If you will be working at the construction site or framing a wooden house, you need a framing hammer. A framing hammer is a heavy duty rip hammer that features a heavy head, milled face and long handle that makes it easy for you to drive large nails into lumber. The hammers are made up of a steelhead and wooden handle.
When you are looking to buy the hammers there are many types in the market that you can go for. To help you out here are tips on how to buy the best framing hammer:
Best Framing Hammer
The lightweight titanium ensures that you work for long with little fatigue. The Ergonomic American hickory curved handles provide you with a better swing.
To reduce slipping, the hammer has a magnetic nail start feature that holds the nail in place so that you can work even with one hand.
The slipping is reduced further by the magnetic nail holder that has the ability to hold both standard and duplex nails.
To provide a better swing, the hammer has a straight hickory handle. The handle also reduces shock.
To make matters interesting, the hammer has a patented shock absorbing design that allows you to hit the nails as hard as you want without worrying of the recoil shock.
Framing hammers are known for their ineffectiveness in nail pulling but not with this hammer. The unit has a side nail puller that provides extra leverage. The unit also features reinforced claws for added strength.
Many people have reported that the handle is weak as the bolts holding the handle to the head tend to get loose after some time. To go around this problem you should consider tying the bolts with tape. You can also apply fingernail polish on the bolts.
Popularly known as the Ti-bone, this hammer is one of the most expensive hammers in the market. It features a lightweight 15-ounce titanium head that eases fatigue and drives nails just like a 28-ounce steel hammer.
The unit also has an ergonomically contoured handle grip made from hardwearing rubber. This ensures that you are comfortable and you don’t have to worry about breaking the wooden handle.
If you have used the steel face for a long time and would like to replace it, you can always do so with ease.
In addition to the serrated face, the hammer also has a magnetic nail start feature at the nose that makes it easy to handle the nails.
The biggest worry with people working in the construction site is the recoil shock that comes with using the hammers. Due to the material used in making this hammer you don’t have to worry about the recoil. The hammer reduces the recoil by up to 10 times thus you can comfortably work on your projects.
The hammer is great for both amateurs and professionals. The main drawback is that it’s very expensive thus unaffordable for people working on a tight budget.
At the same time, it’s heavy enough to easily drive in all the nails you want. Both the handle and head are made from steel and fully polished thus you don’t have to worry of broken wooden handles.
The major worry with steel handles is recoil shock. While this hammer is made from steel, you don’t have to worry about shock as it has a nylon vinyl shock reduction feature.
Both the head and handle are forged in one piece; therefore, you don’t have to worry of the hammer coming apart.
Unlike other units whose handles are made from wood and steel, the handle of this framing hammer is made from fiberglass.
This plays a vital role in helping the hammer absorb a lot of shock and vibration; therefore, you are able to use it for a long time. Fiberglass also reduces the risk of breakages.
The handle is also made from textured rubber that ensures that you are comfortable and able to attain a secure grip. The handle is heat treated for it to last for a long time and also ensure your safety.
While the hammer is great and very affordable, its main flaw is that at 20 ounces it’s a little bit heavy for multi purpose use.
Framing hammer vs. Regular hammer
Most people that are buying the framing hammer for the first time wonder why they should buy the hammer instead of buying the regular hammer. Well, if you have never bought a hammer before it’s good to know that different hammers are ideal for different functions and just like in any other industry, if you want the best results you should buy the right unit.
For your framing needs, you need to buy the best framing hammer. There are a number of ways in which the hammer differs from your regular hammer. These ways include:
Length: A framing hammer is longer than your regular hammer thus providing you with more leverage. Cheap hammers usually have short handles which increase wrist strain. The long framing hammers reduce the strain thus you are able to work for long without suffering from injuries.
Weight: Generally, framing hammers are heavier than conventional hammers. The weight is majorly contributed by the weight of the head where steel heads weigh 20-32 ounces and titanium heads weigh 12-16 ounces. The extra weight provides more inertia thus you drive nails faster.
If you looking for a lighter hammer, you should go for a hammer with a titanium head. The long handle and light weight allow you to drive nails with increased velocity. At the same time, you reduce fatigue and the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Milled face: The milled face provides more grip thus preventing slipping when the head strikes the nail. The filled face is made up of a waffle-like grid of pyramids. The nails that you use in framing have metal lines. The grids on the hammer and the metal lines on the nails provide a grip that ensures that the hammer doesn’t slip when working.
Some advanced hammers have a magnetized slot at the top that holds the nail. Due to the magnet, you are able to place and drive the nail quickly into lumber with just one hand.
Claw: Unlike your regular hammer, the framing hammer has a flatter claw. The claw has two main functions: removing nails and ripping lumber apart. While the flat claw isn’t very effective in removing nails like the curved claw, you can increase its effectiveness by pulling the handle to the side thus making use of a short fulcrum.
To pull nails out you should place a wooden block under the head of the hammer.
What makes a good framing hammer?
When you are buying a framing hammer you need to consider a number of factors. Some of these factors include:
Handle: The handle should be long enough to allow you an extended reach. At the same time, it should be balanced to allow you to easily control it. To make it easy for you to work, the handle should provide you with a comfortable, solid grip.
This makes it easy for you to easily drive nails through lumber for extended periods of time. A long handle also saves you time and energy. It also minimizes repetition.
Weight: It’s usually recommended that you go for light weight working tools as they are easy to work with but when it comes to framing hammers, you should go for heavy hammers. A heavy hammer increases the force and reduces the number of swings that you have to undertake in order to complete the task. This saves you time and energy.
Ridged face: A ridged face functions like the grips on your shoes—it provides the hammer with traction thus you don’t have to worry about it slipping when it hits the nail. Due to this, you can hit the nail harder thus driving it faster into lumber.
How to use a framing hammer like a pro
You need to properly use your framing hammer in order to drive nails fast. Proper use of the hammer also reduces the chances of injuring yourself or damaging the nails and even the hammer itself. The first thing you should do is hold the hammer correctly.
The best way of holding it is holding it near the end of the handle. While holding it, you should swing it loosely. A properly-made hammer will be properly balanced.
To avoid injuries you should know how to properly hold the nail. Many people may argue that there is no proper way to hold the nail, but this is not the case—there is. You should hold the nail near the top. You should avoid holding it right at the top.
This is because doing so puts the hammer at the risk of bouncing off your finger in the event you miss your hit. You also should avoid holding the nail right at the bottom as you end up crushing your finger against the wood or any other surface when you miss.
To avoid missing your target, you should always focus on the nail—not on the hammer. You should hit the nail severally until the entire nail gets into the wood. For a good finish, ensure that the nail is flush with the wood.
Taking care of the best framing hammer
For your hammer to last for a long time and give you the service you deserve you need to take good care of it. Some of the ways of maintaining it include:
Cleaning: Once you are done with your project you should make it a habit to clean the framing hammer immediately. Wipe the hammer with a rag or old towel to get rid of any dust, grease, or debris that might have got on it.
Inspection: In addition to cleaning the hammer you also need to inspect it for endangering defects. Since you use the unit to strike, it’s common for the metal head to mushroom out and spread forming a ridge around the edge.
As you use the hammer, the unit continues to spread out, and in no time the split might finally break making your hammer defective.
To avoid being caught unaware when the hammer breaks, you should inspect it and when you notice any defect, fix it as soon as possible. In some cases, you may have to take the unit to a professional especially if the damage is extensive.
You also should inspect the joint between the metal head and handle. Due to the constant striking, it’s common for the joint to get weak and the metal head might separate from the handle when working.
To avoid this, always check the joint and if loose, tighten it. You also should make it a habit to grind the metal edges with a powered grind regularly.
Get rid of rust: Rust not only damages your hammer, but it also makes your unit ineffective. To prevent rust from forming on your hammers, clean them immediately after the project. If they have already rusted, there are plenty of ways of getting rid of the rust.
One of the most effective ones is the application of rust removers such as Evapo-rust rust remover. You also should try removing the rust by spraying the hammer with WD-40 and scrub the hammer with steel wool or a stiff wire brush. Once you are done, wash your best framing hammer with soapy water.
You need the best framing hammer for you to achieve ideal results. When working, be cautious of the wooden handles that are often made from hickory as they tend to easily break when you miss your target. If you don’t want the trouble of replacing the handle now and then you should consider going for the single piece steel hammers.
While they are great, they often don’t absorb shock as well as their wooden counterparts. Your choice for a framing hammer depends on you. Choose one that fits your needs and is within your budget.