A sledge hammer chipped during use. The chip struck a by stander in the eye, leading to its loss. The hammerhead surface was examined visually, nondestructively (magnetic particle method), and stereo microscopically, and a microstructural analysis of a cross section of the head was conducted using optical microscope. Chemical composition of the hammerhead was determined by emission spectrometry. The chemical compositions of the chip and hammer head were compared using energy-dispersive analysis. Microhardness versus distance from the striking face was also determined. The hammerhead material was UNS G10800 (AISI/SAE grade 1080). Excessive hardnesses were measured in the first 3 mm (0. 12 in.) below the striking surface, indicating that there was lack of control during the final tempering operation.