Powers hammers are used by blacksmiths to forge large pieces of metal since they
deliver far heavier, much faster, blows than are possible by hand.
They are wonderfully versatile tools that never tire and can hammer in a controlled,
deliberate yet forceful manner. However, they cannot deliver the same nuanced or glancing
angled blows that a blacksmith can. They tend to be used for preliminary roughing out
whilst hand forging is often used for the finishing touches.
Centuries ago they were powered by water wheels and referred to as "trip hammers". This terminology is still in use today even though modern hammers are powered by compressed air .The one shown below is an Anyang 40kg hammer; the 40kg refers to the weight of the hammer head (its tup). By industrial standards this is relatively small, since larger hammers have tups rated in tons!
This is a bespoke 40kg hammer we designed and built in our workshop.
The hammer below is our most recent purchase; a new 75kg machine bought from Massey Forging Ltd. These machines are built to last, made to an industrial standard and literally last for centuries. There are many blacksmiths throughout the country still using hammers built in the 19th century. Hopefully this one will forge many tons of metal over the next few decades or more! There is some information on how this one was installed in David's blog.