Best Claw Hammers Reviewed and Rated
A claw hammer is used to drive and pull nails. While these hammers look and work the same, it is important to understand their unique differences to help you in choosing one that meets your needs. You should consider the weight, shape, and the material of the hammer’s head since it will impact the hammering results. Claw hammers with broad heads spread the entire force around, while narrow heads concentrate it in a small area.
Also, you should take into consideration the material and length of your hammer. Choose one with a handle made from materials that can resist harsh weather conditions and the shock and vibrations resulting from the continued pounding. Ensure that you go for a claw hammer that feels comfortable while using, one that you can easily maintain and that’s within your estimated budget. Remember to buy an equipment bag for storing your hammer and other constructions tools when they are not in use.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Estwing E3-16S
- UV coating
- Stanley 51-624
- absorbs shock
- Pink Box PB12HM
- quality performance
Types of claw hammers
There are various types of claw hammers including curved, straight and framing claw hammers.
Curved Claw Hammer
It has a double-sided head that allows you to drive or remove nails into surfaces with the curved side of the head. It is also slightly curved on the hammer side to reduce marring of the surface you are working on. Curved claw hammers are available in different weights including 20, 16, 13, and 7 oz. The heavier the claw hammer, the larger the force on the nail head.
Straight Claw Hammer
Also known as rip claw hammer, it is used to dismantle objects such as wood, plastic, and tile. The claws of this hammer are straight not curved, and it is ideal for separating materials and boards without the need of another tool. Curved claw hammers are lighter than straight claw hammers, and are available in different weights including 32, 28 and 20oz. However, the straight claw hammers can damage the surfaces you are nailing.
Framing hammers are like straight claw hammers in weight and are available in different sizes from 20 to 32 oz. They are mostly used in carpentry and to dismantle objects. Their heads are not curved, which can damage the surface or the wood you are nailing.
Parts of a Claw Hammer
A claw hammer is composed of the head, face and handle. Some models also feature the handle grip and a nail starter.
The head is the part used to strike blows or nails into different materials depending on your project. It should be made from durable and robust materials that can resist huge impact. Some claw hammer models are made of forged steel for strong striking force of materials such as metal and wood. Steel hammers are always cheap but heavy. On the other hand, claw hammers made of titanium are lightweight allowing you swing the hammer faster with minimal vibrations when nailing. However, they are a bit expensive.
Also, the size of the hammer’s head determines a number of vibrations felt when striking your hammer on a hard material. A narrow-headed hammer produces more vibration since the force strikes on a small area, while a large –headed hammer spreads the force over a wide area minimizing vibrations.
The face on the top of the head can either be flat or curved and can be textured or smooth. Claw hammers with a flat head and a smooth face are ideal for general Do-It-Yourself tasks since they rarely damage the working surfaces. However, framing carpenters prefer textured face since it hardly slips off the nail as the smooth faced claw hammer.
The material used to make the handle of a claw hammer determines the level of comfort and its quality. Handles made from fiber glass are lightweight and ideal for light projects while those made from wood gives your hands a solid feel. On the other hand, Titanium handles are very strong and are the perfect choice for professional artisans and heavy-duty constructions projects.
A number of vibrations felt when you strike a hard surface determines the quality of the hammer. Different hammers come in different designs and length to reduce vibrations while increasing comfort. Hammers with short handles gives you control if you are working in a confined space, while ones with long handles provide additional striking power.
Steel handles are not good at dissipating vibration, while wooden handles are good absorbents of vibration. Also, fiberglass handles are the best vibration absorbents although they are expensive.Some claw hammer models come with Shock Reduction Grip made of nylon vinyl or the Antivibe technology for reducing vibrations that result from impact against hard surfaces. The shape of the handle too can minimize vibrations, for instance, The Original Pink Box hammer, which also features a fiberglass contoured handle.
How your hand feels a hammer is also very important. A non-slip handle helps you to maintain a firm grip, so it does not slide out of your hand while pulling out or hammering a nail. Some companies make use of a rubberized grip sleeve or a poly jacket grip handle that allows you to hold the hammer with ease, which is important if you are working for an extended period in your workshop.
A nail starter feature is convenient when you want to place a nail on a slippery material. Some hammers have a special groove and a magnetic head allowing you to hold a nail in place while still holding the hammer over your head and driving the nail in using one hand.
10 Best Claw Hammers
1. Estwing E3-16S
Used for general, light to medium tasks
The grip cannot come off
Has a balanced hammer design for control and comfort
Comes with a forged head for increased strength
Has a smooth face
Weighs 1.6 pounds
Measures 13 x 6 x 1 inches
Comes in silver color
Although the Estwing E3-16S is a bit expensive, it gives you good value for your money.
Are you looking for an ideal hammer for your DIY tasks around your house and garage? Worry no more. The Estwing E3-16S is your perfect fit. It is robust enough for lifetime use and light enough for comfort. You can use it to drive a nail, dismantle dry wall and also for self-defense.
- The texture of the handle reduces any possibility of slipping during use
- Made from high-quality materials
- It is lightweight
- Has a high-quality design
- Sturdy steel construction
- Can be too much for household use
2. Stanley 51-624
Comes in a yellow color for easy visibility
The head is made from forged high-carbon steel for durability
Comes with an ergonomic comfort grip with a flared end and a ribbed surface for a firm grip and to minimize slippage
The textured rubber gives a comfortable and secure grip
Weighs 1.8 pounds
Measures 12.8 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
It is the best budget hammer in the market due to its affordability and its high performance and quality.
If you looking for an affordable claw hammer that can carry out almost all household jobs, the Stanley 51-624 is your answer. It comes with a fiberglass and lightweight handle ensuring your hand doesn't get fatigued while working.
- It is well-balanced making it easy to swing
- Straight claws to remove nails
- Head and handle fully polished
- It is affordable and versatile
- Has no magnetic nail start, making it hard to retrieve nails
- Has a round face, which can bend nails
3. The Original Pink Box PB12HM
Comes in a polished and hot pink color
Has a smooth face to make sure that the wood is not damaged
Has a rubber handle, which prevents your hands from hardening
Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
Weighs 1.3 pounds
Measures 15.1 x 5.5 x 1.6 inches
The PB12HM comes with a limited lifetime warranty from and it is a great value for the price since it sells at an extemely cheap price.
If you want to carry out light-duty repairs or home maintenance such as hanging pictures, this claw hammer is your perfect fit since it is lightweight at 12-ounces and comes with a superior design. The rubber grip increases comfort while the curved claw allows you to remove stubborn nails with ease.
- The pink color is easy to spot
- It is affordable
- The rubber grip is comfortable and strong for better handling
- Excellent weight for light tasks
- It is well balanced
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Ideal weight for small Do-It-Yourself jobs
- Cannot be used for heavy-duty tasks
- The head is glued to the handle, thus an unstable attachment
4. Stiletto TB15MC
Features and Specifications
Constructed with a forged and one-piece steel for durability and extra strength
The handle is covered with a rubber material for increased comfort
Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
Size: 11.7x 5.1 x1 inches
Expensive but it is a good value for the price.
It has a solid titanium construction for durability, and the ergonomic injection-molded grip provides greater control and increased comfort.
- The construction is of high-quality
- Comes with replaceable heads
- Perfect for heavy-duty work
- Ergonomic design
- The hammer is pricey
- The milled face can tear very quickly
5. Dewalt DWHT51054
Comes in a yellow color for easy spotting
Has graduated paws that make it easy to remove nails
The head has a side nail puller allowing you to pull nails with ease
The strike face is oval-shaped for easier nailing
The balance is optimally distributed
Size: 14 x 5.4x 1.5 in
Made of steel
The hammer is pricey but it’s worth every penny.
If you are a homeowner looking for the best quality and a balanced claw hammer, the Dewalt is your tool. It is useful in inserting, replacing and removing nails from your walls.
- The head has a side nail puller allowing you to pull nails with ease
- The strike face is oval-shaped for easier nailing
- The balance is equally distributed
- Has no magnetic nail start
- The handle cannot dissipate vibrations, so it can be uncomfortable to swing
6. Estwing E3-20S
Comes with a Nylon-vinyl grip for shock-reduction
The handle and head are forged in one piece
It’s made of steel
Straight claws to remove nails
The head and handle are fully polished
Has a smooth face
Weighs 1.2 pounds
Measures 14 x 6 x 1 inches
Has a size of 20 oz (Ounces)
The Estwing claw hammer is a great buy since it sells at a pocket-friendly price.
Every house owner needs a claw hammer that can allow you to hit harder with minimal effort. This claw hammer has a slim neck, leather grip, and a fully furnished handle. It has no joints or welds; it is made of one-piece forged steel.
- It is well balanced with a powerful swing
- Has a polished handle for comfortable grip
- It comes in one-piece steel allowing you to remove nails with ease
- Only ideal for simple home repairs and improvements
- The material is a bit slippery hence it can easily slide from your hand
7. Dalluge 7180
Has a magnetic nail starter and side puller for comfort while using.
Designed for professionals
Has a smooth Face
Has a Patented Shock Absorber
Nailoc Magnetic Nail Holder for holding both Duplex and Standard Nails
Unique overstrike guard for extra protection of the handle
Comes with a side nail puller for additional leverage
Has reinforced claws for extra strength
Weighs 11 ounces
Measures 5.6 x 17.3 x 1.3 inches
Although it's quite expensive, it offers more for the price.
If you are looking for the most versatile claw hammer with a wooden handle, then the Dalluge is your perfect choice. Its lightweight construction allows you to put less force on the nail puller than a steel hammer.
- It is well balanced
- it is versatile
- The overstrike guard increases handle protection
- It’s lightweight and durable
- A bit expensive
- The handle chips easily
8. Maxcraft 60626
Features And Specifications
Made of full size forged steel
The hand grip is soft, contoured and non-slip
Ideal for tight spaces and small project since it is 6 inches long
Has a magnetic head for holding nails while starting
Weighs 12.8 ounces
Dimensions are 6.5 x 4 x 1 inches
Price and Value
It is very affordable.
Maxcraft claw hammer is the best choice if you are working in a small space. Although it is 6 inches long and lightweight at 8 ounces, the hammer is very strong and reliable when handling DIY projects. It has a smooth face, thus cannot damage your cabinet or trim materials. Also, it has a magnetic head that allows you to start your nails one-handed.
- Has a comfortable size
- Ideal for confined spaces
- It is well balance
- Has a magnetic nail holder
- High-quality hammer
- Comfortable for its size
- Not ideal for heavy tasks
9. Vaughan 17-Inch
The head is made from forged steel
Has an extra long, blue American hickory handle
Comes with a magnetic nail holder to enhance efficiency
Measures 43.2 x 3.2 x 15.2 cm
The hammer is affordable and gives you value for the money.
If you are looking for a stylish yet functional claw hammer, Vaughan 19 oz. will do the job.
- Very powerful
- Drives nails in very well
- Very comfortable to use
- Professional style hammer
- Delivers accurate blows
- Well balanced
- Not perfect for heavy-duty tasks
10. Stanley 51-156
Comes with a magnetic nail starter for an extended reach
The head has a checkered face design to increase precision
Has a non-slip rubber for a firm grip
The patented grip technology reduces the harmful effects of torque on elbows and wrists and reduces shock and vibration on impact.
Made from two-piece forged steel
The ergonomic design reduces fatigue in your arm
Measures 14 x 5.5 x 1.4 inches
It comes with a limited lifetime warranty and provides good value for the money.
If you want a visible claw hammer with a magnetic nail starter, this is your best choice. In just one swing, it gives a precise blow, and it comes with a rubber grip that makes it ideal for nailing and framing. It is a durable, tough, affordable, and dependable tool for handling regular DIY projects that take an extended period of time.
- It’s well balanced with an ideal weight
- Has a large striking face
- Delivers powerful and careful blows
- It is comfortable to use
- The hammer might look different from the advertised image
We conducted a rigorous selection process before choosing the above claw hammers to give you the best reviews. The process involved the following evaluation criteria:
- Performance and ease of use
- Construction and design
How much does a claw hammer cost? Well, the retail price of the best claw hammers ranges between $5 to $50 or even more. The prices are determined by several details including the type of brand and the incorporated features, for example, the type of material used and color. However, there are cheap claw hammers that can still give the desired results
Once you’ve settled on your budget and narrowed down you hammer options to two or three brands, you should consider the different features that make each hammer stand out from the rest. Let’s look at some of the features you can check out for as you search for the best claw hammer.
The main types include curved, straight and framing claw hammers. Choose the ideal one based on the type of work you want to handle.
Choose a hammer with a head made of a high-quality material(s) for increased durability and with the appropriate diameter for more accuracy when driving nails.
What material is used to make the handle? Does the handle fit comfortably fit in your hand? Is the length of the handle suitable for you?
What are the available weights? Choose a lightweight hammer that gives you more control and allows you to work for a prolonged period without getting tired. Apart from prices, it’s important to go a step further to understand how the features affect the overall performance and quality of the hammer.
Performance and Ease of Use
For the performance, claw hammers with longer handles tend to produce the right amount of force with less strain and force. On the other hand, short models give an exceptional performance when working in tight spaces.
Some claw hammer models are corrosion resistant making them more suitable for both indoors and outdoors spaces without compromise on the outcome of your work.
The hammer handles are wrapped using different materials including nylon, rubber, leather and vinyl, which makes gripping and holding easy while working. These materials also increase comfort as well as prevent the hammer from slipping.
Construction and Design
The quality of the work done is determined by the quality of construction and design of your claw hammer.
Most claw hammers heads are made of either fiberglass core or steel. However, there are hammers with rubber, fiberglass, steel, or wooden (hickory) handles. Claw hammers with fiberglass or wooden handle are your perfect fit if you will use it for a longer period of time.
Fiberglass hammers are lightweight, hence are easy to handle, yet extremely of tough nature. Wooden handles are good at absorbing vibrations, which helps to prevent your hands from getting tired allowing you to work longer, although it’s not as durable as its counterparts. Steel handles, on the other hand, are durable and tough, but a bit heavy. The added weight is suitable for rip clawing and framing the handles.
Different models carry different weight of the head and depending on how you want to use it; you will find a perfect balance between length and weight of the handle. If you are planning to carry out the common home repairs, you can choose a hammer that weighs 16-10 oz.
Different claw hammers are designed with different varying face diameters, which determines the precision of your hammer. Therefore, look out for a strike face with a larger diameter for accurate blows when driving in your nails. Also, a hammer with a round face ensures that the work surface is not damaged, while a hammer with flat faces has great chances of damaging your working area.
Although hammers are essential tools, they can inflict serious injuries if not used properly. Here are some of the key guidelines to help you get the most from a hammer and keep you from breaking your wrist bone or cutting and bruising any body part:
- To start with, clear any debris as well as other objects from your work space that may lead to trip or slip dangers.
- Check to confirm that the hammer’s handle is not splintered, loose or cracked before using your hammer. Also, ensure that the handle fits securely for a better grip.
- If you are working in an area with exposed electric cables, make sure that your hammer is properly insulated to prevent electrocution.
- Put on eye protection to prevent flying debris from shattered materials from injuring your eyes.
- Use a hammer with a cushioned handle to reduce the vibration, impact and squeezing pressure, protecting your hand from possible injuries.
- Choose one with a weight that matches the job at hand and one that feels comfortable in your hand.
- Make sure that you have great balance and secure footing while using a hammer.
- Secure the object or piece that you’re working on with a clamp or a vise before striking with a hammer.
- Choose one with soft or rounded edges to maintain proper circulation in your finger even after prolonged use.
- Maintain proper position and apply the right leverage when pulling nails to avoid strains and other stress.
- If you’re nailing a ladder, make sure that you do not extend your torso outside the ladder’s side rails when hammering or striking.
- Store your hammer as well as other tools in tool boxes or tool chests in an organized manner, to avoid leaving them strewn all over your work area.
- Organize all your hand tools including the hammer by securing them in pegboards. This also saves you a lot of space.
- Perform the necessary repairs or replacements to the damaged hammers before using them again.
What’s the difference between a curved and rip claw hammer?
A curved hammer offers leverage for pulling out nails while rip claw hammers are usually the ideal choice for professionals since it is a heavy-duty tool for ripping apart woods that are nailed together.
What is the ideal weight and length?
Hammers are mostly categorized by weight since it determines the amount of force that the hammer delivers. The heavier the head of the hammer, the stronger the strike delivered. The length of the handle also determines the force of a hammer blow. With a long handle, you can swing the hammer faster, thus delivering a stronger strike. However, not all big claw hammers are ideal for all tasks, since they are not effective in small spaces. Most designs are a compromise between energy efficiency and practicality.
What materials are used to make one?
Different brands use different materials, but claw hammers are either forged from one-piece of steel or two-piece. One-piece hammers are ideal for tasks that require continued heavy-striking while two-piece hammers are perfect for light-duty use. The head and shaft of the one-piece hammers are joined using steel while head and handles of the two-piece hammer are made from titanium, metal, and steel, and are very strong yet lightweight. When choosing a claw hammer, you should also consider one with a shaft that is robust enough for your needs. Moreover, a handle with a rubber grip absorbs shock from the hammer blow. Also, a non-slip rubber provides added security.
If a Titanium claw hammer is half the weight of a steelone, how does it drive or remove nails?
Light hammers do not strain the arms. According to the law of physics, the speed of the head affects the striking power of the hammer, and thus the total work efficiency is greater than the weight of the hammer. Since you can swing better a lighter hammer than a heavier one, the former puts less strain on your arms without affecting the work efficiency. However, sometimes you need heavy claw hammer, for instance, when you are banging in a 6” nail.
How can you repair a broken Hickory handle by yourself?
You can repair it easily with a few tools including a pencil, handsaw, strong work surface, a mallet or another hammer. However, when replacing the hickory handle, do not drive the hammer handle into the head bottom since it can cut into the lacquered handle surface. The cutting-in can affect the strength of the handle. Also, you can use the two round steel wedges and wood-wedge mechanics to make the connection of the head-to-handle strong.