Craftsman released its new 12V NEXTEC series of compact power tools before the winter holidays, and performance reviews are starting to roll in. One of the more innovative tools of the Nextec series is Craftsman’s new Hammerhead Auto Hammer. The Auto Hammer’s compact size makes it well suited for areas too tight to swing a traditional hammer, as well as for overhead applications, but not everyone is entirely pleased with its performance.
The main complaint that we have been hearing about the Auto Hammer is that it is underpowered, and is incapable of driving larger or longer nails flush with a work surface. According to its product description, the Auto Hammer should be capable of driving nails up to 3.5-in. in length with the press of a trigger.
A recent review via Popular Mechanics concludes that the Auto Hammer is indeed well suited for hammering in compact spaces, but that a traditional hammer is the better tool for most other scenarios. Note: We noticed that Popular Mechanics’s site is covered in Craftsman advertisements – this may have softened the tone of their review.
Despite falling short of its expectations, Craftsman’s Auto Hammer is by no means a dud, and definitely seems to be a well designed tool. Still, we will likely wait for the second revision or release before considering purchasing one for personal use. We are actually a bit surprised that there are only 6 customer reviews posted on Sears.com thus far – this may reflect that many of those that received Auto Hammers as winter holiday gifts are pleased with the tools.
Craftsman’s Auto Hammer is regularly priced at $100.
I just bought one of these for my father in law for his birthday and it is awesome. For starters it is quieter than a real hammer so if you live in a condo or townhome this is a must have. plus it is just plain fun to use. My wife is always buggin me to hang up pictures and decorations and I have always hated it. at least now I have a toy to play with that makes it a lot funner.
Mark La Roi
I got one as a gift this Christmas and was very surprised at how well it works. It’s obviously not built to replace the claw hammer or the nail gun, but if you’ve ever experienced the frustration that comes with trying to swing a hammer across a six inch arc, this tool pays for itself.
I made the mistake of first testing it to flush a no-longer used picture nail high on the living room wall. I learned very quickly that you can’t just squeeze and go because it put a nice hole in the drywall! Once I realized I needed to learn it and be cautious how I proceeded, it was a joy to flush all the leftover nails I could find.
I’ve not used it yet to build, and I’m not likely to use it for anything other than it’s intended purpose: tight spaces, although I might like to try it for normal applications just for fun. I notice many people complained of the noise level, but it’s not loud at all. Perhaps that was a problem with the original run of them, but mine isn’t even as loud as hitting a nail with a regular hammer like Chad wrote.
It doesn’t have a lot of kickback, and once you realize that you can’t just squeeze the trigger and wait for the hammering to stop, this is a cool tool.
My name is Cristiano Massaro, I’m living in Brazil. I wonder if you have a sales representative in Brazil, because I am interested in by the product.
Sorry, not that I know of. I don’t think there are any Craftsman distributors outside the USA and Canada.