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Hammer face--milled or smooth?

dpbellus's picture

In an earlier post I asked for advice on hammer selection for a home remodeling.  My cheap hammers were too heavy or imbalanced or easily broken.  Thanks to everyone for their feedback. 


Between this forum and articles I've read it seems most peoples preference for finish nails is around a 16oz or 20oz.  It also seems that most people prefer to drive framing  nails with a 20-22oz, and a slightly longer handle.  I've picked up a few different ones at the stores and have noticed a different feel between sizes and brands.  Also noticed that the better known brands seem to feel more comfortable than cheaper ones.


Anyway, I'm going to be building a deck this summer and haven't decided to screw or nail the decking, but I'm certain I'll be driving the framing nails by hand.  I've also been looking at fasteners online and see that Maze Nails does not recommend a milled hammer to drive their galvanized nails as it could chip off the coating.  My question is, is a milled face really that important on a framing hammer?  Do many people frame with a smooth face?  I really don't want a collection of hammers, just a couple that I really would use.


Thanks, and Merry Christmas

(post #127116, reply #1 of 14)

Get a smooth face and rub it against some foundation concrete every once in a while to rough it up a little. A waffle face leaves some ugly dents when you are nailing decking or anything else that shows. I own about 15 hammers, my preference changes depending on season or task at hand. Have fun.

(post #127116, reply #2 of 14)

What he said. Waffles give you a more satisfying thunk when you hit the nail, but on finish surfaces, they are a big no-no. I think that you are over-thinking it. Just buy a couple that you like, and use them. After several years, its usually the one that stayed in the tool-box that ends up being your favorite.

(post #127116, reply #3 of 14)

every waffle head I've ever had is polished pretty smooth in a couple of years and I've never tossed one yet .. a waffle head really does a number on your finger!

(post #127116, reply #5 of 14)

"a waffle head really does a number on your finger!"

My left thumb agrees ;-)

(post #127116, reply #4 of 14)

I think it's Douglas Hammers that have a different kind of waffle head.  Instead of the sharp outfacing tines of most - like meat tenderizers - it has a grid and the waffle points are depressions instead.  This might satisfy Maize, if you call them.



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Rebuilding my home in Cypress, CA
Also a CRX fanatic!


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(post #127116, reply #6 of 14)

If it's not a waffle face, is it a pancake face?


I must be hungry.


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(post #127116, reply #7 of 14)

16 & 20 oz will do most work you will encounter


i get straight claws and sharpen them like a chisel  to dig out screwups 


been using those 2 sizes for 35 years even though i have other sizes


the framming hammers have a longer handle and throw off your strike zone if you are not used to them


honestly i like my gas & air nailers better , must be my age !!!!

(post #127116, reply #8 of 14)

Actually, I think it's more of a waffle face while the others are waffle iron faced.


Now, if I can burn my arm on it, we can really get a tasty breakfast going!



Tu stultus es
Rebuilding my home in Cypress, CA
Also a CRX fanatic!


Look, just send me to my drawer.  This whole talking-to-you thing is like double punishment.

YAY!  I love WYSISYG editing!  And Spellcheck!

____________________________________________________

(post #127116, reply #10 of 14)

You can make silver dollar waffles on a hot waffle hammer head.

(post #127116, reply #11 of 14)

I'm trying to picture that:


It's 6am on a Sunday Morning.  Dam_inspector's wife hears commotion downstairs, so she blearily makes her way down, to the kitchen.  There she finds Dam_inspector with a big framing hammer in one hand, and a blow torch in the other heating the hammer head.


Wife:  "Um, what are you doing honey?"


Dam_inspector:  "Making waffles."


 


 



Tu stultus es
Rebuilding my home in Cypress, CA
Also a CRX fanatic!


Look, just send me to my drawer.  This whole talking-to-you thing is like double punishment.

YAY!  I love WYSISYG editing!  And Spellcheck!

____________________________________________________

(post #127116, reply #12 of 14)

Yeah... I've got the 20 oz framing hammer with inverted waffle face (there's another joke in there somewhere)... It's a great hammer. I don't like waffle heads in general since I don't do a lot of framing, but I'll do some framing and then some fascia work or exterior trim all in the same hour and I can use this hammer for all without marking anything up too much.
I keep the 18 oz around as well for more trim work. And, like Captain Mayhem, I also still swear by my 22 oz smooth faced Estwing...I go to that hammer if I'm wearing gloves in the cold since its got a rubber grip, but usually now I head to the Douglas. Plus it just looks so dang cool. (there's the ego talking)

Paul

(post #127116, reply #13 of 14)

My most used hammer is a steel handled smooth faced 20 oz Plumb. It's black and has an orange soft grip. The black coating is mostly worn off and there's some rust, and the neon orange handle is a bit nasty looking now. It just feels right.

I have arthritic fingers, constant tendonitis, bursitis in my shoulders, don't know if that hammer had anything to do with all that, but it's possible.

(post #127116, reply #9 of 14)

i live by my 22 oz estwing smooth face...use it for everything

All I ever wanted in life was an unfair advantage...

Changing the carbon footprint of America one home at a time.

(post #127116, reply #14 of 14)

i've never liked the milled face

 

 


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