Dead Blow Hammer vs Rubber Mallet: Differences Explained


Well, dead blow hammer vs rubber mallet is not a moot point.

Why so?

Look, even though both dead blow hammers and rubber mallets fall into the category of a hammer, mostly they are used to accomplish different types of jobs.

So, you will want to use them based on the task you are going to do.

Yes, they have some similarities too in terms of usage. But most of the cases you won’t want to mix up one with the other.

Hi, in this article of dead blow hammer vs rubber mallet, I am going to introduce you to these two types of hammers (if you’re not known to these yet).

I will be discussing what they are, how they are made, and when you should use them. You will get to know some of their good and bad sides as well.

Buckle your seat belt and let’s get this show on the road.

Dead Blow Hammer vs Rubber Mallet

Dead Blow Hammer Definition

Dead Blow Hammer

First of all, what is a dead blow hammer?

A dead blow hammer is nothing but a specific type of hammer with a combination of a hammering force and a pushing force.

Typically they are made out of the hard plastic outside, and they are either solid or hollow inside.

If they are hollowed inside, then you will see they are filled with either sand or steel shots. Most of the cases, I found steel shots instead of sand.

You will find a variety of sizes for this type of hammer. They vary in price too.

Remember, it is always what you get is what you pay for.
Any quality dead blow hammer is quieter than its low-quality counterparts. When you shake a low-quality dead blow hammer, the steel shots make a sound. On the other hand, high-quality ones make very little to almost no sound.

When you swing back a dead blow hammer the steel shots go to the backside of the head. Then when you hit something, the steel shots slam forward, preventing the hammer bouncing back.

Yes, you heard it right.

Dead blow hammers don’t bounce back or recoil after hitting something. This is one of the main advantages they offer.

Since it doesn’t bounce back after hitting, you won’t feel any vibration. Eventually, it will help you get more control.

You will find a special type of dead blow hammer on the market. We call it dead blow ball peen hammer. Here you will see a ball on one end. Otherwise, it’s all the same.

Typically this kind of hammer doesn’t cost too much.

Here’s the list of Best Dead Blow hammers we found for you on the market today. 

TEKTON 30709 Dead Blow Hammer Set with 16, 32 and 48-Ounce
  • Includes: 3-pc. dead blow hammers: 16, 32, 48 oz.
  • Steel shot inside heads eliminates rebound, conserving energy of each blow
  • High-impact poly jacket surrounds the all-steel handles and heads, preventing marring of surfaces
  • Diamond textured handles for non-slip grip
  • Overall Length: 11.9, 13.8, 14 inches
Neiko 02847A 2 LB Dead Blow Hammer, Neon Orange I Unibody Molded | Checkered Grip | Spark and Rebound Resistant
  • [DEADBLOW] Steel shot filled head adds extra force to hammer blows and eliminates rebound & spark, ideal for auto body work
  • [QUALITY] Unicast poly molded body prevents hammer from wearing away between the head and handle. Material prevents sparks upon impact
  • [VERSATILE] Bright color makes it easy to locate and differentiate between other hammers in your tool kit. Use for automotive work, woodworking, sheet metal forming and other work.
  • [COMFORT] Diamond textured non-slip handle grip comfortably keeps hammer in your hands after impact
  • [SPECS] Hammer dimensions: 2-1/8" x 3-7/8" Head, overall Length: 13-3/8"; 2-Pound Head
3-Piece Premium Dead Blow Hammer and Unicast Mallet Set - Include 16-oz (1 lb), 32-oz (2 lb) and 48-oz (3 lb) | Rebound Resistant, Non-Marring and Non-Sparking Design
  • ▲ BOUNCE RESISTANT DESIGN – Steel shot filled hammer head eliminates post-strike rebound, and transfers full energy of each blow into work piece to add extra force
  • ▲ PREVENT MARRING AND SPARKING – High impact rubber exterior jacket delivers non-marring and anti-sparking striking, and protects work surfaces from damage and deforming
  • ▲ DURABLE CONSTRUCTION – Heavy duty reinforced all metal interior construction provides durability and withstands daily solid striking to ensure longevity
  • ▲ NON-SLIP GRIP AND HI-VIS COLOR – Diamond textured non-slip handle for more comfortable user operation, and hi-visibility neon red color makes it easy to store and locate
  • ▲ COMPLETE WITH 3 DIFFERENT SIZES FOR VERSATILE – Set includes 1 of 16 oz. (1 pound) deadblow hammer; 1 of 32 oz. (2 pound) deadblow hammer; 1 of 48 oz. (3 pound) deadblow hammer

Rubber Mallet

Rubber Mallet

Rubber Mallets, on the other hand, give you an excellent combination of soft material and stiffness. They provide you with plenty of mass as well.

Their handle is mostly made out of wood, fiberglass or plastic whereas the head is something like condensed rubber. The color of the head is typically black or gray, sometimes white.

Unlike the dead blow hammers, a rubber mallet tends to bounce back after hitting. The top-quality ones tend to less vibrate, though.

Like the dead blow hammers, rubber mallets also vary in size, quality, and of course price.

Rubber mallets tend to have more durability than its dead blow hammer counterpart, but they are lightweight and cheaper.

Here’s the updated list of Best Rubber Mallets we found today on the market. 

TEKTON 30812 Double-Faced Soft Mallet, 35 mm
  • Soft faces deliver a solid strike without damaging work surface
  • Lightweight tubular steel handle shifts the weight balance toward head for extra power in each blow
  • Extra soft, non-slip rubber handle grip for ultimate comfort and control
  • Always Guaranteed
TEKTON 30603 Fiberglass Handle Rubber Mallet, 16-Ounce - Black
  • Double-faced solid rubber head delivers a softened positive strike
  • High-strength fiberglass handle core helps absorb vibrations
  • Exterior poly jacket protects handle core from missed strikes
  • Soft, nonslip rubber grip is a directly integrated piece of the handle that can never pull loose
  • Made for construction, woodworking, and automotive applications
TEKTON 32 oz. Fiberglass Handle Rubber Mallet | 30605, Black
  • Double-faced solid rubber head delivers a softened positive strike
  • High-strength fiberglass handle core helps absorb vibrations
  • Exterior poly jacket protects handle core from missed strikes
  • Soft, nonslip rubber grip is a directly integrated piece of the handle that can never pull loose
  • Made for construction, woodworking, and automotive applications

Dead Blow Hammer vs Rubber Mallet: Which One is the Best?

I don’t have any direct answer to this question.

To answer this question, you have to know the usage of these two types of hammer.


Otherwise, you won’t be able to pick the best option based on your needs.

Let me first tell you the use of rubber mallets.

The Use of Rubber Mallet

Typically you will want to use a rubber mallet where you don’t wish to any scratch or mark up, for instance, on a painted surface.

One popular application of rubber mallet is leveling the dent of metal. You have to cobble together the areas that need to be fixed.

People use this kind of hammer for home improvement works, for construction works like to force tight-fitting parts.

Woodworkers tend to use a rubber mallet for driving chisels. As a rubber mallet gives a soft/mild blow, it ensures that it is not damaging the chisel head or making a big cut.

When you are trying to put something together to make furniture, a rubber mallet can come in handy.

Another application of a rubber mallet is to break wooden material like a baseball bat. Not only baseball bat you will want to use this hammer for breaking any wood into pieces.

Doctors also use this kind of hammer for tendon testing.

Now let’s have a look on to some uses of dead blow hammers.

The Use of Dead Blow Hammers

Dead blow hammers are also not heavy but can produce a significant bit of force.

So, whenever you need a precision hitting with the right amount of force, you should use a dead blow hammer.

Dead blow hammers also don’t damage the object after hitting.

Suppose you want to tap in a plastic anchor into a brick. You should prefer a dead blow hammer to a standard hammer in this case.

What’s the catch?

A standard hammer will damage the plastic anchor and perhaps also the brick whereas the dead blow hammer won’t do any damage to the brick or the anchor.

If you hit a threaded rod with a standard hammer it will damage the thread. But a dead blow hammer won’t cause any damage whatsoever to the thread.

That means a dead blow hammer does exactly the similar tasks that a standard hammer does but without causing any damage and providing more force.

Like a rubber mallet, you can also use a dead blow hammer to hit chisel without damaging the chisel head. This time you will get more control as the dead blow hammer won’t rebound. But this time as it is hitting harder, expect some aggressive cutting.

Final Words

Now, you know what type of hammer does what.

Dead blow hammer vs rubber mallet shouldn’t be a never-ending battle for you anymore.

It is now easy for you to choose the best option. Identify your need first. Then select either a rubber mallet or a dead blow hammer.

Whatever option you go for, I suggest you use a quality product. Don’t go for cheap. Don’t forget to use protective glasses when you use a rubber mallet as it tends to bounce back.

Related Reading: 
#1. Corded and Cordless Drill Differences

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