How to Swing a Sledge Hammer (4 Steps)

In this article, you’ll learn how to swing a sledgehammer using a technique to maximize power while lowering energy use and preventing injury.

When swinging a sledgehammer, execution and technique is everything. I have been on many worksites where people have pulled/torn a muscle or injured themselves that’s why in this guide, I’m going to teach you how to avoid that and learn how to swing it correctly. 

In general, to swing a sledgehammer correctly:

  • Wear the necessary safety gear.
  • Position the dominant hand on top of the sledgehammer handle.
  • Position the other hand on the bottom of the sledgehammer handle.
  • Keep your legs one and half feet apart.
  • Raise the hammer above the head and strike the object. While striking, slide the dominant hand to the bottom of the handle.

Go through my article below for more details.

4 Step Guide on How to Swing a Sledge Hammer Like a Pro

Learning how to swing a heavy sledgehammer is a must-have skill for those who handle demolition work, construction work, and home DIY projects.

But to do it properly, you should execute good body and hand positions. Also, striking power and grip pressure is vital. With that in mind, here are four simple steps for sledgehammer swings.

Be mindful: Below, I’m going to talk about vertical swings.

Step 1 – Wear Safety Gear

wearing safety gear
Video | HardHatJane

While swinging, sweat on your hand might loosen your grip, or sometimes you might hurt your hands. So, wear safety gloves properly. 

Apart from that, remember to wear safety glasses when you do demolition work. To protect your head wear a safety helmet.

Step 2 – Hand Grip

hand grip
Video | fixitmakeit

First and foremost, you should learn how to hold a sledgehammer properly with your hands.

Note: Most of us grab the bottom of the handle with our hands. But this is not the correct technique.

If you are a right-handed person (dominant hand), you should grab the top of the handle with your right hand. The other hand should be at the bottom of the handle. Also, the grip should be strong. Otherwise, the hammer might slip out of your hands.

Step 3 – Body Position

right body position
Video | fixitmakeit

When it comes to body position, your legs should be one and a half feet apart.

Remember that you should stand firm. Your back should be straight. Examine the above image for proper body position.

Step 4 – Swing

First, check the hand positioning and grip.

Then check the body positioning. If everything checks up according to steps 2 and 3, now you can swing the sledgehammer.

Tip of the Day: The technique used for vertical swings cannot be used for horizontal swings.

To swing the sledgehammer, follow these steps.

raise the hammer above your head
Video | fixitmakeit

Raise the hammer above your head. If the right hand is your dominant hand, raise the hammer above the right side.

bring down the hammer toward the object
Video | fixitmakeit

Bring down the hammer toward the object while sliding down your right hand close to the edge of the hammer handle.

strike the object
Video | fixitmakeit

So, when you strike the object, both hands should be at the bottom of the handle.

Safety Tips

It is crucial to stay safe in your workplace, especially if you are swinging a sledgehammer. So, here are some valuable safety tips that can protect you.

Wear Safety Gloves and Glasses

Always wear safety gloves. A good rubber glove set will protect your hand from vibration. Also, it will help you to grip the hammer tightly.

If needed, don’t forget to wear safety glasses. For instance, small concrete parts might enter your eyes when you plan to demolish a concrete slab with a sledgehammer.

Proper Positioning of Your Hands and Body

Keeping the dominant hand at the top and the other hand at the bottom of the handle is the appropriate technique. And remember, the dominant hand should come down when you hit the object.

However, some people forget to bring the dominant hand down. This exposes your hand to unnecessary force, and sometimes your hand might get injured. Also, the uncomfortable angle might damage your spine. (1)

Don’t Stand on Slippery Surfaces

While striking, don’t stand on a slippery surface. Remember, your feet should connect to the ground properly. Otherwise, you won’t be able to produce much force.

Wearing a pair of rubber shoes will help in this kind of situation. Also, they can provide some protection for your feet. (2)

Take a look at some of our related articles below.




References
(1) damage your spine – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/
spinal-cord-injuries
(2) shoes – https://www.masterclass.com/articles/types-of-shoes

Video References

fixitmakeit

HardHatJane

About Sam Orlovsky

b1d87d2ee85af3e51479df87928bdc88?s=90&d=mm&r=gI realized early on carpentry was a huge passion for me and I’ve stayed in the industry for over 20 years now. This gives me a unique ability to really be able to tell you what the best tools and recommendations are. I’m not only a carpenter but I also like machinery and anything to do with electrics. One of my career paths starting off was as an apprentice electrician so I also have a lot of experience with electrical products and anything related.