February 27, 2013 3:43 pm

Design space: Wilton’s safer sledgehammer

unbreakable sledgehammer called BASH by Wilton

Design: Wilton and Kaber Technologies
Territorities: North America, South America and Russia

While sledgehammers may look robust, most have an Achilles heel: the wooden or fibreglass handle. Sledgehammer handles can break if the tool’s head misses its target and glances off another surface. These overstrikes can also cause the steel hammer head to fly off – a major safety hazard on construction sites.

US tool manufacturer Wilton wanted to give users in the construction, landscaping, masonry, mining and railway industries a safer sledgehammer, which could endure multiple overstrikes. Their solution, created with the help of US design firm Kaber Technologies, was to bind together six steel rods and encase them in the rubber handle to stop it from breaking. These rods are attached to a metal plate within the top of the head, permanently fusing the head to the handle. The hammers also have full-length, textured rubber grips to prevent them slipping out of users’ hands.

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In independent tests, competitors’ wooden-handled sledgehammers broke after 435 overstrikes, and fibreglass-handled sledgehammers after 6,800. Wilton’s B.A.S.H. sledgehammers were still in one piece after 25,000 overstrikes.

The B.A.S.H. hammer took two years to develop, but after it was introduced in November 2011 it sold three times as well as Wilton’s previous range.

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