Why does a slate roofer need a slate hammer? It’s a lightweight, multi-purpose tool that is easily used on the roof. The major functions of a slate hammer are to cut/trim slate, punch holes in slate, and to drive nails in during installation. Cutting thicker pieces (+3/8”) of slate is also possible with the use of a hammer and stake. A slate hammer is not meant to be used to hit back on a slate ripper to remove slate.
Here is a breakdown of a slate hammer and its features:
A. A checkered face reduces misses when hitting nails.
B. The point of a hammer is used for punching holes into pieces of slate. It can also be used to weaken thicker slates to allow for cutting.
C. The double sided nail claw is versatile both ways to remove nails
D. The beveled shank of a slate hammer is used for trimming slate. A slate stake is used to rest the slate on while it is being cut with the hammer
E. A bell patterned leather handle is comfortable to grip
Slate hammers are well balanced and the Stortz Slate hammer weighs 28 ounces. Carrying the least amount of tools onto a roof makes the most sense and this hammer allows that. Here is a look at how a stake and hammer are set up.
A heavier, restoration hammer is more appropriate for hitting against a slate ripper. Using a slate hammer on a ripper may cause it to break or crack.
Dominic from ACG roofing making a valley cut with a slate hammer
Tony Vizzi uses the point of the hammer to help make a circle cut to fit a vent pipe.