Titanium Hammer Debate

By Todd Fratzel on Power Tools

Recently I’ve been noticing more and more carpenters using Titanium hammers like the one shown in this picture. Now my first reaction to this is are you kidding me, these things cost $200 and are about 45% lighter than steel. Now call me crazy but last time I checked force is equal to mass times acceleration. So why on earth would you want a lighter hammer? So you can try to swing 45% faster to produce the same force?

This has been bugging me for some time because I love new gadgets but when you look at a price of $200 I have a hard time understanding why anyone would spend that kind of money on a hammer. I started asking the guys what they thought and each of them told me the same thing. After years of swinging a steel hammer my body is worn out. Now that they own a Titanium hammer they all say that their arm pains have been substantially reduced. But the real question is does it work as well?

I was really surprised that they all said it works just as well. So the real question is why? how? According to Wikipedia, “A titanium head has about 3% recoil and can result in greater efficiency and less fatigue when compared to a steel head with about 27% recoil.” Ahh….now it makes sense. First off the thing is lighter so you’re definitely going to swing it faster and secondly the efficiency of the mass transfer is much better. So it seems to me that you get less abuse on your body and the same effect. In fact you also get a lighter tool belt! I don’t think every DIY guy should buy one of these but for the serious carpenter I think there is some serious merit behind these expensive hammers.

You can buy a Stiletto Titanium Hammer from Amazon.

What do you think? Do you own one? I’d love to hear your feedback on the subject.

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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4 Comments

  1. Paul says:

    Todd, great post. My framing guy uses hammers as little as possible for just the reason you gave, his wrists and elbows kill him at the end of the day. He uses about four different air nailers on a job. If for some reason he can’t get the air gun in position, then he’ll use a hammer.

    It never ceases to amaze me that something as simple as a hammer can be perfected by using better materials.

  2. fred@opc says:

    Todd,

    Believes it’s a little bit more than you describe here.

    Recall that kinetic energy (KE) = 1/2*M*V^2. A hammer’s energy increases proportionally with its mass, but geometrically with its speed. A hammer that is swung twice as fast generates 4 times the amount of force. (Just as a car moving twice as fast requires 4 times the stopping distance).

    There is a problem, though. There is a limit to “how fast” a human arm can swing regardless of how much weight it is holding. I *seriously* doubt that a person swinging a titanium hammer is swinging TWICE as fast as they would with a steel hammer. More likely, there’s swing 1.5 times as fast, or maybe even 1.3, but thanks to our geometric multiplier, they’re getting a very comparable hit without as much impact to their joints.

    Titatium also has the added benefit of less recoil and more energy from the swing transferred to the nail head (as you noted).

    Now you’ve got me wanting a titanium hammer!!

  3. Todd says:

    Fred,

    You’re very correct….I was being lazy and not getting into the meat of the subject. I actually tried one of these hammers today and I was very impressed.

  4. J.T. says:

    titanium hammers r great for serious carpenters. they improve performance,less wear and tear on your body,besides if your going to use it everyday swing somthing u like

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