Looking for a quality hammer

Discussion in 'Other Tools' started by seasonofthewoods, Mar 14, 2018.

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  1. seasonofthewoods

    seasonofthewoods Lost In the Woods Supporter

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    Looking for a quality hammer. As the title says I am hoping you guys can give me some input. I have some decent hone depot ones. But As of 6 months ago I am a dad of a little boy and I am more and more interested in heirloom items. I use hammers a lot. And want a quality one for anything really.
    I do not want to restore one. I just don' have the time between work and a kid, plus all other nonsense. Please throw some suggestions if you have any.

    Thanks,
     
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  2. Muleman77

    Muleman77 Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    Well, before I answer, what kind of hammer?
     
  3. lodge camper

    lodge camper Scout

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    estwings are forever hammers.
     
  4. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Yep, if you buy an Estwing you will have a hammer until you lose it. I have a framing hammer, rock hammer, heavy hammer for my anvil and a full size axe. Good stuff.
     
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  5. Boggs

    Boggs Tracker

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    To me..passing down tools especially hammers the handle would need to be wood.....since you’ve mentioned Home Depot then you might already have a Hart plus a Vaughn.....then there’s Stilleto as mentioned above....also take a look at the Hardcore Original
     
  6. dirt7

    dirt7 Supporter Supporter

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    Why not something along the lines of a hand forged hammer, if you are really interested in passing something down. You could always just get something like a nice axe to pass down, that seems more along the lines of a heirloom quality tool.
     
  7. atfan

    atfan Tracker

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    I’d get a 12 oz straight claw leather handled estwing....light enough for a kid now ,great for trim and light stuff later. See if you can find a poem called “my father’s hammer” .....it circulates around Fathers Day.
     
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  8. Tennessee

    Tennessee Guide Supporter Bushclass II

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    Check out Douglas hammers. They were gone for a bit, but are now available on a limited basis.
     
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  9. carpenter

    carpenter Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I've swung an Estwing for over 40 years. Like Estwings.
     
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  10. Skab

    Skab Staff Staff Member Administrator Super Moderator Vendor Lifetime Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
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  11. NattyBo

    NattyBo Supporter Supporter

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    As the son of a cabinetmaker, I'd like to have my dad's hammer.
     
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  12. roadwarrior

    roadwarrior Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Being a Carpenter I have a big collection of hammers. I have that many because they all felt good in the store but when I used them I did not like them. If you want 1 hammer you could pass down I would say an Estwing steel shaft with the leather handle. It only looks better after time.
     
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  13. bobs1415

    bobs1415 Supporter Supporter

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    Start scouring junk stores. With patience you can come across good condition made-in-America tools mixed in with all the dreck. Restoring a vintage tool makes it your own.
     
  14. JohnP

    JohnP No more half measures Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    My three favorite hammers belonged to my dad. All three are ball pien, two fairly large and a very small one. All three were in his toolbox when he passed. The small one was good-to-go, the two big ones needed wooden handles. I use the small one a lot for setting post and burr rivets in leather. The two bigger ones see general use around the shop. I like to think he would be proud. They will be in my son’s toolbox someday.

    JohnP
     
  15. seasonofthewoods

    seasonofthewoods Lost In the Woods Supporter

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    Thanks for your input guys, :)
     
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  16. seasonofthewoods

    seasonofthewoods Lost In the Woods Supporter

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    @Skab That is awesome....just might do that...
     
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  17. roadwarrior

    roadwarrior Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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  18. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    During the First World War there was a practice called trench raiding. Both sides practiced it. The object of the exercise was to crawl undetected, usually under the cover of night, into an enemy’s trench and depending on the mission’s objectives either capture prisoners, steal maps and other intelligence, sabotage food, medicines and munitions, or go berserk and kill, kill, kill until the rest of the troops went “over the top” and met up with the raiders in a coordinated attack.

    It was not supposed to be a suicide mission, but it was sure very dangerous business. Weapons were varied but clubs, brass knuckles, machetes, and trench knives were the norm when quite raiding was planned. Among trench warfare lore are stories of men who before the war were carpenters and their weapons of choice were their framing hammers. I swung one for a summer between semesters of college building docks. The man I worked for did not believe in power tools and between swinging that beast and pulling on a hand saw I had blisters on my blisters and one heck of a big arm :D After that summer I always believed one would make a heck of a good weapon if the need ever arose.

    Good luck in your quest to find a nice hammer. Those forged ones sure look sweet!
     
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  19. JohnP

    JohnP No more half measures Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Man, trench creeping sounds like a dangerous endeavor. I saw a thing on TV a while back where some motorcycle club members had hammers hanging from their belts. Most were small sledges or ball piens. Completely legal and handy in a fight.

    JohnP
     
  20. nograveconcern

    nograveconcern Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I've been happy with my latest finish hammer. I like Vaughan for ball peen. Craftsman seem to be made by Vaughan as well. I'm not much into metal or fiberglass handles. They are hard to break, but they just don't have much soul.
    thumbnail_IMG_3856.jpg
    Got it at the hammer source
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  21. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Deadly indeed! In my prime I’m sure I could have put a big enough dent in a steel army helmet with one stroke to knock the owner out cold. Two or three strokes with the claw side I might have gone through it. A framing hammer is fearsome – better ban them :D

    I’d suggest PM-ing #Swampyankee64. He’s a professional and he showed me one of his hammers once—it was a thing of beauty—I cannot for the life of me recall the brand.
     
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  22. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    Not trying to be insulting, but being realistic,
    If you need to ask about a tools you have virtually no experience with , and go on the word of the more experienced people a selection is drawn, any professional's experience came with muscle memory and development which I must assume you don't have yet.
    Start from scratch and cheap and take the time your self to learn how and when to use said tool .
    It is noble to invest in something that can be passed down ,but if a skill is not passed down with it, it's just a keep sake ,if that.
    MY opinion , start simple and grow and develop your tooling as a matter of growth and advancement .
    I've got at least 30+ different hammers ,some I've invested and some dad left to me. but I started with something that fit my skill level as a kid and grew into the how and why the rest became important .
    Being a novice I recommend not going high end but something more conservative and toward the specific projects you have in mind .
    a big heavy framing hammer is not appropriate for cabinet work ,nor is the one preferred in cabinet work very well suited for framing .
     
  23. SoreFeet

    SoreFeet Scout

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    Estwing.
     
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  24. seasonofthewoods

    seasonofthewoods Lost In the Woods Supporter

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    Thanks for your input, don' get my wrong.... I'm not saying I have never owned a hammer. Or used one. My dad owns a home remodeling business for the last 25 years. I have finished more basements then most people have been into. But my dad has always bad a very "throw away mind set" he does not invest a lot of money in tools, or cars, or clothes. Just does not believe in that. That being said. I am not expert and I don' work in that field anymore or help out. But I am asking in a sense of what you guys recommend, I own hammers but most are rust bucket items or in terible shape or given to me already best up.

    Again you are right with the skill level. and no offense taken. Just putting it out there I am asking for suggestions on quality tools. Not on an assessent of my skill.even though I completey
    Understand what you ment by it, basically don'
    Buy a 400 dollar knife before you have learned to use a mora.... which i find debatable as well.

    Also dont get me wrong im not out bulding a house everyday , so maybe i dont need a expensive hammer....but to be able to pass on some tools is worth it me, that includs
    My axes, knives, my snapon sets and what not.

    Cheers,
     
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  25. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    Personally having done construction a s a kid wit my dad and being a mechanic I prefer using tools appropriate for the job.
    So far as hammers go and doing framing , I found a good 20 0z vaugan framing hammer head and carved a hatchet handle for it .
    What the world supplies traditionally is not necessarily my cup of tea.
    Having done a lot of demolition I saw a sears hammer that has an adjustable claw ,I'd like to give a try.
    My time is valuable to me , it's worth having tools that make the job go better , even if I have to make them my self .
     
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  26. seasonofthewoods

    seasonofthewoods Lost In the Woods Supporter

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    Really liking a lot of these recommendations
    Thanks guys
     
  27. nograveconcern

    nograveconcern Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Can't believe this has been overlooked, but Stop!















    [​IMG]
     
  28. jkc256

    jkc256 Tracker

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    Hart Woody.jpeg

    Do a search for the Hart Woody, I've had mine for over 15 years, awesome hammer for the big jobs. The Woody isn't made by Hart anymore but they show up on the Bay every once and awhile. The design was sold to Douglas who may have gone under too. I believe Vaughan makes a titanium version still.
     
  29. rich11coop

    rich11coop Scout

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  30. plumberoy

    plumberoy Guide

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    My 22oz Estwing framing hammer is 30+ years old it has been used (and abused) for more than 20 years that I had to supply my own tools in my job as a plumber/outfitters . I have no doubt that my grandson will use it.
     
  31. cbrianroll

    cbrianroll Professional Tinkerer

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    Dalluge titanium is like the Hart woody....they may have a non titanium version. I use both stilleto wood handle and full titanium hammers now. They are great for my bad elbows. If I were doing concrete I'd use a dewalt all steel. Hammers are kinda like knifes and axes....certain kinds for certain uses, at least to me. I need one of those Bailey's now lol
     
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  32. Pinelogcreek

    Pinelogcreek Supporter Supporter

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    I have a Vaughn framing hammer that is awesome and several Estwings, my favorite is a hammer that my grandfather had my whole life, no maker mark on it. I am certain it came from NAPA auto parts as my grandmother owned the store and that’s where tools came from.

    I have found that the value in things passed on is not in the cost or even quality but rather in the time spent together using them. Every time I open his toolbox I smell that smell that makes me a kid again. Things have no value to me only the memories attached to them. My father in law recently gave my son a pile of new, good quality tools but they will never carry the same memory because they never used them together.
     
  33. nograveconcern

    nograveconcern Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Ok, just this once. Go ahead and take a peak in my drawers.

    2B11F450-762E-4390-AE7F-08C76A94FB9B.jpeg D8873C23-3E3E-4946-AFD1-375CB10E70EB.jpeg 2646300C-7A3F-43E9-BB2A-F8F0C2D443B4.jpeg C69CDD22-2CE7-4AD1-8EB9-1897BE3847E8.jpeg
     
  34. bam7765

    bam7765 Supporter Supporter

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  35. seasonofthewoods

    seasonofthewoods Lost In the Woods Supporter

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  36. nograveconcern

    nograveconcern Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    They’re fun to collect and the character they take on with age makes them cooler. Like axes, only blunt. Reminds me of someone. ;)
     
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  37. Wasp

    Wasp We are GO for Sting! Supporter

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    I have been in construction my whole life and only use Eastwing hammers and roofing hatchets. They dont get better. Plumb is okay and probably next, but wood can break.

    The hammer I use every day is about ten years old, still going. And I use it too!
     
  38. funkja

    funkja Scout

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  39. boisdarc

    boisdarc Scout

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    First, nograveconcern is that blue a rounding hammer? would love to see a close up of that. Seasonofthewoods, what are you going to use this for, building wood stuff, metal stuff? As pointed out numerous times, eastwing makes a good hammer, klein makes a good hammer too. Old stanleys weren't bad. If you want to spring for a hand made hammer, I think eventually Brian Brazeal's hammers may be worth something in the future.
     
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  40. nograveconcern

    nograveconcern Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Vaughan 32 oz. Lineman's (Farrier's) Hammer, 1 7/8" flat faces, beveled, 15" Wood Handle. Made in the USA.

    Part of my recent order from the hammer source. Haven't had a chance to use it yet.

    4F57E01E-A346-4A6D-BCA0-2A011479DAE3.jpeg
     
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  41. boisdarc

    boisdarc Scout

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    OOOHHHH, that is nice, check out Keyzer Soze's klein rounding hammer in some of his posts. Thanks. That is a keeper.
     
  42. nograveconcern

    nograveconcern Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I've seen a few of his hammers. Not sure I've seen that one.
     
  43. Chili

    Chili Supporter Supporter

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    I have no suggestion on a hammer, but understand the motivation. It reminds me of my own 'hammer' story.

    My grandfather was a cabinet-maker for the bulk of his adult life, but spent plenty of time doing all sorts of carpentry work from framing and rough carpentry to finish carpentry and furniture building (though the last was mainly just for family). In fact, each of his descendants that were adults when he passed has at least one piece furniture he made (I have a small enclosed bookshelf). Once while visiting I was helping them fix a couple things around the house that were starting to be more difficult for my grandfather, who was in his mid 70's by then. He and I started talking about the hammer I was using. He told me when and where he bought it, how much he paid for it, and how it was always his favorite though he had bought and used a number of others professionally over his career. He even pointed out a couple of blemishes on it and told me how they occurred (oh how I wish I had written that stuff down!!).

    Not long after that the family was discussing heirlooms and the like and I asked if, when he 'no longer needed them', I could have his hammer and couple of his other hand tools. One of my brothers and a cousin expressed similar interests. A little while after he passed away, while prepping their home for sale and moving my grandmother in with my aunt, all of his grandsons gathered in his shop (aka garage).

    These were my maternal grandparents, who had only daughters (3), none of which were interested in woodworking. Those three daughters had only sons, 6 in total. My mother, aunts and grandmother decided that they would allow us to have first option on anything and everything there, selected one piece at a time based on age (eldest had first pick). The only exception was that I would get first pick of the first 'round', guaranteeing me the hammer that had prompted all of this to begin with.

    At the time I was living in an apartment and had flown in, so I limited my choices to mostly smaller items that I could take home in my luggage, where one of my brothers ended up with several of his larger power tools. That said, every tool I chose had his initials marking them in some way. In fact, he even still had a couple small wood forms / router templates he had used for the design on my bookshelf, with his handwritten measurements and notes.

    The hammer still holds a very special place in my heart, and although I did use it for at least a decade myself, I have since retired it and it sits on a bookshelf in display. My intent is to build a shadowbox for it an a couple of other items, but that will come. It's not a fancy or expensive hammer, and it's well used, but every time I look at it or pick it up, I can only think of him.

    I tried to think about stuff like that when my son was young, and set a few things aside here and there, that I thought he might like. He graduated and moved out a couple years ago, and I have started gifting him items periodically.
     
  44. nograveconcern

    nograveconcern Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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  45. nograveconcern

    nograveconcern Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Cool story @Chili. It’s always special to use heirloom tools. Dad recently cleaned up and gave me my grandfathers vise. The ball pein next to it was his too, though I had to put a new handle on it.

    A84A239D-80C2-405A-B30C-37DB505551BC.jpeg
     
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  46. Craig Brown

    Craig Brown Tracker

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    10AF68CB-2890-4FCD-BCD5-78C818BDBBB9.jpeg An old 32oz Stanley 221 I cleaned/painted & put on short pc of carved down fawns foot I had leftover from a project.
     
  47. gohammergo

    gohammergo I like sharp things.... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Great thread! I also say estwing. I have many. My son builds homes with the estwing framer I used to build homes with.

    I own my dad's old estwing hatchet, and it will go to either my son or daughter.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
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  48. dads2vette

    dads2vette Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Another Estwing vote. I've got several in various weights. I done construction professionally and as an amature on the homestead. That being said, the jobs and sites changed overnight when we started using air nailers...just sayin'
     
  49. boomchakabowwow

    boomchakabowwow Guide

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    I have a Douglas that my wife bought me as a hint to start building the fence I promised her. I got it around the time I started work, so it is about 19 years old.

    I think it is a 20oz, which is good for me since I do a desk job.

    I kinda stay away from those finishing hammers that have the nubs that stick out. You hit your finger and they tend to grab and rip. I’m good with just the smash part; no need for “rip”. Again, desk job :). My hammer has a waffle iron type hammer face.
     

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  50. Wasp

    Wasp We are GO for Sting! Supporter

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    9,008
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    37,322
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I love this picture. Ive been in construction for 25 years, dad for nearly 50, and we both thought this thing was awesome. Its so classic.
    Somehow the head has a kids toy hammer blocky look, yet completly utilitarian. The handle is awesome too.
     

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