Best Framing Hammers

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 23, 2019
A framing hammer looks like your average claw hammer but gives you more leverage, more inertia for driving nails, more often than not, a milled face that prevents slipping when the head strikes the nail. Here, you'll find some of the best options on the market today. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Length
Head
Handle
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

The handle comes equipped with a genuine leather grip. It looks elegant and refined, sanded and lacquered, giving the said handle a comfortable, attractive, but, at the same time, durable finish. The high-leverage nail-pulling notch will let you pull out the most stubborn nails with effortless ease. 

CONS

The black paint wears off after some time. 

OUR VERDICT

Estwing E15SM Ultra Series Hammer is easily the best framing hammer in this particular selection and one of the best prospects on the market right now. You can use it for pulling nails, prying boards, demolition work, splitting wood, and many more different applications.

detailed parameters
Length

15.5"

Head

Forged steel

Milled face, rip claw, magnetic nail starter, side nail-pulling notch

Handle

Genuine leather grip

Weight

15 oz (head)

Warranty

Lifetime

PROS

The Patented IsoCore Shock Control System excels at absorbing strike shock and vibrations, reducing the punishment that your body takes every time you hit the nail. The dual-layer handle is generally able to capture any lingering vibration. The sound-dampening insert works wonders to reduce and practically nullify the high-frequency ringing.

CONS

The milled face diameter is relatively limited. 

OUR VERDICT

Fiskars IsoCore is an excellent framing hammer, a cut above your average model. Though the model is really versatile, it is best for big framing jobs and pounding large nails into tougher lumber with power and speed. Plus, the steel here is absolutely nothing to scoff at. 

detailed parameters
Length

16"

Head

Forged steel

Milled face, rip claw, magnetic nail starter

Handle

Non-slip grip with IsoCore™ Shock Control System

Weight

20 oz (head)

Warranty

Lifetime

PROS

The hammer is 18 inches long, giving you a better reach for various tasks and applications. Both the head and the handle are forged in 1-piece steel. The model features nice blue UV coating that does not lose its attractive appearance over the years. 

CONS

The hammer is a little difficult in maintenance. 

OUR VERDICT

Estwing E3-25SM is about as good as framing hammers come, designed for pros but perfectly suitable for newbies as well. It will prove perfect for professional framers, carpenters, roofers, different contractors, tradesman, and serious DIYers.

detailed parameters
Length

18"

Head

Forged steel

Smooth face, rip claw 

Handle

ShockReduction™ grip

Weight

25 oz (head)

Warranty

Lifetime

PROS

The Antivibe™ technology makes sure that the vibrations are kept to a minimum. The torsion control stabilizers reduce the shock at impact and that, in turn, reduces the arm-twisting fatigue. The rim temper minimizes chipping and spalling. 

CONS

The handle loses its non-slip properties over time. 

OUR VERDICT

Stanley 51-177 Fatmax Xtreme Antivibe is a solid, reliable, and convenient framing hammer. It is an effective tool that you will be able to swing for hours without experiencing too much fatigue. It should not crack under any pressure, proverbial or literal.

detailed parameters
Length

16"

Head

Forged steel

Smooth face, rip claw, magnetic nail starter

Handle

Grip with Antivibe™ technology, Torsion control stabilizers

Weight

22 oz (head)

Warranty

Lifetime

PROS

The rip claw is really versatile and will allow you to pull nails, pry boards, split wood, the list goes on. The handle is overall comfortable but grippy and it stays that way for years to come. 

CONS

The polished steel is susceptible to scratches. 

OUR VERDICT

Estwing E3-22SM is better than your typical framing hammer but a little bit worse than every other model on our list. Provided you do not put too much stock towards appearance and you do not need a magnetic nail starter, this is the hammer to go for.

detailed parameters
Length

16"

Head

Forged steel

Milled face, rip claw

Handle

ShockReduction™ grip

Weight

22 oz (head)

Warranty

Lifetime

Estwing E15SM

The Right Tool for any Job

Estwing E15SM Ultra Series Hammer is a little more expensive than every other hammer on this list but that's because the model is as much as a useful tool as it is a testament to excellent craftsmanship and top-notch design.

To start with, the handle comes equipped with a genuine leather grip. It looks elegant and refined, sanded and lacquered, giving the handle a comfortable, attractive, but, at the same time, durable finish.

Other than the grip, the whole thing is forged in one piece, making the model about as robust and long-lasting as they come.

Of course, with high-end framing hammers, some things are a given, like a magnetic nail starter that allows for one-handed, quick, accurate, and, most importantly, convenient nailing.

But the biggest difference between high-end products and mid-range counterparts is the things that you won't find in the latter. A good example of that would be the high-leverage nail-pulling notch. With it, you'll be able to pull out the most stubborn nails with effortless ease.

Lastly, though the model is as robust and effective as the next high-end hammer, its weight has been limited to just 15 ounces, reducing hand fatigue as much as possible.

In short, Estwing E15SM Ultra Series Hammer is easily the best framing hammer in this particular selection and one of the best prospects on the market right now. You can use it for pulling nails, prying boards, demolition work, splitting wood, and many more different applications. While lightweight, the model is strong and powerful enough to tackle various jobs.

Review of Estwing E15SM Ultra Series Hammer - 15 oz Rip Claw Framer

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Fiskars 750241-1001

Pound the Largest Nails

Fiskars IsoCore is no joke. There are many differences between this hammer and your average framing model. A good (scratch that, the best) place to start would be the Patented IsoCore Shock Control System. Provided the name doesn't paint a clear enough picture, the aforementioned system excels at absorbing strike shock and vibrations, reducing the punishment that your body takes every time you hit the nail. Plus, the dual-layer handle is generally able to capture any lingering vibration.

The steel in general here is nothing to scoff at either. Forged into a perfectly balanced design with the usual milled face, the model works wonders preventing mis-hits. There's a magnetic nail starter similar to the previous hammer's that lets you start nails with one hand. The rip claw allows you to pull nails quickly and easily. Lastly, the sound-dampening insert is able to reduce and practically nullify the high-frequency ringing.

Just about the only issue we have with this hammer is the aforementioned milled face. In general, it is great, preventing the hammer from sliding off the nail head when striking. But the diameter is relatively limited, so you'll have to be accurate and precise with your swings and hits.

Having said that, Fiskars IsoCore is an excellent framing hammer, a cut above your average model. Though the model is really versatile, it is best for big framing jobs and pounding large nails into tougher lumber with power and speed.

Review of Fiskars 750241-1001 IsoCore 22 oz Milled-face Framing Hammer

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Estwing E3-25SM

Professional Tools for Professional Needs

Estwing E3-25SM is a professional tool for professional framers, carpenters, roofers, different contractors, tradesman, and serious DIYers. The company knows how to make quality tools and this right here is an excellent example of that. There's a lot to like about this hammer. For instance, it is 18 inches long, giving you a better reach for various tasks and applications.

The model comes with the company's usual rip claw that is as suitable for pulling nails and prying boards as it is for splitting wood and general demolition work. Estwing's trademark ShockReduction™ grip is present as well. As it is always the case, it does a bang-up job giving you a nice, comfortable, and firm grip, all while keeping impact vibration as low as possible.

Again, sticking with the theme here, this is an Estwing tool, meaning that both the head and the handle are forged in 1-piece steel.

But the difference between this model and just about every other Estwing framing hammer, among other things, is its nice blue UV coating that does not lose its attractive appearance over the years.

This long handheld tool's weight is probably the only area where it disappoints. It's nothing too overall detrimental but its 25-ounce weight is a little heavy compared to your average hammer like that (makes sense though considering that it is a little longer as well).

Apart from that, Estwing E3-25SM is about as good as framing hammers come, designed for pros but perfectly suitable for newbies as well.

Review of Estwing E3-25SM BIG BLUE Framing Hammer

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Stanley 51-177

Vibrations, Be Gone

With every other product out there, "antivibe" wouldn't be considered a good tagline. But, with Stanley 51-177 Fatmax Xtreme Antivibe, you probably know that the aforementioned part does not refer to metaphysical vibrations regarding attitude, atmosphere, and things like that but rather actual vibrations. And, considering that the grip comes equipped with the company's Antivibe™ technology, you know that those vibrations will be kept to a minimum.

Aside from its ability to minimize vibration, what we really like about this model is the torsion control stabilizers that reduce the shock at impact and that, in turn, reduces the arm-twisting fatigue.

Now, we're not saying that this is a perfect product. Though it is durable in most respects, including the rim temper that minimizes chipping and spalling, we can't say the same about the handle. It is comfortable and overall practical but the aforementioned grip loses its non-slip properties over time, so you'll have to start being more careful with it after a few years.

We don't have any problems with the magnetic nail starter though. First off, it is there in the first place, which is already great. Second, it allows for quick and accurate nailing with one hand, always a plus in our book.

All things considered, Stanley 51-177 Fatmax Xtreme Antivibe is a solid, reliable, and convenient framing hammer. It is an effective tool that you will be able to swing for hours without experiencing too much fatigue. It should not crack under any pressure, proverbial or literal.

Review of Stanley 51-177 Framing Hammer

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Estwing E3-22SM

Polished Look

Estwing E3-22SM is not necessarily basic. In fact, compared to your average milled face hammer, it is anything but basic. However, it is a little simple in comparison with every other hammer on this list. We don't really have any major issues with it, it's just that the model doesn't really excel in any category.

We could say that the rubber handle here is nice, about as grippy and reliable as the rest of them, giving you a comfortable and firm grip.

We can't say that we haven't seen it before though. As per usual, the ShockReduction™ grip does a great job minimizing vibrations as much as possible, effectively blocking about 70% of the impact.

We can mention that the head and the handle are forged in 1-piece steel, making them and the tool in general much more strong and durable than any other model crafted differently.

The rip claw should not go unnoticed either, allowing you to pull nails, pry boards, split wood, the list goes on.

But, at the same time, we couldn't gloss over the polished steel that, while looks nice and sleek, is a little too susceptible to scratches, so you'll have to be really careful with the tool or make peace with the fact that it won't be looking as good in a year or two.

To sum it all up, Estwing E3-22SM is better than your typical framing hammer but a little bit worse than every other model on our list. Provided you do not put too much stock towards appearance and you do not need a magnetic nail starter, this is the hammer to go for. It is comfortable, grippy, effective, and reliable.

Review of Estwing E3-22SM Framing Hammer

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

What Is a Framing Hammer?

There are many things that separate well-thought-out, well-balanced tools and quality products from subpar tools and underwhelming models. Among other things, a good tool is, more often than not, more versatile than you'd think at first. For example, a name like "framing hammer" implies that a tool like that is only good for framing stuff.

But that's not really the case, is it? A quality hammer like that will let you pry boards, pull nails, helps with demolition work, split wood, and do a little bit of everything hammer-wise. From professional framers, carpenters, and roofers to different contractors, tradesman, serious DIYers, and aspiring handyman, there are many different people that can benefit from a framing hammer.

Sure, they aren't all created equal. But every model in this selection is great in different ways. Provided you read the reviews and keep your desired projects and applications in mind, you should be able to choose the right hammer.

Naturally, as versatile as these hammers are, there are many things that they won't be able to do. But there's a good chance that a proper rivet gun or staple gun might just be able to do the trick.

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Publish Date: 2019-04-24 09:04:02