The work isn’t done until the slag is gone and the bead is presentable.
Every welder needs a good chipping hammer to finish the weld properly.
Along with good heft, balance and control, you need quality to take the abuse.
We’ve put together a list of some of the best welding chipping hammers available to put the final touch on your slag removal.
Let’s jump in…
A quick comparison
Estwing Big Blue
Made in the USA
Made in USA
Replaceable hickory handle
Wood reduces impact
Deke Home Welding Hammer
Quality wire brush
Lincoln Electric K4022-1
Dual tip design
The 5 Best Welding Chipping Hammers
Here's a list of some of the best welding chipping hammers we found:
1. Estwing Big Blue Welding Chipping Hammer
- Forged as a single piece
- Impact-reducing handle cover
- Comfortable grip material
- Fully polished finish
- Tempered steel
- 14-ounce head weight
- 70 percent impact reduction
- Perfectly balanced
- Industrial quality
- Some owners find the grip uncomfortable
- Smooth striking face
The Estwing Big Blue Chipping Hammer is one of the most widely-used chipping hammers in the industry. Go to any place where they’re welding steel and you’re guaranteed to see at least one of these hammers in use. This hammer is forged from a single piece of hardened tool steel and is essentially unbreakable.
There’s a beautifully made nylon-vinyl handle grip that owners of the Estwing Big Blue Chipping Hammer rave about. The reason for their loyalty is the impact-reducing capability of this grip, reducing the shock of striking a surface by 70 percent. Between the comfortable grip and the perfect balance, this is a hammer you can use all day without fatigue.
Some owners say the hammer as delivered has some manufacturing burrs on the handle grip, but these quickly wear off in-shop use. Others prefer a textured striking face for slag removal, and this hammer comes with a smooth face. The fully-polished finish of the Estwing Big Blue Chipping Hammer reduces rusting and pitting. Because it’s made in the USA, this hammer qualifies for government work under the Buy American program.
2. Hobart 770069 Welding Hammer Chipping - with Wire Brush
- Straight chisel head
- Spring handle stays cool
- Durable construction
- Replaceable clip-on brush
- Integrated brush saves money
- Shock absorbing handle
- Affordable basic tool
- Good balance
- Solid but not heavy
- Uncomfortable spring handle
- Spring clip is very stiff
The Hobart 770069 Welding Hammer is the standard welding hammer with a wire brush. It’s got a wound-spring handle that reduces shock and lessens heat, a drawback that comes with a solid one-piece hammer. Spring handles are naturally not the most comfortable type of grip, but chipping’s not usually a big part of the day. Some complain that the retaining clip for the wire brush was very strong and hard to operate.
This welding chipping hammer is often described as both long-lasting and well-balanced. The Hobart 770069 Welding Hammer has a straight chisel-type head. It’s about a foot long and weighs 12 ounces, both basically standard dimensions across the welding industry. This affordable tool is seen in nearly every toolbox and parts room, often issued by employers and job sites.
The most-liked feature of the Hobart 770069 Welding Hammer is the replaceable wire brush, which clips onto the backside of the handle. It’s easier to use this brush than a lightweight wooden brush because the hammer’s weight contributes to the brush’s efficiency and it’s one less motion to turn the hammer around instead of picking up a separate tool.
3. Vaughan 185-10 WC12 Welding Slag Hammer
- 1/4-inch blade chipper
- Pointed chipper
- Replaceable hickory handle
- Weighs 12 ounces
- 11.25 inches long
- Comfortable shape
- Replaceable handle
- Handcrafted in USA
- Wood reduces impact
- Handle stays cool
- Handle is a little short
- Head can come off
The Vaughan 185-10 WC12 Welder’s Chipping Hammer is a long-running classic tool having been hand-made in essentially the same form since the late 1800s when it was used by blacksmiths. The wooden handle reduces impact, stays cool, and is easily replaced. It’s made in a time-tested, comfortable shape and puts the weight where it belongs, in the head.
The head design of the Vaughan 185-10 WC12 Welder’s Chipping Hammer is unique, with a 14-inch blade shape on one side and a pointed chisel tip on the other. This gives you a choice of chipping methods to work on spatter removal and other irregularities in the slag deposits.
Some welders feel the handle on the Vaughan 185-10 WC12 Welder’s Chipping Hammer is a little too short. There are a few complaints that the head works loose or comes off over time, but that’s a given in a tough environment like a welding shop, and hickory handles are cheap to replace, found at any neighborhood hardware store or local welding shop. This welder’s hammer is a classic, thoughtful design that has withstood the long test of time in a tough industry.
4. Deke Home Welding Chipping Hammer Kit
- Pointed chipping tip
- Straight chisel tip
- Spring handle
- 12-inches long
- Weight 1 pound
- Includes a brush
- Durable bristles
- Handle remains cool
- Well balanced
- High-carbon steel
- Some burrs from the factory
- Spring handle can work loose
The Deke Home Welding Chipping Hammer is exactly as it appears to be: an inexpensive hammer that includes a decent-quality wire brush at a great price. This slag hammer can fill in to get the job done until you pick up a nicer one. It’s a great choice for welding students and anyone just starting a career. It’s just heavy enough to get the job done for DIYers without causing a lot of fatigue in long use.
The wire brush has good reviews for its quality, sometimes a sore spot with cheap combo sets. The Deke Home Welding brush has a good-quality hardwood brush handle and solidly mounted high-carbon steel bristles that stay put and don’t end up warped out of shape before any real work is done.
With any cheap brush or hammer, you’re only going to get so much wear out of it. The Deke Home Welding Chipping Hammer walks that line well, with a dual-tip design that features a straight chisel on one side and a conical, pointed tip on the other to handle its slag removal duties in good shape.
5. Lincoln Electric K4022-1 Industrial Chipping Hammer
- Forge-hardened steel
- Shock-reducing handle
- Weighs 1 pound
- 12 inches long
- Built-in hanging loop
- Flat chisel tip
- Conical tip
- Heat-treated steel
- Head welded to shaft
- Powder-coated finish
- Large stickers hard to remove
- Some small burrs from factory
Considering the price range and the respected Lincoln reputation, the Lincoln Electric K4022-1 Industrial Chipping Hammer delivers on its promise of an industrial-quality welder’s hammer at an affordable price. Users praise it for balance and heft. There are two different tips on this hammer, a chisel and a pointed end which let you reach into tight spots for effective spatter removal in those hard-to-reach places.
The Lincoln Electric K4022-1 Industrial Chipping Hammer is a typical spring-handled chipping hammer that reduces impact shock and keeps the heat down. It’s finished in a black powder coat for long-lasting rust protection. Lincoln puts sticks some large labels to the handle of this hammer and they’re difficult to remove without leaving a sticky residue. A few owners reported small manufacturing burrs on the hammer and recommended going over it with a file before working with it.
This chipping hammer is a great value at the price and the Lincoln Electric K4022-1 Industrial Chipping Hammer gets great marks from owners for its effectiveness in removing slag and spatter without a lot of effort because of small details like the tip angles.
There’s not a lot to selecting a good chipping hammer for slag removal. Besides price, there are a few features you want to check on.
Design and Construction
Tip design – There are a few different types of tip designs. Pick something that fits your working style and your needs as far as reaching into small spaces or unusual angles.
Some tips you might need to find:
- Horizontal chisel or blade
- Vertical chisel or blade
- Hatchet-shaped blade
- Hooked chisel type
- Straight chisel
- Pointed or conical chisel
Handles – There are a number of ideas for handles out there. The most commonly seen is a spring handle, good for cooling and impact reduction.
They keep the costs down but can work loose over time and your slag hammer starts so spin a little when you’re doing your slag removal. This can cause extra fatigue. Solid steel prevents this but lets heat build-up.
Common handle designs:
- Ergonomic with a swell for the palm
- Curved forward or backward for leverage
- Wood handles that can be replaced or customized
- One-piece steel designs that are covered with vinyl or rubber
- Spring designs to reduce heat build-up and impact shock
Weight, Balance and Heft
These qualities are self-explanatory.
Do you prefer a heavier hammer for easy stick slag removal, or are you dealing more with spatter removal from using a MIG and want something lighter?
Check the feel of the hammer. Can you repeatedly flip it quickly without wearing out your wrist? If you need to reach full extension and really whack something, does it feel controllable?
Balance is an important factor with any heavy hand tool, something that affects your control and the fatigue factor.
Length is another important feature to consider because a hammer that’s too long will be hard to wear, hard to place next to you, and hard to get into tight spots. But if it’s too short it will cause fatigue and prevent you from getting a precise and accurate working rhythm established.
We went with the Estwing Big Blue Chipping Hammer because of its one-piece construction, precise and balanced feel along with significant, controllable heft and practical length. Yes, it’s more expensive than the others, but it’s not an expensive purchase overall for an instrument that can last the rest of your welding career.
The Hobart 770069 Welder’s Hammer is a great choice for those who prefer a spring handle and it has the nice replaceable brush feature that takes advantage of the hammer’s weight.
The Vaughan 185-10 Welding Chipping Hammer is also an excellent choice, a hammer that’s been used by craftsmen for over a century and its design is well thought out. You can’t go wrong with this tradesman’s classic favorite.