A hammer and a mallet are tools to deliver an impact to an object. A mallet is a special kind of hammer with a large head.

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Introduction (from Wikipedia) A hammer is a tool meant to deliver an impact to an object. The most common uses are for driving nails, fitting parts, forging metal and breaking up objects. A mallet is a kind of hammer, usually of wood, smaller than a maul or beetle and usually with a relatively large head.
Function Hard face intended to maximize impact (force transfer) on the target. Softer face intended to spread the impact to avoid marring the target.

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"Hammer vs Mallet." Diffen.com. Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 18 Nov 2015. < >