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Greetings ladies and gentlemen and welcome! Today on ToughAssTools.com we are going to be doing a product review on Estwing’s EB-15S, E15S, EB-15SR, E15SR, EB-15SM, E15SM, EB-19S, E19S, EB-19SM, and E19SM black ultra framing hammer. As you can see this hammer comes with multiple buying choices such as a fifteen ounce, a fifteen ounce with a shorter handle, and a nineteen ounce. On top of that there is also a waffle or smooth faced option and a vinyl grip or a leather grip option as well. For a full listing of every option available scroll to the bottom of this product review.Estwing EB-19S 19 oz Black Ultra Framing Hammer with Smooth Face & Shock Reduction Grip

For nearly one-hundred years Estwing has held the Gold standard for one piece steel construction framing hammers. Heck, they pioneered this type of hammer all the way back in the 1920’s. Ever since then a steel framing hammer has accompanied nearly every carpenter across the United States and some would say even across the world. Most units come with a rip claw, a finished steel polish, and a thirteen to sixteen inch handle that has Estwing’s patented shock reduction grip molded onto it. (This hammer in today’s review will either be a fifteen and a half inch or a thirteen and a half if you get the short version.)

This Estwing hammer is meant for light framing work. It is marketed towards professional tradesmen but I am not sure if a nineteen ounce steel framing hammer will get the job done that they are needing. I find that most carpenters prefer a twenty to twenty-two ounce steel framer. While this comes close I fear that it may not have as much power as a twenty-two ounce Estwing.

Like most Estwings this hammer is a solid one piece steel construction and either comes with a vinyl grip which can be see on the picture to the right or it comes with a leather grip. Each grip does a great job in shock reduction. I wouldn’t say one is better than the other but some users have complained that the leather grip is sometimes hard to hold onto during a swing. It is a matter of preference though. This hammer also comes with a magnetic nail starter, a rip claw, and a side nail puller. This side nail puller is a great addition when working in tight spaces that don’t allow the larger rip claw to be used.

That’s enough about the features of the hammer though. Let’s take a look at some of the Pros and Cons and see if this product is worth your money or not.

Pros

  • The first and strongest Pro on the Estwing EB-15S, E15S, EB-15SR, E15SR, EB-15SM, E15SM, EB-19S, E19S, EB-19SM, and E19SM models are all of the features that it comes with. Most of the time if you want the magnetic nail starter, the one piece construction, the side nail puller, and a leather/vinyl grip you have to pay a pretty penny. As I write this Amazon’s price is under fifty dollars. (Subject to change at any time.) That is a heck of a deal and cannot usually be found through other brands.
  • I mentioned it above but one piece solid steel construction means a lot especially if you’ve gone through the hassle of swapping out broken Hickory handles. One piece construction means durability and that means that this hammer will last generations. I am a huge fan of one piece construction rather it be steel, aluminum, or Titanium. I want my hammers to last.
  • Like most Estwings this hammer comes with excellent balance and will make the heaviest model, the nineteen ounce, feel like you’re barely swinging anything at all.
  • If you scroll to the bottom of this post you will see just the sheer amount of options to choose from when purchasing this hammer. Vinyl or leather. Smooth or waffle. Short handle or large handle? The choices are up to you. I love the feeling of getting exactly what I want and not having to settle for something that is just good enough.
  • The last point that I am going to make on this product is that it is manufactured here in the good old United States of America. Estwing has been making hammers and other tools in their Rockford, Illinois office for nearly one-hundred years now and there is no sign of slowing. It’s good to buy American. Heck you can even see the Eagle and the USA letters below if you weren’t sure.

Estwing EB-19S 19 oz Black Ultra Framing Hammer with Smooth Face & Shock Reduction Grip

Cons

When I do my research looking for the downsides of a product I find it best to list them all out in an easily digestible list. This makes it easy for you, the consumer, to see exactly what is wrong with the product and it allows you to make the decision then and there if you want to purchase the product or if you want to move on to something else. Let’s take a look at the Cons on this Estwing product:

  • I mentioned this earlier but I am slightly concerned that this hammer only goes up to nineteen ounces in size. Most carpenters prefer at least a twenty ounce to drive the larger 16D nails with. Some prefer a twenty-two or even something bigger than that. My concern here is that if this nineteen ounce is big enough to get the job done. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer or a weekend warrior then this hammer is perfect for you. However, if you are a full time carpenter looking for a new hammer I would either recommend the twenty-two ounce Estwing or a Stiletto Titanium hammer if you are wanting to spend a bit more.
  • I am a huge fan of one piece construction hammers because of their durability. That being said there is a downside of going away from Hickory wooden handles and that his shock. Wood is a great shock absorber. With a solid steel hammer that shock has nowhere to go but either into the nail or into your hand and I can assure you that not all of that energy is going into the nail. Estwing and other companies have attempted to solve this problem by creating rubber, vinyl, or leather grips that are bonded or molded onto the handle. These grips goal are to soften the shock with each hit that you make. While they definitely achieve this you will still find less shock using a standard wooden handle hammer.
  • During my research on this product I did see a few quality issues but nothing too alarming. I believe these were one off instances that had slipped past Estwing’s quality control department. Some of these include premature rusting, rough edges that were not smoothed out during the milling process, off balance hammers with all of the weight in the handle, and misshapen hammer faces. Again, I wouldn’t worry too much about this as they are one off occurrences.
  • This is just silly but I would be amiss if I didn’t mention it as so many people are talking about it. With each strike on this hammer it makes a ‘ping’ sound. The best way I can describe it is it is like a bell going off. With each hit you get this bell or pinging sound. Some guys love it as they get that sanctification with each hit while others can’t stand it. I’ve even seen some reviewers rate the product a whole one or two stars lower just because of the pinging sound that the hammer makes.
  • The last con on this product that I would like to mention is warranty. Now I’ve always been a fan of lifetime warranties especially when it comes to a ToughAssTool. If I’m going to be spending a my money on a product I want that lifetime guarantee. While Estwing doesn’t offer a lifetime they do honor their products against any defects caused from normal use. That’s the key point, normal use. It is up to their determination on rather or not your warranty claim will be accepted.
    • Estwing’s official warranty page can be found by clicking here.
    • To file a claim you can call their customer service phone number 1-815-397-9558
    • Once your claim has been approved you can send your RA to:
      1. Estwing Mfg. Co.
        2647 8th Street
        Rockford, IL 61109
        Customer Service 815-397-9558
        sales@estwing.com

Conclusion

Overall, I would say that this hammer is definitely a buy. You get the premium Estwing name, a solid one piece steel construction, a vinyl or leather grip, and a whole host of other features and addons. Along with all of the hammer comes in a variety of makes in different sizes, different grips, and different faces. There are very little cons on this product.

If you’re looking for a lighter weight framing hammer then this is it. I have assembled a full list of all of these options at the bottom of this review. This list shows each model number along with their features and should allow you to pick exactly what type of hammer you are looking for with ease.

Thanks for reading! I hope that I was able to help you in your buying choice today.

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools

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Hello ladies and gentlemen! Today on ToughAssTools.com we are going to be doing a product review on Vaughan’s VW20 Douglas Pattern twenty ounce framing hammer. There wasn’t a lot of information on this hammer that could be found through my research but I will do my best to provide you with the most accurate assessment that I can on Vaughan’s product.Vaughan VW20 Douglas Pattern 20 oz. Framing Hammer, milled face, side puller, mag nail set, 17" straight handle

Vaughan manufacturing has been around since just after the American Civil War ended. Yes, they’ve been around that long. As of 1869 the Vaughan and Bushnell company has been making custom and quality tools. With nearly one-hundred and fifty years of experience I would say that they know what they are doing. For more information on their company click here.

The VW20 Douglas Framing Hammer comes in at twenty ounces. In my opinion this twenty ounce weight is the ‘sweet spot’ when it comes to framing hammers. You get just enough power to drive those larger nails but your hammer is not so heavy that it is difficult to use. The handle on this hammer extends to sixteen inches and is a straight Hickory make. To strengthen the handle there are two bolts to ensure that the head and handle do not separate. This is a unique feature that is not found on most Hickory handled hammers.

The bolts I mentioned above connect the head to the hammer using Vaughan’s patented ‘Deep V’ head design. This design not only allows for a more secure connection but it also provides greater power at the point of impact and less stress on your arm. The face of the head comes with a milled or waffle face as shown in the picture to the right. At the top of the head there is a magnetic nail starter which I’m sure most of you are used to. This combined with the waffle face makes it much easier to drive larger nails.

The claw on this hammer is a rip, or straight claw, as it is with most framing hammers. Although this rip claw is shorter than most giving you the ability to get into tighter places and to gain more leverage. This shorter claw is also reinforced to provide extra strength when prying two by fours or whatever else you are tearing apart. The last feature on this hammer is the sidewinder side nail puller that can be seen in the picture to the right. This feature allows you to easily pull out those hard to reach nails and will also give you another option for demolition or for extracting a nail.

Pros

As I said at the beginning of this article there really wasn’t a lot of information to be found on this product. Most of the Pros on this hammer are the many features it comes with such as the side puller, the magnetic starter, the reinforced bolted head to handle, and the reinforced rip claw. All of these features add up to a great hammer and also add up in price. There are a few more things I’d like to mention before moving onto the cons section.

The finished hammer comes with a powder coat finish. This may not mean much to you, heck… doesn’t mean much to me, but I figured I would mention it as I know there are some guys out there who just love the powder coating. (Don’t get me started on powder coated wheels.) This hammer also comes with over strike protection to ensure your hammer is secure.Vaughan VW20 Douglas Pattern 20 oz. Framing Hammer, milled face, side puller, mag nail set, 17" straight handle

The last thing I’m going to mention on this hammer is a big one. This product is made in the United States of America. Vaughan seems to be one of the few companies nowadays who still believe in American craftsmanship. If you are looking for an American made hammer than this may be the one for you.

Cons

When I go over the Cons on a product that I am reviewing I like to lay them out in the most easy to read and organized fashion I can. I want to make it an easy decision for you, the consumer. Do you want to buy the product or do you want to move on to something else? Let’s take a look at some of the Cons on the Vaughan VW20:

  • Hickory Handle – As most of you know by now I am not a fan of Hickory handles. Hickory handles are prone to breaking. It doesn’t matter how strong the wood it is. It will eventually break on you. If I buy a hammer, especially an expensive one, I do not want to be bothered having to unwedge the broken handle, order a new one, and then have to wedge in a new one. I’m sorry but I don’t have the time nor the want to do that. I want something durable like steel. This is just my preference though, if you’re fine with replacing handles every once and a while then by all means go ahead and purchase.
  • Poor Casting – Alright, so this one could seriously be a problem. I wasn’t able to find too much information on this hammer but the stuff that I did find wasn’t the best. There are at least four recorded instances of the claw on the hammer snapping off after only a few days or weeks of use. Obviously, this is a big problem and will cause your hammer to be useless. I had to take off quite a bit of points due to these complaints. There is always the possibility to file a warranty but I am not sure if you will get a new product or your money back from Vaughan. (I go into more on the warranty side below.)
  • Price – I know this is an American made product but I have to take points off on price. As I write this this product is going for nearly eight dollars on various E-Commerce websites. This price seems extremely high considering that I can get a Hickory handled Titanium hammer for right about the same price. If you’re going to spend this amount of money why not get yourself a Ti Stiletto?
  • Warranty – Vaughan’s warranty is vague. I understand that they have to analyze each and every case when a hammer comes back for abuse but usually there is a more detailed warranty policy written such as one year policy, or lifetime warranty. I struggled to find an official warranty term but instead found this, “Replacement will be solely at the discretion of Vaughan & Bushnell Mfg Co. Nothing in this policy shall be interpreted or construed as an express or implied warranty, all of which are excluded by Vaughan & Bushnell Mfg Co.” From this I can see that there is a high chance that a warranty claim may be denied. For more information click here to be taken directly to their warranty page.

Conclusion

Overall, I am going to give Vaughan’s VW20 framing hammer a 3.1 out of 5.0. While this may not sound like an extremely low review I can assure you that this is the lowest score that I’ve given a product so far on this site. When I review products on ToughAssTools.com I only want to review the best and frankly I feel that this hammer falls short. The pricing levels on this product worry me but if it was only the pricing then I could let some of it slide. Where a lot of the points came off was on durability. Those instances of bad casting worry me. I do not want to recommend a product only to have the claw fail on you after only a few weeks of use. At this point I am going to say it’s a no buy.

After saying that, if you are interested in purchasing then by all means visit our Amazon partner by clicking here. However, if you’re looking for an equivalent product for a bit cheaper price then I would recommend getting yourself an Estwing steel framer. You’ll get a great and durable hammer for half the cost.

Thanks for reading and I hope that I was able to help you in your buying decision.

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools

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Hello ladies and gentlemen! Today on ToughAssTools we are going to be reviewing Estwing’s E20C and E16C hammer with a leather grip. This is a unique type of framing hammer that you really can’t find elsewhere besides from Estwing. This product comes with a bonded leather grip that you can see in the picture on the right. A lot guys buy this hammer because it looks nice and they like it hanging in their garage but the leather does also provide a unique grip on the handle that users either love or hate.Estwing E20S 20 oz Straight Claw Hammer with Smooth Face & Leather Grip

For nearly one-hundred years Estwing has held the Gold standard for one piece steel construction framing hammers. Heck, they even pioneered this type of hammer all the way back in the 1920’s. Ever since then a steel framing hammer has accompanied nearly every carpenter across the United States and some would say even across the world. Oh, and the best part about Estwing? All of their products are still made here in the United States up north in Rockford, Illinois. You can visit their website by clicking here.

As I mentioned above the Estwing EC20 & E16C comes in either a sixteen or twenty ounce size. This hammer also comes with a straight or rip claw extension as well. What you choose is honestly up to you. If you’re looking for a good framing hammer then I would recommend going for the twenty ouncer with the rip claw. I always prefer the rip anyways and the extra four ounces gives you that extra umph of power with each drive.

This hammer comes with a twelve and a half inch handle along with the leather grip as I spoke about above. I won’t get too much into the leather grip here, look to the Pros and Cons on that. Along with the handle you get a smooth face over a waffle and a fully polished head and neck on the hammer. Adding the polished metal with the handle gives the hammer a very aesthetically pleasing look.

That’s enough about what the hammer looks like let’s take a dive into what the Pros and Cons are on this product. Is it worth your money or should you move on? Let’s find out.

Pros

The big selling point on this hammer as well as Estwing’s other hammers are the one piece steel construction. I am a huge fan of one piece construction hammers mainly because with the wooden handles you have to worry about the handle breaking or snapping in half on you. I hate going through the hassle of having to pull out what is left of the handle, order a new one, and then wedge the new one back into the head. You never have to worry about that again with a solid steel hammer. The durability on this hammer will last generations.

Along with Estwing’s famous one piece steel construction comes their just as famous balance and temper on their hammers. Most people won’t notice this but if you’ve ever swung an unbalanced hammer or one with all of the weight in the face of the hammer you will know the awkwardness and discomfort that comes with every swing. There is no need to worry about that with an Estwing product.

The bonded leather grip can be seen as both a Pro and a Con. A lot of guys like the feel of the leather and the the durability of it. The leather also adds an extra thickness to the handle that isn’t seen with Estwing’s Poly-Rubber cover. The leather cover has just about the same shock absorption as the rubber and you get the leather look to your hammer. Trust me, this type of hammer will stand out amongst your piers and may even start a couple of conversations.

The last Pro I’ll mention on Estwing’s EC20 and EC16 is that they are made in the United States. Sadly, that is such a rare find nowadays as it seems like nearly everything is manufactured overseas and shipped over here in a container for mass distribution. I don’t know about you but I like the idea of buying something that was manufactured only a few states away rather than an entire ocean away. Helping your fellow countrymen and all that jam.

Cons

Whenever I review a product I like to lay out all of the Cons and let you decide. That being said there aren’t really that many Cons on this product. I did my usual research and I found some but none of them I would consider deal breakers. Let’s take a look:

  • Remember before I was talking about the benefits of a one piece construction hammer? Well, there are benefits but there are also drawbacks. The biggest drawback on a solid steel hammer is the shock or vibrations when striking. The steel reverberates the shock right into your wrist, elbow, and shoulder. A wooden handle would absorb the shock but has tendency to break. In an effort to dampen the shock on their hammers Estwing opted for either their poly-rubber cover or the leather cover that is on this hammers. These covers dampen the shock significantly, but there is still more shock than a wooden handle.
  • This is just silly but I would be amiss if I didn’t mention it as so many people are talking about it. With each strike on this hammer it makes a ‘ping’ sound. The best way I can describe it is it is like a bell going off. With each hit you get this bell or pinging sound. Some guys love it as they get that sanctification with each hit while others can’t stand it. I’ve even seen some reviewers rate the product a whole one or two stars lower just because of the pinging sound that the hammer makes.
  • The leather grip on this handle is nice to look at but many users have complained that the leather makes the handle too fat or too large to handle. Some users have even said it is hard to get a decent grip and that the leather is slippery during swings. In all honesty it is just a matter of preference. I won’t detract too much from this on my score but I wanted to bring it to your attention.Estwing E16S 16 oz Straight Claw Hammer with Smooth Face & Leather Grip
  • The last con that I’m going to bring up on this hammer is inconsistent quality. Regardless of your quality control process some duds will sneak through. In my experience companies may check one of every hundred units or one of ever fifty units. They rarely check them all. I can only speculate what Estwing’s policy is. Here are some of the defects that we’ve seen:
    • The handle on the hammer is crooked.
    • Leather is loose or washers to secure leather are installed incorrectly.
    • Some of the finishes have sharp edges or nicks in the leather finish.
    • If you do receive a defective product then I would recommend contacting Estwing to file a warranty claim by clicking here to go to their official website.
    • If you find that you aren’t a fan of the leather then I would recommend checking out the Estwing with the basic poly/rubber grip. I wrote a review on this hammer the other day and it can be found by clicking here.

Conclusion

Overall, I would say this hammer is definitely a buy. It is well worth your money and comes with very few downsides to it. You get a solid one piece steel construction framing hammer from a reputable company. The leather grip and cover on this is the only thing up for debate. Some users love the feel and look of it while others say that the cover is too fat and is even slippery to the grip during swinging. But, as I said before it is all a matter of preference. Do you prefer the leather or the poly-rubber grip? Either way you’ll be getting a quality product.

If you are interested in purchasing this product then I would recommend visiting our Amazon partner by clicking on the links below. Remember, ToughAssTools recommends the twenty ounce rip claw version. More power and more demo!

I hope that I was able to help in your buying choice today. Thank you for reading!

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools

Hello ladies and gentlemen! Today on ToughAssTools.com we are going to be taking a look at what size of hammer you will actually need. There are so many sizes and choices to choose from right now that it can be confusing to a lot of people. The basic rule of thumb that I want to mention and get out of the way right away is that find the hammer that is heavy enough to get the job done but not too heavy to hurt yourself with. I don’t care if you six foot six and three-hundred pounds. If a twenty ounce framer is enough to get the job done then use it. It is not worth risking injury.

When I was a stupid teenager nearly thirteen years ago I was really into power lifting and bodybuilding. I felt like I was invincible and that I had do everything I could to get bigger and to lift more weight. Nothing could stop me. It was always a heavier lift. Well, nothing did stop me back then… but if we fast forward to today I have so many back issues at the age of thirty-one that I have trouble mowing the lawn sometimes. I know this is getting off topic but the point that I am trying to make here is that to take care of your body now or else you will regret it later.

If you go in swinging a ridiculous thirty-two ounce steel framer you might not feel it today but I can assure you that after a few years you will be regretting it. The point I’m trying to make here is swing what you are comfortable with. No one is going to care if you’re swinging a sixteen ounce hammer during a job… and if they do then screw them. It’s not about what they think it is about what works best for you and what protects you from injury. But I am off my soapbox for now. Just take it as an nearly old man ranting for a few minutes.

The Sizes

Let’s get back to what size of hammer is right for you. As I said before there are so many choices out there they can be a bit overwhelming. For an example if we look at this Estwing E3 model on Amazon.com we see that there are seven different sizes listed on the one Amazon page. The question is which one do you need and what should you take into consideration?

  • 08 Ounces – The eight ounce and even the ten ounce aren’t going do you much good on a framing project. These size of hammers are mainly used for metal working and are usually found as a ball and pein type of hammer. The other use for these could be finishing hammers when working on trim work or any other kind of intricate matters.
  • 10 Ounces – The ten ounce hammer is almost an in the middle between a standard curved claw hammer and a ball and pein hammer. There are some metal workers who prefer the ten while some homeowners who prefer the lightweight of a ten ounce hammer for around the house uses. Again, a ten ounce hammer could also be used for finishing or trim work.
  • 12 Ounces – Twelve and fourteen ounce hammers are your typical homeowner’s hammer. It usually comes with a curved claw and can be found at your average hardware store on Amazon.com. This gives you enough power without being overwhelming to a novice.
  • 14 Ounces – The fourteen ounces is your typical homeowner’s hammer. It usually comes with a curved claw and can be found at your average hardware store on Amazon.com. This gives you enough power without being overwhelming to a novice.
  • 16 Ounces – The sixteen is an improvement, obviously, but you will still be lacking in power on a framing job. It may end up taking more swings then you should be doing just to drive one large nail. I would recommend moving up to at least a twenty ouncer, but if you absolutely have to have the sixteen it will work.
  • 20 Ounces – The twenty ouncer along with the twenty-two ouncers are the standard size that most carpenters pick. There is enough weight to drive the larger 16D nails with ease but it’s also not too heavy to tire you out or to lead to injury.
  • 22 Ounces – The twenty ouncer along with the twenty-two ouncers are the standard size that most carpenters pick. There is enough weight to drive the larger 16D nails with ease but it’s also not too heavy to tire you out or to lead to injury.
  • 25 Ounces – For those of you with larger bodies you may end up preferring the twenty-five ouncer. You get that extra power and the hammer may feel more comfortable in your hands.
  • 28 Ounces – Sure there are instances where you may  need a twenty-eight ounce framing hammer but I can assure you that they are rare. A twenty-two or a twenty-five will be able to get the same job done as a twenty-eight. It just may take more time. The question you have to ask yourself is it worth it.
  • 30 Ounces – Ok so this just goes above and beyond. Unless you’re a giant I just don’t see a point in getting a hammer this heavy. The hammers listed above will do your job just fine and you won’t have the risk of seriously hurting yourself with each swing you do. On top of that a hammer this heavy is just inefficient. You are going to tire yourself out after only a few hours of work.
  • 32 Ounces – The thirty and the thirty-two ounce hammers are the biggest of the biggest. Well, that is until you get into sledge hammers. These hammers should not be used for framing but instead for more industrial uses such as demolition or driving nails into concrete. These hammers pack a punch and also take an exurbanite amount of effort to swing. The risk of injury is also high due to the size and the shock with each hit. The hammer I linked, the Vaughan, comes with a wooden handle so at least a good portion of the shock will be absorbed by the wood.

Conclusion

So, in conclusion size matters! If you are looking for the perfect framing hammer size I would recommend the twenty or the twenty-two ouncer. If you’re looking for a basic hammer or something a little on the lighter side then I would recommend a twelve or sixteen ouncer. If you’re looking for a finishing hammer then anything less then twelve ounces should get the job done.

An additional point that I’d like to make is that there are Titanium hammers out there. Titanium hammers are forty-five percent less in weight than your typical iron or steel hammers. What that means if that you get the same driving power in a much lighter package. These hammers have begun to increase in popularity. I wrote a ‘Best Titanium Hammers,’ article the other day that can be found by clicking here.

Now I know I didn’t cover every single hammer size there is on the market today but this will definitely give you a good idea of what size is right for you. The last thing I’ll mention on this article is that there are many kinds of hammers out there and this article’s goal was to focus on your basic and framing hammers. So, if you don’t see any sledge hammers listed that is why.

Thanks for reading and I hope that I was able to help you in your purchase.

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools

Buy Now!

Hello ladies and gentlemen! Today on ToughAssTools we are going to be doing an in-depth product review on Estwing’s E3 framing hammer. This hammer is made by Estwing and is one of the most common Steel framing hammers in the market today. It comes in all different sizes and we will break those down to determine exactly what you need.Estwing E3-22S 22 oz Framing Hammer with Smooth Face

For nearly one-hundred years Estwing has held the Gold standard for one piece steel construction framing hammers. Heck, they pioneered this type of hammer all the way back in the 1920’s. Ever since then a steel framing hammer has accompanied nearly every carpenter across the United States and some would say even across the world.

Most units come with a rip claw, a finished steel polish, and a thirteen inch handle that has Estwing’s patented shock reduction grip molded onto it. Shock is a big problem when it comes to steel hammers and this grip is an effort to reduce or eliminate any unwanted shock.

First thing’s first though before we get into the Pros and Cons of this hammer let’s take a look at exactly what size of hammer you will need.

 

What Size Do I Need?

This can be confusing to a lot of people, especially novices when it comes to picking out a framing hammer. There are so many options available that it can be a little overwhelming. If we look at this Estwing E3 model on Amazon.com we see that there are seven different sizes listed on the one Amazon page. The question is which one do you need and what should you take into consideration?

  • 12 Ounces – Honestly, I don’t know when a twelve ounce framing hammer would get the job done. Frankly, there just isn’t enough power in it to drive the big boy nails that you would need to be using.
  • 16 Ounces – The sixteen is an improvement, obviously, but you will still be lacking in power. It may end up taking more swings then you should be doing just to drive one nail. I would recommend moving up to at least a twenty ouncer, but if you absolutely have to have the sixteen it will work.
  • 20 Ounces – The twenty ouncer along with the twenty-two ouncers are the standard size that most carpenters pick. There is enough weight to drive the larger 16D nails with ease but it’s also not too heavy to tire you out or to lead to injury.
  • 22 Ounces – The twenty ouncer along with the twenty-two ouncers are the standard size that most carpenters pick. There is enough weight to drive the larger 16D nails with ease but it’s also not too heavy to tire you out or to lead to injury.
  • 25 Ounces – For those of you with larger bodies you may end up preferring the twenty-five ouncer. You get that extra power and the hammer may feel more comfortable in your hands.
  • 28 Ounces – Sure there are instances where you may  need a twenty-eight ounce framing hammer but I can assure you that they are rare. A twenty-two or a twenty-five will be able to get the same job done as a twenty-eight. It just may take more time. The question you have to ask yourself is it worth it.
  • 30 Ounces – Ok so this just goes above and beyond. Unless you’re a giant I just don’t see a point in getting a hammer this heavy. The hammers listed above will do your job just fine and you won’t have the risk of seriously hurting yourself with each swing you do. On top of that a hammer this heavy is just inefficient. You are going to tire yourself out after only a few hours of work.

So, in conclusion if you are looking for the perfect framing hammer size I would recommend the twenty or the twenty-two ouncer. But hey that is enough about the sizes of the hammer let’s actually take a look at what the Pros and Cons are on this product. Is it worth your money, or should you go elsewhere?

Pros

Alright now that we got that out of the way let’s take a look at some of the Pros on these Estwing framing hammers. I’m an organized kind of guy and so instead of writing a long babbling paragraph I’m going to divide this up into bullet points:

  • Estwing’s one piece steel hammers are known for nearly the past century for their durability. These babies will not break on you. No more having to swap out wooden handles and go through that whole process. If you are one of the unlucky fellows and get a bad unit you can always file a warranty claim with Estwing by clicking this link. They are very supportive and helpful to any defects on their products.
  • As a result of the one piece solid steel construction the balance on this hammer is superb. The claw, head, and handle are all balanced so well that it makes the hammer feel even lighter than it is.
  • Another benefit to these hammers is overall ease of use. You get a lot of power on these steel hammers and couple that with the balance mentioned above it makes for one great hammer. After some use you will find that you’re driving 16D nails after only a two to three strikes.
  • The price on these things are great. You can get this hammer that will last for generations most of the time for under fifty dollars. That is an ever lasting hammer that you won’t have to buy again. I’d say it is worth a small investment to get that.American Made Estwings
  • The last pro I’ll mention on these hammers is that they are USA made. I hate that I even have to point this out but it seems like every year something else is manufactured over in China. Not these babies. They are all made over in Rockford, Illinois.

Cons

As I did before I’ll list the cons on the Estwing E3 framing hammers below:

  • The big problem with Steel hammers are shock and reverberations after each hit. With a standard wooden handle hammer most of the shock of impact is absorbed by the wood. With Steel this is not true, as most of you already know. Anyone who’s used a Steel framer for twelve hours on end will know that familiar feeling in their wrists and elbows. Over time injuries can occur from Steel framing hammers. These could include Carpel Tunnel, Tennis Elbow, or shoulder problems. In Estwing’s defense on this issue they went out of their way to develop a shock reduction nylon cover that is molded onto the steel which can be seen in the above picture.
  • Some of these Estwings that have shipped out have come out unfinished, brittle, or with rough/sharp edges from the milling process. I’ll say right now that these are exceptions and that most of the time you will get a high quality product. There’s always a bad batch every now and then. If you are one of the unlucky fellows and get a bad unit you can always file a warranty claim with Estwing by clicking this link.Lacquer Coming off on Estwing Framing Hammer
  • This isn’t really a con but it is worth mentioning as I see a lot of bad reviews written because of this. The hammer will come to you fully polished in a protective lacquer. Please note that over use this lacquer will chip and come off but there is nothing to worry about. There is no harm done to your hammer and the actual steel is being revealed under the lacquer. There is nothing to worry about. For an example please refer to the picture to the right.

Conclusion

Overall, I would say that the Estwing is a definite buy for a novice, an experienced do-it-yourselfer, or a seasoned tradesmen. This is a reliable hammer that will get the job done year after year. The best part about this hammer is the one piece construction. No more snapped wooden handles. No more having to buy new ones and swapping them out. Your steel handle and head will stay with you for a very long time. If you are interested in purchasing this product then I would recommend clicking here and being taken to Amazon.com

Before I close this article I feel like I would be amiss if I didn’t mention the competing Titanium hammers. Ti hammers first started showing up around 1999 by the Stiletto Tool company and over the years have begun to pick up in popularity. I won’t get into too much of it here but I would say that if I had the choice between a Steel or a Titanium I would choose the Ti every time. For more information on this please click this link to go to my latest article ‘What Are The Best Titanium Hammers?’

Thanks for reading everyone. I hope that I was able to help you in your buying decision.

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools

Hello ladies and gentlemen! Hope everyone had a great fourth. Titanium versus Steel hammers is a debate that has been going on for nearly two decades now. Ever since the first Titanium hammer was introduced into the market all the way back in 1998 by the Stiletto Tool company a debate has been raging between both sides as to what hammer is better.

There are hardcore Steel guys who scoff at the idea of a fancy Titanium hammer. They want their tried and tested Estwing Steel and nothing else. But there are others out there who have tried the new Ti hammers, such as the Stiletto TB15MC, and have fallen in love with their quality and their benefits.  The question I have for you today is which is better? Who wins, Steel or Titanium? Well folks, let’s find out.

Steel

The one piece construction Steel hammer that we know and love today can be traced all the way back to Ernest Estwing and his Estwing hammer company in the year 1926. Steel hammers are the usual go to for any tradesmen, carpenter, or even any laymen who wants to put together a new garage. They are so widely used today and available for such a low price it is no wonder that there is resistance to the Titanium hammers entering the market as a new competitor.Estwing E3-22S 22 oz Framing Hammer with Smooth Face

The first and easiest points for Steel hammers are the price. You can get a standard Estwing Steel framing hammer for between twenty-fifty dollars depending on the size and type of hammer you purchase. (Prices are subject to change.) This price is a step above from the standard wooden handled framing hammers on the market today that can sometimes be as cheap as fifteen dollars. These Steel hammers are also significantly cheaper than a typical Titanium. Ti hammers can range between eighty dollars all the way up to and past two-hundred dollars.

Now one of the downsides of Steel hammers which I’m sure most of you know are the shock and reverberations you feel after repeated usage. Each time you drive a nail there is a shock from the impact that echoes and reverberates its way back into your wrist, to your elbow, and sometimes even to your shoulder. After years of continual use framers can develop Carpel Tunnel, Tennis Elbow, or a variety of other injuries. There have been attempts by Estwing and other Steel hammer manufacturers to reduce the shock by using rubber or poly handles. While these handles help they do not eliminate the problem.

To complicate the problem more with Steel hammers is that to get a decent drive on a 16D nail you need a moderately heavy hammer. Most guys go with a twenty or twenty-two ouncer but some of the big guys feel that they have to get a twenty-six, twenty-eight, or even a thirty ouncer. This extra weight swing after swing only adds to the potential of injury. The only upside to this extra weight that I can see is that it aids in demolition when using the rip claw. After all the more weight you have the more power you have to destroy!

 

Titanium

There are two big selling points on Titanium hammers. The first is that Titanium is forty-five percent less in weight than Steel. Don’t be alarmed though. This reduction in weight will not hinder your driving power at all, in fact it may even help you. Titanium has the same power as Steel but comes in the lighter weight package allowing you to retire your twenty-eight ouncer for a sixteen ounce Ti hammer.Stiletto TB15MC TiBone 15-Ounce Titanium Milled-Face Hammer

The thing to keep in mind is that Titanium allows users to transfer ninety-seven percent of your swing energy onto the nail while a steel hammer only allows for seventy percent of that energy. What does that mean? Well that thirty percent energy leftover on the steel hammer has to go somewhere and I bet you can guess where it ends up. Right in your wrist, elbow, and shoulder. The Titanium only has three percent of displaced energy not going onto the nail. You get a more efficient hammer at nearly half the weight of your typical steel framer. This is how you can get a sixteen ounce Ti hammer hitting like a twenty-eight ouncer. What’s that old saying we’ve all heard from our fathers? Work smarter, not harder.

The second point I want to make on Titanium hammers is that along with the reduced weight Titanium also has ten times less the recoil or shock than Steel. So, not only are you getting the weight savings with each swing you are also getting less reverberations and shock with each swing. For you younger bucks out there that might not mean much but come back in another fifteen years of swinging and you’ll be signing a different tune. The goal of these Ti hammers is to reduce injury and to make you more efficient. I mean, who wouldn’t want that? I was reading an article the other day where the writer mentioned that he had some of his skeptical carpenters do a ‘concrete test,’ with both a Steel and a Titanium hammer. They would swing each hammer into the concrete floor and see which felt better on their arms. The Ti won without question and just by doing a few swings it won over some of the skeptics.

Conclusion

If you ask me and my opinion then I say Titanium wins hands down. You may no want to hear it but Steel hammers are antiquated and will eventually be a thing of the past either being replaced by Titanium or Aluminum alternatives. There are so many options today on Titanium hammers ranging from a light weight ten ouncer with a hickory handle all the way up to a fifteen ounce solid Titanium one piece construction hammer. And as I write this today there are even more Titanium, and other types of hammers, being invented, innovated, and improved on today. The days of the Estwing Steel hammers may very well be numbered.

If you are on the fence about purchasing a Titanium hammer then I would suggest you look at the following questions and answer them to yourself. Does it make sense for you or should you stick with your steel?

  • Are you looking for a hammer to have around the house and use occasionally on projects?
    • If so, then I would recommend a Steel Estwing. It wouldn’t make sense to invest the kind of money it takes to buy a Titanium hammer if you will just be using it off and on.
  • Are you a weekend warrior working on a new project every other week spending hours on end framing?
    • This situation can be up for debate. If you’re not swinging every day in and out then you may not need a Titanium but if you want a nice quality product that isn’t going to break on you then you could make the jump up to Stiletto’s Titanium.
  • Are you a tradesmen or full time carpenter looking to replace your Steel?
    • Instead of going back to Steel I would recommend you hop on the Titanium train now and purchase at least a basic model Titanium to give it a try. I wrote an article the other day going into what the best Titanium hammers on the market today are. You can read it by clicking here.
  • Are you in your forties, fifties, or even sixties? Do you have former injuries to your wrist or elbow?
    • The great thing about Titanium hammers is that they are so easy on the body. You will notice a huge difference and your body will thank you for it. It is a smart move to purchase. They even offer some products as light as ten ounces with the driving power of a sixteen ounce steel.

I hope that I was able to answer your questions today and I was able to help in your buying decision.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools

I don’t know about you but over the years I am seeing more and more Titanium hammers on job sites, in garages, and in tool bags. These new Ti hammers started all the way back in 1998 when Mark Martinez created and patented the first Titanium hammer under the Stiletto Tool company. If you have noticed these hammers then I am sure you have noticed the price. It’s not hard to miss. Titanium hammers can run three, four, or even five times the cost of a typical steel framing hammer. If you compare a typical Estwing Steel Framer to a Stiletto Titanium you’ll be amazed at the price difference.

But the question here folks is are they worth it? Are these Titanium hammers worth the premium price, or should you stick with your trusty old Steel? Well, let’s find out.

The Yes

Ok, so there are two big selling points on Titanium hammers. The first is that Titanium is forty-five percent less in weight than Steel. Don’t be alarmed though. This reduction in weight will not hinder your driving power at all, in fact it may even help you. Titanium has the same power as Steel but comes in the lighter weight package allowing you to retire your twenty-eight ouncer for a sixteen ounce Ti hammer.

The thing to keep in mind is that Titanium allows users to transfer ninety-seven percent of your swing energy onto the nail while a steel hammer only allows for seventy percent of that energy. What does that mean? Well that thirty percent energy leftover on the steel hammer has to go somewhere and I bet you can guess where it ends up. Right in your wrist, elbow, and shoulder. The Titanium only has three percent of displaced energy not going onto the nail. You get a more efficient hammer at nearly half the weight of your typical steel framer. This is how you can get a sixteen ounce Ti hammer hitting like a twenty-eight ouncer. What’s that old saying we’ve all heard from our fathers? Work smarter, not harder.

The second point I want to make on Titanium hammers is that along with the reduced weight Titanium also has ten times less the recoil or shock than Steel. So, not only are you getting the weight savings with each swing you are also getting less reverberations and shock with each swing. For you younger bucks out there that might not mean much but come back in another fifteen years of swinging and you’ll be signing a different tune. The goal of these Ti hammers is to reduce injury and to make you more efficient. I mean, who wouldn’t want that? I was reading an article the other day where the writer mentioned that he had some of his skeptical carpenters do a ‘concrete test,’ with both a Steel and a Titanium hammer. They would swing each hammer into the concrete floor and see which felt better on their arms. The Ti won without question and just by doing a few swings it won over some of the skeptics.

The No

There are only two reasons I see people protesting on getting a Titanium hammer and the second one isn’t really a reason at all in my opinion.

The first and the most obvious is the price. As I said above the price on these things can be excessive sometimes and may cause a bit of sticker shock. My favorite model the Stiletto TB15MC comes in right at two-hundred dollars. (Prices subject to change.) While the competing Estwing E3-25S model comes in at around fifty dollars. (Again, prices subject to change.) The question to you folks is are you wanting to spend the extra money or will you stick with the lower priced alternative?

The other drawback that I hear from people on these Ti hammers is that they lack the demolition power that heavier steel hammers have. I can see where they are coming from on this point of view. Yes, it is basic physics that a heavier object will cause more destruction. The only thing I can mention is that with the Ti you still get a great rip claw, you still get a solid one piece construction, and you still get the durability that is found on Steel. I wouldn’t let the demo ability affect your buying decision though as I have said before you should consider the price and the toll a Steel is taking on your body.

I know. I know. I said there were only two reasons but I have a third to bring up. This one is more of a caution. Most of you know that if you have expensive tools on a job site that they sometimes grow legs and walk away while you’re at lunch or taking a break. It sucks but a lot of the times there isn’t a way to avoid it. If someone spots a Stiletto Titanium I can assure you that it will probably be a target for less reputable types.

 

Conclusion

Overall, if you are on the fence about purchasing a Titanium hammer then I would suggest you look at the following questions and answer them to yourself. Does it make sense for you or should you stick with your steel?

  • Are you looking for a hammer to have around the house and use occasionally on projects?
  • Are you a weekend warrior working on a new project every other week spending hours on end framing?
    • This situation can be up for debate. If you’re not swinging every day in and out then you may not need a Titanium but if you want a nice quality product that isn’t going to break on you then you could make the jump up to Stiletto’s Titanium.
  • Are you a tradesmen or full time carpenter looking to replace your Steel?
    • Instead of going back to Steel I would recommend you hop on the Titanium train now and purchase at least a basic model Titanium to give it a try. I wrote an article the other day going into what the best Titanium hammers on the market today are. You can read it by clicking here.
  • Are you in your forties, fifties, or even sixties? Do you have former injuries to your wrist or elbow?
    • The great thing about Titanium hammers is that they are so easy on the body. You will notice a huge difference and your body will thank you for it. It is a smart move to purchase. They even offer some products as light as ten ounces with the driving power of a sixteen ounce steel.

I hope that I was able to answer your questions today and I was able to help in your buying decision.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools

Buy Now!

Hello ladies and gentlemen! Today on ToughAssTools.com we are going to be reviewing Stiletto’s TI14SC Titan fourteen ounce Titanium framing hammer. This model was the original Titanium hammer that was created all the way back in 1998 by Mark Martinez. Truth be told though the original doesn’t always mean the best. Improvements are made over the years and better models have come out but I will get into that later in on the review.Stiletto Tools Inc TI14SC Titan 14 Oz Titanium Framing Hammer With Curved Handle

As I mentioned above this hammer is made by the Stiletto Tool company out of Sacramento, California. Stiletto has been making hammers and tools from all the way back to the 1850’s. Yes, that’s right. Over one-hundred and fifty years. They know what they are doing and they make a quality product. As so many people have said, “Once you go Stiletto, you don’t go back.”

The TI14SC fourteen ounce Titanium hammer is the ideal tool for framing projects rather you are a full time carpenter or just a do-it-yourselfer working on putting up a new detached garage. (Fun project, trust me!) While this hammer comes in at only fourteen ounces don’t let that fool you. It has the same power and driving force as your twenty-four ounce steel Estwing. The thing to keep in mind here is that Titanium is forty-five percent less in weight then Steel or Iron. So, that means you are still getting a completely solid head of metal. There are no fillers in this, it is solid Titanium.

The hammer comes with a variety of features as well such as a Stiletto’s patented magnetic nail starter. The nail can be slotted into the top of the head and held in place until you are ready to drive. This makes things so much easier and reduces nails slipping and rolling away. (Notice the divet on the face in the picture to the right.) The face of this hammer is one and a half inches in diameter and is smooth rather than waffle face or edged. While most framers prefer the waffle face I feel that the smooth works just fine and you don’t run the risk of grinding and cutting your fingers up if you accidentally hit yourself with the waffle. The claw is your standard rip claw that is found on framing hammers, although I would advise against demo with this claw. (More on that later in the cons section.)

The TI14SC handle extends out to sixteen inches and is your standard wooden Hickory. It is also curved as you can see in the picture to the right. This curvature allows for a better grip and also for better leverage when swinging. But I would say that is enough talking about the features of the hammer. Let’s now dive into the Pros and Cons of this product and see if it is worth your money to buy or not.

Pros

Ok so first and foremost I am going to mention that you get the raw power of a twenty-four ounce steel framer in an easy to use light weight package. You’ll be able to drive 16D nails in three hits with no problem. You truly hit the ‘sweet spot’ on this hammer as you get the great power of a heavy duty twenty-four ouncer but the hammer itself is still light at only fourteen ounces. There are other options out there that go all the way up to sixteen ounces but honestly, why bother? The twenty-four ounce driving power should be more than enough to get your job done and you save yourself the extra burden of carrying around another two ounces on your tool belt.

Speaking of those heavy duty steel hammers did you know that Titanium has ten times less the recoil and shock than Steel does? Ten times. That is a stark difference between the two and if you swap out a solid one-piece steel Estwing with the TI14SC you are getting the benefit of a wooden handle as well. (Wooden handles are proven to be the absolute best shock absorbers.) So you get a double whammy here with a shock absorbing head and a shock absorbing handle. I can assure you that your body will thank you after using this hammer. No more carpel tunnel. No more sore elbows after a long day’s work. All of that will be in the past.

Cons

Ok folks for the cons on a product I like to list them out as clearly and be as upfront about them as I can. I won’t catch everything but I can assure you that after my research I have a solid grasp on what can go wrong with the product. The question is now left with you if you are going to buy this product or move on to something else.

  1. Wooden Handle – Alright. Well remember how I talked about the benefits of a wooden hammer above in shock absorption? Well that’s about the only damn benefit to wooden handles. Pardon my French… but I am not a fan of the wooden handles. The main reason why? Breakage. As you can see in the picture to the right wooden handles have a high chance of snapping in half and sending the head of your hammer flying off into the distance. Most of these breaks occur when using the claw and trying to extract a nail. The strain appears to be too much on the wood and it snaps.  Along with the handle breaking I have also found complaints of the handle being too fat and users having to shave it down to use correctly. Both of these issue can be fixed and handled by the consumer. They just require a little extra work. Stiletto Tools Inc TI14SC Titan 14 Oz Titanium Framing Hammer With Curved Handle
  2. Price – This hammer comes in at around one-hundred dollars on Amazon.com. (Prices are subject to change, but this is the price as I write this article.) One-hundred for a hammer may send a lot of you running for the hills but I can assure you that this is an investment and is well worth a little extra money upfront. Your body will thank you and you’ll be faster on the job. Although, it can be frustrating if you spend a hundred on this product and the handle breaks after only a few days of use…
  3. Warranty – There is a warranty on this product, don’t get me wrong. It is a one year warranty where Stiletto will replace or repair any damage to your product that is not above or beyond normal usage. Their official policy can be found by clicking here. The reason I bring warranty up is as a con is that it is only a one year term. Most of the time if you’re going to be spending over one-hundred dollars on a hammer you expect a lifetime warranty and many other companies offer this lifetime warranty. I don’t question Stiletto’s quality of manufacturing but it is still a great peace of mind to know that your hammer is warrantied for your lifetime.
  4. Thieves – This may be a moot point but I still feel it is worth bringing up. As I’m sure most of you know if you have nice tools on the job site they may ‘walk off,’ while you are at lunch or while you are on the phone. I’ve seen it happen so many times and it just sucks knowing that you invested into such a great hammer only to have some bastard walk up and snake it away from you.

Conclusion

Overall, I would say that this hammer is a good buy. I am going to give it a 3.8 out of 5.0. Truth be told here guys this is the first hammer out of my reviews that I have rated under 4.0. I couldn’t consciously give this hammer anything over 4.0. I have to express my reservations right now about the wooden handle. Normally, I am skeptical on these types of handles but hold back my thoughts as each person has a different taste. But after researching this product I found numerous cases of the handle breaking after only a few days of use. I felt I had to speak up here and express my concern. I feel that if you buy this product you may run into the handle breaking on you after only a few days of use. If that doesn’t bother you then by all means go for it! But, if you’re looking for something more sturdy then I would highly suggest to you the Stiletto Tibone TB15MC one piece solid Titanium hammer. (This one won’t break at all, but it is significantly more expensive.)

If you are interested in purchasing the Hickory handled TI14SC Stiletto Titanium Hammer then I suggest you follow this link to Amazon.com to complete your purchase. I hope that I was able to help you in your buying decision today.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools.com

Buy Now!

Hello ladies and gentlemen! Today we are going to be reviewing Stiletto’s TI16SC sixteen ounce Titanium hammer. The TI16SC is manufactured by the Stiletto Tool company out of Sacramento, California. Stiletto has been around since the 1850’s California Gold Rush and ever since then they have been manufacturing hammers and tools for tradesmen. After over one-hundred and fifty years of experience I would say that they know what they are doing.Stiletto TI16SC 16 oz Ti Smooth Face with Curved Hickory Handle, 18"

The TI16SC model is a monster. Sure it only comes in at sixteen ounces but that is sixteen ounces of solid Titanium. This hammer is the biggest there is on the market today on Titanium heads. The thing to keep in mind here is that Titanium is forty-five percent less in weight than it’s steel counterpart. So, if we do the math here 16 ounces /(1-0.45) = 29. Twenty-nine ounces. It’s like you are swinging a gigantic twenty-nine ounce steel behemoth.

To give you even more power when swinging the TI16SC Stiletto has gone ahead and made the handle on this thing eighteen inches long. Yes, you heard me right. Eighteen inches for the handle length. A standard Estwing framing hammer comes in at sixteen inches for the handle. So you get an additional two inches of leverage and driving power with each swing. The handle is a standard hickory with the curved axe style as shown in the picture to the right giving you an easy and non slip grip.

This hammer has some more features including a straight rip claw design for demolition, a smooth face with a one and a half inch diameter, and Stiletto’s patented magnetic nail starter to save your fingers during the initial drive. But hey that’s enough about the features of the hammer let’s dive in and see what the Pros and Cons are on Stiletto’s TI16Sc.

 

Pros

  • Well folks you can probably guess the first Pro I am going to list here. You get the power of a nearly thirty-ounce steel framer in a sixteen ounce package. This hammer can drive 16D nails with only two to three strikes. Top that off with the magnetic nail starter and your job will be a heck a lot of easier with this baby.  For those of you who are looking for a top driver with lots of power but don’t want to break your arms off trying to swing a thirty ouncer than this is the hammer for you.
  • Along with the power of a twenty-eight ouncer you also get the benefit of better shock absorption. Any of you guys who are using a solid one piece steel Estwing or another steel brand out there will know what I am talking about. Try swinging one of those twenty plus ouncer hammers all day for twelve hours and see how your wrist, elbow, and shoulder feel. I can guarantee they’ll be on fire and begging for mercy. Each hit you do with a steel hammer causes it to reverberate and recoil right into your arm. The TI16SC saves you this trouble by offering you two benefits. The first being the Hickory wooden handle. Wood absorbs shock significantly better than a steel handle. The second benefit is that Titanium has ten times less shock than a standard steel or iron counterpart. So you get the wood handle and the Titanium head in one package.

Cons

With the cons on a product I like to do a short listing so that I can be as upfront with you as possible on every potential drawback. The rest is up to you to decide if you want to purchase.

  1. Handle Length – As I mentioned above the handle on this product comes in at eighteen inches in length. While this gives you better power and leverage when swinging it also makes it difficult to haul this thing around. Many users have complained that the hammer is so long that it doesn’t even fit in most tool bags. This may not matter to you but it is worth bringing up.
  2. Wooden Handles – This one bugs me. I’ve never been a wooden handle fan. Yes, I know they are great for shock absorption but I HATE having to replace broken handles. Call me lazy, I don’t care. Like it or not if you have a wooden hammer it will eventually break on you. It may take a few months or it may take years but it will break. I am of the mindset that if I am going to be spending over one-hundred dollars on a hammer then I never want to buy another hammer again. I want something that will last and will never fail on me. That is why I recommend the Stiletto TB15MC one piece solid Titanium framing hammer. But hey, if replacing handles doesn’t bother you and you want to save some money then by all means go with the TI16SC model.
  3. Warranty – There is a warranty on this product, don’t get me wrong. It is a one year warranty where Stiletto will replace or repair any damage to your product that is not above or beyond normal usage. Their official policy can be found by clicking here. The reason I bring warranty up is as a con is that it is only a one year term. Most of the time if you’re going to be spending over one-hundred dollars on a hammer you expect a lifetime warranty and many other companies offer this lifetime warranty. I don’t question Stiletto’s quality of manufacturing but it is still a great peace of mind to know that your hammer is warrantied for your lifetime.
  4. Price – This hammer comes in at around one-hundred dollars on Amazon.com. (Prices are subject to change, but this is the price as I write this article.) One-hundred for a hammer may send a lot of you running for the hills but I can assure you that this is an investment and is well worth a little extra money upfront. Your body will thank you and you’ll be faster on the job.
  5. China – The last thing I am going to mention on the Stiletto TI16SC is that the handle of this product is manufactured in China. It seems like we can’t avoid that these days. Nearly everything is made over there. The good news though is that the head of this hammer is made here in the USA by the Stiletto. So you get a half and half deal with the handle being China made and the head being a USA product. But let’s be honest here the head is the most important part of your hammer anyways.

Stiletto TI16SC 16 oz Ti Smooth Face with Curved Hickory Handle, 18"

Conclusion

Overall, I rate this hammer a 4.0 out of 5.0. The positives are the lightweight compared to your standard steel framer and the less shock and recoil after each swing. The main drawbacks on this are the length of the handle at eighteen inches which makes it difficult to carry around and the warranty only covers one year of use.

If you are a tradesmen or a full time carpenter then I would highly recommend this hammer on your next framing project. It will save your body and will allow you to get the job done faster. However, if you are a do-it-yourselfer I’m not sure that you would even need to buy a hammer like this. This baby is meant for heavy duty framing work.

If you would like to purchase then I suggest following this link to Amazon.com. I hope that I was able to help in your buying decision.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools.com

Buy Now!

Hello ladies and gentlemen and welcome to ToughAssTools.com. Today we are going to be reviewing Stiletto’s FH10-C ten ounce Titanium finish hammer. Now I just love these Titanium hammers. Sure they are expensive but my God are they one hell of a hammer. The FH10-C is made by the Stiletto tool company out of Sacramento, California. Stiletto has been in the tool manufacturing business since the 1850’s. Yes, that’s right. 1850’s. They started all the way back when the California Gold Rush took hold.Stiletto FH10-C 10-Ounce Titanium Finish Hammer

This Titanium model is actually one of the lightest models out on the market today coming in at ten ounces. Now before you scoff at the size of this thing let me tell you right away that Titanium is forty-five percent less in weight than Steel. This head is solid Titanium. There was no filler used so you still get your driving power. In fact with the combination of a longer handle and a solid Titanium head you get the driving force of a sixteen ounce framing hammer in a ten ounce package.

I mentioned it already but this hammer comes with a 14.5″ curved Hickory handle. Most hammers have a thirteen inch hammer. With the extra inch and a half of handle on the FH10-C you get that extra leverage with each swing and drive you make.

It comes with a smooth faced instead of a waffle face. Some of you framers may prefer a waffle but this hammer is intended to be a finish hammer rather than a framer. (Although many users use this for framing as well.) The claw is straight, or a rip, and is designed for ripping apart any two-by-fours or other obstacles in your way. And, like most Stiletto hammers the FH10-C comes with Stiletto’s patented magnetic nail starter.

That’s enough about what this hammer looks like let’s dive into the Pros and Cons of this product. Is it worth buying? Is it what you are looking for?

Pros

First and foremost the thing that I am going to mention is right away is that your body will love you if you get this hammer. I don’t care if you’re a carpenter framing a house or a do-it-yourselfer working on a new deck. This hammer will save your wrist, elbow, and shoulder unlike anything you have tried before. Now before I get to salesy here let me tell the why. There are reasons for why this product is so easy on your body:

  1. The product only weighs ten ounces. Ten ounces for a framing hammer. It’s like you’re swinging nothing at all. Some users have forgotten they even have it looped on their jeans. It was so light they barely felt it.
  2. Referencing the same point above Titanium is forty-five percent less than steel. There is no filler or anything in this head to make it lighter. It is solid Titanium and comes with a solid drive.
  3. Titanium has ten times less the shock and vibration value than steel or cast iron head does.

So what does all that mean? That means you are getting the best of the best when it comes to shock reduction and ease of use without sacrificing much driving force. I mentioned earlier that the FH10-C has the same driving force as a sixteen ouncer but some users have even said that they felt like it was hitting with a twenty-one ouncer. Now, I am a little skeptical of that but that just goes to show you that the size isn’t everything. (Hah! You know you laughed!)

The last Pro on this product is the price, believe it or not. You get this pistol of a hammer with great driving force, Titanium head, and lighter than air all for under one-hundred dollars. (Be aware that prices change, but as I write this it is under one-hundred on Amazon.com.) If you compare this price to some of the other Titanium hammers on the market today this is one hell of a steal.

Cons

There aren’t too many cons on this hammer but I’ll do my best to knock out what I’ve found through my research. Here is what we’ve got:

  1. This hammer is so light that it may take some getting used too it especially if you’re used to swinging a twenty ouncer. It may feel like your swinging nothing which can be a problem as you won’t know how much force to use. The only thing I can say here is to give it time and you will slowly get acclimated to the new weight.
  2. Also, in tighter places it is harder to get a good drive as you don’t have enough room to ‘wind’ up your swing. I could see how this could be a problem with such a light weight hammer. You wouldn’t have that problem with a twenty plus ounce steel hammer but then your body would be aching from the shock. It’s a trade off no matter how you look at it.
  3. I definitely would not say that this is the hammer to use for demolition jobs. In my opinion there just isn’t enough power on this one for demo. If you are looking for an amazing framing rip hammer and still wanting to stick with the Stiletto Titanium line then I would recommend the Stiletto TB15MC fifteen ouncer. This one will definitely answer the call on any project you have. Just be aware that it is much more expensive at over two-hundred dollars. (Prices subject to change.)
  4. There is a warranty on this product, don’t get me wrong. It is a one year warranty where Stiletto will replace or repair any damage to your product that is not above or beyond normal usage. Their official policy can be found by clicking here. The reason I bring warranty up is as a con is that it is only a one year term. Most of the time if you’re going to be spending over one-hundred dollars on a hammer you expect a lifetime warranty and many other companies offer this lifetime warranty. I don’t question Stiletto’s quality of manufacturing but it is still a great peace of mind to know that your hammer is warrantied for your lifetime.
  5. The last con that I am going to bring up on this product is that the handle is Chinese made. At this point in our lives it seems inescapable. No matter where you go you are going to run into a Chinese product. That doesn’t always mean bad quality though as the reviews and my review clearly state. Now, I have reached out to Stiletto today for an answer on exactly where the heads and the read of their products are made. I hope to hear back soon and if I do I will write another article going into it.

Conclusion

Overall I would say that the FH10-C Titanium hammer from Stiletto is most definitely a buy rather you are a do-it-yourselfer looking to save your arm over the weekends or if your a tradesmen looking for an upgrade. I know that I say this a lot with most of these Titanium hammers but there isn’t one better than this ten ounce FH10-C. You get most of the power you would need for a basic framing job and you get something that is so light that you won’t even notice it hanging from your tool belt.

If you are interested in purchasing then I would suggest you over to Amazon.com. I hope that I was able to help in your buying decision.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools.com