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The Warhammer is a primitive weapon - basically a larger version of the regular hand tool, using a massive weighted end to inflict a harder and deadlier blow. Warhammers are common on primitive worlds and, as they can be carried openly by workers, they are doubly useful for heretics plotting raids against the Imperium.[2] Many Imperial servants also favour war hammers as an enduring symbol of the Emperor's righteous justice.[1]

The hammer is truly effective when it is mechanized and is surgically mounted onto a living person. This is done quite often by the Guilds of Hive cities to Pit Slaves who will be put to work in mines or foundries. When these slaves escape, they will often join up with any of the numerous criminal gangs present in the underhives of such planets as Necromunda where they can use these Hammers with devastating efficiency. The sheer pile-driving force of such a mass of pneumatically-driven steel is enough to shatter the most veteran gangers' defences and knock them senseless to the ground.[3]

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