Good Thinking

Nifty nail-dispensing hammer might save some sore thumbs

Michael Young got a provisional patent for his nail-dispensing hammer
Michael Young got a provisional patent for his nail-dispensing hammer
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Misguided hammers striking exposed thumbs might nearly be as old as the tool itself, but what if hammering nails in could be a single-handed undertaking?
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Misguided hammers striking exposed thumbs might nearly be as old as the tool itself, but what if hammering nails in could be a single-handed undertaking?
Michael Young's single-handed hammer uses a loading mechanism to dispense nails from its head
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Michael Young's single-handed hammer uses a loading mechanism to dispense nails from its head
Sketch of Michael Young's single-handed hammer
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Sketch of Michael Young's single-handed hammer
Breakdown of Michael Young's single-handed hammer
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Breakdown of Michael Young's single-handed hammer
Render of Michael Young's single-handed hammer
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Render of Michael Young's single-handed hammer
Breakdown of Michael Young's single-handed hammer
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Breakdown of Michael Young's single-handed hammer
The prototype of Michael Young's single-handed hammer is made from 3D-printed plastic parts
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The prototype of Michael Young's single-handed hammer is made from 3D-printed plastic parts
Michael Young got a provisional patent for his nail-dispensing hammer
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Michael Young got a provisional patent for his nail-dispensing hammer
Michael Young's single-handed hammer works with standard strips of collated nails designed for nail guns
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Michael Young's single-handed hammer works with standard strips of collated nails designed for nail guns
The prototype of Michael Young's single-handed hammer is made from 3D-printed plastic parts
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The prototype of Michael Young's single-handed hammer is made from 3D-printed plastic parts
Michael Young got a provisional patent for his nail-dispensing hammer
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Michael Young got a provisional patent for his nail-dispensing hammer
Michael Young's single-handed hammer works with standard strips of collated nails designed for nail guns
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Michael Young's single-handed hammer works with standard strips of collated nails designed for nail guns
Michael Young's single-handed hammer uses a loading mechanism to dispense nails from its head
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Michael Young's single-handed hammer uses a loading mechanism to dispense nails from its head
Michael Young's single-handed hammer works with standard strips of collated nails designed for nail guns
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Michael Young's single-handed hammer works with standard strips of collated nails designed for nail guns
Render of Michael Young's nail-dispensing hammer
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Render of Michael Young's nail-dispensing hammer
Breakdown of Michael Young's single-handed hammer
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Breakdown of Michael Young's single-handed hammer
Render of Michael Young's nail-dispensing hammer
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Render of Michael Young's nail-dispensing hammer

Wayward hammers have probably been striking exposed thumbs since ancient tinkerers first started swinging them, but what if hammering nails could be a single-handed undertaking? Designer Michael Young has come up with a rather brilliant tool that uses its own head to drive the nail tip into a surface, making for much safer and more efficient hammering.

Described by the designer himself as a "mad scientist project," the prototype hammer is around six years in the making. It walks the line between a traditional hammer and a nail gun, and could remove the need for single nails on the worksite by easily snapping single units off taped strips of collated nails for odd jobs and small tasks.

The hammer works with standard strips of collated nails designed for nail guns, which are loaded into a narrow slot. Here, a U-shaped hook grabs the row of nail heads and secures them in place. The side of the hammerhead has a large button that, when tapped (with the safety off), pulls the row of nails forward to snap off a single and load it into the chamber.

Michael Young's single-handed hammer works with standard strips of collated nails designed for nail guns
Michael Young's single-handed hammer works with standard strips of collated nails designed for nail guns

The tip of this nail can then be driven into the surface with a strike of the hammer, and to finish the job you just keep hammering away as normal. To load up another nail, simply smack the side of the hammer on the surface to engage the hook and repeat. This approach not only eliminates the need to get your second hand involved and risk a swollen or damaged digit, it can make manual hammering a much more efficient affair.

The prototype is made from 3D-printed plastic parts, though Young says the final product would be built from cast titanium with a wooden handle. After six years of trying to get his prototype to work, Young got a provisional patent and began shopping his invention around. But although it attracted serious interest, commercialization didn't eventuate and he's back to his day job of designing race cars.

Michael Young got a provisional patent for his nail-dispensing hammer
Michael Young got a provisional patent for his nail-dispensing hammer

But the creation is now garnering quite a bit of attention in the design community, and the YouTube video below demonstrating its functionality is attracting quite a few eyeballs. So perhaps the dream is not yet over for Young and his 21st century take on this ancient implement.

Source: Michael Young

Hammer with Collated Nail Dispenser - Michael Young patent pending

10 comments
sugamari
don't mean to be a debbie downer - but placing the nail is pretty important. can probably get pretty close but you are gonna need to put your fingers in there anyways.
Bob Stuart
For most of the history of hammers, nails were rare. The "Cheney nailer" can start single nails. The use of Titanium is ridiculous. Hammers work by weight, and more volume does not help.
The Bishop of D
He filed a provisional patent. He didn't "get" one. Anyone can file a provisional patent (it gives the filer a year of breathing room). Obtaining the actual utility patent is another matter entirely.
Daishi
I like the idea and design. It's difficult to market ideas.
Lee Bell
Redesign it to use roofing nails and make it from hardened steel. That would be very useful when nailing down shingles on houses but not much else that I can think of. Framing and trim work needs more accuracy in placing the nails than most people would get using that tool. It's an interesting tool though all the same. I can see it being used for roofing in areas that don't have power yet. It would be a little faster than hand setting each nail once you got used to it.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
The real problem comes with holding on to the nail to keep it from bending while it is about two thirds exposed. This is especially prevalent in roofing, where the nailing base is very springy. There is a pre-loaded roofing hammer that addresses this.
KimW
A great idea that’s just what the Industry needs. Not having to lug my large Framing nailer to several tight spots would be really nice. Titanium is the only way to go since I’ve been using my “Titanium” roofing hammer for years and certainly don’t want to ever go back to a steel hammer. I’d be happy to spend up to 200.00 if this hammer would actually work and not jam.
toyhouse
An awesome tool that may not be for everyone, but indispensable for some. Isn't that what tools are all about anyway? I hope it goes to market.
Nik
Cute idea, but, I think a powered nailer would be more effective, and ultimately, probably not a lot different in price.
collin55
I want one. Where do I get it?
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