Titanium hammers are the newest and latest thing to happen to hammers. Well… truth be told there isn’t much exciting news to happen in the hammering world for quite some time except for Titanium hammers.

The first one of these hammers was patented and created by Mark Martinez of the Stiletto Tool company all the way back in 1998. The theory behind it was to give professional carpenters an alternative to the hickory, fiberglass, or steel framing hammers. The hickory hammers would break all of the time on you and the steel framing hammers would give you one hell of a sore elbow.

As the years have rolled by since they were first introduced a barrage of competitors and other varieties of Titanium hammers have come into the market. But before you decide on purchasing one of these types of hammers it is best to take a hard look at the Pros and Cons. Is this the hammer type for you? Or, should you opt for a more traditional steel or fiberglass framing hammer?

Pros

There are so many pros to Titanium hammers that I probably won’t be able to list them all in this article. Instead I will do my best to go through the top benefits of this product.

  • First and foremost Titanium hammers are significantly lighter than your standard steel or fiberglass hammers. Titanium is forty-five percent lighter than steel. This accomplishes a couple of things.
    • Instead of having a monster twenty-eight ounce steel framing hammer you can get the same work done with the same driving power on a fifteen ounce Titanium Stiletto hammer.
    • Swinging a lighter hammer means that you don’t get near as tired as you used to with your twenty-four ounce fiberglass. Another benefit to this is that a smaller person can use these hammers with no problem. They are recommended for women working on a framing job due to their light weight.
  •  Shock absorption is a big problem across a large variety of framing hammers. Carpenters who use these day in and day out will know exactly what I am talking about. With each hit that you do your wrist, elbow, and shoulder feel the impact. After extended use they will be screaming for relief. Some manufacturers have added rubber shock absorbing grips to their steel hammers which have helped but have not solved the problem. Titanium hammers have ten times less the shock than a steel framing hammer. That means you get the lighter weight and the better shock absorption. You could hammer all day!
  • Depending on the type of Titanium hammer you go with you could end up getting a one piece construction. This means that there is no wooden handle but instead you get a solid Titanium handle and head on the hammer. This type of hammer is basically indestructible. If you do end up breaking this handle in half then you are doing something wrong… but don’t worry most of these manufacturers have a lifetime warranty on their Titanium hammers.

Cons

Ok, so the good news is there really aren’t that many cons on Titanium hammers. I’ve scoured the internet reading reviews, manufacturing websites, and forums but I have still yet to find a major downside to these types of tools. However, there are two things that I would like to mention to you before buying:

  • Price – The biggest drawback to these types of hammers can probably be guessed by you. It’s price. These hammers are the best of best and cannot be beaten in quality. So, with the best of the best comes a large price tag. A basic framing hammer may cost you around thirty to fifty dollars. A basic Titanium hammer will start at about one-hundred dollars and can go all the way up and past two-hundred dollars.
  • Thieves – I hate to say it but anyone who has worked on a job site will know what I am talking about. These jackals think it is their right to rifle through your toolbox or belt while you step away for lunch. Once their paws get a hold of one of your Titanium hammers they aren’t going to let it go. It sucks but it’s a fact that these types of hammers have a high chance of being stolen.

Conclusion

So now that we have laid out the benefits and drawbacks of Titanium hammers the question that you have to ask yourself is are you willing to pay that extra premium price to get yourself a top quality hammer? Or, are you OK with your standard Estwing or Stanley framing hammer.

If you are looking to purchase then I highly suggest you visit the article I wrote yesterday called, “What Are The Best Titanium Hammers?” This article takes a look at the top three Titanium hammers on the market today and from there you can make your buying choice.

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

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools.com

Hello folks! I hope you are all doing well. Today on ToughAssTools.com we are going to take a look at the best Titanium hammers on the market. For you old-timers out there still using your old Estwing these Titanium hammers are the newest and biggest thing. Sure they cost a pretty penny compared to your standard framing hammers but I can assure you that they are worth it.

The first solid Titanium hammer can be traced back to the year 1998. (Hard to believe that was nearly twenty years ago.) It was invented and sold by Mark Martinez of the Stiletto tool company out of California. As the years passed more and more people discovered all of the benefits of them and now with each passing year their popularity only grows. Along with the increased sale came increased competition and there are now a handful of companies manufacturing or importing Titanium hammers.

When I write articles like these I like to take the approach of the Good, Better, and Best. What does that mean? Well basically it covers the three personalities of a consumer looking to purchase. Some of you are cheap, like me, and want the bare-bone cheapest hammer on the market. You may want that Titanium hammer but you don’t want to pay nearly two-hundred dollars to get the top of the line one. While some other consumers are more of a middle of the road guy and can stand paying a bit more of a premium to get a higher quality or longer lasting hammer. And lastly, we have the best option. As the word states this is the best of the best. There aren’t any other hammers out there on the market that can beat it. The question you have to ask yourself is what kind of purchaser are you?

Titanium Hammers
Titanium Hammers

But hey, before we dig into the top three best hammers I want to go over some of the basic benefits that we see with Titanium hammers. It only makes sense. If you’re going to spend a hefty amount on a fancy new Titanium hammer than we need to understand why you are doing it and if you should do it in the first place.

Pros & Cons

Pros

There are many many benefits to Titanium hammers and I won’t get into each and everyone but instead I’ll cover some of most important ones. If you are interested in reading a bit more about Titanium hammers then click on this link to view another one of my articles.

  • Lighter Weight – For those of you who aren’t aware Titanium is forty-five percent lighter than steel. So, what does that mean? It means you can get yourself a fifteen ounce framing hammer with the driving power of a twenty-eight ounce steel one. No more getting tired and winded swing after swing. Oh, and you won’t be lugging that heavy ass hammer on your belt as you go up and down ladders.
  • Shock Absorption – Any of you who have worked on a large framing project know the drawbacks of a steel hammer. You don’t notice it at first. Heck, maybe not even after the first hour, but as time goes on and you slug a ten, twelve, or fourteen hour day in your elbow and shoulder will be screaming for mercy. While a steel hammer won’t break on you they have terrible shock absorption and with extended use this can lead to injuries to your wrist, elbow, or shoulder. Titanium hammers have the benefit of not breaking on you AND they have ten times less shock then steel. You get the best of both worlds.
  • One Piece Construction – I said it above but it deserves it’s own bullet point as well. One piece Titanium construction means that your hammer will not break. I’m sure you know the hassle of having your wooden handled hammer snap in half during a swing, or worse, having the head of your hammer go flying off into the distance during a swing. All those worries are gone with the purchase of a Titanium hammer.
  • You’ll be Faster – As I mentioned above we’ve got the weight savings, the shock absorption savings, and the one piece construction. All of this wraps into an easier hammer to use in driving and in wear and tear on your body. That means that as you use it you will get used to the lighter weight and the faster driving power. After extended use you will notice that you’ll be moving much faster than you did with your old Estwing or Stanley.

Cons

Truth be told there aren’t too many cons on Titanium hammers. There are only two that I can think of and the second one isn’t really a con at all but it is worth bringing up.

  • Cost – I’m sure you are aware by now but these hammers do not come cheap. You are paying for top quality construction. You are paying for a hammer that you will never have to replace again. The only thing that I could see going wrong on these things is either the grip wearing out on the handle, which can be replaced, or your waffle face eventually wearing out and going smooth on you. (Which, really isn’t that big of a problem in the first place.)
  • Thieves – This may not be something a lot of you will consider but it needs to be brought up. I’ve read a lot of accounts of people buying expensive hammers like this only to have it vanish on them at a job site once they go to lunch or walk away for a few moments. I hate to say it but expensive tools like this can be a target to thieves. They’re either going to sell it or use it for themselves but whatever their reason, it sucks.

Enough talk though let’s dig into the Good, Better, and Best of the Titanium hammers on the market today.

Good

Stiletto TI14MC Titan Titanium Framing hammer

Stiletto TI14MC 14 Ounce Titanium Hammer

Buy Now!

The Stiletto TI14MC Titan Titanium Framing hammer is our nomination for the good category. As I stated previously Titanium hammers have been around for nearly twenty years. This Stiletto model is the original titanium hammer that made it’s debut all those years ago. It’s famous in a way.

This is your basic starter Titanium hammer. You get the light weight titanium head with a hickory handle. While this is only a fourteen ounce hammer don’t let that fool you. It has the driving power of a twenty-four ounce steel framer. Some users have even said that it feels even lighter than fourteen ounces due to the balance of the head and handle.

Waffle Face on a Titanium Hammer

While this doesn’t have all the bells and whistles as some of the other hammers that we’ll be looking at further on it does come with a magnetic nail starter that you’ll learn to love when starting your drive. Along with that you get a serrated or waffle face to allow for better gripping when driving. (See picture) With these two features combined you should notice quite a reduction in losing or bending your nails during swings.

The Stiletto TI14MC comes with a curved wooden handle for better grip and leverage. Depending on who you are you may or may not be a fan of wooden handles. I, myself, am not but to each their own. With the wood you don’t have the huge shock from hammering day in and day out but you will also run into your handle breaking and snapping in half. Regardless of how careful you are it will happen over extended use. Upon reading up on this hammer most users have gone through one to two handles a year. If you’re fine with having to take the time to unwedge a handle, buy a new one, and wedge it back in then by all means this is your hammer.

However, if you want a solid one piece construction Titanium hammer then by all means read on my friends, read on.

Better

Dalluge 7180 16 Ounce Titanium Hammer

Dalluge 7180 16 Ounce Titanium HammerBuy Now!

Our nomination for the better category is the Dalluge 7180 sixteen ounce titanium hammer. This hammer is made by the Vaughan Manufacturing company out of Illinois. This company has been around nearly just as long as Stiletto has. They were founded all the way back in 1869 in Illinois and have been making hammers ever since.

Truth be told I was a bit conflicted on which hammer would fall into the good or better category but after some debate I chose the Dalluge. This is a sixteen ounce hammer so it comes in at two ounces heavier then our previous selection but the balance on this baby is so great that it will feel even lighter.

Like before it has similar features. We again have the magnetic nail starter along with the serrated or milled face as shown in the picture to the side. The difference here is the head on this hammer has a side nail puller. So not only do you have the rip claw for pulling out nails but you get the side for those hard to reach places.

Dalluge 7180 Side Nail Puller

Again we find that this hammer comes with a wooden handle, but one of the reasons I ranked this as a Better category were the bolts on this handle that reinforces the connection of the head and handle. You have the standard wedge but along with these bolts you get a nice sturdy hold. These handles will last longer than the previous one but again after extended use the bolts will begin to loosen and your wooden handle will eventually break on you.

This is a little bit more expensive then the Stiletto TI14MC but you get the side nail puller along with the reinforced wooden handle. If you’re still looking for that solid one piece construction then continue on reading for the Best of the Best Titanium hammers on the market today. Just be warned that your price is going to jump up.

Best

Stiletto TB15MC TiBone 15-Ounce Titanium Milled-Face Hammer
Stiletto TB15MC TiBone 15-Ounce Titanium Milled-Face Hammer

Buy Now!

Ok folks this is it. This is the number one best Titanium hammer on the market today. Again I am going to go with the Stiletto company with their TB15MC TiBone model. This thing is a beast. Before I recommended the fourteen ounce Stiletto and the sixteen ounce Dalluge. This Stiletto TB15MC is right in the middle at fifteen ounces but it drives like a twenty-eight ounce steel framing hammer. Yes, that’s right. Twenty-eight ounces. You’ll be able to compete with Big Bubba with his giant twenty-eight ouncer and you won’t be sweating near as much as him!

The TB15MC comes with a lot of the same features that we mentioned earlier like the serrated face and the magnetic nail starter. The difference starts with the face. This hammer has replaceable faces. So, if your waffle face eventually smooths out over years of use all you have to do is order a replacement face, pop out the old one, and pop in the new one. It’s that easy. Also, not a fan of the waffle face? Simply buy a smooth face addon and there you go.

Stiletto TB15MC TiBone 15-Ounce Titanium Milled-Face Hammer Head
Ti-Bone Head Allen Bolt Face Replacement

The best selling point of this hammer though is the solid one piece construction of Titanium. There is no chance of this thing breaking on you. You don’t have to worry about your handle snapping in half and dicking around trying to get the new wooden handle inserted. If you manage to break a Titanium handle you are doing something wrong! Along with the one piece construction you get a ergonomic rubber grip designed for comfort and shock reduction.

While the cost on this thing may surprise you I can assure you that it is well worth the money. This hammer will last generations and the only thing you need to worry about replacing on it is the face every once and a while. The rest of it will stand to the test of time.

Conclusion

Before I close this article I have to mention that each and everyone of these hammers are made in China. While I hate recommending Chinese products the fact of the matter is there just isn’t any other competition out there that can compete with this pricing and that is made in America. It seems that everyone is going the Sears and Craftsmen route and moving everything over to China.  However, if I can recommend a USA product I will.

That being said I want to give an honorable mention to Martinez Hammers. Mark Martinez was the original inventor and designer of the first Titanium hammers for Stiletto Tools. Since then he has started a new company known as Martinez Tools. I would like to link to them now showing their newest invention. This thing is a monster and rises above and beyond what is on the market today. Best of all? It is made in the USA. Click here to visit the link on Amazon. Top quality product.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools.com

Titanium Hammers

I founded ToughAssTools.com a little over a month ago and I am still amazed at how much I have learned about tools and hammers in general. One of these things I learned was the existence of the Titanium framing hammer. Yes, that’s right. Titanium. I came across the company Stiletto Tools and their full line of Titanium products. Intrigued, I browsed their website and then also went through all of their reviews on Amazon.com. Needless to say, this is a high quality product. But, as we all know with a high quality product comes a high price.Stiletto TB15MC TiBone 15-Ounce Titanium Milled-Face Hammer

In this article we’re going to take a look at the benefits and drawbacks on Titanium hammers. Who wouldn’t brag about owning a Titanium hammer? But besides bragging rights are they worth the premium price? What will you get for your investment? What are the cons?

Stiletto Tools

First let’s take a look at the company Stiletto Tools. These guys have been around since 1849. That’s over one-hundred and fifty years in the tool and hammer business. They were founded just outside of Sacramento, California during the California Gold Rush. Ever since then they have been providing American made tools to the United States and to the rest of the world. Their website can be found by clicking here. They have built their products and their company name with quality.

Up until recently Titanium hammers were still relatively new to the market. But as they have gained popularity new companies have begun to emerge and began to compete for some of Stiletto’s market share. One of these companies that I feel are worth mentioning is the Martinez Tools company. This is a newer company but they are making a great product and I look forward to them growing steadily in the future. Look for their products being on Amazon.com in the near future.

Pros

Most of these are hammers solid one piece Titanium construction. What does that mean? Well folks that means that this hammer is going to last you until the end of time. There is no more of being on the job site swinging away only to have the head of your hammer separate and go flying off into the distance. There is no replacing the wooden handles over and over again. This thing will last and last and will be able to be passed on to generation and generations to come. Maybe I’m a bit sentimental but I find that pretty cool.

Your body will thank you. The Titanium hammers are much much lighter than your standard framing hammers. I did a product review on one of Stiletto’s the other day and the hammer only came in at a total of fifteen ounces. While that may sound awfully light for a framing hammer it is important to remember that Titanium is forty-five percent lighter than steel. So even though you have a fifteen ounce hammer it is like you are actually swinging with a twenty-eight ounce steel one.  With the Titanium you get the same driving power but without having to haul around a nearly two pound hammer.

Along with the hammer being overall lighter than your standard steel framing hammer you also get the benefit of reduced shock. One of the biggest complaints about a solid one piece steel hammer is the recoil. You may not notice it after the first couple of swings but I can assure that after swinging that steel behemoth for twenty minutes your elbow and shoulder will be crying out for mercy. To solve this problem many steel manufacturers opted for shock absorbing grip covers. While these helped they didn’t completely solve the problem of the recoil. Titanium hammers have ten times less recoil than your standard steel framing hammer. Ten times. Couple that with a good grip cover and you’ll be swinging away like you’ve got a wooden handle in your hands.

Cons

This one is a given and most of you are probably expecting it but the first big con is price. Most of the time you can get your standard framing hammer for around fifty dollars more or less. Depending on the brand and the features you could wind up closer to eighty. Well folks the Titanium hammers start just below one-hundred dollars and in some cases can even go over two-hundred dollars. That is a lot of money for a hammer. The only thing I can say to you though is to keep in the back of your mind that this hammer will last forever. You won’t have to buy another framing hammer again. It is a one time purchase.

Well, you won’t have to buy another framing hammer again unless yours gets stolen. That brings me to my second con on Titanium hammers. They are pricey and they are top quality. That leads to a very high chance of this hammer being stolen. Now I’m not saying someone is going to break into your garage and start rummaging through looking for Titanium but the more likely scenario is that you are working at a site and decide to take lunch, step away for a drink, or whatever and when you come back you find your prized hammer has vanished. This happens more often then you would think and I see so many complaints on forums and other avenues.

Conclusion

Ok, so with everything I’ve written above the choice is up to you. Do you want to spend the extra money and get the best of the best or are you OK with your standard steel or fiberglass framing hammer?

As I get older I find that I am more and more attracted to products that will last forever instead of something that is cheap. When I was younger I would buy the cheapest thing in the store as long as it worked. But as you age you find that you get stick of buying the same damn things over and over again. If you have the money and can afford the purchase I would recommend grabbing yourself one of the hammers listed below.

Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a great night,

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools.com

So you’re at the hardware store or looking on Amazon.com for a new hammer but as you’re looking you begin to notice the different types of claws. Some of them are curved. Some of them are straight. But, what is the difference? What do you need? Should you go for the curved or the straight? Well, rest easy ladies and gents as we’re going to dive in and take a look at the pros and cons of each type of claw.

Curved

The curved claw is the standard bearer across the industry. If you have a hammer out in your garage chances are that it is a curved claw as shown in the picture below.

The curved claw allows for better leverage when pulling out nails. It is also found on lighter finishing hammers. With it’s lighter weight and extra leverage it will allow you to extract the nail with minimal damage to the wood. (Hopefully.)

I won’t lie though the curved claw hammer is seen as the novice’s hammer. Most professionals opt for the rip claw. If a carpenter needs a nail puller chances are he already has another tool on hand that will get the job done just fine. Why sacrifice the rip claw for a nail puller?

As one carpenter put it, “When I see a curved claw hammer I think ‘Homeowner.'”

Curved Hammer Claw
Curved Hammer Claw

Straight (Rip Claw)

The straight claw, or rip claw, is found on more heavy duty hammers like framing hammers. As Tim Allen said all of those years ago, ‘More Power!’  It is called the ‘rip claw’ due to its ability to wedge itself in between pieces of wood and rip it apart in a pry-bar like action.

While the rip claw hammers are usually more expensive they are also more versatile. Your straight claw hammer can be used for not only splitting apart two by fours but also as an overall tool of destruction. Yes, it sounds nefarious, but it has it’s uses in drywall applications, plywood, siding, or whatever else you need to tear apart. Chances are if it is in your house the rip claw can tear it apart.

Straight Hammer Claw

I feel like I would be amiss if I didn’t mention this but something that I read over and over again on rip hammers was that they are a great safety stop when you are working on a roofing project. Think of it like an Everest climber going up a snowy hill when suddenly he loses his balance and begins rolling down the hill towards a steep cliff. Frantically he grabs his pickax and slams it into the ground. The pickax wedges itself into the snow and the climber is saved. Funny enough I have read of multiple instances of roofers using their rip hammer as an anchor just like that pickax when they begin sliding down the roof. They slam their rip claw into the shingles and bam they are safe and sound.

Conclusion

To sum it up folks if you are a homeowner and just doing a few side projects here and there on the weekend then I am going to recommend you get the standard curved claw hammer. But, if you are a professional or you are going to start an apprenticeship then I would highly recommend you get yourself a high quality rip hammer.

As always I prefer to buy and browse on Amazon.com rather than the home improvement stores. You get better prices, real time reviews, and only a few day lead time. Buy it on a Monday and have there that Friday for your weekend project.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools.com

Parts of a Hammer

This is a question that I receive a lot. Come to find out a lot of people don’t fully know each and every part of their hammers even though they use theirs every single day. Well folks today we’ll be taking an in-depth look at each and every part of the hammer, their function, and why they are necessary.

To start off this article I am going to refer to the below picture I created this morning. In my opinion there is no better way to learn then visual aids. I could write ten thousand words on hammers but what good will it do if you don’t know what I’m talking about. That’s where the picture comes in handy.

Parts of a Hammer

Got that picture memorized? Alright, good. Let’s dive into the parts. First we’ll be taking a look at the parts on the head of the hammer then we’ll move down to the handle.

The Face

The face of the hammer is the section of the hammer that sees all of the punishment and that does all the work. They are usually made of steel but there are a few exceptions here and there including a company that makes theirs out of titanium.

A hammer’s face is usually slightly convex but not so much so that it will cause slippage when driving nails. Depending on the type you buy you will either get a flat faced hammer that has a smooth surface to it or you could end up with what is called a ‘Waffle Faced’ hammer. See example picture.

Waffle Faced Hammer
Waffle Faced Hammer

There is some debate on the pros and cons of a flat face versus a waffle face. Most of the time you will see waffle faced hammers used on framing hammers for larger jobs. The waffle allows you to grip the nail easier and reduces the chance of your nail falling over. A smooth faced hammer is seen as a finishing type hammer where if you tried to use a waffle face when finishing you would end up with the ‘waffle imprints,’ all over your deck or whatever your project is.

Some of the more premium types of hammers on the market today have a replaceable face option. So, when your waffle print has been smoothed out over years of use or your smooth face is dented and beat all to hell you have the option to buy a replacement face. It’s a rather easy installation and will end up saving you money. I reviewed a framing hammer with this option the other day which can be found by clicking here.

Most hammers only come with one face and a claw on the opposite side. One of these exceptions is the ball-peen hammer that has a much smaller narrower face where the claw typically is. I’ll get into that later in the Claw section. The last thing that I’ll mention on the face of the hammer is that some come with a magnetic nail starter. These are usually found at the top of the face of the hammer and come with an indention right at the face. There is an example of this in the same waffled face picture above. See the slight indention? That is where the nail would slide in and stick until you are ready to swing.

Bell/Poll

I won’t spend too much time here on the bell of the hammer. While we just looked at the face of the hammer the bell of the hammer is everything around and supporting the face of the hammer. If you look at the picture above you will see the almost circular curvature at the face of the hammer and how it extends until the neck of the hammer. This is the bell.

Neck of the Hammer

As we move up to the neck of the hammer you will notice that the hammer begins to narrow. This wasn’t just done for the hell of it. There was a reason for this and that reason is balance. A good hammer will have the perfect balance between the face/bell and the claw. If your hammer didn’t have a tapered neck the bell and face would have a smaller surface area which would in turn make it more difficult to strike your nails. With the narrow neck on your hammer you can have it still be the same weight as the claw and still have the bigger face/bell for easier striking.

Cheek of the Hammer

The cheek of the hammer is what holds everything together. This is the point of the hammer that receives the most stress and the most reverberations. If your hammer has a weak point it is most likely either in the cheek of the hammer’s head or in the handle that is inserted into the cheek.

The Cheek of a Hammer
The Cheek of a Hammer.

In my first diagram where I showed the parts of the hammer I did not end up showing the wedge or the eye of the hammer. That was done because the hammer I chose was a one piece construction. The eye of the hammer is the hole, or holes, on the top of your hammer’s head where your handle will be inserted. The wedge of your hammer is the part of your handle that is wedged into the head or eye of the hammer.

Rather or not you purchase a one piece construction hammer or a wedged is up to you. I honestly can’t steer you in one direction or the other as it really depends on what type of application you will be using the hammer for and for how long you will be using the hammer. For example if you’re working on a framing project but will only be working on it a few hours a day then I would recommend a steel one piece construction. However, if you’re going to be working on this project day in and day out for twelve hours at a time you are GOING to need the wooden handle insert. In this example the wooden handle acts as a shock absorbed and will prevent injuries to your arm.

With the one piece construction hammers there isn’t much to talk about. Most of the time you will find these hold up over the test of time and have an overall strong support in the neck.  Their major downside is the shock that goes through your arm with each and every swing as mentioned above. Wedged hammers are usually done so with either a wooden or fiberglass handle. These hammers are cheaper but will eventually end up breaking and needing to be replaced. These handles are fixed in the eye of the hammer usually with a double wedge with a piece of metal in between to reinforce the attachment.

The Claw

Besides the face of the hammer the claw on your hammer is the next big thing to consider before purchasing. Do you want your standard curved claw? Or, are you doing some heavier framing work and want to opt in for the straight or rip claw? The claw is made of the same material that your face, neck, and cheek of your hammer’s head is. (Usually cast iron or steel.) Some hammers don’t even have a claw and instead have a Peen or perhaps something different from that.

Curved

Let’s start with the most basic and the probably the one that you are going to end up using. The curved claw as shown in the picture below is your standard claw on most hammers. If you were to walk into a store or buy one online this is what you would most likely run into. The only real main difference here is that the straight, or rip claw, hammer will allow you to pull out larger nails with ease. The curved is meant for smaller projects and will still be able to pull nails out but again, if you are working on a framing project then I would recommend the straight.

Curved Hammer Claw
Curved Hammer Claw

Straight

As I said before the straight claw is typically found on the larger and more heavy duty hammers. This is done because most of the time your average home owner will not have a need for a larger framing hammer. The curved claw will get the job done most of the time. The straight claw as shown in the picture is meant for pulling out 16D or 20D nails out of a framing project. Sure, it will pull out smaller nails too but keep in mind that this is a framing tool and not a finishing tool. If you need to do repairs or pull out some nails on a finished project then I recommend either being careful or using a curved claw.

Straight Hammer Claw

Peen

The Peen hammer is much less common in today’s world.  Originally the Peen side of a hammer was used for striking and shaping metal in metal fabrication. But over the years this process has become more and more automated and advanced. Other uses for the Peen hammer include driving chisels or punches using the narrower face of the Peen rather than the standard face of your hammer. In today’s world this type of hammer is used for riveting. The narrow point of the Peen face allows for easy driving of rivets.

Peen Type Hammer
Peen Type Hammer

The Handle

The handle is one of the most important things to consider when buying your hammer. Your handle is going to drive the success of your hammer and your overall feeling about it. I won’t get into it too deep here as I wrote another article diving into the various types of hammer handles but for now I am going to list the top three handles used today.

  1. Wooden Handles – This is the standard that I’m sure most of you are experienced with. While these handles tend to break over time they also have great shock absorption.
  2. Fiberglass Handles – Fiberglass handles are smack in between of wood and steel. Fiberglass is more durable than your wooden handles but has less shock absorption.
  3. Steel Handles – Steel handles can be bought as a one piece construction for increased durability or can be bought with the inserted handle. While steel is extremely durable it also has an extremely high vibration and shock when striking.

The Grip/Cover

Another thing to consider is the grip on your hammer. The grip is especially important if you are going with the fiberglass or steel hammer due to the shock absorption. Some of these grips come with a built in shock absorber that will ease some of the reverberations that you feel with each swing.

While the shock absorbing factor is great the other thing to look at is the grip of your cover. When you swing is it going to fly out of your hands from having sweaty palms? Or, is it going to stick to you and not go anywhere until you let it down?

 

Conclusion

That about wraps it up folks. I bet you never thought there was so much that went into a hammer? It is truly amazing what all goes into making something as simple as a hammer. What gets me is that you would never really think about all of this. It’s just a hammer. I mean a hammer is a hammer, right? Well, as we just went through each part we know that the answer is no. Each hammer is different and now we know why.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

ToughAssTools.com

Yost Vises 880-DI 8"

Buy Now!

Alright ladies and gentlemen today we’ll be reviewing the Yost 880-DI eight inch heavy duty bench vise. This Yost vise is one of the best of the best on the market today. We’ll get into why and what makes it the best later on in this post but I bring this up now to prepare you for the cost of this item. It is not a cheap vise by any means, but it was never intended to be that.

Yost Vises 880-DI 8"
Yost Vises 880-DI 8″

If you want premium and American made product than you have to pay top dollar. That’s just a fact of life nowadays. However, if you are on the other end of the spectrum and want a good product but don’t want to fork over that extra premium than I suggest you stop now and read my review on the TEKTON eight inch vise that I did yesterday. This one will save you some money but also provide you a good product. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that the Yost does but it is still a quality vise.

All that being said if you’re still looking for the best of the best and an American Made product than by all means read on my friends.

Specifications on the Vise:

  • Model – 880-DI
  • Jaw Width – Eight inches
  • Weight – Seventy pounds
  • Jaw Opening – Eight and a half inches (Twelve and a half reversed)
  • Throat Depth – Four and three quarter inches (Three and a quarter reversed)
  • Minimum Pipe Capacity – .125 inches
  • Maximum Pipe Capacity – Four and a half inches
  • Anvils – Two separate surfaces measuring eight inches and four and a half inches respectively.
  • Mounting Bolts – 1/2 inch bolts required.
  • Manufacturing Material – Iron
  • Manufacturing Country – United States of America

Without any further delay let’s dive in and see what this vise has to offer. As always I’m going to start with the Pros as it’s always best to hear the good news first!

Pros

The Yost 880-DI is manufactured out of solid Ductile Iron. This iron can withstand up to sixty-five thousand pounds of pressure per square inch.  The TEKTON only measured in at thirty-thousand pounds. That’s more than double the density, and more than double the durability. You need not worry about hesitating when using the anvil on this thing. And speaking of anvils this vise actually comes with two of them. The longer of the two comes in at eight inches while the shorter at four and a half inches. This anvil makes for a great flat and even surface for laying your tools or parts while you are cranking the vise.

The base of this unit comes with four mounting holes that can be drilled into your bench with simple 1/2 inch mounting bolts. Please note that this unit will not come with the mounting bolts as Yost has no idea what type of workbench you have or how thick it is. If they were to guess and throw some random bolts in there it wouldn’t do anyone any good. Once you have this thing mounted you’ll notice that it comes with a full three-hundred and sixty degree swivel. So, there are no more worries about what direction you mount the thing. If you’re like me and don’t take something like that into consideration until after you’ve already secured the bolts you won’t look like an idiot with the vise facing the wrong way. Just swivel it towards you and call it good.

The Yost’s 880-DI’s jaws come serrated or edged for better grip like most other vises. The difference here though is the Yost comes with reversible jaws. Yes, you heard right. You can flip these things around and instead of having the serrated diamond edge you now have a flat and smooth surface for wood working. Some people like to buy jaw covers to prevent damage to their more delicate materials but if done right you could probably just get away with flipping over the jaws to the flat side. Along with that benefit these jaws are also replaceable. So, after years of use if the teeth on your jaws have started to wear away and it is becoming nearly impossible to grip pipes or any other kind of material all you have to do is order yourself another set of jaws, toss out the old ones, and bam. There you go. Problem is solved.

Another great feature of this vise is that the actual vise bar can be removed entirely from the vise and then reversed. What this does is allow for you to extend the length of the vise and allows it to grip objects over twelve inches wide. Twelve inches. This is not something you see on your everyday vise and is certainly not something you see on a Chinese import. Speaking of Chinese imports that brings me to my next point on this vise. This baby is American made all the way. None of that Chinese stuff that everyone is always worried about. The Yost company has been around for over one-hundred years having been founded in 1908 in Holland, Michigan. Now, I am a little biased as I’m from Michigan myself but American made and in Michigan? It doesn’t get better than that.

If you buy this product and for whatever reason something breaks on it, it arrives damaged, or it arrives in pieces there is no need to worry. Yost backs up their product with a lifetime warranty. Yes, lifetime. What that means is that no matter what your vise is guaranteed from failure. Don’t believe me? Well just follow this link and go right to Yost’s warranty policy. Once you follow that link you’ll see the big LIFETIME warranty word next to the 880-DI model.

Lastly, I’ll leave us with a quote from an Amazon review, “This is really a machinist level vise at a great price.”

Cons

Yost Vises 880-DI 8"
Yost Vises 880-DI 8″

Ok, well folks I really struggled here trying to find downsides to this baby. Before I write a review for anything I take the time and scour across Google and other search domains looking for any and all information I can find. It’s the right thing to do and I don’t feel comfortable writing about something until I’ve educated myself on the product. After spending time on researching this vice I only found a couple of negatives and I can bet that you can guess the first one. Price.

I have a bad habit of buying the cheaper side of things. Even if I know it’s going to break in a few months I just can’t bring myself to pay more right there and then. It’s a dumb habit and I need to break it. The same thing applies to this vise. Yes, it’s expensive but would you rather buy this vise and never have to buy one again or would you like to spend fifty dollars here and there every few years or so? The choice seems clear. Spend the money now and get yourself something that will sit on your workbench for decades.

The only other con that I can find is that some consumers have received this product damaged in the mail. This has nothing to do with Yost or their manufacturing. It has everything to do with the carrier. (UPS, FedEx, etc.) The only thing I can say is that it is the luck of the draw when shipping such a heavy product. (Seventy pounds of cast iron.)

The most common thing that I saw was that one out of the four mounting brackets had snapped off while in the box. This is a big problem and will either prevent you from mounting your unit entirely or if you do get it mounted it could result in a wobbly and not a stable base. The thing to keep in mind though is that yes this is a problem but it falls under Yost’s lifetime warranty. So, yes… it’s a hassle to go through the return process and wait for your new vise to be mailed out but you are not out of the money and you will still get a great product.

Besides that folks there isn’t really anything else negative on this vise.

Conclusion

Overall this vise qualifies for the ToughAssTool stamp of approval. Everything about it screams quality and even if we look at Amazon.com we can see that there are nearly one-hundred posted reviews on the product. Out of these reviews the rating is set at 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. The big thing to mention though is that there is only ONE low review in all of these and that lone review was only complaining about the packaging and how it arrived at his home. The rest of the reviews? They were all four and five stars. That is pretty rare feedback nowadays. You usually have a few outliers who trash the product but I just couldn’t find them this time.

In closing this article I would say that if you’re looking for a top quality American made vise than this is your pick.

 

Thanks for reading,

Alec John Johnson

ToughAssTools

Resources

TEKTON 54008 8-Inch Swivel Bench Vise

Buy Now!

Hello everyone. Today we will be reviewing the TEKTON 54008 8 Inch Swivel Bench Vise. Try saying that a few times fast. Here at ToughAssTools we don’t take the time to review a product unless it is a Tough Ass Tool and I can assure you ladies and gentlemen that the TEKTON 54008 vise is just that. This thing ranks up there with one of the better vises on the market and is overall cheaper than some of the other competing brands on the marketplace today such as YOST and WILTON.

The specifications on this vise are as follows:

TEKTON 54008 8-Inch Swivel Bench Vise
TEKTON 54008 8-Inch Swivel Bench Vise
  • Length – Twenty inches
  • Width – Ten and a half inches
  • Height – Eight and a half inches
  • Weight – Seventy-seven pounds.
  • Country of origin – China
  • Materials – Cast Iron

Without any further delay let’s dive into the facts on TEKTON’s 54008 vise:

Pros

First and foremost I’m going to mention the cast iron construction. I don’t know about you guys but I have had experience moving around cast iron blocks of materials before.  (Ever try to move an iron steering gear core for a semi before? If not, I wouldn’t recommend it.) The point I’m trying to make here is that if something is cast iron that product is solid. It’s going to be heavy as all can be but it’s going to be around for a long long time as well. This vise comes with a thirty-thousand pounds per square inch density. What does that mean? Exactly what it sounds like. It can take up to thirty-thousand pounds of pressure. Now that sounds like a lot but again I will mention some of the other brands out there today like YOST have their units boasting upwards of fifty-thousand pounds or more.

I remember when I was a kid and I would be watching my father working with his vise. It was mounted on the corner of his cluttered workbench and that was where it stayed. There was no rotating it or trying to change position. It was bolted on there and for all intents and purposes it wasn’t going to move an inch let alone swivel from side to side. Well, things are different nowadays, or maybe my father had a terrible vise, either way the TEKTON 54008 comes with a one-hundred and twenty degree swivel allowing you to get your vise in the exact position that you want it. While this may not seem like a big deal right now there will be a time down the road when you’re working on something and thanking the Gods that your vise can swing over to where you need it.

The jaws on this vise are serrated or edged. If you look at the picture to the right they almost look like a diamond plated toolbox. Although it may look like a toolbox I can ensure you that it is much much tougher. If or when the jaws wear out on your vise they are easily replaceable. All you have to do is hop online and order yourself some more. If you’re lucky you may even be able to call TEKTON’s customer service and sweet talk yourself into getting a couple of free replacements.

One of the most important things that I can mention on this product is that it comes oiled. This is intentional. I repeat, this is intentional.  There are so many reviewers out there that don’t realize that the oil or grease is necessary to preserve your vise and to prevent rust. It is a piece of machinery and it should be treated as such. When the product arrives you will need to wipe it down with a rag but be sure not to absorb all of the grease and oil. Remember,  it is there for a reason! Most people recommend re-oiling your vise at least twice a year. If you are not sure what type of oil to use I would recommend Park Tool’s PolyLube 1000 Grease. It’s cheap and can be bought on Amazon by clicking here.

The vise comes with three mounting points, one in the rear and two on each side. When you purchase this product a template and instruction sheet will be shipped with it as well. This template will show you how to mount your new vise. If forever reason you didn’t get your template you can view it online as well by clicking here and going to Tekton’s official instruction manual. It is important to note that this product does not come with mounting bolts but these can easily be bought on Amazon or just by going to your local hardware store. (I prefer Orschelins, that way you can get some taffy while you’re there!)

The last Pro I’m going to mention on this vise, and the biggest one in my opinion, is TEKTON’s Lifetime Warranty. Yes, you heard right. Lifetime Warranty. What does that mean? Well it means that if your vise breaks or parts of it break TEKTON will send you out replacement parts or even a whole new unit for free. Most of the time Tekton’s customer service will only ask you for a photo of the damaged product and then after that you’ll be getting yourself a new product or part in the mail. It’s not all talk either. I’ve read multiple claims from reviewers saying nothing but positive things about their customer service.  If you do need to file a claim or warranty TEKTON’s customer service phone number is 1-888-648-3371 or you can visit their claim page by clicking here.

Cons

Ok, so I’ve mentioned this before but yes this unit does not come with mounting bolts. Don’t be mad though. You have to realize that the manufacturer is not going to know what the thickness of your bench is or even what your mounting conditions are. Would you rather have them throw in some bolts that are too short for your bench? The template calls for 3/8″ inch mounting bolts but buyers have said that these do not fit exactly. Most users have gone with the 1/4″ bolts with washers. These can be picked up and purchased at your local hardware store.

It pains me to bring this up again but I would be amiss if I didn’t. The vise will come OILED! It is not a bad thing! Don’t be surprised when it comes with oil and grease on it. Ok, got it? Good. Let’s move on.

While some vises don’t even have a swivel this one has a one-hundred and twenty degree range of motion. While that may sound like a lot there are other units out there that have a full three-hundred and sixty degree rotation available. The Yost version for example. If you want that fancy three-hundred and sixty degree rotation then go for it. Just get ready to pay a lot more.

If you aren’t used to this by now then you should be. Like most tools this TEKTON is manufactured overseas in China. It seems like it’s almost a fact of life nowadays. The good news is that over the years and decades China has been improving their processes and their overall quality. However, one of the reasons Chinese product is cheaper is that they take shortcuts. Everything has to be done faster and cheaper and one example is the milling process. Milling is done to cut away any excess metal on the product after it has been molded. This is usually done at least a couple of times: Once to remove the excess metal and once again to soften the edges and to give it a more professional look. The Chinese skip that second step and so what you have is a perfectly fine product but with the possibility of razor sharp edges on the sides or corners of the vise. One reviewer on Amazon remarks, “I fixed the problem with a light filing to round off the edges on the vise jaws, the anvil, and on the telescoping throat -both in front of and behind the anvil.The casting files easily and it took just a few minutes to permanently fix the issue.” 

There have been complaints on the packaging of this unit when being shipped out. Some consumers have complained saying that it was shipped in a standard box instead of a thicker heavy dutier one. This unit weighs in at around eighty pounds if you get the eight incher. Eighty pounds is not an easy object to ship through ground packaging. Usually the cut off for a pallet is around one-hundred pounds. Some customers have complained that the box shows up beaten and breaking while others have even said that the handle of the product was sticking out of the box when it arrived. Keep in mind that these are outliers but it is worth mentioning.

Conclusion

Overall, this is a good buy. If you’re looking to get a good light duty vise for a bargain price than the TEKTON 54008 eight inch vise is the one for you. Don’t take just my word for it though folks. If we look at Amazon we can see that there are one-hundred and thirty-eight reviews on this vise. Out of all of these reviews the vise has an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5.0. The only major complaint that I can find on this is the packaging and you’ll see those complaints as well when looking at the one or two star reviews on this product. While the packaging is a problem it is worth mentioning that this thing is cast iron. There’s not much that is going to break this. So, even if you have a banged up package upon arrival your new vise is most likely still going to work fine.

I hope that I was able to help in your buying decision.

Thanks for reading,

Alec John Johnson

ToughAssTools.com

Buy Now!

Stiletto Tools, Inc. TI14MC Titan 14-OunceTitanium Framing Hammer With Curved Handle

Well today folks we are going to take an in-depth look at Stiletto’s TI14MC Titan 14 Ounce Titanium Framing Hammer with a curved Hickory handle. Now that is quite a mouthful for the name of a hammer but don’t you worry we’re going to break it down so it is a bit more understandable. But before I get into the details of this hammer I want to make one thing clear to you. This is a Titanium hammer. While that sounds awesome that also means expensive. So, if you’re looking for your run of the mill framing hammer then I suggest you check out my Good, Better, Best guide on framing hammers. However, if you are wanting to spend a bit more on your hammer for a great quality product then by all means continue reading on my friends.

The Pros

First things first let’s take a look at the Titanium head. For those of you who aren’t aware Titanium is nearly fifty percent lighter than steel. What that means is even though this is a fourteen ounce hammer and may seem rather light to most professionals it has the power of a twenty-four ounce framing hammer. If you’re skeptical all I can say is trust me. You will feel the power after the first couple of swings. You’ll be driving 16Ds in only a couple of strokes and each swing will feel like you’re floating through air. (No really!) You get the power of the twenty-four with the easy and versatility of a fourteen ouncer.

Another great benefit of this hammer is the recoil or shock absorption. Anyone who uses a hammer for a living knows the amount of pain an all steel framing hammer can cause to the wrist, elbow, and shoulder. If you’re using a hammer all day and doing it again all the next day than a solid one piece steel hammer is not for you. Each time you would swing the steel would reverberate from the hit and travel up your arm to your elbow or shoulder. Most of these professionals opt for the standard wooden handle with the steel head. The wooden handle absorbs the shock that a steel handle wouldn’t. The Stiletto TI14Mc comes with the wooden handle that carpenters love but also comes with the Titanium head. Titanium has ten times less recoil than steel. So with the Stiletto TI14MC you get the absolute best of both worlds. You get the wooden handle that absorbs your shocks and you also get the Titanium head that will absorb shock even more. There’s a reason this hammer is quite a bit more expensive than the others on the market. Many of the reviews on this hammer claim that after hours and hours of use people have no elbow or joint pain in their arms. That’s a rare find.

This Stiletto comes with a magnetic nail starter on the face of the hammer. This is pretty standard on higher end hammers but it is a nice feature nonetheless and is worth mentioning. The magnet will get you started driving and the milled or edged face of the head will keep your traction as you finish the drive. Both of these features used together make for an easy and simplified hammering experience.

The milled face of the Stiletto Tools, Inc. TI14MC Titan 14-OunceTitanium Framing Hammer With Curved Handle

The last benefit I’m going to mention on this hammer is the warranty. Stiletto honors their tools with a one year free of defect warranty. What this means is that if your hammer is damaged through regular wear and use over this year Stiletto will replace parts or all of the hammer. Now I can’t speak for them on all of their exact policies but I can link you to their official homepage and their contact information in case something does go wrong with your purchase. Click here to visit their page.

The Cons

Ok folks it is on the cons. Truth be told there really aren’t that many with this hammer. I’m going to break this down into three separate pieces that we can focus on.

  1. The first and most noticeable is the price. Keep in mind that prices change nearly daily but as I write this the cost of this is around seventy to ninety dollars depending on where you shop. (I prefer Amazon.com.) Those of you who are used to paying thirty or forty max for a hammer may be taken aback by this price but I can assure you that this is a good investment. The hammer will get the job done and your body will thank you for it. Just think no more sore elbows and shoulders…
  2. The second con is the wooden handle. Yes, yes, I know I said that the wooden handle was a pro above. Well, it is. The wood absorbs the shocks much better but as you know wooden handles are prone to breaking. Maybe you were a little rough with your hammer and the wooden handle snapped during a job. Or maybe you’ve had it for a few years and the handle eventually breaks over time. Regardless of how it happens it will happen to you. The question is do you want to bother with buying extra handles and wedging them into the head again and again or do you want to go for the one piece construction? (Steel hammers or one piece Titanium hammers.)
  3. Lastly is the manufacturing. This is made by the Stiletto company out of Sacramento, California but after reading numerous reviews on this product it seems that Stiletto has moved their manufacturing from California over to China. Now, this doesn’t mean bad quality all of the time. The Chinese’s quality has definitely improved over the past twenty years. No longer are they the cheap knock offs that they once were. Heck, I can remember when Japanese cars were seen as cheap and now I’m driving a Toyota.  All of this is assuming that Stiletto did move their manufacturing over to China. According to their website they still state that their hammers are made in Winton, California. So, at this point who knows? But, if you’re a true red blooded American and have to buy American you may look at the Estwing branded hammers instead.

 

Conclusion

Overall this is a good quality hammer and in my opinion is well worth the extra cost. Besides the cons that I mentioned above I would say this hammer is a buy and qualifies for the ToughAssTool stamp of approval. If we look at Amazon.com we can see that this product has over one-hundred user reviews and the overall rating is at 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. The only negative publicity on this hammer were the breaking of the handle and the country of manufacturing both of which were mentioned in my cons section.

The question that you have to ask yourself is are you wanting the standard framing hammer with the steel head, the one with the Titanium head for a little bit more money, or do you want the premium all Titanium one piece model? The choice is yours my friends but I hope that I was able to provide you with a little bit more information.

Thanks for reading,

Alec John Johnson

ToughAssTools.com

 

Most of the time when people think of hammers they think of the steel head and the wooden handle. It’s just the most common type of hammer out there and that type has been used for centuries. What people don’t realize is that there are actually quite a bit of variety when it comes to choosing the type of hammer and the handle of your hammer. Along with the wooden handle you also have steel, fiberglass, and even titanium. Yes, you heard right… titanium.

This article is going to dive into the pros and cons of each handle type and what is going to be best for you and your wallet. Without any further introduction let’s dive in.

Wooden Handles

Wooden Hammer Handle

It’s always best to start with the classics and that my friends would be the wooden hammer handle. The tried and true. I can guarantee that most of you already have one of these hanging in your garage. Hopefully, you weren’t like me and left the darned thing outside over the weekend during a rain storm. Now the wood on my only two year old hammer is starting to rot and warp. Whenever I get around to it, or if I do, I’m going to have to swap handles out for a new one and try not to make that mistake again. (I probably will.)

That short tangent brings me to my first point on wooden handles. They rot. They warp. They break. All of this will eventually happen to your wooden handled hammer. It’s a fact. It’s just a matter of time. Now, if you take care of your wooden hammer and keep it in the garage and use it with care you very well may see decades of use out of it but if you’re a little rough with your tools like I am then you may end up swapping handles out pretty regularly.

The other downside of wooden handles besides the rot and wear and tear is the two piece construction. If you go for the  steel or titanium handles you’ll find that most of them are one piece construction units. This is done so that you don’t even have a chance of the head separating from the handle. With the wooden handle the head will loosen over time and will have to be rewedged and you also have the risk of the handle snapping in half on you over extended use.

But hey, that’s enough bad news on the wooden handles. Let’s take a look at a couple big benefits. The first is that wooden handles absorb recoil and impacts when striking much much better than their steel or fiberglass counterparts. It’s understandable really. I mean if you think hitting a baseball with a wooden bat versus a steel bat. With the wooden you feel the impact of the ball but it’s just for a second. The wood absorbs the rest. When you make contact with the steel the bat reverberates the impact all throughout it and into your arms and shoulders. The same principal applies with the steel hammer.

Many carpenters prefer the wooden handles due to the shock absorption but also due to the balance of the hammer. Carpenters claim that even though the wooden hammers are much better balanced than steel or fiberglass. This balance makes swings smoother and makes their job that much easier. Couple the balance with the shock absorption and you have a favorite amongst professionals.

If you’re going to be swinging a hammer all day like those professionals than it will make the most sense for you to get a wooden handled hammer. Yes, you’ll have to replace handles time after time but your body will be thanking you for not having the hard impacts of the steel handle. Get your wooden handled hammers today on Amazon.com!

Fiberglass Handles

Fiberglass Hammer Handle
Fiberglass Hammer Handle

Alright so in between the wooden and steel handles we have fiberglass. Fiberglass handles are still fairly new to the market but have been quickly replacing wooden handles left and right. Some stores have even gone as far as not even stocking the wooden handles anymore. Price wise fiberglass comes in just a little bit higher than wood but the fiberglass handle will end up lasting you longer than your standard wooden.

Fiberglass handles will not shrink on you and the head will not come loose after periods of use like their wooden counterparts. While fiberglass hammers are mostly not one piece construction they are more durable than wooden and will usually last much longer than your typical Hickory handle. While they are more durable it is worth mentioning that some people have experienced brittleness on fiberglass hammers that had been left out and exposed to ultra-violet light over a period of time. I don’t see this being a problem as I can assume that most of you keep your tools in your garage or in a steel toolbox in the back of your pickup. If your fiberglass handle does break you will find it is much more difficult to replace than your typical Hickory wedged hammer. The toughness of the fiberglass makes it difficult to unwedge the remaining handle.  The last thing I’ll mention on the handle is that some people like to mold and modify their hammer’s handles so that it more closely fits their grip. This is easily done with a Hickory handle but is practically impossible with a fiberglass.

Fiberglass handles have slightly more recoil than your wooden handles but significantly less than your steel hammers. I would describe it as your middle of the road option. If you want the increased durability but don’t want to put your body through the extra shock of using a steel hammer than this would be the hammer for you. Get yours on Amazon today!

Steel Handles

Steel Hammer Handle

Wooden may be the most popular hammer on the market today but their steel counterparts are quickly giving them a run for their money. Going back to my baseball analogy I can say that right off the bat that steel hammers are extremely durable. Most of the time when you are looking at a steel handle you’ll notice that the head and the handle are one piece forged construction. This baby isn’t going to break on you. The head and the handle are forged together so there is no risk of the thing flying off during a swing and striking you in the shoulder.

Another pro for the steel hammer is that they are really about the same cost as a wooden one. You would think they would be a bit more since they are one piece construction and you never worry about replacing handles but they are right around the same price. Even looking on Amazon.com you can see that the difference is minimal.

The downside of the steel hammer, as I mentioned before, is the recoil. When you are swinging that hammer time after time for a twelve hour day you start to feel those vibrations ring through the hammer and into your arm, elbow, and shoulder after every swing. At the end of the day your arm is crying out for mercy but you have to get up and do it all over again. Steel handle manufacturers have attempted to solve this problem by developing and patenting new handle cushions made from various types of rubber, leather, and polys. The goal is to have a shock reduction cover that still gives you the benefit of the steel hammer but takes away, or at least lessens, the impact of each strike.

If you’re going to be swinging a hammer all day every day I would recommend the wooden handle. However, if you’re only using the hammer sparingly and want one that is going to last forever than I would recommend that you choose the steel. Get your steel hammer on Amazon.com today.

Titanium Handles

Stiletto TB15MC TiBone 15-Ounce Titanium Milled-Face HammerAlright folks. I couldn’t write this post without mentioning this monster. Titanium. A titanium hammer. I’m normally don’t get so excited about hammers but this thing is damn cool. It’s made by the Stiletto company out of California (Yes, American made.) and it is a solid one piece construction of Titanium. That one piece construction coupled with the Titanium manufacturing ensure that if you buy this hammer it will last multiple lifetimes. You could pass this thing down to your grand kids.

Titanium weighs forty-five percent less than steel. What that means is that you get the driving power and force of steel but in an overall less heavy package. You get that force and you don’t have to tire yourself out near as much. I did a review on one of these hammers the other day and the fifteen ounce version swings with the same amount of force as a twenty-eight ounce steel one. That is quite the number. You’ll be able to drive most nails with the one two swing.

The question that I’m sure is on all of your minds is what the recoil or shock of Titanium hammers. Well my friends, you’ll be surprised to know that Titanium has ten times less the recoil than your typical steel hammer. So, you have this forever hammer with significantly less recoil than your steel counterpart. It doesn’t get much better than that.

The only downside to these types of hammers is… you guessed it. Price. Titanium doesn’t come cheap. After all it’s the same metal that we make spacecraft and missiles with. Most hammers range between ten dollars upwards to fifty for a nice framing hammer. This baby will cost you nearly two-hundred dollars… if not more. I know. I know. It sounds like a lot for just a hammer but let me be the first to tell you that this is not JUST a hammer. It’s my baby and it can be yours too! Click here to get yours on Amazon.com today.

Conclusion

Each hammer is different and each handle has their own benefits. The question is what is best for you and what type of application are you looking for? Are you the handyman who uses their hammer daily? Are you the Do-It-Yourselfer looking for an ever-last hammer? Or, are you the professional who is looking for a top grade titanium hammer? The choice is up to you my friends.

Thanks for reading,

Alec John Johnson

ToughAssTools.com

Stiletto TB15MC TiBone 15-Ounce Titanium Milled-Face Hammer Claw

When you are buying a hammer you may notice that some of the claws on the hammer are straight while others are curved. This is intentional and the reason for this basically boils down to a couple of things. What do you intend to use the hammer for? Obviously, to hammer nails but what other functions are you looking for? Is this just going to be your standard hammer to have around the house or are you planning on doing a big job with this hammer? The answer to that question will help you decide on what kind of product that you need.

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Curved Claw Hammer

The curved claw as shown below is geared towards more novice carpenters or for the typical weekend do-it-yourselfer. It will get the job done and will also allow you to easily extract nails out of two by fours, trim work, or any other kind of material. This is the standard hammer that most people are familiar with and is the product that most of you will end up buying.

Curved Claw on a Hammer

 

Rip Claw Hammer

The straight, or rip, claw on other hammers are mainly meant for professionals. I say this because the straightened claw on a hammer has a multitude of uses such as demolition, prying apart boards, splitting wood, and yes even for pulling nails out. Many people describe the straight edge as a makeshift hatchet and that is the best way to think about it. This mini hatchet will allow you to wedge it in between boards or other materials and then to pry them apart. Another way to think of it as a pry-bar.

The rip claw hammers are typically more expensive and also come in at larger sizes. Not all rip claws are framing hammers but most framing hammers are rip claws. I wrote a few articles on these hammers the other day that you may find interesting. You can find them by clicking here for the the best framing hammers or by clicking here for the best rip hammers.

Rip Claw on a Hammer
Rip Claw on a Hammer

Conclusion

Rather your buying a claw or a rip hammer it’s best to know what you are getting into before your purchase. Will you spend the extra money for the straigthened claw or will you go with the standard hammer purchase? The choice is up to you but I hope that I was able to answer your question.

Thanks,

Alec John Johnson

ToughAssTools.com