Fiskars, well known for their crafting and sewing tools and cutters, gardening tools, axes, and scissors that I really disliked, has come out a new line of hammers.
These new Fiskars IsoCore hammers are said to be much more shock resistant than other styles. Fiskars says the IsoCore hammers have been proven to deliver up to 4X less shock than traditional wood-handled hammers.
Marketing claims aside, these new hammers do look to have some good features.
On the inside, there’s a vibration insulating sleeve, which Fiskars says captures the initial strike shock before it can reach your hand.
The dual layer handle also features a combination of insulating materials to help further dampen lingering vibrations.
And in the hammer head, there is a sound dampening insert to help reduce high pitched ringing. The Fiskars IsoCore hammer heads also have [magnetic?] nail-starting notches.
Fiskars has also given their new IsoCore hammers a new handle design. The handles have a sculpted soft-grip handle with axe-style slip-reducing flare, although it’s more subtle compared to the grips on their hatchets and axes.
There is also strategic handle texturing, with larger dimples at the fingers for maximum grip, and smaller dimples at the palm to help prevent blisters.
Additionally, Fiskars says the grip is extended, allowing users to more comfortably choke up for added control when making precision strikes. To me, the soft-grip handle section doesn’t look to be any longer than other brands’ hammers, but the midsection does look to rise a little higher.
The new Fiskars IsoCore hammer family goes beyond rip claw finish and framing hammers, and includes several other types of striking tools.
Fiskars has also come out with new sledge and club hammers, which they say deliver increased destructive power and reduced vibrations.
It’s the wedge design that provides up to 5X more destruction, and it also directs debris to the sides instead of straight back at the user.
The new IsoCore 8 lb maul is designed for heavy duty wood-splitting jobs, and Fiskars says the design will help reduce muscle fatigue and joint pain.
Last, there’s also a 5lb pick, for digging into tough soil and breaking up hard surfaces. Fiskars says that the new design transfers 2X less shock and vibration to the user.
- 16 oz hammer, 15.5″ length: $45
- 16 oz milled face general use hammer: $45
- 16 oz hammer, 13.5″ length: $45
- 20 oz general use hammer, 13.5″: $50
- 20 oz general use hammer, 15.5″: $55
- 22 oz framing hammer: $60
- 22 oz milled face framing hammer: $60
- 3lb club hammer: $40
- 4lb club hammer: $45
- 8lb sledge hammer: $65
- 10lb sledge hammer: $70
- 8lb maul: $65
- 5lb pick: $65
We’ve seen numerous lighter swing and vibration-reducing hammer innovations in recent years. It’s not surprising that Fiskars’ marketing claims point out the shock-reducing benefits compared to wood-handled hammers, but I’d like to see some details about how they compare to more competitive hammer designs.
It’s not really fair to compare a modern design to a decades-old traditional design. Besides, you can get a wood-handled 16 oz hammer for under $10, compared to $45 for the new IsoCore.
Still, the new Fiskars IsoCore hammers do look to have innovative handles, and there are some nice touches, such as the sound-dampening insert designed to reduce high frequency ringing. In a post about Stanley’s AntiVibe hammer, I mentioned how I couldn’t stand the tuning fork-like sound that my Bostitch hammer tortured me with.
It’s good that Fiskars is launching the IsoCore hammer line with more than one new model, but the point of entry is a little high than I would have figured. $45 for a 16 oz hammer isn’t exactly inexpensive, especially considering what you can get from established hammer manufacturers.