What is a Tack Hammer (Ultimate Guide)

If you have ever wondered as to what is a tack hammer, well they a smaller hammer, and a very handy tool for anyone doing upholstery, fine carpentry work, metalwork, or any small nailing job around the home.

They are designed to drive in small tacks, finishing nails, glazing points on window panes, plus many other uses found in carpentry, crafts, etc.

The Weight of a Tack Hammer

What is a Tack Hammer

These hammers are usually in the weight range of 5 to 8 ounces, with the heads being from 4 to 6 inches in length, and around 3/4 to 1 inch in thickness.

Handles for a Tack Hammer

Most of the handles for a tack hammer are wood with hickory being one of the best choices for its durability.

These handles are shaped to give you a comfortable grip when you swing the hammer, and are often lacquered to protect the wood.

The Head of the Tack Hammer

Most of the heads on these hammers are magnetized to hold the small tacks when starting them, and also saves on hitting your fingers instead of the tack.

Any of the better quality tack hammers will have the heads made of forged steel for long-lasting abilities, and less chance of chipping or breaking, and they can also be polished for a smooth finish to the head.

If ever the magnetism becomes weak you can leave a magnet on one side of the split end, which will make it stronger to hold a tack or any small nails.

Some of the Better Brands of Tack Hammers

The C.S. Osborne and Co. No222 Tack Hammer

This is an 8 ounce tack hammer with the magnetic end for starting tacks or small nails.

It is about 9.5 inches long with a hickory wood handle, and is well-balanced for a comfortable swing, and has a head that is 5.5 inches long, This is an excellent hammer for smaller jobs around the home.

The Stanley Tack Hammer

This 5 ounce tack hammer has a length of a little over 10 inches, and a forged steel head for toughness.

With the head by itself it is about 4 inches in length, and is magnetic for holding on to the tacks or small nails.

The head has been polished to a smooth finish, and the hickory wood handle has a clear lacquered coat for protection.

It makes an excellent hammer for doing fine work such as small moldings on cabinetry, or any other number of different things around the home.

The Vulcan Tack Hammer

This hammer has a 7 ounce steel forged head that is about 5.5 inches long, and with its magnet it is able to hold a tack or small nail it in place to get them started.

With the head hardened and tempered this hammer is designed to last.

The total length of this hammer is around 10.5 inches, with the wood handle being made from hickory.

You can even use these hammers to crack walnuts or butternuts, and you will find them a very handy tool to have around the home.

The Task Tack Hammer

This is a 5 ounce tack hammer with a 4-inch long drop-forged steel head.

The handle is made of wood and with the head it is about 11 inches in total length.

The price on this tack hammer is around 10 dollars, so is hard to go wrong price wise, and with the drop-forged steel head it should last a long time.

The head is also split on this hammer on one end to give it a magnetic attraction to hold a tack or nail when starting them.

The Apex Tool Group Tack Hammer

This hammer has a 5 ounce head, and also has the magnetic properties for holding small nails or tacks when starting them.

The head is fully polished and made from heat-treated forged steel, so it is designed to last.

You will find that the wood handle is made from hickory, and will dampen any strike or vibration you might get from it, and the total length of the hammer is about 10.5 inches.

The price range on this tack hammer can be from 10 to 30 dollars, so best to shop around for the better bargain.

A Mention of a Few Other Brands of Tack Hammers

  • General Teck
  • Ivy Classic
  • Dritz
  • Fuller
  • Draper
  • Pittsburg
  • Olympia Tools
  • Century Drill and Tools

And there are many other excellent brands of tack hammers to chose from.

A Little History of the Tack Hammer

The tack hammer which is also referred to as an upholstery hammer has been around for over 200 years, and the idea to first magnetize them was in the first part of the 19 century with the split magnetic head being patented in 1886.

With the staple gun being invented in the 1930s the use of the tack hammer for upholstery slowed down, but still are an excellent hammer to have around the home for any kind of small job.

The Magnetic End of Your Tack Hammer

If you find that the magnetic end looses its strength then just put a small magnet on one side of the split end overnight to re magnetize it, or even try gluing a small magnet on with some silicone, and it will hold the tack or nail very good.

Final Thoughts on Tack Hammers

These hammers are designed for light work such as craft projects, attaching small moldings to cabinets, driving tacks or nails to hang pictures, removing small dents in metal, and many other small jobs around the home, making them a good tool to have.


As always wishing you all the best on your home projects.

What is a Tack Hammer

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