Saturday, February 24Not Your Ordinary English-Tagalog Dictionary

What is Hammer in Tagalog? History, Types, and Uses

A hammer in Tagalog is called “martilyo,” which is one of the most important tools in carpentry. As you mostly know, a carpenter’s hammer has many uses, including manual driving of nails, brads, and pins on soft materials such as wood. Depending on the type, some hammers can also be used in riveting, nail pulling, and assembling furniture. 

Hammer in Tagalog
Carpenter’s Hammers in the Philippines

There’s no record as to who invented the hammer, but it’s one of the oldest tools humans have ever used. In fact, records show that people during the Prehistoric Period (about 3.3 million years ago) used stone hammers. At that time, hammers were made of bones, stones, and other hard objects that could be used to strike various surfaces. 

The hammer was said to have had its first major innovation around 30,000 BC when people started to learn basic construction. Using leather, stones were tied to a long piece of wood, which served as the handle. But in 1936, a couple from London discovered a hammer that was believed to be from the Ordovician period, some 400 million years ago!  

During the Bronze Age (3300-1200 BC), hammers were made of steel and became stronger and more useful. Aside from carpenters, steel hammers were used by miners and blacksmiths. Over the centuries, various types of hammers came out and led to further innovations. Yet, some hammers are designed for very specific purposes. 

In carpentry and households, the most common type of hammer is the claw hammer. The head is curved, which is ideal for hammering nails. Its claw is designed for extracting nails, tearing wood, and demolition jobs. A variation called the curved claw hammer has a V-shape spit at the back of its head, allowing you to get into smaller spaces. 

The framing hammer is a special type of claw hammer but with a flat, heavy head and a longer handle. Framing hammers are heavy-duty and are ideal for driving nails in frames. The claw is nearly straight and is used for separating materials but not for pulling out nails. New York blacksmith David Maydole patented the claw hammer in 1877. 

Another type of hammer that carpenters use is the drywall hammer. As the name suggests, drywall hammers are specially designed for installing, modifying, and taking down drywall. Unlike the traditional claw hammer, the drywall hammer (rip hammer) has a serrated front face for driving nails properly and a hatchet-shaped back end for cutting drywood. 

In the Philippines, hammers already exist even before the Spanish era. Ancient Filipinos used primitive hammers made of stone and other indigenous materials. These tools were used for shaping metal, creating tools, and crafting weapons. When the Spaniards arrived, the locals started to use the martilyo with steel heads and wooden handles.

Use martilyo in a sentence. 


Mag-ingat ka sa paggamit ng martilyo, baka mapukpok mo mga daliri mo. 


Be careful when using a hammer, you might hit your fingers.

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