The Best Framing Hammer Brands For 2017: Complete Buyers’ Guide

Introduction

A hammer is perhaps the most basic of all carpentry and woodworking tools. This highly underrated and often overlooked Implement has over the years played a central role numerous other tasks outside woodworking and carpentry. Even Thor owns one. What most people fail to appreciate are the incredible varieties and types of hammers available! One’s choice of hammer depends on the materials being used and what the intended purpose or task is.

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This article’s aim is to highlight a few types of hammers, their uses, and features while playing major emphasis on the framing hammer and what you should consider before buying one. I will also leave a few pointers on hammer safety and a compilation of the top five framing hammer brands and models.

Type Of Hammer And Their Use

Hammers come in all sizes and shapes. Different hammers are designed to handle different tasks ranging from simple D.I. Y projects to professional projects. The average person more often than not owns not more than two hammers which are understandable in the sense that, the hammers are enough to handle the individual’s needs. Before delving into the types of hammers, it is important to highlight what makes up one.

A regular hammer may comprise a combination of the following parts; a face, neck, claw, handle and grip, cheek and a poll. To most people, a hammer is a hammer. Right? Nothing could be further from the truth. The success of any given woodworking project depends on having the necessary tools for the job. Below are some basic types of hammers and their uses;

  • 1. Claw Hammers:
  • 2. Joiner’s Hammers:
  • 3. Framing Hammers:
  • 4. Drywall Hammers:
  • 5. Nail Guns:

Also known as Warrington Hammers, this class of hammers is used for a variety of tasks which are mostly determined by the weight and strength of the hammer’s head. All joiner’s hammers have a similar shaped head with a cross or straight Pein located opposite the head to the Poll. Warrington Hammers are mostly used for woodworking whereas heavier straight pein hammers are used for shaping metal.

joiner hammer

Choosing A Framing Hammer: What To Consider

Several factors go into choosing the perfect framing hammer for a specific project. For beginners or individuals new to framing hammers, it is recommended to seek the opinion of carpentry tool dealers and expert reviews on the same. This ensures that you only get the best of what you need. Consider the following points;

1. Vibration Dampening

A majority of individuals experience sore elbows after prolonged usage of steel-handled hammers. Bearing this fact in mind, many framing hammer manufacturers have since introduced new designs that are claimed to reduce cases of sore elbows dramatically. This improvement is linked to vibration dampening which is a standard feature in most hand operated power tools such as drills and nail guns.

2. Head Weight

The head weight on a framing hammer determines the striking force of the hammer. How efficient a hammer is dependent on the head’s weight versus how comfortable handling it is.

A majority of hammers today have head weights which are similar to the classic hammer. A few others have lighter heads and a longer handle resulting in a higher striking force with less overall weight.

3. Surface Area Of The Face

A larger surface area of a hammer’s face means your chances of missing nails is slim. With experienced users, this is not a concern.

4. Is The Head Magnetised?

Magnetized hammerheads are a handy addition to any framing hammer. The feature allows nails to be easily pick up and positioned ready for driving.

User Safety Rule

When working with hammers, make a point always to wear goggles. Nails may fly off, or materials may fragment or shatter posing an injury risk to the eyes.

When hitting nails, always use the head to strike. The metal on the sides of the hammer is not hardened and can be damaged. Striking nails using others parts of a hammer other than the head may cause it lose become unbalance head harder and riskier to use.

The hammer’s face can over prolonged periods of usage eventually become polished causing nails to slip off when struck posing a risk of injury. It is recommended to regularly roughen the face of the hammer with an abrasive material to correct this.The following segment is a compilation of the top framing hammer models and brands currently selling on the market.

Top 5 Best Framing Hammers

Framing hammers are used to drive nails in lumbar during framing in wooden houses. They are heavy duty hammers with a straight claw as opposed to a curved claw as is the case in regular claw hammers. Framing hammerheads weigh anything between 20 to 32 ounces in the case of steel heads, and 12 to 16 ounces for titanium heads. The heavier heads, longer handles, and milled faces allow for the quick and efficient driving of large nails into dimensional lumber.

1

Dewalt Dwht51064 22 Oz. Framing Hammer

The DeWalt DWHT51064 framing hammer promises the user power and ease of use in one package. This hammer features a one-piece stainless steel body with unbelievable strength. The DWHT51064 boasts optimal weight distribution which allows for a controlled, balanced swing along with a side nail puller for efficient nail removal. It is the perfect framing hammer for both experienced and amateur users.

Via Amazon.com

Pros

  • This model features optimal weight distribution ensuring a controlled swing.
  • Nail pulling on this hammer is made efficient by the placement of the puller at the side of the hammer.
  • The DWHT51064 features a beautiful single piece stainless steel build which enhances its durability and service life.
  • The face is magnetized which allows for one-handed nail placement.
  • This model has a textured face which prevents cases of nail slipping during operation.

Cons

  • Being all steel, vibration dampening on this model is not as efficient as one would hope.
2

Stanley 51-167 22-Ounce FatMax Xtreme AntiVibe Rip Claw Framing Hammer

This hammer offers unparalleled balance, beautiful design and finish. It weighs 22 ounces and is available in several size options. Stanley Fatmax Xtreme Antivibe framing hammer is built to deliver strength and precision in both D.I.Y and professional uses. This model boasts a patented torsion control grip feature that reduces the effects of torque on both the wrists and elbows during use.

Via Amazon.com

Pros

  • This framing hammer boasts patented AntiVibe technology that minimizes vibration and shock at impact when striking nails.
  • The magnetic nail start feature extends the user’s reach and allows for one-handed nailing capabilities.
  • This product has a textured face design that increases control and precision when driving nails.
  • A lifetime warranty accompanies this product.

Cons

  • There are no major complaints about this framing hammer. The price is however slightly higher than a majority of the hammers in its class.
3

Stiletto Tools, Inc. TI14MC- The Best Framing Hammer With Curved Handle

The Stiletto brand traces its inception back to the days of the California Gold Rush. The TI14MC TITAN is a perfectly crafted tool designed to handle even the toughest tasks. Despite having an ultra-strong titanium head, this framing hammer is super light, a fact which creates greater head velocity with minimal effort.

The titanium built head ensures there is absolutely no loss in driving power. Ergonomics on the handle are simply amazing. It is worth noting that the TI14MC TITAN line of framing hammers has been known to significantly lower incidences of Carpal Tunnel syndrome and other repetitive motion, stress-associated injuries.

Via Amazon.com

Pros

  • This model produces way less recoil shock compared to steel framing hammers.
  • The lightweight titanium head on the TI14MC TITAN eases operational fatigue while equaling the driving force of 24 -ounce steel.
  • This model features ergonomic American hickory styled curved handles that enhance the user’s swing leverage.
  • The nose of the hammer has a magnetic start feature.

Cons

  • The only issue with the Stiletto Tools Inc. TI14MC TITAN is its price tag. The hammer is priced at almost three times as much as an ordinary framing hammer.
4

Estwing E3-22S 22 oz Framing Hammer with Smooth Face & Shock Reduction Grip

The ESTWING E3-22S is forged from one peacefully polished steel from head to handle. The handle is covered in a blue nylon-vinyl, deep cushion grip that is molded onto the steel absorbing all shock. This 22-ounce hammer offers a comfortable experience when driving nails. It is designed to handle both professional and D.I.Y tasks with similar efficiency.

Via Amazon.com

Pros

  • The solid steel construction of this framing hammer gives it exceptional durability.
  • The vibration absorbing features on this model make its use rather comfortable.
  • The magnetic nail start feature extends the user’s reach and allows for one-handed nailing capabilities.

Cons

  • The face of this framing hammer is smooth which poses the risk of nail slipping.
5

Irwin Tools 1954890 Wood California Framing Claw Hammer, 21 oz

The Irwin 1954890 Framing Hammer is designed and built for extended reach and swing velocity. The head of the hammer is forged in hardened steel and has a milled face to avoid nail slipping. The handle is made from American hickory; which offers unparalleled strength and control which is demanded of most framing projects, professional or basic D.I.Y.

Via Amazon.com

Pros

  • This model features ergonomic American hickory styled curved handles that enhance the user’s swing leverage.
  • The nose of the hammer has a magnetic start feature.
  • The price tag on this framing hammer is convenient.
  • The 1954890 Framing Hammer has a long handle that extends the operator's reach.

Cons

  • The handle may require changing from time to time especially in cases of heavy usage.

The Verdict

All the entries on this list of top five framing hammers are an excellent pick. Each model has earned its place on this list by reputation. However, the STILETTO TOOLS INC. TI14MC TITAN 14-OUNCE TITANIUM FRAMING HAMMER picks up the top stop. This framing hammer is the best framing hammer out there despite its price tag. The features and build on the model are totally worth the extra money.

Conclusion

Hammers are an obvious must-have in any toolbox whether professional or basic. Knowing what hammer to buy for a specific task is something most people often overlook. As a general rule, always consult carpentry and woodworking tool dealers’ opinions on separate framing hammer brands and models before making a purchase.

I sincerely hope that you found this article as fun and enlightening. Feel free to share your comments, thoughts, and suggestions in the space provided below. All the best!

Jose A. Brown
 

Jose A. Brown is a mechanic engineer and an enthusiastic blogger whose mission is to provide the readers with the best tips, guides in the Home Improvement, DIY Project, and Industry.

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