View Full Version : Who makes quality hammers?


catsteve
10-20-2011, 01:40 AM
I am looking for a set of USA or Europe made ball hammers with top grade hickory handles.
ie. not china and not plastic/fibreglass handles and not dead blow.

I have trawled ebay for a nice 'old' set but see mostly abused.

Can anyone offer suggestions?
Anyone used the wright ball peen hammers?

thanks in advance

DHCrocks
10-20-2011, 02:26 AM
vaughn? I got mine from Home Depot, pretty good price, made in USA and hickory handles.

skang
10-20-2011, 02:34 AM
Please use "search" function first.

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/search.php?searchid=6288384

DonkDonk
10-20-2011, 02:35 AM
I have some Vaughn, Craftsman, & Stanley... all great hammers.

catsteve
10-20-2011, 02:44 AM
Please use "search" function first.

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/search.php?searchid=6288384

Did a search. plenty of discussion about SO, trusty cook, flea market 'scores' etc. but nothing specifically addressing my question or requirements.

big fan of the search normally.

thanks

Danglerb
10-20-2011, 02:49 AM
I paid $14 on sale for a set of 5 ball peens from HF. Its a hammer, not sure what sort of magic you might be expecting. I haven't missed very often when trying to hit anything, and those times I think were my own fault, not the cheap hammer.

catsteve
10-20-2011, 03:15 AM
I paid $14 on sale for a set of 5 ball peens from HF. Its a hammer, not sure what sort of magic you might be expecting. I haven't missed very often when trying to hit anything, and those times I think were my own fault, not the cheap hammer.

I probably need to clarify. Here in Australia. the big box store killed off ALL hardware stores. That $14 HF set costs $100 here.
Our options for good tools are to ship them from US or buy off the SO truck.
Over US$200 for the blue point 4 piece wood handle set and US$185 for a ball peen dead blow. you read correctly.
So i guess if i am to ship hammers across the world i don't want to buy some rubbish that leaves dents in the hammer face when you hit something, is poorly made, poorly balanced.

i am very happy to take your advice. thanks

LB-1911
10-20-2011, 04:11 AM
Made in USA w/ hickory handles;
Vaughan- 16 oz TC-016
Vaughan- 24 oz TC-224

Harry J. Epstein Co store.harryepstein.com would be a good on line source

balane
10-20-2011, 04:15 AM
My favorite hammer is my Vaughan 13 ounce fiberglass handle. I use that one for pretty much everything around the house.

twangnut
10-20-2011, 05:45 AM
Made in USA w/ hickory handels;
Vaughan- 16 oz TC-016
Vaughan- 24 oz TC-224

Our local Walmart have these now. I was shocked to see Made in USA in waly world...proud of them.

I believe $14 and some change. It'll be tough to beat that deal.

spv
10-20-2011, 06:20 AM
I probably need to clarify. Here in Australia. the big box store killed off ALL hardware stores. That $14 HF set costs $100 here.
Our options for good tools are to ship them from US or buy off the SO truck.
Over US$200 for the blue point 4 piece wood handle set and US$185 for a ball peen dead blow. you read correctly.
So i guess if i am to ship hammers across the world i don't want to buy some rubbish that leaves dents in the hammer face when you hit something, is poorly made, poorly balanced.

i am very happy to take your advice. thanks

If I remember correctly Bunnings are now stocking Vaughan. They stock USA made Estwing. I own a bunch of USA Estwing and they are great. Expect them to last a lifetime, wouldn't consider going cheap! The last cheap hammer I had the head separated from the hickory handle within the first two months of ownership. It was promptly replaced with a one piece forged Estwing.

aussiek2000
10-20-2011, 06:44 AM
Definitely no the highest quality, but I have not had a problem with my HF hammers other than the steel being super soft. The only hammer I use frequently though is the 32oz one for knocking drums off.

afazz
10-20-2011, 06:50 AM
I have Vaughan, Blue Point, and Craftsman hickory handle ball pein hammers. I believe they are all made by the same factory (Vaughan), and they are excellent quality. Of course the Blue Point versions are more expensive, the Craftsman hammers have a darker colored wood handle. My coworkers have Proto, Stanley Professional, and HF, and I don't like any of them as much as the Vaughans.

HAP
10-20-2011, 06:55 AM
Here is what I use. Never have to worry about the head working loose with tbis one... However, it could damage your workpiece with a misplaced blow. One of each type is good to have...
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202183854/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053&superSkuId=202847686

fabrk8r
10-20-2011, 07:04 AM
I've been buying tinner's hammers and machinist's hammers from this source for a while now and have been very happy with both price and quality.

http://www.hammersource.com/

mitch885
10-20-2011, 07:33 AM
My new favorite ball peen hammer is a 24oz form council tools. The price is a little steep but quality is awesome. www.counciltool.com

54FordPanel
10-20-2011, 07:42 AM
Vaughn.

cundifc
10-20-2011, 09:10 AM
Another for Vaughn.

zer0cell
10-20-2011, 09:21 AM
Go with Vaughan... they are good quality, made in USA and priced well. They are not hard to find online at amazon or other sites but if you want to see them in person first, try sears. I 'think' the craftsman branded hammers are made by vaughan.

Notwerk
10-20-2011, 09:28 AM
I use Vaughn. Estwing is nice, too, though some of their tools (pry bars and perhaps some other things) are foreign made, I think.

HandyManny
10-20-2011, 09:35 AM
I agree with the others. Get USA made Vaughan hammers, that's mostly what I own when it comes to striking tools, with the exception of a couple USA made Estwing tools.

Sadly Home Depot has been slowly thinning out their Vaughan hammer line and replacing it with the imported Husky, Stanley,and the newer Taiwan made Estwing striking tools. I saw a few left-over 24 oz Vaughan ball pien hammers marled down for $10 at Home Depot a month ago.

Also Home Depot stopped carrying the Vaughan replacement hickory handles sometime around late 2008 or eally 2009.

This has been what I've observed at the local HD stores where I live. Also Vaughan produces striking tools for other brands too. A good number of Craftsman models are made for the Cman brand by Vaughan.

Notwerk
10-20-2011, 09:50 AM
Oh, Nupla might be an option, too. But those are fiberglass handles. If you're insistent on hickory, they won't be an option, but my understanding is that Nupla makes quality tools (I have no personal experience with them).

kc-steve
10-20-2011, 10:40 AM
I probably need to clarify. Here in Australia. the big box store killed off ALL hardware stores. That $14 HF set costs $100 here.
Our options for good tools are to ship them from US or buy off the SO truck.
Over US$200 for the blue point 4 piece wood handle set and US$185 for a ball peen dead blow. you read correctly.
So i guess if i am to ship hammers across the world i don't want to buy some rubbish that leaves dents in the hammer face when you hit something, is poorly made, poorly balanced.

i am very happy to take your advice. thanks

Like others have said, Vaughn. Epstein's has low prices, a good selection and ships world-wide. http://store.harryepstein.com/

That Australian price for HF stuff is good to know! Some of us have speculated about Chinese inflation and you just confirmed it. Since the U.S. dollar and Yaun are tied together we don't see the inflation here. Now if we can just get our politicians to put pressure on China, or something, . . . maybe even just "buy American."

Thanks,
Steve

route246
10-20-2011, 11:13 AM
Don't forget Grayvik. See this thread (http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=115850).

After I read this I ordered some from Epsteins. Looks like Vaughn to me.

fr0mastaj
10-20-2011, 11:31 AM
+umpteenth for Vaughn. Pretty certain Craftsman hammers are rebranded vaugns as others started, just a darker handle. I love using their dinky 8 oz ball pein for some reason...

FergusonTO35
10-20-2011, 11:37 AM
Vaughn and USA made Blue-Point and Craftsman are my faves. Some of the USA made Stanleys are (were?) pretty nice too. The last hammer I bought was a fiberglass handle Matco ball pein, pretty sure it was made by Dead-On. Really quality tool and my Matco guy said that handle is guaranteed too.

Notwerk
10-20-2011, 11:54 AM
All the Dead-On tools I see in the big-box stores look like junk and are without exception foreign made. I'd stick with Vaughn. The Grayvik tip seems like a good one.

jeffmoss26
10-20-2011, 11:56 AM
I've got Estwing, True Temper, and Malco claw hammers, all are good. The ball peen hammers I have are all older than me, none of them are marked except the Blue Point I got last month at a garage sale.

Ledslinger
10-20-2011, 02:04 PM
Craftsman, Vaughn, Proto wood handle.

HandyManny
10-20-2011, 02:16 PM
Not that many mechanics use framing hammers, but does anyone else remember the old high quality framing hammers that were made by Hart Tool Co? I think Dead-On ended up with their patents and the rights to their designs.

Monte
10-20-2011, 02:38 PM
Gedore, Picard

ert01
10-20-2011, 02:54 PM
If you're willing to pay top dollar, you could always contact Brent Bailey and get him to forge you one. Check out his website... They're as much works of art as they are a brute force tool.

http://brentbaileyforge.com/tools/hammers/index.html

zer0cell
10-20-2011, 03:12 PM
Interesting link on the custom hammers...

pipsters
10-20-2011, 05:50 PM
FYI I called Vaughan directly. They make the Craftsman hickory ball peins. Just a darker stained handle. Only thing I don't like about the new ones is the laser inscribed heads vs forged "made in USA" on it (Vaughan and craftsman both have them now). Sears sells the hickory and forged handles, hickory is much cheaper and tends to absorb the blows imo. Sears does sell sets I think for around $55 for 12, 16, 24, and 36 oz plus 12 oz plastic tip, then buy an 8 oz for $12.

I don't know if Vaughan makes the forged handle Craftsman though, I didn't ask. I suspect they do, but they were out of my budget.

zer0cell
10-20-2011, 07:15 PM
A set of 5 vaughan ball pein hammers for about $50 is a good deal I think and should last pretty much forever, aside from the possibility of having to replace the handle eventually. The craftsman branded ones might be easier to swap out in the event a manufacturers defect was discovered.

hamma
10-20-2011, 10:12 PM
Stick with Vaughan. Made in USA. I'm pretty sure Lowes carries them now that Home Depot doesn't. They're about the same price as the Chinese Estwing stuff Home Depot replaced them with.

pipsters
10-20-2011, 10:23 PM
To be fair, Lowes did not carry a single us hammer. when home depot got rid of the vaughans they still sold Estwings. Does Lowes sell vaughan hammers now? I know Walmart does. Still trying to figure out why people refuse to buy the cheaper ones sold at Sears with a lifetime warranty. It's your money I guess.

Vinko
10-21-2011, 01:12 AM
My new favorite ball peen hammer is a 24oz form council tools. The price is a little steep but quality is awesome. www.counciltool.com

Ok. I'll bite. How are these better than Vaughan or others? What specifically is superior. I don't see the price as significantly more than Vaughan.

Vinko
10-21-2011, 01:14 AM
Gedore, Picard

You also mentioned some other French & German brands in an older thread as well. I picked up a German mini sledge or engineer's hammer -- about 1500 grams, and it's been great for stamping hard metals with a punch. Love that hammer. It was hard to find in the US though.

WR250F
10-21-2011, 02:06 AM
Here's the set I picked up

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00938074000P#desc

Good quality, price is right, made in USA

Maybe not the best option for many, but they work well for me ;)

mitch885
10-21-2011, 04:24 AM
Ok. I'll bite. How are these better than Vaughan or others? What specifically is superior. I don't see the price as significantly more than Vaughan.

I didn't say they where better, I'm just really happy with quality that these guys put into there products.

oldjacks
10-21-2011, 07:46 AM
A few quality vintage USA hammers have not been mentioned here and for the sake of conversation I will mention them. Heller, Atha, Maydole, Plomb and Champion all made very high quality ballpeen hammers. None of these companies are in the hammer business today save for Proto which everyone knows was Plomb. Heller, Atha and Champion all made Blacksmiths Hammers too which by nature had to be durable as they were being used daily. Some of these hammers can be found on the Bay for cheap.

I personally have never noted much difference in quality between one brand and another as long as the handle was tight most hammers do what they are intended to do very well but I am only speaking of older hammers now not any of the new ones.

Monte
10-21-2011, 12:19 PM
You also mentioned some other French & German brands in an older thread as well. I picked up a German mini sledge or engineer's hammer -- about 1500 grams, and it's been great for stamping hard metals with a punch. Love that hammer. It was hard to find in the US though.

www.peddinghaus.de
www.osca.it
www.moboutillage.com

Vinko
10-22-2011, 02:37 AM
Yeah, it was a Peddinghaus I got, I think. I ended up finding a blacksmith shop that was able to get most of the line.

fromnwmt
10-22-2011, 11:08 AM
I have a couple Vaughn and my dads old craftsman... I also have some Vaughn framing hammers all have been great