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Finding The Right Hammer

To obtain the best fit with any hammer you use, adjusting the tool may be as important as selection

Whether it is for driving nails, shaping shoes or drawing clips, the hammer’s fit should be based on the user’s preference. There are no secrets or tricks when it comes to finding the right hammer for you. You want a hammer that feels good, delivers the performance you need and has durability. Whether you go with the best or buy an entry-level instrument, your hammer is the right hammer when it delivers accuracy and efficiency in your everyday work. 

Before You Buy

Finding the right hammer first and foremost requires the user to effectively shoe a horse or forge a shoe. Veteran farrier and competitor Marshall Iles of Calgary, Alberta, holds that it is never the tool, but the user that determines a hammer’s effectiveness. “You’ll never find the right tool if you aren’t using it properly,” he advises.

Iles says to think about functionality, especially in terms of your rounding hammer. Maintaining efficiency with a hammer relies on your muscle memory and your ability. He sees young farriers make the mistake of buying top-of-the-line hammers before they know how to effectively use the tool. If you are new to the industry, don’t invest too much into a hammer until you can properly use it.

“They need to get a basic beginner hammer before they beat it up since they will be hard on their tools,” he says. “Function before form. You’re going to change your style several times.”

Iles finds that many farriers are inefficient with their hammer strikes…

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Jeremy_mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. He has been a member of the American Farriers Journal staff for 7 years and serves as the Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is a member of the board of directors for the American Horse Publications organization of equine media.

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