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rocket true temper

Tom69's picture

I love my hammer but guys make fun of it because it is so old and beat.

Any tricks to getting the grip replaced? This hammer isn't made anymore and I can't bear to replace it this late in my career. But the grip is going going go...!!

(post #127834, reply #1 of 25)

Depends on what you want. If you want the original moulded rubber grip, forget it. If you just want a good grip surface about the same size as the original, start wrapping what's left of the rubber with hockey tape, and stop when it seems about right.


How now, Mighty Sauron, that thou art not brought
low by this? For thine evil pales before that which
foolish men call Justice....


How now, Mighty Sauron, that thou art not brought
low by this? For thine evil pales before that which
foolish men call Justice....

(post #127834, reply #2 of 25)

Hey, I have one of those around -- it was my Dad's.

That's the ONLY reason I have it around. I hate it! LOL.

Seems the head is too hard, or ground wrong, or something -- the thing slips off nails like it was greased.

Mike Hennessy
Pittsburgh, PA
Everything fits, until you put glue on it.

Mike Hennessy
Pittsburgh, PA
Everything fits, until you put glue on it.

(post #127834, reply #3 of 25)

Hey, I have MY dad's Rocket down in MY basement.

And I greatly prefer my Douglas & Hart hammers, wit LOLh wood handles. I never did think the TT was comfortable to use. Whatever kind of rubber they used on the grip always seemed to get slippery quickly.

(post #127834, reply #4 of 25)

Can I have it?

(post #127834, reply #5 of 25)

i got 3 rockets , 2 16 's & a twenty

i have even found them at garage sales for 50 cents

i grind the ends of the claws for demo work

 as for the grips i buy new ones from Princess Auto for about a dollar each

The new grips seem less slipery than the origionals

rocket hammer grips (post #127834, reply #24 of 25)

Hi, I am a 65 year old tradesman, carpenter, and for years only used TT rocket hammers but they walked. Incidentally I am on record as being against the death penalty but ," Stealing a Tradesman's  Tools Ought To Be A Hanging Offence" !

   I recently bought a straight claw for framing on ebay. You mentioned in blog post that You used grip replacements from Princess Auto. I checked online store but could not find it. Does it have other use but works for TT hammers? I would greatly appreciate any help. BTW, never buy pretty blue Estwing hammer; the theiving bastards can't resist. Maybe use one for bait if your chop box dissappears! Happy Thanksgiving, Sullsage

Do you realize that you're replying..... (post #127834, reply #25 of 25)

to a 7 year old post?

(post #127834, reply #6 of 25)

I used to love my rockets before they started cheapening them up. The claws were perfect for digging out nails without a nail puller.

The grips were too hard and slippery after a little wear and we used to change them regularly. I might have resorted to adding a band of tape like the hockey players do on their sticks.

It's been many years since I used a rocket. I was rough on them and would break the heads off after a few years use.

Get yourself one of those new fangled titaniums and mount the rocket over the fireplace. You'll be happier.

Is anybody out there? 

(post #127834, reply #15 of 25)

I had one and I gave it away. It let out a high pitched ring on every strike that drove me nuts. I went to 19 oz. wood handled Vaughan, 20 oz. Estwing when I think I might break a wood handle.

(post #127834, reply #7 of 25)

Ah....the Rocket.  Warms the [JOBSITE WORD]les of me heart, it does, to contemplate the inner beauty of the TT Rocket 20oz straight claw. 

A bit of history: True Temper has been making top quality golf club shafts for sixty years or more.  Their engineers came up with the hollow shaft which flexed perfectly and absorbed vibration to the hands. 

It was from that R&D work that the Rocket was born.  It became an instant success during the 1950's and carried on for quite a few years. 

Like their golf club shafts the Rocket could deliver a very high percentage of the energy spent by the person swinging it.  It had a big sweet spot and the lack of vibration made it a thing of beauty to many framers.

(post #127834, reply #8 of 25)

My mentor used a 16oz Rocket and laughed his arse off when we showed up one day with longhandled 24oz Estwings. He was adamant about not leaving hammer marks, he called them "rosebuds" and there was hell to pay if we marked up the wood.

He could drive spikes all day in 3 smacks and not leave a dent.

I have a Rocket in the basement, and use it now and then for repairs around the house.

What about a golf shop? Might they be able to re-grip a rocket tube?




(post #127834, reply #9 of 25)

worth a try I suppose.

(post #127834, reply #10 of 25)

A few years ago i started buying them at garage sales or if i found someone that had one i would buy them a brand new hammer for there Rocket.

Then my friend found a hardware store closing out that had 4 brand new 20oz long handle ones.

I bought all 4.

I have 10 and still have the one i bought in 1973.

I hear they go for a nice price on e bay.

Dont think i will ever use the new ones but i dont want to sell them either..

There still the best hammer ever made at least for me..

My Dad always had a plumb 16oz straight claw which i used for nailing sheathing but for framing i liked the long handle.

(post #127834, reply #11 of 25)

Similar here, but for more' a few years, probably 15 or so rockets.  Wopuld take a pix but they are scattered all over different shops and sheds. Will buy about any hammer I see for a dollar or less.

As for handles, most are still good except the edges, just used elec. tape on the edge.

A number of them I desecrated by taking a grinder to the face and putting on a waffle patter.

(post #127834, reply #14 of 25)


Do you have any with brown handles.

I saw some with brown but none of mine are.

(post #127834, reply #16 of 25)

Pretty sure a couple of them are brown, dark brown but not black.


(post #127834, reply #17 of 25)

I still have and use my 20oz TT Rocket from 1968.

(post #127834, reply #13 of 25)

     I've got that rubber grip in the last link on my Stilletto. Works great.;





Vescere bracis meis.







(post #127834, reply #18 of 25)

That's some great info and just what I needed.

Thanks so much.

At this point I will fix my true temper AND go buy a titanium today.

i had a golf handel grip put (post #127834, reply #19 of 25)

i had a golf handel grip put on one of mine many differnt handels to pic from take to the pro shop they will do it for u and it dose not slip anymore

Rocket Hammers (post #127834, reply #20 of 25)

In many circles regarded as the finest hammer ever made. For me that is true. My dad a contractor in 1956 in San Diego county was where I first came in contact with this hammer. Mad dad had a 13 oz. curved claw, a 16 oz. AR-16 and numerous 20 oz.s with smooth and corrugated heads. When I was small and we went out with him I could use the 13 oz. and get work done without tiring out for such a little guy. In those days they were all brown handles. From what I know and have come across, these were introduced in about 1956, I have seen an ad or two from magazines that were introducing them at about that time. My dad says that in the union shops they would not let anyone use the 20 oz. hammers. Seemed to get to much work done, you know, job security. As for me, now 53 years and still a California contractor, it is the only hammer I have ever used, I have never known one any better or fit my hand as well. Probably because it is the one I started with. I have about twenty or so and have 2 straight claw 16 oz. AR's that never leave the shop, they are brown handles and are about 9.5 on the scale of ten. When I married my wife,  a long time ago, she even had some Tru-Temper pruning shears with the same handles. I have had a knock off that looks identical except for the ring underneath the head. It is called a Dogyu, I think from Japan or Taiwan. Does not stand a candle to the Tru-Temper. The ring has something to do with strength and stability of the shaft. I have seen many of these knock offs that were broken at this area. Anyhow for me they are the best and are as fine in looks and feel as can be. I used an Estwing that my dad had bought, but it flexed alot with that skinny flat bar that was in between the head and handle. As for wood handle hammers, they are good for cracking walnuts and looking at on walls in hardware stores.

wood handles. (post #127834, reply #21 of 25)

I can't say I share your opinion on the wood handles.

I've been a Vaughan hammer user for much of the 39 yrs in the trade.  Couldn't stand the ring of the Estwing, and the TT was just a passing fancy with me.

To each his own.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


The True Temper Rocket is a (post #127834, reply #22 of 25)

The True Temper Rocket is a classic. I'll take one, my brother wants one, and my dad.

The ringing sound it makes is the charm. It's a singing hammer.

Besides, it's perfectly balanced, and put into a qualified hand, can even lift flush driven nails from lumber with it's precision claw design.

It's a freakin multi tool is what it is. We lift steel I beams up out of the foundation with 2 of them upside down marching hammer style. It's a work horse. It's a nail shooter. Plus it's a well known fact that John Wayne had 3 of em in his tool box. He enjoyed building bird houses. 10-4

"rocket" hammers still in production (post #127834, reply #23 of 25)

I've owned two 22-oz True Temper A10 Rockets for 35 and 40 years respectively - I've never  used a hammer I liked more than these.    I don't know when TT dropped the product line, but at some point, Barco Industries bought the rights, and currently manufacture a number of different "rocket" hammers:

They also manufacture replacement rubber grips for the "rocket" series.

The "rocket" line, to include the replacement rubber grip,  is retailed by a variety of outlets, including The Hammer Source: