At its core, a hammer is designed to carry out a relatively simple job. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that all hammers are created to the same high-quality standards. Quite the opposite, as while some hammers are designed and manufactured to go the distance, others can be downright hazardous to use.
The good news is that if you pick up just one superior quality hammer from a leading brand, it could be the only hammer you’ll need for years or even decades to come.
Which is precisely what you’ll find in this guide – a selection of some of the most outstanding hammers currently available, as personally selected by our team.
Whether looking to pick up a hammer for professional use or simply to complete your home tool box, you won’t go wrong with any of the entries in this guide.
Best Hammer Reviews
#1 Recommendation: Stanley 51-163 Rip Claw Nailing Hammer
First up, it’s not until you try out a truly outstanding anti-shock hammer that you realise just how impressive the difference can be. In the case of the Stanley 51-163 16-Ounce FatMax Xtreme AntiVibe Rip Claw Nailing Hammer, they really don’t come much better!
While the name itself might be a bit of a mouthful, the Stanley 51-163 Hammer is worth getting to know. Designed to get the job done with flawless precision while keeping shock and vibrations to absolute minimums, the Stanley 51-163 is an absolute joy to use.
The whole thing has been balanced with such precision that comfort is taken to new heights, even before you begin driving nails into surfaces.
Forged, one-piece steel construction increases strength and durability, while the patented torsion grip translates to comfort and performance you simply will not find with any other hammer.
Still, it’s only when you use this Stanley hammer for more intensive and lengthy jobs that the incredible anti-shock system really begins to shine.
Designed to keep wrists and elbows safe and comfortable at all times, you’d be forgiven for even thinking you’d picked up a hammer at the end of a challenging day!
If out to pick up a hammer that’s easy and comfortable to use, affordably priced and capable of dealing with just about anything, this is it. And of course, the fact that the Stanley 51-163 Rip Claw Nailing Hammer is currently on sale for a seriously low price only adds to is appeal!
#2 Recommendation: Maxcraft 60626 Stubby Claw Hammer
Every toolbox should feature at least one stubby hammer. And if you ask us as many people do, it should be the Maxcraft 60626 8-oz. Stubby Claw Hammer.
Small in size though massive in performance, the Maxcraft 60626 Hammer is all about comfort and performance. Whatever the job, this little guy packs the kind of punch that far belies its compact size.
Particularly when dealing with more difficult jobs with limited space to play with, the Maxcraft 60626 is an indispensable tool. Measuring in at just 6-inches in length, the full power of the hammer can be applied in an area far too small and awkward for standard hammers.
This Maxcraft hammer features a full size 8 oz. forged steel claw head, which is also magnetized to allow for one-handed use in tighter spots.
The handle itself is hugely comfortable to hold and doesn’t become slippery when wet or greased. The contoured design makes the Maxcraft 60626 Claw Hammer comfortable to use long-term – perfect for on-off and more intensive use alike, which is pretty much where it comes to an end with the Maxcraft 60626.
This is the kind of tool that proves how the best things really can come in the smallest packages. And just for the record, it’s also the same story with the price – a seriously small price for a hammer that delivers huge value for money.
#3 Recommendation: Estwing E16S 16 oz Straight Claw Hammer
Next up, there aren’t many tool manufacturers on the market that have anything close to the reputation of Estwing.
Famed for sparing no expense in the design and manufacture of truly extraordinary tools, the Estwing E16S 16 oz Straight Claw Hammer with Smooth Face and Leather Grip comes in right at the top of our table for a very good reason.
Manufactured from a single piece of extraordinary quality steel and lavished with a luxurious leather grip, you only need to hold the Estwing E16S once to understand what true premium quality is all about.
Weighty enough to give a feel of durability yet beautifully balanced in every way, the Estwing E16S is no less than a masterpiece for those who refuse to compromise on quality.
This Estwing hammer has been designed from the ground up to deal with the kinds of heavy-duty tasks that would easily destroy a lower-grade tool.
The grip remains secure and comfortable during even the most demanding jobs, and while all-out punishment might take a little of the luster from its finish, this outstanding hammer remains as good as new for years on end.
To be frank, the fact that the Estwing E16S is currently available for such a low price makes it an absolutely unbeatable bargain.
#4 Recommendation: Stanley FMHT51249 FATMAX Anti Vibe Nailing Hammer
An interesting piece of engineering, to say the least, the Stanley FMHT51249 FatMax® Anti-Vibe™ Steel Nail Hammer has been designed to make your work less demanding with a uniquely-designed head.
Specifically, this unusual two-piece hammer features AntiVibe Technology – a surprisingly effective shock absorption system that minimizes the shock and vibration felt while in use.
Having come down in price significantly over the past few months, the Stanley FMHT51249 Hammer makes for an extremely tempting investment.
Essentially, it’s all about ergonomics and comfort with the Stanley FMHT51249 Steel Nail Hammer. Designed and manufactured by the gurus at Stanley, the shaft and grip could not be more comfortable to hold – even for prolonged periods.
Of course, it’s not until you put the FatMax to use that you get to see for yourself how that superb AntiVibe Technology works.
Which essentially serves two purposes – the first of which being to make this Hammer wonderfully comfortable to use for even the most demanding applications.
In addition, the shock absorption technology also makes it borderline impossible to place too much pressure on the hammer and cause damage. Meaning that whatever you put it through, it will always come bouncing back for more – quite literally!
In terms of weight, balance and quality materials, there’s really nothing negative whatsoever to be said about this Steel Nail Hammer, particular when considering the kit comes complete with a limited lifetime warranty from Stanley. Meaning that even with such a low purchase price, of this could potentially be the only hammer you’ll ever need to add to your toolbox!
#5 Recommendation: DEWALT DWHT51145 14 Oz Framing Hammer
A name that needs no introduction in terms of both quality and value for money, the DEWALT DWHT51145 14 Oz Framing Hammer represents an outstanding addition to the brand’s extensive collection of hammers.
Despite being relatively simple in design, DEWALT has nonetheless produced the kind of hammer that impresses in every way that counts.
An exceptionally popular tool among professional carpenters all over the world, the DEWALT DWHT51145 Hammer is a product of extensive research, development and customer feedback.
By bringing a number of designs tweaks into the equation and expanding the range with a variety of weights, DEWALT has effectively covered the needs of professionals at all levels. And the fact that they’ve done so for such a low price is borderline mind-blowing.
As would be expected, this particular DEWALT Hammer is lightweight, durable and beautifully comfortable to use. Sporting a helpful nail holder and a surprisingly effective anti-vibration system, you can put this hammer through its paces all day long and remain completely comfortable.
Manufactured from the highest quality steel and boasting pretty sweet looks from top to bottom, the DEWALT DWHT51145 Framing Hammer makes a proud addition to any professional or DIY toolbox.
It may have been designed with carpenters in mind, but anyone looking to tackle routine jobs of any kind will find the DEWALT DWHT51145 right up their street!
#6 Recommendation: Stiletto TBM14RMC TiBone Mini 14 oz Hammer
Whichever way you look at it, hammers really don’t come any more premium or exclusive than the frankly stunning Stiletto TBM14RMC TiBone Mini Hammer.
Boasting an extraordinary titanium frame complemented by a replaceable steel face and a curved hatchet-style grip, the Stiletto TBM14RMC hammer takes everything you think you know about everyday tools to the next level.
Boasting 10-times the durability of conventional steel, this undeniable masterpiece is about a solid, effective, lightweight, versatile and enjoyable to work with as it gets.
Despite weighing in at just 14 ounces, this hammer delivers the kind of punch you’d expect from a hammer with at least double this weight.
Raising the bar to entirely new levels, the Stiletto TBM14RMC makes light work of even the most difficult of jobs, enabling nails to be driven into materials with little to no effort required.
From the comfort of its handle to the innovative shock-protection system to the way this gorgeous piece of kit looks, the Stiletto TBM14RMC TiBone Mini Hammer simply laughs in the face of whatever you decide to throw at it.
For obvious reasons, therefore, it outperforms every other hammer in this list and remains to this day in a league of its own. The only reason it doesn’t take the top spot is that it tends to be considerably more expensive the most are willing to spend on a hammer.
Still, if you don’t mind handing over $250 or so for a true masterpiece, you’ll never tire of reaching for the Stiletto TBM14RMC!
The Ultimate Buying Guide To Buy The Best Hammer
A hammer is one of the most versatile and useful additions to any professional or DIY toolbox. But as mentioned at the beginning of this guide, quality counts.
It’s one thing to pick up a low-grade hammer that’s uncomfortable to use, but substandard hammers can sometimes pose a genuine risk to health and safety.
On the plus side, you don’t have to spend a fortune these days to invest in a high-quality hammer. And even if you do go for something right at the top of the table, you at least know it’s the only hammer you will have to buy for some time.
Make no mistake about it – professional applications call for professional-quality tools. That said, selecting something from a little higher up the quality ladder - even for occasional domestic use - comes highly recommended.
So if looking to pick up a hammer for any purpose in the near future, be sure to factor the following into the equation, before making your final decision:
For the most part, the quality of any given hammer largely comes down to its component materials. To keep prices down, many manufacturers use the lowest quality steel and composites they can get their hands on.
At the opposite end of the scale, premium hammers can be manufactured with anything from premium stainless steel to aluminum alloys to titanium.
So if looking to pick up a hammer of quality, always take into account its component materials beforehand.
It’s also important to take note of the grip, in accordance with how you intend to use the hammer. For example, if you are only likely to use the hammer around the home on an infrequent and light-duty basis, you probably don’t need a handle that guarantees day-long comfort.
By contrast, if you will be using the hammer far more continuously and perhaps in the presence of grease or moisture of any kind, you need to ensure that the grip is up to the job.
The same also goes for shock absorption – a feature that’s more important in heavy-duty settings than the average home.
Nevertheless, it goes without saying that the more effective the vibration reduction system, the more comfortable the hammer is going to be while in use.
Some hammers feature genuinely impressive shock absorption systems, while some feature no such systems at all.
Taking into account the primary purpose of the hammer is also important, for relatively obvious reasons. For one thing, there are various types of hammers to suit a variety of applications.
Claw hammers, ball pein hammers, framing hammers and so on – all enormously versatile, though designed for somewhat specific applications. That said, there are also plenty of all-around hammers to choose from if looking for maximum flexibility and convenience.
Depending on your chosen brand and product, your purchase may be covered by some kind of warranty, which could be anything from a 12-month guarantee right up to a limited lifetime warranty.
Along with the peace of mind that comes with knowing your hammer will the replaced should it prove faulty, warranties are also reassuring marks of quality in their own right.
Last but not least, exactly which weight makes the best choice for you will come largely down to your own personal preferences.
While some are far more comfortable holding and working with a relatively heavy hammer, others prefer the more lightweight tools on the market.
As such, it’s in your best interests to ensure that you pick up a tool that suits your preferences and intended application accordingly.