Hammer Guide

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A Complete Overview of Form & Function

Trow & Holden has been making stoneworking hammers for more than 125 years. Located in the heart of granite country, we have access to the ideal testing ground for developing and refining our specialized tools until they are perfectly suited for use. It’s important to remember that each Trow & Holden hammer has been designed for a purpose.

From steel specifications and tempering to shape and weight, our hammers are designed and manufactured according to their intended use.

Hammers that are hardened and tempered to be used only for striking stone cannot be used to strike hand tools. Nor can they be set and struck by another hammer.

Other hammers have been designed specifically to combine a stone-cutting feature with the added versatility of a striking face.  These hammers are easily identified by the chamfered edges and crowned surface of their striking faces, which resemble the striking end of our hand tools.

As with any Trow & Holden stoneworking tool, take care to regularly maintain your hammer’s “like new” shape and check frequently for any signs of unusual wear.

Do not use a hand tool or hammer if there is a question about its condition or performance. And remember, always wear eye protection.

To ensure your safety as well as the long life of your hammer, please take time to review this guide and become more familiar with our full collection of hammers and their unique features.


Hand Hammer
Our well-balanced, tempered Hand Hammers are noted for their longlasting durability, ideal for years of reliable service.

The traditional round-eye Hand Hammer is paired with a narrower handle, which adds a slight bounce to its strike. Offered in 1/4 lb increments, this hammer provides a tailored fit for consistent repetitive strikes.

The oval-eye Hand Hammer helps keep the head of the hammer square with the handle, even as the handle begins to wear. The striking face is also larger, with a slight pitch to help promote solid contact when delivering aggressive blows.

Bell Hammer
An alternative to the Hand Hammer, the Bell Hammer is more likely to make full contact with hand tools despite misaligned swings that would otherwise result in painful or dangerous mis-strikes.

Brass Hammer
A perfect soft hammer for lettering or detail carving, the Brass Hammer helps prevent bruising of the stone and reduces chisel shank wear.

Round Hand Hammer
Like our other round hammers, the Round Hand Hammer helps deliver a more solid blow every time. It is generally reserved for lighter duty application in which the hand may need to switch from a standard position to a more controlled grip around the mallet head.  Round  Hand Hammers are medium hard for smaller chisels and finer work.

Soft Stone Hammer
An annealed (or unhardened) hammer, the Soft Stone Hammer produces a lighter impact, which can provide more control when working in softer stone.


In addition to being designed for the most aggressive stone splitting, trimming, and pointing applications, all of these hammers also feature wear-resistant striking faces for striking or being struck by other hammers. However, avoid using the steel striking face for hitting stone — this will lead to pitting and unsafe, abnormal wear.

Stone Buster
Featuring a carbide stonesplitting blade and hardened striking face, the Stone Buster can be used in three ways: 1) swinging the hammer’s carbide splitting blade directly into stone; 2) using the hammer’s striking face to strike hand tools; 3) placing the hammer’s carbide blade against the stone and striking the back end of the Stone Buster with another striking hammer of comparable weight.

Hammer Set
A perfect complement to the Stone Buster, the Hammer Set can be used employing the same three techniques listed above. However, the Hammer Set is used for pitching or trimming edges rather than splitting, with a carbide tip that is comparable to Trow & Holden’s standard Hand Set.

Carbide Hammer Point
Like the Stone Buster and Hammer Set, the Hammer Point can be swung directly into stone, set and struck by another striking hammer, or used as a striking hammer. Its rugged carbide point is ideal for aggressive roughing and makes quick work of removing high spots.

Thin Stone Veneer Hammer
The lightest of Trow & Holden's dual purpose hammers, this hammer is designed to be used with the Thin Stone Veneer Hardie and for light duty trimming of thin material.

Quarry Buster
Like the smaller Stone Buster, the Quarry Buster can be swung to deliver a powerful splitting blow, or placed on the stone and struck by another hammer of comparable weight. The striking head can also be used to strike other large hammers, such as our Slab Splitter and Bull Set.


Stone Mason's or Mash Hammer
The Stone Mason’s or Mash Hammers are made to be swung for stone striking only - they should not be used to hit other hammers or hand tools, nor should they be struck by another hammer. Use the flat, square face for stone trimming, and the blade for splitting.  Available in steel or with a carbide-tipped splitting blade.

Ultimate Mash Hammer
The Ultimate Mash Hammer features a more rugged carbide tip in its splitting blade, as well as slightly concave trimming face with carbide trimming edges for maximum stonecutting performance and durability.

Trimming Hammers
Trimming hammers come in a variety of styles and weights, with steel or carbide tips.  Like the Mash Hammer, they are also used to split, trim and square stone edges, but their more slender profile makes them particularly balanced and accurate.  Available with double concave trimming faces or with a splitting blade and trimming face, the symmetric design of our Trimming Hammers allows you to turn the hammer's head over on the handle for more even wear.  For easier resharpening, the concave trimming faces will more easily match the contour of small diameter grinding wheels.

Double Blade Mason's Hammer
The Double Blade Mason's Hammer features two splitting blades, one horizontal and one vertical, both with our most rugged carbide tips for heavy-duty splitting and shaping.

The Stinger combines a carbide-tipped splitting blade with a carbide-tipped point, and is one of our most versatile hammers.  It can be used for pointing, splitting, chiseling, or trimming, and it's available with a vertical or horizontal blade.  When speed and efficiency are a must, it's hard to beat the Stinger.

Mallorcan Hammer
Only available in steel, the Mallorcan has been crafted in the traditional hammer style native to Spanish dry stack stonewalling.  Featuring a pick and trimming face with a dimpled recess, this hammer is perfect for moderate pointing, texturing, and trimming carried out while building dry stack stonewalls with softer dimensional stone.

Rock Pick
These specialized 16 oz and 24 oz Vaughn® hammers have been fitted with Trow & Holden’s industry-leading carbide to offer enhanced durability and performance. Available in three head configurations, these light-duty hammers are ideal for trimming and texturing thin stone. However, these hammers should only be used to strike stone, and special care should be taken to make clean, square contact with stone surfaces. Making uneven contact with the stone (including irregular surfaces) will quickly lead to chipped or broken carbide.


Solid Tooth Bush Hammer
For shaping, texturing, or smoothing stone, Solid Tooth Bush Hammers will leave a stippled finish on a stone surface. Consider using steel Bush Hammers for more aggressive applications, as the steel teeth are more forgiving. Like the Rock Pick, the Carbide Bush Hammer requires square and even contact with the stone surface to avoid uneven wear or breakage.

Carbide Mill Pick
Traditionally used for redressing the grinding surfaces of mill stones, the Mill Pick is handy for chiseling lines into stone or dressing edges. While the Mill Pick can also be used for light trimming of thin stone, the over-swinging required to shape thick pieces of hard stone can result in a broken handle.

Carbide Mosaic Hammer & Hardie
A duo designed to be used as a set, the Mosaic Hammer and Hardie are traditionally used for cutting tile for detailed mosaic work. The point of the Hardie gets driven securely into a block of wood, leaving the hardened steel chisel edge as a fulcrum for precisely placing and cutting mosaic materials with the Mosaic Hammer.

Slab Splitter
Among our heaviest tools for splitting stone, the Slab Splitter should not be swung directly into stone. Using it is a two-person operation in which one person holds the hammer in place, while the other delivers a striking blow with another hammer of comparable weight. The Slab Splitter is available with a steel or carbide tip; however, Carbide Slab Splitters should only be used on polished or sawn stone.

Bull Set
The Bull Set is designed for roughing out or shaping large blocks of stone. Like the smaller Hammer Set or a standard Hand Set, the flat blade of the Bull Set provides two stone-cutting edges for trimming, shaping, and rock-facing. Also a two-person hammer, one person should hold the Bull Set at a slight angle while the other hits the steel striking face with another hammer of comparable weight. Like the Slab Splitter, the Bull Set should not be swung directly into stone. Also like the Slab Splitter, the Carbide Bull Set should only be used on polished or sawn stone.



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