A hammer is a tool that delivers a blow (a sudden impact) to an object. The most common uses for hammers are to drive nails, fit parts, forge metal, and break apart objects. Hammers vary in shape, size, and structure, depending on their uses. Hammers are basic tools in many trades. The usual features are a head (most often made of steel) and a handle (also called a helve or haft). Most hammers are hand tools, but there are also many powered versions—power hammers (also called steam hammers or trip hammers, depending on design)—for heavier uses. Some hammers have other names, such as mallet and gavel. The term “hammer” also applies to some other devices that deliver blows, such as the hammer of a firearm or the hammer of a piano.

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