Last year, Sears Craftsman came out with a Flex Claw hammer, which featured an indexing claw, for better prying out nails or to-be-demo’ed materials at different angles.
Now, Crescent – with Apex Tool Group likely the OEM for Craftsman’s version – has come out with their own flavor of the hammer.
I’ll admit, it’s a unique hammer that toes the line between innovation and gimmick, but it performs pretty well in use. I had to rip down some old fluorescent light fixtures that were nailed in place, re-nailed, and then nailed in so many more times I couldn’t count the number of nail heads.
The Craftsman Flex Claw hammer was the closest rip-claw hammer (or prying instrument of any kind), and it came in handy. I figured I’d give it a shot and then hunt down a better tool if needed, but it turned out to be more than capable.
It’s not ideal for all applications, but it’s convenient.
Crescent makes a couple of indexing pry bars, including a “bull bar”, and so does Gearwrench – also owned by Apex Tool Group.
I’m of the position that this tool isn’t for everyone, but if you think you could use it, there’s a good chance you’ll like it.
One Craftsman hammer I tested – I believe it was in-store – had a sticky pivot adjustment button, but I don’t remember experiencing that with my test sample. Sometimes indexing tools can be finicky, but I’ve always attributed that to a greater need for strength than delicate precision.
I mention the price as being “TBD,” because what I’m seeing on Amazon and Crescent – $32 on Amazon and $51+ via Crescent – is uncharacteristic. The Craftsman version has a “regular price” of $30, and its sale price is usually $18-20. I would predict that we’ll see the hammer at Home depot or Lowes at lower pricing – say $20.
If you don’t want to wait for the Crescent pricing to normalize, buy a Sears Craftsman model (although I’m less and less a fan of Sears these days) for $20 or less.
Buy Now(via Amazon) – But strongly consider waiting for lower pricing.
See Also(Craftsman version)
More Info(via Crescent)
How many times will they try to re invent the hammer . Not sure about anyone else . I still like my Vaughn and would like to own an estwing ultra hammer some day .
I really do not understand why a lot of these hammer designs are even made .
As far as motivation is concerned:
New Englander Ralph Waldo Emerson is often quoted. One of his that comes to mind is:
“Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door”
Being a bit more skeptical, I might use another quote (probably incorrectly attributed to PT Barnum): That aphorism says”
“A sucker is born every minute “
Honestly are any of em better . Not being a stick framer I could not be bothered to buy a Hart or stiletto hammer. 50 bucks for a Vaughn is more than enough for something that is used to smash things . Like I said someday I will splurge for the leather wrapped estwing.
I think that Emerson was commenting on the thought that aspirations drive us to be inventive – but the reality is that there are few “better mousetraps’ that get invented. If you take a look at the things that have received patents over the years – they often represent the aspirations of the inventors. If you look at how few of those things have come to market, then the even smaller number of those things that became successful – then you see the reality.
I think a better saying would be, “make something idiot proof and they’ll make a better idiot.”
What can you do? Some people just want gimmicks
I recall the adage that “you can make it fool-proof but not damn-fool proof and those damn-fools will get you every time.”
That’s not to say that some great things are not being continually developed – some by invention and some by evolution – its just that some “new” appeal to a very narrow audience and never develop beyond being just gimmicks. Other things (as Ron alludes to below in talking about PC’s) may start out slow then act as a springboard developing into something revolutionary.
Its introduction is too late for Father’s Day and too early for Christmas – the only times I see this sort of tool selling – just my opinion – maybe others will like it.
indexing pry bar I can understand. Indexing hammer – less so just because it would also have to deal with the vibrations and impacts of hammer use.
Incidentally you tested the craftsman one – does that nail retention thing work well.
I’ve never used a hammer that had that
The nail starter? Different hammers have slightly different ways of doing it.
I might have tested it once or twice and seen no fault. But I wouldn’t reach for this as my primary nail hammer – I prefer claw hammers, such as by Estwing or Vaughan.
I don’t know how the nail retention works on this hammer – but I bought some Douglas hammers about ten years ago, for some of the guys who wanted to try them out. They said that they liked the hammers and its nail holding feature well enough – but back in the 2005-2006 timeframe when I bought 6 for $300 – $50 for a hammer was pushing my cost-benefit buttons pretty hard.
You would hate our prices ..
I probably would have – but maybe it all works out in the end. Lots of things go into making up our cost of living as individuals and the cost of doing business for companies. I’m not sure that on average Canadian companies are less profitable than their counterparts in the US or that the averages for standard of living between us are that much different.
Your top income tax bracket is lower than ours – and my home state takes almost another 7% – plus the nearly 9% they get in sales tax. I suspect that my out of pocket medical/dental costs may also be higher than that of my counterpart in Canada – even though I’m eligible for Medicare and have pretty good and expensive private insurance. But consumer goods – tools and the like – are indeed cheaper.
When I talk to Europeans, they are also envious about some of the costs in the US – until I tell them what I pay in local property taxes in NY. They are even more incredulous when I tell them how different the taxes are in the 3 states in which I maintain residences.
Don’t bemoan companys that market unusual products. They’re the reason you have a personal computer and an Iphone. Many people thought those would be useless, too.
Crescent also sells a pry-bar with an indexing head and, yes, it is a big improvement over the standard prybar.
Estwing or Vaughn twenty years…then only stiletto ..very light ,super strong…even bought a Dewalt hammer.once……30years framing houses…..this hammer above,ya ,no thanks
I wouldn’t frame with this, but I wished for this many times when I was concrete forming multi story buildings. Even drew it up in cad to see if I could make it. In concrete form removal you have to pull your duplex nails from lots of weird locations, and sometimes you only have room for a strait claw if it’s close to a wall, or you need the leverage of a curved claw
The only thing that concerns me, and incidentally more so in the Sears version, was the invisible rattle of the pry end. Over time, if not immediately, I’d imagine the indexing to have some slop in it at least over time. You don’t want that mass rattling around when you’re hammering. For one it could lead to injury or strain not to mention affecting your accuracy. Seems you’d want a hammer with as few moving parts to me and is asking for trouble.
Inevitable rattle not invisible btw
My favorite is a Stewart hammer: hard to find now. Better leverage than any other, for pulling nails. And a very effective 2×4 tweaker.
I recall that someone recently posted about this new Dewalt Hammer:
Estwing also makes several different hammers with a 2×4 tweaker:
I see, those hammers do have the 2×4 tweaker feature. To me, the best feature of the Stewart is (are) the front claws which make it easy to pull out a 16d nail without a fulcrum.
Are they even still made. I think I remember seeing them in an old Garret Wade catalog – and thinking like they were too pricey (like quite a few other things that GW sells). Now a quick search on the internet and the only one I saw was at a store in the UK (havwoodsaccessories.com) with them on clearance for £9.95
Yes, that was the only current source I could find.
Does it come with Bluetooth™ technology?
Carbon fiber handle and titanium head?
A laser guide?
If not, then what’s it good for?
It IS brushless though!
I have a Craftsman version just because everyone hates Sears and Im a rebel. good tool.
I don’t think that most ToolGuyd readers hate Sears – but they hate what’s become of them in the death spiral in which they seem to be caught up. If “hate” is directed anywhere it seems aimed at their CEO who has overseen – and some would say aided and abetted their agonizingly slow demise.