The claw hammer has evolved as the most common type of hammer that’s used at the present time. I assume you want to buy a claw hammer for your work. And, of course, you want to know which one is the best claw hammer in your case. I am going to describe claw hammer and also tell you about your type of claw hammers and their characteristics.
What is a Claw Hammer?
A Claw hammer is a special type of hammer which is used in pounding nails, striking surfaces and extracting nails from some object or surface. So you see, a claw hammer can be a hammer as well as an extracting claw. That’s why it’s named so. There are mainly two parts- Head and Handle. One side of the hammerhead is flat and used in pounding nails or striking purpose and other claw structured side are used as tongs for extracting nails. The handle is joined with the head, sometimes temporarily and sometimes permanently.
Parts of Claw Hammer
The head is the main part of a claw hammer which is used in striking surfaces or pounding nails. It’s usually made of durable, strong and robust materials. Steel hammers are cheap but heavy. Titanium hammers are light in weight and flexible but very expensive.
The size of the hammerhead is significant. For, the vibrations created while striking depend on the size. A narrow-headed hammer creates more vibrations; whereas broad-headed ones create less. The head of a claw hammer has two sides- the striking side (for pounding nails) and the claw side (for removing nails).
The face of the head can be straight or curved and textured or smooth. The usual claw hammers used in household works have the flat head and smooth face. They don’t damage the nailing surfaces. The claw hammers used in framing and carpentry has textured face, as these are heavy tasks. These hammers can damage the nailing surface.
The level of comfort, quality and flexibility depend on the handle of the claw hammer. Handles made of steel are more durable but can’t absorb the vibration. Wooden handles can absorb the reverb but not very durable. Fiberglass handles are lighter, flexible, can absorb the vibrations but a little bit expensive. The handle should not be very lengthy. The length should be optimized so that it can be controlled easily.
The vibration felt at the time of striking can be very painful. To reduce vibration and increase comfort different types of designs have been made in various hammers. Short handles give you better control, where longer handles provide more power.
To reduce shock, some hammers have shock reduction grip made of anti-vibe technology or nylon vinyl. The shape of the handle also can have an impact on vibration.
When you need to place a nail on a slippery material or surface, the nail starter feature seems very convenient. Some hammers have a magnetic head which allows the user to hold a nail in place and drive the nail by using only one hand while holding the hammer still over the user’s head.
What Does a Claw Hammer Do?
The claw hammer is mainly used to pound nails in woods or in some object, strike or hit a surface reasonably, extracting nails by its claw. There are many types of claw hammers; all of them look almost alike. But it’s important to understand that they have differences in their work capacity, weight, shape etc. Whatever be the differences though, all of the claw hammers are used in the same type of functions.
How to Choose Best Claw Hammer
You might wonder why to research or roam around for a simple tool like the claw hammer. I know what you may think. It’s just a hammer, man. But believe me; it’s not that simple. You will be amazed to know that claw hammers have a good variety of features. That’s why there is a wide range of hammer preferences and opinions among general people and professionals. So you have to choose the perfect claw hammer which can meet up your demand efficiently.
You have to consider every possible feature that a claw hammer might have. You must consider the shape, weight, material of the hammer’s head which have an impact on hammering results. The claw hammers with narrow head concentrate the force in a small area where the broadheads spread it around.
You also have to think about the length and material of your whole hammer. Make sure that within your estimated budget you have got the best one with which you actually feel comfortable.
The features you should look for when you buy a claw hammer-
The weight of a hammer is a significant factor when looking for the best claw hammer. In fact, it’s one of the most important features of a hammer. The range of weight is usually from 7 to 32 ounces. For smaller users as well as smaller tasks, hammer of weight less than 16 ounces is perfect. It’s all about the comfort of using; depends on you. The ideal range of medium weight claw hammer is from 16 to 20 ounces. For a long session of works, hammers over 20 ounces weight are better. If the hammer is heavy, it reduces the strain on the arm on a long day work. However, you must be comfortable with this type of heavy hammers; otherwise may have some injury.
So, the weight of the hammer actually depends on your work type and your comfort. If you want a heavier hammer, choose 20 ounces or more. If you are comfortable with a lighter one, choose weight around 16 ounces.
The length of common claw hammers is from 12 to 20 inches. For normal uses, the optimize length is 16 inches. Hammers with smaller lengths are good for smaller hands and tight fits. For versatile uses, you can choose the hammer of length from 16 to 20 inches. Claw hammers whose lengths are more than 20 inches are used in special cases and for specialized tasks.
You can choose it depending on the type of your work. Hammers with shorter handles gives you better control, again longer handles provides more power.
The head is usually made from metal or steel; almost same for all. The main difference is in the handle material of a claw hammer. Your options are wood, steel or metal, fiberglass, titanium construction for a claw hammer handle. Steel handles can’t absorb the vibration and transfer it to the user but have a solid grip. So if you can afford the reverb, hammers with steel handles are a good option for you.
Wooden handles can absorb some of the vibrations and don’t let to transfer all of it to the user. So you can choose it. Being lightweight fiberglass handles are best for light works. Fiberglass handles absorb the reverb and make it comfortable to work. Titanium handles are very strong and are perfect for professionals but are very expensive.
Price mainly depends on the material and length of the claw hammer. Handles of wood and steel are not expensive and can be afforded by all. Fiberglass hammers are a little bit expensive while titanium handled hammers are very expensive because of quality material.
Hammers with wooden handles may break and are less durable. Steel handled hammers can last long and don’t break easily. They are the most durable hammers. Fiberglass hammers are also durable and more than wooden ones.
The performances of the hammers depend on the length, weight, and material of the hammer-head and handle which I have discussed above. Make sure to choose the hammer which you can control; which is not too heavy or lengthy for you. The performance of your claw hammer depends on your choice.
Types of the Claw Hammer
The claw hammers can be mainly constructed in two ways.
One is two piece hammer and most popular. It has a forged steel head with a hole to attach the handle. Then the handle is tightly attached to the hole of the head and becomes a hammer.
Another type is single piece hammer; made of forged steel where the head and handle are joined and integral from the beginning.
There are various types of claw hammers. They are described below for you.
- Curved claw hammer
This claw hammer is slightly curved. With the curved side of its head, it allows you to remove nails from surfaces and drive nails into it. To reduce the marring of the surface it’s curved slightly on the striking side. Curved claw hammers usually have a weight range from 7 to 20 oz. The heavier the hammer, the larger force you can apply to the nail head.
- Straight claw hammer
These claw hammers are also known as Rip claw hammer. The claws are straight; not curved. They are used to dismantle objects like wood or tile. For separating materials and boards, this hammer is perfect. Usually, straight claw hammers are heavier than curved claw hammers. Their weights are ranged from 20 to 32 oz. But, be careful. For, the straight claw hammers can damage the nailing surface.
- Framing claw hammer
Framing hammers are almost same as straight claw hammers. They are same in weights and can be found in different sizes. These framing hammers are used in carpentry mostly and also to dismantle objects. The heads are not curved and these hammers can damage the nailing surface.
Framing vs Claw Hammer
Weight: The framing hammers are usually heavy, ranging from 20 to 32 oz. The claw hammers are lighter than them, usually ranged from 7 to 20 oz.
Head face: A claw hammer has a smooth face or a doomed face for lessening damage to the nailing surface. The framing hammers have none of the above but textured faces. That’s why they can damage the nailing surface.
Claw: The claw of the framing hammer is usually straight to make it able to dismantle board apart. A regular claw hammer is only able to pull nails.
Uses: Framing hammers are used in carpentry and heavy works. The usual claw hammers are used in household and light works.
Flex claw hammer
These claw hammers are very flexible and comfortable to use. They have the weight around 18-20 oz. They claw has multiple locking positions; the shape is not like usual hammers. Different positions of claws provide a lot of advantages to pry nails and also in pounding nails.
Most Expensive Claw Hammer
1. Estwing – 12 oz Straight Rip Claw Hammer
If you want to buy the best claw hammer possible for you, you can definitely consider the Estwing’s E12S hammer. I am going to tell you the features, pros, and cons of E12S. Then, you can decide all by yourself.
E12S is forged in one piece with solid American steel. The head of the hammer has a smooth face. E12S also features rip claw versatility which provides quality balance and temper. This has a head weight of 12 oz. It has beautiful limited genuine leather grip; helps you to hold comfortably. The hammer looks beautiful and very well polished, has the dimensions 5 x 1.2 x 11 inches and silver colored. It’s made for the professionals like framers, carpenters, contractors and so on. And it’s made in America.
This hammer is lightweight. It’s flexible and well-balanced. Leather grip provides a good hold. The hammer is well designed. They are durable. The hammer is made of quality American steel.
It’s too expensive. As it’s been made especially for professionals, may be too much for household works.
If you want to buy a long-lasting quality claw hammer and your budget is good enough, you can buy the Estwing’s E12S hammer.
2. DeWalt DWHT51054 Rip Claw Hammer
For its basic features, you can consider DeWalt’s hammer in your claw hammer list. Decide after I tell you about its features.
The DeWalt DWHT51054 20 Oz. is a one piece steel hammer which makes it durable and strong. The hammer is flexible and has a good distribution of weight which helps in the controlled swing. The strike face of the hammer is oval shaped.
It has a side nail puller. It is yellow in color and can be easily spotted. The head weight is 20 oz. or 1.8 lbs. The product dimension is 14 x 5.4 x 1.5 inches.
It’s flexible. It’s made for easier nailing. For efficient and effective nail pulling, it has an exclusive side nail puller.
The hammer doesn’t have any quality grip. It’s expensive. It can’t absorb vibrations.
If you are looking for a balanced hammer, you can buy this DeWalt DWHT51054 20 Oz. hammer. It’s efficient in pounding or pulling nails.
3. Estwing E3-16S Straight Rip Claw Hammer
If you want to buy a bit heavy hammer for some heavy works, you can consider Estwing’s E3-16S hammer. After reading its features, you can decide whether to buy it or not.
This one-piece forged steel hammer has well balance and temper. The head and handle has UV coating and very well polished. The head has a smooth face.
The most significant feature of this hammer is the grip which is made from nylon vinyl and can reduce shock and vibration while striking. This is so comfortable to hold on and don’t comes off hand easily. The hammer features rip claw versatility which is used for prying boards and pulling nails. It’s made for the professionals. Its weight is 16 oz. and dimensions are 13 x 6 x 1 inches. It’s well designed and silver in color. It’s made in the USA.
The grip is so strong that the hammer doesn’t slip during use. It’s made from quality steel. It has quality shock reduction grip which absorbs the vibrations of the hammer. It’s very well designed and beautiful.
The hammer is expensive. Because of many features, it might be too much for household works.
If you are looking for a hammer which is well designed, have good grip, can absorb vibrations and have a good budget, Estwing’s E3-E16S is the best claw hammer for you.
4. Craftsman 18 Ounce Flex Claw Hammer
If you want a hammer which is expert in pulling or prying nails and boards as well as striking or pounding nails, Craftsman’s Flex Claw Hammer is the best one for you. Of course, the choice is always yours.
The Craftsman 18 Ounce Flex Claw Hammer is unique hammer which provides versatility and power. The most exclusive feature of this hammer is that the claw of the hammer has four different locking positions; where you can adjust them according to your need. The striking face of the hammer is large. The hammer has magnetic nail starter. To prevent slippage, it has ergonomic grip. Its weight is 18 oz. or 2.8 lbs. and dimensions are 14.5 x 4 x 1.6 inches. It’s blackish-ash in color.
For the advantage of prying nails or objects, the hammer has 4 varied locking positions. The large striking face helps in good contact with the surface. Magnetic nail starter helps you to do the job with one hand. It lessens hand fatigue; because of the ergonomic grip, there is less slippage. The hammer is unique and versatile.
It’s expensive. The claw can be moved, sometimes, creates problems. There is no vibration reduction material in the handle.
The decision is yours, but Craftsman 18 Ounce Flex Claw Hammer is one of the most unique and versatile hammers available at this price.
Best Budget Claw Hammer
5. Maxcraft 60626 8-oz. Stubby Claw Hammer
If you are looking for a smaller and lighter hammer for doing household kinds of stuff, Maxcraft 60626 8-oz. Stubby Claw Hammer is the right choice for you.
Maxcraft 60626 8-oz. Stubby Claw Hammer is a small hammer with forged steel head, soft, well-contoured, non-slip handle grip. It’s stubby and is perfect to work in the small and confined places. This gives you a firm grip. Though it’s lighter and smaller in size, it can provide powerful blows. The head has a magnetic nail starter. Its weight is 12.8 ounces and dimensions are 6.5 x 4 x 1 inches. The color of the hammer is black/yellow.
It has a perfect size for household uses. It’s made for small and confined places. It has magnetic nail starter to do the job with one hand. The hammer guarantees you the firm grip. Because of its size, it’s comfortable to hold. The hammer can be afforded by all.
It’s not very ideal for heavy works like framing. There is no vibration reducing material in the handle.
If you want a hammer for your household works, Maxcraft 60626 8-oz. Stubby Claw Hammer is the best claw hammer for you.
6. Stalwart 75-HT3000 Claw Hammer
If you are finding a wooden handled hammer which can be durable, affordable as well as efficient, Stalwart 75-HT3000 16 oz. Natural Hardwood Claw Hammer is the best hammer for you.
Stalwart 75-HT3000 16 oz. Natural Hardwood Claw Hammer is a classic type of hammer with forged steel head and hardwood polished handle. It’s manufactured for durability and comfort. It has a curved claw. The handle is well-contoured and anti-vibrated. Its weight is 1.54 lbs. and dimensions are 13 x 5.2 x 1.2 inches.
The hammer has curved claw used in demolition and extraction. The hammer is cheap and affordable. The hammer is durable and comfortable to use.
Woods are not long lasting; can be broken. The grip is not comfortable enough.
You can get an efficient and quality hammer at a very affordable price. You can choose it as your best claw hammer.
7. Stanley 51-163 Rip Claw Nailing Hammer
This hammer has some unique features. If you are aware of your hand health and don’t want to injure your hand at any cost and want to be extra cautious, Stanley 51-163 16-Ounce FatMax Xtreme AntiVibe Rip Claw Nailing Hammer is the best for you.
This is a one pieced forged steel hammer with increased and strength and durability. To reduce the effect of torques on elbows and wrists, it has the feature of patented torsion control grip technology. It has AntiVibe technology to reduce the shock and vibration. Its weight is 1.2 pounds and dimensions are 12.8 x 5.1 x 1.3 inches. They are black in color with a yellow stripe.
The parented torsion control grip technology protects the hand. The Antivibe technology reduces the vibrations. The hammer is precisely balanced. They provide powerful blows and comfortable to use. The hammer is so affordable.
The hammer might not look like the advertised image.
Stanley 51-163 16-Ounce FatMax Xtreme AntiVibe Rip Claw Nailing Hammer is a good hammer for your hand. It’s efficient and comfortable to use.
8. Stalwart 75-HT3001 Steel Claw Hammer
If you want to buy a hammer in your affordable range with good quality, you can consider Stalwart 75-HT3001 16 oz. Tubular Steel Claw Hammer. You can decide after reading its features whether to buy it or not.
Stalwart 75-HT3001 16 oz. Tubular Steel Claw Hammer is a quality hammer with drop forged heat treated steel head and strong tubular steel shaft handle. It’s manufactured for durability and comfort. It has a curved claw. It has rubberized Anti-vibration grip in its handle which is very comfortable to use. Its weight is 1.65 lbs. and dimensions are 12.6 x 5.2 x 1.2 inches.
The hammer has curved claw used in demolition and extraction. The hammer is cheap and affordable. The hammer is durable and comfortable to use.
There is no magnetic nail starter.
In a limited budget, Stalwart 75-HT3001 16 oz. Tubular Steel Claw Hammer has the ability to be called as the best claw hammer.
9. TEKTON 30123 Jacketed Fiberglass Claw Hammer
If you want to have a fiberglass handled hammer in an optimal prize, as the best claw hammer, you can consider TEKTON 30123 Jacketed Fiberglass Claw Hammer.
This hammer has the head which is forged steel; with a handle of high strength fiberglass and is protected by an impact-resistant poly jacket. It has soft, non- slip, comfortable rubber grip. The claw is sharp and curved. It has head to handle epoxy bond which is permanent. Its weight is 1.54 lbs. and dimensions are 13 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches.
The handle is made of fiberglass protected by an impact-resistant poly jacket. Fiberglass absorbs vibration and thus reduces vibration. It has comfortable rubber grip which prevents slippage. The hammer is cheap. It’s comfortable to use.
It has no magnetic nail starters. It’s not ideal for very heavy works.
This is an affordable hammer with fiberglass handle. This hammer is comfortable to use. You can choose TEKTON 30123 Jacketed Fiberglass Claw Hammer as the best claw hammer.
Best Framing Hammer
Framing hammers are used in heavy works and to dismantle objects. These hammers are mainly for the professionals. So, which one is the best framing hammer? For professionals, it’s very important to choose the best one carefully.
10. DeWalt DWHT51064 22 Oz. Framing Hammer
For its basic features, you can consider DeWalt’s hammer as your claw hammer. Decide after I tell you about its features.
DeWalt DWHT51064 22 Oz. Framing Hammer is a one-piece steel hammer which makes it durable and strong. The hammer is flexible and has a good distribution of weight which helps in a controlled swing. The strike face of the hammer is oval shaped.
For efficient and effective nail pulling, it has a side nail puller. It has magnetic nail starter system. It is yellow/ash in color and can be easily spotted. The head weight is 22 oz. or 1.98 lbs. The product dimension is 15.9 x 5.5 x 1.5 inches.
The hammer has its weight equally distributed. Its shape is built in a way for easier nailing. To pull nails easily, it has an exclusive side nail puller. It has magnetic nail starter system by which you can drive nails one-handedly.
The hammer doesn’t have any quality grip. It’s expensive. It can’t absorb vibrations.
If you are looking for a balanced hammer, you can buy this DeWalt DWHT51064 22 Oz. Framing Hammer. It’s efficient in pounding or pulling nails.
11. Stanley 51-167 Framing Hammer
This hammer has some unique features. If you are aware of your hand health and don’t want to injure your hand at any cost and want to be extra cautious, Stanley 51-167 22-Ounce FatMax Xtreme AntiVibe Rip Claw Framing Hammer is the best hammer for you.
This is a one pieced forged steel hammer with increased and strength and durability. The hammer is of high quality. To reduce the effect of torques on elbows and wrists, it has the feature of patented torsion control grip technology. It has AntiVibe technology to reduce the shock and vibration. It has magnetic nail starters. Its weight is 2.3 pounds and dimensions are 1.4 x 6.3 x 16 inches. They are black in color.
The parented torsion control grip technology protects the hand. The Antivibe technology reduces the vibrations. The hammer is precisely balanced. They provide powerful blows and comfortable to use. The hammer is so affordable. It has magnetic nail starter system by which you can drive nails one-handedly.
Sometimes, the hammer might not look like the advertised image.
Stanley 51-163 16-Ounce FatMax Xtreme AntiVibe Rip Claw Nailing Hammer is a high-quality hammer for your hand. It’s efficient and comfortable to use. This hammer can be the best claw hammer for you.
Claw Hammer Safety Tips
Hammers are regular tools but often cause finger and hand injury. Everyone should be careful while working with hammers. Some safety tips are given below-
- Choose hammer according to your work demand. You should not use framing hammers in household works. For household works, you should use claw hammers.
- Before use, check your hammer.
- Try to have a firm grip of your hammer; otherwise, accidents may happen.
- Try to hold at the end of the hammer.
- Don’t try to strike hammers sideways; but squarely.
- Try to do your work against a hard surface.
- Try to learn and practice the swinging technique of hammer.
Lastly, be careful while using it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q.1: What is the industrial process of making a typical head of a carpenter’s claw hammer?
Ans: The manufacturing process is usually varied from one industry to another depending on the production capacity of the industry and methods.
Forging is the process of forming heads. A steel bar is heated on high temperature (2000-2300 F). The hot bar is cut into shorter lengths, called blanks. Between two cavities, the blanks are positioned and are called dies, within the forge. One die is usually held in a fixed position; whereas the other is attached to some movable ram. Under great pressure, the ram forces the two dies together and squeeze the hot steel into the shape of the two cavities. This process is repeated several times which gradually from the hammer head.
The structure is then shaped, made smoothed and clean. Then, the handle is formed.
Then the head and handle are assembled. And the other features are added.
Thus, carpenter’s claw hammers are produced in industries.
Q.2: When the Claw Hammer was Invented?
Ans: The claw hammer was first invented by the Romans sometime between 510 B. C. and 23 B. C. The inventor is unknown though. The first claw hammer was made of carved stone and was not like the present ones. Behind the present claw hammers, there is the contribution of an American blacksmith. The time was around the year 1840. Afterward, it’s been modified with time. It should be clarified that there is a contradiction in the time of the invention and in the names of the inventors of the claw hammer.
Q.3: What is a claw hammer made out of?
Ans: The claw hammers are mainly made of steel. They have handles of wood or steel or fiberglass or titanium. There are two parts- head and handle.
Q.4: What is a rip claw hammer used for?
Ans: The rip claw hammer is used to dismantle objects like wood or tile. For separating materials and boards, this hammer is perfect. Usually, straight claw hammers are heavier than curved claw hammers. But, be careful. For, the straight claw hammers can damage the nailing surface. These are framing hammers; are mainly for professional heavy works.
I hope this article has been useful to you. If you were in a fix, you could choose the best claw hammer by knowing the features of all hammers. Just choose wisely. If you want to do only household works, don’t choose heavy framing hammers. If you are a professional, you should choose balanced framing hammers of good quality. I only can suggest you. At the end of the day, the decision is yours. All the best.
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