While they look and work the same, the differences are important. The best shape, weight, and material of head depend on what you’re hitting and why. Narrow heads deliver the entire force of the blow into a small area, broad faces spread it around. Longer handles allow more powerful swings, shorter allow more control. Wood handles absorb some of the vibration but can break, steel handles are durable but can be a literal pain to use. Fiberglass and other composite materials are durable and comfortable, but cost more.Above image via PropAgenda.
an excellent intro to hammers via BoingBoing:
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