Best Hammer Reviews 2017

(Updated )
A hammer is just a hammer - as long as it can hit, it’s okay, right? Well, not really. When thinking about getting a new hammer, whether for the simplest repair job around the house or for building a tree house for your kids/grandkids, there are a few factors that you need to consider. While they all look and work the same, differences in material, size, shape, and weight will go a long way in helping you pick the right one. This review will go in-depth into the dos and don’ts of buying this fundamental tool.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Head Info
Handle Info
Weight
Material
Our Top Choice
Estwing Straight Claw Hammer
Estwing takes pride in the designing and production of highly durable, attractive and modern tools that ensure you can comfortably do your work.
The Estwing Straight Claw Hammer comes in one solid steel enabling you to remove nails easily. It has a polished handle providing you with a nice grip.
This hammer is only ideal for simple repairs and improvements. It cannot be used for demolition or where large impact is needed.
Smooth faced
Steel
Leather
1.6 pounds
Forged steel
Best Value
Vaughan & Bushnell Soft Face Hammer
Vaughan & Bushnell is one of the most experienced companies in designing and production of hammers. The company has made a name through their production of sleek hammers for more than 135 years.
This hammer comes with replaceable soft faces making it easy replace worn out faces. It also has a flame-treated hickory handle to reduce the shock caused by the impact.
Since it has neither a magnetic nail holder nor claws, this hammer is not ideal for use with nails.
Smooth faced
Two replaceable soft faces
Hickory
1.2 pounds
Forged steel
Dewalt Rip Claw Hammer
Dewalt is one of the most highly sought after companies when it comes to hand tools. The company produces a wide range of tools that surpass customers’ expectations.
This hammer comes with a side nail puller which makes it easy for you to remove nails. It’s also made of one piece steel, giving it the utmost durability. The oval-shaped strike-face makes nailing easy.
On the other hand, the hammer lacks a magnetic nail starter, making it cumbersome for you to place a nail at the right place. Moreover, its handle does not absorb vibration, so it might be a bit more uncomfortable swinging this hammer.
One Piece Steel, Nailing
Side nail puller
Steel
1.8 pounds
Steel
Craftsman Ball Pein Hammer
Craftsman is a global company that produce various tools that are ideal for wood and metal works. The company made a name for itself by embracing recent technology, making their products stand out.
This hammer is light, making it ideal for anyone to handle. It’s also heat-treated for strength and durability.
It’s only ideal for metal work as you you can’t use it to remove nails and screws.
Ball peen
Hemispherical steel
Hickory
1.5 pounds
Steel
Stanley Fiberglass Nailing Hammer
Stanley is known for its production of reliable and highly innovative tools. The company has a reputation of manufacturing products of the highest standards.
This hammer has a high visibility yellow shaft, making it easy for you to locate it on the jobsite. It also has a rim temper to reduce chipping and spalling incidents.
The hammer comes without a magnetic nail start, which can make it hard for you to retrieve nails that are just out of reach.
Nailing
Steel
Fiberglass
0.8 pounds
Fiberglass core

Related Reviews
Best Tool Belt
Best Tool Bag
Best Electric Screwdriver
Best Cordless Drill

How Do I Choose the Best Hammer?

Yes, we can all agree that cordless drills and nail guns are exactly the right tools to turn hours of manual labor into a quick and easy job. But there are instances when a hammer just fits into the equation perfectly. When we think of a hammer, the first thing that crosses our minds is the claw hammer design that only pulls and drives nails. However, there are dozens of different types of hammers, each specially crafted to perform specific jobs.

A hammer is a crucial addition to your tool belt, whether you're working at the job site or hanging a picture at home. Thus, proper hammering should start with choosing the ideal hammer for the job. Here are some different types of hammers that you can choose from when you’re out shopping:
  • Ball Peen Hammers – Feature a round face with beveled edges, and a ball-shaped peen on the other end. This will be your perfect choice if you’re looking to perform metalworking jobs such as bending and shaping soft metal and center punching.
  • Smooth-Face Hammers - Usually lightweight and feature a soft face to prevent marring the surface of the work piece. They’re designed to effectively perform small wood projects.
  • Nailing Hammers - Almost similar to a finish hammer, these are a little larger with the heads weighing nearly 20 ounces.
While these hammers may seem to look and work the same, understanding some of the key differences is important to helping you buy the right one for your unique needs. Firstly, you need to consider the shape, weight, and material of your hammer’s head as it will affect the overall hammering results. Hammers with narrow heads concentrate the entire force of the blow into a small section, while broad faces spread it around.

You then need to consider the length and material of your hammer. Go for a handle with a material that’s able to withstand harsh weather conditions, as well as vibrations and shock that result from the constant pounding. Make sure you choose a hammer that you can control easily - one that feels comfortable to use and that’s within your budget. Oh, and don’t forget to purchase a tool bag for keeping your hammer and other construction tools while you’re not using them.

Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the best hammer in the market without breaking the bank.
Price
How much does a hammer cost? Well, the best hammers come at a retail price ranging between $10 to $30 or even more. These prices are dictated by several things such as the brand name, the type of hammer, and the different features incorporated. For instance, a side nail puller, steel build, oval-shaped strike-face will probably cost more than those with less features. And while we believe you should go for something inside your budget, be sure not to go for a cheap hammer just because it costs less – this will likely leave you disappointed in the long run as they are usually made from poor-quality materials.
Features
After you’ve established your budget and narrowed down your options to two or three brands of hammers, it’s paramount to consider the different features that make one type of hammer stand out from the rest. Here are some of the features to look out for while you’re on the prowl for the best hammer:
  • Type - Some of the common types include Soft Face Hammer, Ball Peen, Cross and Straight Peen, and Rip/Straight/Cross Claw Hammer. Choose one depending on the kind of work you want to do.
  • Head Info - Choose a head made of a quality material for increased durability and the most suitable diameter for more precision while driving nails.
  • Handle Info - What material is used? Does the handle comfortably fit in your hand? How long do you want the handle to be?
  • Weight - What are the different weights available? Go for a lightweight hammer that gives you more control while you’re using it and allows prolonged use without wearing you out.
Besides the prices, you should go a step further and understand how the features you’ve chosen influence the performance and quality of your hammer.
Construction and Design
Your hammer’s quality of construction and design will play a significant role in the quality of work that you do. Most hammers’ heads are either made of steel or fiberglass core material. On the other hand, you’ll find many hammers with wooden (hickory), rubber, steel, or fiberglass handles. Hammers with a wooden or fiberglass handle are the perfect option for you if you’ll be using it for an extended period because such materials are better at absorbing impact.

Fiberglass options are quite easy to handle due to their lightweight, yet incredibly tough nature. Wooden handles usually absorb more vibration, which will help minimize hand fatigue enabling you to work for longer durations - but they’re not as durable as some others. Steel handles, for example, are tough and durable, but relatively heavy. Steel’s added weight renders it suitable for rip claw and framing hammers’ handles.

Some hammers are designed with magnetic tips. This feature is essential in helping you keep nails and other fasteners intact, which allows for hammering at hard-to-reach spots or when limited to using only one hand.

Different hammers carry heads of different weights, and based on how you plan to use it, you can find a perfect balance between weight and length of your hammer’s handle. Go for a hammer weighing 16-20 ounces if you’re planning on doing standard home repairs.

Hammers are designed with varying strike face diameters, and this determines the overall accuracy of your hammer. So, choose a strike face with a larger diameter for more accurate blows driving in nails and fasteners. You can also select a hammer with a domed face as it ensures no damage is caused to the work surface while you’re driving fasteners. But on the other hand, hammers with flat faces carry a greater chance of damaging the surface you’re working on.
Performance and Ease of Use
For the performance, hammers with longer handles allow you to produce the appropriate amount of force with less effort and strain. On the other hand, stubby models deliver outstanding performance when you’re working in tight spaces.

Hammer handles are wrapped using different types of materials such as rubber, nylon, vinyl, or leather, which makes holding and gripping a breeze while working. Moreover, these materials increase comfort levels while using the hammer, and prevent the hammer from slipping out of your hand.

Also keep in mind that some hammers are made corrosion-resistant, which makes them suitable for both indoor and outdoor spaces without compromising the quality of your work.

What is the Best Hammer?

Walk into any hardware store and you’ll be spoilt for choice for hammers. Manufacturers have found a way to make this ordinary tool very appealing to the eye by providing you with different colors and shapes. However, since it is after all a tool, you have to go a little further past what the eye sees. You have to look at factors such as the handle material, the claws, and how secure the assembly is. We’ve gone ahead and assembled the best 5 hammers ideal for either a DYI or professional job. This review will see that you take home the best hammer for the job at hand.
Our Top Choice
The Estwing Straight Claw Hammer has the ideal weight for simple repairs and home enhancement tasks. The handle is carefully designed to make you comfortable while using the tool. Looking for a stronger hammer? The Estwing MRF40BS 40 oz Sure Strike Blacksmith's Hammer with 14-Inch Fiberglass Handle is more powerful and comes with a leather handle providing a comfortable grip.
Estwing Straight Claw Hammer with Smooth Face & Shock Reduction Grip – Available in 4 Sizes

Estwing Hammer E3-16S - 16 oz


Features
Estwing is in the business of enabling its customers to do hard tasks with ease. The company produces topnotch tools that are durable and also comfortable to use.

The Estwing Straight Claw Hammer comes with a well-designed grip that reduces the vibrations brought by the impact. This hammer also has a straight claw which allows you to remove nails with less effort.

Here are some of the features that make this hammer a wonderful compliment to your toolbox:
  • Straight claws to remove nails
  • Nylon-vinyl shock-reduction grip
  • Head and handle forged in one piece
  • Steel-made
  • Head and handle fully polished
  • Smooth face
You can check out other sizes of Estwing Straight Claw Hammer on Amazon.
Best Value
The Vaughan & Bushnell 12-Ounce Soft-Face Hammer is a product of innovation. The hammer is specially designed to offer balance and reduce fatigue, meaning you can work for as long as you need to. On the other hand, if you are looking for a hammer that works better with nails, the Vaughan & Bushnell Dalluge 2410 24-Ounce Framing Hammer comes with a magnetic nail holder and claws for nail removal.
Vaughan & Bushnell 12-Ounce Soft-Face Hammer with 1 3/8-Inch Face Diameter & 12 1/2-Inch Long

Vaughan & Bushnell Hammer SF12


Features
For more than 135 years Vaughan & Bushnell has become a household name in the production of sleek hammers. The company has invested heavily in research and development, ensuring that there is a hammer that fits your exact needs.

The Vaughan & Bushnell 12-Ounce Soft-Face Hammer is specially designed to offer balance and reduce fatigue. The hickory wood handle helps to reduce shock impact while using it. The hammer comes with replaceable soft faces allowing you to easily replace worn-out faces.

These are some of the features that would make this hammer a vital tool in your toolbox:
  • Flame-treated hickory wood handle allows a secure hold
  • Two replaceable soft faces
  • Excellently balanced light two faced hammer
  • Triple-wedged handle for sure-lock handle tightness
  • Rust-resistant powder coat finish
  • Forged steelhead
The Dewalt Rip Claw Hammer is an example of a tool designed to make work easier for you. It’s made from superb steel and is precisely what you require when building beautiful things. The oval-shaped strike-face makes it easy for you to strike a nail with minimal effort. If you are looking for hammer that will make nailing look easy, how about the Dewalt - 12 oz. Mig Hammer? It’s made of the same one piece steel but has a shock absorbing grip to make your work much more comfortable.
Dewalt 20 Oz. Rip Claw Hammer

Dewalt Hammer DWHT51054


Features
Whether you’re a plumber, homebuilder, electrician, mechanic or a contractor, Dewalt produces a wide range of hand tools that make your work easier. The company hand tools are conceived on the jobsite and designed to meet customer expectations.

The Dewalt Rip Claw Hammer is uniquely developed to make it easy for you to strike or to pull out a nail. This hammer is made of one piece steel, making it tough and powerful. Its weight is also optimally distributed allowing you to make a controlled swing.

Below are some of the features that make this hammer a top choice product:
  • Optimal Weight Distribution making it easy for a controlled swing
  • Side nail puller for easier nail pulling
  • Oval-shaped strike face for easier nailing
  • Single piece steel construction for durability
This product is available in different sizes in Amazon.
The Craftsman Ball Pein Hammer is an example of how innovation can help produce simple and effective tools. This hammer is an ideal tool for the majority of your metalwork. It’s also heat-treated, which gives it strength and durability, making it the perfect tool for metal work. Looking for a hammer that can be used for both wood and metal works? The Craftsman 9-38045 16-Ounce Curved Claw Hammer comes with a claw to help you easily remove nails.
Craftsman 16-Ounce Ball Pein Hammer

Craftsman Hammer 9-38465


Features
Craftsman has won numerous awards for production of highly innovative tools for use on different fronts. The company prides itself on its use of recent technology, which makes using any kind of tool seem so easy.

The Craftsman Ball Pein Hammer is ideal for metalwork enthusiasts. The hammer is light but very strong, giving it a heavy impact. It’s also heat-treated for durability.

Below are some of the features that make this hammer worth your consideration:
  • Perfect impact for metalwork
  • Hickory handle
  • Face and pein are machined for uniformity
  • Hemispherical head
  • Steel head is heat-treated for strength
The Stanley Fiberglass Nailing Hammer makes hard work look easy. The hammer comes with a fiberglass core to make it strong and durable so you won’t have to replace it any time soon. If you’re looking for a hammer that has a magnetic nail start, however, and is still visible on the jobsite, check out the Stanley 51-167 22-Ounce FatMax Xtreme AntiVibe Rip Claw Framing Hammer.
Stanley Curved Claw Fiberglass Nailing Hammer – Available in 6 Sizes

Stanley Hammer 51-112 - 7 Ounce


Features
Quality, innovation, durability and power are synonymous with Stanley tools. Since its inception in 1843, the company has made its business by catering to customer needs through the production of elite, elegant tools.

The Stanley Fiberglass Nailing Hammer is the perfect example of the company’s demand for excellence. It has a steel hammerhead with a fiberglass core for intense power and durability. Conveniently enough, it’s also brightly colored to ensure it stays visible on the jobsite.

Look out for these features that would make this hammer a valuable addition to your toolbox:
  • Yellow colored for easy visibility
  • Fiberglass core for durability
  • Rim temper to reduce chipping or spalling incidents
Have a look at other sizes of Stanley Fiberglass Nailing Hammer on Amazon to get the one that is ideal for your needs.

Get the Best Hammer of 2017!

Whether you’re looking to tap a few picture hangers or are thinking about more aggressive projects such as building cabinets or storage shelves in the garage, you’re in the right place. We do hope that our in-depth review came in handy in getting the best hammer for your tool box.

Our Top Choice
Estwing Straight Claw Hammer
Best Value
Vaughan & Bushnell Soft Face Hammer
Dewalt Rip Claw Hammer
Craftsman Ball Pein Hammer
Stanley Fiberglass Nailing Hammer