Best Framing Hammer: Complete Buying Guide and Reviews

Are you looking to build or repair your own house? Maybe you work in the business of building houses. No matter what the reason, you’re looking for a framing hammer that’s going to make your job a whole lot easier. With the best framing hammer, you’ll be able to work faster and better at the same time, which is why we’ve found five of the top options for you to check out.

In a Hurry? Here’s Our Favorite:

Last update on 2022-04-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Framing Hammer

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Stanley Fa​tMax Xtreme AntiVibe Nailing Hammer

Last update on 2022-04-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Stanley FatMax is 16 ounces so it comes in about moderate when it comes to weight, making it easier for you to carry around and use. It also uses a patented antivibe technology that helps to minimize the overall vibration and the shock when it impacts with anything, protecting your body.

The torsion control in the grip means that it also reduces torque in your wrists and elbows. The one-piece, forged steel design makes it even more durable and means that it will last longer and accomplish more tasks with ease.

Compared to traditional hammers it also has a 75% larger strike face, which makes it easier to hit what you’re aiming at and get more power behind it. Add in the non-slip handle that makes it easy to hold even if you get warm or if the handle gets wet and you’re going to have something that can work just about anywhere.

Things we like:

  • Non-slip handle
  • 16-ounce total weight
  • 13” total length
  • One-piece, forged steel
  • Antivibe technology
  • Lifetime warranty

Things we don’t like:

  • Flathead
  • Rip claw not ideal for all uses

Dalluge 7180 Titanium Hammer

Last update on 2022-08-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Dalluge 7180 Hammer is made of titanium, which means that it’s strong and durable for anything you need to do. It weighs in at only 16 ounces, which is about moderate for a framing hammer, giving you enough weight to get the job done but not so much that it’s tiring for you to use.

The milled face means that it’s not going to slip on nails or anything else that you need to use it with and the hickory handle is made to minimize shock so you feel more comfortable using it for an extended period.

The nail holder is magnetic and actually holds both standard and duplex nails, making it easier for you to continue on with the job. There’s an overstrike guard that protects you and the handle and the nail puller on the side, plus the reinforced claws provide even more leverage for getting out stubborn pieces.

Things we like:

  • 16 ounces
  • Side nail puller
  • Reinforced claws
  • Straight, hickory handle
  • Magnetic nail holder
  • 17” total length

Things we don’t like:

  • Not as much force for pulling nails
  • Screws on head loosen over time

Estwing Framing Hammer

Last update on 2024-05-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Estwing Framing Hammer is available in a flat face or milled face option, so you can get your own preference. It’s 22 ounces, which is still somewhere in the middle when it comes to total weight, giving you enough power but not too much bulk. That makes it good even for closer spaces where you don’t have a lot of room. Forged in one piece, it’s designed to be durable and long-lasting. The deep forge process and tempering help to reinforce this even more.

Not only that but it is made in the USA with American steel and has a shock reduction grip that helps to reduce impact by up to 70%. It’s 16” in total length, which provides the right amount of balance when you’re trying to hit anything and it’s hand polished to get the best possible look right from the start. You’ll also have an ergonomic handle that is simple and comfortable to hold.

Things we like:

  • 16” total length
  • Made in the USA with American steel
  • Ergonomic style rubber grip
  • One-piece forged steel
  • Moderate weight
  • Flat face or milled face options

Things we don’t like:

  • Rusts easily
  • Can be a little long

Stiletto Tools Inc. Framing Hammer

Last update on 2024-01-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Stiletto Tools Inc. Hammer is made of titanium, to increase overall strength and durability for more intense projects. It’s 14 ounces, which is a moderate weight for your framing needs. It provides less shock and recoil than an average steel hammer and the titanium gives more driving force than steel, which means you get more for your effort.

The ergonomic-style hickory handle is curved to give you a bit more leverage on each swing. Not only that but it has a magnetic nail start that makes it easier for you to hold the nail in the right place and to make sure that it’s inserted properly while you work.

At 18” long it’s a little longer than some other framing hammers, which means you’ll need a little more space in order to swing it effectively, but you’ll be able to get more strength at the same time. There is less strain overall on your wrist while you’re hammering as well.

Things we like:

  • 18” long
  • 14 ounces total weight
  • Curved, hickory handle
  • Magnetic nail start
  • Balanced system
  • Wood handle absorbs vibration

Things we don’t like:

  • Not ideal for prying
  • Wood can chip over time

Stanley FatMax Over-Strike Framing Hammer

Last update on 2022-05-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Another option by Stanley is the FatMax Over-Strike, which is a 22-ounce hammer with a large striking surface. That means you get something that’s moderately weighted; therefore, easier to swing for an extended period, and also something that hits where you aim, every time. It’s forged and heat treated to increase the durability as well, so it lasts longer. The tempered face is designed to reduce chipping, which can shorten the life of your hammer.

It also has a magnetic nail starter that lets you set your nail more easily with just one hand. The double wedge assembly between head and handle is also made to keep a more secure fit overall and make sure your hammer lasts the way you need it to. Over-strike revers to the steel protection plate that prevents the handle from being damaged during normal use. At 19” long, this hammer is going get some good leverage.

Things we like:

  • Overstrike steel protection plate
  • 19” total length
  • 22-ounce total weight
  • Magnetic nail starter
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Slotted side

Things we don’t like:

  • Strike plate not fastened well
  • Can be a bit heavy

Features to Consider

There are actually so many different kinds of hammers that it would take far too long to even name them all let alone look at what they do. However, if you’re looking for something specifically for framing you want more than just a generic hammer. There are certain features that you want and we’ve gone through and come up with a number of those features right here. Take a look and see which features are most important to you and if you’re not sold on the options we’ve found, these features will help you pick something else.

Handle Type

Handles on hammers can be made out of a number of different materials and that’s true for the framing style as well. Wood, fiberglass, and steel are the most common options and each has their own benefits and drawbacks to consider. Wood handles are generally easy to use and they tend to absorb shock well, but they can be prone to breaking during use.

Steel handles are extremely durable, pretty much no matter what you do, but they are going to have a lot more shock transferred through them and to you, which makes them better for hobby users than regular users. Fiberglass is going to give you a balance between the two, being more durable than wood but more shock absorbing than steel.

Look at the size of the handle while you’re at it as well. You don’t want something so long that you can’t comfortably swing it when you need to. Remember, you’re using this hammer to drive nails and you need to be able to pull it back and get all the force you can. That means the length needs to be a comfortable one where you can get good balance and power.

Also, take a look at whether the handle that you’re looking at has a covering on it. Many different hammers will have some type of non-slip grip over them so that you don’t have to worry about dropping it or your hand sliding around. Other hammers, especially wood ones, may or may not have this type of grip. It’s entirely up to you the type that you prefer.


The weight of the hammer itself is going to be extremely important so you can feel comfortable using it over the long haul. Keep in mind that building a house is going to take a whole lot of time and effort. That means you’re going to be swinging that hammer a whole lot and you definitely don’t want something too heavy for you to continue to use all day.

Hammers can start way down at about 8 ounces and can go up to 32 ounces. While that may not seem like much, it can definitely wear on you over an entire day. Still, with framing the general area to stick with is around 20 ounces. You’ll be able to find a number of different hammers that have slightly lighter weights (like many that we have here), which will help you get the work you need.

We’ve looked at a number of different types of hammers that have weights of as little as 14 ounces that can still provide you with some great features and be heavy enough to pound in nails for any purpose. The important thing is making sure you get something you can easily use because, if it’s too heavy for you to repeatedly swing, it’s not going to do you any good when it comes to getting that project finished. Practicing with some different weights may be a good place to start.


The face on the end of the hammer is going to be another thing to look at. Most framing hammers feature what’s called a waffle face, which is textured and helps to prevent slipping. A flat face is more difficult to find for this type of system, but it is out there and it’s something you can think about at least. With a flat face, you may have a little more slipping off the head of the hammer on the head of the nail while you’re trying to drive it in. This is one reason that a waffle face is more popular among most carpenters.

Wrap Up

If you’re looking for a high-quality unit you want something that will combine all the features together to work for your needs. The Stanley FatMax is a great option because it actually gives you a range of different features that are going to make it great. For one, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty, which means Stanley is standing behind their product.

For another, it’s only 16 ounces, which is a moderate weight for most framers. What’s really great, however, is the single piece forged steel that it’s made out of. If you’re not entirely sure about the Stanley option there are plenty of others that you can take a look at here. We’ve looked at a number of different options and we think that each of these has their merits.

If you don’t mind a heavier system the Estwing Framing Hammer is a great option that provides one-piece forged steel and it’s American made. It also has a rubber grip and it’s a little a little longer. If you really like the Stanley option you can get it for yourself right here. Any of the others are available at the links above.

About Gus Donaldson

I built houses for over 30 years and recently retired. I've made lots of mistakes and hopefully teach you not to make the same ones. I still love to build and have a garage workshop that I use for hobby projects like the walnut bookshelf I made for my wife. I like to write and let people know that working with your hands and tools does not need to be intimidating.

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