Framing hammers, also known as tear hammers, are very popular hand tools for framing homes. Framing hammers are the ideal tool for trimming and nailing panels in your home, school, church, or office. The tool’s strong jaws are able to quickly and efficiently do the job of a sander. The right Framing Hammer can make the panel edges look sharp, even after painting. They’re great for tight spaces and churches where it is impossible to install windows or sliding glass doors. Here is a buyers guide to help you find the best hammers.
The pros: A lightweight framing hammerhead is easy to carry around; the hammer is easy to use with the right type of wood and material. It has a long lasting, powerful head that is shock absorbent. Metal heads tend to be heavier and have less impact absorbing capability than their metal counterparts.
The cons: The biggest con is that it requires effort to pound nails and the nails will tend to fly out at a certain speed. The panel edges may also be somewhat blurred because of the hammer head impacting on them. Also, it is important to keep the hammer face straight when using this type of hammer. If the panel edges are slightly curved, it may not be as effective as the traditional framing hammers.
The pros: The most obvious pros include the ability to do an impressive amount of fastening with little effort and a very efficient pounding action. It also tends to run quiet so it won’t bother the neighbors or other household appliances. The hammering action can also produce much more power than a regular sander. It is able to create less vibration and creates very little noise.
The downsides: It is possible to purchase this type of framing hammer in steel as well as aluminum. The steel version usually weighs more than the aluminum. However, the aluminum is less expensive and is lighter. The most important aspect is that the steel Framing Hammers are not nearly as powerful as their milled counterpart. One pound of weight for every twelve pounds of nails is the rule of thumb when using steel hammers.
The most popular types of Framing Hammer are the Estwing and claw hammerheads. An Estwing Framing Hammer is one that works from below the surface of the wood. It has a sliding action that can create an airtight seal around the piece. The milled face hammers are simply a head that is pressed into the wood with tongs. Mined face hammers are similar except they are made from high quality steel that is pressed into the wood.
The new claw Framing Hammer is gaining in popularity, largely due to it’s weight efficiency and it’s ability to prevent buckling. The milled and forged Framing Hammerheads weigh about the same. Most Framing hammers are priced according to the square footage. The largest ones range in price from twenty five to almost eighty dollars, depending on the size of the hammer.
For a medium-sized home, a Framing Hammer of between fifty and two hundred ounces is good. For homes over two thousand square feet, it is recommended that you use a Framing Hammer that weighs anywhere between one and three hundred ounces. This will allow you to have the leverage to tighten and loosen the screws that attach the lath board. If you intend to drill through the plywood, a Framing Hammer that weighs between one and three hundred ounces is the best choice.
As for the choice in between milled and forged Framing hammers…there is no simple answer. If you want a product that will last, you will likely want one of the milled frames. This means it will be made out of steel alloy and will most likely be fairly lightweight. However, if you want the ability to customize your own product, forged Framing hammers are the best framing hammers to choose.
One more thing that needs to be mentioned is the variety of hammers currently available. There are two types of hammerheads currently on the market, one of which is the conventional hammer head and the other being the claw hammer head. A conventional Framing hammer has an open hole in the center and the user inserts two or four screws into the hole and pound the head. The claw hammer has a small hook in the center of it and when you pound on the center part, the hooked part protrudes out and the head, with the screw embedded, is gripped by the user.
The cons mentioned above clearly outweigh the pros when discussing the best hammer to purchase for home improvement projects. Now you need to decide which of these hammers will best fit your project. The pros clearly outweigh the cons when discussing price and availability. You also need to consider the type of project you will be working on. Most people prefer one-piece steel construction because of the durability and the ability to customize it to any degree. Whether you prefer a traditional Framing Hammer or a Claw Hammer, you need to keep the pros and cons in mind before making your decision.