Mosaic Hammer - 450g

Mosaic Hammer - 450g
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Product Information


These are the traditional mosaic cutting tools used since classical times.  Particularly good for marble and other stone, also excellent for smalti.  If you haven't used a hammer or hardie before, the combo may need a bit of explanation - see the note below.

Our hammers and hardies all come from Giacomello SNC.  Founded in 1911 in Spilimbergo, northern Italy (mosaic capital of the world), the firm is now run by the fourth generation of the Giacomello family and is renowned for its quality tools.   

This is an expensive investment for any mosaicist, but your hammer will last a lifetime. 

We offer hammers in 450g, 750g and 950g weights.  Those who have shoulder/wrist/hand issues may find the lighter hammers easier to use.  But remember that it is the weight of the hammer falling that causes the fracture - gravity is doing a lot of the work for you - so you may find that a heavier hammer is, in fact, better.  If in doubt you should probably go for the heavier hammer - the 950g hammer is the one recommended by the London School of Mosaic to its diploma students.   I have included a picture of all the hammers side by side with this description - this will give you an idea of relative shape and size.

Both contact edges of our hammers are made of widia - tungsten carbide - rather than the standard steel.  This makes them extremely tough and long-lasting.  Some mosaicists like to reserve one end for cutting glass/smalti (just stick a coloured label on one end of the hammer head) as a sharp edge is advantageous when cutting vitreous materials.  But tungsten carbide remains sharp for so long whatever you use it for, that this isn't strictly necessary.

The wooden handle that comes with your hammer can be cut to a length to suit your arm.  Sand the cut end so that you don't get splinters.  

You may find that your handle comes loose - it's a hazard of the job!  Watch this video from US mosaicists Bonnie Fitzgerald and Kim Wozniak to see how soaking it in water swells the wood and improves the fit. 

About the hammer/hardie combination   The hardie is made of solid steel and is shaped like a large chisel head.  Traditionally it is mounted, blade upwards, in an up-ended log, but many mosaicists today find it more convenient to use hardie set into a small steel base and used on a tabletop.  The material to be cut is held, gently-balanced, on the hardie top, and the hammer is brought down in a slicing action; the material is neatly fractured between the top of the hardie and the contact point of the hammer.  Once you've got a bit of experience, using a hammer and hardie is a very efficient - and satisfying - way of cutting quantities of stone and other materials.  You can watch this video from the Chicago Mosaic School, which has tips on how to hold the hammer and how to set your hardie in a log.  It also discusses sharpening your hammer and hardie using an electric grinder.  Our hammers have x2 tungsten carbide tips, so sharpening shouldn't be necessary for years.  If you do want to sharpen your hammer or hardie, our recommendation is that you get help from an experienced metalworker; this is not something to do at home as you can certainly do more harm than good if you hold the tools at the wrong angle against the grinder.


Product CodeMOST4MXW28
Stock Level4

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