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(This is intended to be a guide to assist in your tool selection)

Selecting the right chipping hammer for your application is crucial for getting maximum performance. If you chose the correct tool for the job, your productivity will be higher and the life of the tool will be extended.  The following information is designed to be a guide to assist you in making the best decision on which chipping hammer will be most effective for the type of work required for your job.  Keep in mind that proper tool selection is only one factor in safe use and tool longevity.  Proper tool maintenance and using proper safety gear is just as important.

Chipping hammers are widely used in construction, metalworking, and other industrial applications. The most common materials where this tool is most effective include:

-Metals in forms such as: Cast, Welded, and Sheet

- Concrete

- Stone

    Most common applications for this tool include:

    1. Light demolition (including demo at or above the shoulders)
    2. Cutting
    3. De-burring
    4. Cleaning
    5. Hole-making, and
    6. Edge cutting

    There are many things to consider when deciding which tool will best meet your needs. However, the best way to begin is to assess these 3 key things:

  1. 1. What type of material will you be working on
    1.     a. Soft materials, where you intend to scale the surface. A low impact short stroke    chipping hammer (such as a 1” or 2” stroke) is preferable. The impact this size provides is usually sufficient to remove the material without damaging surrounding areas. The high rate of impact will keep your job productivity high. If your soft material is reinforced, a higher rate of blow (like a 3” stroke) may be more suitable to penetrate the material and keep your job productivity high.  Click here to see our 1" stroke chipping hammers.

        1.     b. Metals, where you wish to lightly chip or scale weld flux, removing rust or paint, combined with cleaning of castings, a small chipping hammer (1” stroke) is typically ideal. Rust and paint removal is usually best done with a scaler with either needles or a wide chisel (if the job requires a little more power to remove, a 1” stroke chipping hammer may work).  

                c. Metal applications (common recommendations):

                      i. Removing flash from light alloy materials and iron castings, a small (1” or 2” stroke tool is recommended).

              Click here to see our 2" stroke chipping hammer selection.

                        ii. Cutting sheet metal requires a small to medium size hammer (1” to 3” stroke depending on the job). The longer the stroke, the higher the impact to penetrate the material.

                          iii. Light fettling of castings, splitting spot welds, and plug hole drilling also requires a small to medium size hammer (1” to 3” stroke depending on the job). The longer the stroke, the higher the impact.

                            iv. Heavy trimming and chipping on steel structures will most likely require a medium to large tool (3” or 4” stroke).

                    Check out our selection of 3" stroke and 4" stroke tools here.

                           d. Concrete, rock, and brick applications typically require a large hammer (3” or 4” stroke). Common uses include:

                              i. Burnt on sand removal

                              ii. Concrete demolition (chipping and trimming)

                                iii. Cleaning foundry crucibles

                                  iv. Cleaning cement mixers

                             2. Type of Handle to Select – Ease of use and safety considerations – Two handle   styles are offered by most chipping hammer manufacturers:

                          1.     a. Gooseneck Handle styles are typically a little lighter than the D-handle chippers. Some contractors prefer this design as it has an open end and they feel it allows them to reposition their grip more easily. The main drawback can be that tightening this style handle requires a heavy duty torque wrench and a stationary vice which is not always available on a job site. The handles are prone to loosening over time due to the vibration from use and failing to tighten the handle can cause the handle to crack (which is a safety issue) as well as very expensive to replace. Replacing a handle can cost just over half the price of a new tool.
                          2.     b. D-Handle styles are connected to the tools cylinder by 2 or 4 standard bolts. This makes them much easier to tighten on a job site where there may be no access to a heavy duty torque wrench and stationary vice (which is required to tighten the gooseneck style handle). This enhances safe operation and reduced cost (if handle loosens and cracks) in these instances.
                          3. 3. What Shank Type do you Require – You will need to identify the type of work you will be using the tool for in making this choice. If you need the bit you are using in the tool to remain in the exact position you place it, then you will want the hex shank. If you wish for the bit you are using in the tool to rotate while using then you want the round sank. Let’s discuss each option in a little more detail:

                          4.    a. Hex Shank (0.58”) - This shank type comes with a hex shank which means your bit will not rotate in the tool.  The bit will remain in the same exact position you place it in the tool.  This will allow you to chip straight lines out on surfaces.  Click here to see our selection of Hex Shank Chipping Hammers.
                          5.     b. Round Shank (0.68") - This shank type comes with a round shank which allows your bit to rotate or turn in the tool while you are pressing against your work.  This allows the bit to move freely and accommodate the surface you are working on such as a curved surface or rock. Click here to see our selection of round shank Chipping Hammers

                            QUICK REFERENCE - SELECTION GUIDE 

                            Pneumatic chipping hammers are generally measured by stroke size (1”, 2”, 3”, or 4”) not by weight class. The shorter the stroke, the more blows per minute you will get.  However, these hits are lighter than the longer stroke model.  On the flip side, the longer the stroke the heavier each blow is.  However, your blows per minute are less.  Bottom line: A 3” stroke chipping hammer will hit harder than a 2” stroke hammer, but the 2” stroke hammer will have more blows per minute.

                             Here are some examples of applications and the type of tool generally recommended:

                            SLAGGING WELDS – Small Chipping Hammer (1” stroke) or scaler

                            FETTLING CASTINGS – Small, Medium, Or Large chipping hammer (1” thru 4” stroke)

                            JOINT AND ROOT – Medium to Large chipping hammer (2”, 3”, or 4” stroke)

                            SHEET METAL CUTTING – Small to Medium hammer (1”, 2”, or 3” stroke)

                            RUST/PAINT REMOVAL – Small hammer (1” stroke) or scaler

                            HOLE MAKING/CONCRETE DEMO – Medium to Large hammer (2”, 3”, or 4” stroke)

                            CONCRETE TRIMMING – Small to Medium hammer (1”, 2”, or 3” stroke)

                            CONCRETE DEMO – Small (1” or 2” stroke in confined spaces or working overhead)

                             Large (3” or 4” stoke in open spaces and working horizontal or down vertically)

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