You might have heard about Martinez Tools before, and if not, you’re definitely missing out.
I just got off the phone with Mark Martinez, the owner and founder of the company, and wanted to share a couple of things while everything was still fresh in mind.
1. Everything Martinez Tools Does is Personal
Recently, in talking about 12 years of ToolGuyd, I discussed how I aim to give you the reader experience and content quality that I seek out as a reader.
Mark Martinez and Martinez Tools holds similar ideals. Mark spent many years as a contractor, and this experience factors into his approach in designing new tools and solutions.
There are no corporate shareholders or retail distributors to appease, just Martinez Tools and their users.
This is a refreshing and unfortunately rare approach in the hand tool market.
I have watched over the years, as Martinez Tools’ offerings expanded beyond hammers, to include squares, pry bars, and tool pouches, and more innovations are on the way.
Martinez isn’t designing gimmicks, he’s not looking for the easy holiday season “giftable tool” cash-grab, he’s out to make better tools. Why? Because YOU deserve better tools.
For Martinez Tools to offer a new tool, he must be 100% pleased with its design. Because, if Mark Martinez isn’t pleased with a tool, how could he expect you to be?
This is Martinez’s legacy. His name is on the tool, and you can be damned sure that this means something.
2. Better Tools Make Better Tradesmen
This notion seems to go against the grain of common sayings. After all, isn’t it said that a true chef can whip up wonders regardless of the knives and pans available to them, a great photographer can capture awe-inspiring images regardless of the camera, and that a master craftsman can work wonders regardless of the tools at their disposal?
But still, better tools make better tradesmen.
Mark Martinez created the first Stiletto titanium hammers, which have been praised over the years for being much easier on users’ bodies than traditional steel framing hammers. There was – and is – a difference that you could feel.
After selling Stiletto to Milwaukee Tool, Martinez was done with hammers, and he was done with tools. He got back into the tool business unexpectedly, because there was still room for improvement.
Now, Martinez Tools’ titanium hammers have an even more revolutionary design, with a titanium handle, user-replaceable grip, and interchangeable steel head. As shown in the image above, you get titanium where you need it, and steel where you want it.
The hammers are modular, and can be easily serviced should you ever need to repair or swap any of the components.
Every new tool Martinez comes out with is designed to be better than anything that came out before it.
Take one of their squares, for example, and throw it off a moving train. It might lose some of its luster, but it’ll keep square. How many other makers of high-precision squares can say the same?
Or, take their flat pry bar. Yes, it’s priced at a premium, but it’s made from ballistic-grade titanium alloy stock and will outperform steel pry bars. Sure, some of the people buying these tools are loyal customers who started out with one of Martinez’s titanium hammers, but many are also pushing them to their limits, using the pry bars in ways steel bars simply wouldn’t hold up.
With less user frustrations and better results, wouldn’t you agree that better tools make better tradesmen?
Most of Martinez’s tools have a high cost of entry, and it can be hard to justify spending big bucks on tools you might not fully understand. Do you need a titanium hammer? A titanium nail puller? Titanium pry bar? Micro square? You’ll come back when you’re fed up with your steel hammer, deformed nail puller, or broken steel flat bars.
Don’t wait too long though – Martinez Tools are in high demand and they don’t sit on a lot of inventory.
You don’t need any of these tools. But if you want the best, that’s what you’ll find here, and you’re likely to see benefits.
3. The No-Bullshit Customer Relationship
From my recent and earlier conversations with Mark Martinez, I fully trust that his no-bullshit approach is 100% genuine. Customers are everything.
Martinez is not going to sell you on a product, and that’s because he knows it’ll sell itself. And, if you’re not sure any of their tools fit your needs, you can look to the growing community of Martinez Tool users for their recommendations and hands-on feedback.
Martinez Tools’ products can be pricey, as they are made in the USA of premium materials, and in relatively small production batches. But, that’s what it takes to produce a quality product.
Let’s say you make the jump, and for whatever reason, a Martinez tool isn’t right for you. They’ll want to hear about it, and if you haven’t beaten up the tool too heavily, there’s an unspoken money-back guarantee.
But, their no-bullshit relationship works both ways. Don’t jump on a pry bar or use a cheater bar, and then send the abused and broken tool back back for warranty replacement expecting no questions asked, you will be called out on it.
Martinez Tools are designed by a tradesman for tradesmen.
Mark Martinez is the most available tool designer I have ever met. Take advantage of this – if you have a question, ask, and be prepared for an honest answer. Mark has surrounded himself with long-time trusted partners, but don’t be surprised if you hear from him directly, thanks to his hands-on approach.
See More: Martinez Tools
Follow: @MartinezTools at Instagram
Follow us: @ToolGuyd at Instagram
I’m going to try and do this without swearing… because… no bueno on ToolGuyd… But I guarantee you, what I have to say will lose 90% of its emphasis without the cursing. Please… Feel free to imagine them where it seems I might swear, because likely, VERBALLY, I have sworn in that spot.. also likely worse than you’re thinking I do.
My Reaction: SO THAT’S WHY!!!
One of the biggest hits/consumed items at the tool retailer I’ve started using here in Canada, has been Martinez. Nearly every post on their Instagram is “Got a Martinez! Lemme know when more is in stock!” Or just plain old “When are you going to get more Martinez in? I wanna see more!”
Either Martinez is a bigger hit up North here than I expected, or this is some trade secret that someone has been hiding from me. And for that… I’m not happy… (*Key phrase to insert swearing like a sailor here.)
To the direct points raised:
1. Thank every Divinity and Power in the Multiverse that a company like this STILL exists, and is in MAJOR Demand I might add, in the market today. Innovation and Efficiency driven by CUSTOMER need, not FINANCIAL need? Double the price, I dare you, I’m STILL sold. If I gotta invest so that I get PERFECTION in a tool I can use? Those are the pinnacle of investments, in my personal opinion. I would invest in a highly-priced, highly DEVELOPED tool, over the Stock Market ANY DAY.
That’s just #1, and you’ve convinced me the Stanley AntiVibe hammer I’ve owned for years is now obsolete. I’ll keep it, sure. But, I’m looking into Martinez (Insert Profanity Here) if it takes YEARS to do so.
The truth is, I’ve been shy about messaging Stuart online, to ask about Martinez, and this article, and I’m not joking, has literally brought me to tears with relief and joy. It set all my anxieties on the situation to rest.
2. I would argue Better Tools DO make Better Tradesman for one simple reason: When the tool is most efficiently designed, and made of its best possible materials, it gets out of the Tradesman’s way of repeatedly performing at their best. A GOOD Tradesman can do their job to perfection. A GREAT Tradesman can do their job to perfection for a LIFETIME. If Martinez’ goals are to facilitate a Tradesman doing their absolute best OVER A LIFETIME? Then they’ve won me over.
3. This level of guarantee reminds me of how Lee Valley treats us Canadians. Between their customer support, and access to the Lee family within the company’s structure… Honestly if one of their tools doesn’t do what you need, or seems to not be working right… Either they will bring your suggestions in on a new version, or they will instruct you on where you went wrong. Straight from the manufacturer, you have to be careful what kind of comment you make, because it is entirely possible they will put one of the original designers of their Veritas designs on the phone with you, and if you screwed up, or are trying to screw them over, there’s no one more qualified to tell than the tool’s designer. They likely made the prototype for the tool you’re talking about, and also likely know when you’ve used it abusively, because they made it to do something else.
Again… That Martinez has this same kind of “We won’t Bullshit you, if you don’t Bullshit US” kind of guarantee… It just reinforces my trust and enthusiasm to convert to their product. An easy sell for me. I’ll be looking into investing in one among the list of other things I have in the pipeline.
Thanks Stuart! You Pre-Emptively solved my problem!
How the heck did you manage to type a comment this long and still be the first response? 😛
I Type Fast. 120 Words Per Minute. I made the mistake of going into Computers as a Teenager, instead of The Trades where my actual interests lie.
I Type very Fast. So I am comfortable typing a lot, and still doing spellcheck on what I type.
That, and this is the last day of the Milwaukee giveaway, and EVERYONE wants free stuff… Since I’m NOT a Milwaukee guy, AND I’m Canadian to boot (That’s TO BOOT not A BOOT for the Stereotypers out there. I’m from the wrong part of the country for that joke, though I still laugh at it.) so I’m not eligible for the giveaway. Look down the page. It goes Stuart’s 12th Anniversary, Milwaukee, Milwaukee, This Article. I zeroed in, read it, and Tada! First Post ’cause everyone else wanted free stuff from Team Red.
I genuinely wanted to know more about Martinez. Atlas Tools and Machinery in Toronto, when the Lockdown for Covid relaxes finally, actually let their customers come in, and build their own Martinez on the spot, with their guidance. So, this being one of their major customer-pleasers, I was GENUINELY interested in Martinez, and why this company I’ve just started using, is so keenly loved and fanatically obsessed over by tradesman up North here.
THIS Post? Right here, responding to you? 2 minutes. That’s how I managed to be so quickdraw about it.
Best hammer ever. Have one I bought from Mark at JLC in Rhode Island. Still awesome.
Thank you Steve!!
Been thinking about getting one of these for months. Building for Habitat for Humanity full time, It Might look out of place, but seeing the owner interested enough in feedback to come check this post out, has me convinced.
JR3 Home Performance
It was just fine without any cursing!
Just FYI, don’t use the claw on the hammer. The heads are cast, not forged, and they will snap. Plenty of evidence on this in a google search and amazon reviews.
I have one, it’s sweet, but don’t expect to pull nails with a casting for very long.
Ove had my Martinez for 2 years and it seems to pull nails just fine. IIRC it was a different generarion of hammer head that snapped.
And even if you do break a head its easily replaced which is a huge selling point
Thanks Josh your one hundred percent correct it is a new generation head!!
Hi Joe I really enjoyed your response!!
Thanks Joe for your awesome support it keeps me on task!!
That was so pleasant to read I don’t feel like leaving a comment of mine anymore.
Martinez hammers are the best you can buy for saving your elbow and shoulder.
Plenty of people will balk/gripe/pass due to the price and then go buy a couple of rounds at their favorite bar or some other equally stupid thing while their body continues to wear out.
They get what they deserve….
I still like my little wooden handle 10oz Stiletto for many things but you can’t beat a Martinez for demo or framing or any heavy use.
They are simply the BEST.
Thanks Dave we try very hard at what we do!!
Clearly not a homeowner unskilled user tool for someone like me. Sure do look nice but I am priced out of these tools. I visited the site, really want the nail puller. Not much in stock. Says they are trying to source tools…..
Big fan of stiletto hammers, had one for years this was before the buy out. Im sure martinez are even better.
BUT….who is swinging a framing hammer all day every day anymore? All I see on the jobs now are pneumatic guns with the occasional battery nail gun. Or SIP’s.
Today its hard for me to justify a $300 hammer if I’m only using it the few times a day when the nail gun doesn’t sink the nail all the way into the LVL. It was easier for me to justify it when I bought my original stiletto as we didn’t have enough pneumatic guns for the crew and the “new guy” got the shaft. And the Titanium really did make a world of difference. It gave me hope my elbow wouldn’t completely fall off.
Also if you swing a hammer every day all day. YES! Buy one of these. Even if you have to go without lunch for a few days or bum some money from a friend. Your shoulder, arm, elbow, wrist will thank you. Also at this point I guess I could also recommend: buy a goddamn framing gun lol. For 300 bucks you can buy a used setup. I guess that’s sort of brings us back to the beginning: is it worth the price tag especialy given today’s current technology?
I guess in the end I believe while it is a luxury. It is an “affordable luxury”, it holds it’s value and provides a great user experience. So in the words of Ferris Bueller: “If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.”
Their hammers are incredible and well worth the value. But I’m skeptical about their other products. A titanium flat bar sounds cool but I’ve abused prybars in every way you can think of and the cheap ones hold up fine.
Also titanium is softer than steel and their claim of it being stronger is misleading (titanium is stronger than many steel alloys, but the strongest steel alloys are much stronger than the strongest titanium alloys). So their choice to use titanium was driven by a desire to market it as a ‘premium’ product rather than practical reasons (a high strength steel alloy would have been stronger and cheaper). It makes me feel like they’re becoming more of a ‘lifestyle’ brand than a real tool brand.
Titanium makes sense on a hammer where swinging weight is a concern – not many people swinging a pry bar.
Baseball Bat Physics. The Bat With Which You Can Impart The Most Energy to The Ball is The Best One.
If a “Heavy Hitter” can swing a very light bat, very fast, and more accurately impart more of his energy into the ball with that bat, then he is better with a light bat. Inversely, a nearly identical “Heavy Hitter” picks up a HEAVY Bat, and can swing THAT faster and with more accuracy to impart energy into the Ball, then the Heavy Bat is his preference.
Steel, though stronger, and often harder, than Titanium, imparts Energy to a strike using an entirely different set of mathematics than Steel. Steel is Weight on Weight Impact, where Titanium is Reflex-Induced Energy Transfer style Impact. It’s the fact that Titanium IS the Light Bat of Tool Materials that gains it the advantage for Ergonomics.
Titanium has similar impact, and thermal, properties to Wood. And as anyone who has a pension for Vampire Lore can tell you, Wooden Stakes are preferred over Steel ones, not because of some mystical force, but rather because Wood transfers Energy directly from a hammer blow, pushing it faster through what you’re piercing. (Ignoring the fictional invention of a Vampire, the fact is, Wood and Titanium BOTH transfer Energy from motion with more efficiency and speed than Steel of ANY Weight.) Many “Wood” golf Clubs have been replaced with Titanium heads for the same reason. Hammer, Golf Club, Spike/Spear/Stake/Bullet… Titanium’s elasticity factor transfers the punching force of the swing, not the weight of the hammer head.
The Martinez 12, 14, and 16 Oz. heads can likely act as 16, 20, and 24 Oz Steel hammers, just as efficiently. Titanium with a weight at the end, it could even be PLASTIC, would impart the flexion power of the Titanium fulcrum from the arm’s swing, directly into the impact spot. Where Steel remains rigid, and the swing weight (which has been talked about before on ToolGuyd) must be overcome by the hand that is swinging it, in order to impart the energy required to drive the nail, pin, or other target.
So, you have to ask yourself… Would you rather a 50 pound STEEL sledge hammer require you lift, and swing 50 pounds fast enough to drive a 10 pound spike into place one inch? Or would you rather a 25 pound TITANIUM Sledge Hammer IMPART 50 pounds of Swing Weight to drive that 10 pound spike into place one inch? Can you swing a 50 pound weight 100% accurately, with full force, in order to force a 12″, 10 Pound, Spike into the ground until it is fully IN the ground? Now imagine a Hammer that can strike the Spike the same number of times, but is half the weight, and 20X the cost. Build a Mine Shaft with that thought. Build a Cave Spelunking Rescue Shaft. Build or Repair a Railroad Track.
Now, scale it back down to a 14 Oz Hammer. Steel or Titanium? Heavy Bat or Light Bat? Which does the job RIGHT for you?
Hi John I really totally understand your concerns but I can assure you that our pry bar has been know to pry up a 400lb door when one of my users was in a very tight spot and only had the prybar to get out of it. He informed me he expected it to break and was blown away when it didn’t. It is made from a ballistic grade of Ti and holds up amazingly even I am surprised at its strength. I can also tell you that I don’t develop tools for lifestyle but I can see your point I try and develop tools strictly for function. A lot of people appreciate that we haven’t sold out been there done that. We manufacture here in the U.S. and it’s costly, but worth it. The lifestyle of Martinez Tools is reliability and good customer service. The marketplace is changing but we haven’t and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
So the engineer and basic metallurgist in me gets twitchy when I read these sorts of things.
I’ll start by saying I like the Martinez hammer idea. A modular hammer. LIke it. They hold up well. K now make me one with jacketed AL frame and sell it to me for around half.
But their current m1 and m2 hammers I like the general idea. Love the interchangeable heads. I’ve thought about getting a M1 and setting 2 heads just to have the 2 faces to use when I want to . (yes I know much much cheaper to have 2 hammers)
Meanwhile I have used one of the older ones and they do work well. Again though I found I seem to use air nailers if I’m going to sink alot of nails.
Metalurgy – so what grade of titanium is in the hammer, the square, the nail puller and the flat bar. See there are different titanium alloys. Some are aligned with AL – this is your lighter weight stronger than steel Ti-Alloy. Some are have Vanadium, Boron and Fe in them and these are your harder than hell to cut, extra strong Ti-alloy. and based on alot of things some of these are magnetic, some have great heat resistance. OH and some are brittle. They never spit out an ANSI alloy designation on what they use. minor criticism but neither do other “titanium ” users. It’s nearly as bad as knifes. At least some spit out the alloy maker name.
Now if you take what the hammer does and apply that to the nail puller for example then the end pieces of the nail puller should be steel too. I would have done it that way. and I would have thinned the bar is places to reduce weight further.
That flat bar – OK so again it weighs how much less than it’s counter part in Rolled 1080, or better stamped _____ steel. For a pry bar that might come in contact with various other metals that might easily scrap the Ti. Wait – what TI alloy was it again. I assume in both cases they are using the TI-FE versions of titanium but golly gee. For the insane dollars (I see 184 with shipping).
Now to the square – biggest thing I see on their website is they are not selling an AL bladed Square with the same cutouts of the TI one. I like it. If priced right I’d consider buying one. I mean I like my empire squares but I like the martinez features and I like the level vial. I mean hell my combo squares have them. But there is no reason for a square to have a TI blade unless you really are going to abuse it. why would you do that. And if you do. 200 dollars buys around 10 or more of the Empire squares I use.
A tradesman that abuses his tools because he can – is bothersome to me. I see a mechanic toss a calibrated torque wrench into a bag to fix a plane I cringe a bit. Reading – you can chuck the square from a moving train . . . . OK but you also just proved your stupid too.
Removing all that rot I like some of their things I think they are on to something with alot of it. I do like the hammer idea, and I don’t discount that a nail puller would be good for some people. But made out of TI for something you wouldn’t swing like a hammer doesn’t make lots of sense.
I’m no engineer. Or metallurgist. Or even a professional builder.
But I do run two decent-sized businesses and we set forms, build walls, etc, and we also build all of our own large buildings(2000-6000 sq ft.-We’ve built 11 at last count). I sometimes go weeks on end without touching a hammer and then I use one for ten days straight…
Got some totally new construction going on? I’d use a wooden-handled titanium framer. Can’t beat the light weight or the shock-absorbing wooden handle.
Doing siding, windows, “bench” stuff like woodworking, etc? I’d use a 10-oz wooden-handled Stiletto. Feather light, feels WONDERFUL.
Remodeling (demo and then rebuilding)? A Martinez for sure. Slightly heavier than an all-titanium hammer, but you can abuse the handle and the claws all day long…try KICKING on the handle of your wooden hammer to pull out a 40D spike. You’d better have a lot of extra handles….Martinez hammer shine when demoing or remodeling
Your all-steel hammers belong next to the re rod in your next pour….
All I know is if you value your upper body AT ALL and you do more than hang a picture frame or set batter boards, you’re a fool if you don’t use a Stiletto, Dalluge, or Martinez hammer. You’ll end up miserable and spend many times more at the doctor’s office than the hammers cost.
These hammers don’t COST, they PAY.
Very well said I couldn’t of said it better!
The Martinez hammer is amazing, easily my favorite of all time and with how modular it is if you want to switch grips or heads you can.
That being said i will never ever spenf that much on a speed square or a flat bar, even if theyre the best tools on the market
I’ve never been able to use a Martinez, but I would love to some time! If I was doing a lot of forms or commercial construction I would think very hard about getting one. Also, I think it’s really cool that Mr. Martinez is replying to some comments in this thread. It reinforces the principle that Martinez is for customers, and listens to them.
Tools are great and appreciate his dedication. One thing that I’m really upset about is the discontinuation of the m4 finish head with the nail puller claw. This is the only reason I bought that hammer. I’d like to see these offered again with no warranty, I’m assuming there was an issue with breaking.
I broke mine doing demo, but I shouldn’t have been using it like that. I should have spent 2 minutes walking to get a different hammer, when I ordered 2 new heads that’s when I got the “updated” version. 🤬
The machining was so incredible that it was able to pull an 18g brad!
I have a Martinez hammer and I can say it’s the best tool that I own. My coworkers constantly crack on me for owning such an expensive hammer, but it’s consistently the hammer they reach for when they need one. I take the daily ribbing with a smile because I know that, while it’s expensive, it’s the most valuable tool I carry on the job. And it’s not even close. Thank you, Mark, for making such bad ass tools. Can’t wait for my speed square.
P. S. I subscribe to the idea that “if you look good, you play good”, and if you have tools worthy of a better tradesman, it makes you want to live up to that. Martinez tools have upped my game because I want my work to be worthy of the tools I’m using. My profit margin has reflected that sentiment much more than the cost of my tools.
I will never buy Martinez again. I got the m12 hammer and the little claw broke and they wanted me to pay for a new head at a prorated price, that was their warranty. Magnet also fell out. I don’t spend 350 to pay more when it fails. Festool stands by their product no questions asked, so I buy. Martinez has a rude warranty dept, I’ll disused anyone from dealing with them.
M4, sorry. didn’t know they discontinued it. So they knew it was a weak design. Makes me even more upset at getting the run around from the warranty.
Hey Mark I gotta a M1 head customized martinez hammer and when I swing it it feels like the head or the handle is loose. Everything is tight. So could something be broke on it? It clicks when swinging without hitting anything.
Please go to my website and fill out a warranty claim
Please fill out this warranty request- https://martineztools.com/warranty-request/
Please go to our website and fill out a warranty claim.
I live in post falls Idaho i do framing to finish framing to concrete. I owned a silito but some one wanted it more than i did so got my self Martinez hammer and it is better hammer than silito. With all that said buy nice well design tools makes you feel more confident in the trade you might be in. Cant wait for the new tool mark comes up with