One of the most useful tools in any handyman’s or homeowners tool bag is a hammer. It’s also probably one of the first tools that a person thinks to buy. That’s because it can be used for so many purposes, everything from driving and removing nails to breaking apart objects and tapping parts together. Its versatility probably also means it’s one of the more important tools for anyone to have in their tool collection.
Not all of these tools are created equally, however. Different models are used for different jobs. There are ones that are designed for framing, others for metal fabrication and still other ones made just for electrical work. So the best hammer is the one which is best suited for the task at hand. And that’s why I’ve tried to include some of the best hammer products below, all while trying to present a variety of different models.
10. Klein Tools Electrician’s Straight Claw ( 807-18)
Exclusively designed for electrical work, this straight claw has a number of features which make it useful to electricians. It has a balanced design and an extra long neck with a narrow striking face that makes it the ideal tool for working inside tight areas such as the inside of walls or in electrical boxes. It also has a plastic-alloy jacket which keeps its neck from splintering if it hits an object too hard. Another key feature found on this tool is a fiberglass shaft which helps to absorb shock and is designed to hold up even under heavy work conditions.
9. Dewalt 20-Ounce Rip Claw (DWHT51054)
Since it’s manufactured by Dewalt, most tool enthusiasts would probably expect this rip claw handle to be durable, and a high-quality product and they wouldn’t be wrong. This tool is designed with the features that not only make it a strong tool but also extends its usable life. Its weight is distributed in such a way that it’s easy to swing and it has an oval strike face that makes driving nails in at an angle, otherwise known as toe-nailing, a whole lot easier. This single piece tool is constructed for long service life and has a side nail puller that makes pulling nails a lot easier and more efficient.
8. Irwin Tools Fiberglass General Purpose Claw (1954889)
This general purpose claw is designed to be used for any job that’s thrown at it. It can be used to drive or pull nails, tap dowels back into place or even to break up ice on outdoor furniture during the winter. It’s made using a forged steel head that has a smooth face that prevents too many marks being put into the surface hammered and it has a fiberglass handle that absorbs vibrations. This tool’s handle is rounded so that it’s comfortable to use and is less likely to slip from the hand during use. Overall, this product is easy-to-use, extremely comfortable and feels good in the hand.
7. Klenk 20-Ounce Square Head (DA70510)
This tinners tool is designed to be used by tin-smiths and sheet metal fabricators who need a good tin knocker for work. This 20-ounce model is extremely well balanced so it’s easy to hold and swing and has a polished finished square head that’s designed to be durable. This tool has rubber grips, which reduce user fatigue, and are textured to increase the user’s hold on it. Overall, this product is ideal for anyone who works with sheet metal all day, including duct fabricators and anyone who works with metals such as tin, thin steel or copper.
6. Stanley 7-Ounce Fiberglass (51-112)
This tool is lighter than comparable products on the market and has a weight of only 7-ounces. This makes it an easier to use tool for driving in picture hanging nails or tapping furniture together at home. However, this doesn’t mean that it also isn’t useful on the job site. It still has a full-sized handle that allows it to be swung with full force and it has a fiberglass core that reduces vibration and adds durability. And since it is has a bright yellow handle, it’s very easy to find on the job site. It’s a good tool which provides the user with a wood-feel and is designed for general hammering jobs.
5. Thor Wood Handle Soft & Hard Mallet (712R)
While this mallet might not exactly be crafted for the god of lightning and thunder, it is a versatile tool that anyone can use. It has a durable wood handle that’s comfortable to use and comes with a head that has a white nylon side that’s useful for light and heavy assembly work, and the other side features a gray face which is useful for woodworking or assembling furniture. This tool is useful in the shop or around the house and is designed to be practical and durable. All things considered, it’s a mallet that well-balanced and well made.
4. Estwing 22-Ounce Long Handle Framing Tool
Designed in the U.S and forged in one piece, this high-quality tool is designed to put in many years of work. It has a milled face and a rip claw that’s useful for splitting wood, prying up wood boards and pulling nails. This tool also has a comfortable handle that absorbs vibrations and reduces their transfer to the user’s arm by up to seventy percent. This tool is not only useful for the DIY enthusiast but also for roofers, contractors, framers, and carpenters. It’s a tool that’s built to last for generations and to always be at the ready when it’s needed.
3. The Original Pink Box 12-Ounce Claw ( PB12HM)
While it’s easy-to-imagine that the pink color of this tool might be a bit offputting to some DIY enthusiasts, it’s build quality and durability is pretty high. It has a sturdy fiberglass core with a resin coating that makes it extremely tough, and it has a rubber handle that’s easy to hold onto. This tool weighs approximately 12-ounces and has a smooth face. This product is also backed by a limited lifetime warranty, which is a further testament to its quality. And its distinctive color makes it easy to identify when placed among a lot of other tools.
2. Estwing 16-ounce Straight Rip Claw
Proudly made in the United States from American forged steel, this 16-ounce straight rip claw is designed to do a variety of different jobs. It has a one-piece design that makes it extremely durable and has a head that’s useful for driving and pulling nails, prying up wood boards, doing demolition work and splitting pieces of wood. This makes it a quite useful tool for professionals including contractors, carpenters, and electricians, but also makes it a pretty good tool for the DIY enthusiast. And since it has a shock-reducing grip that reduces vibrations by up to seventy-percent, this tool is as comfortable to use as it is durable.
1. Stanley 16-Ounce Fat Max Xtreme (51-163)
Stanley is a company whose name is often associated with quality, and this tool is ready to prove why that’s the case. It’s forged using a one-piece steel construction that makes it durable and increases its strength, and it has anti-vibration technology built into it that helps minimize impact vibrations from traveling from the tool to the user’s arm. This balanced precision tool also has a torsion control grip which reduces torque on the user’s wrists and elbows as well. When all of these features are factored together, the conclusion is rather simple. This is one of the better rip claws currently available.
A hammer is probably the most common tool in any household, even for those who do little to no DIY. Depending on how serious your skillset and need to use one, your current hammer might be seriously outdated, or even dangerous.
Even if you are looking for your first, or an upgrade, hammers come in different shapes and sizes, and some are better at particular jobs. We’re going to take a look at the things you need to consider before buying a hammer.
What To Consider When Buying A Hammer
As with any tool, you need to make sure you know how to use it properly and are aware of your surroundings before you attempt DIY. When it comes to hammers, improper use amounts for a large portion of household accidents, and almost all of them are avoidable. Some of the easy things you can do to keep yourself safe include the following:
- Wear goggles – especially when working with materials that can fragment
- Use the head – some people try to use the side of the hammer which reduces the accuracy
- Avoid a smooth hammer face – make sure the side that delivers the impact is not smooth. This will happen over time so run sandpaper over the surface so it doesn’t slip when you use it
- Look after the hammer – proper maintenance can increase the durability and safety
When you think of hammers, you usually picture a simple wooden handle that is varnished. These are still popular, but when things are getting sweaty, the varnished finish isn’t ideal in terms of grip, meaning you can loose accuracy and cause an accident.
There are plenty of rubber handles that have the benefit of being lighter, easier to handle, and with superior grip.
If you are using a hammer for putting up frames and other, general DIY purposes, then you don’t need to spend a lot to get what you need. For the professional, you will need something more durable, and possibly with added features. This comes at a price but still, you can find good value if you know where to look.
There is no one size fits all here, but a heavy head can help you to accurately hammer nails into place. It also gives you the addded force to make sure it goes in easier. For the professional, a head weight of 20 ounces is often considered optimal. For the hobbyist, a hammer head that weighs 17 or 18 ounces is often enough.
If you are not going to be using your hammer very often, then this will be less of a concern, still, you want to know your purchase is going to last. The most durable hammers will be made from quality materials by reputable companies.
If you don’t use your tools frequently, it can still be a good idea to get them out an check on their condition to make sure they are in good working order when you do need them.
Types Of Hammer
The most common type of hammer and one that has multiple uses. The claw end can be used to lift and remove nails and loose screws. It can even be used to lift floorboards and a paint can lid, often considered the type of hammer that first springs to mind for most people.
This is more of a specialist hammer as the dual-sided head can be out to different uses. Generally, they are used for woodwork and are the cross pein side is good for the first few taps of the nail to get it started.
Ball Pein Hammer
Another hammer that has a specialist use and the likes of mechanics will often have one in their toolbox. This is because the ball end can be used to shape metal.
When you look at this hammer you often think about camping and hitting pegs into the ground. You will usually find these around building sites.
Of course, there are plenty of other types of hammers that include industrial style electric hammers as well as those that are used for upholstery and beyond. The above are the most common.
Hammers are the sort of tool that you could need at any time. Finding the right one for your purpose is the first thing you need to do and if you are a professional, you should have a good idea of what is the right one for you.
Otherwise, a claw hammer is a good starting point, and when you find the right one, it can last for years, even decades in the right hands.