Claw hammers are generally available in three hammer head weights: 8oz, 16oz and 20oz. Today leading toolmakers supply a range of claw hammers from the traditional to the ultra modern. To help you decide which hammer is best for you, DIY Dan has tested a selection of claw hammers for lets-do-diy.com
Faithfull hickory handle 16oz claw hammer
This no-frills hammer with a traditional wooden handle performed well when tested. Hickory is recognised for its ability to absorb impact and was widely used in the manufacturing of tool handles. Although materials that have greater shock absorbency are replacing hickory, this Faithful hammer is still an excellent buy.
RRP £6.80 excluding VAT
Faithfull fibreglass handle 20oz
Although this hammer has a heavier head, the lightweight fibreglass shaft reduces the overall weight of the hammer and it felt no heavier in the hand than the16oz hammer with a hickory handle. Performed exceptionally well when levering nails from timber, not slipping once. Personally, I felt the rubber grip was a little rough in the hand, which may cause chafing if the hammer is used continuously for a long period.
RRP £7.62 excluding VAT
Stanley FatMax XL 20oz
A one-piece hammer with shaft and head forged from a single piece of steel. The shaft is precision balanced for better handling. This FatMax model has a soft grip on a curved handle and felt very comfortable in the hand even after prolonged use. A tuning fork plus 24 torque stabilising bars are fitted into the handle to reduce shock and vibration. A magnetic recess in the front of the head holds the nail in position for hands free use. A professional hammer with many features, which is reflected in the price.
RRP £24.53 excluding VAT
Buck and Hickman Dragon Hammer 20oz
The Dragon hammer is a high specification tool. Ergonomically designed with a curved shock absorbent handle that fits comfortably in the hand. A gripping area towards the top of the handle makes the hammer easy to use for light tapping. The curved head design reduces the force needed to pull out nails. A shock absorber is fitted to the head to lessen vibration on impact.
RRP £16.95 excluding VAT
Spear & Jackson Rippa 20oz
Another one-piece hammer fitted with an anti-vibration handle. The Rippa proved highly efficient in hammering 6 inch nails into timber, driving them in accurately while causing little discomfort in the arm and elbow. The steel is heat treated for optimum safety and durability. I liked the soft feel grip and was impressed with the overall performance of this claw hammer.
RRP £19.83 excluding VAT
Draper expert 16oz
Made from forged, fine grain carbon steel this one-piece hammer is superbly balanced. The shock-absorbing grip is fitted with an airbag to absorb vibration when the hammer strikes. Exceptional performance in terms of accuracy, leverage and comfort, and very competitively priced. Highly recommended.
RRP £13.60 excluding VAT