Home » 10 Best Hammers in 2020
Hand Tools

10 Best Hammers in 2020

A hammer is one handy tool for many professions. The most common uses include driving nails, forging metal, and fitting parts. However, some hammers have specialized designs that enable them to perform specific tasks. The shape and structure of the handle and the head determine its application.

The straight claw hammer, for example, draws out nails from wood pieces and levels up floorboards. Its head has a V cut out design that makes it easy to perform a range of other tasks. We have compiled a list of the ten best hammers based on numerous customer reviews to enlighten you about the different types, models, and brands of hammers available in the market.

View The Best Hammer Below

1. Estwing Sure Strike Drilling/Crack Hammer

Estwing Sure Strike Drilling/Crack Hammer

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON →

Estwing is known for its prowess in producing the best steel hammers, chisels, and rock picks — Surely, Strike Drilling hammer is no exception. The tool is suitable for applications that need contact energy in small and constrained areas.

Its three-pound head provides adequate energy for light demolition and its short handle makes it easy to swing. What’s more, it has a fiberglass handle that is lightweight and does not splinter like wooden handles. When coupled with the ribbed grip, you are sure about a secure grip. The hammer can be used with a range of tools, including punches, chisels, hardened nails, star drills, to mention a few.

Pros:
+ Fiberglass reduce shock by 70%
+ Sturdy construction
+ Makes powerful blows
+ Lasts long

Why We Like It –  Its three-pound head delivers powerful blows with one swing. Also, it is made of heavy-duty forged steel to provide adequate strength and durability for applications that need a hard-wearing hammer.


2. Fiskars IsoCore Milled-face Framing Hammer

Fiskars IsoCore Milled-face Framing Hammer

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON →

It is the best hammer for people looking for a tool that delivers exceptional shock-resistance features. Fiskars’ IsoCore hammer series is known to deliver up to four times less shock thanks to its unique construction. This framing hammer is fitted with a vibration insulating sleeve designed to capture the initial strike shock before reaching your hand.

Additionally, it has a dual-layer that has a combination of insulating materials that further eliminate vibrations. Fiskars’ IsoCore hammer series also features a new handle design that reduces slippage. It has a sculpted soft-grip with an ax-style slip-reducing construction to provide a firm grip. The handle also has smaller dimples at the palm to protect your hands from developing blisters and larger dimples at the fingers to enhance grip.

Pros:
+ Dual-layered handle to eliminate vibration
+ Sound-dampening insert to minimize the high-ringing
+ frequency
+ Milled face for a secure grip
+ Lifetime warranty

Why We Like It – We found its sound dampening insert effective as it minimized high-pitched ringing when making a strike. Also, the head has milled face grips that prevent the hammer from sliding off from the nail head when striking.


3. Edward Tools Oak Claw Hammer

Edward Tools Oak Claw Hammer

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON →

It is one of the best hammers for all-round use. The manufacturer exhibits exceptional craftsmanship when making this hammer evident in its long-lasting nature. It is this construction that makes the hammer an excellent budget-option for heavy outdoor projects.

First, it has a forged steel head with an exceptionally smooth face to protect the surfaces from getting marred. Secondly, its handle is made from solid Oak wood material, which provides a firm grip and shock-absorption properties. What’s more, the handle features a contoured anti-vibration design making it an excellent buy for everyday use.

Pros:
+ Etched grip design to keep the tool from slipping
+ Curved claw for easy nail removal
+ Lifetime warranty

Why We Like It – The hammer has an ergo grip that reduces fatigue during use. Despite its weight (16 oz), you can use the tool for a long time without getting tired.


4. Spifflyer Small Claw Hammer

Spifflyer Small Claw Hammer

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON →

It is one of the best hammers if looking for a lightweight tool for DIY projects, light carpentry applications, and outdoor activities like camping. It weighs eight ounces and has a small handle that measures six inches, making it suitable for use in tight spots where large hammers can’t fit.

The head has a drop-forged steel alloy construction hence durable and suitable for rough applications. Additionally, the mirror polish finish makes it resistant to corrosion and sturdy enough for extremely involving applications. Spifflyer hammer makes an excellent tool for striking and pulling nails.

Pros:
+ Lightweight construction
+ Can penetrate tight spots
+ The double-color construction makes it easy to identify

Why We Like It – We found its double-colored grip extremely handy as it minimized slippage during use. The handle also has finger grips that accommodate all hand sizes.


5. EFFICERE Best Choice Stubby Claw Hammer

EFFICERE Best Choice Stubby Claw Hammer

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON →

It is best carpentry hammer for driving and pulling nails in small spaces. It has a lightweight construction with its head weighing eight ounces and its handle measuring six inches long. Additionally, the head is coated with an anti-rust clear coat that keeps it in top-notch condition even when stored in a humid environment.

You will also love the fact that the head is welded onto the handle permanently, so you don’t have to worry about the head getting loose after some time. The handle has an anti-vibration fiberglass construction that provides a comfortable and non-slip grip.

What’s more, it is fitted with thick rubber to minimize shock on your hands and wrist. Its steel hammer head has also been equipped with a magnetic nail starter that makes it easy to set the nail on the surface for single-hand operation.

Pros:
+ Well-balanced
+ Allows single-handed operation
+ Head is permanently fixed
+ Curved claw for easy nail removal

Why We Like It – The tool has a curved claw to give the user maximum leverage for pulling out even the toughest nails with minimal effort.


6. Stalwart Natural Hardwood Claw Hammer

Stalwart Natural Hardwood Claw Hammer

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON →

It is the best hammer for buyers looking for a wooden claw hammer. It’s a classic model that features a polished hardwood handle, and a head made from forged steel which have been joined using a durable epoxy, so there’s no chance of the hammerhead flying.

The wooden handle measures 13 inches and is well-contoured to provide a firm grip during use. Unlike other hammers with wooden handles, the Stalwart hammer boasts excellent anti-shock and anti-vibration properties. What’s more, the claw at the rear of the head has a deep curve that provides ample leverage to pull out nails with the least effort. The curved claw is also used for demolishing and extracting materials.

Pros:
+ Wooden handle to eliminate vibration
+ Polished head to avoid damaging surfaces
+ Ideal for both DIYers and professionals

Why We Like It – We found its weight (16 oz) pretty decent for both professional and domestic applications.


7. Dewalt Rip Claw Hammer

Dewalt Rip Claw Hammer

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON →

Dewalt is known for producing the best products, and this tool is no exception. The rip claw hammer features a one piece construction that provides a well-balanced build. As such, you are confident about using the hammer for prolonged periods without straining your arms.

Also, the construction eliminates the likelihood of the tool falling apart. Its hardened steel construction also makes the hammer durable and ideal for framing and other construction projects. The tool feels pretty comfortable on the palm and has some decent length for quick and controlled swings.

What’s more, the handle provides adequate torque and has anti-shock properties. The head is equipped with a magnetic nail starter for single-handed operation while its rip claw is sharp enough to pull out nails, split, and demolish items.

Pros:
+ Has a yellow color for easy spotting
+ Equipped with paws to remove nails
+ Has a good balance
+ Rear of the rip claw is oval-shaped face for easy nailing

Why We Like It – The rear of the rip claw has an oval-shaped head which made it somewhat unique compared to other hammers on the list. It is this unique shape that makes it easy to drive nails into a surface.


8. IRWIN General Purpose Claw Hammer

IRWIN General Purpose Claw Hammer

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON →

The tool is equipped with a fiberglass handle and head made from forged steel which is tough enough to drive nails on wood, metal, and other materials. Its handle has a ‘pro touch’ grip to protect your hands from developing blisters and allows you to use it for a long time.

Additionally, the fiberglass construction absorbs shock and vibration, enhancing the user’s comfort. Its head also has a smooth face to minimize marks made on surfaces when hammering. The tool is also equipped with a magnetic nail starter that encourages single-handed operation.

Pros:
+ Lightweight construction
+ Pro touch grip enhances comfort
+ Does not make indentations on surfaces as its head has a
+ smooth face

Why We Like It – The hammer has a hybrid handle design that enhances comfort during use. We also loved the curved base that prevents slippage and the long-lasting hardened end cap.


9. TACKLIFE Stubby Claw Hammer

TACKLIFE Stubby Claw Hammer

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON →

If looking for a mini-sized hammer, a Tacklife claw hammer is one of the best hammers. With a weight of eight ounces and a height of 12 cm, it makes a pretty great addition for DIY projects, outdoor camping activities, and simple home repair jobs.

The handle has been equipped with an anti-slip rubber that reduces fatigue when making strikes and enhances comfort during use. Additionally, the hammer has a magnetic nail starter that provides greater control when driving in nails or metal fittings on surfaces. The feature also aids in a single-handed operation.

Also, it has a steelhead that can hold up to any hammering experience. This is because the steel hammer has been processed through high-frequency quenching, a technique used to improve the hardness and wear resistance of metal material products.

Pros:
+ Its construction has a good balance
+ Extremely small for use in tight areas
+ Reduced vibration

Why We Like It – One feature that stood out was the hanging hole design at the tail. It made it easy to use the hammer with a lanyard when storing or hanging it on the wall.


10. Stanley Fiberglass Hammer

Stanley Fiberglass Hammer

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON →

This is a good hammer if looking for a high-quality and affordable product. Stanley is known for making high-quality products; this 7-ounce fiberglass hammer exhibits the same standard. Its fiberglass handle is durable, sturdy, and eliminates vibration.

The hammer also features Stanley’s proprietary hammer design of a rim tempered face. The construction prevents steel chips from flying in case you make a foul blow.

Pros:
+ Yellow color to enhance visibility
+ Grip mimics the natural wood feeling
+ Padded grip enhances comfort

Why We Like It – The fiberglass handle is outfitted with a padded grip to enhance comfort. Also, it has a unique construction that mimics the natural wood feeling.


Hammers Buyer’s Guide

What to Look for When Buying a Hammer

Hammers are not just designed to drive nails in and out of surfaces. They can also dismantle and level flat boards. Tradesmen, general contractors, and handymen have preferences as to the type of hammer they can use based on the project. As such, when buying a hammer, it would help if you examined the following features to ensure it is tailored to the intended application.

Hammer Handles

Hammer and Nail Using hammer and nail on wood

Traditionally handles were made of wood that would be fitted through a hole in the head. This construction made it easy to replace the handle in case it got damaged. Modern hammers, however, are made of modern materials and the handles are fixed on to the head. They also have a built-in shock absorber making it easy to use them. Here are the pros and cons of each variety:

Steel Handles: Steel hammers are the strongest. They are tough enough to beat a welded or solid piece of steel. Steel handles are cumbersome, because most of the weight is packed away from the striking point, so the swing power is not affected. Also, the piece of steel used on the hammers causes heavy vibrations that can lead to repetitive strain injuries.

Titanium hammer: Some handymen prefer the titanium hammer as it is lighter than the steel hammer. Its lightweight construction allows you to pound a nail faster while making only a few swings. A titanium hammer also has claws and holding slits like a regular hammer so you don’t have to give up on small inconveniences

Fiberglass Handles: This kind transmits less vibration than steel handles, hence suitable for plumbing and electrical applications. Hammers with fiberglass handles are also more affordable.

Wood Handle: It is the lightest handle material compared to steel and fiberglass handles. Wood handles also transmit the least vibration, hence a favorite among many users. They are also easy to replace and customize.

Shock-absorbing Sleeve

detail of a nail and a hammer

The handle material determines the extent of shock-absorption. Wood handles, for example, absorb a substantial amount of shock compared to synthetic handles. However, for additional comfort, it is imperative to look for hammers equipped with a sleeve. It also alleviates shock and is available in different

kinds of material:

Bi-material: This kind provides a great deal of strength, flexibility, and comfort

Tri-material: This kind is commonly made of elastomer, fiberglass, and polypropylene.

Type of Hammer

Hammers have different construction styles that determine their uses. The most common examples include:

Claw hammer: It is the most popular for general applications. There are three types: the ripped, curved, and framing hammers. A curved claw hammer has an arched head to enable the user to drive and remove nails from surfaces. The hammering side is also slightly curved to minimize marring of the surface and they have a weight range of 7-20 oz

Rip claw hammer: It is also known as a straight claw hammer and is mainly used to dismantle objects. However a straight claw hammer is heavier than the curved type as it has weight range of 20-32 oz

Framing hammer: This tool is also ideal for dismantling objects. It has a similar construction as the straight claw hammer. The only difference i it has a textured face for use on heavy carpentry work

Ball pein: This tool is often used to close rivets and shape metals. Its round design makes it an excellent hammer for a range of professional and domestic applications. A ball pein hammer is made of a wooden handle and weighs between 110-165g

Club hammer: Its double-faced head design makes it ideal for driving steel chisels and masonry nails, and light demolition work. Its handle is mainly made of Hickory wood, but some handles have a synthetic resin build

Sledgehammer: This kind is ideal for heavier tasks like breaking concrete, driving in stakes, and different stone types. When using it, be sure to wear safety gear like safety glasses and protective clothing.

Cross and straight pein: The hammer is mainly used to shape metals and to start panel pins and tacks. The handle is usually made of Ashwood

Head

Close-up of a Worn Hammer Head on a Dark Grey Surface

It is that part of the hammer used to strike nails into different materials. As such, it should be made from durable materials able to withstand huge impact. Many straight claw hammers, for example, have heads made of forged steel to provide a strong, striking force on materials like wood and metal.

Examine the size of the head, too, as it determines the vibrations felt when striking hard surfaces. A narrow-headed hammer produces more vibration as the force strikes on a small surface area. Large-headed hammers spread the force over a large surface area thus minimizing vibrations.

Grip

Ensure the hammer provides a good grip during use as it gives better control, especially if you have sweaty hands. Fiberglass and steel hammers have a firmer grip compared to wood-handled hammers. If you are not buying hammers made of either material, check for a rubbery grip as it provides cushioning and enhances the hammer’s shock-absorbing properties. Leather also provides a secure hold but such hammers are more expensive.

Weight

It is another crucial factor to look at when buying a hammer. A weighty hammer increases your risk of sustaining injury and muscle fatigue. A light hammer, however, won’t provide enough power to drive the nail into the surface. Hammers weighing 16-20 ounces are suitable for most DIY jobs and simple household tasks, but professional construction workers need heavier hammers, sometimes weighing as much as 32 ounces.

Handle Length

A hammer with a long handle provides a better swing as it builds up more momentum to make a harder blow. However, you need more force to make each blow. Construction professionals prefer such hammers sometimes with handles as long as 18 inches. If you are looking for a hammer for simple DIY tasks like building furniture, fencing, or repairing cabinets, a handle length of 12-14 inches should suffice.

Textured vs. Smooth Face

Hammers with smooth faces are the best when hammering into a surface you don’t want to damage. They are also suitable for general DIY tasks. However, if you are driving in larger nails diamond or waffle-faced hammers are ideal as they provide a stable contact with the nail head. The textured face hardly slips off the nail.

Balance

panoramic shot of handyman holding hammer while repairing roof near coworker

Test out the hammer before buying to ensure the weight is evenly distributed. The weight of the head should not outweigh the handle. An unbalanced hammer puts a strain on your wrists and sends a vibration to the arm. Balanced hammers, on the other hand, provide a more accurate strike and a steadier swing.

Nail Starter

It is an essential feature is hammering a nail on a slippery surface. Some hammers are equipped with a magnetic nail starter to enable the user to hold the nail in place and nail it in using one hand.

Durability

Hammers that have wooden handles are more likely to break and are often less durable. However, teel and fiberglass-handled hammers last longer as they don’t break easily

Comfort and Ergonomics

Apart from the grip and the material of the handle, check how the hammer feels in your hand. Users who swing the hammer from the wrist will find one with a short handle ideal. Pros who swing the hammers using the entire arm are more likely to use those with long handles.

What Is the Ideal Weight for a Hammer?

worker lifting hammer

The head weight mostly determines the weight of a hammer. Classic hammers have a weight ranging from 16-20 ounces. Hammers weighing 16 ounces are the best for shop use and trimming, while those weighing 20 ounces are ideal for demolition and framing projects.

What Is the Best Estwing Hammer?

Estwing’s Sure Strike Drilling hammer is the best hammer from Estwing. Its construction makes it an excellent buy for lightweight demolition, and it can be used with a variety of tools. Also, its short handle makes it easy to swing.

Who Makes the Best Claw Hammer?

Stanley produces the best claw hammers. This is because their construction not only enhances the user’s comfort but also protects them from injury. For example, Stanley’s rim tempered face design used on its rip claw protects the user’s eyes from damage caused by flying chips. Also, its handle has a padded grip to enhance comfort while creating a wood-hammer feel.

What Is the Most Expensive Hammer?

Fiskars IsoCore Milled-face Framing Hammer is the most expensive in the list. It has a variety of features that enhance the user’s comfort, including its patented IsoCore technology, dual-layer material on the handle, and the sound-dampening inserts.

How Can You Use a Hammer Safely?

Carpenter with hammer hitting nails

First, ensure the hammer has the appropriate weight for its application. Hammers weighing 7-13 ounces have adequate strength to hammer small finish nails, tacks, and brads while those weighing 16-20 ounces can be used with larger nails.

Next, grasp the lower half of the handle firmly, swing the head face and touch the nail head to determine the trajectory. Then apply more force and swing the hammer to drive the head into the wood. Continue striking the head to drive it into the surface.

How Do You Maintain a Hammer?

It is imperative to keep the hammer free of dust and debris. For a hammer with a wooden handle, use a rag dampened with linseed oil, but if cleaning titanium hammer, sprinkle a light coat of WD-40. Also, inspect the hammer for loose, splintered, or cracked handles. If the wooden handle is not too damaged, sand it down, but if it is incredibly rough, sand it against the grain.

Check the head also for any form of malformation. The striking edge can get blunt, and using the hammer in such a state can cause the head to shatter. It would help if you kept the head sharpened, e.g., every six months to avoid more problems.

Conclusion

Estwing Sure Strike Drilling hammer is a sure bet if looking for a heavy hammer for striking brick chisels, hardened nails, cold chisels, or star drills. Its 11-inch handle and three-pound weight provide ample strength to make heavy blows on hard surfaces.

However, if you are ready to splurge a little more, Fiskars IsoCore Milled-face Framing Hammer will not disappoint you. It is specially designed to enhance the user’s comfort and deliver adequate power for framing jobs.

Shoppers looking for a wooden claw hammer and are shopping on a budget will find Edward Tools Oak Hammer is the best buy. The wooden handle provides the natural feeling of a hammer and eliminates shock and vibration. Be sure to examine the features discussed to ensure you purchase a hammer tailored to your needs.

Related posts

10 Best Torque Wrenches in 2020

Bill Allen

Essential Woodworking Tools You Need

Bill Allen

10 Best Multimeters in 2020

Bill Allen

10 Best Floor Jacks in 2020

Bill Allen

10 Best Hot Glue Guns in 2020

Bill Allen

10 Best Axes in 2020

Bill Allen