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Hammer Hints

October 01, 1989

This is in reference to the article, "Tooling Up: A Rookie's Guide on What to Buy" (Sept. 3).

The author, Charlyne Varkonyi of the Baltimore Sun, put forward some misleading and potentially dangerous recommendations concerning the purchase of a hammer.

Varkonyi states, "Look for a cast rather than forged-steel claw hammer of smoothly polished steel. . . ."

Fortunately, I doubt that any consumer would be able to find a hammer with a cast head. Any good hammer is always drop-forged steel. Cast metal breaks easily and can send chips flying. Forging is a process that strengthens steel and is necessary for any tool subject to stress and pounding, such as a claw hammer.

I find it hard to believe that Michael DiMenna, owner of Schumann Hardware in Baltimore, who is quoted by Varkonyi, would tell her to select a cast rather than a forged hammer. She must have lost something in the translation.

EARL A. WORCESTER

Alhambra

Editor's note: The letter writers are correct: Forged-steel claw hammers are safer than cast types. Varkonyi reports that the information on hammers was transposed in the article.

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