Introduction: Make Your Own NON Dead-Blow Hammer!

Picture of Make Your Own NON Dead-Blow Hammer!

A Dead-Blow Hammer is a hammer that doesn't bounce back up when hit, and less force is required when using it, because of it's weight. This type of hammer also saves a lot of time and effort, when compared to a regular mallet (soft hammer).

Did you know you can make, and choose the exact weight that you want for your Dead-Blow Hammer with an old transformer?

In my last Instructable, I showed you how to make The Flat-Pack Bandsaw. Today, I'll show you how to make a Dead-Blow Hammer, made from almost entirely recycled and junk materials!

Let's get started!

(Warning: Use this Instructables' content at your own risk. If you decide to eat this hammer, do it at your own risk!)

Step 1: What You'll Need:

Picture of What You'll Need:

Hardware & Materials:

~1KG Transformer (From an old retractable bed)

2 Zip-Ties

Some soft Wood (From an old shipping crate)

16mm (Diameter) Metal Rod (From an old IKEA Lamp)

Chemicals & Adhesives:

Gorilla Tape

Tools (+Attachments):



3mm Drill-Bit

2 Clamps

Electric/Power Tools:


Circular Saw


Why: Because I don't have a Hydraulic Press! Ummm, No... :)

Recommended Safety Equipment: Earmuffs, Respirator, Safety Goggles,

Cost (for me): FREE!

Difficulty: Easy

Approximate Time: ~30 Minutes

Step 2: Cut the Wires Off of the Transformer

Picture of Cut the Wires Off of the Transformer

After choosing the transformer I wanted, I used a wire cutter to cut off the wires.

Step 3: Enlarge the Holes in the Transformer

Picture of Enlarge the Holes in the Transformer

I used a 3mm Drill-Bit to enlarge the holes that were in the transformer. I did this so the Zip-Ties would be able to fit in them (Next step).

If your transformer doesn't have these holes, I might be able to help you in the comment section :)

Step 4: Attach the Handle to the Transformer

Picture of Attach the Handle to the Transformer

I started by folding a small piece of Gorilla Tape, so it would act as double sided tape (And as a cushion between the transformer and the handle). After that, I Zip-Tied the handle tightly to the transformer.

Step 5: More Gorilla Tape!

Picture of More Gorilla Tape!

I added a bit more tape to the top, even though it isn't really needed. It strengthens the connection a bit more, and makes it look better.

I can definitely tell you that this handle isn't going anywhere.

Step 6: Cut the Wooden Pad (cushion)

Picture of Cut the Wooden Pad (cushion)

I decided that I want to add a small piece of wood, which acts as a cushion to both the object that is being hit, and the transformer.

I started by tracing the outline of the bottom of the transformer onto a piece of soft wood that I had previously clamped to the table, And then cut it out with my new horrible circular saw. It was a bit hard to saw off one part, so I plunged the saw, and then removed it by hitting it with the hammer.

Step 7: Glue the Wooden Pad Onto the Hammer

Picture of Glue the Wooden Pad Onto the Hammer

I thought I'd try hot glue as an adhesive for gluing the pad to the bottom of the transformer, and indeed, it (still!) hasn't failed!

I scratched the wood a bit, applied a generous amount of glue to one side of the pad, and clamped it as quickly as I could.

After the glue hardened, I applied more glue to the sides (the gaps)

Step 8: DONE! Dead-Blow Hammer VS. Computer Mouse

Picture of DONE! Dead-Blow Hammer VS. Computer Mouse

Ok, this was just for fun... :)

I wanted to test how strong this hammer was, even without applying a lot of force.

What you can see in the pictures is the before shot, and after (and after collecting all of the pieces that flew everywhere) smashing it to pieces.

Yes, it did that with one hit!


As always, thank you so much for voting!

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FelisC (author)2016-07-24

Now put the wires back on, add some batteries, and make it a SHOCK BLOW HAMMER!

Yonatan24 (author)FelisC2016-07-24

Genius! ;)

DavidA450 (author)2016-07-17

so what I'm seeing from the comments is this is just plain not what it is advertised in the instructable. This either needs to be changed to reflect the fact that it ISN'T a dead-blow hammer or just plain deleted for inaccuracy.

Yonatan24 (author)DavidA4502016-07-18

That's what's weird here too. What I see in the comments of the Instructable isn't what I see with the tool...

90% of the time, I barely add any force when I hit something with the hammer, so I think that's why it doesn't jump back up (Or maybe barely does). If I tried to break a wall with it... I think I would buy an expensive one for Pro's... :)

DavidA450 (author)Yonatan242016-07-18

The problem is you can't go around saying things you think, and not take responsibility. You need to know what a Dead-Blow Hammer is before you say something you made IS one. If you say something, and it's wrong, you need to fix it, not just shrug your shoulders.

The only thing that really bothers me, is this instructable was featured on the instructable email, showing they probably do not read any of the instructables that they decide to just randomly throw on the front of the email.

Yonatan24 (author)DavidA4502016-07-19


Speaking of deleted, did you see this Instructable? It was featured in the same newsletter as this Instructable. That's totally fake.

What I built here, might not be totally accurate, but I did build it, and it works REALLY well.

(And they don't randomly put Instructables there. The staff that makes the newsletter doesn't happen to know everything, in every possible subject.)

hamthis (author)DavidA4502016-07-18


Draculorum (author)2016-07-18

That hammer was delicious and yes, I acknowledge that I chose to consume it freely and the author in no way responsible or liable for my actions.

Yonatan24 (author)Draculorum2016-07-19

I just want to make sure that your dietitian will help you close weight after eating it, not me!

hamthis (author)2016-07-18

This is not a Dead Blow Hammer.

I dead blow hammer has a void in it that has a movable mass typically made of sand. When hitting it does not bounce back up.

This is just a sledge hammer with wood on the front.

Yonatan24 (author)hamthis2016-07-19

I now know that...

FirstSpear (author)2016-07-18

Never heard of a dead-blow hammer. If such exists in the UK then it's managed to avoid me for over 50+ years. I understand the concept having read the comments. Learn something new every day. Even if this isn't, it's still true to the original spirit of Instructables, which, for me, has become too specialist of late, and I now find I often don't read any of the picks. I read this one. Cheers yonatan24.

actimm (author)FirstSpear2016-07-18

A dead-blow hammer is a hammer or mallet with a medium such as sand or bismuth that moves freely inside of it to reduce or eliminate the recoil that is felt when the head strikes a hard object. In the old days they used to use powdered lead or lead shot, but environmental concerns forced the switch to sand or bismuth. I have both dead-blow hammers and dead-blow mallets here in the machine shop I work in. Basically they make the hammer strike about twice as effective because it doesn't rebound like a regular hammer would. What the author basically did is make a soft face mallet with a transformer as the weight and pine or cedar as the "soft face" material.

Yonatan24 (author)FirstSpear2016-07-18

Someone commented about one in my Hot-Glue Mallet Instructable. That's how I learned about it :)

WiggleOne (author)2016-07-17

Really good Instructable, but that thing would fly apart and hurt someone.

I have a Harbor Freight Tools a half mile from my house and a small dead blow mallet is $2.00 with a coupon.

Yonatan24 (author)WiggleOne2016-07-18

I doubt that'll happen, but I'll be careful. If there was HF near my house, I'd... Wait... I don't have that store near my house :(

The cheapest one that I found at a hardware store costed over $10.

uncle frogy (author)2016-07-17

that is a nice one time use hammer cheap and quick to make but not built for strength or long use. It reminds me of the soft blow hammers plumbers used when working on cast iron drain pipe. they were a piece of black pipe for a handle and the working end was a beer can filled with lead. they would put a fitting on the pipe push it into a can and fill the whole thing with molten lead. lasted long enough and could be reformed when it became too deformed in use and it did not break the cast iron pipe.

uncle frogy

Yonatan24 (author)uncle frogy2016-07-18

One time use? I've used it dozens of times already-- Probably over 300 times, with a lot of power.

ShawnS60 (author)2016-07-17

This dead-blow hammer seems like great fun, both to make, and to use to smash an old computer mouse.

Can you recommend an additional use for such a hammer? I can imagine...striking a Test-of-Strength at a circus midway, or crushing the computer mouse--wait, you already used that example. So, one thing I could use it for. What are additional uses that I, Average Joe, may encounter during my life?
Thank you! Again, this looks great fun!

Yonatan24 (author)ShawnS602016-07-17

Yup! You nailed it!

I can use it for many things-- For crushing computer mice for example- Wait! You already used the example that I used as an example!

I don't know what you'd use it for, but so far, I've used it to take apart a shipping crate, chair that was made of European Beech, and was joined with mortise and tenons, which were glued with Epoxy! :)

Akin Yildiz (author)2016-07-17


Yonatan24 (author)Akin Yildiz2016-07-17

Nope! :)

obillo (author)2016-07-17

Please explain the physics involved. I've used lots of dead-blow hammers and ALL have been filled with shot, which absorbed--deadened--the dread bounce-back.

Yonatan24 (author)obillo2016-07-17

No physics. Only confusion :)

buzzclick (author)2016-07-17

You could call this a dead-weight hammer, but I'm having a hard time seeing its usefulness since it's quite dangerous if you were to swing it. I wouldn't want to get hit by a flying transformer.

Yonatan24 (author)buzzclick2016-07-17

The transformer shouldn't fly off, because of the tape.

Flyboyron (author)2016-07-17

This is no more a "dead blow" hammer than a stick taped to a big rock. What's your point? Sorry, just don't get it.

Yonatan24 (author)Flyboyron2016-07-17

This basically a weighted mallet. I thought it was dead-blow, because I added a weight to it, but it turns out that I'm wrong.

I'm still pleased if this is just a heavy mallet. It works extrememly well, and saves me a lot of time and effort :)

zs (author)2016-07-17

sorry but this isn't a deadblow hammer. it's just an improvised soft faced hammer. a dead blow the weight inside of it it's free to move in order to absorb the recoil. this is just a dangerous heavy stick.

Yonatan24 (author)zs2016-07-17

Okay... I guess you worded it correctly :)

Chitlange Sahas (author)2016-07-16

Can you weld the transformer and the rod? offcourse they have to be of same material or at least weldable. This will prevent the transformer from flying off and giving someone a real Dead Blow!

Well done !

Thanks! I didn't think about that, but I don't think they're the same type of metal, and I also don't have a welder.

(The tape stops this from being an actual accidental weapon :)

nehmo (author)2016-07-09

Zip ties have a low fatigue life. That is, they break if used in a situation where the pressure on them changes often, as with vibration. Steel ties are also available, and they don't have this shortcoming.

I learned this when using them to hold down parts of small gas engines. After a while, they would break.

Yonatan24 (author)nehmo2016-07-10

I suppose that they're break sometime in the future, and when they do, I'll replace them with thick steel wire. If some kind of wire won't work, I don't mind replacing the Zip-Ties every once in a while because it saves me a lot of time, and they barely cost anything.

I've used the mallet a ton in the past few days and it is still holding really well.

I think that the only change in weight that they carry is the transformer, which its weight gets spread out between both of them and gorilla tape. :)

Yonatan24 (author)Yonatan242016-07-14


One Zip-Ties just broke now, so I replaced both of them with thick galvanized wire. This definitely won't be moving anywhere! I also replaced the handle with a thicker one, which is easier to hold.

I'm not surprised that this happened though-- It broke when I was taking apart a chair that was made of European Beech, and was joined with mrtoise and tenons, which were glued with Epoxy!

ThomasK19 (author)2016-07-09

Only if it's got nuclear power xD

Yonatan24 (author)ThomasK192016-07-10

I wish... :)

makeosaurus (author)2016-07-06

Comment section giveaway?

Yonatan24 (author)makeosaurus2016-07-07

I've deleted that now.

On most of my Instructables that get featured, if someone makes the project and shares pictures, I give them the free 3 month PRO membership that I received. I wrote than in the Instructable because I was sure that it would get featured, but in the end it didn't (I have no idea why), and I wasn't able to edit that out until now.

In my opinion, this is a great project: It was really fun to make, and it works really well (So well that it broke my Awl!). After all, I guess this Instructable is pretty ironic (pun not intended), though I'm still surprised that it didn't get featured. :(

Sorry for that, but I hope you liked it! :)

Yonatan24 (author)Yonatan242016-07-08

Yipee! It got featured!

There was a problem with getting it featured. Now fixed!

By the time you see this comment, I'll probably already post information about the giveaway in the top comment. :)

iceng (author)2016-07-07

Nice quick construction, but I don't see what moves at impact, as in the Dead-Blow-Hammer cut-away

That is the feature that keeps the bounce back from occurring. What you have there is a wood mallet with attached mass.

Yonatan24 (author)iceng2016-07-08

And now I wonder what would happen if I glued part of a bullet-proof vest (if I had one, that is) instead of the wooden pad-- Could it stop the hammer from bouncing back up when a lot of force is applied?

Yonatan24 (author)iceng2016-07-08

I've experimented with it a bit, and I was wondering that before I built it.

I haven't seen it bounce back at all, but that may be because the hit, with no added force, is already very hard because the weight of the hammer. For what I use and used it already, I haven't been noticing that it jumps back up (My other Mallets do, a lot!), though if I tried to break something really strong, I would apply more force, and then it might bounce back up.

I do have another computer mouse that I can smash, so I'd like to film that in slow motion and see what happens!

Lorddrake (author)2016-07-06

Nice reuse of materials.

Yonatan24 (author)Lorddrake2016-07-07

Thank you, glad you liked it!

BeachsideHank (author)2016-07-06

I just tossed one of these in the workshop trash bin this morning, now you're gonna make me go pull it out- you need to put that in the warnings list too! ☺

Yonatan24 (author)BeachsideHank2016-07-07


I'd love to see a picture after you eat... err... Build it, I mean! :)

About This Instructable




Bio: 15 year old, sick with a deadly disease called DIY-itis!
More by Yonatan24:How to Sharpen a Japanese Saw10 MORE Bench Vise Tips, Tricks, & Hacks (Part 2)IKEA Hack: DIY Flexible Arm Tripod!
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