Laser Guided Hammer




Introduction: Laser Guided Hammer

It is one of those "Why didn't I think of that" kind of ideas. The delicate simplicity of the small red dot guiding you along is probably the only way to improve on one of the oldest tools of all time.

The idea came to me in a flash while I was working at the Pier 9 workshop in San Francisco. Most of the tools already have laser guides these days. It just seamed strange that the hammer had been left out of having it's own shiny dot helping the user know where the business end of the tool was about to land. Combining the digital precision of a laser with the brute power of a hammer is a natural pairing.

This is a quick, easy, and affordable project which is accessible to all levels of makers.

Step 1: Assemble the Tools and the Tools

This project is literally putting one tool inside another tool. To do so we will need some equipment and tools. Here is a list of what you will need to make this project:

- Small key chain laser pointer (try to find one about 1/2" in diameter) also try to find a cheap one, more on that later.

- Rubber mallet

- Drill press

- Clamps

- Ruler and pencil for marking the center of the Mallet.

With all that assembled lets get started.

Step 2: Mark the Center and Drill Out the Laser Column

To get a laser dot exactly where the hammer is going to strike we will need to drill a hole straight down the mallet. In order to do this with accuracy use a ruler to find the center of the hammer. Use a pencil to mark where the center of the face is.

Gather some clamps. Us the clamps to hold the hammer in place on a drill press.

We will start drilling out the hole with a 1/4" drill bit. Be careful not to go all the way through.

Step the drill bit up to 1/2" and just pierce the front of the hammer head so that light comes out.

Step 3: Preparing the Laser.

For the laser to show where you are pointing your hammer it will need to be on. This particular laser pointer need to have it's button pressed to light up. We can fix it with a little tape

Disassemble the laser and wrap some electricians tape around the button. If you cannot find electricians tape duct tape will work just great.

Reassemble the device and insert it in the to the hole you drilled in the hammer.

Step 4: Set Your Sights and Hammer Away

With your brand new laser guided hammer ready for action you will need to test it out.

Find something to hammer.


Ahh the satisfaction of hammering something and breaking a laser pointer at the same time in complete work of art.



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    44 Discussions

    I'd have set the laser into the front of the hammer, and then tried to figure out how to keep it from moving when whacked. The nonintuitive solution to drill in from the back of the hammer, with a point hole for the dot, is inspired.

    And the result is entertaining and funny.

    Thank you for sharing. I needed it today.

    In lieu of crafting such an, *ahem*, "device" I'd like to offer a piece of advice told me many moons yore. It's not a joke - literally this is the secret to pinpoint accuracy with a hammer. :

    1. Affix your gaze directly and exclusively on the head of the nail or whatever your target may be.

    2. Swing away Mr. Sosa!

    That's it! Sounds so simple it can't be true but I guarantee, observe this one rule and watch your finger splint budget virtually disappear! I must admit though, I am a big fan of attaching lasers to anything when and wherever possible. Anyone remember 'What's-His-Name's' putter from Caddyshack 2? Pure WIN in it's rawest form right there :).

    1 reply

    Oh sorry, forgot to include my rough idea for a re-conception of the author's device...

    So, given the "look directly at the target" rule (which again, it's not meant as sarcasm or anything, simple as it sounds it absolutely works). If a "head-lamp" type laser pointer which could accurately approximate the user's exact line of sight it could allow for finer and more pinpoint accuracy and, with some practice, could essentially function similar to laser sighting on projectile weapons. As example, I like to call myself a competent archer. Hand me a basic long bow without sighting and I can hit an 8" pie plate at about 20-30 yards fairly reliably. Give me a compound with modern sighting and an afternoon and I can stick a half dozen arrows through a 2" bulls-eye at 40+ yards.

    For applications like finish carpentry (cabinets, eaves, door framing, et cetera) such a device could find a market.

    Judging by the posts following yours, nobody made the connection with 1 April. Spot on! With such a large hammer head how hard can it be to hit that dog?

    Needs two line lasers, 90degree apart, crossing in the middle. Then you don't have a hole where you hit your target...

    I see how it would work well for the use in the photo (holding the hammer stationary above the object to be hammered). But if you raise the hammer in an arc and actually start swinging it, the laser would only appear milliseconds before impact, not leaving enough time to make adjustments. But other than that, besides the whole self-destruction thing, great project!

    now all you need to do is spend hours improving hand-eye coordination so that you can quickly position the laser dot on the nail while the hammer is traveling at the equivalent of linear 1 is a joke project right?!?!?!

    Maybe this would have worked out better with a laser guided drill to make the hole. I never imagined that hammering was so daunting to begin with.

    Sorry but this just doesn't work. And even if it did there would be no real point do doing it. I don't see how a laser guide would help while swinging something fast... like a hammer, or in this case a mallet. Honestly if you need something to guide your swing you have no buisness swinging it in the first place.

    OK, how about making a cylindrical, spring-cushioned housing inside the mallet's head to eliminate the impact's effect of the laser? Then drill out a cylindrical block of Lexan to use as the head. Make extra faces of Lexan (surely they will scratch and blur he beam after awhile) that attach to mounts on the hammers face. This would also allow for access to replace batteries in the laser (which, BTW, it might be better to rig a switch on the handle of the laser by drilling holes through the Lexan to access the laser from the outside).

    Better yet, have Scotty beam us down a hammer head out of transparent aluminum (hardened of course). But by now he also may have been able to come up with transparent stainless steel.

    I always put my lasers on the I wont miss it when I hit it with the hammer.

    No need for a laser to guide the hammer. Just put your thumb over the spot you need to nail. The hammer will automatically find its way there.

    1 reply