My father-in-law asked for a hammer, preferably one that could pull nails out of the wall.
Alight, one curved claw hammer, coming up. I went with the Dewalt DWHT51001, and what I didn’t realize was that this appears to be a brand new design.
I am a fan of Dewalt’s steel hammers. They have a great balance and they work well. While not fancy or flashy, they’re good hammers.
I own a Dewalt 12oz hammer (DWHT51438), and so far I’ve had zero regrets. I wanted to buy another to give as a gift to someone, but have had a hard time tracking it down. After several months, it’s still unavailable locally or online, and so it seems that the new design is replacing this model.
The older 12oz hammer was released in 2018. There haven’t been any announcements about the new design, and I haven’t seen it at my local stores yet. My FIL’s local Home Depot delivered the Dewalt 12oz hammer I ordered to him, and so it seems to be out now. Home Depot’s website is reporting that it’s in stock locally to me, but I didn’t see it last week when I once again checked for any Dewalt 12oz steel hammer.
Maybe it’s in a box on the top shelf? I’ll have to go back and look for it.
The new hammers look very similar, but there are enough differences to suggest that the hammers have been completely redesigned.
It has a new head shape, what looks to be an I-beam-style handle, a new handle grip design, a new curved claw, and a different striking face geometry.
Looking at Dewalt’s other hammer sizes, it seems the tool brand updated many heavier hammer models in a similar fashion. In other words, it’s not just the 12oz hammer that’s been updated to look like this.
Dewalt says that their new hammers feature ergonomic balancing and weight distribution for ease of use. The previous hammers are described as featuring a balanced design [for a] smooth, accurate swing.
I’m going to keep an eye out for the new designs. I really like my Dewalt hammers, and it’s hard to imagine that they could have gotten any better at comparable price points.
If anything, maybe Dewalt shaved some weight off the handle, which usually works out great.
Or maybe not, and the changes were just made to keep the 12oz hammer visually aligned with their larger sizes.
I’ll see what I can find out. In the meantime, if you’ve tried this new hammer, or the others in its lineup, what are your thoughts?
I like the new look. Nothing wrong with the “old” one either, but that I-beam style appeals to me. I like that smooth continuous grind across the top too.
I don’t use 12oz hammers much, but I was shocked to find a $3 HDX wood-handled 12oz hammer at my local Home Depot the other day. $3?! I bought two. Seems like they are sold out at most locations though, so YMMV. It’s actually not bad – though if you find them, it might be advantageous to pick one in person (I some a couple heads that weren’t installed at the right angle and variances in how they were ground).
I ended up picking up one for my kid (he’s 6 and I recently put together a tool kit for him) and another for me to try and chop up and make into a compact autobody dinging hammer (which worked marvelously).
I might buy a couple more to make some other styles of autobody hammers I don’t own – you can’t even get a hammer handle for $3.
I normally use the previous-previous GP 12oz hammer as a daily driver (DWHT51335? not the “X” version because it’s older). It looks like a 2-piece MIG welded hammer, and was/is pretty pricey, but I like it a lot and several people on the crew bought them too and like them.
At least it looks this price is more reasonable than before.
My only wish was that it had the side nail puller. I use a Vaughn for framing and I really like that feature. Maybe if they have a new 14oz design with a side puller, I can retire my old one to automotive use, since pulling nails is pretty rare when working on cars.
I have the DWHT51380 20 oz. steel claw hammer and I love the features, but the quality was sub-par. I still use it but I’m afraid it’s a poorly executed example at best. I hope the redo is better executed and of a higher standard of quality assurance. Don’t get me wrong I use it, but the face is not flat, the pry claws are not aligned to center, and the grind is messy and erratic to name a few of the issues. While the grind is merely cosmetic the others are troubling.
This is still my favorite hammer in this weight class:
Mine is probably 50+ years old
When I reach for something heavier it is a Douglas 18 oz.
Koko The Talking Ape
I agree. Steel handles move the center of mass back towards your hand, where it doesn’t help drive nails (as much). And in a 12 oz., the handle doesn’t experience much stress. I could see a light aluminum I-bar handle, though. In fact I wonder why aluminum isn’t used for hammer handles. Lighter than titanium, and certainly strong enough.
Estwing has an aluminum-handled hammer, and it’s pricey. https://amzn.to/3vYjrOR
Koko The Talking Ape
Yorks, it IS expensive. But cheaper than titanium, and probably lighter in the handle, so the CoM is closer to the head.
Hm, it’s been out for a while. I wonder why aluminum handles aren’t a common option, like fiberglass or wood. You’d think if it worked, there would be cheaper models than the Estwing out.
Are graphite handles a thing too?
Two dissimilar metals in contact with each other will cause galvanic corrosion. The steel hammer head will cause the aluminum handle to corrode if not insulated properly, causing the head to eventually separate from the handle.
Wood, fiberglass, graphite/carbon don’t present that problem.
Aluminum alloys are generally stiffer and don’t absorb the “sting” like steel, wood or most composites. I think Dewalt tries to make that a selling point.
The hammer I use has a pretty thin tang that’s welded to the head, so the balance seems fine to me. It has the same problem as other top-heavy hammers that fall out of my toolbelt when I’m crawling around! The thin handle also makes it poor for driving nails in with the hammer sideways.
Yes, graphite handled-hammers do exist:
Stanley also has graphite hammers and ball peins.
Koko The Talking Ape
That’s true, so something would have to be done to prevent corrosion. Probably whatever they did for that Estwing hammer with the aluminum handle would work. A thin sheet of plastic? A coat of paint? Etc.
I’ve got that Estwing and I do like it but it’s not my go-to any longer. The Boss 10oz poly handle is my main now.
I love the handle, the overall weight and feel of the Estwing but I will say the aluminum does get dents/nicks if you miss or if you deflect off a head of a nail.
Koko The Talking Ape
A 10oz hammer is your main? What do you do, upholster furniture (and no shade on you if you do.)
I imagine both aluminum and titanium would collect nicks if we ever missed a nail. Of course, we never do that! 😉
Come on dewalt!!Where are the finish hammers with straight claws?
12oz hammers are usually short, and with curved claws for nail removal tasks. Straight rip claws are usually used for prying and demo tasks. Shorter hammers generally don’t deliver a lot of leverage for prying tasks, hence the curved claws.
What kinds of tasks were you hoping to use a 12oz with straight claw for?