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Parts of a Hammer (Awesome Diagram)

A collage of two hammer.

I’m currently binge-watching Game of Thrones. While the plots and scenes are amazing, I also enjoy the historical aspect of it with the medieval villages, transportation and tools.

While they used hammers back in those days, they were really rudimentary compared to today’s hammer. In fact, there are many different types of hammers you can buy for all types of specific jobs and purposes.

This brief article showcases the different parts of a hammer.

below is our custom diagram showing the anatomy of a hammer.

Diagram showing the different parts of a hammer

Below are the different parts of a hammer


The handle is something you want to grip and feel when buying a hammer. Some are all wood while others have a rubber grip on them. Everyone has their own preference, although the rubber grip varieties seem to be more popular because of the better grip.

Handle shape varies ever so slightly from hammer to hammer with respect to curvature, shape and thickness. You want a handle that feels good in your hand and fits your hand well.

Lengths, diameter and weight varies across hammer styles.


The head is the anvil part of the hammer. It does the heavy lifting (i.e. pounding). The weight, size and shape varies tremendously across the different types of hammers.

Even with your standard claw hammer (most popular type of hammer seen above), the weight and size of the head varies. Some people like a large, heavy head while others prefer a lighter head. You can get small versions for kids (I bought my son a small claw hammer that he can handle reasonably well).


The hammer throat is the part of the head that connects the neck to the face. Some hammers don’t have a throat such as a sledge hammer. Other hammers have long throats such as an electrician’s hammer.


The face is the striking part of a hammer. The main differences with the face among hammers is the diameter. Some hammers have a small face such as a tack hammer while others a large face such as a sledge hammer.

The common claw hammer has a mid-sized face.


The neck is the portion of the head that attaches to the handle. Again, the length and diameter of the neck varies from hammer type to hammer type.


The hammer cheek is the side of the hammer head.


Not all hammers have a claw. Tack and sledge hammers are examples with no claw. However, the “claw hammer” relies extensively on the claw which is used to pull nails, rip wood and essentially function as a quasi axe to rip things apart.


The eye is the hole of the bottom part of the head that slips over the handle. For all steel hammers, there really isn’t an eye. The eye only exists on hammers with a wooden handle.

See our epic hammer buying guide here to learn a lot more.

Related: Parts of a HammerTypes of Hammer HandlesTypes of Air HammersTypes of Claw HammerRip Hammer vs Claw Hammer Framing Hammer vs Claw Hammer