There are times in life where you will unexpectedly need a hammer and not having one can place you in a bit of a pickle. You may need one to hang a picture, fix a wonky table leg, or do anything else that requires being smashed with a heavy object repeatedly.
So, what do you do if you don’t have a hammer and can’t borrow one? The answer may, or may not, surprise you.
What can you use if you don’t have a hammer
The best thing to use when you are hammerless is a flat-ish rock. Rocks are the natural replacements for hammers. There are a few reasons for this:
- They are sturdy enough to repeatedly hit things.
- You don’t have to ask your neighbour if they have a rock you can borrow.
- They are free.
- You don’t have to put the rock in a tool box when finished.
- They are easy to hold onto.
- Using rocks connects you to your more primitive self.
You can’t just pick up and use any rock, though. You will need to spend a couple of minutes to make sure that you can hold it comfortably and that it has at least one flat or slightly rounded side.
How to use a rock safely
Using a rock as a hammer is not as simple as it seems. If you don’t know what you are doing, it is very easy to hurt yourself.
Different rocks for different tasks
- Flat rock – Rocks with a completely flat edge are more suited to hammering nails into wood, putting furniture together, and driving a chisel.
- Long flat rock – This type of rock is perfect if you can’t quite reach the thing you need to hammer. A good example of this would be hanging a large picture or hammering tacks into the wall to hold fairy lights.
- Rounded rock – The rounded rock is perfect for hanging pictures; the rounded edges ensure that your gripping hand will never get caught between the wall and the rock.
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Check the rock before using it
It is important to check the strength and structure of the rock before you start hammering. Avoid rocks with odd shapes, cracks, or moss as these can make it difficult to hold or they may break apart.
Make sure you can get a firm grip
Hold the rock in your hand and let your arm hang by your side. If you find it difficult to keep a firm grip on the rock, it is better to find a different one. Being able to securely hold the rock is important as you may accidentally throw the rock while hammering. This can lead to injuries, scared pets, broken household items, or all of the above.
Strike the surface squarely
Make sure to hit the surface of what you are hammering with the designated hammer end of the rock. Try to avoid using other areas and hitting it at an angle.
Use the full range of motion of your arm and elbow
- It is important to use your whole arm and elbow when hammering with a rock. Don’t just rely on your wrists and forearms as this reduces the power of your strikes and increases the chances of injury.
- Put your project on top of a hard, stable surface.
- Using your rock to hammer something on a soft surface will only lead to you spending a lot more energy and tiring yourself out.
Work in a position that feels natural
Don’t try to bend, twist, or stretch yourself into an uncomfortable position just to hammer something with your rock. That is a very fast way to injure yourself. Always try to work in the most natural, comfortable position you can.
Check your surroundings before swinging
The last thing you want to do is accidentally hit someone or break something. Before you start swinging your rock around, always check that there is no-one nearby and that there are no breakable items within arm’s reach.
Practice makes perfect
Regardless of what you want to get better at, it will always take lots of practice to reach the desired skill level. The same goes for using rocks. Spend some time getting used to the feeling of swinging your rock and get used to its weight and shape. Slowly, but surely you will develop your own rock-swinging technique.
So there we have it, your guide on what to use when you don’t have a hammer. Rocks are natural hammers, therefore they make the perfect replacement. Remember to choose your rock based on the job at hand and practice your rock-swinging technique before using it.
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