man with drill
A ball hammer has two ends – one shaped like a ball and the other more cylindrical. It can have a metal, fiberglass or wooden handle. A ball hammer is a variety of hammer used for shaping and hitting metal, including punches and chisels, in metal making.
The crowned or rounded edge of the ball hammer works the metal smoothly without leaving marks. The spherical part can straighten, soften and expand the metal into the desired shape. The other, straighter end of the hammer can be used to strike and make chisels. The chisel is a steel cutter that cuts plates, rivets, screws and even plaster. The punches mark the metal or wood for the placement of the holes and a ball hammer is used to strike the punch when an automatic punch is not used.
Actual peening is not used in most metal fabrication operations today, but it was the original use of peen hammers. Peening is metal that is welded or riveted to make it as flexible as the rest of the metal in an object. The result of peening is a strain hardening property added to the metal.
Peening hammers include the cross and straight as well as the ball hammer. The straight-tipped hammer has a wedge shape instead of a ball-shaped head. The head is straight in a straight-tipped hammer, while the cross-tipped hammer features the wedge-shaped head at a side angle. Peen hammers, spelled pein or pien in the United Kingdom (UK), have a steel head that has been hardened to prevent chipping during the blow.
Peen hammers are also called engineer hammers or machinist hammers and come in many different weights, typically from 2 ounces (56.7 g) to 48 ounces (1.3608 kg). This hammer can be used to form the general shape of the metal object and can be used to make knife and sword blades. The newly formed metal sheet may first be coarsely filed before being properly shaped with a ball hammer.