Best Framing Hammer in 2022 (Reviews and Comparison)

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When it’s time to purchase a new framing hammer, don’t just grab the first one you see. You should keep in mind which features are most important to the way you work, as well as how much money you’re willing to spend.

You want a hammer heavy enough to do the work without tiring out your swinging arm. Some users prefer their framing hammers to be constructed from one piece of steel. Others swear by hammers with a wooden handle fastened to the hammerhead.

Based on our recommendations on weight, balance, and construction criteria, we’ve highlighted five of the best framing hammers on the market. 

COMPARISON CHART

IMAGE PRODUCT
Estwing Framing Hammer - 22 oz Long Handle Straight Rip Claw with Smooth Face & Shock Reduction Grip - E3-22S , Silver 1. Estwing Framing Hammer – 22 oz.
  • Full steel construction
  • Shock reduction grip
  • Well-balanced
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Vaughan & Bushnell 999L 20 Oz Professional Framing Hammer, White 2. Vaughan & Bushnell 999L 20 Oz. Hammer
  • Extra metal behind striking face
  • Sturdy rip claw design
  • Heavy duty hickory handle
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Stilletto TI14MC Stiletto Tools Titan 14-OunceTitanium Framing Hammer With Curved Handle, Pack of 2 3. Stiletto TI14MC Stiletto Tools Titan
  • Lightweight
  • Less recoil
  • Magnetic nail starter
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4. Dalluge DDT16P 16 ounce DDTP Titanium Hammer
  • Built-in nail holder
  • Side nail ripper
  • Overstrike protection
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Real Steel 0517 Ultra Framing Hammer with Milled Face, 21 oz 5. Real Steel 0517 Ultra Framing Hammer
  • Magnetized nail holder
  • One-piece construction
  • Reasonably priced
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1. Estwing Framing Hammer – 22 oz.

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Estwing Framing Hammer - 22 oz Long Handle Straight Rip Claw with Smooth Face & Shock Reduction Grip - E3-22S , Silver

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Estwing Framing Hammer - 22 oz Long Handle Straight Rip Claw with Smooth Face & Shock Reduction Grip - E3-22S , Silver

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Estwing Framing Hammer - 22 oz Long Handle Straight Rip Claw with Smooth Face & Shock Reduction Grip - E3-22S , Silver

Specification

Total weight2.13 lbs.
Handle typeSteel
Face typeSmooth
GripNylon/vinyl
ConstructionOne piece of steel
TangFull
Head weight22 ounces
Length16 inches

With a total weight of just over two pounds, this hammer gives the user more than enough striking power to get the job done. Constructed from one piece of American steel, the hammer is strong to the core and durable enough to find a place in your tool belt for years. Available with either a smooth or milled face, this Estwing hammer features a patented grip designed to reduce vibration impact by 70 percent. The Estwing framing hammer is the perfect choice for anyone in the construction industry such as framers, roofers, and contractors. Do-it-yourselfers will appreciate the Estwing hammer for those projects where a less durable hammer won’t do the trick. 

WHAT WE LIKE

With well-distributed weight and excellent balance, the Estwing feels good to use. The patented rubber/nylon grip on the solid steel handle shields the user from absorbing much of the jarring reverberation common to one-piece hammers. Some framing hammers in the same price range feature fiberglass handles, which could break in colder conditions. As much as we enjoy using the Estwing, the inclusion of either a magnetic or inset nail holder would be a helpful upgrade. Estwing provides a manufacturer’s warranty which must be requested via Estwing’s customer service department.

PROS

  • Full steel construction
  • Shock reduction grip
  • Well-balanced

CONS

  • Non-magnetic striking face
  • No inset nail setter
  • Manufacturer’s warranty available through customer service

2. Vaughan & Bushnell 999L 20 Oz. Hammer – Best Professional Framing Hammer

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Vaughan & Bushnell 999L 20 Oz Professional Framing Hammer, White

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Vaughan & Bushnell 999L 20 Oz Professional Framing Hammer, White

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Vaughan & Bushnell 999L 20 Oz Professional Framing Hammer, White

Specification

Total weight1.81 lbs.
Handle typeHickory
Face typeSmooth
GripWood
ConstructionSteel and wood
TangHandle-to-steel connection
Head weight20 ounces
Length16 inches

Construction industry professionals will gravitate towards the Vaughn and Bushnell 999 series of framing hammers. Extra steel behind the striking head allows for powerful nail strikes with each swing. Vaughan and Bushnell’s special rip claw design allows users to dislodge nails and tear down boards with ease. The long handle is built from hickory for superb strength, premium shock absorption, and a good sense of heft and balance. At an average price of $30, the Vaughan and Bushnell 999L 20-ounce professional framing hammer is a good investment for anyone who swings a hammer for a living.

WHAT WE LIKE

Triple-wedged with wood and steel, the head is unlikely to separate from the handle. This hammer is well balanced, making it easy to hold and use. Vaughan and Bushnell’s design places more weight behind the striking face, providing extra nail-driving force. Magnetizing the striking head would be a plus for some users, as would a molded grip on the handle. This hammer comes with a warning label under California’s Proposition 65, indicating that it contains materials that may cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive health complications.

PROS

  • Extra metal behind the striking face
  • Sturdy rip claw design
  • Heavy-duty hickory handle

CONS

  • Non-magnetic striking face
  • No molded handle grip
  • No inset nail setter
  • Proposition 65 warning

3. Stiletto TI14MC Stiletto Tools Titan – Best Titanium Framing Hammer

Stilletto TI14MC Stiletto Tools Titan 14-OunceTitanium Framing Hammer With Curved Handle, Pack of 2

Specification

Total weight14 oz.
Handle typeHickory
Face typeMilled
GripWood
ConstructionSteel and wood
TangHandle-to-steel connection
Head weight14 ounces
Length18 inches

Weighing in at less than two pounds, the Stiletto TI14MC titanium framing hammer delivers powerhouse performance without overly fatiguing the user. The addition of an ergonomic handle, which is curved at the bottom, adds to the simplicity and comfort of using this hammer. Because titanium disperses energy more efficiently than steel, users will feel less shock during nail strikes. The incorporation of a milled face provides texture between the striking head and the nail, lessening the probability of hitting the nail askew and making for a more secure drive. 

WHAT WE LIKE

Not as heavy as other framing hammers, the Stiletto TI14MC is easy to swing. The magnetic striking head holds nails in place for easy setting. Some users may find the lighter head to be insufficient for larger projects and opt for a hammer with more head weight. You’ll need to decide if the lighter titanium head fits your particular work style. With a price point hovering around triple digits, some people may find the Stiletto TI14MC hammer too pricey for serious purchase consideration. Customers that prefer to purchase products made in the USA should be aware that the Stiletto TI14MC is manufactured in China.

PROS

  • Lightweight 
  • Less recoil
  • Magnetic nail starter

CONS

  • Could be cost-prohibitive
  • It may not be powerful enough for larger projects
  • Milled face could leave textured marks on the drywall

4. Dalluge DDT16P 16 ounce DDTP Titanium Hammer – Best Lightweight Framing Hammer

Specification

Total weight0.69 Pounds
Handle typeHickory
Face typeSmooth
GripWood
ConstructionSteel and wood
TangHandle-to-steel connection
Head weight
Length17 ⅛ inches

With a listed weight of just over half a pound, the Dalluge DDT16P packs the same wallop as some heavier hammers. Shock absorbing design, a smooth striking face, and a straight hickory handle make this hammer a breeze to use. The head features an inset nail holder that fits both standard and duplex nails. This hammer is the only product on the list featuring handle guards designed to minimize damage from overstriking. Strongly reinforced claws make quick work of pry jobs. Users can easily rip out nails with the claw end of the nail puller on the side of the hammerhead. 

WHAT WE LIKE

For roughly half the price of the Stiletto TI14MC, the Dalluge DDT16P is the best choice for customers who don’t want to spend a fortune on a titanium hammer. Dalluge’s inspired head design, featuring both a magnetized nail holder and a side-inset nail puller, makes this hammer handy and functional. No other hammer on this list features a side-nail puller, which allows users to work in smaller spaces. Like the Vaughan and Bushnell branded 999L, this hammer falls under California’s Proposition 65 warning for containing materials that could be hazardous to the user’s health.

PROS

  • Built-in nail holder
  • Side nail ripper
  • Overstrike protection

CONS

  • No molded grip on the handle
  • Proposition 65 warning

5. Real Steel 0517 Ultra Framing Hammer – Best Affordable Framing Hammer

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

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

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

Specification

Total weight2.09 lbs.
Handle typeSteel
Face typeMilled
GripRubber
ConstructionOne piece of steel
TangFull
Head weight21 ounces
Length15.5 inches

Generally priced in the $20 range, the Real Steel 0517 is a good all-around framing hammer. Forged from one piece of steel, the handle is surrounded by a vibration-reducing rubber grip. Graphite comprises the hammer’s core, increasing the tool’s durability and strength. Your hammer strike accuracy will be improved by the product’s milled face. The head features a magnetic nail holder, making it easier to use the hammer with one hand.

WHAT WE LIKE

Customers that purchase the Real Steel 0517 specifically because of its low price will get a good, basic framing hammer for their money. With its one-piece construction and graphite core, the hammer is solidly put together. Some users may be put off by the weight of the handle, which could make the hammer difficult to use during repetitive motion. Others may find the 21-ounce head not dense enough for some larger projects. This hammer is manufactured outside the USA, which may lead some customers to choose a different product.

PROS

  • Magnetized nail holder
  • One-piece construction
  • Reasonably priced

CONS

  • It may be too heavy for some users
  • The Head may be too light for some projects
  • Milled face could leave textured marks on the drywall

Conclusion

All the hammers on this list are excellent in their own ways but the 22-ounce Estwing framing hammer comes out on top. Estwing’s strong one-piece, drop-forged construction ensures the hammer’s longtime dependability, durability, and toughness.

The molded shock absorption grip on the steel handle does wonders at stopping much of the normal vibration of nail strikes from transferring to the user’s arm. This Estwing hammer, normally priced below $40, delivers great value for your money.

While the Estwing is heavier than the light titanium hammers on the market, we believe the Estwing 22-ounce framing hammer to be the best overall choice for professionals, DIY enthusiasts, and amateur home remodelers. 

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