(a) With the hammer, we can beat the sample and if it can be beaten into thin sheets (that is, it is malleable), then it is a metal otherwise a non-metal. Similarly, we can use the battery, bulb, wires, and a switch to set up a circuit with the sample. If the sample conducts electricity, then it is a metal otherwise a non-metal.
(b) The above tests are useful in distinguishing between metals and non-metals as these are based on the physical properties. No chemical reactions are involved in these tests.