We recently told you all about the new Estwing Al-Pro aluminum hammer, which has a dead blow-like recoil-reducing design.
We originally mentioned that the hammer will be priced at $200+. That is incorrect. The new hammers will be priced at $120.
While still priced at a premium, when compared to the price of wood or steel-handled hammers, $120 is well below the pricing of leading titanium hammers.
A simple update to that post might have been enough, but I wanted to make sure you saw it. Plus, we learned a little bit more about the design,
Question 1: Strength-wise, how would the new hammer compare to titanium?
The strength of titanium is higher than that of aluminum, which is why the cross section of our tool is more than a titanium hammer.
Even with that said, if someone were to want to test ultimate strength by purposely destroying the tool, they’d find that the titanium could likely take a higher bending load before failure. However, the load that could be applied to the aluminum hammer before failure is plenty high to pull nails.
In testing we’ve pulled thousands of 20d nails without issue. We’ve also had these tools in the field for years without a failure. Our aluminum hammers are forged; titanium hammers are a cast product.
My initial assumption was that since aluminum is cheaper and easier to work with than titanium, these hammers would cost less. But that was also before I learned from you that they would have vibration (and rebound?) reducing shot within the head.
Likely the aluminum hammers would have been much cheaper if not for the feature of a steel claw. Titanium, while better for pulling nails than aluminum, pales in comparison to a steel claw.
Question 3: Is the handle aluminum throughout, or is there a vibration dampening or strength reinforcing material within?
From the head to the end of the handle the body of the tool is one solid piece of forged aluminum.
Okay, so aluminum is lighter than titanium. But the hammer handle is a little larger thicker because titanium is stronger.
I don’t think I have seen a titanium hammer that didn’t have a titanium claw. Some higher end models have steel faces.
Estwing’s Al-Pro aluminum hammer has a steel striking face AND a steel claw.
Despite steel and titanium being stronger than aluminum, there are plenty of aluminum alloys that are up to the task. Besides, professionals continue to use wood and fiberglass hammer handles with good results.
The neck of the hammer handle looks noticeable thicker compared to steel-handled hammers, but I think you might have a speed advantage due to the weight reduction. And thanks to the dead blow-like hammer head, you do get vastly superior recoil and vibration reduction, as well as energy and momentum transfer.
Estwing has done plenty of lab and field testing for their new hammer, and I find myself easily trusting their claims.
$120 is still quite a bit of money to spend on a single hammer. But if I were a pro who swung a hammer on a regular basis, and for extended periods of time, I’d at least consider it.