What an awful name for a tool! It conjures up uses that have been made of tools for centuries but we have been discreet enough to not apply to them.
In this case, the name comes from the fact that the head, half filled with lead shot, won't bounce when it strikes a surface because of the inertia of the shot. It serves the purpose of protecting a surface from repeat blows, and also imparts a little more force than a normal hammer of the same weight.
There are many brands and Norm has used at least a couple of different ones, so there's no point in trying to narrow it down other than to illustrate the general type of tool he used. Note, some instances which I've identified a tool as a “dead blow hammer” may, in fact have simply been a mallet, which doesn't look all that different, does essentially the same thing, thus needs no real differentiation.
Update: Thanks to a friend who is a little more dogged than I, we now have a pic and a name for one of the hammers Norm used. It’s a Lixie 125F-MT. It’s the bottom one at left.
Thanks to my friend, Amber, who came up with the specific Lixie example.
Appearances: Episodes beginning with Episode 1
Last updated: 13 April 2016