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Five of the best: High-tech hammers

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April 28, 2014

Five of Gizmag's favorite high-tech hammers

Five of Gizmag's favorite high-tech hammers

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People have been banging nails into things for nearly five and a half thousand years, if archaeologists are correct. And wood is such a versatile and abundant building material that we’re sure to be banging spiky bits of metal into it for thousands of years to come. But how similar is the hammer going to look at that stage? What is the state of the art in hammer technology? Are they still just flat-ended bits of metal on the end of sticks? Let’s take a look at five hammers that aim to push one of mankind’s (other) oldest professions forward.

1 – Picard’s Carpenter’s Roofing Hammer

Picard's magnetic nail holder

The ultimate in thumb protection, this hammer holds the nail for you on the first stroke so you can use it one-handed. The nail sits neatly in a groove on top of the head and is held in by a small magnet. Probably not the greatest in terms of precision, but very nifty when you’re hanging onto a ladder, for example, if you're a carpenter, and you're doing some roofing.

Plus, any product that can be successfully demonstrated in a 20-second video is a winner in my books.

Product page: Picard’s Carpenter’s Roofing Hammer

2 – The Craftsman NEXTEC Rotating-Head Autohammer

Craftsman's NEXTECH autohammer, with Lithium-ion battery pack and charger

Outstanding when your target surface is awkwardly positioned or hard to get to, the Autohammer bangs nails in without needing to be swung. You just position the nail against the magnetic head, stick it on the wood, pull the trigger, and press down as the battery-powered hammer action thumps the top of the nail at a rate of 2,000 impacts per minute.

It’s got a rotating head to open up more hammering options than previous models, and it’s got LEDs to light up the area you’re about to stick a nail into. Very nifty.

Product page: Craftsman NEXTEC Rotating-Head Autohammer

3 – Stiletto’s TiBone TBII-15 Titanium Hammer

Stiletto's TiBone titanium hammer

If you whack in a lot of nails, US$263 might not seem like a bad deal for this blinged-out beauty. The TiBone series is a titanium body with a rubber grip and a replaceable steel striking head. Stiletto says this 15 oz (425 g) beauty "drives like a 28 oz steel hammer" and communicates 10 times less shock to your hand per strike. Its sideways mounted nail puller delivers extra leverage when pulling nails as well.

Product page: TiBone TBII-15

4 – ATOMdesign’s S2 Framing Hammer

ATOMdesigns' S2 Framing Hammer

The work of an Arizona design company, the S2 mounts a steel head on a wooden handle, but adds a shock absorption layer to make it easier on one’s delicate hands. The heads are replaceable with an allen wrench, there’s a 2-stage nail pulling system and, like the Picard, it holds the nail for you on the first strike. Very nifty, although at this stage it’s just a prototype, and I’m not sure I’d back the shock resistant insert to stand the test of time.

Source: ATOMdesign

5 – The Cole-Bar Hammer

The Cole Bar Hammer has also been known to bang in nails

The Cole-Bar doesn’t seem satisfied just banging nails in. Instead, it acts like a Swiss Army hammer and opens out 180 degrees and uses the nail puller end as a pry bar. On the way to 180 degrees, it clicks in every 15 degrees to provide a set square and crude angle guide with a ruler up the side.

You can pull it apart, leaving you with a demolition tool – you bang the hammer end on the pry bar end to split wood – and the pivot point itself is a standard 0.25 in socket driver. That’s a whole lot of features for a single hammer, although as it still hasn’t hit the market, it remains to be seen exactly how well it’ll do any one of its many jobs.

Source: Cole-Bar

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade.   All articles by Loz Blain
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7 Comments

Not to sure if i agree with trees being in use in thousands of years. Trees or wood proably have about a hundred or so years left in them . 3d printed wood instead of plastics might evolve when the feed tray allows such substances. But it would mostly be an artifical substances to look like wood rather then actual wood ,Real wood could still be used but it would be an exculsive thing and maybe not in the expensive way you and i think in terms of current exculsive. The main thing is that in the feild of construction there will be far more cost effective and supirior man made products availble to us which again can simulate any wood varity we wish for at a fiction of current prices. Sorry i cant find anything to comment on the hammers ,you just keep on banging i guess.

Richardf
28th April, 2014 @ 07:05 am PDT

Dude, wood is one of the most sustainable building materials out there. Have you heard of the reasons to build entire skyscrapers out of the stuff? http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_green_why_we_should_build_wooden_skyscrapers

Joel Detrow
28th April, 2014 @ 01:26 pm PDT

I think hammers and nails are pretty much out of date, since the 1970s. In Canada, they have been almost completely replaced by Robertson head screws. If you go around any Canadian construction site, the only banging you're likely to hear is from an air nailer for shingles or for trim.

Grunchy
28th April, 2014 @ 10:53 pm PDT

Hmmm, how about a hammer that is able to:

1. Bang nails of ANY size and mass;

2. Bang nails of any size and mass in ANY direction;

3. Bang nails of any size and mass in any direction inside ANYTHING (provided the nail is strong enough);

4. Do all of the above in ANY environment regardless of gas/fluid temperature, pressure, pivoting point, space, light...

Yes, it has been invented, patented...

Volodya Kotsev
29th April, 2014 @ 07:10 am PDT

Loz,

As a biker I always love to read your motorcycle related articles but, as a carpenter I have to advice you to stay away from writing nonsense about hammers, like above. You obvious don't have a clue how a professional uses his/her hammer in the real world.

I have had my Stiletto for almost five years now and I love it. The super light weight of the hammer got rid of the chronic pain in my forearm from swinging full steel Estwings for years. The Picard is "just" a hammer and not a Roofing hammer, there is no roofer, or carpenter, out there that will use the hammer's magnetic option for every nail they put in. You make it sound like that the little magnet in the hammer's head is special but, it's not, there are lots of hammers out there with the same feature. I've used it on my Stiletto maybe a handful of times over the years that I have owned the hammer.

The Craftsman and Cole-Bar hammer is homeowner stuff, no professional, that uses a hammer on a daily base, likes to fiddle around with something like a Cole-Bar.

Your choice of hammers don't belong together in the same "Five of the best: High-tech hammers" article.

LegalAlien
29th April, 2014 @ 09:31 am PDT

@ Grunchy,

You gave it away by starting with "I think". Let me tell you, you think wrong. I don't know which part of Canada you're talking about, but I'm a Carpenter in Canada and I don't recognize what you are saying at all.

Yes, the Robertson screw head is great, superior to Philips or slotted screw heads. But there are different applications for screws and nails.

On "Canadian construction sites" 99% of the walls and sheathing are still being nailed (stapled), either by nail gun or hand, and not screwed.

LegalAlien
29th April, 2014 @ 09:47 am PDT

@ Joel - Where is the full disclosure on the idea you support? Mr. Green denigrates standard buildings because they have emmisions of X tons of carbon dioxide while he places an equivilant structure made of wood on a pedestal for sequestering 3X tons of carbon dioxide.

What's the full story? What is the carbon cost of harvesting the wood? What is the cabon cost of making a tree into an engineered component that can be used in a 40 storey structure? What is the environmental cost of treating these engineered members (since they can't be readily maintained once the structure is built) against any and all vectors that would otherwise act to cause the destruction/decomposition of the wood? If this process is to be implemented, where are new trees going to be planted (how much more land will it take to support this uptick in lumber usage)? How long will it take for a newly planted tree to perform (in the act of carbon sequestration) at the same level as the tree it replaces? What is the environmental cost of constantly building and detroying an ecosystem to support building these wooden skyscrapers? How long will a wooden skyscraper last when compared to its equivilant made in the traditional methods? What is the lifetime maintenance cost when compared to a traditional structure?

The link you posted is nothing more than the same propaganda used by any individual or organization trying to sell their idea. Much like those who tout the electric car as the end all, be all; the only information presented is that which shows the idea in a positive light while everything else is left in the dark. If you want an idea to gain traction and support then, at the very least, have enough faith in your idea that it can stand on its own against full disclosure.

Rt1583
29th April, 2014 @ 07:43 pm PDT
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