Buying good tools cheap – On chisel hammers

For more information on chisel hammers, see our beginner site Common Woodworking.



I am working with your DVD and book and have made great progress with sharpening my tools.  I finished the dovetail box and I just started the bookcase. Can you tell me where to get the chisel hammer that you use?  Also I would like to take your foundation course in NY. When will it be scheduled next? I hope to see you in Somerset NJ at the Woodworking show.  

Best regards,



Believe it or not, the hammer I used to make the DVD is available only in the UK and costs $4. This is not my favourite hammer even though I do like it. The hammer we have had great success at the school in New York with is the one I actually use there and though that has the Vaughan brand name it is made by Thor Hammer Company UK and is often called the Thor hammer. I find this the best kind of chisel hammer and use it all day without arm ache. Thor Hammers make all types of industrial grade hammers and you can find them in the US here but shop around because you will find them cheaper elsewhere. This is indestructible and it really delivers the goods as far as woodworking goes even though it was not developed for woodworking. Wooden mallets have a place too, but I have not found any hammer that really matches the Thorex. Mine has an all nylon shaft which after I removed the black plastic sleeve and roughened the smoothness felt great to me. Also, I do keep two types of hammer handy and the Sears hammer with soft and hard face really work well, especially for assembly. The full name of the hammer I use is the Thorex 712 38mm 1 1/2″ but you might prefer the one they make that has the same head but a wooden shaft. That’s the one we use at the New York New Legacy School of Woodworking.

There’s a blog I wrote on chisel hammers here and another here, and if you want the nylon shaft version and want to reshape the nylon shaft as I did, here is an article I wrote on the process for that too.


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