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:
“Long lion days
Start with white haze.
By midday you meet
A hammer of heat....”
—Philip Larkin (19221986)
“In going where you have to go, and doing what you have to do, and seeing what you have to see, you dull and blunt the instrument you write with. But I would rather have it bent and dulled and know I had to put it on the grindstone again and hammer it into shape and put a whetstone to it, and know that I had something to write about, than to have it bright and shining and nothing to say, or smooth and well oiled in the closet, but unused.”
—Ernest Hemingway (18991961)
“Many hammer all over the wall and believe that with each blow they hit the nail on the head.”
—Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (17491832)