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8 Best Hammer Reviews: High Quality Claw, Framing, & Ball Pein Hammers


A good solid hammer is one of those essential must-have tools that should be in every handyman and woman's toolbox. Whether you are doing some DIY renovations in and around your home, fixing a fence on your property, or making a cubby house for the kids, a hammer will help you get the job done fast.

Although it is a simple tool, the humble hammer is quite versatile and can be used for a wide range of building and maintenance purposes.  You can use a hammer for basic maintenance like driving in and removing nails and fasteners into wood and metal, assembling furniture, or hanging pictures. A hammer can also be used for medium to heavy-duty complex construction purposes, like fixing a chicken coop, building a house, installing or removing drywall, or for demolition purposes.

As we are predominately talking about hammers that will be used for home-based maintenance and DIY projects, the most common types of hammers are the claw hammer, framing hammer, and the ball pein hammer.

Image Product Name Length (inch) Rating Estwing E3-16C 16 oz Curved Claw Hammer 13 A Maxcraft 60626 8-oz. Stubby Claw Hammer 6 A+ The Original Pink Box PB12HM 12-Ounce Claw Hammer 15 A TEKTON 30403 Jacketed Fiberglass 16-ounce Ball Pein Hammer 12 A Stiletto TB15SC TiBone 15-Ounce Smooth Face Hammer 20 B Vaughan 999L 20-Ounce Professional Framing Hammer 16 B Stanley 51-167 22-Ounce FatMax Xtreme Rip Claw Framing Hammer 17 A Bastex 16 oz Fiber Glass Claw Hammer 12 B

Our Pick for the Best Hammer:

Our top pick for the best hammer is The Original Pink Box PB12HM 12-Ounce Claw Hammer. There is a lot to love about this sexy hot pink claw hammer. As well as its funky black and pink design, The Original Pink Box hammer is lightweight, durable and very comfortable to use. Although it only weighs 12 ounces, it gives you the hammering power you need and gives you good leverage to remove the most stubborn nails. The hot pink color will make it a favorite tool of choice for the girls, but it delivers such a great overall working performance, it will be the favorite tool-box buddy for the boys too.

Check the price on Amazon

Claw Hammer

A claw hammer is used for general household maintenance like hammering or removing nails or ripping down drywall. As well as having a head that is used for hammering, the claw hammer has a curved claw or two-pronged device on the other end that offers extra leverage for removing stubborn nails.

Framing Hammer

The framing hammer is ideal for carpentry tasks. It has a larger head and a longer handle, which maximizes the power of the hammer to drive in nails into hard wooden surfaces.  The face of the hammer's surface will either be smooth or textured and there will be a straight claw on the other end of the head that allows you to easily remove nails that are firmly embedded in tough pieces of wood.

Ball Pein Hammer

Ball pein hammers are designed for driving out pins or setting rivets or shaping metal.  These hammers have a rounded ball on one end and a flat striking face on the opposite end. The ball pein hammer is also used for hammering unhardened metal work, so you can use it for working with sheet metal, and it is the ideal tool for artists who want to re-shape metal for their artworks.

How to Choose the Best Hammer 

As the No. 1 tool for the construction and carpentry trades and DIY enthusiasts, the best type of hammer is one that is well-constructed, well-balanced, and feels comfortable in your hand.  To help you find the right type of hammer for your DIY and home maintenance tasks, here are six design features that you need to consider.

1. Size

All hammers, regardless of their modus operandi, are defined by the size of their head.  If you are planning any light-duty carpentry or general maintenance chores around your home, hammers that weigh 7, 10, 12, or 13-ounces will be a good choice. For more advanced or heavy-duty carpentry, choose a 16, 20, 22 or 24-ounce hammer.

2. Head

As the head is the part of the hammer that is used to strike blows or hammer nails into all kinds of material, the head needs to be made out of durable material so that it can withstand a lot of impacts.

Some hammers have their heads made out of forged steel, which allows the hammer to deliver a strong striking force into tough material like wood and metal. Hammers that have heads that are made out of steel can be the cheaper option, but they may be heavier to use.

Hammers that are made from Titanium can be more expensive, but they allow you to swing the hammer faster and produce less vibration when the hammer makes contact with a surface.

The size of the head is also important and can help to minimize the vibrations that are felt when you are striking the hammer against a hard surface. A hammer that has a narrow head will deliver the striking force to a small area, so you will feel the vibrations more, while a broad or large head will spread the blow over a wider area, thereby minimizing the vibrations.

3. Face

The face is the flat or curved surface on the top of the head of the hammer.  The surface of the face can be textured or smooth, and the shape of the face can be flat or curved. A hammer that has a smooth face and a flat shape is best for general home maintenance tasks because it will minimize any damage to surfaces. Some framing carpenters prefer a textured or “checkered face” as it will not slip off the nail as much as a smooth faced hammer can.

4. Handle

The quality of the hammer and its level of comfortability is also determined by the material that the handle is made out of.

If you are looking for a lightweight hammer for light-duty maintenance work, then a fiberglass hammer is a good choice. There are some hammers that are made from wood that gives the hammer a solid feel in your hands, while others are made from titanium. Titanium is heavier than fiberglass, but this type of material is very strong and it is the best choice for heavy-duty construction tasks and for the professional tradesman.

If you have ever used a hammer, the first thing that will stand out is the amount of vibration that can be felt when the hammer strikes a hard surface. The design or length of the hammer will reduce the vibrations and therefore increase the level of comfortability. Hammers that have shorter handles give you better control and are especially useful for working in tight spots, but a hammer that has a longer handle will give you more striking power.

Steel handles may not absorb vibrations very well, while wood handles can absorb a lot of the vibration.

Fiberglass handles are the best at absorbing vibration, but they can be the more expensive option. Some manufacturers design their hammers with Shock Reduction Grip® nylon vinyl that is molded to the hand or Antivibe technology that minimizes any vibrations upon impact with hard surfaces. Also, the shape of the handle can also help to minimize vibrations like The Original Pink Box hammer that has a fiberglass contoured handle.

5. Nail starter

nail starter is a very handy feature to have, especially when you need to position a nail on a slippery surface, which can be frustrating. Some hammers have a magnetic head and a special groove that allows you to hold a nail in place so that you can hold the hammer over your head and drive the nail in with only one hand.

6. Non-slip handle

How a hammer feels in your hand is also important. A non-slip handle allows you to maintain a firm grip on the hammer so it will not slip out of your hand while you are hammering or pulling out a nail. Some manufacturers use a poly jacket grip handle or a rubberized grip sleeve that makes the hammer easy to hold, which is especially important if you are going to be working long hours in your workshop.

8 Best Hammers — Product Reviews

1. Estwing E3-16C 16 oz Curved Claw Hammer

The simple things in life are always the best. With its simple, classic design, sturdy construction, and a high level of comfortability, the Estwing Curved Claw Hammer is a ‘must have' tool for all renovation enthusiasts.

Estwing is known for its high-quality range of hammers, so you can be assured of this hammer's excellent all-around performance and long term durability. The hammer is made from strong all steel construction and the grip area has Shock Reduction Grip® nylon vinyl that is molded to the 13-inch steel handle, so it will feel comfortable in your hand and minimize any vibrations upon impact with hard surfaces.

As the hammer is one of the more lighter hammers on the market, weighing at 10 ½ ounces, it is very well balanced and it will not slip out of your hands while you are pounding a nail into a wall or fence paling.

The thin neck has a slight diamond shape to it, but even though it features a slimline design, the head and handle are fully polished and forged in one piece, which creates a sturdy tool that is ideal for small and large DIY projects.

It provides you a good hammering performance as the Estwing’s standard-sized smooth face (one-inch diameter), which allows you to keep your eye on small nails or screw. The steep curve of the claw gives you good leverage when you need to pull out stubborn nails.

Pros

  • Very good value for money
  • High-quality design
  • Well-balanced
  • Sturdy steel construction
  • Shock reduction grip® nylon vinyl
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable to use

Cons

  • Expensive

Check the price on Amazon

2. Maxcraft 60626 8-oz. Stubby Claw Hammer

It might be small and lightweight at just 8 ounces, but the Maxcraft Stubby Claw Hammer is tough, so if you have to work in a tight space and need a strong, reliable hammer to get all of your DIY jobs done, the Maxcraft hammer is the right tool for you.

Maxcraft has designed a durable hammer that is great to work with and it has a lot of very handy features that will make your renovations or home maintenance tasks super easy. The stubby handle on this sturdy claw hammer makes it a great choice for those moments when you have to work in a confined space. Although it is smaller than most claw hammers, it can still deliver some powerful blows, which means it can easily tackle most regular household tasks.

The hammer's claw head is made from forged steel and the well-contoured handle is covered with a soft, non-slip yellow and black material, which allows you to maintain a strong grip on the tool. The magnetic head has a very handy nail starter, which allows you to place a nail into the groove so that the nail is held securely in place. What a nifty idea!

The Maxcraft hammer is six inches long and it will fit easily into your tool box, kitchen drawer, or in the glove compartment so that you will always have a hammer on hand.

Pros

  • Very good quality hammer
  • Affordable
  • Well-balanced
  • Ideal for working in small, confined spaces
  • Made from strong forged steel
  • Magnetic nail holder
  • Comfortable for its size

Cons

  • Feels heavier than 8-ounces
  • Not ideal for heavy-duty projects

Check the price on Amazon

3. The Original Pink Box PB12HM 12-Ounce Claw Hammer

This very stylish black and hot pink Original Pink Box claw hammer will not only be a favorite with all the girl DIY'ers, but it will be the No. 1 tool of choice for the boys too.

If you need to do any light-duty renovations or home maintenance like hanging pictures or performing small repairs around the farm, The Original Pink Box Claw Hammer is the ideal tool of choice as it features a superior design and it is lightweight at 12-ounces and measures at 15 inches in length. The rubberized grip makes it very comfortable to hold and the curved claw gives you good leverage when you need to remove stubborn nails.

The claw hammer has a good sized smooth steel designed head that delivers the powerful blows you need to drive nails into hard wood, and the fiberglass curved handle with a durable resin coating allows the tool to absorb shock more effectively than hammers that have wooden handles.

The bright pink color makes the hammer stand out, so you will not have to go rummaging through your tool box to find it, and it will make a great Valentines Day or birthday gift for those women who enjoy planning new DIY projects.

The hammer is covered by a limited lifetime warranty from the manufacturer, and as the price is just under $20, The Original Pink Box claw hammer is very good value for money.

Pros

  • Very good value for money
  • High-quality claw hammer
  • Good weight for small DIY jobs
  • Solid rubber grip for better handling
  • Attractive black and hot pink design
  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy fiberglass construction
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Not ideal for heavy-duty tasks

Check the price on Amazon

4. TEKTON 30403 Jacketed Fiberglass 16-ounce Ball Pein Hammer

If you have any light-duty metal work jobs around your home, the Tekton 30403 16-ounce Ball Pein Hammer will deliver an accurate strike every time.

The Tekton hammer is made from strong but lightweight high-strength fiberglass and the handle is covered with a non-slip poly jacket grip, which gives you a good strong grip and helps to absorb any shock from impact. The permanent head-to-handle epoxy bond helps to keep the head of the hammer firmly attached to the handle.

The smoothly rounded ball and flat pein is made from strong forged, polished steel that allows you to shape and hammer sheet metal to a precise degree, and as the hammer weighs 16 ounces and measures at 13 inches long, you can maintain control over the tool, which is especially useful if you want to use the hammer for small pieces of metal.

Tekton also makes a 24, 32, and 48-ounce ball pein hammer.

Pros

  • Good quality
  • Ideal for light-duty metal work
  • Very good price
  • Non-slip handle
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • Not ideal for heavy-duty metal work

Check the price on Amazon

5. Stiletto TB15SC TiBone 15-Ounce Smooth Face Hammer

The U.S.A-based Stiletto Tool Company has been making high-quality hand tools since 1849 and their premium Titanium TiBone Smooth Face Hammer is a prime example of their dedication to innovative professional-style tools that deliver a superb long-term working performance.

Whether you are fixing a fence on your farm, working with concrete, building a scaffold, or organizing metal stud framing in your new home, the TiBone 15-ounce hammer is 45% lighter than other similar models, but it can still deliver a powerful blow every time.

Whatever kind of renovation work you need to do, the Stiletto hammer is a very easy and comfortable tool to work with.  The hammer's handle is made from super strong titanium and the contoured curved black rubber grip and well-balanced titanium head can reduce any arm fatigue.

The Stiletto hammer has some innovative features that will make any challenging maintenance work easy to perform like the magnetic nail starter and the patented side nail puller, which can pull out even the largest of nails in one 180-degree motion.

Pros

  • High-quality
  • Ideal for heavy-duty construction work
  • Superb titanium construction
  • Excellent craftsmanship
  • Can be used for domestic and professional use
  • Lightweight
  • Ergonomic design
  • Durable

Cons

  • Expensive

Check the price on Amazon

6. Vaughan 999L 20-Ounce Professional Framing Hammer

With over 147  years experience in manufacturing high-quality tools, Vaughan & Bushnell has expertly crafted their 999L 20-ounce Professional Framing Hammer.

You are guaranteed a solid working performance from this hammer as it features a beautiful polished white Hickory handle and the American high-carbon steel head is heat treated, which makes this durable hammer a great choice for any home-based DIY enthusiasts. So whether you are driving in or removing nails, or doing any construction work, the solid extra-large crowned striking face delivers strong, accurate blows and the straight claw allows you to easily remove nails that are firmly embedded in tough pieces of wood.

The hammer is well-balanced and the 16-inch handle is triple wedged, which makes it feel comfortable in your hand and gives you a good, secure grip.

Pros

  • Very good value for money
  • Ideal for moderate-level framing tasks
  • Beautiful polished Hickory handle
  • Powerful
  • Drives nails in very well
  • Delivers accurate blows
  • Professional style hammer
  • Well balanced
  • Very comfortable to work with

Cons

  • Not ideal for heavy-duty framing

Check the price on Amazon

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

If you are looking for a hammer that delivers an accurate blow in just one swing, then look no further than the Stanley FatMax Xtreme Rip Claw Framing Hammer. The 22-ounce hammer features a new design with its one-piece forged steel construction, which makes this hammer a super strong tool that can power its way through even the toughest of DIY framing projects.

As well as being a high performer with an excellent ability to deliver strong, accurate blows from the large strike face that is 75% bigger than other similar models, the FatMax Xtreme Framing Hammer has a lot of ergonomic features that make it very easy to use, especially if you are going to be working long hours. The non-slip rubberized sleeve gives you a firm grip on the hammer and the patented integrated torsion control grip technology reduces the damaging effects of torque on wrists and elbows, and the patented AntiVibe technology minimizes vibration and shock on impact.

There is the magnetic nail starter feature that gives you extended reach and one-handed nailing capability. The hammer's checkered face design on the head increases that much-needed control and accuracy when you need to drive nails into the toughest wood material like hardwood.

Pros

  • Very good value for money
  • Excellent framing hammer
  • Good weight and balance
  • Delivers accurate and powerful blows
  • Large striking face
  • Integrated torsion control grip technology
  • Comfortable to use
  • AntiVibe technology
  • Magnetic nail start
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Hammer may not look exactly like the advertised image

Check the price on Amazon

8. Bastex 16 oz Fiber Glass Claw Hammer

If you are looking for a claw hammer that is durable and dependable and is available at a great price, then look no further than the Bastex 16-ounce Claw Hammer.

This sturdy hammer is the ideal tool for all kinds of household maintenance or DIY projects.  The hammer's fiberglass construction is sealed with an impact-resistant poly jacket and permanent head-to-handle epoxy bond, so the Bastex can handle even the toughest of jobs.

The sharpened curved claw creates maximum nail-pulling leverage, which makes it very easy to pull out even the toughest of nails, without damaging the claw.

For easy maneuverability, the Bastex weighs 25-ounces and it is well balanced, which makes it easy to swing and the non-slip rubberized shock resistant 11-inch handle allows you maintain a good grip and minimizes any strain or fatigue to your hand or arms.

The smartly designed bright yellow and black Bastex Claw Hammer is designed with a sharply curved claw, which provides maximum leverage so that you do not have to struggle to remove stubborn, hard-to-remove nails.

With a simple but exceptional design and high quality working performance, the Bastex claw hammer is destined to the next new addition to your tool box. Bastex offers a 30 day money back guarantee and a 12 month replacement warranty.

Pros

  • Excellent price
  • Very good quality
  • Ideal for all kind of small-medium sized DIY projects
  • Durable fiberglass construction
  • Impact-resistant
  • Sharp claw provides maximum leverage
  • Well-balanced
  • High precision striking ability
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Not ideal for heavy-duty tasks

Check the price on Amazon

Our Pick for the Best Hammer:

Our top pick for the best hammer is The Original Pink Box PB12HM 12-Ounce Claw Hammer. There is a lot to love about this sexy hot pink claw hammer. As well as its funky black and pink design, The Original Pink Box hammer is lightweight, durable and very comfortable to use. Although it only weighs 12 ounces, it gives you the hammering power you need and gives you good leverage to remove the most stubborn nails. The hot pink color will make it a favorite tool of choice for the girls, but it delivers such a great overall working performance, it will be the favorite tool-box buddy for the boys too.

Check the price on Amazon

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