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.
Well a $120 price certainly makes it more enticing than a $200 minimum price. I guess only time will tell at how durable these are in the hands of professionals.
Wasn’t their a bunch of comments here earlier?
There’s a bunch attached to the earlier article.
This is a second and separate post. The others post is linked to in the first paragraph, and here;
I guess I’m from a different era….$120 for a hammer, it better be made from Gold, not coke cans.
For the amount of time that a pro uses a hammer, the *expensive* $34.95 hammers will do the trick. For everything else you better be mechanized.
Losing your prized hammer sucks, losing your $120 version would be crippling to most carpenters.
Maybe some high-end hammers are purchased more as status symbols than for their utilitarian use. We had some guys who carried $200+ Stiletto titanium hammers – purchased with their own hard-earned money. Maybe they just liked them a lot – or thought they would be easier on their joints – or just liked the “statement” that they made hanging on their tool belt. Some of my guys also drove cars that had way higher sticker prices than the Hondas that I bought – but hey – everyone has a right to decide how to spend their money.
Well said. I don’t have a problem with them at all, they’re just not for me. I’d rather spend my extra dough on soooo many other things, like Margaritas, Guide for the day on vacation, etc…….
If they were actually easier on the joints, I’d be first in line. When I started, the guy on the job with *A* nail gun was king, they were hard to come by in my day, and also expensive, now they’re a dime a dozen.
I’d race anyone with their Stiletto hammer, or any other *trick* hammer, against my compressor and gun, and let them pick the day……..and I’m old.
What? I guess you never ran into John Henry – that “steel-driving man” of legend and song who beat the steam hammer. But I guess that was a star drill not a nail he was driving with his drilling hammer.
Anyway – back on topic – we did little framing – mostly installation and trim work in the field – and usually left the demo work to a firm that specialized in that – so I thought it even more odd that any of out guys wanted to carry a framing hammer of any sort – but to each his own.
Over in the other field-work company – we had plumbers – so hammers were not a big thing – and I think most of them saved their money – using only the tools we provided.
I use my old Hart 21 oz hammer to nail trim. I have a very light touch with it(minimal, if any pecker tracks). I ground off the waffles and made it perfect for me. I literally use it for everything, as you can see.
It’s interesting to see what guys come up with and why on the jobsite. What is funny is seeing how little work teh new guys produce because they ALWAYS seem to be on their phones. No joke.
I watched a 22 yr old at the top of a 12 ft ladder scrapping with one hand and txting with the other! He was standing near the top rungs as if he was on the ground!
Truth is I think this generation needs immigrants that couldn’t afford phones when they were younger, and know how to work. Otherwise, I don’t how things will get done, machines….as much as I love em’ can only do so much.
I met a professional roofer many many years ago who WAS either as fast as a nail gun or possibly faster. He was amazing to watch. He put in every single nail with a single hit.
I’m buying one of the blue handled milled hammers first chance I get if it feels good in hand. Can tell a lot about a hammer just by picking it up. Haven’t bought a new hammer in a long time so I’m due.
Jay. You can tell a lot about someone by analyzing their words. And one thing about you comment just screams. Your a ‘follower’.
I agree with your first statement. There seems to be some sort of envy that another can afford such an expensive hammer.
On a related note, being one of the first to buy it wouldn’t really be following, would it?
It depends. If you were the first to buy based upon some unresearch hype, then yes you are still a heavily influenced ‘follower’. If, after researching your needs and finding an innovative product to meet your needs, budget and future demands you make a purchase, then I would say you are more of a ‘thought leader’.
After months of continued communications with Tekanatool in St Pete, I just received confirmation on the scheduled delivery of a pre-production Nova Voyager DVR Drill Press. This was a well researched ‘need’ on a innovative new product.
I would consider this a more logical purchase decisions approach than that described by Jay just because he’s ‘due’.
…..,either a very easily influenced individual or someone who will bloviate online on what they are going to do, then do not actually do anything. I sense the latter,
@John Your analytical prowess is sorely lacking. I will admit that I have a certain affinity, an appreciation if you will, for well made tools, especially hammers. This is a site for people that like tools, right?
Your disparaging remark would indicate that you have an emotional argument to make with little or no supporting logic. In the future you may wish to restrain your outburst of feelings, it makes you look bad.
Jay I’m with you ,I also have a luv for my tools and anything that’ll make work easier.As a fencing contractor my hammer is my pride and joy ha ha and if I want to spend my money on a new hammer that takes my fancy then why not I don’t waste it on drinking or smoking. I like the look of that new estwing (been thinking bout titanium for a while)and if it feels good in the hand I think I’ll get it .Not because I’m a follower but because I want it.
Err, similarly you can tell a lot about a person who thinks they can judge and analyze others based on a few words. It’s called “projecting”.
Any timeframe on when this will be available and where will it be at first? Interested for sure. I don’t think I’ll be able to switch from my fiberglass Stiletto though.
I don’t know about shelling out 120$ for a hammer nowadays when most of the construction sites rely on nail guns. Even weekend warriors can afford to have a bunch of decent nailers.
I’m not in the trades, just a DIYer who’s done a lot of construction, but I rarely use my hammer anymore. I have an affordable framing hammer from Estwing with the blue handle, but it’s mostly used to knock pieces into place. I don’t recall the last time I nailed a real framing nail… I either use screws, or one of my pneumatic nailers.
In my part of the country there are people that do spend big bucks on their tools. While at a local country store, I was talking to the store owner about the Stiletto hammers. According to him, Stiletto is one of his best selling hammers. Yeah, in my part of the country, Amish take their tools seriously. That country store did have some interesting stuff that you’d never find at Lowes or Home Depot. I’ll have to check back to see if he stocks the Estwing All-Pro.
Been eyeballing a Tibone for a while now. Glad I waited now that Estwing has this new hammer. With a steel face and claws it seems the best of both worlds. Light weight of Al coupled with the strength of steel. Being priced below the Tibone is another plus in favor of the Estwing. The lowest price I’ve found for a new Tibone is $170. Need to see the Al-Pro up close and personal before deciding between the two.
No word yet on when the Al-Pro will be in stores?
I bought a used tb15 stiletto for $150 its a awesome hammer. But i dont go showing it around an being a hot shot with it, i just like high quality stuff an high $$$
With that said if.id go back i probably wouldnt of bought it. But ive noticed something here… a $200 hammer wont break you if your using it an makes you.more efficient. We as people have more money problems than a $200 hammer alot of.times..
This estwing seems cool in some ways but im not super sold on the aluminum
Many moons ago I bought a Schick 18″ forged aluminum pipe wrench that had steel jaw inserts. Still using it today and has proven to be a real workhorse. Wanted to throw the rest of my heavy pipe wrenches away because the Schick wrench is so awesome. That thing has never backed down from any job and has proven it’s worth again and again.
When I saw here on toolguyd that Estwing is introducing a new hammer made of forged aluminum and steel it really grabbed my attention.
As with everything new. Gunna have to let it phase in an see how it does
A commenter on the earlier post pointed out that aluminum and aluminum alloys tend to corrode, and can also react with dissimilar metals, like the steel used in that claw and hammer face.
And personally, it would bug me that the steel hammer face doesn’t mate more smoothly with the aluminum head. For $120, I’d expect something with better machining and casting.
But the dead-blow aspect is interesting. I might pay, say, $40 for an all-steel dead-blow hammer.
I don’t care about lighter heads. I can swing them faster if I take a full swing and give it my all, but heavier heads can give the same impact with a small, slow swing. That’s why I like brass-headed mallets for chisel work.
One question I haven’t seen addressed here is whether this hammer can be used to strike a steel cat’s paw or pry bar. One reason I’ve never been interested in titanium hammers is that using them for this purpose can damage the head and will void the warranty. The steel head on this new Estwing suggests it can take this occasional abuse, but it would be nice to hear that from the manufacturer.
those comments didn’t address my concerns of before.
dissimilar metal corrosion and coatings to prevent it, and the fatigue mitigation. They got close though.
forged alleviates any concerns over porosity in a casting.
Still don’t know why they didn’t try to make a 14 oz hammer out of all steel. Seems it could be done or close enough. There are quite a few places in aircraft design when steel forgings are used – in the middle of AL structure as weight savings. ODD I know, but when you are dealing with fatigue and other limits you can find the AL part to be so large that a steel part with it’s near infinite fatigue life to come out lighter. I’m glad to see they’ve tested it a while.
They probably didn’t try to make a 14oz hammer out of all steel because such a hammer wouldn’t be long enough for framing work. I have a cheap 16oz all steel hammer, and my framing hammers are a good 3-4″ longer than it.
I’ve been wondering the same.
Maybe stainless steel fasteners?
I have faith that this is something they considered.
I am a pro that swings a hammer a lot. This seems like something I like to try out. Ok where can you buy this al pro hammer? I can’t seem to find it anywhere online.
Here it is Oct and still no sign of the AL-Pro online or in stores. Vaporware. May have to just grab a Stiletto and call it good.
Looking to purchase for gift : Estwing aluminum hammer al-pro
Any u-date on this hammers availability date?
Available now on Home Depot’s website.
I consider myself to be a bit of a hammer expert, as my hobby is the restoration of worthy hammers. I have dozens of ’em so I can select the best style and weight for any job I am coerced into doing.
It is uncanny, but my hammer of choice for ground-level work is none other than the Stanley Steelmaster. Mine’s a 20 oz version. For the rooftop work, I favour the Estwing steel shafted framing hammer with the waffle face. Bog-standard hammers, I hear you say. But these tools are predictable in their characteristics. You can deliver heavy blows with precision or lighter blows by simply not powering them down so much.
Why you’d need a dead-blow hammer to drive a nail is a mystery to me… The recoil of a steel-headed hammer is but an assist on the upswing… That’s gotta be a labour-saving thing.
Save your money and go with tools that are tried and tested, albeit a little low-tech…