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Innovation in Polyurethane Hammer Design and Manufacturing

Hammers are some of the oldest tools on the market in terms of basic design, which dates back thousands of years. Nevertheless, innovative new materials and manufacturing features are still driving the evolution of hammers to this day.

When it comes to dead-blow hammers, basic wooden mallets have been around for ages, and solid rubber mallets for well over a century. Functional innovations came later, adding hollow shot-filled or sand-filled heads to absorb more recoil energy and further minimize striking rebound. Then, in the 1960s as injection molding and other plastic manufacturing techniques took off, polyurethane dead-blow hammers hit the market. Due to numerous performance advantages discussed below, polyurethane hammers have largely become the industry standard today.

The Physics Behind Dead-Blow Hammers

On the most basic functional level, the hammer is essentially a tool designed to transfer and concentrate kinetic energy from the swinger’s arm into the striking point. Typically, the goal is to use that energy to drive a nail, deform the surface, or interconnect separate components.

However, while the hammer is a relatively simple tool, there’s a lot of nuance in how it performs. Hence the drastically different hammer designs which are engineered to deliver kinetic energy in specific ways. For example, a solid steel hammer with a knurled face is designed to transfer maximum kinetic force to the striking point at slightly offset angles, with no regard to marring the surface or reducing recoil.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, shot-filled dead-blow mallets disperse the kinetic energy over a wider surface and absorb some mechanical force due to deformation. The result is a non-marred surface with potentially deeper penetration of force, but less concentrated force at the point of impact (e.g. less effective at driving nails or shaping/deforming the material).

In an ideal scenario, all of the energy that you swing into a hammer would translate into kinetic energy that is transferred to the struck surface. Of course, that's not what happens in the real world: the ideally inelastic collision (your hammer remaining perfectly still on the surface after impact) is instead slightly elastic. Essentially, all of that means a portion of the kinetic energy bounces off the surface and returns to the hammer in the form of recoil and vibration.

In conventional hammers, all of that remaining momentum is transferred back through the entire tool and into the user’s hand. That’s why polyurethane dead-blow hammers feature hollow shot-filled heads: the material inside moves independently from the rest of the hammer, acting as a detached mass which naturally absorbs a substantial portion of the recoil energy.

The Three Innovative Advantages of Polyurethane Dead-Blow Hammers:

  • No Rust, Corrosion, or Rotting – Polyurethane is a stable,long-lasting material that does not rust or corrode. It also resists chemical breakdown from most common fluids and solvents. Compare that to traditional wood and rubber mallets which are prone to chemical absorption and dry rotting over time, while any exposed metal hardware is liable to rust.

  • Better Shock Absorption and Rebound Control – Polyurethane is the ideal manufacturing material for dead-blow hammers because it is both highly durable and flexible. The material naturally absorbs rebound and recoil, minimizing all shocks and vibrations felt by the user. The polyurethane head itself evenly dissipates impact energy to maximize force transferred into the component while minimizing surface damage and marring.

  • A Highly Durable Material That Doesn’t Damage Surfaces – Polyurethane is a non-marring material which protects the striking surface from marring, dings, and scratches. At the same time, polyurethane is extremely durable and resilient to repeated impacts, so it’s possible to achieve a much longer service life than you do from standard wood and rubber mallets.
Sheet Metal Roll Storage Options <br> for Manufacturing Facilities and Warehouses
Sheet Metal Roll Storage Options
for Manufacturing Facilities and Warehouses

Polyurethane Products manufactures a complete range of custom storage options
to efficiently handle your sheet metal rolls and other material coils.


Innovative Polyurethane Mallets with Replaceable Faces: Better Service Life and Sustainability

Unlike most standard, generic, or budget poly-hammers on the market, which are molded with a single-piece head construction, our premium hammer heads utilize urethane replaceable faces. This simple feature substantially increased the tool’s service life as well as the sustainability of the end product.

Going further in the name of durability, our hammer handles are reinforced with a steel skeleton construction. No flimsiness or cracking after a few hard blows – our poly-hammers offer the extreme strength of a steel mallet combined with the versatility of modern polyurethane materials.

Finally, beneath the screw-in faces, our molded hammer heads are shot-filled and carefully tuned to provide the smoothest dead-blow action possible.

Multiple Hardness Levels and Weights to Suit a Wider Range of Applications

Another innovative feature about polyurethane mallets is the versatility of the material. Polyurethane can easily be produced at different hardness levels which are optimized for different types of jobs and/or different striking surfaces.

  • 60 A – Clear (Soft)
  • 70 A – Blue
  • 80 A – Green
  • 90 A – Red
  • 95 A – Amber
  • 75 D – Black (Hard)


Our hammers are also available in six of the most popular sizes:

  • 75 lb – 10” hammer w/ 1.4” x 3.3” head
  • 5 lb – 11” hammer w/ 1.8” x 3.8” head
  • 2 lb – 11.75” hammer w/ 1.9” x 4” head
  • 3 lb – 12.75” hammer w/ 2.5” x 5” head
  • 5 lb – 14.75” hammer w/ 2.9” x 6” head
  • 7 lb – 19.25” hammer w/ 2.9” x 7.7” head

Quality American Made Polyurethane Products

Polyurethane Products is the nation’s premier manufacturer of poly-hammers and other premium polyurethane products. Our full range of polyurethane dead-blow hammers includes six sizes from 0.75 lbs to 7 lbs, with screw-on replaceable faces available in six different durometers/hardness levels.

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