10 Best Framing Hammers in 2020

Last updated: September 15, 2020
Published 7:13 pm

Estwing 22 oz Framing Hammer

Estwing MRW25LM Framing Hammer

Stanley 51-167 FatMax Framing Hammer

Published 7:13 pm

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A framing hammer is an important tool in jobs such as construction and carpentry. They are different from the basic hammer that we all know. Framing hammers were made to make framing easier. A framing hammer is a strong tool with a strong, heavy weighted head, straight claws, and a sleek body. They weigh more than the general purpose hammers. They help in heavy duty tasks such as building a house or repairing furniture; they make your work much easier and faster.

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Framing hammers differ in their construction and the material used in their balancing; some are made with steel or fiberglass handles; others have steel heads or titanium heads. The differences might make it seem like it is impossible to get the best framing hammers, but with this guide, you will be able to choose the right hammer for yourself.

BUYER’S GUIDE

When you go through the reviews on the best framing hammers, you will find a lot of options that come in various shapes and sizes. Choosing the right one from the list might seem like a hassle, but it is best to understand what is suitable for your needs. Read through this buying guide section that will tell you all the important things you should consider before purchasing a framing hammer.

FACTORS TO CONSIDER BEFORE PURCHASING A FRAMING HAMMER

HEAD WEIGHT: The weight of the framing hammers head is an important feature to consider. It is the part of the hammer that will be doing all the work. Having extra ounces in the hammerhead will give you more power when driving nails in, but do not pick a hammer that is too heavy; the weight of the hammer head and the handle should be balanced. It is best if you go for a lightweight framing hammer that can drive nails well; the best weight for the hammerhead should be 16 to 20 oz.

MATERIAL: The endurance level of the hammer greatly depends on the material it is constructed from. If the hammer is too heavy, then you won’t be able to deliver an appropriate blow, but if the hammer is too light, then the impact will be weak. This means that you should get a hammer that is made from a material that is light enough for you to lift but heavy enough to deliver an adequate blow. Two strong metals can give you this, and they are titanium and steel. Steel is heavier than titanium, but it is liked due to its cost.

LENGTH OF THE HANDLE: The length of the hammers handle plays a vital role in proper balancing of the weight of the hammer so that you can lift it with ease. Most framing hammers have a longer handle than regular hammers. The longer the length of the hammer, the more leverage you possess; the most comfortable length is 13 inches. The longest handle you can find is 17 inches, but they are best suited for heavy duty jobs.

THE FACE OF THE FRAMING HAMMER: The face of the hammer is the most significant part; it is the part that comes in contact with the nails; you may not know this, but not all hammer faces are the same. There are two types of hammer faces they are the waffle face and the flat face. The waffle face is the most preferred hammer face among users, and its face type prevents slipping when you strike the nails, they provide you with more grip, but they are not recommended for woodwork because they might leave an impression on the wood. Most framing hammers are commonly made with a flat face, it is a smooth surface that is suitable for woodwork, but it tends to keep slipping.

HANDLE TYPES: There are different types of handles, and they are an important feature to consider before purchasing a framing hammer. If the handle of the hammer is weak, then it could break while you are using the hammer, and this could lead to an accident. The material used in constructing the handle will determine the strength of the handle; there are materials that are usually used in the making of framing hammers handles, they are;

  • Steel: handles made from steel are the most durable, but they also transfer a lot of shock to the user’s hand. With a steel handle, you don’t have to put too much effort into pulling out a nail, but even with all these good qualities, the vibrations they send can affect the shoulder, elbow, and wrist. They are great for the hobbyist but not for professional use.
  • Wooden: The wooden handle prevents your hand from receiving shock, and they are easy to use. They are not as durable as steel; you might find cracks in the handle after an extended period of use, and they might end up snapping during use, and this may cause an accident. Still, if you don’t mind changing the handles every once in a while, then a wooden handle would be great for you. Also, framing hammers are mainly used outdoors; the wooden handle may not be able to withstand the harsh environment.
  • Fiberglass: This kind of handle is better than the wooden ones when it comes to durability, and they also provide adequate balance when in use. It is known as the middle alternative between steel and wood. It also absorbs shock, which makes it better than steel, but it is not as durable as steel. Fiberglass handles are the best in between handles; they provide you with durability and can absorb shock.

No matter the type of handle you choose, ensure you get one that has a comfortable handle and, importantly, one with a non-slip grip. Most modern framing hammers come with perfectly fitting handlebars that don’t slip; make sure you consider this when making your choice.

THE BUDGET: The final factor to consider is your budget. There are different prices of framing hammers that are available in the market. Some cost about $20 while some are more expensive and will cost you about $200 and above; the most expensive ones usually come with some extra features. The range of price for these hammers is dependent on their quality, if you intend on using it once, then you can go for the cheap ones, but if you planned on using it for a long time or even pass it down, then you must be ready to stretch your budget. If you are on a tight budget, then it would be best to get a good quality but cheap framing hammer.

The above information should help you make a choice on the best framing hammer. This guide and list will get you familiarized with the available framing hammers and what features to look for in the best framing hammer.

Let’s check out the list.

The Best 10 Framing Hammers Are Reviewed Below

We have listed some of the best framing hammers according to tools experts and users’ recommendations; we have also listed their specifications and features to give you an in-depth insight into the best framing hammers.

1

Estwing 22 oz Framing Hammer

The Estwing 22 oz Framing Hammer is known as the best carpenter hammer in the market. This framing hammer has a milled or textured face that provides you with extra grip. However, it should be used in driving nails into areas that won’t be seen because it leaves an indent on the wood. It features a shock, reducing grip, which makes it a comfortable tool to use. It is made in one piece, so there are low chances of it breaking; many users have testified about its durability. This hammer features everything you would want in a hammer and will make you very happy.

Key Features:

  • Made in one piece
  • Rip claw versatility
  • Milled face
  • Shock reducing grip
  • Made in the USA

Specification:

  • Brand: Estwing
  • Model: Estwing 22 oz Framing Hammer
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Dimensions: 16 * 5.75 * 1.5 inches
  • Style: Milled face
Pros
  • It is forged in one piece meaning there is less likely to break
  • It features a shock reducing grip
  • It has a milled face so it won’t slip off nails
  • Manu users have commended its durability; some say it can last for decades
Cons
  • It may have infrequent quality control problems

2

Estwing MRW25LM Framing Hammer

The Estwing MRW25LM Framing Hammer has a heavy head that provides you with more power. Even though the head of this hammer weighs a bit, it is well balanced with the rest of the hammer. The head is constructed from forged solid steel with a milled face. It also features a triple wedge construction with magnets that keeps the nail in place while you strike it into the wood. The handle of this hammer is made from top grade hickory wood, which provides you with a high performing, lightweight handle.

This framing hammer is affordable with a one year warranty; this is a hammer with all-round good qualities.

Key Features:

  • Sure strike top grade hickory handle
  • Forged solid steel heads
  • Triple wedge with magnets
  • Made in Taiwan

Specification:

  • Brand: Estwing
  • Model: Estwing MRW25LM Framing Hammer
  • Weight: 1.56 pounds
  • Dimensions: 17.75 * 6.13 * 1.5 inches
  • Length: 18 inches (457 mm)
  • Style: Milled face
Pros
  • Its weight is well balanced
  • It has a high performance
  • It is made from forged steel to make it durable
  • It has a strong but smooth handle
Cons
  • It can be a bit heavy

3

Stanley 51-167 FatMax Framing Hammer

The Stanley 51-167 FatMax Framing Hammer is a great finishing hammer. This hammer features a smooth face so it won’t leave a mark on your work surface. It has been constructed to ensure the handle is safe. It features an Xtreme AntiVibe Checkered framing that reduces the amount of vibration that is felt by the elbows and wrists. The grip of this hammer also comes with an anti-vibration material, which makes it suitable for people with carpal tunnel or other wrist issues.

The weight of the head is adequately balanced with the rest of the hammer. The head also has a magnetic feature that is strong enough to hold a nail in place. The head of the hammer is made from non-corrosive and rust-free steel with a black coating.

Key Features:

  • Xtreme AntiVibe Checkered Framing
  • A patented torsion control grip
  • Patented anti vibe
  • Magnetic hammer head
  • Checkered face design
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Specification:

  • Brand: Stanley
  • Model: Stanley 51-167 FatMax Framing Hammer
  • Weight: 1.95 pounds
  • Dimensions: 15.75 * 6.63 * 1.25 inches
  • Style: Smooth faced
  • Length: 16 inches
Pros
  • It is suitable for professionals
  • It has a good balance
  • It features a torsion control grip
  • It has a magnetic nail start
  • It features an anti vibe checkered handle for easy and safe working
Cons
  • It is quite expensive
  • The rip claw is not ideal for all users

4

Irwin Tools 1954890 Wood Framing Hammer

The Irwin brand has released some reliable products into the market. This model is one of Irwin’s best, so we had to add it to the list. The weight of this hammer’s head is 16 oz, which is sufficient enough to accomplish light duty tasks; it is made from high carbon steel, which is very durable. It features a milled face for extra grip, and because this hammer head is forged, it will serve you for a long time.

The handle of this model is made from high quality hickory for durability and strength. The hammer head and handle have a perfect balance making it a great product.

Key Features:

  • Forged steel head
  • 15.5 inch handle for extended reach
  • Milled face
  • Magnetic nail holder for one hand use
  • Curved hickory handle

Specification:

  • Brand: Irwin Tools
  • Model: Irwin Tools 1954890 Wood Framing Hammer
  • Weight: 16 ounces
  • Dimensions: 17.5 * 5.63 * 1.38 inches
  • Length: 16 inches
Pros
  • It is affordable
  • It is light in weight, which will reduce fatigue
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty
  • It has a versatile hammer head
Cons
  • The handle could be improved on

5

TEKTON 30325 Framing Hammer

The TEKTON 30325 Framing Hammer is an impressive tool to use. It features a magnetized slot that reaches down the top, this allows you to nail with just one hand, and since the magnet is in a slot, the nail won’t fall off. Its sharpened claw makes it easy to pull out tight nails. It also has a crossed milled face for extra grip. The low price of this hammer gives you the best value for your money. It has a fiberglass body that isn’t as good as the all metal models because it won’t be able to hold the steel head properly, but it is still an ideal hammer.

Key Features:

  • Anti-slip, axe inspired handle
  • High strength fiberglass handle
  • Crossed milled face
  • Magnetic nail starting slot
  • Sharpened straight claw
  • Permanent head to handle epoxy bond

Specification:

  • Brand: TEKTON
  • Model: TEKTON 30325 Framing Hammer
  • Weight: 2.06 pounds
  • Dimensions: 15.7 * 6.2 * 1.3 inches
  • Length: 16 inches
Pros
  • It has a crossed milled face for added grip
  • It is affordable
  • It comes with a magnetic nails slot for one hand usage
  • It has a sharpened claw that can pull nails from any type of surface
Cons
  • The head mounting is a bit unreliable

6

Dalluge DDT16P Framing Hammer

The Dalluge DDT16P Framing Hammer has a 16 oz hammer head that is suitable for light duty jobs. This hammer is enhanced with titanium, and this makes it incredibly durable and free from rust and corrosion. This model features a nailoc magnetic nail holder for holding standard to complex nails easily. The handle of this model is made from genuine quality hickory wood that has a smooth finish for a convenient hold.

This hammer also features a patented shock absorbent design that prevents shock from affecting the hand or elbow. It has a side nail puller for leverage and a reinforced claw for extra strength.

Key Features:

  • 16 oz Titanium hammer with a smooth finish
  • Patented shock absorbing design
  • Nailoc magnetic nail holder
  • Overstrike guard for handle protection
  • Side nail puller and reinforced claws

Specification:

  • Brand: Dalluge
  • Model: Dalluge DDT16P Framing Hammer
  • Weight: 11 ounces
  • Dimensions: 5.59 * 17.32 * 1.26 inches
  • Length: 17.3 inches
Pros
  • It is lightweight
  • It features a strong handle
  • It is perfectly balanced
  • It has a superb design
Cons
  • It is a bit expensive

7

Vaughan California Framing-Hammer

The Vaughan California Framing-Hammer has one of the best milled faces in the market. It provides you with a good grip. It is also oversize, and this gives you a larger, striking space. It has a powerful claw that easily removes nails, but it might seem like all the focus is on the face of the hammer.

The handle is made from hickory wood, which some people might prefer, but it is not as durable as its metal counterparts; it also features a slot to allow one hand usage, but it is not magnetized. This hammer is an alright hammer if you won’t be using it for heavy duty jobs; if not, you might want to get a higher quality hammer.

Key Features:

  • USA made
  • Fully polished head
  • Milled face
  • Smooth swept claws
  • Extra large striking face

Specification:

  • Brand: Vaughan & Bushnell
  • Model: Vaughan California Framing-Hammer
  • Weight: 1.75 pounds
  • Dimensions: 1.1 * 5.5 * 16.7 inches
Pros
  • It has a milled face for extra grip
  • It has an extra large face
  • It has a powerful claw
Cons
  • It is not magnetic
  • It features a wooden handle, which some people might not like

8

Estwing E3-25SM Framing Hammer

The Estwing E3-25SM Framing Hammer has a head weight of 16 oz, which will allow you to accomplish a variety of jobs. The entire hammer is made from steel, which makes it durable and powerful. The hammer head is forged, making it suitable for framers, DIYers, roofers, and tradesmen. This hammer is resistant to corrosion and rust.

The handle of this hammer is made of steel but has a patented shock reduction grip that reduces the impact of vibrations on the hand and elbow. It also features a rip claw and flat edge face. This model is very constructive and a great purchase.

Key Features:

  • Forged in one piece
  • Patented shock reduction grip
  • Made in the USA
  • Milled face
  • Versatile rip claw

Specification:

  • Brand: Estwing
  • Model: Estwing E3-25SM Framing Hammer
  • Weight: 2 pounds (25 oz)
  • Dimensions: 18 * 5.9 * 1.5 inches
  • Length: 18 inches
Pros
  • It is lightweight
  • It is made from durable and strong steel
  • It features a shock resistant handle
  • It is a large hammer for large tasks
  • It is affordable
Cons
  • The flat face of this hammer makes it difficult to handle different task

9

Real Steel 0517 Ultra Framing Hammer

The Real Steel 0517 Ultra Framing Hammer is a versatile model. This framing hammer features a milled face, but it is not as large as other hammers on this list, but it is not too small. It also features a magnetic nail starter, allowing you to use the hammer with one hand. This hammer will be easier on your wrist because it weighs less than most of the hammers on this list.

Because this hammer is lighter, it will not have the same driving force as other heavier framing hammers, the difference in its weight is slight, but physic will tell you its noticeable. The handle of this hammer isn’t the most comfortable to hold, but it is better than holding a bare hammer and feeling all the vibrations. This model has an okay value for its price.

Key Features:

  • Forged from one piece steel
  • Milled striking face
  • Magnetic nail starter
  • Shock reducing, textured rubber grip
  • Ultra sleek design

Specification:

  • Brand: Real Steel inc
  • Model: Real Steel 0517 Ultra Framing Hammer
  • Weight: 2.09 pounds
  • Dimensions: 5.88 * 1.5 * 15.5 inches
Pros
  • It features a milled face for increased striking accuracy
  • It has a magnetic nail starter that allows you to use the hammer with one hand
  • It is a bit lighter than other framing hammers
  • It is strong and durable
  • It is cheap
Cons
  • Its driving force is not as strong as that of the heavier framing hammers
  • It has an underwhelming grip

10

Fiskars IsoCore Framing Hammer

The Fiskars IsoCore Framing Hammer features a 22 oz hammer head, suitable for heavy duty jobs, and is great for professionals. This model is made from high quality steel, which increases its performance but also makes it durable. It has a milled face that prevents the hammer from sliding off nails and also lets you use the hammer with one hand. The handle of this hammer is also made from steel and has insulated sleeves that absorb the initial strike shock before it can affect the hand and elbow.

The IsoCore shock control system absorbs the shock and vibration caused by striking to reduce the effect on the body from the violent vibrations. It is a great model at a reasonable price.

Key Features:

  • Milled face
  • Patented IsoCore shock control system
  • Insulations sleeves
  • Full lifetime warranty
  • Large hammer for heavy duty tasks

Specification:

  • Brand: Fiskars
  • Model: Fiskars IsoCore Framing Hammer
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Dimensions: 1.5 * 5.5 * 16 inches
  • Length: 16 inches
Pros
  • It is affordable
  • It is made out of high quality steel, which makes it durable
  • It is suitable for professionals
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty
  • It features insulated sleeves for shock absorbing
Cons
  • It does not have an impressive nail pulling force

Buying Guide Questions

You will find below some of the most asked questions about the use and handling of a framing hammer.

What is the best weight for a framing hammer? What are framing hammers used for?

The best weight for a framing hammer should be from 16 ounces to 28 ounces. The head of the hammer should be made from a strong material such as steel or titanium. Some of the best framing hammers weigh a bit more than 28 ounces.

Framing hammers are used for the framing of wooden houses or furniture; they also feature heavy duty rip claws for pulling of nails.

What is the difference between a framing hammer and a regular hammer?

A framing hammer is similar to the regular hammer except; length, it will be a few inches longer than the regular hammer, and this will provide you with leverage.

Weight, a framing hammer, weighs extra ounces in its hammer head to provide the user with a stronger striking force for driving in nails.

Milled face, most framing hammers come with a milled face to prevent the hammer from slipping off the nail when striking.

The framing hammer also comes with a flatter claw for pulling out nails.

What is a California framing hammer?

A California framing hammer has an extra-wide face that makes it more efficient and faster; it also features a waffle pattern on its face to prevent slipping during strikes. It has a hardwood handle for comfort.

What are the three types of hammers?

There are over 40 types of hammers, and they all differ in their uses, but there are three main types of hammers and they include;

The claw hammer: Most people are used to claw hammers; they are mostly used for woodworking and household repairs. The hammer head is usually made from steel with a face for driving in nails and a two-pronged claw for pulling nails out of wood. Their handles are typically made from wood, fiberglass, or steel. The durable handles are made out of fiberglass or steel, and they will also have paddings made from rubber or plastic for shock absorption.

Ball peen hammer: These hammers are usually used for metalwork. Instead of having a claw, the ball peen hammer has a flat striking face on one side and a rounded one on the other side. The steel ball peen head is hardened and is less likely to chip, which makes it suitable for driving punches, setting rivets, and shaping metal. The handle of this hammer is usually made out of hickory wood.

Club hammers: This hammer is like a small sledgehammer for driving stakes and chisels. Most club hammers feature two identical faces with a short handle usually 10 inches. It has two identical faces for balance; the two faces can be used in the same fashion. The handle of this hammer comes in majorly hickory wood, but there are also club hammers that come with fiberglass handles.

What hammer does a carpenter use?

The most useful hammers for carpentry are the framing hammer, trim hammer, and sledgehammer. They are all versatile hammers that will make work easier and faster for the user.

Why is it bad to hit two hammers together?

Hammers are made to strike objects softer than the hammer itself. Metals are a bit brittle, so if you hit two hammers together, you could send broken off bits of metal flying all around, and it could end up in your eye or other places.

Conclusion

Various framing hammer brands offer different amazing products fo you to purchase, but choosing the right one can be very difficult. We have tried to make it easy and simple for you to choose the best product. The above list has got great handpicked products for you to choose from; we have reviewed the right models that are made from the best materials and are available at reasonable prices that will suit the budget of every individual. We also chose hammers that are adequately balanced to prevent fatigue in the arm.

The Estwing 22 oz Framing Hammer is our best choice when it comes to framing hammers; it has a milled face, shock reducing grip, and it is also forged in one piece, greatly improving its durability. Go through the list carefully and choose the framing hammer that meets your requirements.

Hopefully, the reviews and buyers guide has helped you familiarize yourself with framing hammers and given you an insight into what framing hammer model is right for you.