A hammer is a tool meant to deliver an impact to an object. The most common uses are for driving nails, fitting parts, forging metal and breaking up objects. Hammers are often designed for a specific purpose, and vary widely in their shape and structure. The usual features are a handle and a head, with most of the weight in the head. The basic design is hand-operated, but there are also many mechanically operated models for heavier uses, such as steam hammers.
The hammer may be the oldest tool for which definite evidence exists. Stone hammers are known which are dated to 2,600,000 BCE.
The hammer is a basic tool of many professions. By analogy, the name hammer has also been used for devices that are designed to deliver blows, e.g. in the caplock mechanism of firearms.
Famous quotes containing the word hammer:
“You may chisel a boy into shape, as you would a rock, or hammer him into it, if he be of a better kind, as you would a piece of bronze. But you cannot hammer a girl into anything. She grows as a flower does.”
—John Ruskin (18191900)
“Many hammer all over the wall and believe that with each blow they hit the nail on the head.”
—Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (17491832)
“Long lion days
Start with white haze.
By midday you meet
A hammer of heat....”
—Philip Larkin (19221986)