We are often asked the following question: Which is the best reflex hammer for medical students?
The standard traditional choice has always been the Queens reflex hammer. The Queens hammer is a standard round-headed hammer, usually with a metal head (for weight) surrounded with a firm rubber tyre like ring. The head is fixed at 90 degrees to the handle, which is usually plastic or metal with a pointed tip for neuro pressure examinations. Ward reflex hammers are usually long handled 30 to 38cm which make them too long to fit most pockets but a short handled 21cm Queens reflex hammer is available which is perfectly adequate for examination, but also much more practical for white coat pockets or GP bags.
So our first choice for function and cost is a 21 cm Queens reflex hammer.
For a little more, the options offered by the telescopic Babinski Queens hammer give greater examination options and is a more robust reflex hammer. A metal telescopic extending handle (with the point) extends from 21cm to 36cm, giving a full-size hammer option as required. The metal and rubber head unscrews from the handle and can be attached at 90 degrees as in a traditional Queens, or in line with the handle, giving an inline hammer similar to the Taylors reflex hammer arrangement. Look for models which un-screw rather than twist and lock, as the latter tend to loosen as they get older, leaving the head dangling, loose on a metal stick (not great and not useful)
Finally, if you want something functional, practical and unbreakable go for a good old Taylor reflex hammer. Steel handle holding a firm plastic triangular head. No moving parts, basic and functional.
If you still can’t decide consider the full reflex hammer pack, with everything you are likely to ever need in a neurology examination.
There are a range of reflex hammers in different sizes and makes available to buy in the UK from Valuemed medical supplies including Queens, Babinski, and Taylors reflex hammers.