Free 35 Survival Hacks you'll love!

You will get 35 easy-to-implement survival hacks so that you don't have to stand aimlessly in the forest from tomorrow when things get tough. Take your skills to the next level!

DOWNLOAD HERE FOR FREE

How to Build a Wooden Hammer for Bushcraft & Survival (+Video)

A bushcraft wooden hammer is useful, and it's incredibly fun to work with. You can find out how to build one yourself in this picture guide.

from Martin Gebhardt | Bushcraft | no comment yet | reading time 3 Min
Updated on 19 September 2023 16.491 views 100% found this guide helpful
How to Build a Wooden Hammer for Bushcraft & Survival (+Video)

Martin Gebhardt

From Martin Gebhardt. Check out my “About me” page.


👉 The key facts from this guide

  • Search for a thick branch in the forest that is at least 30 cm long and 8-10 cm in diameter to build your wooden hammer.
  • Saw a "stop cut" around the tree trunk to shape the head of the hammer. Leave the middle of the tree trunk untouched.
  • Shape the handle by cutting or chiseling away excess wood. The "stop cut" prevents accidentally splitting off the head of the hammer.
  • Improve the handle by removing rough edges or splinters. A final layer of linseed oil or beeswax protects the wood and keeps your wooden hammer functional for years.
  • A bushcraft wooden hammer can be quickly made. As a beginner, plan for about 15 to 30 minutes. Experienced Bushcrafters need about 10 minutes.
  • The wooden hammer is a versatile tool in the camp. You can use it for splitting wood, driving in connections, stakes, and wedges, scoring wood, felling a tree with a knife, and scaring away wild boars.

I still remember the musty garden shed of my grandparents very well.

My grandpa had all his tools hanging on the wall there, and there were also two wooden hammers hanging. He used them regularly.

Eventually, I was allowed to use them too, and I imitated my grandpa's work. As a child, it was a huge joy for me to hammer with them.

And it still is today. As a Bushcrafter, I believe that the wooden hammer belongs in every bushcraft camp.

My goal today is to show you how to make a wooden hammer for yourself or as a gift.

The bushcraft wooden hammer is a versatile tool in the camp

Let's get straight to the point: I love my wooden hammers. I don't know why, but maybe there's an "I-like-to-hammer gene". ;-)

You need it, for example, for:

  • Batoning (splitting wood, see my tutorial)
  • Hammering connections together
  • Driving in tent pegs
  • Driving in wedges to split large logs
  • Cutting notches into wood (here's my tutorial on notches)
  • Felling a tree with a knife
  • Scaring away wild boars

Such a wooden hammer is not only useful, it’s also really fun to work with.

While a wooden hammer can be made as big as you can find tree trunks, the following instructions show a hammer suitable for medium to light hammering.

The video on the bushcraft wooden hammer

Step 1: Finding a wooden block

Go into the forest and find a thick branch. Then saw it to size.

My recommendations are:

  • at least 30 centimeters long
  • at least 8 to 10 cm in diameter
Find a suitable wooden block for your wooden hammer
Find a suitable wooden block for your wooden hammer

Please do not cut down live trees for your projects unless you are in a survival situation. According to German law, you are not allowed to cut down live trees (of course, there are exceptions). In my guide "Can I collect branches and wood in the forest?" you can find all the information.

Step 2: Sawing a "Stop Cut"

The second step is to saw a so-called "stop cut" to form the head of the hammer.

Saw around the tree trunk once, leaving the center of the tree trunk untouched (I usually saw 1.5 to 2 cm deep). The lower area ultimately creates the handle of the hammer.

Saw a stop cut about 2 cm into the wooden block
Saw a stop cut about 2 cm into the wooden block

Step 3: Shaping the handle

The excess wood from the handle is now cut off or chipped away in this step.

Please note that the removed wood is gone. Once removed, it's removed. Start by removing less wood than you may think is necessary. This is particularly important if this is your first hammer.

The "stop-cut" prevents you from accidentally splitting the head of the hammer.

Remove as much wood as needed to form a handle
Remove as much wood as needed to form a handle

Step 4: Improve the handle

Once the handle approaches your desired diameter, remove rough edges or splinters.

A final layer of linseed oil or beeswax protects the wood and keeps your wood hammer functional for years to come.

Remove any unevenness on the handle with your knife to avoid wood splinters
Remove any unevenness on the handle with your knife to avoid wood splinters

Already finished?

Yes, of course. A bushcraft wood hammer is quickly made. As a beginner, you should plan about 15 to 30 minutes. Experienced bushcrafters need about 10 minutes.

But: Don't stress. Haste is never a good friend in the woods.

Try to enjoy the project. The time in the woods, the peace, and the great result in the end.

Your finished bushcraft wood hammer is immediately ready for use
Your finished bushcraft wood hammer is immediately ready for use

Summary

The wood hammer is a great tool that reminds me not all Gifts need to be bought. Some of the best tools are self-made.

Looking for more building projects for your camp?

Take care, Martin
Martin Gebhardt

Author of the guide


Martin Gebhardt

Hey, I'm Martin. On my blog, you will learn the basics and numerous details about living in the wild. I think survival, bushcraft and the good life in nature are the keys to happiness. Find me here on Instagram or on YouTube. You can find more about my mission on the About Me page.

Was this guide helpful?

11 people found this guide helpful.

YesNo

5.00 out of 5 points (11 Ratings)

Comments (0)

This post may contain affiliate links. So if you click on the links and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Click here, to learn more about it.

Free 35 Survival Hacks you'll love!

You will get 35 easy-to-implement survival hacks so that you don't have to stand aimlessly in the forest from tomorrow when things get tough. Take your skills to the next level!

DOWNLOAD HERE FOR FREE