Mint Vale Hammers

Don't Depend on Luck When Choosing a Specialty Hammer

Here are tips to consider when you’re craving new tools and checking out the possibilities this winter

WHICH ONE IS BEST? Choosing the just-right specialty hammer depends on the job at hand and personal preferences, but experienced farriers can offer some useful insights to help you select a new favorite.

’Tis the season. Days grow shorter and the skies threaten snow. Barns sit quiet. Horses stand barefoot. Farriers slow down and start daydreaming about the shiny new tools in magazine ads and winter trade show booths.

Will you be one of the farriers who understands some of the finer points of the tools on his wish list?

To give you a head start, American Farriers Journal narrowed the list to specialty hammers — those beyond the rounding hammer and driving hammer that every professional farrier already owns — and asked a manufacturer and some farriers for tips.

The most common response by far was about hammers that farriers have added to their collections for use in drawing clips. Chip Hunt, owner of Chip Hunt Tools in Brazil, Ind., says many farriers find special hammers for fashioning clips.

“I learned how to pull clips with a rounding hammer in horseshoeing school,” he remembers. “You get a real wide clip, but not a real tall one. If you did, you’d destroy the web of the shoe. But I did it that way until I got a ball-pein hammer.”

Both ball-pein and cross-pein hammers are often used to begin pulling clips. Which one to choose is up to the individual farrier.

“It’s really a personal preference. If you do a…

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Ron perszewski

Ron Perszewski

Ron Perszewski is a freelance writer and former associate editor of Ameri­can Farriers Journal.

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