Roofing hammer question

A friend loaned me one of your roofing style hammers a while back and pulled it out tonight. So far all my roof stuff has been done with my one woodworking hammer, I can dig in under a nail heads and pull them out fine. Mostly just use the hammer in the shop turned sideways to knock the woodwork chisels. I dont use finishing nails and fill I clamp stuff.

Your style hammer has a massive head with serations which makes sense. Then it seems to be like an axe at the other end and there is a slot and some holes in it as well.

Sorry to be so green, the slot I take it is to pull nails. Is the hachet part for doing quick woodwork alterations? what are the holes for?



That sounds like a slate hammer youre referring to and if you ever saw slate installed, you’d get it. It’s very useful. For plain old shingles like you’re doing, a nice 20 Estwing straight claw is the way that I like. It’s not super heavy so that you couldnt swing it all day, and not so light that its too much work to get necessary power. I’ve snapped every hammer I’ve ever used that wasnt an Estwing by the way. Most times I’m a finesse roofer, but sometimes it requires a more angry and ugly approach to get the job done:D


I have owned several Eastwing hatchets over the past 20 years. The holes either hold a shingle gage or hold an adjustable straight blade. They are there for the guys who shingle by hand.( I believe) I use the hatchet part for splitting shakes when I install them.
Hope this helps.


the holes are there from some part that is missing.

My shop hammer looks like a little toy so will check with my supplier as he has the full line of Estwing. This one I use pulls nails great but the head is small, smooth and at a bit of an angle as well, would be much better off with the one loaned to me but for pullng nails it would not work very well.



If it is what I’m picturing in my mind, then roofboy is correct. The holes are for lack of a better term “pins” that are used as a gauge for shingle installation.

Try an AJC shingle hammer. They are about ten pounds lighter, for shingling.

Holes are for shingle gauge (which you don’t even need to get a PERFECT roof if you use G Tape) and a replaceable blade for cutting the shingles.

I pull nails with a claw hammer or, a flat bar, but usually a claw hammer.

hahaha… i still dont get the g-tape stuff? maybe im just too lazy to research it.

My father used to use the old Estwing hatchet roofing hammers. The last day he used one he tried to pound a nail but missed the nail and had the hammer flipped and hit his hand.

All I’ve ever used in the past ten years is 16 oz straight claw Estwing hammers. If I swing a heavier hammer my shoulder gets sore.

I use an eastwing framing hammer. I use the flat bar for anything needing chipping away at.