The 10 Best Claw Hammers to Buy 2020

The 10 Best Claw Hammers to Buy 2020

There is no replacement for a good hammer. For centuries, humanity has been using hammers to lay the foundation of society. From building unique structures to tearing things apart, hammers have always been the tool of choice. Although hammers have been around for centuries, the tool has gone through a lot of innovation.

Claw hammers are modern tools that serve two purposes. You can hammer a nail into a surface or use the claw to remove nails. While there are other tools you can use, hammers are reliable and don’t require external power. For this reason, every craftsman needs a solid hammer. If you’re looking for a new claw hammer for work or home use, you’re in the right place.

Features to Consider When Shopping for Claw Hammers

Claw hammers seem like simple tools, but they come with a lot of different features. There are specialized grips, advanced materials, and different weights. While some of these features are a matter of preference, others determine exactly how a claw hammer will perform.

Weight

We’ll start with the weight of a hammer. The weight of hammers is measured in ounces, with most products weighing between 8 and 21 ounces. The weight of a claw hammer determines how much force is required to swing it.

If you have a smaller claw hammer, it’s easier to swing compared to a more massive hammer. For this reason, lightweight hammers are better suited for all-day usage or around-the-house projects.

Still, heavier hammers have their benefits too. A heavier hammer requires more energy to swing, but it produces more power swing-for-swing. This comes down to your preference and arm strength. Heavier hammers are better for jobsite applications and more experienced craftsmen.

Grip

Claw hammers come with a few different types of grips. Principally, there are rubber grips, wood grips, and leather grips. The grip you need comes down to your preferences, but there are different benefits with each type.

Wooden Grips

Wooden grips used to be common in the past, but most modern claw hammers now use rubber or leather grips. Wooden grips are generally heavy and require more effort to swing because of their weight. The additional weight is excellent for swinging, but they’re difficult to hold. Unfortunately, wood grips can also get chipped, which can lead to splinters if your hand slips.

Leather Grips

Leather grips are better than wood grips because they’re more comfortable to hold. Leather grips are also lightweight and adapt to the hand shape of the hammer’s owner over time.

While they offer more grip than wooden handles, they’re more slippery than rubber grips. Leather grips can also drive the price of a hammer up, especially if it has a unique pattern or design.

Rubber Grips

Rubber grips are a recent innovation that you’ll commonly find on steel and fiberglass hammers. They’re lightweight, so they don’t add too much to the weight of the hammer. Rubber grips can also come in a few different shapes, giving you better grip and finger placement.

Claw Angle

The angle on the top of a hammer can make a difference. There are two common types of claw angles that you’ll come across: angled heads and straight heads. Straight head claw hammers are more accessible to place along flat surfaces, but they require more pulling power.

Angled claw heads are more difficult to fit on straight edges, but they make nail removal easy because you only have to roll it against the nail. Angled claw heads are also better for compact spaces where you don’t have a lot of room or leverage.

Price

Claw hammers are affordable products, but there are a few exceptions. Some claw hammers are made with premium materials that drive up the cost, while other claw hammers use a simple design with cost-effective materials. So, we’ve grouped each product into one of three categories:

$: Around $10
$$: Around $15
$$$: Around $20

When you know what to look for, finding the best claw hammer is straightforward. But just grabbing the cheapest thing off the shelf at the hardware store isn’t the way to go. We’re going to take you through the ten best claw hammers and offer shopping tips along the way.

Top 10 Best Claw Hammers 2020

1. Best Overall Claw Hammer IRWIN Hammer 16oz Claw Hammer

IRWIN Hammer 16oz Claw Hammer

Why we like it: We like the IRWIN Hammer 16oz Claw Hammer because it's a simple and durable hammer. It has everything it needs with no frills or expensive price tag.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Price: $$
  • Weight: 16oz
  • Grip: Rubber
  • Claw: Angled

The IRWIN Hammer 16oz Claw Hammer is a well-rounded hammer that works for almost all situations. The hammer has enough weight to hammer nails without too much power, and the handle keeps your hand from slipping. The handle is made of rubber and fiberglass, which makes it comfortable and durable.

The head of the IRWIN Hammer 16oz Claw Hammer is made with durable forged steel. The face of the hammer is also smooth, which keeps it from damaging surfaces if you swing too hard. Overall, it’s a great hammer to keep around the house of use at work.

What Sets it Apart

The IRWIN Hammer 16oz Claw Hammer is unique because the head is only slightly angled. This is beneficial because you can roll the hammer to pull nails out, but it still rests almost flat on surfaces. Simply put, you get the best of both hammer-head styles: fitting into small spaces, but still with enough leverage to remove the nail.

Things to Consider

The IRWIN Hammer 16oz Claw Hammer is a great product, but the grip is smaller than other claw hammers. The grip is good enough to keep your hand from slipping, but if you do slip, there isn’t much keeping it from hitting the top of the hammer. Unfortunately, this can be dangerous if you swing too hard, but frequent hammer users won’t have much trouble.

If you like the weight and style of this hammer, but need a better grip, the Estwing Hammer Straight Rip Claw is a great alternative. It’s more expensive, but it handles better.

Who It’s For

The IRWIN Hammer 16oz Claw Hammer is an excellent tool if you need a simple hammer. It can be used at home or for work, but it doesn’t come with a lot of features. It’s reliable and worth the money, so in this case, simple is good.

Pros

  • Fiberglass and rubber handle
  • Smooth head to keep damage to a minimum
  • The claw is a hybrid between straight and angled

Cons

  • Small grip

2. Best Compact Claw Hammer EFFICERE Stubby Claw Hammer

EFFICERE Stubby Claw Hammer

Why we like it: The EFFICERE Stubby Claw Hammer is an excellent claw hammer for work or around the house. We love how it's compact, affordable, and comes with premium features like magnetic nail assistance.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Price: $$
  • Weight: 8oz
  • Grip: Rubber
  • Claw: Angled

The EFFICERE Stubby Claw Hammer is a small hammer that packs a punch. It’s made with high-quality steel alloy that’s durable and lightweight, making it ultra-durable yet easy to use for prolonged periods. While the hammer is small, the forged alloy head lets you effortlessly hammer all day long. Plus, there is nail assistance technology to assist you while you line-up your swings that uses a magnetic top slit that can line up the nail for you. The nail assistance also enables you to operate the hammer with one hand if needed.

The EFFICERE Stubby Claw Hammer also comes with a comfortable rubber handle. The handle extends up to the head of the hammer, so even if you slip, you’ll still have grip. The rubber is also molded into an ergonomic design that’s comfortable to hold even for long periods.

What Sets it Apart

The EFFICERE Stubby Claw Hammer is unique because it works in most situations. It’s small enough to fit in compact spaces and comes with premium features to help you line-up your swing. When a claw hammer includes all of these features for a great value, it’s easy to see why it sits towards the top of our list.

Things to Consider

The EFFICERE Stubby Claw Hammer is well-rounded, but it has one flaw. The small size of the claw hammer is excellent for compact spaces, but the short handle doesn’t create leverage for powerful swings. Sure, it’s easy to swing it for hours, but if you don’t have a lot of arm strength or if you’re laying a lot of nails at a time, it’s challenging to use appropriately.

If you like the handle and price, the Estwing Hammer Straight Rip Claw is a great alternative. It’s not as heavy as other full-size hammers and offers similar comfort with more leverage.

Who It’s For

The EFFICERE Stubby Claw Hammer is an excellent product for anyone that needs a simple claw hammer that gets the job done. Its small size makes it ideal for most situations, and you don’t need a lot of arm strength to swing it.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Ergonomic rubber handle
  • Great for compact spaces

Cons

  • Not enough weight or leverage for powerful swings

3. Best Premium Claw Hammer Estwing Hammer Straight Rip Claw

Estwing Hammer Straight Rip Claw

Why we like it: The Estwing Hammer Straight Rip Claw is made with premium materials and boasts excellent comfort and power. It's easy for everyone to swing, but our favorite part is its American forging and steel.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Price: $$$
  • Weight: 16 oz
  • Grip: Leather
  • Claw: Straight

The Estwing Hammer Straight Rip Claw is a strong and robust hammer. It has a fair amount of weight to it, so you can get power behind your swings without getting tired. The materials used in this hammer are also durable and practical. The steel hammer head is forged using American steel, and their durability is second to none.

The Estwing Hammer Straight Rip Claw also has an excellent nylon-vinyl handle that absorbs 70% of vibrations. While there is strength behind each swing, you don’t need to worry about feeling the shock in your forearm.

What Sets it Apart

The Estwing Hammer Straight Rip Claw is unique because of its premium materials. Estwing has been forging mighty hammers for over 90 years, and their method has remained the same throughout history. The forging is done right here in the U.S. with robust steel. Steel aside, the handle has enough length to give you leverage without needing a lot of strength, and the ergonomic design keeps your hand from slipping.

Things to Consider

The Estwing Hammer Straight Rip Claw is a high-quality hammer, but it comes with a hefty price tag. It’s more expensive than most claw hammers you can find, making it difficult to fit into some budgets. Still, from the handle to the head, it’s worth the money.

If you’re shopping for a more affordable claw hammer, but similar in quality, the Craftsman 20oz Hammer is a great alternative. It’s lower in price but made with similar materials and quality.

Who It’s For

The Estwing Hammer Straight Rip Claw is designed for craftsmen, contractors, and carpenters. If you’ll be using a hammer every day for work, this hammer is perfect. It’s durable enough to handle abuse, and it will last you years. If you need a hammer for infrequent projects around the house, it works well, but might be overkill.

Pros

  • Forged and tempered in the USA
  • Comfortable leather handle
  • Great weight and handle length
  • Reputable company
  • Durable hammer head

Cons

  • High price
  • Stubby

4. Best Budget Claw Hammer Spifflyer Small Claw Hammer

Spifflyer Small Claw Hammer

Why we like it: The Spifflyer Small Claw Hammer is excellent because of its small size and great value. We love how it's an affordable claw hammer that everyone can benefit from.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Price: $
  • Weight: 8oz
  • Grip: Rubber
  • Claw: Angled

The Spifflyer Small Claw Hammer is small but powerful. The head of the hammer is forged and heat-treated, which makes it perfect for hitting nails. The compact size also makes it useful in tight situations where other hammers are too large. For this reason, it’s a great hammer to have around the house.

The Spifflyer Small Claw Hammer also comes with a comfortable handle that’s the length of the hammer. If you lose grip, you don’t need to worry about sliding up the handle and injuring your hand. The angled head also makes it easy to remove nails without needing to apply much pressure.

What Sets it Apart

The Spifflyer Small Claw Hammer is unique because of its price and durability. While it’s not meant for everyday use, it’s a reliable hammer you can keep around the house without needing to worry. Plus, compared to other claw hammers, it’s more affordable.

Things to Consider

The Spifflyer Small Claw Hammer is a great little hammer, but its size makes it less useful than full-size hammers. While the hammer is made well, it’s not meant for jobsite use. If you need a compact hammer for work, that’s close in price, the EFFICERE Stubby Claw Hammer is a great alternative.

Who It’s For

The Spifflyer Small Claw Hammer is a great hammer to keep around your house. It’s not as effective as full-size hammers, but it gets the job done for a low price. If you have small projects you need to work on or need a portable hammer, this product is a great choice.

Pros

  • Compact size is great for around the house
  • Low price
  • Comfortable handle

Cons

  • Not as durable as full-size hammers
  • Not suitable for work

5. Best Rubber Grip Claw Hammer DeWalt Dwht51048 Rip Claw Hammer

DeWalt Dwht51048 Rip Claw Hammer

Why we like it: The DeWalt Dwht51048 Rip Claw Hammer is a reliable hammer made by a well-known brand. We love how DeWalt uses a small straight claw that makes nail removal a breeze.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Price: $$$
  • Weight: 16oz
  • Grip: Rubber
  • Claw: Straight

The DeWalt Dwht51048 Rip Claw Hammer is lightweight and ready for any job. It can be used for projects around the house, jobsite work, and advanced framing. The hammer also has enough weight to give each swing plenty of power. Still, it’s not heavy enough to wear you down, even if you’ll be using it every day. This is because DeWalt designed the handle in a way that evenly distributes weight across the hammer and handle.

The DeWalt Dwht51048 Rip Claw Hammer’s handle is made with fiberglass and rubber, ensuring that you’re comfortable each time you swing it. The whole design of the hammer is comfortable because of its unique shape. It looks like a traditional claw hammer, but the handle is slightly angled, providing additional comfort.

What Sets it Apart

The DeWalt Dwht51048 Rip Claw Hammer is unique because of the angle at the bottom of the handle. The angle is important because it keeps your hand from sliding down the handle when you swing it. This is an excellent feature for experienced craftspeople that grip hammers close to the bottom for maximum leverage.

Things to Consider

The DeWalt Dwht51048 Rip Claw Hammer is a great product, but it’s expensive. It’s not a bad thing for a claw hammer to command a high price tag, but there are other hammers in a similar price range that perform better.

For example, the Estwing Hammer Straight Rip Claw is close in price but offers more features. The handle is a little larger, and the craftsmanship is superior, although we prefer the grip on this version.

Who It’s For

The DeWalt Dwht51048 Rip Claw Hammer is an excellent product for anyone that needs a reliable and robust hammer. DeWalt is a top-tier tool company, so you can count on them to deliver a high-quality product. It’s excellent for jobsites and advanced carpentry.

Pros

  • The handle distributes weight evenly
  • Durable and reliable steel head
  • Magnetic nail assistance

Cons

  • Expensive

6. Best Wood Handle Claw Hammer Stalwart 75-HT3000 Natural Hardwood Claw Hammer

Stalwart 75-HT3000 Natural Hardwood Claw Hammer

Why we like it: While wood handles are a thing of the past, we love how Stalwart embraces tool craftsmanship and heritage with a non-nonsense hammer.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Price: $
  • Weight: 16oz
  • Grip: Wooden
  • Claw: Angled

The Stalwart 75-HT3000 16 oz Natural Hardwood Claw Hammer is one of the most straightforward hammers you can find. It features a wooden handle that’s shaped to reduce vibration caused by swinging. While the handle is made with wood, it’s still comfortable and easy to hold.

The Stalwart 75-HT3000 16 oz Natural Hardwood Claw Hammer is also made with a high-quality steel head. The head is drop forged and heat-treated, making it durable enough for everyday use. It’s a simple hammer that you can leave at home or take with you to work.

What Sets it Apart

The Stalwart 75-HT3000 16 oz Natural Hardwood Claw Hammer is unique because of the wooden handle. Wooden handles are difficult to find, and while rubber and fiberglass handles work well, wood is smooth to the touch. This makes it a comfortable hammer to hold, even if you’ll be using it for hours.

Things to Consider

The Stalwart 75-HT3000 16 oz Natural Hardwood Claw Hammer is well-made, but the wood handle is also a flaw. The wood handle can become damaged over time, which can lead to splinters if your hand slips. Also, while it’s comfortable to hold, wooden grips don’t provide a lot of support.

If you like the price of this hammer, but prefer a better grip, the AmazonBasics Fiberglass Handle Claw Hammer is a good choice. It’s a little more expensive, but the fiberglass grip performs better than wood grips.

Who It’s For

The Stalwart 75-HT3000 16 oz Natural Hardwood Claw Hammer is a great hammer to keep around the house. It has a lot of weight to it, and it’s durable enough to last years. It’s also an excellent product for people that prefer old-school wood grip hammers.

Pros

  • Smooth and comfortable handle
  • Durable drop-forged steel head
  • Good weight
  • Great value

Cons

  • Wooden handle can wear down and lead to splinters
  • The head can detach from the hammer if it wears down

7. Best Leather Grip Claw Hammer Estwing Hammer 20 oz Straight Rip Claw

Estwing Hammer 20 oz Straight Rip Claw

Why we like it: The Estwing Hammer 20 oz Straight Rip Claw is one of our favorites because of the sporty leather handle. It gives the hammer a retro look without compromising performance.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Price: $$$
  • Weight: 20oz
  • Grip: Leather
  • Claw: Straight

The Estwing Hammer 20 oz Straight Rip Claw is one of the most durable hammers you can find. The hammer is made with forged and heat-treated steel that’s done with one mold. This reduces the chance of the hammer shattering and gives it better striking potential, although it raises the weight. The straight claw also makes it easy to pry nails from boards, even if you need to lay the hammer flat.

The Estwing Hammer 20 oz Straight Rip Claw also has a great handle that’s smooth and comfortable. While the handle is comfortable, it can also absorb most of the shock incurred from each swing. Weight is also evenly distributed through the handle for added comfort and better leverage.

What Sets it Apart

The Estwing Hammer 20 oz Straight Rip Claw is special because of the handle. Leather handles are common, but it’s rare to see one that’s sanded by hand. Not only does this make the handle look appealing, but it increases comfort. It also provides small grooves to keep your fingers from slipping.

Things to Consider

The Estwing Hammer 20 oz Straight Rip Claw is a high-end hammer, but it’s expensive. Compared to other hammers, it’s more than double the cost. Price aside, the leather handle is also more slippery than fiberglass and rubber grips.

If you like the quality of Estwing hammers, but prefer a more affordable option, the Estwing Hammer Straight Rip Claw is a great choice. It’s manufactured by the same company and has the same level of quality.

Who It’s For

The Estwing Hammer 20 oz Straight Rip Claw is an excellent hammer for people looking for a high-quality hammer. Compared to other claw hammers, it’s one of the best products money can buy. Still, you have to be willing to pay the price.

Pros

  • Visually appealing leather grip
  • Hand-sanded grip
  • Forged and heat-treated steel head
  • Made in one mold

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Expensive

8. Best Heavy Claw Hammer Craftsman 20oz Hammer

Craftsman 20oz Hammer

Why we like it: We like the Craftsman 20oz Hammer because it's great for heavier-duty projects. The grip is comfortable, and it won't cause fatigue.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Price: $$
  • Weight: 20oz
  • Grip: Rubber
  • Claw: Angled

The Craftsman 20oz Hammer comes with a lot of features, but it remains straightforward. There is no fancy way to hold it or a particular approach needed to use it. Still, there are great features like overstrike protection to keep the hammer from becoming damaged if you strike hard or miss the nail. Another great feature is the overmold grip that keeps your hand firmly in place during swings.

The Craftsman 20oz Hammer also has a lot of weight for its size. The head and handle are a little smaller than other claw hammers, but the weight makes up for it. Even if you don’t use a lot of leverage, it’s not challenging to hit nails evenly and hard.

What Sets it Apart

The Craftsman 20oz Hammer is unique because of its warranty. If the hammer becomes damaged, you can always get it replaced if damage occurs during routine use. Durability is still a concern with hammers, so it’s nice to see a company that offers after-the-sale assistance. Plus, with its usefulness for heavy-duty jobsite work, a warranty is important.

Things to Consider

The Craftsman 20oz Hammer is great for home and work use, but it’s too heavy for some people. 20z can be a lot of weight to swing, especially if you’ll be using it for hours. Some hammers have a similar weight, but they do a better job distributing the weight through the handle.

A great example is the AmazonBasics Fiberglass Handle Claw Hammer. While it has a similar weight, it’s better distributed throughout the handle.

Who It’s For

The Craftsman 20oz Hammer is an excellent fit for people that need a versatile hammer. It’s great to have around the house for small projects, but we don’t recommend it as a daily driver for carpenters or craftspeople. The heavy weight and poor weight distribution make it difficult to use for hours at a time.

Pros

  • Ergonomic and comfortable handle
  • Backed by Craftsman warranty
  • Overstrike protection
  • Durable forged steel

Cons

  • Too heavy for some users
  • Unbalanced weight distribution

9. Best Angled Claw Hammer AmazonBasics Fiberglass Handle Claw Hammer

AmazonBasics Fiberglass Handle Claw Hammer

Why we like it: The AmazonBasics Fiberglass Handle Claw Hammer is one of our favorite products because of its weight. We like how it has a lot of weight to it without costing as much as expensive full-metal claw hammers.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Price: $$
  • Weight: 20oz
  • Grip: Rubber
  • Claw: Angled

The AmazonBasics Fiberglass Handle Claw Hammer is a reliable and durable product that’s suitable for home and work use. While the product is made with high-quality material, it’s in the price range of a household claw hammer. The head is made with forged steel, and the handle is made with sturdy fiberglass that’s comfortable to hold and shock-absorbent.

The AmazonBasics Fiberglass Handle Claw Hammer is also good at balancing weight. It’s a heavier claw hammer, weighing in at 20oz, so it’s nice that the handle gives you the support needed to swing it comfortably.

What Sets it Apart

The AmazonBasics Fiberglass Handle Claw Hammer is unique because Amazon’s 1-year limited warranty backs it. The guarantee ensures that the product performs as advertised, and if it doesn’t, it can be replaced.

Things to Consider

The AmazonBasics Fiberglass Handle Claw Hammer is a great product but Amazon has only started manufacturing tools recently. Compared to popular brands like DeWalt, there is a lack of experience and reputation. This doesn’t make it a bad product, as it’s on-par with most hammers, but Amazon’s newcomer status is worth noting.

If you’re looking for a hammer that’s manufactured by a brand that’s been doing it for decades, the DeWalt Dwht51048 Rip Claw Hammer is a great alternative.

Who It’s For

The AmazonBasics Fiberglass Handle Claw Hammer is the perfect product for shoppers that need a reliable and straightforward hammer. It works well for work or home use and comes with above-average features. While Amazon hasn’t been making tools for decades, it’s clear the company understands hammers well. It’s also backed by a 1-year warranty.

Pros

  • Backed by Amazon's 1-year limited warranty
  • Durable steel head
  • Comfortable fiberglass handle
  • Good weight for swinging

Cons

  • Too heavy for prolonged use
  • Amazon is new to making tools

10. Best Non-Slip Handle Hammer Heikio 16 Oz Claw Hammer

Heikio 16 Oz Claw Hammer

Why we like it: The Heikio 16 Oz Claw Hammer is one of our favorites because it's an inexpensive, full-size hammer with an effective non-slip grip.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Price: $$
  • Weight: 16oz
  • Grip: Rubber
  • Claw: Angled

The Heikio 16 Oz Claw Hammer is a full-size hammer for the price of a compact hammer. The hammer is well-made with forged carbon steel, and it’s done in one piece. When a hammer is forged in a one-piece mold, there is little risk that it will crack or shatter during use. And with the forged steel, the hammer has plenty of weight to make each swing feel powerful without being cumbersome.

The Heikio 16 Oz Claw Hammer also features an ergonomic non-slip handle. It’s made with strong rubber that keeps your hands from sliding along the handle during use. The handle also absorbs a lot of shock, which makes it comfortable to operate for long periods.

What Sets it Apart

The Heikio 16 Oz Claw Hammer is special because of what you get for the price. While the hammer is mostly average, it comes with a lifetime warranty and excellent support service. Even if something happens to the hammer, it’s hassle-free to replace. For the low price, that’s impressive to see.

Things to Consider

The Heikio 16 Oz Claw Hammer is a solid hammer but it’s only average in build quality. Your average hammer is good but there are no features that make this hammer stand out. Sure, it’s on-par with other hammers, but it’s not unique. For this reason, it’s not as reliable as other hammers when used every day.

If you’re looking for a unique hammer, the AmazonBasics Fiberglass Handle Claw Hammer is a great alternative. It’s similar in price but comes with better features suitable for everyday use.

Who It’s For

The Heikio 16 Oz Claw Hammer is excellent for people that need a hassle-free hammer. You don’t need to put too much thought into it, and it works for most situations around the house. It’s affordable, reliable, and easy to handle.

Pros

  • Low price
  • Easy to use and comfortable to hold
  • Durable and reliable steel head
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Not many unique features

Everything You Need to Know about Claw Hammers

Claw hammer resting on a wood background

Claw hammers are straightforward, but that doesn’t mean you should pick up the first one you see. Shopping for the best claw hammer is more than simply choosing one that looks nice; it’s essential to be informed.

While many claw hammers have similar features and uses, others have specific applications. So, we’re going to take you through everything you need to know about claw hammers, to help you narrow down your options.

Claw Hammers for Home and Work

The first thing you should consider is whether you need a claw hammer to keep around the house or to use for work. This will determine how much you should spend on a hammer, the weight of a hammer, and the materials.

Claw Hammers to Keep Around the House

If you’re in the market for a hammer to keep around the house, you have a lot of options. Most claw hammers are suitable for home use, even heavier-duty versions. Still, if you know you’ll only be using it for at-home projects, you can save money by choosing an affordable and beginner-friendly product.

The IRWIN Hammer 16oz Claw Hammer is a great hammer to keep around the house. It has a comfortable rubber handle and offers enough weight to drive nails in without too much effort, but it’s still not a difficult-to-wield construction hammer.

If you prefer a smaller hammer, the Spifflyer Small Claw Hammer is also a great option. It’s lightweight, easy to swing, and comes with a comfortable rubber handle. It’s an excellent choice for small projects.

Claw Hammers for the Jobsite

Claw hammers for work are made with forged steel heads, comfortable grips, and have a lot of weight to them. These are hammers that can take a beating without breaking. While your options are limited to premium claw hammers, there are still a handful of options.

Our favorite work hammer is the Estwing Hammer Straight Rip Claw. It’s made in the USA with durable forged and heat-treated steel. The single mold design makes it near-impossible to break, and the handle evenly distributes the weight.

If you need a smaller hammer on the job, the EFFICERE Stubby Claw Hammer is a great choice. It has the features of a full-size hammers in a compact design. The magnetic assistance lets you use it with one hand, even in tight spaces.

Shopping Based on Weight

Claw hammers come in a few different weights. While 16oz is the most common hammer you’ll find, there are also both lighter and heavier hammers. The weight of a hammer is a good indication of its strength, but each weight has its benefits. We’ll take you through a few examples.

8oz Hammers

8oz claw hammers are small and compact hammers. Their compact design makes them easy to swing, even if you’ll be using them for hours. While some 8oz hammers are useful on jobsites for specific purposes, 8oz hammers are best suited for home use and small projects.

If you have a project that’s using small nails, and you don’t want to damage the surface you’re working on, 8oz hammers are a great choice. They’re too light to cause significant damage and offer more precision, although this comes at the price of raw swinging force. The best compact claw hammer is the EFFICERE Stubby Claw Hammer because it’s suitable for work or home use.

16oz Hammers

16oz hammers are the most common hammers you’ll come across. They’re heavier than 8oz hammers, but they’re still easy to swing. 16oz hammers are great to keep at home, but high-quality 16oz hammers can also handle heavier-duty framing jobs.

If you’re looking for a 16oz claw hammer, the DeWalt Dwht51048 Rip Claw Hammer. While it’s lighter than heavy-duty hammers, it’s still useful for framing jobs and other jobsite applications.

20-21oz Hammers

Claw hammers in the 20-21oz range are heavy-duty hammers. These products can tackle the most challenging jobs without becoming damaged, but they’re harder to control. It’s not necessary to keep a 20-21oz claw hammer at home, but if you’re doing your own framing, demolition, or you’re a general contractor, this is your hammer.

The best heavy claw hammer is the Craftsman 20oz Hammer. It features a comfortable shock-absorbent rubber handle and durable forged steel. The weight of the hammer is also evenly distributed throughout the handle for additional comfort while swinging.

Choosing the Right Grip

While the weight of a claw hammer is essential, the grip is a feature you need to consider. The grip of a hammer determines how easy it is to hold and how much vibration you feel with each swing. There are three types of grips, but a purchasing decision pretty much comes down to your personal preferences. Let’s take a look.

Wooden Grips

We’ll start with wooden grips. Wooden grips have been around for centuries. They’re made with hardwood and absorb a fair amount of shock. Wooden grips are also affordable because wood is an easy material to shape and produce.

The downside to wooden grips is the lack of support. Leather and rubber grips keep your hand from slipping, especially if it gets sweaty. Wooden grips can also splinter when they get worn out, leading to minor injuries. We recommend wood grip claw hammers for home use only.

An excellent wood grip hammer is the Stalwart 75-HT3000 16 oz Natural Hardwood Claw Hammer. The wood grip is smooth to the touch and holds up well, even with frequent use.

Rubber Grips

Rubber grips are what you’ll come across the most. Rubber grips are usually placed over fiberglass handles to keep hammers lightweight and comfortable. While rubber grips are better than wooden grips, they’re similar in price.

Rubber grips are useful because they come with grooves to keep your fingers in place. This helps your hand remain in place, even if you get sweaty while you’re working. They’re great for both home and work use and they’re grippy enough to use with work gloves (you can check out our favorite work gloves here).

The downside to rubber grips is their lack of durability. Over time, the grip can wear down, and grooves become less defined. This can lead to slipping if you work up a sweat. Rubber grips are also notorious for staining your hands.

If you like the idea of a rubber grip, the AmazonBasics Fiberglass Handle Claw Hammer is an excellent choice. It comes with a 1-year limited warranty, which is helpful if the grip wears out or breaks.

Leather Grips

Leather grips are found on premium claw hammers. Leather grips are similar to rubber grips because they both use grooves to keep your fingers in place, although leather grips hold up for longer periods of time. The difference between leather and rubber grips is their durability. Leather grips don’t wear down as quickly and give the hammer a sleek appearance.

If you like the style of a leather grip, the Estwing is a great choice. The leather grip complements the hammer well and provides excellent control.
Claw hammer resting alongside other tools

FAQ

What is the Best Weight for a Claw Hammer?

The best weight for a claw hammer depends on what you’re using it for. Hammers of all sizes can be useful, depending on the application. If you’re looking to play it safe, shop for a mid-sized 16oz hammer. Claw hammers in this weight range are versatile and can handle similar tasks.

What’s the Difference Between a Framing Hammer and Claw Hammer?

Unfortunately, a hammer is not just a hammer. Hammer is a blanket term for a few different styles of hammer tools. The framing hammer is better suited for framing jobs and has a flat head to reduce damage. Claw hammers are designed for removing nails, demolition, and hammering.

How do You Maintain a Claw Hammer?

Hammer maintenance is crucial, regardless of the hammer you’re using. Luckily, they’re easy tools to maintain. Make sure you only use your claw hammer to remove or hammer in nails and store it in a dry location to keep the grip from wearing down. Also wipe your hammer down after use to prevent corrosion.

What is the Purpose of a Claw on a Claw Hammer?

Claw hammers are versatile hammers that can drive in nails or remove them. The head of the hammer is used for driving nails into a surface, and the claw is used to remove nails. For this reason, claw hammers are excellent for demolition and taking things apart. If you’re only driving nails, check out a dedicated nail gun on this list.

Wrapping Up

Claw hammers are straightforward products, but that makes it challenging to determine which one is the best for you. When shopping for a claw hammer, it’s essential to shop carefully. You want to make sure you choose the best claw hammer for your needs, or your project can end up in limbo.

Luckily, choosing the right claw hammer is easy when you have the products in front of you. If you shop carefully and consider our tips, finding the right product is a breeze. Still, claw hammers are affordable products, so feel free to try out a few! It’s hard to know exactly what you need until you start swinging.