Craftsman Auto-Hammer Review

By Todd Fratzel on Power Tools, Product Reviews

Craftsman 12-Volt NEXTEC Hammerhead Auto-Hammer

Craftsman 12 Volt Lithium Ion Hammerhead Auto-HammerI finally got my hands on another of the Craftsman NEXTEC 12-volt Lithium-Ion Cordless tools. I just tested the Craftsman 12-Volt Lithium-Ion Hammerhead Auto-Hammer which fits in the NEXTEC series of 12-volt Lithium-Ion cordless tools.

The Craftsman 12-Volt Lithium-Ion Hammerhead Auto-Hammer is a really cool new tool that’s similar to a pnuematic palm nailer except it’s in the shape of a hammer and it’s a battery powered cordless tool. The Auto-Hammer is not meant to replace the more powerful palm nailers but it is meant to provide another very versatile tool to any DIY handyman.

Auto-Hammer Specifications

  • Powerful 12-volt lithium-ion motor
  • 3600 Impacts/minute
  • Compact, ergonomic design
  • Magnetic head (helps hold nails in place)
  • Retractable nail sleeve
  • LED worklight
  • Soft-grip handle
  • Weighs only 1.86 lbs. with battery

Auto-Hammer Test Drive

Auto-Hammer nailsThe Craftsman Auto-Hammer literature says that it will drive up to 10d nails 2-1/2 inches long. So I decided to try out a variety of nails from small 1 inch long brads to 3 inch long 10d sinkers. Remember this tool is not meant to be a professional grade framing device but a home improvement, DIY handyman tool for projects around the house. Having said that the assortment of nails that I chose should cover most any small project.

Nail Driving Power

Auto-Hammer driving nailsI was able to successfully drive all seven nails shown above into the 2×4 framing stud. The Auto-Hammer even drove a 3-inch long 10d sinker nail completely into the 2×4 without much trouble at all.

The nail sleeve works great at holding the nail while you drive the nail. My only complaint (albeit small) is when the nail gets down near the surface and the sleeve is no longer deep enough to hold the nail in place, the vibrations from the hammer action cause the driving head to bounce around all over the surface of the wood. You can overcome this by holding the tool carefully and focusing it on the head of the nail.

Auto-Hammer Demo Movie Clip

I made a very short videa clip of the Auto-Hammer driving a nail into a wood block.

Overall Impressions

Craftsman Auto-HammerOverall I was impressed with the versatility of the Auto-Hammer. First and foremost the Auto-Hammer is the perfect tool if you need to drive a nail in a tight space (in the adjacent photo I drove a nail into a stud, between stud bays) in a place that would be quite difficult to do so with a hammer.

The magnetic head is a great feature that allows you to start a nail without having your fingers in the way. The LED light is also great because so many projects end up in areas with poor lighting that this eliminates the need of carrying a flashlight around with you.

This is definitely a tool I’d recommend for the hobbiest / DIY / handyman type. Once again if you’re looking for a cool new tool for the man that has everything I think this is a great addition. Especially if you already own other 12-volt NEXTEC tools because the batteries are interchangeable. At around $100 it’s a great value for all the features it offers.

Where To Buy Craftsman Auto-Hammer

If you’re interested in buying the Craftsman Hammerhead Auto-Hammer then I suggest you check out the following link where it’s available at Sears:

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. Guenther says:


    I don’t know where you performed your test, but I didn’t have the same experience. The product struggled with anything but the smallest of nails. And if the pine was somewhat dense, it struggled overall.

    Plus the noise was deafening. At the end of the day, using a real hammer was easier, quieter and a lot less expensive.

    • Todd says:

      @ Guenther – We actually pointed out the limitations of the Auto-Hammer. It’s certainly not intended to do large fasteners, however, it is very useful for smaller nails in very tight spots that a regular hammer will not fit into. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • John says:

      Hit the weights.

  2. Doug says:

    Had picked up an air power hammer for some small fencing jobs, but the idea of no power or air lines in the way would benifit the DIY chores like re-attaching trim & base boards

  3. sal williams says:

    We have a large family and we have a big family wedding coming up at our home for which we are building a great big arbor(8x10x12) trimmed with white and silver tree branches covered with silk roses and twinkle lights. It is a really tricky project this hammer would be perfect for.

  4. sal williams says:

    I am a very happy subscriber! Every time I read your newsletter, I learn something else I did not know which is fabulous. Thank you so much.

  5. Darell says:

    as a subscriber and wood worker this tool would come in very handy.

  6. Vanessa says:

    I only work in the house on small projects. Usually crafts. I think that this would be perfect for me. My husband handles the larger projects outside. Email subscriber.

  7. jack gergely says:

    I used the hammer to free up studs from broken bolts frozen in from sea water service. Soaked the broken studs overnight with pb blaster. In the am hit the studs with the vibrating hammer and used vice grips to remove. Was still hard to turn, but previously they broke with any twist ( using the useless Craftsman stud removess).

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