A nail-holding hammer - Fine Homebuilding Question & Answer
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
    Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Deck Design & Construction
    Deck Design & Construction
  • 9 Concrete Countertop Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertop Ideas
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • Install a Vinyl Privacy Fence
    Install a Vinyl Privacy Fence
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • Remodeling Articles
    Remodeling Articles
  • Design Inspiration
    Design Inspiration
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting

A nail-holding hammer

Q: Many years ago there was a manufacturer that made what I consider one of the best claw hammers. The head was smooth, not milled like that of a new hammer, and it had a spring-loaded device within its claws for holding a nail. The hammer was great for starting a nail in tight spots or when you were forced to hold a board in place with one hand. I don’t remember who made the hammer, and I’m curious if other old-timers remember this type of hammer. Is it still available?

A: Don Stevenson, a hammer collector in Woodland, Washington, replies: I believe you’re talking about a Cheney hammer. I have quite a few of them: One was made in Denmark, and the rest were made in America. Arthur Taylor patented the Cheney Nailer on March 22, 1927. With his hammer, a nail could be held between a pair of spring-loaded steel balls, and a set screw adjusted the holding pressure.

Although Cheney hammers are no longer made, there are about 150 hammers patented that hold nails. Just last year two companies -- Forgecraft (15046 East Nelson Ave. #1, City of Industry, Calif. 91747; 800-435-3748) and Ted Hammers (6152 Mission Gorge Road, Suite G, San Diego, Calif. 92120; 800-645-2434) -- patented their versions of nail-holding hammers, thinking they were the first ones.

From Fine Homebuilding 88, pp. 16 May 1, 1994

Next Article
Next Article: Tip: