A good quality hammer will last you decades so finding one that is the right size, weight, and material for your needs is important.
Below are our picks for the best hammers currently on the market.
Best for most people: Southwire 20 OZ Heavy Duty Hammer
Southwire’s Heavy Duty Hammer is a high-quality drop forged tool that can be used for everything from DIY to construction. The 20 oz head and lightweight fiberglass handle make this hammer both easy to wield and comfortable to hold.
Designed with a smooth face, the hammer leaves fewer marks on whatever it’s used on—which is great if you’re working on a project you’re planning to paint, or if you want to refinish an old piece of furniture.
Its high strength fiberglass handle provides extra durability and will absorb the shock of repeated blows better than wood or metal handles.
This hammer features a hole at the end of the handle where you can attach a tether or lanyard, so it won’t get lost if dropped.
Also Great: Estwing E6-19S Ultra Series Hammer
Estwing’s E6-19S is a one-piece forged steel hammer that’s great for tradesmen and home DIY. The sturdy design makes it durable, while the smooth handle gives you a comfortable grip.
The E6-19S features a magnetic nail starter so you can drive nails with one hand while holding your wood into place. The blade also has a rip claw that makes it possible to split wood down, pull nails, pry boards and more.
The rubberized handle on this hammer makes it comfortable and helps reduce vibration, which allows you to focus more on the task of driving nails rather than the discomfort of a heavy tool in your hand.
The Milwaukee Curved Claw Hammer is a smooth-face hammer that delivers high performance on every task.
This hammer has a curved claw that’s perfect for pulling nails without causing damage. The curved claw can also be used as a lever, which makes the hammer very versatile.
It has a magnetic nail set, so you will never have to worry about not having this tool with you for the job site. The durability of the handle helps reduce fatigue and joint injuries.
The Stanley Fiberglass Claw Hammer is an inexpensive investment for most homeowners.
It has a fully polished, drop-forged carbon steel head and a fibreglass handle.
The fibreglass handle of this hammer absorbs shock and vibration, and the textured rubber grip makes it easy to hold.
This hammer is heat-treated and rim-tempered to make it extra durable. It also has a chisel edge for pulling and prying nails, and it’s chip-resistant.
Hammer Buying Guide
Whether you’re a professional tradie or a weekend DIY-er, you need the right tools for the job.
Since there are a lot of different hammers out there, it can be hard to tell the difference between them – but not anymore!
Here’s a buyer’s guide to help you figure out exactly which hammer is best for your toolbox.
- Curve Claw – The curve claw hammer is great for general carpentry use. It tends to be 16 oz – 20 oz, and the smooth face is well suited to driving nails. The claw is designed to provide leverage when pulling nails.
- Rip Claw – Also known as straight claw hammers, rip claw hammers are good all-around hammers, but the rip claw is designed especially for pulling up boards.
- Framing Hammer – Framing hammers are heavier-duty carpentry hammers. They are used for timber framing and other heavy-duty applications. These hammers have longer handles and more mass than carpenter’s hammers, so they deliver more force.
The weight of the hammerhead will determine how hard it hits. A heavy-duty hammer has a heavier head than a finishing hammer. Pick a weight that works for you based on the jobs you have to do.
Hammer sizes generally range from 16 ounces to 20 ounces. A 16-ounce hammer is easier to control but requires more strikes, while a 20-ounce hammer is harder to control but will cause less fatigue if used for a long period of time.
16-18 ounces is generally the best weight for general use as it’s not too heavy that you’ll get tired and not too small or light that you’ll end up putting a lot of power and effort behind each swing.
Titanium and steel hammers both have their pros and cons.
Steel, for instance, is heavier than titanium, but a titanium hammer, with its added hardness, can deliver more power than a steel hammer.
Titanium hammers are also more expensive than steel ones.
The length of the handle will impact how hard the hammer head hits.
- A longer handle gives more speed and energy but also less control.
- If precision is essential, a short-handled hammer will be best suited.
- If it is a larger job where accuracy isn’t as important, a long-handled hammer will be an effective choice that will save you time.
Hammers usually feature a curved handle and a soft grip material to help you control the tool as you work.
Various materials are used for hammer handles, but steel tends to be durable and responsive, wood is traditional but can splinter or break, and fiberglass is lighter than wood but less durable.
A rubber or leather grip helps you comfortably hold and control the hammer.
Hammers come in a variety of sizes and faces.
Smooth-faced hammers are smooth to prevent scratching surfaces, while milled-faced hammers have a textured face that prevents slipping between the hammer and nail as the hammer almost grips the nail.
Whether you choose a smooth or a milled-faced hammer, the size of the face is important too.
A larger hammer face makes it easier to strike the nail but it can also obscure your view so you don’t want to pick an option with a hammer face that is too large.