Updated: June 8, 2015

Hammer Reviews:

The one tool that 99% of all homeowners have is a hammer. Perhaps a screwdriver is the only other tool that is found more often in homes. Hammers are a versatile tool that can be used for basic things like hammering in nails to pounding in screws to get them started. Most of us are familiar with the claw hammer (common type) but there are at least a half dozen other hammers on the market that are more specific to a certain activity like masonry, drywall, roofing, etc. Carpenters, woodworkers, home builders, and hobbyist know that there is always the right hammer for the right job. Which brands hold up best? How much are hammers? Where do you buy hammers at? We answer all those questions down below.
hammers


How to Pick the Right Hammer - If you are just buying a basic hammer for nailing in nails at your house, then the claw or fiberglass hammer should do just fine. The specialty hammers are really just that - made for certain jobs that require their head shape for the best results. Say you have some drywall you are going to remove - the serrated face or hatchet shaped back are nice features when cutting and removing drywall. Below are the common hammer types:

* Claw Hammer - Comes with fiberglass, steel, or wooden handle. Best for basic carpentry - removing or driving in nails. 16 to 20 oz.
* Fiberglass Hammer - Good household hammer - lightweight, durable, and comfortable to hold.
* Framing Hammer - Long handle (compared to claw or ripping hammer), also heavier, better able to drive large nails. Added power for bigger jobs.
* Drywall Hammer - Designed for both cutting/removing drywall and nailing in nails for drywall installation.
* Roofing/Shingles Hammer - Specific for roofing materials. Similar to the drywall hammer.
* Ball Peen Hammer - Used for shaping and bending of metals. Graphite or wooden handles. Range from 5 to 30 oz.
* Masonry Hammer - Also, called a Rock Pick or Tilesetter's hammer. Great for cutting stone, tile, or brick.

Hammer Reviews - Want to get expert opinions and owner feedback? Toolsofthetrade.net did an excellent in depth article on framing hammers comparing hammers from various manufacturers. Northerntool.com also features consumer reviews on their website with in depth analysis. Most agree that the Douglas Tool - DFR20S Framing Hammer is the best. Popular Mechanics says the Estwing 16-ounce Straight Claw Hammer makes the perfect gift for those that haven't had much experience with hammers. Ballpeenhammer.net is another resource online with reviews of Stanley, Olympia, and Klein tools. Of course our favorite website for consumer products is Amazon.com with literally 100's of reviews posted by actual customers who use them daily. Great information on which brands hold up the best, perform well, and are worth the money. RECOMMENDED - You can browse the best selling hammers online here.

Best Claw Hammer:

Whether buying one as a gift for yourself or a loved one, the Estwing E16S 16-Ounce Straight Claw Leather Handle Hammer is the one to go with. The 16 oz model is the favorite, although you can get it in 14 or 20 oz options. Priced below $25 it's the type of hammer that should last you a lifetime. Estwing gets excellent customer feedback and this hammer features an all steel design with a leather handle. Great for basic jobs or extensive remodeling and construction. The Stanley 51-621 16-Ounce Curve Claw Fiberglass Hammer is fine for the average homeowner who only uses a hammer every few months. At less than $15 it's a bargain.


Ball Peen Hammer:

Once again it's Estwing vs Stanley but in our opinion (and those of experts), the Estwing ball peen hammers are the best of the bunch. The solid, forged steel handles on the Estwing are superior to the wooden handles found on Stanley. Stanley does have the graphite and compo-cast options which rate well with consumers and are also better than the wood handle option. A review from a millwright who uses the Stanley daily said it's a great hammer in an "industrial environment". The Stanley is offered in 8, 12, 16, 24, and 32 ounces. Prices range from $25 to $50.

Dead Blow Hammer:

These resemble a mallet and are used in places like body shops or car repair shops. The intent is that the force of the hammer blow will be "deadened" and have little rebound from the surface to which you are hitting. The head of the dead blow hammers is usually filled shot or sand. This helps absorb the impact. The Stanley 57-534 52-Ounce COMPO-CAST Standard Head Soft Face Hammer is an award winner and their 52 oz model sells for $50. The soft face on this hammer will not mar equipment or surfaces. Features include a steel reinforced handle and a non-sparking soft face hammer. Uses include assembling tight joints and metal fabrication. The Advanced Tool Design Model ATD-4082 3 Piece Dead Blow Hammer Set is one to consider if you want more than one hammer - you get a 1/2 lb, 1lb, and 2 lb dead blow hammer in this set. The set on Amazon goes for $25 and one owner said they were cheaper than the ones he found at Lowe's. Check out top rated dead blow hammers here.