no comments

Top 5 Best Framing Hammer

The best framing hammer is an essential tool in a carpenter’s arsenal and not only. Amateur woodworkers and homeowners who like to carry out repair works around their homes may also benefit from this tool.

The only issue is finding the right tool for you. Framing hammers may look surprisingly alike, but there are important differences between the various models.

Here's a list of Top 5 Best Framing Hammer

Some hammers are more massive than others; then you’ll have to check the build quality. To help you in your quest, I’ve made a list of my favorite framing hammers on the market. Check it out below but first, find out what to consider before buying.

How to Pick a Framing Hammer

A framing hammer could be an arsenal essential, but unless you invest in the best, this tool could turn useless. Besides subjective considerations, there are a few objective criteria you should weigh in before making up your mind.

1. Hammer Head

One of the most important things to consider before buying is the hammerhead. Your options are basically reduced to milled face and smooth face hammers.

  • Milled face framing hammers: Have a patterned surface designed to provide a better grip on the nail and sink it easier.
  • Smooth face framing hammers: As their name suggests, have a flat surface that can potentially slip when you hit the nail. Nevertheless, this model will not leave any marks into your woodwork.

You must also consider the way the head is made. I recommend exclusively hammers with forged heads, mainly for their reliability and longevity.

2. Handle

Hammer handles are made of either wood, steel, or plastic. The most robust and most durable are the steel handles. However, the can add considerable extra weight to your tool. Wooden handles are also great, although less resistant.

Regardless of the type of handle you choose, make sure it comes with a comfortable soft grip that improves your overall user experience.

Also, check the handle’s length. It must fit comfortably in your hand, giving you plenty of room to maneuver the tool.

3. Weight

According to the laws of physics, the more massive the hammer, the greater the force it can exert. Thus, the deeper it can drive the nail. However, owning a heavy hammer is not always key to success. The hammer must have a good weight to allow you to drive nails flawlessly. But at the same time, it must have the right weight for you.

If the hammer is too heavy, chances are you won’t be able to use it properly. In other words, you could achieve better results with a less heavy hammer that you can maneuver comfortably than with a heavy hammer which you can’t hold with one hand.

Most framing hammers come in various weights you can match with your force. However, the minimum recommended is a 16 oz. hammer which provides the perfect balance between weight and power.

With this in mind, let’s now see which are the best framing hammers on the market in 2019.

Top 5 Best Framing Hammers

1. Estwing Hammer - 16 oz

Estwing Hammer - 16 oz


  • Straight rip claw
  • Forged construction
  • Shock reduction grip
  • Well balanced
  • Attractive price point

One Piece Construction

There is little doubt that Estwing’s best feature is the forged one-piece construction that adds durability and enhances the longevity of this tool. Along with it, the manufacturer also focused on the center of gravity, creating a perfectly balanced tool. This hammer is perfect for professionals as well as enthusiast DIYers.

Shock Reduction Grip

Balanced and easy to handle, this hammer also comes with a comfortable shock reduction grip that improves overall comfort. The patented grip also prevents the tool from slipping if your hands are sweaty, which is great.

Overall Assessment

The Estwing Hammer comes in various weights and finish or framing lengths, addressing the needs of most contractors, carpenters, framers, and tradespeople. It is preferred by amateurs too, thanks to its attractive price point. You can use it to pull nails, split wood, for demolition work, and more. Undoubtedly one of the most versatile framing hammers on the market, this tool brings all you could wish from a best in the class pick.

2. IRWIN Tools 1954889

IRWIN Tools 1954889


  • Cheap
  • Various weights available
  • Forged steel head
  • Fiberglass construction
  • Hybrid handle

Price Point

The framing hammer from IRWIN Tools comes as a great alternative to my top pick above. It boasts excellent quality and comes at a price that won’t break the bank. It’s not as shiny as the Estwing but has the same heft and functionality. Like you could expect, the hammer’s head is made of forged steel and can withstand whatever the job site throws at it.

Hybrid Handle

This framing hammer has an excellent center of gravity and an exceptional balance. Besides, it also has a hybrid rounded handle with a hardened end cap. The design is conceived to prevent slippage and increase comfort during operation.

Overall Assessment

Coming at a price that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, durable, reliable, and up to whatever task you want to perform, the IRWIN Tools 1954889 brings versatility to your arsenal. This cheap hammer adapts itself to all projects and is perfect for amateurs as well as contractors. Perhaps not the most outstanding, this tool is your best bet if you’re looking after affordable quality.

3. Stanley 51-167

Stanley 51-167


  • Anti-vibration handle
  • Patented torsion control grip
  • Magnetic nail start feature
  • Checkered face design
  • Precision balanced

Torsion Control Grip

The patented Torsion Control Grip feature makes the Stanley 51-167 unique in its class. This framing hammer is designed to reduce the effects high torque might have on the wrists and elbows, improving the overall comfort and operation ease.

Magnetic Nail Start

Designed for extended reach, this hammer also incorporates a magnetic nail start technology that allows for one-hand nailing capability. This feature is extremely important for framers and carpenters dedicated to installing molding and skirting.

Overall Assessment

Provided with anti-vibration technology, this hammer does an excellent job in absorbing impact shocks. It is perfectly balanced, easy to handle in all circumstances, and promises durability. Its forged construction adds longevity to the tool, while the sleek, all black design appeals to professionals. Expensive than other brands yet still affordable enough, this framing hammer is no doubt a great runner up.

4.Estwing Ultra Series Hammer

Estwing Ultra Series Hammer


  • Aggressive design
  • Milled and smooth face alternatives
  • Comfortable grip
  • Rip claw versatility
  • Magnetic nail starter

Magnetic Nail Starter

Similar in many ways with the Stanley above, this framing hammer also incorporates a magnetic nail starter which allows for one-hand nailing versatility. The tool has an aggressive look overall and pairs perfectly with the tool kit of a professional.

Overall Design

Estwing is one of the most popular hammer manufacturers in the US, and there is no wonder why. Their tools are perfectly balanced, of very high quality, and boast durability. This framing hammer also presents a comfortable patented grip and a versatile rip claw.

Overall Assessment

Combining quality with reliability, this framing hammer is one of the best on the market. It boasts unique features including a patented grip, versatile rip claw, and magnetic nail starter. It is well balanced and easy to use with just one hand. The only thing keeping it from becoming my favorite is its high price. Nevertheless, this tool is certainly worth every dime.

Estwing Ultra Hammer Video Review

5. Fiskars IsoCore 22 oz

Fiskars IsoCore 22 oz


  • 22 oz. framing hammer
  • Milled face
  • Insulation sleeve
  • The patented shock control system
  • Lifetime warranty

Perfectly Balanced

The last in this list but an excellent tool is the IsoCore framing hammer by Fiskars. This 22 oz. framing hammer is built for large framing or demolition jobs and boasts an excellent center of gravity. It is perfectly balanced and easy to maneuver with just one hand despite its heavier weight.

Shock Control System

Thought for the operator’s comfort, this hammer also boasts a patented shock control system that absorbs strikes and reduces vibrations. Not only your overall comfort is improved by this feature, but the hammer also has an insulation sleeve with soft grip exterior for even more comfortable operation.

Overall Assessment

The Fiskars IsoCore is an excellent framing hammer to consider. It has all it takes to satisfy most contractors and is perfect for big jobs. Perfectly balanced, this hammer is easy to handle and a breeze to use despite its heft. It has a milled face perfect for gripping nails, and a forged head that promises longevity. No doubt, one of your greatest bets.

Fiskars IsoCore Video Review


Finding the right framing hammer is not always easy. Some tools are suitable for smaller jobs while others are perfect for big demolition works. Some absorb shocks while others are better balanced. Nevertheless, you now know which are some of the best framing hammers so you can pick your favorite.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.