Framing Hammers

Hello Group I would like some advice concerning framing hammers. What are some of your preferences regarding brands, types of handles, weights, mill faced vs. smooth etc. Harbor Freight offers some nice looking very inexpensive hammers. Would I be better of to just by an Estwing or a Vaughan? Any info wahtsoever will be appreciated.
JH
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Joseph Handy wrote:

I prefer a 16", 22 oz. Estwing. I have a smooth faced and a checkered faced framer, plus an Estwing rocker's hammer. The 16" length makes a quick OC measurement in framing. I really bought the Estwings because I like the 'ring' it makes when hammering.
--
Bill
in Hamptonburgh, NY
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I always used a 20 oz curved claw hammer with a wood handle. I consider the Estwing a club especially if it is a straight claw. I never liked the wrist shock. :)
I used a 13 oz wood handle for trim but now it's all nailers anyway.

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In a previous post Joseph Handy wrote...

I have a 24 oz wood handled hammer I like to use for framing and lighter hammers for other tasks. Some have wood handles, some fiberglass handles.
Never liked a steel shank on my hammers.
--
Bob Morrison, PE, SE
R L Morrison Engineering Co
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Joseph Handy wrote:

Unless you're a pro you'll probably not be able to tell much difference. Sorta' like the student violin, until one reaches a certain level of proficiency, a Strad is pretty much lost investment.
OTOH, I've always been of the "buy quality" school for even things I wasn't very proficient in originally I figured I'd develop the school over time. So, then it boils down to how much you envision using it and other less tangibles. In general, I've found the cheap Chiwanese import hammers to be quite inferior in material, particularly in having either very soft faces or very hard, brittle ones. What they have now, in particular, who knows????
As for preference, I have Estwings and Vaughans and others as well. Prefer for actual framing 32 oz fiber-glass handle, checkered face.
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Joseph Handy wrote:

You'll get lots of differing opinions with that question. Framing hammer choices vary by location, as well as personal preferences. I personally like a 19 or 20 ounce hammer for everything. I don't do a lot of framing, and when I do I use nail guns, so I'm not swinging a hammer all day long. Same with finish nailing.
I haven't bought a new hammer in years, but if I was in the market, I'd look into a titanium hammer, maybe the Vaughn one with the interchangeable milled/smooth faces.
R
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: Hello Group : I would like some advice concerning framing hammers. What are some of your : preferences regarding brands, types of handles, weights, mill faced vs. : smooth etc. Harbor Freight offers some nice looking very inexpensive : hammers. Would I be better of to just by an Estwing or a Vaughan? Any info : wahtsoever will be appreciated. : : JH
I am using one of the $4.00 harbor freight waffle heads on my deck project. How strong is your elbow? I think the hammer is nice but the handle is fiberglass and will chip if you smash it into concrete or a nail - but it is four dollars and I already drove 5pounds of 4.5" 10D's and it still works for the next time.
peace Dawg : :
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Deputy Dumbya Dawg wrote:

or whatever, you got to use it a lot to make it worth it. you'll do fine with a vaughn or a stanley. if you do mostly framing, then you want a waffle head, but for general use, i prefer a smooth face. I prefer a lighter hammer, since my hammer is mainly an accessory to the nail gun. My favorite is a 16 ounce hart trimmer with a hickory handle. definitely go with a straight claw...the curved claw is going the way of the buffalo. I don't like the estwing--it is too hard on the arm. go to a store and pick one you like.

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when I was a full time framer I only used a vaughn 28 oz framing axe. we had guns but the boss preferred to nail everything by hand, plywood decking included. I could nail off a sheet with 8d in just a few minutes. one hit to set it, one hit to finish it off... in that case, there's nothing like have the right hammer. I still have one , along with a 28 oz estwing, which by the way is an awesome tool for sucking in a wall that is too far overhhung on a deck,,,, the narrow neck fits right in the claw of another hammer. ... I have a couple finish type hammers also... a cheap 16 oz or less wont get much use unless I cant seem to find any other... a good fiberglass 20 oz like a stanley is a good for all around jobs.
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