Hello folks! Today on ToughAssTools.com we are going to do a product review on Estwing’s E3-22SM and E3-28SM steel framing hammer. This product comes in two sizes at twenty-two or twenty-eight ounces and is THE framing hammer for a tradesmen on a budget. Is it worth buying? Or should you look elsewhere? Let’s find out!
For nearly one-hundred years Estwing has held the Gold standard for one piece steel construction framing hammers. Heck, they pioneered this type of hammer all the way back in the 1920’s. Ever since then a steel framing hammer has accompanied nearly every carpenter across the United States and some would say even across the world. Most units come with a rip claw, a finished steel polish, and a thirteen to sixteen inch handle that has Estwing’s patented shock reduction grip molded onto it. (This hammer in today’s review will either be a fifteen and a half inch or a thirteen and a half if you get the short version.)
As I mentioned above this hammer comes in a twenty-two ounce and a twenty-eight ounce. These two sizes are the perfect size for a heavy duty framing hammer. Most carpenters or tradesmen prefer a twenty-two but some of the bigger guys, or the young bucks, like to use the even heavier twenty-eight ouncer. Personally, I’ll buy the twenty-two every time just to save myself some energy. Either way with these two hammers you are going to have more then enough power to drive the largest of nails on your new barn or deck.
The E3-22SM/E3-28SM comes as a solid one piece steel construction. The handle extends for sixteen inches giving you extra length, leverage, and power with each swing. To help with shock and to give you a better grip the handle comes molded and bonded with a nylon vinyl grip as shown in the picture to the right. The head on this hammer and the top of the handle will come fully polished. Like most framing hammers this product comes with a standard rip claw and it comes with a waffle or edged face to ensure better grip on nails when driving. This Estwing product does not come with a magnetic nail starter, a side nail puller, or a replaceable face.
But hey that’s enough on the features of the hammer. Let’s take a look at the Pros and Cons of the product.
- Lots and lots of power! You get a whole lot of a power with a twenty-two ouncer and even more with a solid steel twenty-eight ouncer. As my father would say, “This hammer will put some hair on your chest.” This thing will drive 16D nails like a knife through butter. It will get the job done and give you a work out at the same time. That being said the downside of this is that it may wear you out faster than a lighter hammer… especially if you’re getting up there in age!
- I mentioned it above but one piece solid steel construction means a lot especially if you’ve gone through the hassle of swapping out broken Hickory handles. One piece construction means durability and that means that this hammer will last generations. I am a huge fan of one piece construction rather it be steel, aluminum, or Titanium. I want my hammers to last. One user stated, “I can’t break the head off this thing no matter how bad I abuse it – I’m not sure why all hammers aren’t made from one piece…” Amen brother.
- Like most Estwings this hammer comes with excellent balance and will make the heaviest model, the twenty-eight ouncer, feel a lot lighter than it actually is.
- The last point that I am going to make on this product is that it is manufactured here in the good old United States of America. Estwing has been making hammers and other tools in their Rockford, Illinois office for nearly one-hundred years now and there is no sign of slowing. It’s good to buy American. Heck you can even see the Eagle and the USA letters below if you weren’t sure.
When I do my research looking for the downsides of a product I find it best to list them all out in an easily digestible list. This makes it easy for you, the consumer, to see exactly what is wrong with the product and it allows you to make the decision then and there if you want to purchase the product or if you want to move on to something else. Let’s take a look at the Cons on this Estwing product:
- I am a huge fan of one piece construction hammers because of their durability. That being said there is a downside of going away from Hickory wooden handles and that his shock. Wood is a great shock absorber. With a solid steel hammer that shock has nowhere to go but either into the nail or into your hand and I can assure you that not all of that energy is going into the nail. Estwing and other companies have attempted to solve this problem by creating rubber, vinyl, or leather grips that are bonded or molded onto the handle. These grips goal are to soften the shock with each hit that you make. While they definitely achieve this you will still find less shock using a standard wooden handle hammer.
- Over use and time the waffle face will eventually fade and smooth out. This isn’t a huge deal as the hammer is still usable and it will still drive nails but you do lose the traction of the waffle face. Some more expensive hammers like the Stiletto TB15MC come with a replaceable face that will allow you to swap out waffle faces as they age. Just be warned that this is a MUCH more expensive hammer.
- This hammer doesn’t come with a lot of the bells and whistles that some of the more expensive hammers do. These could be a magnetic nail starter, a side nail puller, or even a replaceable like we talked about above. Again, I’ll reference a Stiletto for all of the extra features.
- This is just silly but I would be amiss if I didn’t mention it as so many people are talking about it. With each strike on this hammer it makes a ‘ping’ sound. The best way I can describe it is it is like a bell going off. With each hit you get this bell or pinging sound. Some guys love it as they get that sanctification with each hit while others can’t stand it. I’ve even seen some reviewers rate the product a whole one or two stars lower just because of the pinging sound that the hammer makes.
- The last con on this product that I would like to mention is warranty. Now I’ve always been a fan of lifetime warranties especially when it comes to a ToughAssTool. If I’m going to be spending a my money on a product I want that lifetime guarantee. While Estwing doesn’t offer a lifetime they do honor their products against any defects caused from normal use. That’s the key point, normal use. It is up to their determination on rather or not your warranty claim will be accepted.
- Estwing’s official warranty page can be found by clicking here.
- To file a claim you can call their customer service phone number 1-815-397-9558
- Once your claim has been approved you can send your RA to:
- Estwing Mfg. Co.
2647 8th Street
Rockford, IL 61109
Customer Service 815-397-9558
- Estwing Mfg. Co.
Overall I would give Estwing’s E3-22SM and E3-28SM hammer a 4.2 out of 5.0. This is a great framing hammer at either twenty-two or twenty-eight ounces that will provide you with more than enough power on those heavy duty jobs. This product with it’s solid one piece steel construction will last decades and you get the trusty made in America Estwing name. All of that for a relatively low cost compared to other framing hammers on the market today. The only major downside to this product is that you don’t get a lot of the extra features that you could get on a slightly more expensive hammer. These could be a magnetic nail starter, side nail puller, or a replaceable face. But, these are luxury features and if you are just looking for a trusty solid steel framer than this is your baby. If you’re interested in purchasing please click the links on the bottom of this post.
Thanks for reading! I hope that I was able to help you in your buying choice today.