Satiety Guide While Driving Nails with a Hammer

Hammering nails is something anyone can do. If you’ve never done it before, images of hammering your finger can be frightening, but with practice and the right you can avoid this. In fact even people with low vision can hammer nails easily.


How You Should Drive Nails with a Hammer

Before we go to the actual hammering, some basic safety tips.

  • Your workspace must be clean.
  • There needs to be sufficient lighting around you.
  • Prepare all the tools and materials you will need first.
  • Keep tools and materials you won’t be using somewhere far from your workspace.
  • Wear safety goggles and your toes must not be exposed. Your clothes have to be snug so it doesn’t get entangled while you work.
  • Do not work if you are tired, sleepy or have consumed alcohol.The following tips concentrate on hammering a nail, but you can use the same techniques for breaking cement or wood chisel tapping.

Before we go to the actual hammering, some basic safety tips.

Drive Nails with A Hammer

The following tips concentrate on hammering a nail, but you can use the same techniques for breaking cement or wood chisel tapping.

How to Position the Nail

The first thing you have to do is position the nail and keep it in place. There are several ways to do this:

  • Hold the nail with your first finger and thumb.
  • Hold the handle close to the head of the hammer.
  • Use needle nose pliers to hold the nail.
  • Use a spring loaded clothespin to hold the nail.
  • Position the nail nearer the nail head rather than the surface. This is a safety measure because if your fingers get struck, they’ll be knocked away instead of being crushed.
  • If necessary, use your index finger to touch the nail head’s side. Remove your finger before you hammer it.
Extreme Close up of a handyman hammering nail in wooden bench

Hammering Methods

Once the nail is in position you just hammer the nail until the nail is driven down all the way through. You can just hammer continuously until the nail goes down, or you can use the two-stroke hammering method.

With the two-stroke hammering method you hit the nail with a couple of strokes. The first is used to find the nail head, and the second is to strike with force. Instead of just banging away, you tap the nail and then bang, then tap again and bang and so on.


Regardless of the method you use, make sure the hammer’s head and nail are parallel so the head hits the nail head with force. When hammering, hold the handle close to the end. This way the hammer’s weight and your wrist do the brunt of the work and not your shoulders.

Tips for Better Hammering

  • If you’re nailing on hard or soft wood, you should drill a pilot hole in the material so it doesn’t crack up. You can also use MDF or plywood as they don’t split or crack.
  • Use sandpaper to roughen the hammer’s face. This will keep the hammer’s face from slipping or glancing.
    Glancing blows always results in bent nails and worse thumb accidents. Roughing the hammer up with a bit of sandpaper will do the trick.
  • Nail points with a chisel shape tend to cause wood splits. To prevent this, use your hammer to blunt the tip so the nail decimates the wood fibers without splitting.
  • Practice first. Work with spare materials while you practice hammering in the nails.

If you have low vision, install overhead lighting to illuminate the place. You may also consider adding portable tabletop lamps so you can move it around while you work.


If there’s not a lot of space on your table, get a floor lamp with wheels so you can move it around.

If you’ve got low vision, wrap some electrical tape around the hammer’s handle so you can see it better. Even when you’re hammering you won’t have trouble seeing the hammer with the tape.

Majority of hammers have a dark color, so use a brightly colored tape, i.e. red, yellow or white.If you’re having trouble seeing the nail head, put a colored dot above it. When you’re done hammering you can take it off.

Which Hammer Is Best for Driving Nails?

It depends on the type of work you do. There are tack hammers for light work as well as heavy hammers for use on wooden beams or concrete. Here are some suggestions:

  • Look for hammers with good claws. Located opposite the hammer head, these claws can be curved or straight. Either way they’re great for pulling nails off.
  • If you’ll be doing mostly home repair, the traditional 16 ounce hammer and tack hammer will suffice. These are also known as claw hammers and the best choice for pounding nails.
  • A ball peen hammer is best suited for driving a punch or chisel. These hammers don’t have a claw and often used for metal working. Unlike a traditional hammer, a ball peen has a round head.
  • A mallet is most suitable for delicate work, as their head is softer compared to other hammers.
  • An upholstery hammer, as the name suggests, is for use on upholstery furniture.
  • Given a choice between wood and steel handles, go with steel. Wood handles are more attractive, but they can snap when under stress.
    Worse, the material dries off, which could cause the hammer head to snap off while you’re using it.
Driving Nails

If you’ve never done this before, the idea of hammering nails might seem daunting. But it’s actually easy and worth learning.

By understanding the process, you’ll be able to perform any number of DIY tasks and projects. During your first few attempts, you’ll feel the need to keep checking the nail if it’s correctly positioned.

But over time your muscles will remember and you’ll be able to hit accurately without repeated measuring. As you gain experience, you’ll also notice by the sound if you’re driving the nail right or if it’s bending or not being struck properly.

Final Words

That’s all there is to learning how to hammer a nail. As you can see there really is nothing to it. With enough practice you’ll learn how to hammer nails in different materials with precision.

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