The Hammer is a good melee weapon for keeping mobs away from you. Dealing high damage with good knockback, the only drawback is it's slow speed. Hammers appear as wooden-handled weapons with a square metal block on the end, while Maces have a plain metal ball, and Spiked Maces have a spiked metal ball.
The material type of a melee weapon effects it's ability to deal damage.
The condition of a melee weapon effects it's ability to deal damage.
Enchantments enhance the melee weapon with various bonuses.