I hand forge single face, Japanese style hammers - some call it a cutler or dog ear hammer. The eye is placed close to one end. This creates a dropping effect when swung making this type of hammer easy on the arm. I make this style in three versions:
square stock ~ 2 pounds
round stock ~ 2.25 pounds
rectangular stock ~ 3 pounds
Round stock hammers are made from 1045; square and rectangular from 1050. These medium carbon steels make for hammers that are not overly hard which is my preference. For handles, I use a variety of southeast Asian ironwood, which is very suitable for use as a handle. I also shape the handles to be ergonomic. The weather here in Taiwan is extremely humid and so handles may lose moisture and loosen after being shipped to less humid locations, however, I have had very good success using wooden (not steel) wedges. And of late, I have changed to a somewhat darker finish on my hammers. I feel my hammers are top quality. In my opinion, hand forging improves the form and function of my hammers.