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What Can You Use a Sledgehammer For?

what can you use a sledgehammer for

 

Sledgehammers may look intimidating, but they come in handy for innumerable home improvement projects. Their long handles and heavy steel heads make them extremely powerful when leveraged correctly, and they can save you valuable time and effort.

Don’t be fooled by their appearance or initial weight. Remember that much of a sledgehammer’s power lies in leverage, so models with longer handles will produce more force than shorter-handled hammers. Once you understand how to operate one, a sledgehammer and gravity are your very best friends. Break it out and marvel in its power for any of these home improvement projects.divider 1

7 Uses for a Sledgehammer

1. Demolition

Ongoing demolition using sledgehammer
Image Credit: Dmitry Kalinovsky, Shutterstock

Perhaps the most obvious and popular use for a sledgehammer: tearing things down. Take down both interior and exterior walls with ease using a sledgehammer.

Many remodeling projects require tearing down an interior wall or two. Change up the layout or open up a floor of your home by demolishing a wall (after checking on appropriate details like whether the wall is weight-bearing, of course).

Inside interior walls are tons of nails, wood panels, and framing. Going at it with any smaller hammers or tools leaves room for injury and is highly inefficient. For a job like this, you need brute force. Opt for a sledgehammer to knock out walls inside a home without encountering unwanted challenges.

Tearing down exterior walls poses an even more demanding task, but sledgehammers are still up for it! Crash through brick and concrete with ease and get a huge head start on your home improvement project by bringing in a sledgehammer. Fortunately, the mortar between bricks and the sealing of concrete blocks is much easier to crack than the brick or concrete itself, so once you’ve got the hang of targeting the weak spots, you’ll have walls crumbling in no time.


2. Wedging bolts into concrete

Most drills meant to work in concrete are expensive and difficult to use. To install bolts, hooks or other fastenings into a tough material like concrete, reach for a sledgehammer.

Be sure to choose the right materials for the bolts. Steel is best as it’s sturdy enough to maintain integrity under the force of the sledgehammer.


3. Breaking down concrete

sledgehammer breaks concrete
Image Credit: Gregorij, Shutterstock

Notice faulty work in your basement or sidewalk concrete? The first step to fixing it up is to remove the poorly poured material. This is easier said than done, as concrete is extremely heavy and sturdy. You’ve got to split the concrete into much smaller pieces before you try your hand at moving it.

Skip the costly removal services and break up the slabs yourself. It won’t be easy, especially since the ground beneath the concrete adds an extra degree of sturdiness you’ll be up against. The job may take you quite a few swings, but with a sledgehammer it’s possible to break huge concrete slabs into pieces that are small and light enough to remove.


4. Blacksmithing

blacksmith holding sledgehammer
Image Credit: SeventyFour, Shutterstock

Because sledgehammers can provide so much force, they are often used to shape metal and iron in blacksmithing. Coupled with other shaping tools, sledgehammers remain one of the most commonly used tools for blacksmiths despite the extra options and advanced technology available today.


5. Pounding in stakes or spikes

Some sledgehammers consist of a long, wooden handle topped with a heavy mallet. This type is the best option for stake-driving.

Host lots of outdoor events or find yourself frequently setting up sports equipment? Stakes and spikes serve to secure tents, nets and more. Use a sledgehammer to properly secure the stakes and avoid interruptions from wind and weather. Opting for a sledgehammer will protect the stakes and equipment while saving you time and effort with every swing.


6. Installing fencing

Using a regular hammer to try to install fencing would not only require excessive time and effort but would also result in damage to posts and equipment. If you’ve chosen to install your own fencing, be sure to have a sledgehammer on hand. Drive the fence posts as vertically as possible into the ground.

Before beginning to install your fence posts, make sure you’ve done your research about fencing requirements in your neighborhood and any local advice to help the sturdiness of your fence within the ground. Your environment and soil quality may call for trenches or concrete in order for your fence to be long-lasting and solid.


7. Exercise

Try this out at your own risk, but using sledgehammers in workouts has become popular among functional trainers and creative adrenaline junkies alike.

The most common workout involving a sledgehammer is simply repetitively slamming the sledgehammer into a tire. This way, the sturdy rubber absorbs all the force and there’s no damage done, plus you get a big bouncy kickback to test your strength. We all know that demolition work seems therapeutic and even cathartic, but there are only so many walls that need knocking down.

Target upper body and core muscles by repeating the swinging motion for a set amount of time, around 3-5 minutes. Along with aiding muscle tone in the core, shoulders and arms, this explosive workout pinpoints grip strength and wrist stability the way other exercises can’t.

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Conclusion

Jobs that look impossible at first glance can become relatively easy with the help of a sledgehammer. Choose the size, weight and head material based on what you’ll use it for. For example, if you’re looking to break down concrete, you’ll need a sturdier model than someone who needs to set up volleyball nets.

Use proper safety techniques and practice your swing, and you’re on your way to efficiently tackling home improvement projects in no time.


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Header image credit: CC0 Public Domain, Max Pixel

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