Best Framing Hammers

If you need to know what makes a framing hammer the best, we’re happy to help you out. We’ve researched for you and have all the information you need to know on framing hammers to make an informed decision on which one is the best for your needs.

A framing hammer is an indispensable tool, allowing you to work faster and easier on your projects. This article will highlight the best framing hammers you can find online and the things you should consider before buying one. Since this tool is meant to be used daily and built to last for a long time, you should be making an educated purchase instead of buying the cheapest one.

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Best Framing Hammers

ImageProductOur RatingPrice
Real Steel 0517 Ultra Framing Hammer with Milled Face, 21 oz

Real Steel 0517 Ultra Framing Hammer with Milled Face, 21 oz

9.7
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Fiskars - 750241-1001 IsoCore 22 oz Milled-face Framing Hammer, 16 Inch

Fiskars – 750241-1001 IsoCore 22 oz Milled-face Framing Hammer, 16 Inch

9.5
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Estwing MRW25LM Sure Strike Wood Handle Framing Hammer

Estwing MRW25LM Sure Strike Wood Handle Framing Hammer

9.1
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Estwing - GG417 Framing Hammer - 22 oz Long Handle Straight Rip Claw

Estwing – GG417 Framing Hammer – 22 oz Long Handle Straight Rip Claw

8.8
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Vaughan & Bushnell 2115C Dalluge 21 oz. Framing Hammer, Serrated Face

Vaughan & Bushnell 2115C Dalluge 21 oz. Framing Hammer, Serrated Face

8.6
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OX Tools 18oz. California Framing Hammer | Hickory Handle

OX Tools 18oz. California Framing Hammer | Hickory Handle

8.2
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Estwing Hammertooth Hammer - 24 oz Long Handle Straight Rip Claw

Estwing Hammertooth Hammer – 24 oz Long Handle Straight Rip Claw

8
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DEWALT DWHT51145 14 Ounce MIG-Weld Framing Hammer

DEWALT DWHT51145 14 Ounce MIG-Weld Framing Hammer

7.7
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Stilletto TI14MC Stiletto Tools Titan 14-OunceTitanium Framing Hammer

Stilletto TI14MC Stiletto Tools Titan 14-OunceTitanium Framing Hammer

7.4
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OX Tools 28 oz. Framing Hammer | Smooth Face

OX Tools 28 oz. Framing Hammer | Smooth Face

7.2
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Last update on 27th September 2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Our recommended framing hammers:

Real Steel 0517 Ultra Framing Hammer with Milled Face, 21 oz

Editor’s Choice
9.7/10 Our Score
  • Stronger & lighter ultra sleek design
  • Forged from one piece steel for strength and durability
  • Milled striking face increases strike accuracy
  • Magnetic nail starter for easy one hand operation
  • Shock-reducing, textured rubber grip

Last update on 27th September 2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This framing hammer is our recommendation for anyone looking to buy one with a steel handle. It comes with a textured rubber coating which is essential for shock control. It makes this hammer comfortable to use. The magnetic nail starter is a nice feature to have and many would appreciate it. It will allow you to use the framing hammer with one hand if you prefer. 

The hammer is forged as one piece which makes this steel hammer very durable. It will definitely last for a long time until you need to have it replaced. It weighs 21 ounces which makes it easy to handle all day long.

I was very pleased with the Real Steel 0517 Ultra Framing Hammer for its asking price. It has a textured rubber coating which is essential for shock control, which I personally don’t like that much. It makes this hammer comfortable to use but felt a little backward, you need to test it yourself. 

Overall, I really think that this product is worth checking out while researching. If you feel comfortable with its rubber grip, this is among the best options you can find online. A great product that you can find at a reasonable price for its features. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a steel framing hammer and definitely worth a closer look while researching. 

What I like:

  • Forged from steel this hammer is durable and lightweight 
  • Magnetic nail starter perfect for one-handed use 
  • One-Piece forged construction means it’ll last a lifetime!
  • Great product at a reasonable price for what it offers.

What I don’t like :

  • The head of the hammer could be bigger
  • Weighing 21oz. this might feel heavy for many users  
  • Comes with an awkward rubber handle grip that hurts after a while of constant use

Fiskars – 750241-1001 IsoCore 22 oz Milled-face Framing Hammer, 16 Inch

Runner-up
9.5/10 Our Score
  • Ideal for big framing jobs and pounding large nails into tough lumber with power and speed
  • Milled face grips nail grids to help prevent hammer from sliding off the nail head when striking
  • Patented IsoCore Shock Control System absorbs strike shock and vibration to reduce the punishment your body takes, transferring 4X less shock and vibration than wood handles
  • Insulation sleeve captures initial strike shock before it can reach your hand
  • Full lifetime warranty

Last update on 27th September 2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is a great option for anyone looking for a long framing hammer for their needs. It is 16 inches long and will allow for powerful strikes. It comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer and features an insulated handle that can absorb the shock from your strike and reduce fatigue. The magnetic nail starter is great for the one-hand operation that many would appreciate. 

If you are working on big framing jobs, then this hammer will be great for you. It comes with a milled face and it is quite powerful. This product has been designed by a professional builder who knows what you need in your framing hammer. I really like the milled face as it makes the whole process of framing much easier.

It weighs more than 20 ounces which makes it much heavier than other hammers. It should not be used for pounding or for very heavy applications as it might feel a bit uncomfortable in that regard. As far as the actual construction, it is quite durable and I expect it to last for many years to come. 

I personally didn’t this hammer as it is too long for me. But I have suggested this specific model from Fiskars to a friend of mine that really loved it. Of course, he has way bigger hands and body type than mine, so that might do the trick. If you are into heavy applications, this is a candidate to consider. 

Overall a balanced product that comes at an affordable price and a limited lifetime warranty. If you are on a limited budget looking for a long, powerful framing hammer this one is worth giving a chance. It does the job without breaking the bank.

What I like:

  • One of the longest framing hammers around at 16″
  • Features an insulated handle that absorbs shock to reduce fatigue 
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer  
  • Magnetic nail starter for one-handed use 
  • Very balanced product that comes at an affordable price for its features 

What I don’t like:

  • This framing hammer could be a little too long for some. It’s not the best for smaller hands
  • Weighing 22oz might feel heavy for many users.

Estwing MRW25LM Sure Strike Wood Handle Framing Hammer

Value For Money
9.1/10 Our Score
  • Estwing’s Sure Strike Wood Handle Framing Hammers have forged solid steel heads
  • With genuine top grade hickory handle
  • Triple Wedge Construction With magnet; Milled face
  • Head weight: 25 oz./ 708 g & Overall Length: 18 Inch / 457 mm
  • Made in Taiwan

Last update on 27th September 2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are after a durable framing hammer that features a wooden handle, this one is definitely one to consider. It can be found relatively cheap and has an overall length of 18 inches allowing for powerful strikes. 

The wooden handle can absorb the shock of your strike and the head weight of 25oz makes it ideal for large-scale projects. If you don’t mind changing the handle in case it breaks, this is a great framing hammer that gets the job done. Just be prepared that eventually it will break and have to replace the handle after some time, depending on your use.  

Overall, I liked the construction and durability of it. The weight is perfect if you like heavier hammers and powerful strikes. It’s not the most comfortable to use for many hours per day, but it’s fine if you hold on to it properly. It’s a great tool at an affordable price for framing heavy applications.

What I like:

  • Powerful 25oz head weight for large-scale projects 
  • Durable, long-lasting construction with a wooden handle 
  • Comes at an affordable price 

What I don’t like:

  • Affordable price but doesn’t offer any warranty
  • Handle may need replacing over time.

Estwing – GG417 Framing Hammer – 22 oz Long Handle Straight Rip Claw with Milled Face

Honourable Mention
8.8/10 Our Score
  • FORGED IN ONE PIECE – The most durable, longest lasting striking tools available
  • RIP CLAW VERSITILITY – Use for pulling nails, prying boards, demolition work, splitting wood and more
  • BUILT FOR THE PRO –Framers, roofers, carpenters, contractors, tradesman & serious DIYers
  • PATENTED SHOCK REDUCTION GRIP – Comfortable, durable & reduces impact vibration by 70%
  • MADE IN THE USA – Our tools are proudly crafted in Rockford, IL using the finest American steel

Last update on 27th September 2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

These framing hammers from Estwing are quite popular mainly due to their attractive price and the long steel handle. It features a 22oz head weight for extra power, and the long handle is perfect for those who find shorter ones uncomfortable. 

It’s not the heaviest around, but enough to deliver powerful blows while maintaining a comfortable weight. The handle construction seems strong, I didn’t experience any trouble with it breaking when using it. It is forged as one piece of steel for extra durability, and it is one of the longest framing hammers on our list.  

The grip reduces the initial impact of the strike which makes working with it a breeze even after many hours. Unfortunately, Estwing doesn’t seem to offer any kind of warranty. 

You can find it in various weights with 16, 20, and 22oz being the most popular options on the market. I liked using this mainly for framing previously, but it’s good for other applications as well. 

Estwing makes a lot of really good hammers, and this one is no exception. Although this hammer is made by Estwing, it’s not their top-of-the-line product. This Estwing GG417 Hammer does not have any real drawbacks when it comes to long-handle options. 

Overall a great option if you are after a steel framing hammer that won’t break the bank. It is built to last and the grip makes it a joy to use, so I can highly recommend it. 

What I like:

  • Long, durable steel handle
  • Balanced weight of 22oz is perfect for framing jobs. 
  • Great construction, should last a while.
  • Amazing price for a solid, long handle framing hammer  

What I don’t like:

  • Not Estwing’s top-of-the-line product
  • Grip might wear down over time. 
  • Would have been great if they came with a warranty.

What to consider when looking for the best framing hammers?

So, what makes for the best framing hammer? It all depends on what you are going to use it for. No one size fits all. What works for one project may not work for another. The following are some of the main features you should look for when shopping for a framing hammer.

With the right features, a framing hammer can easily become the go-to tool for various carpentry tasks. While it’s true that sometimes a nail gun or a crowbar will do the trick, rarely, a framing hammer can’t do something better. The most basic framing hammers come with a flat face and a claw that can pull nails and are generally too heavy for anything but driving nails. Better framing hammers come with a nail set, enabling faster driving than with a flat head, as well as a claw that can also be used for pulling or prying.

Type of Handle

One of the first things to consider is the type of handle you prefer for your framing hammer. The most common options on the market feature wooden, steel, and fiberglass handles. It’s up to you to decide the best fit for you. Wooden handles wide popular since they absorb shocks better than steel, yet they are not that durable. 

Wooden handles 

  • They ​are ideal for those who don’t mind changing handles now and then. 
  • Wooden handles have a good shock absorption capability, which makes it ideal for hard-hitting tasks.
  • Wood is a renewable resource, so you can feel good about buying these hammers 
  • Wooden handles cost way less per handle! You can buy more than one if you need to have a backup.  
  • Wooden handles are safer since they absorb the impact of shocks better than steel

Steel handles 

  • Steel is one of the toughest materials on the earth, making it a great choice for a framing hammer.
  • Steel handles last a long time, which is one of the benefits of choosing these hammer handles. It’s made with high-quality steel that will not rust or corrode. They do cost more, but it’s worth it if you want durability down the road.
  • Steel hammers are harder than other types so you can get more power out of them than your competitors.  
  • Unlike wooden or fiberglass hammers, steel handles are easier to service and maintain because most rivets are easily accessible in a DIY-friendly manner
  • The glossy steel finish on these hammers is also aesthetically pleasing and rust-resistant. 
  • They are built to last forever, yet the downside is they don’t absorb vibrations that well. Your best bet is steel options that offer a rubber handle if you decide to go this way.

Fiberglass handles 

  • Fiberglass handles are lightweight yet durable, so you don’t get tired out carrying these framing hammers.
  • They offer a nice cushioning feel to make up for the downside of not being able to absorb shocks as well as wood or steel.  
  • These hammers can be found in all shapes and sizes from 16 oz to 50 lbs! Your choice is never limited to fiberglass.
  • Fiberglass handles can be customized with any color pattern or design that’s not offered by other types on the market 
  • Choosing Fiberglass hammers ensures your tool investment lasts for many years to come. There is no need to worry about the occasional accident or tough job gone wrong because our tools are built to last!
  • No need to worry about resale value 
  • Even though they are not unbreakable, if you are looking for a framing hammer that would last a long time, a fiberglass handle is your best option. 

Handle length – What size handle do you prefer – long, short, or medium length? 

The length of the handle is also a determining factor to consider. Some handle lengths work better in particular situations.

For instance, a long handle will provide more leverage in demolishing plaster walls while a short handle allows for maximum control of the hammerhead. The longer handle will allow you to build greater momentum and eventually more power for your strike. It will also provide greater coverage when nailing something on the side of a wall, giving you more options for working space. The longer handle can be good for framing walls but it will be harder to swing at an angle and it won’t allow you to get into tighter spaces.

A shorter handle will provide the best control over your hammer and give you more accuracy. A hammer with a short handle will be able to fit into your toolbox easier than a large framing hammer, but it may not provide as much power when you use it. 

You can find framing hammers ranging from 13 inches up to 17 inches. If you do not take into account these factors when purchasing your framing hammer, you risk purchasing one that is too large or too small to be efficient or to easily fit in your toolbox. You will also want to take into consideration any safety issues that might arise because of the length of the handle. The best way to ensure that you have an efficient framing tool is to try them yourself. 

Weight 

The weight of a framing hammer is important. Too heavy and you won’t be able to swing it effectively. Too light and you will not get a strong strike with each hit, which results in less use per minute. You need to feel comfortable swinging your hammer with enough weight to get a good swing. 

Ranging between 15 and 32 ounces, the best options are around 16 to 25 ounces in weight. Anything heavier will make your arms tired while anything too light will reduce the power behind your swings.

There is a saying that you should pick up a hammer and be able to feel what it would be like to swing it for ten minutes without stopping. If you can, then the weight of the hammer is okay. If not, look for something with a little bit more heft.

Ideally, to find the right weight, you should have a variety of framing hammers to choose from. You should have a closer look at the available options, preferably in person, before you commit to a specific model.

I have found that the best weight for me was around 16 pounds. I suggest you start with 12-16 pounds and as your experience grows, gradually increase the weight of your framing hammer to achieve the results that you desire. 

For experienced users, a framing hammer around 20 or 22 ounces is ideal for small to medium scale projects, as they are light enough for all-day use. 

Face Type

Framing hammers are made to withstand heavy impact and are usually made of steel or fiberglass-reinforced plastic. Unlike a regular hammer, the business end is usually covered in a cushioned material to protect the wielder from the hammer’s strike.

The face of a framing hammer is generally smooth and flat, while the claws are designed with ridges and points to pull nails out of wood more easily. The striking face of a framing hammer is usually concave and is often designed to make it easier to pull nails out of wood.

Claw Types

All framing hammers employ a claw for pulling nails out of wood surfaces. However, some hammers have a traditional broad-paddle type of claw while others have a narrower curved claw. Claw width and shape can affect how well the hammer handles various nail pulling tasks and the type of nails you can pull with it.

Curved claws have a hook-like shape that allows them to be used for pulling nails in which you hammer on the head of the claw. Nails driven at a shallow angle may be hard to pull out using a straight claw, while curved claws can reach down into nail holes and hook into the nail shank.

Claws with an abrupt 90 degrees are better suited for vertical pulling. The broader surface area of these claws provides more surface contact with nails, making them easier to grip. Straight claws are best used in close quarters and for pulling nails that require great force.

Do your research, and maybe even test them out yourself. If you can, try to borrow a few different types of claws from someone who has various framing hammers.

No matter the claw type you choose, my advice is to get a professional-grade hammer, because it is not a tool you want to skimp on.

Warranty

The best optioare made from well-known brands for their hand tools, like Stanley, Triton, Estwing, Stiletto, Dalluge, or DeWalt. It is advisable to invest in a good framing hammer that would last for a lifetime instead of going for the cheapest options. Going for the cheapest one will cost you more in the long run when you have to upgrade.

A wooden handle will be more affordable and durable than a metal, plastic, or fiberglass version. However, it may break from repeated use which is where the steel and fiberglass hammers come in. Luckily, they are very easy to replace. I find that most manufacturers have replacement handles for sale but it is wise to purchase a spare in case the original is not available or is out of stock. 

A steel frame hammer has been found to only have a 1% chance of snapping at any given time and this can greatly reduce down your risk of an accident. Titanium or steel handles will last a very long time and are very comfortable to use.

I’ve never had a problem with any of the cheaper framing hammers I’ve purchased. But at the same time, I have had to replace the handle on my hammer more times than any other part of the tool. When purchasing a hammer, make sure you purchase an extra handle as well for replacing in case you lose one.

What is your budget for the hammer?

In the world of framing hammers, there are several different handle types to choose from. The handle type you choose depends on your personal preference and the type of work you do most often. A good rule of thumb is choosing a comfortable handle type, which gives you a good grip and helps you swing the hammer with ease.

If you’re in the market for a new framing hammer, you’ve probably noticed that there are a lot of options out there, ranging from cheap, poorly made imitations to extremely high-end tools that cost a small fortune. While the cheap hammers may seem tempting, they may not be worth the hassle. A better alternative is to invest in a higher-quality hammer that will last you years.

Cheap hammers will bend or even break when you hit a nail. You’ll find yourself constantly replacing the cheap hammer and still staying unhappy with its quality. A well-balanced hammer is easier to control, while a hammer that’s too top-heavy or too bottom-heavy can be difficult to hold, and a hammer that’s too long or too short can make you tired and sore after just a few hours of work.

How to test your next framing hammer?

The best way to determine which framing hammer is suitable for you is to hold it in your hands and inspect it in person. I’d recommend that you hit your local hardware store for an in-person trial run. If you are like me and prefer to buy online, here is what I would do. 

I narrow down my list of candidates and purchase from an online shop that accepts returns, so I’ll buy a couple of different hammers and return those I don’t like. It’s that simple, and you get a first-hand experience that will help you make up your mind. 

So, let’s talk about my way of choosing the best for my needs so you can replicate it until you find your ideal candidate. 

  • First, start by weighing each hammer in your hand. Clearly, there is a difference between a 16-ounce hammer and one that weighs in at 20 ounces. So, let’s factor in the difference between the weights of the hammers. Keep notes on how much the hammers weigh and how you feel handling it. 
  • Now, I’ll roll out a piece of string and measure each hammer on its length. If you have a tape measure, you can have even more accurate readings. If you have more than framing hammers to compare, so can even create a grid that will allow you to compare dozens of them visually. Comparing the different handle lengths will give you a better understanding of what you like and don’t like. If you drive long nails such as those used in roofing or something that requires a lot of power, you will want a longer handle to give you more leverage in the swing. 
  • This is a great time to inspect the head of each hammer. Keep notes regarding the material they are made of and what they feel like when you are holding them. Various hammers have different shapes made to accommodate different kinds of work. You can and should keep notes of the different face sizes using digital calipers. If you are really into it, even measure the size of the claw on each hammerhead. This is quite an interesting measure to compare as you can figure out the actual striking area each hammer has. 
  • Now, this is an important step! Take a nail and put it inside the claw of each hammer. The best framing hammers will be able to sink that nail 3/4″ below the surface of a 2×4 pine board. Give them a try. 
  • Here is where you get creative and experiment with the different handles, allowing you to feel best. 

If you follow my steps, I guarantee that you will get a framing hammer you would love to use every day without spending a fortune. I like to test the hammers with galvanized 16D nails on 4×4, but you can easily opt for other materials such as pine or any other kind of wood commonly used. 

Keep in mind that each user’s skill and technique play a vital role, so before you draw any conclusion, it is best to do some testing yourself. I tried to pick the products that I think deserve their asking price, but you need to remember this is a subjective topic, so please try them before committing to a model.