Scott Gibson, Contributing Editor
Although many builders use pneumatic nail guns to speed up production, the heavy hammers that frame carpenters traditionally use have not been entirely displaced. Estwing's 30-oz. hammer, model E3-30SM, is the quintessential framer. With a head just shy of 2 lb. and a length of 16 in., the hammer develops plenty of power to drive 16d nails -? as long as you don't mind swinging it all day.
Estwing makes this one from a single piece of forged tool steel, making it nearly impossible to separate the head from the handle. The nylon-vinyl grip is comfortable and reduces shock. This model has a milled face to increase the grip of the hammer head on the nail (an unmilled face also is available). In December 2004, this hammer was available for about $33.
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