450g Mosaic hammer
This is the lightest of our three weights of mosaic hammer
The mosaic hammer is one half of the cutting equipment used by classical mosaicists; it is used in conjunction with a hardie, or chisel-shaped blade. The hammer and hardie duo is still the best way to cut natural stone and is also excellent for cutting smalti. Both contact edges of our hammers are made of widia - tungsten carbide - rather than the standard steel. This makes them extremely tough and long-lasting. This is a our lightest hammer, the other available weights being 950g and 750g - see the note under WHICH HAMMER? if you're not sure which will be best for you. Our hammers and hardies all come from Giacomello SNC. Founded in 1911 in Spilimbergo, northern Italy (mosaic capital of the world), the firm is now run by the fourth generation of the Giacomello family and is renowned for its quality tools. If you want to buy both hammer and hardie, have a look at our special discounted deals. If you haven't used a hammer or hardie before, the combination may need a bit of explanation: The hardie is made of solid steel and is shaped like a large chisel head. Traditionally it is mounted, blade upwards, in an up-ended log, but many mosaicists today find it more convenient to use a hardie set into a small steel base. The material to be cut is held, gently-balanced, on the hardie top, and the hammer is brought down in a slicing action; the material is neatly fractured between the top of the hardie and the contact point of the hammer. Once you've got a bit of experience, using a hammer and hardie is a very efficient - and satisfying - way of cutting quantities of stone and other materials. For advice on how to use a hammer and hardie, visit the RESOURCES area at the bottom of our home page. You will find a video from the Chicago Mosaic School which has tips on how to hold the hammer and what kind of action you should use for greatest ease and accuracy. The video also discusses sharpening your hammer and hardie using an electric grinder. Our hammers have x2 tungsten carbide tips, so sharpening shouldn't be necessary for years. If you do want to sharpen your hammer or hardie, our recommendation is that you get help from an experienced metalworker; this is not something to do at home as you can certainly do more harm than good if you hold the tools at the wrong angle against the grinder.
We offer hammers in 450g, 750g and 950g weights. The 950g weight is the one used by many professional mosaicists and is recommended by the London School of Mosaic to its Diploma students. However, if your hands/wrists/elbows get easily tired or have previously been injured you may well fare better with a lighter hammer. But remember that it is the weight of the falling hammer that achieves the cut, so it is probably worth buying the heaviest one you think you can comfortably manage. Unfortunately it is not possible to return hammers once they have been used, so please get in touch before buying if you would like to discuss. I may be able to lend you a hammer for a short time.
Unfortunately Mosaic Workshop can't accept returns of cutting tools which turn out not to suit you, so please think carefully before buying. If you are finding it very hard to make a decision please contact me as I may be able to lend you tools to try (you will pay a deposit, and for postage in both directions). In the case of faulty goods we will, of course, accept returns - please see notes in the website footer.