Some skills are so basic, people take them for granted. Hammering a nail into a piece of wood, for instance. What could be simpler than that?

Actually, it’s not so simple. There are more than 20 kinds of hammer. Can you recognize the difference between a claw hammer and a cross-peen hammer? And does it matter?

The head of a typical hammer weighs 16 ounces, but you can buy an 8-ounce hammer if you prefer (see Figure I-1). Or how about a 24-ounce hammer? Which type is easier to use? And would a fiberglass handle be better than a wooden handle? How about a steel handle? And when you hold the handle, should you grip it near the head of the hammer or near the end of the handle?

Figure I-1. You can have an 8-ounce hammer, a 16-ounce ...

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