Stiletto's Ti-Bone framing hammer is the end all be all of hammers. It honestly doesn't get better than this folks. This hammer is a one piece construction and is made out of titanium, yes that's right titanium. You get all of the benefits of a steel framing with an overall much lighter product. The only downside of this product is the price and well folks if you want the best hammer than you got to pay for it!
Rather you are a professional carpenter, a do-it-yourselfer, or a hobbyist messing around in his garage during the weekends you cannot find a better hammer than Stiletto’s Ti-Bone framing hammer. This thing just screams quality.
Let’s get the biggest selling point out there right off the bat. This hammer is a one piece construction product and is manufactured from Titanium rather than steel. You heard me right, Titanium. The very same metal that is used in spacecrafts and missiles.
So, you have two things going for this hammer right away. The first being the one piece construction. Having the hammer in one solid piece eliminates the odds of the head separating from the handle or even of the handle breaking. I’ve never been a fan of wedged head hammers. There is just too much chance that it will break on you. There is nothing more frustrating then working on a job, especially offsite, only to have your tools fail on you. The second thing going for this is the titanium. As I said before this is the stuff used in spacecraft. It’s not going to break on you. So you have the one piece construction along with titanium. If you buy this hammer I guarantee that it will not break on you.
The hammer itself only weighs about fifteen ounces. While that may sound like a little hammer it is important to remember that titanium is forty-five percent lighter than steel. With that in mind this little fifteen ounce hammer has the striking power of a twenty-eight ounce steel one. You get the benefit of having a heavy hitting hammer but without the detriment of having to lug a monster around with you all day.
The handle extends out to eighteen inches which is about average for your typical framing hammer. A reoccurring problem with framing hammers, especially steel models, is recoil. The impact of driving in nails with a heavier tool swing after swing for hours at a time can take a toll on your wrist or your elbow. If not watched carefully it can even lead to injury. Most steel hammer manufacturers opted for a variety of shock absorbing covers around the handle of the hammer. These could be made of various types of rubbers, nylons, or poly materials. Most of the time they did a decent job about lessening the recoil impact but it was still there. With the Stiletto Ti-Bone hammer you need not worry about a thick and slippery cover. It doesn’t need it. This Titanium constructed hammer has ten times less the recoil than your standard steel hammer. Add that to the fact that you are swinging a much lighter hammer with the same amount of force of those larger hammers and the risk of injury goes down substantially. The cover that is on the Stiletto was engineered for your grip and to reduce risk of slippage during swings.
The head of this hammer had many features as well. Honestly, you wouldn’t think the head would have so much to talk about but there are quite a bit. Let’s start with Stiletto’s patented side nail puller. This claw will allow you to extract 16P nails out with one quick one-hundred and eighty degree motion. See below picture. No going back and forth struggling to extract nails. This will be fast and easy.
So, we’ve got the claw, but what else is there to talk about on the head. Quite a bit actually. Along with the claw we have Stiletto’s magnetic nail starter. This will allow you to start your drive without the hassle of losing your nail or dropping it. And we all know that when we drop a nail it doesn’t just fall a few inches. It falls and then rolls away into the hardest to reach spot.
In addition to the magnetic nail starter the head also comes with a milled or edged face. The edged face allows you not to lose traction when finishing your drive. While the edged faced is pretty standard across most framing hammers the Stiletto’s version has a leg up on the competition. If you look at the picture below you will see that the inside of the head of this hammer is hollow. This was done for two reasons. The first being to lessen the overall weight of the hammer to make it easier to swing. The second reason was to provide a quick and easy way for you to change the face of your hammer. Yes, that’s right this hammer comes with a removable and replaceable face. So, when your face is worn out after a year or two all you have to do is buy a replacement product, unscrew the bolt, pop her in, and there you go. And if you find that you don’t like the milled face you can buy a replacement with a smooth face. It’s as simple as that.
While I touched on the durability of the product earlier when mentioning the Titanium build I did not mention where this product was manufactured. It seems like nowadays everything is imported from overseas but this hammer is one of the few products that are still manufactured here in the States. Stiletto Tool Company traces it’s days all the way back to the 1840’s gold rush in California. (I’m sure all of those gold miners needed quality hammers.) They started in Sacramento and have since expanded around the country. The hammer itself is produced in their facility in Winston, California.
The hammer comes with a one year limited warranty against defects in craftsmanship or materials. What this means is that if you buy this hammer today on Amazon.com and it arrives damaged you can file a complaint against the seller to get your money back. However, if after only a month’s worth of use you notice that the thing is falling apart you can get your product replaced by filling out a warranty form which can be found on Stiletto’s website. Now, the likelihood of this hammer breaking apart on you is very low but it is good to know that you are covered in the off chance that it does.
Honestly the only con or downside to this hammer that I could find after scouring the internet was how expensive it is. Most hammers are between fifteen dollars upwards to fifty for a decent one. Keep in mind that prices change rather constantly but today as I write this the Stiletto Ti-Bone is going for just shy of two-hundred dollars. Yes, I know that is a lot of money just for a hammer. The thing to remember though is this a hammer that is going to last forever. This is the kind of hammer that can be passed down on and on for generations to come. There is no wooden handle to rot away. The titanium will be there and be with you always hanging in your garage waiting for you to use it.
The other point to make on this hammer that could potentially make it a Con is theft. I have seen it so many times. You leave your tools and step away for a few minutes. Maybe you’re taking a piss. I don’t know. But there is an opportunity and when you come back you’ll find that your prized Stiletto has walked off never to be seen again. Be sure that you keep this thing locked down and in your sight especially if you’re going to be working at a busy job sight.
The Stiletto Ti-Bone is one tough ass tool, take it from me… I know! Seriously though folks this is one of the best hammers on the market today. There are even a few Amazon reviewers comparing the hammer to that of Thor’s from the Avenger’s movies. If this was your standard everyday hammer than you wouldn’t see that.
I gave this hammer a 4.2 out of 5.0 rating and the only reason I deducted points was due to the cost. Like I said before this hammer is near damn perfect the only problem is a lot of people don’t want to end up spending two-hundred dollars on a hammer. But, if you are one of those only the best people than I highly suggest you get this Stiletto on Amazon now!
Also, one last thing. This particular hammer is the edged, or waffle faced, version. Now I know most of you framers prefer the waffle face but in the off chance that you’re wanting a smooth face then click this link to be taken to the smooth faced version.
Thanks for reading and I hope that I was able to help you with your buying decision.
Let me paint you a picture. You’re outside. It’s in the middle of July in Kansas. The temperature is over one-hundred degrees. You had put off building a new deck for the last few months and now when you finally get the time to start it is in the middle of this heat wave. Your hammer that your father used and that his father used before him is sitting on the ground next to you. Most of the wooden handle is next to your foot. The head of the hammer, along with what is left of your broken handle lies a few feet away. Sweat is pouring off your head as you stare at the broken hammer before you. You could try and unwedge the wood from the head of the hammer and start over again with a new handle, but would it be worth it? Or, would it make more sense to get yourself a new hammer? Would it make more sense to get something that is going to last you a lifetime? That’s where we come in at ToughAssTools
What to Look For
So, you’re in the market for a new hammer but you don’t want to buy just anything off the shelf. You want something that is going to last, something that you can pass down to your son. We’re going to take some of the guesswork out of this for you by suggesting three different hammers for you to choose from but before we get into that let’s dive into a few points that should be considered before buying hammer. There are so many options that can be chose from but in this article we are going to act like you are your average do-it-yourselfer. You’re not looking for a top of the line framing hammer but instead a standard sixteen to twenty ounce rip hammer.
The first thing that should be considered is the handle. If you have a bad handle then the best head in the world isn’t going to make a difference. When people picture a hammer they envision the metal head and the wooden, most likely hickory, handle. This is for good reason. It’s been the typical hammer for centuries. But, we’re in the twenty-first century now and it is time to do away with the old school and bring in the new. The best handles nowadays are either going to be steel or fiberglass. The wooden handles, as shown in the short story above, tend to break rather easily. This leaves you with a broken handle and the pain of having to get a new handle and wedge it into the head. The fiberglass handles are much more resistant to wood from breaking but are still wedged into the head. In my opinion the best of the best is going to be steel. A steel handle is normally a one piece construction throughout. This removes all doubt of the head separating from the handle. The only downside of a steel handle is that the reverberations are more intense and may cause some discomfort in the user’s wrist or elbow. (There are shock absorbing handle covers that come with some hammers to offset this.) Most handles come in between sixteen to twenty inches. In an effort to lower the weight of the hammer some manufacturers have taken to lightening the weight of the head and extending the handle of the hammer. This extension allows for the same force as a shorter hammer but lowers the overall weight of the hammer.
The second thing to look for is the type of claw that you will be getting with your hammer. Most people recommend to get the standard straight claw also known as a rip claw. This is easiest when trying to extract nails or tacks or to even try to wedge into some boards. The curved claw is meant for more intricate work such as pulling small finish nails out of your work with little or no damage to the wood. For the average DIYer I would recommend the straight claw.
Thirdly, is the actual face of the hammer. If you look at framing hammers you will notice that most of them have a serrated or edged faces. This is done to make it easier to grip onto the nails when driving. This feature is mainly used by full time carpenters and is not a necessity for a do-it-yourselfer. The risk you run when using a milled or edged face is that you can leave impact marks on your finished product. This possibility alone scares off most novice carpenters.
Sticking with the face of the hammer there is another option that some hammers come with. That is the magnetic face. The purpose of this is to allow the nails to stick slightly so that when you begin driving the nail will not fall and roll away during a swing. This is a luxury feature and again is not needed for the do-it-yourselfer. But, if you want pay a little bit more the feature won’t hurt anything.
The last thing to consider when buying a hammer is the weight. You will see all different kinds of weights on Amazon.com when looking at rip hammers. (Example link of the Stanley 51-163.) The weight of the hammer is calculated by weighing the entire unit. (Not just the head but everything.) Most DIYs only really need a hammer between sixteen to twenty ounces. Anything larger than that may be cumbersome to use. The larger the hammer the more power you have but also the more damage you can cause. (To yourself or to your project.) You’ll notice that woodcrafters use some of the lightest hammers out there so that they can finish their work with the utmost care.
Good, Better, Best
Ok, ladies and gentlemen we have gone over what to look for in a hammer. Now it is time to dig into a few of the hammers that are out on the market today. What I like to do when looking at something to buy, especially a tool, is to take the Good, Better, Best approach. What is this you may ask? Well, in my opinion there are three types of consumers in this world. The first being the ones who only want to pay the bare minimum, the second is the middle of the road guy who can afford to spend a little bit more, and the third being the premium money is no object kind of guy. We all wish we could be that last guy but the truth is most of fall into the either the second or first category.
Now with the Good, Better, Best approach I do not like to recommend junk. Hence the name Good. I will recommend a good product that will last for some time but if you want a nicer product than we can move up to the better and if you want the premium then we move up to the best. In this article I am going to choose a rip hammer based off the model I discussed above. The question is what kind of consumer are you? (I’m ashamed to admit that I’m the bare minimum guy!)
Let’s start with the Good. For the money it doesn’t really get better than this folks. If you are one of those guys who don’t want to spend a lot of money than this is your baby. The TEKTON offers quite a bit even at it’s lower cost.
Just like we talked about earlier in the article the TEKTON avoids the hickory handle and opts in for the more durable fiberglass. While the fiberglass is stronger than the wood we still don’t get to the level of a one piece construction hammer. The manufacturer of this hammer claims that the ‘head is permanently bonded to the handle,‘ but I am sure that most of you know that permanent doesn’t mean permanent . There is still a risk of this handle breaking or of the head becoming loose after repeated use. But, hey this is the budget hammer and not the top of the line.
With a fiberglass handle you have a more sturdy hammer but you also have higher impact vibrations when using. Over extended periods of use these impacts can cause injury to your wrist or elbow. In an effort to solve this dilemma TEKTON added a molded impact absorbing poly-jacket to the handle. While the impacts are obviously still there this jacket lessens them significantly and will allow for extended use with a much lower risk of injury. The jacket also comes with an anti-slip grip will work even in the sweatiest of circumstances.
The 30124 TEKTON comes in at just over 1.8 pounds and has a total length of thirteen inches. The head of the hammer is your basic generic head. There is nothing special about it but again we are at the cheapest price level. There is no milled or edged face on this one. There are no magnets in place to hold your nails up right. The one thing worth mentioning on the head of this hammer is the claw. The hammer that I suggested above is a straight claw that has sharpened chisel ends. This will allow you to wedge that claw in between a couple of tightly fitted boards and start prying away. An example picture from TEKTON’s website is shown below. I can almost hear the wood splitting…
Overall this is a great hammer for the guy on a budget. I scoured the internet looking for any kind of negative feedback on this thing and I honestly couldn’t find any. The worst that I could find was that in some instances the molded jacket comes slightly loose from the fiberglass handle. This caused some slippage when attempting to hammer. Besides that, there really isn’t anything negative about this product.
If we look at Amazon.com we can see that there are thirty plus reviews out there and they are all nearly five stars. I know I’ve said it before but you aren’t going to find anything better at this price range. If you were wondering why this hammer was so cheap you could probably guess why. It’s imported, from China. Now, before you cringe that actually doesn’t mean what it used to. Chinese products have been getting better and better over the years and again you get what you pay for.
If you are on the tight budget than this is your hammer. However, if you are looking for the next step up and an American made product then I suggest that you continue reading below.
Estwing E20S 20 oz Straight Claw Hammer with Smooth Face & Leather Grip
Ok, folks it is onwards and upwards to the better hammers on the market. This next one I am really a fan of. It is made by the Estwing company. For those of you who are not familiar with them they started all the way back in 1923 and are quickly approaching the centennial mark. Their company was founded and is still located today in Rockford, Illinois. (About an hour west of Chicago.) They do their own manufacturing and their hammers are American made. Yes, you heard right these hammers are made by your neighbor.
One of the things Estwing is famous for is their solid steel construction. Just like in the introduction and with the first hammer the worst thing to happen during a job is your handle breaking or the head becoming unwedged. You have to stop everything your doing to fix or to get a new hammer. It is a pain in the ass. You don’t have that worry with this Estwing product. It is a one piece steel construction that will not break. Once they have finished smelting the hammer they go the extra mile and do a full polish of the metal before sending it to the consumer.
The total length of the hammer comes in at twelve and a half inches and with a total weigh just over one pound. The handle comes with a leather grip which is rather unusual. Most of the time you will see a rubber or nylon grip to reduce shock when hammering. While the leather is decorative and looks nice on the eyes it’s overall effectiveness on absorbing shock is less than the Nylon versions that I have seen. Another concern of mine was that the leather would be slippery when working on a job and would cause you to lose your grip. I read a few reviews and one of them stuck out to me, “The grip does start off slippery compared to your everyday hammer but it will “break-in” and not only look better, it starts to have a better grip.” That reviewer claimed to have this Estwing product for over four years. So, maybe that is the trick. You just have to wear down the leather almost like a baseball glove. That being said there are still other reviewers out there who have claimed that the leather is just too slippery. In some instances people have claimed that it flew out of their hands during a swing.
The head on this hammer is not edged or milled but that is ok for your standard hammer. This head comes rounded and holds up over the years without any major quality issues. The head is not magnetized either. There are no bells and whistles here. The claw is your standard straight rip and won’t give you any trouble extracting nails or wedging between boards.
Overall this is a high quality hammer that is going to last you for decades. Yes, decades. Estwing has been doing this for over one-hundred years and I can assure you that they know what they are doing. In the off chance that your hammer does break they even offer a warranty on their steel hammers. More info can be found by clicking here and going to their official website.
The only thing negative on this hammer is the leather grip and even that is controversial. Some people love it and others hate it. It just depends if it is your style or not. Although it would be pretty neat to pass this hammer down in ten or fifteen years to your son. The leather would be perfect by then! If we take a look at Amazon.com we can see that there are nearly three-hundred reviews out there and nearly everyone is between four and five stars. All of the low star ones are complaining about that darned leather handle. No other complaints found.
If you’re looking for a rip hammer that is going to last you forever but not break the bank than this is the one for you. However, if you’re still left wanting more than by all means keep reading my friends.
Fiskars IsoCore 20 oz General Use Hammer, 15.5 Inch
This one was a toss up folks. I was torn between going the Estwing or the Fiskars for the best rip hammer on the market today. After some internal debate I decided to go with the Fiskars. Both of them are great hammers but the thing that sold me on the Fiskars is the handle. Remember that leather handle from before? While it looks nice hanging in your garage it doesn’t do much for shock absorption. The Fiskars comes with a patented Shock Control System that claims to reduce shock and vibration by up to four times. Along with the shock absorption system the handle also comes with a soft grip feature that sculpts to your hand, large and small dimples where you fingers rest to prevent blisters, and it is one piece construction so there is no risk of the head separating from your handle. But hey, don’t listen to me check out the YouTube video talking about this hammer’s shock absorption:
We have a one piece solid steel construction that is finished with a rust resistant coating ensuring that your hammer will last. We have an amazing shock absorbing handle that will help with any carpel tunnel or elbow issues you may have and will not cause you to lose your grip unlike the leather handle. We also have a magnetic nail starter as well. The first two hammers didn’t even have that. Could this thing get better? Yes. It also comes with a Full Lifetime Warranty. So, in the off chance this thing does break you are insured. (Click here to visit their official website for more information.)
The hammer comes in at fifteen and a half inches long and weighs in at just shy of two pounds. The head of this hammer is rounded. There is no edging or serration like a framing hammer but again you probably won’t need that. If you are looking for a serrated edge or a more heavy duty hammer than I recommend you check out my article on the best framing hammers.
While Fiskars is not an American made product it is not a cheap import by any means. If you weren’t aware Fiskars is a Scandinavian owned company that was founded all the way back in the 1600s. Four-hundred years old. Four-hundred years of making tools. I couldn’t find rather or not if this tool was made in Scandinavia or if it was made here in the US or even in China. As far as Amazon.com the jury is still out on this. I usually like to use them as my barometer on rather a tool is of good quality or not. At the time that I am writing this there are only seven reviews of the product on file. That being said everyone of these reviews are rated five stars out of five. So, that is saying something.
With all of the benefits this hammer has to offer I can proudly say that this is one ToughAssTooland will make a great addition to your garage. The question you have to ask yourself now is are you a Good, Better, or Best guy?
I don’t know about you but I am sick and damn tired of my hammer breaking or even snapping in half. Maybe I’m too rough with my tools. Maybe I don’t know what I am doing but it seems that every time I get my hands on your everyday typical hammer I end up breaking the darned thing. With my last one I was trying to ding some dents out of my lawn mower’s blade. I had hit what was left of a tree I had cut down last year. (I forgot to remove the stump.) The hit caused the blade to bend in ways it never should have. I took the blade out and laid it flat on my work bench and attempted to hammer it straight again. After a few good hits I was starting to see progress. The blade was slowly beginning to return to it’s normal shape. It was after about the fifth or sixth hit that the head of the hammer separated from the wooden base and went flying into the garage wall. It all happened so fast that at first I didn’t even know what had happened. All I heard was the THUMP sound of the claw digging into my garage’s drywall.
I’m one of those guys who can’t stand spending money. In the past if I got a tool it was the cheapest one in the building. I’d walk into Orschelins and stare at the display of hammers looking for the cheapest priced one. The prospect of it falling apart on me in a few months didn’t occur to me. There was just something about saving that money upfront that appealed to me. Since I’m starting this site I am going to make it a mission to only buy nicer tools. I want things that last. I just got into my thirties now. The time for cheap shit is over. I need things that are going to last and last a good long time.
That brings me to my post. Forget the cheap piece of shit hammer with the wooden base. Let’s get this job done and done right. No more half-assing it. That my friends is why we will be looking at the various types of solid steel framing hammers. Yes, I know that these are meant for driving nails in but hey it can be used as a blunt instrument too to straighten out lawnmower blades… right…right? Don’t judge me.
So, before we dig into the actual pros and cons of each framing hammer out there let’s do an overall view of the benefits a framing hammer has to offer:
A solid steel framing hammer is by default much heavier than your average hammer. Your average hammer comes in at just over a pound. Your framing hammer comes in at over two pounds, sometimes even bigger than that. While an extra pound may not sound like that big of a difference it is important to note that you are doubling the weight of your hammer and the force of your strikes. More weight equals more force when you swing. Instead of hitting a nail five to six times you will only need to do a double tap to fasten it securely. You know that whole inertia thing that we learned in science class.
The framing hammer is going to last you a long time. Unlike your typical hammer with the metal top and the wooden base the framing hammer will not fall apart on you. To be honest there really isn’t a way for it to break. It’s one piece of solid steel. The worst thing that can happen is the grip may start to wear down over the years.
Along with the durability and extra weight the framing hammer also comes with a longer handle than your standard application. Framing hammers are typically around six inches longer than your standard. This longer handle makes it easier to use as well as providing more leverage against whatever you are driving in.
Framing hammers were designed for heavy duty use by trade carpenters or craftsmen. That being said it is a very valuable tool for the at home do-it-yourself-er. It can aid in building a bookshelf, finishing your basement, or even working on putting together your kid’s new playground. (Not a fun time… trust me.)
Lastly most framing hammers come with a serrated face that prevents the hammer from slipping off nails. Not having the frustration of slipping off the nail each and every time when working on a project is worth the extra money alone. An example of the serrated face can be seen in the below image. Some of these hammers even come with a magnetized head. So, not only do you have the serrated edged face but you also have magnets holding your nail in place. They couldn’t make this any easier for us folks.
Why use a Framing Hammer?
Well, just as the name says a framing hammer is used for just that, framing. What does that mean exactly? Well, the intention of this hammer is to be used when putting up the foundation of whatever you are building. Think of the guts of you house. The two-by-fours and four-by-sixes holding your house together. This is where a framing hammer is used.
You wouldn’t use a framing hammer to finish a product but you would use it to drive a bunch of nails on the frame of a new garage. In most cases you will see experienced carpenters carry at least a couple of hammers with them. They use their best judgement on what hammer to use on each situation.
For example, you wouldn’t use a framing hammer to nail in the new trim trim that you are installing in your living room. The force of the blow may cause the thin trim board to splinter and it also is worth mentioning that most framing hammers have a grooved head. If you hit the trim too hard with the grooved head you risk denting it and even imprinting the head’s markings onto the trim. It just wouldn’t look good.
Good, Better, Best
Alright, so we’ve got the introduction of the hammer out of the way and why you need one over your standard everyday hammer. What I like to do when looking at something to buy, especially a tool, is to take the Good, Better, Best approach. What is this you may ask? Well, in my opinion there are three types of consumers in this world. The first being the ones who only want to pay the bare minimum, the second is the middle of the road guy who can afford to spend a little bit more, and the third being the premium money is no object kind of guy. We all wish we could be that last guy but the truth is most of fall into the either the second or first category.
Now with the Good, Better, Best approach I do not like to recommend junk. Hence the name Good. I will recommend a good product that will last for some time but if you want a nicer product than we can move up to the better and if you want the premium then we move up to the best. In this article I am going to choose a framing hammer based off the model I discussed above. The question is what kind of consumer are you? (I’m ashamed to admit that I’m the bare minimum guy!)
Alright folks. So you want yourself a framing hammer but are a little intimidated by the price? Well, I’ve got just the one for you. Let’s take a look at the Stanley 51-402 FatMax Framing Hammer. Now, like most tools that you buy nowadays this hammer is imported. I am not sure from what country but it seems that imports are the norm these days. Don’t let that scare you though. Even though this product was imported from overseas it doesn’t mean that it is not a quality hammer.
Remember how I had mentioned earlier that most framing hammers were of a one piece construction? Well, unfortunately, this one is not. The handle of this hammer is made out of Hickory. The manufacturer states that the head and the handle were ‘forged and heat treated’ for increased durability but there is still that risk of the head coming flying off after years of use. But, that is the price that you pay for getting the Good and not the Better or Best.
This hammer comes in at 2.5 pounds which is more than double the weight of your standard hammer. As we discussed above this extra weight will give you additional force when driving those nails in. Also like before the head of this hammer is checkered to allow better gripping when driving your nails in and to make things even easier the head is magnetized to ensure that your nails are not getting away.
The specifications on this hammer are as follows:
Claw Style – Rip
Face Style – Checkered
Handle Type – Axe
Head Length – 6-1/8
Overall Length – 18-1/4
This product is made by the StanleyTools company and comes with a limited lifetime warranty. As with most warranties there is a slew of fine print which can be read from StanleyTools’ website by clicking here. Basically, their warranty states that as long as you are not using the hammer in ways that you shouldn’t than they will replace your product if it is defective. So, if you get it in the mail and the head is already jostling around then you can visit their website through the link I provided above and get yourself a new replacement product.
Overall, this hammer has great reviews across the web. Looking at Amazon.com on this product we can see that there are nearly two-hundred and fifty reviews on file. The average rating is 4.5/5.0. That’s a ninety percent approval rating, it is hard to get better than that. The only downsides of this product that I have seen are that, like I said before, the head was separating from the handle or that the head was not fitted tightly. But even if you do have problems with the hammer staying together you have their lifetime warranty to refer to. There have been a few grumblings of the magnetic head not working well or not working at all but these complaints have been very minimal and I do not believe that they are a legitimate problem.
If you are in the market for a framing hammer but looking to save some money than this is the product for you. However, if you are looking for a better product than by all means keep on reading my friend.
Now we’re getting there folks. We’re not quite a Tough-Ass quality yet but we are getting closer. If you are one of those middle of the road guys than the Estwing E3-22S Framing Hammer is the one for you. Remember how I was talking about most framing hammers being of one piece construction? Well this guy is it. The Estwing E3 is a one piece solid steel construction. This thing is not going to break no matter what you do to it. If there is one purpose to my site than this it. I want to suggest tools that are going sit on your shelf for decades. Durability is key here.
Another important note to mention on this hammer is that it is manufactured by the Estwing company. What does that mean? Well my friends the Estwing company is an American company that has been around since 1923. They are located in Rockford, Illinois and still manufacture hammers their today. No imports here. This the real deal, American made. Their official website can be found by clicking here.
While this is a one piece hammer of solid steel it wouldn’t make sense to have the handle without a cover. I can’t imagine trying to swing a steel handled hammer. It just wouldn’t be comfortable. So, what Estwing did was create a Nylon based handle and molded it right onto the steel base. This Nylon handle is unique to the Estwing company. Along with being durable the cover has a shock absorption system that minimizes the pressure of impacts with each swing. So, even though you are swinging a heavier hammer you will actually feel less impact. Lastly, the Nylon grips with your hand and makes it easier to hold on during swings even when your hands are sweating like crazy during a shingle job. A picture of the Nylon grip is below:
Like most framing hammers this one comes in at just over two pounds. One thing to mention is that unlike the first hammer we looked at there is NOT a magnetic head on this Estwing hammer. The head on this hammer is not checkered or serrated either. So, while you may have the one piece construction you are lacking the benefits of the edged head and the magnets. So, it’s really up to you what you think is more important.
If you buy this hammer it will come in looking brand new. The lacquer on the outside of the steel will shine and shimmer in the sunlight. No seriously, it will actually shimmer in the sunlight. The hammer has a polished silver look to it. I mention this because the only negative thing I can find on this hammer is that after seeing repeated use the silver lacquer on the outside of the hammer begins to chip and peel away. While this may look like the hammer is falling apart on you it is really not. This is jut the lacquer coming off. The actual steel construction is still there and as solid as ever. An example picture of the lacquer chipping away can be seen below.
For about the double the price of the first hammer that I recommended you get this one of a kind Estwing solid steel framing hammer. When comparing the two hammers the Estwing definitely comes out on top even without the edged head or magnets. The question you have to ask yourself is it worth paying more money. In my opinion I would say it is as this hammer will NOT break you. If you are interested in purchasing then please click here to go to Amazon.com. However, if you are one of those best of the best guys than I would recommend you check out the next hammer in this article.
No article on this website is complete without the mention of a Tough-Ass Tool and this hammer is a prime example. The Stiletto TB15MC TiBone hammer is the best of the best. You cannot find a better hammer in my opinion. This baby is made of titanium. Yes, you heard right freaking titanium. While this is only a fifteen ounce hammer the manufacturer, and many other customers, state that it drives like a twenty-eight ounce one.
This thing comes in at two pounds which is right around the other two hammers that we looked at. The difference here is titanium is much lighter than steel. What does that mean? It means that this hammer is much denser than the steel hammer that we looked at earlier. In other words that means it is more durable and resistant to breaking.
Remember that nylon grip that I was talking about? You know, the one that reduced shock when driving nails in? Well, the Stiletto doesn’t have a nylon grip… it doesn’t need one. The titanium make of this hammer automatically reduces recoil and impact by over ten times when comparing it to steel. A reviewer from Amazon even stated that, “A little expensive but worth it, especially if your dealing with carpal tunnel like I am.” There is a still a cover on this handle but it is made of standard rubber that grips to your hand.
The handle has an axe style grip to it that slightly curves which makes driving that much easier. Just like the first hammer that we reviewed the Stiletto has a magnetized head along with a milled or edged face. To top it off this edged face is replaceable. So, after years of use you find that the edging has chipped or smoothed away all you have to do is buy a replacement from Stiletto’s website. (The link is here to their company website.)
Other hammers come with a lifetime warranty. Now, I’m not sure how big of a deal this really is. I mean who is going to keep their paperwork for decades down the road until your tool eventually breaks? I’m not that organized. The Stiletto comes with a one year warranty that ensures the hammer is free of any defects or manufacturing errors. If you receive your hammer and find that it is damaged then all you have to do is visit Stiletto’s website and view their return policy. The link to their return section can be found by clicking here.
Another thing worth mentioning on this hammer is the nail side puller. Stiletto claims that they have a new patented puller that will ease out 16P nails out with one one-hundred and eighty degree motion. I was a little skeptical so I checked some of the reviews looking for any mention of the nail puller. One buyer stated that, “I can’t say enough good things about the side nail puller!”
There are only two downsides to this hammer that I can find. The first is obvious, and that is the price. This is not a cheap hammer. But, as I stated above we are in the Best category right now. I am going to recommend the best framing hammer out there that I can find and this ladies and gentlemen is it. I mean just look at how they ship their product. (Picture below.) I’m sure if you bought some cheapo hammer on Amazon it would not come to you like that.
The second downside to this hammer is the length of the handle. Now, some people may see this as a benefit but others complain about it. Honestly, from what I can see and from what I have read it has the typical standard length of any framing hammer. The handle comes in at a length of 17 1/2 inches. So, yes it is long but as I have said earlier the longer the handle the more force you are going to have. It may very well be that the reason it can drive like a twenty-eight ounce hammer is due to the length of the handle.
When looking on online there are nothing but positive reviews. I struggled to find anything negative about this thing. If we look on Amazon.com we can see that this hammer over one-hundred reviews and almost all of them at four or five stars. (Overall rating of 4.5/5.0) If you are looking for a Tough-Ass Tool than this my friends is it. I highly HIGHLY recommend getting this and adding it to your tool belt.
In conclusion we looked at the Good, Better, and Best of the framing hammer world. The question you ask yourself is what are you going to purchase?
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