Stone tool manufacture, or flintknapping, was accomplished using a variety of tools including hammers, punches, and billets made from stone or organic materials.
Hammerstones are the most common flintknapping tool in the archaeological record. These tools were often highly prized because it can be difficult to find a stone of the appropriate shape, weight, and material to suit various flaking techniques. Hammerstones of hard materials, such as igneous or metavolcanic rocks, were used for removing flakes by striking in from the edge of the core (called ‘off-edge percussion’); and softer materials, such as limestone or sandstone, were used to remove flakes by striking right onto the edge of the core (called ‘on-edge percussion’). The effects from using soft hammerstones can be similar to the effects from using antler hammers.
Hard hammers and soft hammers were variously used to accomplish different tool making goals. While stone hammers were common, soft hammers could be made from organic materials such as antler, bone, or very hard wood. Historically, more recent flintknappers and stonemasons used iron hammers, and modern hobbyist flintknappers often use hammers made from soft copper.