A claw hammer is a type of hammer used mainly for pounding nails into, or extracting nails from, wood. Claw hammers usually weigh in the range 16 to 25 ounces. The head is made of steel and the handle of wood, fiberglass, or steel. One side of the head is flat with either a smooth or textured surface and is used for pounding another surface. The rounded end of the claw, in conjunction with the handle, is used to gain leverage when pulling out a nail.
A curved claw hammer has a head that curves down and splits in the middle forming a "V" shape. A 16-ounce curved claw hammer is an excellent all-purpose tool around the home. A ripping claw hammer has a claw that sticks out straighter, making this a better tool for small demolition work. Another type of claw hammer is the framing hammer.
When purchasing be aware that higher-priced hammers will tend to have sturdier handles and better steel in their heads. Choose tools made from dropped forged over cast metal, especially in the case of striking tools such as hammers.