The humble hammer is the cornerstone of any solid toolbox. It can tackle a wide array of tasks, from driving nails to shaping metal, and has existed in some form or another for roughly 3.3 million years.
The modern hammer is typically forged from steel which has been specially treated for added strength and durability. It has a weighted head fixed to a long handle (also referred to as a haft or helve) and can be swung to impart an impact on pretty much anything. It oftentimes sports a “claw” adjacent to the head that can be used to remove nails from wood.
There are a ton of different designs on the market that vary in shape, size and construction depending on the job at hand. Large mallets, for example, are used to knock wooden pieces together while powered hammers can deliver a little more force if required. Here, we’ve focused on four utilitarian hammers that are perfect for your everyday chores.
1. Stiletto Ti-Bone 3 Titanium Hammer
While most hammers are crafted from hard-wearing steel, titanium has proven itself to be a worthy alternative. The strong yet lightweight metal increases striking and driving force while reducing fatigue. Titanium hammers weigh 45 percent less than their steel counterparts and deliver 97 percent of your swing energy (steel delivers just 70 percent). In fact, this particular design from Stiletto weighs just 15 ounces but hits like a 28-ounce steel hammer. This reduces the risk of stress-related injuries and keeps your body happy while you’re hammering. Forged from one piece of titanium, the hammer is precision balanced and features a side nail puller, along with a magnetic nail set that allows you to handle nails easily. As the only titanium model on this list, it’s well-deserving of the top spot (and that rather high price tag).
2. Dewalt Rip-Claw Hammer
Dewalt’s heavy-duty hammer is both ergonomic and robust. It’s made from one piece of steel and perfectly balanced for a controlled swing. While the 16-ounce design can be used on all types of construction projects, it’s particularly good for framing projects on account of its nifty nail start system. This allows for one-handed nail placement, which is extremely helpful if you only have a single hand free. The tool is nice and comfortable to hold and sports an eye-catching yellow handle to ensure it never gets lost in your garage or toolbox.
3. Estwing Straight Rip Claw Hammer
Estwing has been making high-quality hand tools for nearly a century and knows how to turn out a good hammer. This tried-and-tested design is drop forged from a single piece of solid American steel, which is tempered for added strength and durability. Each hammer is hand polished to achieve the brand’s trademark shine. The handle is fitted with a patented shock reduction grip that works to prevent injuries caused by prolonged use of poorly designed hammers. The hammer is available in various weights, from 12 ounces up to 30, and can have either a smooth or milled face depending on what you’re after.
4. Craftsman General Purpose Hammer
While a lot can be said for lightweight designs, sometimes you need a hardy hammer to handle those tough exterior jobs. Craftsman’s durable design tips the scales at 20 ounces and is perfect for bigger projects. It’s forged from one piece of steel and tough as, well, nails. On top of that, it has a nice smooth face to prevent any marks appearing on finished work. At the other end, the ergonomic handle features vibration reduction to improve comfort and performance.