Review: New Estwing 'Space Hammer'

Well, I bit the bullet (hard) and bought one of the new Weight-Forward Design hammers from Estwing. Used it today for the first time. After everyone else at work got through touching it and commenting on how weird it looked, I got to hammer-swingin'. Here's what I got from using it today.
Pros: 1.Easy to swing--that's a little unclear, but I'm not sure how to put it better
2.Pulls nails a little better than a regular hammer; you can pull stubborn nails sideways, unlike conventional Estwing
3.HUGE improvement in shock absorbtion over conventional Estwings--no numb pinky and ring finger at the end of the day
4.21 oz weight drives nails just as fast as my old 28 oz
Cons: 1.Can be hard to pull out of hammer loop--no face peen to hook with fingers
2.Face is "toed-in" too far--that last hit gets your knuckles mighty close
3.Only comes in 21 oz weight
4. Pricey
5.Damn thing just looks funny
Summary: Overall, a really good tool. I'm pretty satisfied with it so far, and I'm getting used to the odd angle of the nailing face. It drives nails like a sledge hammer, but feels more like a tack hammer. If you're in the market for an expensive, new, funky-looking hammer, this is the one. Also, it's an Estwing, so you know it's quality.
Hope this helps somebody,
-Phil Crow
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Phil Crow wandered in from the void and babbled something like:

Interesting observations, Thanks. I have seen this piece and wondered how effective a tool it was.
Greg
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I was looking at these yesterday. Christmas at our house includes an "Indian gift exchange" I think is the proper non PC name for it. We have a separate one for all the adult males and one for the adult women.
Had this hammer been $20 or less I would have picked it up but at $28 it was over budget for the gift exchange. Since I already have 3 claw hammers, I couldn't justify the expense...at this time. If I get a gift card or 2 I may go back and pick it up. I wold really like to see a 16oz model as my frameing hammer is very good at what it does.
Is there a way to reface hammers? Is it worth the time?
BRuce
Phil Crow wrote:

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Two things I wondered about were the hand (to) close to pay-dirt; that short nose is just a little to short. And, the other one was the belt holder. I figured it would just fall through but it sounds as if just sort of gets hung up. I like my old finish stanley and straight claw Estwing. By the way, I can pull nails to the side with both these hammers, maybe I am thinking of something else.
I'm sure it just takes a little getting used to!
Phil Crow wrote:

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You can get used to anything if you have to, but why? It's possible a few framers or someone who uses a hammer all day long eventually finds that this is a great labour saving device in the long run, and the word gets out. But, I just can't see it happening. Hammers have had basically the same shape for many years. This one almost assaults the eye with this 'stunted' appearance. I dare say that this space hammer is a subtle unintended attack on a woodworker's manhood. Does this make sense or is my sub-conscious telling me I have fear of being ridiculed or appearing feminine? :)

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I thought it was just the result of some Estwing designer drooling over ice climber's equipment.
Mike
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Not many people use a hammer all day anymore. Nail guns have taken over.

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wrote:

If I'm framing, I'm likely to be in the middle of a woodland cladding a timber frame (English style, not US). If I have power, I only got it by humping a generator into there.
Last year I shelled out and bought a real Vaughan framing hammer. An almost unheard of beast in the UK, but it works for me. Much better than my usual carpenter's claw.
-- Smert' spamionam
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wrote:

I have a hammer rack near the bench with around 20 hammers in it. I have a box (for rust-proofing) where the various panel-beating hammers live. I have many more "spare" hammers floating around. I even know which ones have peins and which ones have true faces (steel welded to an iron body)
Now I'm starting to learn blacksmithing, and I realise that my own paltry few hammers will need to be expanded into a really useful selection.
Hammers do _not_ "basically have the same shape"

It's specialist. Probably useless for anything other than framing (the knuckle hitting problem). But the physics of it makes sense, for a low wrist-impact hammer that you're going to use all day long.
-- Smert' spamionam
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wrote:

Listen to your "sub-conscious." If it's any consolation, this newsgroup has plenty of others in the same mode.
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I, too, can pull nails sideways with my straight claw Estwing. However, an old galvanized 16d through a couple of Jummywood 2x10s is another matter entirely. I have bent an Estwing shaft trying to pull a nail sideways.
As far as the belt holder, the 'neck' of the hammer is wide enough that the neck rests on one side of the holder and the other hits the claw.
Knuckles? Well, let's just say that I've been pretty careful about it. The thing is, this hammer makes you want to 'rear back' (that's pronounced rare, y'all) and pound THE HELL out of a nail. Standing on the wood wall (before we raised it), I drove a 16d bright in 2 swings. I bet I could drive a sinker in one, with a tailwind.
-Phil Crow
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On Mon 15 Dec 2003 06:30:34p, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Phil Crow) wrote in

Hadn't thought of that. I checked one in a hammerloop to see if it fit, but it didn't occur to me that it might be difficult to pull out.

I don't know if that means you want a smaller one or a bigger one. :-) But a friend of ours with inside contact at Estwing says they could only put out one model first, and they decided to go with the 21. The 17 ounce size is supposedly off the line and in shipment but probably won't be in stores till a little after Christmas. There's talk of putting out models in both sizes with longer handles, but nothing about other weights.

No argument there, but I like it. :-) I've got one of the smaller size on order. The 21 ounce is just too big for the kind of work I'd give it.
Dan
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thanks Dan, that's good news. 17 should be just about right for the use I would give it also.
Dan wrote:

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BRuce wrote:

Y'know, that brings up a question. Our friend and I got into a friendly little discussion about whether it was best to put out the 21 ounce, or whether they should have gone with the 17 first. They had that choice, decided on the 21, and from all accounts it's doing well.
But I think maybe they could have done as well or better by going with the 17-ounce. I think a radical change like that would be more embraced by the homeowner who loves to try new stuff, rather than the pros, who tend to stick with the good ol' tried and true. Sounds like Phil was the only one in his shop with one of those, and they've been out for a while now.
But I'm not in marketing and don't intend to be. So maybe I just don't have a grip on the big picture. Would anyone care to point out why the decsion to go with the heavier model was the best idea? I mean something besides my friend's argument of "OHH, so you're soooo much smarter than the Estwing Marketing and Research departments? Aren't you the clever one, then?"
It went downhill from there. :-) We'll be having this discussion again sometime Friday eve when we all go to see Return of the King, so if anybody's got any ammo for me...
Dan
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i would tend to agree, that the pros, use what works until they break it or lose it. Most framers PROBABLY don't have 10 hammers, they have the one they use and maybe one they keep "just in case" but they would not want to use it every day.
the non pro has multiple hammers because he does a lot of different things. I have a 16 for hanging pictures, a ball peen for chasin cats and a framing hammer for building sheds, greenhouses and decks. 2 dead blow for woodworking...
as a general consumer I am more likely to try a cool tool because I am not trying to make money with it. to shell out close to $30 and then know I needed to use it every day, all day... just not going to happen.
BRuce
Dan wrote:

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You're not smarter (well, not provably so from this alone) but you do have one advantage - you only care about whether the hammer works or not. Their job is to sell the hammers they make, whether they work or not.
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It"s the Tim Allen syndrome for all you he-men out there ;-)
Renata

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Renata,
you say that like it's a bad thing!
Merry Aarggh, Aaargghh Aarrggghh Christmas
Greg
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