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Why you like and dislike these hammmer


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I have not used any of them, for the work I do I carry a 10oz Stiletto hammer in my bags.  With the waffle faces they are all framing hammers. The dewalt looks like the most poorly made one as the casting looks very rough to the point that it could cut you. 

I just could not bring myself to buy a Friskars hammer. To me they just make middle of the road garden tools. So I would pick between the bottom three. 

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Only Estwing I have currently is a drywall hammer that has stood up to much abuse over the years. Not a fan of any of the other metal shaft types though, and have several hickory handle Stiletto hammers in my kit that I prefer these days. I used to have several Estwing dead blow hammers, but they all cracked and fell apart after over ten years of hard use. Also have a drawer full of older hammers that almost never see any use these days, some left over from my time with a framing crew early in my construction days.

 

If I were still working on a framing crew, I might be willing to try out some of these new hammers, but thirty plus years ago the only hammers that that stayed in the kit for use every day, and swinging all day long, had wood handles. Fiber and steel handle units were just too punishing to use continuously, and the old habits keep me using wood handles to this day. I have two old Stanley finish hammers, from back then, that started out as fiber handles, and got chopped off in favor of sixteen inch hickory handles, that I still use today. The fiber handles they started out with were just awkward in balance, and rough to use all day long, but changing to the wood handle turned them into my most used light hammers for most of my construction career.

 

I am just not using hammers enough on a regular basis these days to change the old habits, let alone wear out the ones I have.

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I have the Dewalt and use it for demolition and "adjusting", it takes a beating and there's not much bad I can say about it, I find it plenty comfortable for the price. If you swing all day then Stiletto is the way to go but for a average guy I wouldn't recommend it unless you have cash to burn.  

 

Lots of carpenters love Eastwings but because of that they are the first damn thing to disappear on a jobsite, never to be seen again. I bet I've lost 10 of them when I was working on big jobs. 

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While I really like (or used to like) Estwing, a couple of summers ago I discovered my wrists don’t tolerate a metal shaft on hammers I’m going to whack a lot of stuff with.

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I have mostly Estwing and Vaughan, as well as my old Fatmax Anti-Vibe and a few wooden and fiberglass hammers.  I've been considering the DeWalt and would love to justify a Stiletto, but I rarely drive nails anymore.  I prefer screws when possible, and after using my DeWalt 20v Max finish nailer quite a bit I plan to pick up the brad nailer and perhaps the framing nailer.

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Dewalt mig weld 12oz,(swings like a 20oz ) ..I think.....started off when I was young with estwing 22oz straight claw, moved to Vaughn,then stiletto...and everything in between ,finally the Dewalt...I love the light weight long handle Dewalt hammers.....stiletto heads come off some times, ....no curve claw allowed on the jobs for safety reasons,,, ,and no waffle heads allowed, they make a mess of the frame when the new guys ,swing and miss.....

        Most framers I know either use stiletto or estwing.......tried most every hammer available including Milwaukee ( which is maybe the worst I’ve used)....

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Guy  I worked with for a bit had the DeWalt mig hammer..... he bent the shaft....  I myself have a 22oz Stanley antivibe and a 21oz Hart fiber axe handle(quite long, like 18.5" or something)

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What makes a curved claw a safety risk? 

 

I use the Estwing 19oz ultra. Not a framer, but it's got a great balance to it and solves some resonance issues of the classic estwing. Very comfortable hammer. Intrigued by the estwing aluminum dead blow framer, but won't pony up that kind of cash.

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Ah the curve claw....let me clarify..first yes safety harnesses and blah blah should be used (osha) or a lull or a man lift, but in the real world of framing,,when plywooding  a roof , we just run across the rafters and hand  plywood out from inside the house to the exterior..no cleats ( 2x4 nailed on the roof to walk on,as you go) no safety....up to a 9pitch......so....if you slip and fall, a straight claw can save your ass by punching a hole in the roof with your straight claw and hanging on....no hope with a curve claw.....of course swinging your hammer in panic as you slide down the roof is nerve wracking and if you swing and hit a rafter instead......look out below.....it saved my ass twice in 30yrs......

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  • 3 months later...
On 3/15/2018 at 5:31 PM, Framer joe said:

Ah the curve claw....let me clarify..first yes safety harnesses and blah blah should be used (osha) or a lull or a man lift, but in the real world of framing,,when plywooding  a roof , we just run across the rafters and hand  plywood out from inside the house to the exterior..no cleats ( 2x4 nailed on the roof to walk on,as you go) no safety....up to a 9pitch......so....if you slip and fall, a straight claw can save your ass by punching a hole in the roof with your straight claw and hanging on....no hope with a curve claw.....of course swinging your hammer in panic as you slide down the roof is nerve wracking and if you swing and hit a rafter instead......look out below.....it saved my ass twice in 30yrs......

 

We sheet the first four feet standing on rafters then set brackets with 2x6. No need to punch a hole then... dunno why you wouldn’t set toe boards/cleats at least? Last couple builds we had to frame some huge crickets so maybe there’s a time difference involved. 

 

Stiletto all day. I had a steel solid shaft before and the only good thing I can say is it was cheap.

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1 hour ago, Framer joe said:

@Babysaw...we plywood a roof in minutes, by the time it took to set brackets up,we would be done already...sometimes it's 10k -15k SQ ft house and perfect.... sometimes it's a2k SQ ft house in a day10hr 10guys... including windows,doors,trim

Do you at least use fall protection?

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Ten guys sheeting a house sounds like a clusterfuck. We’ve done five before and it does go by quick, but typically we’re doing overframes, merging different pitches together, Setting a ridge, snapping lines, cutting the rafters, that takes time no matter how many dudes are around watching. Frame your crickets around chimneys, sheet those, it’s not a minutes kinda deal. Additionally, being employed by the GC we know our roofing subs will use the bottom bracket we set, and take it down when they are done. It serves a purpose. 

 

I’m on sites a couple months at a time so I’d rather set my brackets then rely on some Indiana Jones shit to save my bacon. I agree about harnesses tho there’s just nothing to set a fall arrest to. 

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