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How to Choose The Best Claw Hammer?

23rd. December, 2023

Traditional-type hammers

Pay close attention to these features when you're evaluating a hammer.

These are time-tested, proven designs, in a variety of weights and handle materials.

Claw Hammers

Smooth face

For DIYers and general pro use, a smooth face is best because it won't mar surfaces. Some framing carpenters prefer a "milled face" hammer because it doesn't slip off nail heads as readily.

Head weight

Classic hammers are designated by head weight: 16 to 20 oz. is good for DIY use, with 16 oz. good for trim and shop use, 20 oz. better for framing and demo.

Rip claw

We prefer straight rip claw hammers for general use.


For general DIY and remodeling use, the best hammers are steel or fiberglass. Wood handles break, and the grip is more slippery. They're fine for the shop or trim work but less useful on a general-purpose hammer. Other things being equal, fiberglass handles are lighter; steel handles are more durable. Wood and fiberglass transmit less vibration to the user, though for many people (including us), vibration isn't a problem.


Modern-style Hammers

In more modern hammers, every feature of the classic hammer design has been changed or tweaked.

These hammers have new features that give you a different, and possibly better, feel and performance. Shown here is a Stanley 20-oz. with a steel handle.

Claw Hammer

Wide face

Common sense would say that you'd miss fewer nails, right? But in our experience, the difference is slight.

Nail starter

This feature is typically a groove and magnet that hold a nail so you can get it started high above your head with only one hand.

Anti-vibration design

Some people find that steel-handled hammers make their elbows sore after long periods of hammering. With that in mind, some designs claim to dramatically reduce vibration.

Head weight

Some modern-style hammers have head weights similar to a classic hammer. Others have a lighter head and a longer handle, which can give high striking force with less overall weight.

Hatchet-style handle

Classic handles are straight, with a symmetrical bulge at the end. Some modern hammers have a curved handle and a hooked end—a combination that feels more balanced to some users.


We are a claw hammer supplier, please contact us if you need them!