Mallet Vs Hammer: Differences Explained by Real User

Which one to choose between a mallet and a hammer? They are not the same, mind you.

Most people have a misconception thinking both can be used for the same purpose, but that is not always the case.

Using a hammer to push a set of tiles down on your new floor can be disastrous, and we are here to help you avoid exactly that.

This article here will make you understand the differences between a hammer and a mallet. What are we waiting for?

Let’s get straight to mallet vs hammer and know the differences.

Mallet vs Hammer



A mallet is usually made up of a wooden handlebar connected to a large and dense top, composed of rubber, plastic or rawhide.

Mallets are very similarly constructed in shape to that of a hammer; however, they both function slightly differently.

A mallet is usually used because of its ability to push objects into place with a substantial amount of force without it leaving any mark on the object itself.

It is excellent also for bending or shaping soft sheets of metal in an industrial workspace.

What makes the Mallet different from the hammer is that it is not a tool that has to be forged. However, it can be constructed from carving wood as well as other materials.

However, the plastic mallet needs to be made differently. Consisting of nylon and polycarbonate, it is fantastic for making jewelry. Amongst all these mallets, however, the most unique of them all is the dead-blow mallet.

Aptly named for its use, it functions slightly differently, consisting of a hollow body inside filled with sand or other metal fillings. It’s perfect for handling furniture and joining them together without leaving any dents or scratches.

Mallet Uses

Mallet Uses

Mallets that are usually made of wood are used for carpentry, or when sculpting with chisels.

Copper mallets, on the other hand, are usually used for machinery and in industrial scenarios or sectors.

The meat mallet is on occasions made with metal or wood and is usually used in butcher shops.

Recommended Best Mallets on Amazon: 

TEKTON 30603 Fiberglass Handle Rubber Mallet, 16-Ounce - Black
1,268 Reviews
TEKTON 30603 Fiberglass Handle Rubber Mallet, 16-Ounce - Black
  • Double-faced solid rubber head delivers a softened positive strike
  • High-strength Fiberglass handle core helps absorb vibrations
  • Exterior poly jacket protects handle core from missed strikes
  • Soft, nonslip rubber grip is a directly integrated piece of the handle that can never pull loose
  • Made for construction, woodworking, and automotive applications
TEKTON 30812 Double-Faced Soft Mallet, 35 mm
1,642 Reviews
TEKTON 30812 Double-Faced Soft Mallet, 35 mm
  • Soft faces deliver a solid strike without damaging work surface
  • Lightweight tubular steel handle shifts the weight balance toward head for extra power in each blow
  • Extra soft, non-slip rubber handle grip for ultimate comfort and control
  • Always Guaranteed
Wood Is Good WD205 Mallet, 18-Ounce
213 Reviews
Wood Is Good WD205 Mallet, 18-Ounce
  • Guaranteed unbreakable
  • Quiet yet transmit maximum blow
  • Made in USA



  • Causes minimal sound discrepancies because of the top being made of soft compounds
  • Does not create any form of dimples or marring
  • Can be very safe compared to other tools
  • This tool can be very versatile when working and can be used in multiple ways
  • Does not need electricity to function


  • Can be a bit pricey
  • Slightly on the heavy side
  • Can be a little difficult to find in your local store



A hammer is a tool with a slender wooden handlebar and a flat circular dense top. Similar to a mallet but usually made of metal, a hammer is used to drive small objects or crush larger objects such as rocks.

As the impact level for this tool is much higher than that of a mallet, it’s usually used much more cautiously and is perfect for breaking or deconstructing certain materials or objects.

There are many types of hammers in different forms and sizes to assist in your work in different ways. For example; the claw hammer has a fork-like end on its head to pull nails out of the woodwork and a flat-end to hammer in nails into the woodwork.

They are usually, if not almost always, made up of forged steel, giving it much more weight for its impact. The wooden handlebars are built on them later and are carved around it for grip during work. What makes the hammer different is its variety as well; however, compared to the mallet, the components are usually not always that changes but the functionality.

Most types of hammers that are usually made for industrial work, as well as carpentry, are always forged.

Hammer Uses

Hammer Uses

Claw hammers tend to be generally used for carpentry, whereas sledgehammers are usually used for construction.

Other electrical hammers, commonly termed as power tools are used for construction as well.

Recommended Best Hammers on Amazon: 

Estwing Sure Strike Drilling/Crack Hammer - 3-Pound Sledge with Fiberglass Handle & No-Slip Cushion Grip - MRF3LB
1,137 Reviews
Estwing Sure Strike Drilling/Crack Hammer - 3-Pound Sledge with Fiberglass Handle & No-Slip Cushion Grip - MRF3LB
  • FORGED STEEL HEAD – Maximum strength and durability for a lifetime of hard work
  • BALANCE AND TEMPER – The most durable, longest lasting striking tools available
  • HEAVY HITTING HAMMER – Perfectly balanced to deliver powerful blows with an easy swing
  • FIBERGLASS HANDLE – Lightweight, durable handle offers a comfortable controlled swing with a ribbed grip to prevent slips
  • VERSATILITY ON THE JOB – Use with chisels, punches, star drills, hardened nails & more
Best Choice 8-oz. Stubby Claw Hammer with Magnetic Nail Starter
1,098 Reviews
Best Choice 8-oz. Stubby Claw Hammer with Magnetic Nail Starter
  • Drop forged and heated treated alloy steel head provides maximum striking strength
  • Sharpened and curved claw ends generates maximum nail-pulling leverage
  • Finely polished finish with rust-preventative clear coating insures durability and longevity
  • Built-in magnetic nail holder for easy start with one-handed operation
  • Ergonomically designed anti-shock handle offers extra comfort and non-slip gripping
Estwing Hammer - 16 oz Straight Rip Claw with Smooth Face & Shock Reduction Grip - E3-16S
652 Reviews
Estwing Hammer - 16 oz Straight Rip Claw with Smooth Face & Shock Reduction Grip - E3-16S
  • FORGED IN ONE PIECE – The most durable, longest lasting striking tools available
  • RIP CLAW VERSITILITY – Use for pulling nails, prying boards, demolition work, splitting wood and more
  • BUILT FOR THE PRO –Framers, roofers, carpenters, contractors, tradesman & serious DIYers
  • PATENTED SHOCK REDUCTION GRIP – Comfortable, durable & reduces impact vibration by 70%
  • MADE IN THE USA – Our tools are proudly crafted in Rockford, IL using the finest American steel



  • Can be found in most stores
  • Very shock absorbent when performing heavy impact work
  • Does not need electricity to function
  • Available in multiple forms, shapes, and sizes


  • If not used properly, it can cause dimples or marring
  • Can be a health hazard if not used properly
  • Can be very heavy

Mallet vs Hammer: Which One is the Best?

It is hard to choose between tools that are so similarly constructed and shaped. A hammer can be useful for causing massive amounts of impact to a surface or deconstructing an object, and there are so many hammers to choose from as well.

We have the claw hammer, which is perfect for woodwork and pushing down nails and then we have sledgehammers, lumbering beasts four times the size of an average hammer, commonly used in construction to tear down walls.

Mallets, on the other hand, are perfect for placing pipes in line or pushing down tiles onto a floor. And the variable used for a mallet is mind-boggling.

You can use a rubber mallet to push something down or pound against a chisel when working on stone. What decides the best usage of it is the task at hand; if your job calls for heavy-duty impact, then a hammer is your go-to guy.

But if you need to drive dowels or place metal objects carefully with force, then a mallet is your best friend.

Now it’s your pick, which one is perfect for your task at hand?

In Conclusion

Working with tools for the first time can be challenging and a bit difficult, but it’s not impossible.

With a fine amount of patience and tolerance, even you can become an expert at using these tools, and understanding the difference between them is the first step to work without a hitch.

After reading this article on mallet vs hammer, you should have a clear understanding between the two tools and how they are used in the situations they are put in. Realizing the usability these two tools should also be giving you a greater idea on which tool is best suited for the job.

And now, with this tiny level of insight, you will find it easier to handle your workstation with a tad bit more ease.

Related Reading: 
#1. Rubber Mallet vs Dead Blow Hammer
#2. Hookaroon and Pickaroon Differences

Leave a Comment