Tools of the Shoe Trade: The Shoemaker’s Hammer

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The process of traditional shoemaking involves a whole host of specialist tools and techniques. We’re making it our mission to introduce you to some of them. In this post we’re looking at tool that plays a vital part in the shoemaking process: the cobbler’s hammer.

In shoemaking, tiny tacks and nails are used to attach the leather uppers to the soles. It goes almost without saying that any craft that involves nails will also require some kind of hammer! 

Traditional shoemakers use a variety of different shoemaking hammers to manage this process. Typically, on any cobbler’s workbench you’ll find a selection of good quality hammers including beating hammers and double faced hammers.

Shoemakers hammers are used to hammer in tacks and nails, but they also have a range of other purposes. They are used to flatten seams and prepare them for stitching. Importantly, traditional shoemakers also use a hammer during the lasting process. Firmly hammering the bottom of the shoe can help to properly shape leather uppers. 

As shoemaking involves very delicate work, many shoemakers prefer to use hammers with magnetic heads. These can make it easier to be precise and neat when hammering in small nails and tacks.

The best shoemaking hammers are well balanced. This means that they are far easier and smoother to use. Most shoemakers prefer a hammer with a rounded wooden handle, as this feels more comfortable to hold. 

Ideally, a shoemaker’s hammer, just like the rest of their tools, should feel like a natural extension of their own hands. The more familiar and comfortably a shoemaker is with their tools, the more in control they will be of the whole crafting process. 

Interested in the shoemaking process and want to hear more about it? Subscribe to our blog for weekly shoe-themed updates. 

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