A DUBLIN DIY store owner has defended labelling a tool a "women's hammer" because it's lighter and smaller.
The Herald discovered the nickname for the 8oz lightweight claw hammer when browsing the aisles of a hardware store in the capital.
A salesman at Expert Hardware in Killester said the hammer, which is much lighter than the other 16 to 20oz hammers available, had been ordered in especially to suit female customers.
When asked if a salesman labelling a smaller, lighter hammer as being a "women's hammer" was sexist, the store's owner, Paddy Byrne, said he didn't feel it was.
"It's just an option to make life easier because it's not as heavy. Women are coming in asking for this type of product," he said.
"They didn't know there were hammers like this, and all our advertising shows women.
"It's not exactly a women's hammer only. A man said today the hammer would be ideal for a position for him to get into.
"It just suits women more because of the convenience of the weight of it."
The lightweight hammer is priced at €6.99.
"There's a lot of women coming in. A lot are living on their own and they don't want to pay for a tradesman," Mr Byrne said.
"It's hard to get a handyman now. If the jobs are small and anything like hanging a picture, a handyman probably wouldn't want to know."
Dominic McMahon, the owner of Mac's Hardware store in Cabra, said "We call them the women's hammer" when asked about the lightweight tool.
"More women are getting into DIY. Women account for up to 70pc of our customers," he said.
"Women are picking paint, sweeping brushes, mops and picture hooks. We get more women in here than men."
Mr McMahon said most of his female customers are between 25 and 40, but "you do get a few over 50 and women seem to be doing all the odd jobs now".
"The husband never does it, does he?" he added.
Mr Byrne said he sold one of the lightweight hammers every two weeks, adding that half of his customers are women, "believe it or not".
Clive O'Reilly, the director of Pearse Street Hardware, said his store has seen a 25pc increase in female customers recently.
"There's certain items that have come on to the market that are women-friendly," he said.
"A lot of women are renting and are hanging up their own pictures and bits and pieces.
"For the first few years you'd rarely see a woman come into a hardware store, but we've seen numbers increasing."
When asked why he felt more women were getting into DIY, he said: "It's the society we live in. Women have more confidence and have more confidence in DIY, and things are easier in DIY."