Stiletto has announced the addition of two new TiBone hammers to their popular line of titanium tools.
The Stiletto TiBone 3 hammers feature titanium construction, which reduces user fatigue and shock vibrations caused by the recoil that follows nail strikes.
The hammers weigh 45% less than traditional steel hammers, and offer 10X greater vibration dampening. Stiletto says that they maximize productivity without sacrificing durability.
Press materials don’t explicitly mention it, but we know that Stiletto uses replaceable steel faces in their TiBone hammers. This means that you get the benefits of a titanium hammer body, but the strength and durability of steel.
There will be two versions – one with a milled face (TB3MC), and one with a smooth face (TB3SC). They both feature curved handles, and going by the markings, they seem to have the same 15 oz weight as previous versions. The TiBone 2 with curved handle is 17-1/2″ long, and I’d assume the new TiBone 3s are the same length.
The 3rd generation TiBone hammers feature a newly designed anti-rotating face, which Stiletto says ensures users no longer have to worry about the hammer face shifting or coming loose.
They hammers also feature a redesigned magnetic nailset, enabling users to start nails in hard to reach places, and a side nail puller. At the rear, both hammers have straight rip claws.
ETA: June 2019
The new nail starter design does look to be an improvement over the previous design, capturing nail heads and preventing slip-out.
I am not familiar with Stiletto TiBone hammers and face-rotation issues, but research shows that TiBone 2 replacement hammer faces ship with Loctite blue threadlocker. Original TB15 models required a leather disc.
I posted a lengthy discussion about titanium and “titanium-like” hammer marketing claims. I’m still NOT entirely convinced about the marketing claims. However, many USERS generally prefer the FEEL of titanium hammers over steel. Stilleto TiBone users love their hammers.
Stiletto TiBone titanium hammers are said to “drive like a 28oz steel hammer,” and deliver “10X less shock than steel” while still being “incredibly strong, powerful, and lightweight.”
With the TiBone 3, Stiletto seems to have made their best titanium hammer even better.
Raise your hand if you’d like to see a review. Frankly, I really want to see how the new anti-rotational face design works.
For those of you that have used the Stiletto TiBone I or II, what has your experiences of it been like? Will the new TiBone 3 solve any frustrations you might have experienced?
Press materials say that “Stiletto is growing its product lineup with the addition of two new TiBone Hammers,” which to me suggests that TiBone 2 and 3 hammers will be sold alongside each other for some time, but I would expect for the TiBone 3 to eventually replace the TiBone 2.
I have seen these hammers online before, they are too expensive and they are great, if you can afford why not.
I was trying to search for a hammer which does not get oxidised in wet condition and was thinking what it should made of and then I came up with the idea of looking for stainless steel hammer then I read it is so soft compared to steel, actually I could see that softness from stainless steel screws I have used before, so I did search for titanium and found these hammers. 80 USD is the maximum I would pay for a hammer, they can produce it in China to reduce the price 🙂
For the first time I support made in China :))
There *are* cheaper hammers with titanium heads and wood handles (here’s an example).
But you know I even want my 10lb sledge hammers to be made of one piece of metal, we discussed it in DeWALT new hammers before.
You can get a TBII for about $200-$225 on Amazon. It’s 100% titanium except for the head which is steel. You want it that way so that you can change from flat to waffle head anytime you want and so that you can replace worn heads. You will Lynne able to tell that there’s a desperate head.
It’s not expensive if you are a professional. If you work 2000 hours a year for ten years (itll prob last 20 years or more) you are only spending $.01/hr. If you are a professional it should be a no brained considering the benefits.
One caution of using a hammer with a titanium head is it is softer then steel. I have a Stiletto wood handled titanium head hammer. Apart from breaking the wood handle months apart the head would deform when I was driving in stubborn nails or tapcons (if they sit proud after you fasten something you can hammer them flat). After having to grind off sharp edges that formed from the deformity and breaking the handle to often I upgraded to the tbone 14oz and haven’t looked back. I love the titanium but with a replaceable steel head.
The price isn’t crazy considering it is made in the U.S.A and titanium isn’t cheap, also there is more to the construction of this then many other hammers. This is a hammer for framers swinging it all day. How much is your elbow worth to you if you have to do it all day for years? You can force black oxidization on carbon steel via acidity and that is resistant to red oxidization (rust). Thats easy to do. Wipe it with an oil, Ballistol for example which is a sticky oil, and all but the hammer face should stay protected. There isn’t much escaping a heat treated carbon steel hammer face if you want durability. Surface rust can easily be taken care of. Sometimes you have to take care of your tools if you want them to take care of you.
Are you sure these are made in USA? I was pretty sure they are chinesium.
Made in the USA
The US manufactured its own titanium?
The Stiletto TiBone is made in the US. Their wood handled titanium are made in China.
You can also get a US made titanium hammer from Martinez (the guy that patented the titanium hammer when he worked for Stiletto) his are made in the LA area I think.
Dalluge imports their titanium heads from China and they assemble it in the US with their handle.
I own a Dalluge 7175 and love it. I hate using one of my old framing hammers now.
Use JB two part epoxy on the head of the TB II. It worked for me doing commercial concrete form work for 8 months until I had to change the head to flat. It would have lasted even longer. You’re welcome.
Just bought one.. they are a carpenters dream!! You get what you pay for.. and I sure as hell don’t buy tools from China!! Proud union female carpenter.. local 30!
The best money you ever spent. Make sure that you use JB Weld two part epoxy and it will not rotate it when you don’t want it to for more than 8 months (that’s the longest I’ve gone without changing heads so I don’t know how long it will last). If you use Locktite, you’ll be screwed every week. Slobber it on the back of the face and where it meets the throat. Also the bolt threads that hold it on. Make sure the nail set is lined up. Also use the epoxy on the magnet. Wipe of the excess when wet and wire brush the rest after it sets up. Let it set up for 24 hours before you use it.
Call Stiletto until you get an operator that’ll ship you extra magnets for FREE! Just act like you aren’t expecting to pay. The reason is that if it happens to come out you won’t have to wait. They’ve been back ordered for over 6 months, since Milwaukee bought the company, and you don’t want to go without (you’ll be looking down on carpenters that use a steel hammer like they are friggin morons, because they are, and won’t want to use your backup). Also they will lose their magnetic ability and fall out whenever you heat it up to break free the face when you want to change it. It takes 500 degrees to break the epoxy, use a torch.
You’re Welcome Sister In the Brotherhood,
Gene Carpenters Local 336
I don’t claim to know much about the difference in most hammers except knowing a framing hammer from claw hammer so what would be the advantage of having a milled face vs. a smooth face?
The milled face grabs the head of framing nails better. It’s particularly helpful when trying to toenail. But it will leave the waffle pattern on wood with the slightest tap. The smooth face reduces the chance of damaging the wood, but increases the chance of slipping off the nail when you strike.
Generally the milled face is for framing and a smooth face is for finish.
What Gordon said. I’ll add that anecdotally, I got my first milled face hammer about 2 months ago and used it to reinforce several joists in my deck where the ends of the deckboards had rotted away. It is a great tool to have. I had been using a 20 oz smooth face before that, and the number of nails I bent from the face slipping on the head of the nail went from maybe 20% to 0% after switching to the heavier, milled face model. It does mar the wood surface very easily, so I used the smooth face on the surface of the deck boards. and only use the milled where the work will either be covered eventually or stuff like shop benches and tables where I really don’t care about appearance.
I’ll add to Gordon’s post. The milled face becomes a smooth face with enough use.
I’ll add to Raoul’s post. A milled titanium face becomes smoother faster than steel.
Which hammer has a checkered titanium striking face??
Every framer Ive ever encountered love there stiletto hammer. Swear by them. Yes its expensive, but if your job is swinging a hanmer all day, how can you deny a quality product that you rely on to earn money.
In our company almost all of our staff use knipex cobras/ pliers wrench…yes an expensive tool but how many times are you buying them? These tools last a long time so long as they dont get lost or stolen.
You get what you pay.
Ti Stilettos used to have trouble with the faces shifting and coming off. If they fixed that with this new generation they’ll be on par with the Martinez hammers which in my mind are the ones to beat.
Alternatively you could just buy a new wood handled framer every year for the next decade and you’d have the same shock reduction as you get from the Titanium.
But no where near the same driving force with the same weight. And I disagree with you about reverberation being the same.
Are framers still using hammers? I thought most of the time they were using nail guns.
Steve the Gullible
Alex, I can attest framers are still using hammers. A historic mill burned down across the street from my house and every morning 5 days a week the hammering starts at 7 am.?
I’ve never owned a $229 hammer, so maybe I’m missing something here.
Can someone explain to me how a 15 oz hammer is at all helpful for a framer? I thought most framing hammers scaled heavier — 23-25oz as a means to get more force behind those longer screws.
I also always thought that the weight marking referred to the head weight, but maybe it’s the whole hammer weight? If not, is the appeal of The Stilletto that it’s lighter overall but carries a higher percentage of it’s weight up top?
Let me quote a paragraph that Stuart typed above that answers your question,
“Stiletto TiBone titanium hammers are said to “drive like a 28oz steel hammer,” and deliver “10X less shock than steel” while still being “incredibly strong, powerful, and lightweight.””
And most guys drive screws with a powered driver or impact lol!
Scott Wadsworth explains his preferences well; he likes these because the low weight & long length give him the speed part of the equation creating the inertia hammers use:
After many years swinging a hammer, my elbow wore out. Well not really but I had chronic tendonitis and was ready to quit. I got a Ti hammer and never looked back. Saved my butt.
Let me preface my question with the acknowledgment that the closest I have ever come to framing a house is the building of a couple of dog houses, an 8’x10′ shed and about 300′ of wooden fencing. All nailed together using a hammer. With all of the air nailers, and airless nailers, does anyone associated with construction and nails, still “swing a hammer all day long” anymore?
Aaide from the crew of Amish I watched yesterday, which will just keep fixing their broken hammer, most efficient crews will be using air. That said, an air gun can’t finish a nail that didn’t go all the way in or remove one. They may not swing it all day, but plenty of hammer use on stick built construction sites.
Lol No. Nobody swings a hammer all day, not if they want to be efficient. Everyone pretty much Carries one around in case they have to beat something into position or finish a nail that hasnt quite set right but noone is nailing walls together or sheeting anything with hand drives.
The closest you would get are some crews like to tack sheets on with a few 8s then snap lines on a roof or Sheer and come back with a framing gun. Even then though that’s only 10-14 nails per sheet.
Smaller tasks with high visibility like Shingle Molding or Fascia you might hand drive with a smooth face but again not “all day every day”
Even small mobile tasks like nailing fence railing on to posts guys do with either impacts or Cordless nailers like Dewalt Hitachi and Pasload make. For the most part the days of hand driving whole houses together is over and there are alot of older guys that will tell you that’s a good thing. It’s a new world from when Larry Haun and that generation was making their living with 26oz framing hatches.
And Larry Haun promoted the used of nail guns.
You are totally omitting carpenters who do commercial concrete forms. I’ve only seen two nail guns on jobs in the last 21 years.
I swing a 28oz Estwing on all of our concrete jobs, all day every day. So, might not be framing but there is definitely still a market for a better hammer. I’m torn between this hammer and a Martinez. Both seem to be the way to go.
I think a Martinez may be right for you. The head-heavy weight would be nice for the predominantly downward nailing, and the side pull and steel claws and face will hold up much better then a steel face and titanium claws. If you bust a lot of concrete with your claws, or much of any at all, I’d get the Martinez. If you nail a lot of overhead stuff, like walers or the tops of strong backs, the Stilleto may be better. If you have the chance to swing either, I’d take it. (Full disclosure- I haven’t gotten the chance to use either much at all, so take my advice with a grain of salt.)
I’ve had a Mini-14 for about 10 years. It’s fantastic but I do not buy much of the marketing. A lighter hammer means you must swing it faster.
The heads do rotate. I tightened mine on some silica sand to prevent movement. If I spend an hour beating a crowbar it will rotate. I simply hit mine back into place with a second hammer. This isn’t ideal.
Several other carpenters I know have lost their magnets. Mine had been no problem.
The wafflehead only lasts a year so I think it’s a waste.
If your job is pounding nails I’d actually get the wood handled Stilleto with titanium head. The weight balance is better for pure nailing. The 15oz to one is a close second. If your work involves demolition the wood handle will eventually pull off.
Very occasionally I prefer an Estwing for the smaller head and deader blow.
A note about air guns. Almost the entire country is shooting undersized nails. The diameter of the nail is too small according to code 0.120 vs 0.144. The occasional engineer will care. This is one of the reasons hand nailing is still around.
Look into Martinez Hammers. They’re invented and manufactured by Mark Martinez who is the guy that used to own Stiletto. He’s the one that invented the Stiletto TiBone before he sold off the company to Milwaukee/TTI in 2007.
Just a shout out to Mark Martinez the creator behind the hammer. He’s since moved on from Stiletto but still making badass tools.
Got a buddy that’s a contractor that uses the all titanium stilletto hammer and that thing is great but to much for me as i would work 1-2 days a week with him when work slowed down. I did end up getting a wood handled stilleto for $70 about 3 years ago from Home Depot. I think that is a good compromise and I really like it
I’ve been framing for 20 yrs & yes hammers are the life line of any framer beside a great tool belt . I had the original tbone from stiletto for 15 yrs & loved it . Then I got the new Martinez M1 2 yrs ago . Martinez is the creator of the tbone & his new M1 is much better . The balance of the M1 is unbelievable. With that said price is not an issue that will save the pain you don’t have in your elbow from swing a steel hammer . These are a must if you frame .
I swung a 16oz Vaughn for years. Then my dad bought the first Stiletto. I loved to steal that whenever I could. He thought it would help his elbow but it turns out it isn’t the weight that causes issues. It’s the vibration from hitting the nail. The titanium head is also much “softer” than steel so it deforms quite quickly. After a year the head looked like an abused smooth face, not the waffle face it was meant to be. You know that they know this, otherwise they never would have made the TiBone.
I’ve been doing a lot more finish work recently so I figured it was time for a good smooth face hammer. I bought a Martinez at the recommendation of Kyle from RR Buildings. My choice was further reinforced when I heard from a few other TiBone users that they prefer the Martinez. I love the fact that I can easily swap out the 12oz finish head for a 15oz framing head, or my new favorite the M79 Sledge.
It takes a little while to adjust how you swing. Especially if you’re coming from a titanium head Stiletto. But it really is a night and day difference. If anyone is buying a Martinez, give it a week or two before picking up your old hammer. You’ll be shocked.
I have and use a Stiletto Mini 14 every day. I’m a remodeling contractor, so we get into everything. It’s a big improvement over a 20oz Estwing, which I’ve used for 20 years.
I still use the Estwings for demo and general banging things around, but for nailing, the Stiletto is head and shoulders above. Probably not worth it for general homeowner use, but if you need a hammer everyday, anything you can do to help prevent joint damage becomes a factor.
In the grand scheme, what’s $200 compared to $30 as long as it holds up, which the Stiletto have every indication of lasting for the long haul.
There’s no reason for anyone that does framing to swing a hammer all day long since nail guns were invented. And if you do then that’s your own fault for not taking advantage of what was designed to take the place of hand driving nails. If I’m not mistaken, Martinez is the guy who designed the tibone for stiletto and now he’s doing his own brand which costs even more than the tibone. Very expensive hammers to say the least. And the debate of the steel vs titanium hammer will never have a clear winner because of opinion. I’ve never used a titanium hammer however I find it very difficult to convince myself to spend that much money on a hammer for the work that I do. I can buy a quality framing gun for the price of one tibone hammer. I’ll take the framing gun.
You could buy a framing gun for that money, albeit a cheap one. I have framing guns galore, but if you’re in the business of business, you’ll need a hammer.
No, we don’t swing a hammer all day, but you do swing a hammer. No reason to throw cold water on people looking for a better way.
If your in the trades you have to take care of your body. Way too many trades peoples careers are cut short due to injuries. The excessive vibration of some tools, I’m sure this would include hammers, causes a lot of injuries.
If I was a full-time framers I’d buy one if it reduced the fatigue/stress on my body.
Lee William Barber
I’m looking to by your hammers but can’t find in New Zealand thanks lee
I have had both a tibone 1 &2 and also a wooden curved 14 oz and the only issue I ever had was that I constantly had to make sure that the head was tight other than that I never had an issue with these hammers and honestly I will only use a stiletto hammer I for one am looking forward to getting the new tibone 3 hammer
I use the m1 from mark martinez, great hammer, nothing else comes close, great strike force, happy elbow, no more pain, the man was a framing carpenter, he knows how to design a hammer, worth every penny
I’ve had my T-bone II for two years now right when I got back into the union, Local 322. I love it. The rotating head is irritating. I would like to see what they did to fix it. Seems like it just needed a locking pin to keep it from happening. The nail set looks improved.
The handle and head body are titanium, but the face is steel. So all these people keep talking about the titanium face mushing are wrong. Any wafflefaced hammer is gonna mush with use.
What I would hope was refined is how the rubber grip starts to break at the base.
Don’t know a guy yet who has had his for more then a few years have it not break. Mine is starting too after slightly over 2 years, and with 6 months of that doing windows where I used a trim hammer or auto-feed screw guns.
I just need to figure out how to get my union health insurance to cover the cost of replacing it with a Martinez. Heard of the angle mentioned that the titanium reducing vibration handle helps prevent or reduce issues with joint issues. I do have a ‘prescription’ from my chiropractor.
On another note, our 49er got the insurance to cover his auto window tint, cuz he got a doctor note so he could tint all the windows dark.
I have 2 stiletto hammers. For what they cost why don’t they stand behind their product with a lifetime warranty.