I don’t know about you but over the years I am seeing more and more Titanium hammers on job sites, in garages, and in tool bags. These new Ti hammers started all the way back in 1998 when Mark Martinez created and patented the first Titanium hammer under the Stiletto Tool company. If you have noticed these hammers then I am sure you have noticed the price. It’s not hard to miss. Titanium hammers can run three, four, or even five times the cost of a typical steel framing hammer. If you compare a typical Estwing Steel Framer to a Stiletto Titanium you’ll be amazed at the price difference.
But the question here folks is are they worth it? Are these Titanium hammers worth the premium price, or should you stick with your trusty old Steel? Well, let’s find out.
Ok, so there are two big selling points on Titanium hammers. The first is that Titanium is forty-five percent less in weight than Steel. Don’t be alarmed though. This reduction in weight will not hinder your driving power at all, in fact it may even help you. Titanium has the same power as Steel but comes in the lighter weight package allowing you to retire your twenty-eight ouncer for a sixteen ounce Ti hammer.
The thing to keep in mind is that Titanium allows users to transfer ninety-seven percent of your swing energy onto the nail while a steel hammer only allows for seventy percent of that energy. What does that mean? Well that thirty percent energy leftover on the steel hammer has to go somewhere and I bet you can guess where it ends up. Right in your wrist, elbow, and shoulder. The Titanium only has three percent of displaced energy not going onto the nail. You get a more efficient hammer at nearly half the weight of your typical steel framer. This is how you can get a sixteen ounce Ti hammer hitting like a twenty-eight ouncer. What’s that old saying we’ve all heard from our fathers? Work smarter, not harder.
The second point I want to make on Titanium hammers is that along with the reduced weight Titanium also has ten times less the recoil or shock than Steel. So, not only are you getting the weight savings with each swing you are also getting less reverberations and shock with each swing. For you younger bucks out there that might not mean much but come back in another fifteen years of swinging and you’ll be signing a different tune. The goal of these Ti hammers is to reduce injury and to make you more efficient. I mean, who wouldn’t want that? I was reading an article the other day where the writer mentioned that he had some of his skeptical carpenters do a ‘concrete test,’ with both a Steel and a Titanium hammer. They would swing each hammer into the concrete floor and see which felt better on their arms. The Ti won without question and just by doing a few swings it won over some of the skeptics.
There are only two reasons I see people protesting on getting a Titanium hammer and the second one isn’t really a reason at all in my opinion.
The first and the most obvious is the price. As I said above the price on these things can be excessive sometimes and may cause a bit of sticker shock. My favorite model the Stiletto TB15MC comes in right at two-hundred dollars. (Prices subject to change.) While the competing Estwing E3-25S model comes in at around fifty dollars. (Again, prices subject to change.) The question to you folks is are you wanting to spend the extra money or will you stick with the lower priced alternative?
The other drawback that I hear from people on these Ti hammers is that they lack the demolition power that heavier steel hammers have. I can see where they are coming from on this point of view. Yes, it is basic physics that a heavier object will cause more destruction. The only thing I can mention is that with the Ti you still get a great rip claw, you still get a solid one piece construction, and you still get the durability that is found on Steel. I wouldn’t let the demo ability affect your buying decision though as I have said before you should consider the price and the toll a Steel is taking on your body.
I know. I know. I said there were only two reasons but I have a third to bring up. This one is more of a caution. Most of you know that if you have expensive tools on a job site that they sometimes grow legs and walk away while you’re at lunch or taking a break. It sucks but a lot of the times there isn’t a way to avoid it. If someone spots a Stiletto Titanium I can assure you that it will probably be a target for less reputable types.
Overall, if you are on the fence about purchasing a Titanium hammer then I would suggest you look at the following questions and answer them to yourself. Does it make sense for you or should you stick with your steel?
- Are you looking for a hammer to have around the house and use occasionally on projects?
- If so, then I would recommend a Steel Estwing.
- Are you a weekend warrior working on a new project every other week spending hours on end framing?
- This situation can be up for debate. If you’re not swinging every day in and out then you may not need a Titanium but if you want a nice quality product that isn’t going to break on you then you could make the jump up to Stiletto’s Titanium.
- Are you a tradesmen or full time carpenter looking to replace your Steel?
- Instead of going back to Steel I would recommend you hop on the Titanium train now and purchase at least a basic model Titanium to give it a try. I wrote an article the other day going into what the best Titanium hammers on the market today are. You can read it by clicking here.
- Are you in your forties, fifties, or even sixties? Do you have former injuries to your wrist or elbow?
- The great thing about Titanium hammers is that they are so easy on the body. You will notice a huge difference and your body will thank you for it. It is a smart move to purchase. They even offer some products as light as ten ounces with the driving power of a sixteen ounce steel.
I hope that I was able to answer your questions today and I was able to help in your buying decision.
Thanks for reading,