Last Updated on August 28, 2020
The claw hammer is one of the most common and useful tools out there. Novices and experts alike use them for everything from hanging a picture to building a house.
Even if you aren’t handy with tools, you need to get a hammer. But for as simple and straightforward as these tools seem on the surface, there are actually many considerations that go into selecting the right one: size, weight, materials.
If you want a product that is truly right for your needs, you are going to need some information. Fortunately for you, we have that in abundance.
Tools are our passion, and we have been spending a lot of time with claw hammers in particular lately so that we can help you pick the best one.
|Top Pick||Stiletto FH10-C||
|Best for the Money||Estwing Hammer||
|The Budget Buy||IRWIN Tools 1954889||
First, we have the Stiletto FH10-C claw hammer. Its prime selling point is definitely the high-quality titanium head.
Titanium is a prized material in tools because it is extremely strong, durable, and resistant to corrosion. If you are looking for a serious tool with serious application potential, this is a hammer to think about. The curved wooden handle is made to fit the human hand comfortably. The head is also only 10 ounces rather than the conventional 16, adding to its comfort factor.
However, the powerful titanium head still has the driving power of a 16-ounce hammer, giving you lots of bang for your buck.
The features make the Stiletto a good hammer for serious users. If you are a woodworker, contractor, or ardent do-it-yourselfer, you will get your money’s worth.
That said, it is expensive. This hammer costs significantly more than most on the market. The price tag means you probably won’t go with the Stiletto if you just need to hang a few pictures.
If you were scared off by the price of our last pick, don’t worry. It’s time for our best for the money hammer. The Estwing packs plenty of performance in a value-efficient package.
This forged, stainless steel hammer is crafted from one piece of steel. The forging process ensures a soft feel and extreme durability. As a result, the Estwing is less susceptible to vibration than other similar options.
These factors make the hammer great for professional applications, but the price tag is accessible enough for people of any skill level to at least give it some consideration.
Unfortunately, we did notice that the rubber of the grip is vulnerable to wear and tear. It is prone to ripping and wearing out over time, which unfortunately compromises the health of the entire tool eventually.
This is especially unfortunate because the rest of the hammer is tough enough to last indefinitely. However, for many, the price may make this small hiccup forgivable.
This Irwin Tools hammer is something first-time homeowners might want to look at. There are toy hammers out there that cost more than this, making it a great option for people trying to stick to a tighter budget.
In addition to being affordable, the hammer is also made with a padded grip for comfort, and it features a reliable 16-ounce all-purpose head.
Granted, you do get what you pay for. The metal is somewhat fragile, so it will nick easily. It’s also very susceptible to vibration, which may be problematic for long-term use.
This isn’t the sort of hammer you build a deck with, but it will be fine for normal household upkeep.
From Stanley we have an affordable, comfortable, easy-to-use hammer that beginners might find especially agreeable. The head of this hammer is only 7 ounces, rather than the conventional 16 or 20, but the low weight still has enough striking force for simple tasks like putting nails in a wall.
The fiberglass handle and padded grip also makes the hammer user-friendly. The real problem is the tool’s limited range of applications.
You won’t be able to do very much with it. The steel is also prone to nicks and scratches. It’s a cosmetic problem that won’t affect the performance, but if you are a tool nut it will probably get on your nerves.
We end things with the Stalwart 16-ounce claw hammer. This unit is the most affordable hammer on our list, and features a proportionately simple design: a 16-ounce stainless steel head mounted on a basic wooden grip.
If you’re buying a hammer simply so that you have one in case you might need it, this could be an acceptable option. However, if you know you will be using your tool with any regularity, it will be worth the money to upgrade.
One of the big issues with this product is the grip. The wood, though polished, has a rough, almost splintery feel to it.
While the manufacturer advertises that it has been treated to reduce vibration, it doesn’t really feel that way.
Ultimately, the hammer is uncomfortable to use, which most users won’t appreciate.
Now that you have read our reviews, you will want to make your decision. If you’d like to understand more about what features are important when considering a hammer, we can help.
Read on for some buying considerations!
One of the most important considerations for a hammer is comfort. Because of how this tool is used, it can be very uncomfortable to handle. Overtime, discomfort will be a consequence of any hammer. However, some are much more forgiving than others.
With hammers, comfort level mostly comes down to the handle. A fiberglass handle with a nice padded grip goes a long way towards keeping you comfortable, even during a long day on the job.
Steel and wood handles can also have comfort-friendly features, but they also usually have more cons. Steel is less resistant to vibration, and wood is typically more slippery and less durable.
Weight is another significant factor when choosing a hammer. However, it’s also a fairly easy choice, as there aren’t many options. Most of the time, you will see hammers that are either 16 or 20 ounces. The 16-ounce hammer is usually used for everyday tasks, while the 20-ounce hammer is used for heavy-duty jobs, like framing.
You can use a 20-ounce hammer for day-to-day jobs as well, but it might be overkill.
The vast majority of hammers feature a smooth face. The purpose is to avoid nicking or scratching surfaces that the hammer might inadvertently come into contact with.
However, there are also textured or milled hammer faces that contractors will sometimes use. These faces are valued because they “bite” into the nail, and help prevent the face from slipping. The result can be cleaner hammer strikes.
These hammers are handy, but if you get one, you will need to be extra-mindful of how you handle your tool.
Other buyer’s guides:
Our claw hammer reviews are done, but the decision-making process has just begun. What hammer are you going to be adding to your tool collection?
The Stiletto was our personal favorite. Its sturdy, comfortable build and reliable performance made for a tool that is hard to beat.
Budget buyers may want to consider a different option. If your decision is value-motivated, consider going with our best for the money pick, the Irwin Tools hammer.
We think both are excellent tools, but we also aren’t trying to tell you what to buy. After reading this guide, you are hopefully very hammer-literate. Feel free to use the information we’ve gone over today to make your own informed buying decision.
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!