peen Hammer Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What size ball peen hammer should I buy?
The most ideal situation is when you have a set of ball peen hammers that covers a range of different sizes, this way you can have one to suit every kind of different job you’re working on.
8-ounce ball peen hammers are probably the most common and universally used by DIY peoples but it’s also useful to have a large 12 ounce, and even smaller 4-ounce hammer.
If because of budget constraints you can only purchase one ball pein hammer, then go with the 12-ounce, as it’s the most useful one.
Q: Should you go for a wooden or steel handle?
In most cases, the handle of the ball peen hammer is made from steel, and sometimes wood. Both materials have pros and cons. The answer to which one is preferable depends on the application you will be using the hammer for. Wood obviously is lighter and therefore suited to more delicate tasks. But it’s not as durable.
Steel is stronger but heavier; so it has the benefit of being more durable. One downside of steel is that it doesn’t absorb the shock, it transfers it straight to your wrist, so if you have arthritis go for a wooden handle.
Q: When did ball peen hammers get invented?
The ball peen hammer has been noted to exist around 1870. Apparently, a man named Jacques Balpien invented it. It was invented as a useful tool to shape various metallic materials.
Q: Who is the ball peen hammer designed for?
Basically, the ball peen hammer is suited for use by any type of metalworkers. Whether they have any experience or not. Those that have made a career out of metalworking would be well suited by buying one of these hammers.
Ball Peen Hammer Buyer’s Guide
Below, we will take a detailed look into the things you need to consider thoroughly before you buy a ball peen hammer.
If you don’t consider these key points you may well end up getting a hammer that does not suit your jobs, so be sure to have a read and pay close attention.
The weight of the ball peen hammer is a crucial factor to consider. Primarily the weight of the head of the hammer is what you need to keep in mind.
Although the handle does factor into the equation too, generally the bulk of the weight is contained in the head. Ball peen hammers weigh anywhere from 5 ounces at the very light end all the way up to 30 plus ounces.
Most of the time a hammer between 10 – 25 ounces is about right, if you’re unsure this is probably the best bet. If you go for a weight outside of this range you probably have a specialty niche where you require an unusually light or heavy tool.
Handle & Ergonomics
The handle is often overlooked when picking the best ball peen hammer, although this is a crucial mistake as the handle is fundamental to the ergonomics of the tool. The handle should be comfortable to grip onto, and provide a secure coating so that it is non-slip. The handle should also be strong (while not being too heavy).
Super lightweight handles can be weaker and more prone to breakage, but this is not always the case so check the reviews carefully. Fiberglass for instance is a good option for a handle that is both strong and lightweight. The strongest type of ball peen hammers are those cast from a single piece of metal, however, these hammers always lie on the heavier side, so that may be a deal-breaker for you.
Another advantage that fiberglass has over steel or wood is that it is great at absorbing vibrations and shock reduction.
Like most tools the ball peen hammer comes in a variety of different sizes. Usually, with this tool you will find models are 10 inches or longer, but there are some exceptions to this.
You need to consider the handle length carefully because it plays a large part in determining the power and accuracy of your swing. Unless you have a specific need for a long, or extra-short ball peen hammer, then you should go for a mid-range length one.
Conclusion – What is the best ball peen hammer?
Primarily, ball peen hammers are used for shaping and forming various types of metal. But they can also be useful in a ton of different applications within the field of metalwork.
Without a doubt owning a good one is a smart move for anyone whether a seasoned professional or just a hobbyist. Overall our top pick is the Estwing model due to its high-quality features and affordable price.