Product Review: 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.
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 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.
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.
- 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…
- 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.)
- 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.
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