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Video:  How to Change a Hammer Wire

Video: How to Change a Hammer Wire

This is the first of our 'How to...' video series, helping athletes to choose, use, maintain and compete with the equipment they need for their sport, as well as other helpful guides.


How to Change a Hammer Wire

Tools for the job:

  • Adjustable pliers, adjusted to be tight on the wire. Normal pliers will do fine if you don’t have adjustable ones
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer, wire and handle

Steps to change your hammer:

Note: It is sensible to take the hammer off first if removing both the hammer and the handle.  This avoids the heavy hammer dangling around in the way when working on the handle.

  • Position the wire so that it is steady and you have good access to it. The tail of the wire should be facing upwards.  The wire can be laying down or resting on your shoulder – however is comfortable. 
  • Place the screwdriver through the loop at the end of the wire. You will use the screwdriver to hold the wire steady, ensuring the pressure doesn’t go through the hammer swivel and damage it. 
  • Holding screwdriver and wire steady, position the pliers so that they are gripping the main body of the wire and are nudging the edge of the tail, but not clamping it. Use the nose of the pliers to push the wire tail round, rather than dragging on the wire itself.  The first turn will be the hardest to release. 
  • Once you have released the first turn, remove the pliers and continue the rest by hand. Push the wire round with your hand, all the way down the wire.  It should come away quite easily. 
  • Be careful with the final twist, as this can ‘ping’ off so you must ensure you have your fingers out of the way.
  • Remove the screwdriver, then ease the wire open slightly round the neck to get the swivel through the first bend, then it pulls off easily, wiggling through all the wire loops.
  • Repeat the process for the handle. If you are removing an old handle to throw away, you can just hold onto the handle to keep it steady.  But if you intend to keep the handle to reuse, we recommend protecting it from pressure with the screwdriver.  Put the screwdriver through the loop of the wire and hold it steady.  Position the hammer wire with the tail of the wire facing upwards so you have good access to it.  Position the pliers on the main body of the wire with the nose against the tail of the wire.  Push the tail round with the pliers and un-loop it.  Remove the pliers and push with your thumb to untwist the rest of the wire.  Mind your fingers out of the way for the last twist incase it ‘pings’ off.  Remove the screwdriver down and ease the handle through the neck of the wire, then it comes off easily. 
  • Put the hammer together. Take the new handle and wire and repeat the process in reverse.  Put the handle on first so the heavy hammer doesn’t get in the way when fitting the handle.  Ease open the wire to allow the handle through, then look at the direction of the twist. 
  • Put the screwdriver through the loop of the wire. Identify which side of the wire bends forward and which backwards.  Ensure that you are twisting the wire the correct way round.  (If you get it the wrong way round it simply won’t twist correctly so it should be fairly obvious.)
  • Push the tail of the wire around the main wire. You do not need to twist it as it is already in the twisted shape – it is a simple pushing movement to re-position the wires in their twist along the full length of the twist.
  • Ensure your fingers are out of the way when doing the last twist as it will ‘snap’ into position and can trap fingers. You may need to use pliers to push the final twist around as it can be very stiff. 
  • Replace the hammer on the other end in the same manner. Thread the wire through the swivel, hold it steady, screwdriver through the loop and identify the direction of the twist.  Push the tail of the wire around the main wire, holding it steady with the screwdriver.  Mind out for the ‘snap’ on the last twist.


Your hammer, wire and handle set is now ready to be used.

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