I bought a Crescent fiberglass-handled hammer as part of a hammer comparison that I put on hold last year, and I really like it, especially its axe-style handle flare.
But while I like the Crescent hammer, there’s one complication – I don’t have a lot of experience with fiberglass hammers.
When I buy hammers for personal use, I tend to stick with wood or steel designs. This tendency can change for specialty hammers, such as automotive dead-blow hammers, but when it comes to claw hammers, ball peins, or mallets, I typically lean very headily towards wood or steel where there are such options.
I’m putting together some tool kit recommendations, and this Crescent hammer keeps drawing my attention. However, the fact of the matter is that my long-term experience with fiberglass-handled hammers is nowhere as extensive as with other handle styles.
Fiberglass handles are lighter than steel, and they tend to also have decent vibration damping. They’re also non-conductive. Even so, I find myself gravitating more towards wood and steel-handled hammers, mostly because that’s what I’m used to.
This hammer has good balance, a comfortable handle, and it seems to be well-made. User reviews seem to be in agreement here. Plus, it’s very affordable at just $13.
But, I feel that I need a second opinion here.
As I mentioned in a recent post, Crescent Tools is a ToolGuyd sponsor. This gives us some options.
ToolGuyd is buying 5 more hammers – 16 oz with rip claw – who wants one? There’s also a 20 oz model if that size works better for you.
If you’re interested, what’s your opinion on fiberglass-handled hammers? Do you like them, love them, or do you not know yet?
If you have used this Crescent hammer specifically, what have your experiences been like?
Lastly, everyone is welcome to chime in, but I’ll be choosing the potential reviewers from among returning commentors. That is, someone leaving their first comment won’t be eligible.
(If you use an unmonitored email address for comments, mention this in your comment and we’ll figure something out.)
This isn’t a giveaway, it’s me looking for a couple of candidates who can help review this hammer. If you get a hammer, I’ll be asking for some feedback after you’ve had a chance to drive in some nails.
I’m not sure if this is a good idea or not, but it seems fun.
Buy Now via Home Depot
More Crescent Hammers
Since we’re talking about Crescent hammers, it seems like a good opportunity to briefly mention the brand’s steel indexing claw hammer. I have a slightly different version of this hammer, and it has been fantastic. I treat it as more of a problem-solver, but it’s definitely a “keeper” – a permanent addition in my tool kit.
This is an 18 oz hammer with an adjustable claw that can lock into 4 different positions for greater leverage, nail pulling, or prying accessibility.
Sorry, I don’t need any reviewers for this hammer, I already know it’s awesome! Although… that shouldn’t discourage anyone from asking in case I can be swayed.
The pivoting claw is the star of this show here – I use this more as a demo tool, nail puller, and material manipulator (meaning I sometimes not so gently nudge things into position) – but you could of course also use it as a nail hammer.
Not able to help w/ the testing, but one tool I have of my father is a 16 oz. finish hammer w/a red fiberglass handle and molded rubber over grip — I’m pretty sure it’s made by Plumb and I like it well enough that I keep being tempted to purchase a matching roughing/carpenter’s hammer (which last I checked is still available new).
The (original) fiberglass handle is incredibly tough, and the rubber over grip (which has only slipped an eighth of an inch or so) eases the use of it.
Still prefer wood, mostly for aesthetics though.
I have used fiberglass hammers before, I do like them. However, not a great loaner tool, if someone has to borrow a hammer they probably shouldn’t be using one…the reason being is fiberglass is not as forgiving with missed hits. An amateur with a fiberglass handled hammer will soon have splintering going on.
I have a cheapo depo fiberglass hammer that was left at my old house by someone. I say cheapo depo since it has no name or markings on it at all.
works ok – but I like my beam hammer better. While I would love to review something for you I don’t know that this is really in my wheelhouse unless you want a novice review. I don’t pound nails on the daily – and when I do either often opt for screws or my pneumatics.
I’d be happy to setup some tests and run them and let you know but I might not be your ideal reviewer for this.
OH the other questions – I have no issues with fiberglass handles it makes alot of sense in today’s world of cheaper s glass fiber. I have both 16 oz and 20oz and I find I use the 20oz more. It’s a steel tapered beam style – not sure if it has a name – it’s a Kobalt model.
Anyway I do think this will be a great idea – if for no other reason that to see differences. Thank you
How well does that pivot hold on the adjustable claw? I always look at them (typically a prybar) and like the idea, but I then worry that it is somehow going to break or come loose when I’m using it and I never follow through with my purchase. Thanks!
It feels extremely solid.
I tested a Gearwrench indexable pry bar a few years back, and it could have endured anything. I wouldn’t worry about it loosening or breaking – the claw would likely be over-taxed well before that happens.
We often pull 3/8″ x 12″ spikes out of semi-rotted 6×6’s and ruined 2 of the indexing prybars. Might seem to be an extreme use by a homeowner but stuff like this is common on construction sites– indexing claws are not professional-grade but are gimmicky and made for the weekend warrior guy who has to have all of the newest stuff–good for sales, no doubt made for the guy who can show his buddies, “look what I have”…….. probably have their place in light-use applications…maybe…not for us at all
Fiberglass is nice for being lighter than steel and you don’t have to oil the wood handle to keep it supple. These make it a better choice than wood for someone who doesn’t use one very often except for the fact that an infrequent user may tend to overstrike more causing damage to the fiberglass which is why steel is good for infrequent users or users who will use it very hard. Fiberglass seems like something best for an experienced user who doesn’t want to take care of wood or want to replace wooden handles and doesn’t want the extra weight and vibration of steel or pay for titanium and doesn’t intend to use it for extensive demo work.
I don’t buy fiberglass hammers for regular framing or finish nailing, only in specialty situations/automotive arena. Why? They absolutely, without a doubt suck. There isn’t any connection, like it is dead, no soul. Plus they splinter.
However I have a few steel hammers with similar styled handle flares. Definitely love them. I’ll try to find one and do a sxs comparison and post it to my YT channel.
For anyone complaining about weight, then you don’t know how to use the hammer and weight advantage. Lighter fiberglass hammers take More work from your arm/wrist to drive nails.
Added weight in the handle where you hold it isn’t going to help you drive a nail. You want most of the weight concentrated near the end of the handle near the business end. Vibration dampening and light weight wood or titanium handles with a heavy head are what you are going to see in the hands of most framers who swing them all day.
Kent E Hanson
I have used fibreglass hammers but once Stanley came out with their lightweight welded head light hammers I’ve been all in on those. When carrying a pouch every once counts so lightweight reigns supreme.
I could put one into the pool at my shop. Myself and the other carpenter could certainly put it through its paces, but it might end up broken.
You misspelled “will” end up broken.
A chance to participate in a Toolguyd review? I’ll buy the hammer myself! 😃
I have to admit though, I am in the same boat as you Stuart, not having a lot of experience with fiberglass handles. My “go to” hammer is an Estwing 20oz smooth-face rip claw. I like the one-piece steel design for it’s relative indestructability.
It looks like Crescent’s design with the steel head extending down the shaft a bit would help with the most common issue for a fiberglass handle – an overstrike causing splintering where the head joins the handle. I’m curious how a fiberglass handle would feel compared to steel – its not like I’ve never used one, I have a cheap Stanley fiberglass-handled hammer, but it’s small ( probably a 12oz) and I don’t use it for the same types of tasks as my Estwing (actually I rarely use it at all – it’s most often wielded by my five-year-old).
That indexing-head hammer – what does it feel like to swing? It looks… awkward to me, but maybe you don’t notice the mechanism in use?
P.s. I see you answered my question about the indexing hammer in response to a previous post.
It’s not the perfect nailing hammer, but for a couple of nails it’s just fine. I use it for the claw 9 times out of 10, but that 10th time the strike face comes in handy.
I have that same crescent adjustable hammer.
I find it to be very handy when working in tight spaces and you don’t have a palm nailer around.
My biggest complaint is the balance is odd when trying to strike a nail and the round-ish smooth head.
With the claw down (closest to the handle) there is not enough weight in the head to really drive a framing nail. It feels similar to swinging a heavy stick because there is not enough weight centered over the nail for good follow through.
With the claw in the “back position” as shown in the picture, I kind of have the same problem because the weight is not centered over the face or striking area so I tend to over/strike the nail causing the head to slide off and hit the handle more often.
I don’t think the round-ish face with smaller strike area helps it’s case.
I would say it’s usefulness is better suited to smaller nails and tricky spots.
My experience with this hammer has been over the course of a 2 bathroom remodel and I am directly comparing it to my 15oz estwing.
The estwing has a better strike zone and just swings better overall with a very solid follow through. I’ve had it about 7 years now and it hardly shows any wear (though, I also keep all my tools clean and rust free after any job).
The crescent is a keeper for the odd jobs and it doesn’t feel gimmicky like some “all-in-one” tools, but I don’t feel it can replace a traditional hammer because of the follow through. The crescent 18oz swings like a 16oz hammer. The estwing 15oz swings like a stubby 20-22oz.
I would like to try one of the Dewalt MIG hammers one day if I find a good deal.
I have this Milwaukee (only because it was $10 clearance), I do not like it because of the overall bulky feel and it’s just heavy with no real benefits (shock absorption is not great, it feels like I’m driving the nail with my palm).
It was meant to compete with this estwing.
My version is shaped with a less “angular” fin, it’s more rounded (I think it came from lowes 7-8 years ago and it seems they updated the design).
The best demo hammer I’ve bought so far, you can absolutely destroy a 2×4″ with it if you’re not careful with the leverage. It’s just big.
I’ll buy any hammer on clearance to try at least once. I give away all my hammers if I don’t like them. Just about everyone around me has had a new hammer at some point. Tool addiction is real…
I used a fiberglass handled hammer professionally for a few years: I was a Comcast Cable Technician, and our issued hammer was a fiberglass Klein hammer.
In fact, I still have it. The neck is splintered in a few places, as people have pointed out, they’re semi-fragile compared to steel and wooden hammers, but this one has held up remarkably well.
I have similar comments to Nathan. I have a fiberglass handled hammer that is red and seems to have no markings. It was also left by a previous homeowner. It seems to work well and is undamaged. When I needed another hammer for my garage, I decided to buy a steel handled Estwing. Not sure why, maybe it was the price or what they had for the weight I wanted.
I could also try to do a review, but might need some suggestions since I’m just a homeowner with a lot of projects.
I have that Crescent hammer for a couple years now. It’s not my go to hammer, but it’s been a solid hammer when I’ve used. I do prefer wood or steel handles, but I’m not opposed to fiberglass (obviously because I own that hammer and use it).
I’d be interested in reviewing one. Like you, I’ve never considered much other than wood or metal handles. Moving to a Martinez was a big change, but I have been thoroughly enjoying it.
My concern with fiberglass handles is that they always seem to age quickly. The color fades, and little scuffs, dents, or scrapes can turn into fuzzy fiberglass shards. Too much of that and the hammer is toast. Unlike a wood handle, you can’t just buy a new handle. But, on the flip side, you don’t need to worry about the head on your hammer loosening up like on some wood hammers.
I guess it comes down to a value proposition. Metal handles are more expensive, but longer lasting. Wood are cheaper, and replaceable. Fiberglass certainly is cheap, but is it cheap enough to outweigh the benefits of the other two?
I’ve had fiberglass handles lose a head.
Not a fan of fiberglass hammers. I have built a few homes and other construction projects.
With one slip you hit the fiber glass handle and they dent and begin to crack over time. you know what they say stuff happens.
I’ve had that hammer in the first pic for years, I hate that the the bottom of the handle curls out. When you swing it digs into your palm. Other than that, swings ok if you pick a good one.
I’d give it an honest review.
I’ve not had a fiberglass hammer yet. Well, I take that back. I have a 12-pound sledge with a fiberglass hammer, but that’s a different story. I’d be glad to put one through the wringer and write a review.
I have and use that exact hammer, and it’s probably my favorite, largely for the feel of the handle. It’s a keeper.
The only fiberglass handle hammer I ever had ended up with a sixteen inch wood handle installed on it. The original handle was too short and unbalanced for all day use and I never considered another over any other type of handle available.
Still have the hammer thirty plus years later as the hammer head itself was great.
No. Fiberglass splinters suck. And if you use it hard I GUARANTEE it’ll have nicks which breed splinters.
And the heads get loose and are hard to fix.
BTDT with a few Plumb hammers before I knew better.
I’ve never tried a fiberglass handled hammer for any significant amount of time, but I wouldn’t be opposed to trying one out and seeing how it swings. I’d probably go with the 20 oz at least, but it’d be interesting to try. Thanks for the opportunity!
I’d never use a fiberglass nailing hammer for the splinter reasons mentioned by others. You will get splinters, probably sooner than later if you use it much. I do have several Nupla fiberglass deadblow and soft face hammers that I like a lot. For nails, staples, etc. it’s my trusty old Vaughan 16 and 20 oz rip hammers with wood handles. I’ve also used Estwing steel hammers and they’re very good, but I guess I’m just a wood guy.
A steel handle is unlikely to be damaged (at least by me) and a wood handle is an easy replacement. Fiberglass can’t say that for heavy use.
I carry a 16 oz Plumb straight claw everyday and have for years. I like the size and length of it , I’m not fond of a hammer thats too long.
I could assist, but will say I have ZERO experience or preference when it comes to carpentry hammers. All of my hammering this far in life has been automotive, with very minimal wood work.
That said… I just closed on my new home (first home – I’m only 26) which needs a fair amount of work – fascia/soffits/gutters, deck work, window and door replacements, and plenty more, which I plan to do most of myself (with some outside guidance) over the next year. I have a claw hammer that I’m pretty sure I got at a yard sale who knows how long ago, which seems to be made of metal – did well to hit a prybar and pull up some carpet tacks, but that’s about all I’ve got so far!
Happy to help out and provide some feedback if you are still looking for candidates, planning to hit the fascia/soffits/gutters on my next trip up here in two weeks (bouncing 2 weeks at existing apartment/2 weeks at home until lease ends in July).
I’ve use more than one email to comment I think. And Anonymous
. Anyway I am a plumber by trade doing a large scale new construction right now. So I’m not driving a lot of nails. But we do plenty of nail plating and right now I’m setting like 200 fiberglass tub‘s. Which does involve often times beating the studs a little farther out or pounding some nail plates in the floor in the floor to shim the fiberglass tub‘s because lowest bidder did the work LOL
I actually borrowed/ used their 16 ounce fiberglass crescent hammer for about two days after my titanium husky hammer was stolen. Normally I prefer a wooden handles due to having fractured my wrist a couple years ago. Never steel anymore. But I was surprised how much I liked The fiberglass crescent hammer. It just seem weighted really well which is my problem with some fiberglass handles the weight just feels off compared to a wooden one to me. It seemed to transfer energy well. It didn’t seem too beat up and the time the other guy had owned it. I’d be happy to take a 16 ounce and give it a go. I usually use a 16 ounce Vaughan Hammer.
Thank you to everyone who expressed interest – 7 gift cards for hammer testers have been sent out.
If there’s interest in this type of project, maybe it’s something we can do on a regular basis in the future.
Did anyone forward off any review or detail.
Reason I ask is that I’m 2 weeks out from doing a Habitat build and will in theory use a hammer a good bit. (I seem to always be roofing for some reason – and I’m heavy)
anyway if not and there is a review sample I’d be happy to swing one. Otherwise I am actually looking at buying a Vaughn 19oz framer or something like it.
Eitherway I’m curious as to how they worked out. I saw some at the HD and they were made in Vietnam just like the Milwaukee and the Husky sitting there.
I got a sample and reviewed it. My simple conclusion to help you was that I much prefer a wood handle over the fiberglass. The fiberglass compromises a lot in exchange for being OK at everything. If you’re spending a lot of time building, a wood shaft is way more comfortable.
(There was a lot of great initial feedback, and I still plan to follow-up and collect extended responses to share with the initial responses everyone sent.)
A Vaughan 19 oz hammer is an excellent tool. I have a smooth face one that’s hard to find, but is, in my opinion, one of the best general purpose carpentry hammers you can get. A duo of a waffle face 19 oz and a smooth face 19 oz in curved handles, with a good cats paw so you don’t pry on the handle too much, is an extremely capable set.
Here’s the link to the smooth face-
Hope this helps! I love the smooth face for fences particularly, or siding.
The second link is to the waffle face; my text describing it seems to have disappeared. Hope this clarifies those links a little!