We all know a hammer is just a hammer, right? After all it’s a simple concept. You have a heavier object striking a lighter object. A very simple theory, in fact its Newton’s First Law, well maybe his second law, it’s one of the of the laws. Actually a hammer is more than just one heavy object striking another object. A hammer, while simple, is actually complex and has come a long way from our ancestors who took one hard rock and beat another object. There is a lot that goes into a hammer, the type of material used for the head, the design and shape of the head, the wood for the handle, the manufacturing process and more. Lately we haven’t seen too many cool new innovations with hammers until we found out about the Hardcore Hammer. The hammer is a hybrid between a smooth faced and a waffle head hammer which gives the Hardcore hammer some unique advantages over all the other competition.
When we first found out about the Hardcore Hammer, we were excited to find out that the founder and inventor lived right down the road from us. Well not right down the road, but pretty close. We contacted Steve and just started talking. What initially caught our attention to this hammer was the unique look, but after talking with him we were impressed by so much more. We found out that Steve has been a carpenter for over ten years. He stated that he was tired of his hammer head wearing out, so he decided to do something about it and that’s how he came up with the idea of Hardcore Hammers, which we will touch on in a bit. We ended up convincing Steve to come on over and give us a little demonstration with the hammer.
Before we get started there are two main types of hammer heads a Milled or waffle head and a smooth head. A waffle head is great for framing jobs and a smooth is great for finish or other projects. It’s a give and take for each hammer head. A waffle head is great because the milled face grips the nail much better when a user strikes the nail. It’s bad because it leaves nasty marks on the wood when you miss or drive a nail flush. The opposite is true with a smooth head. Remember this for later on (I know I hate remembering things and sorry about the homework assignment).
Now there is a lot to like about this hammer, but what we really like is everything on this hammer is either American grown or American manufactured. How can you not like that? This hammer is a 19 oz. hammer. The head is forged out of 4140 steel, so it has great strength. The inner milled face or waffle plate is made from S7 tool steel, the same thing jackhammers use. As you notice the head has a smooth outer rim and an inner waffle face which we will cover in a bit. There is a top and bottom magnetic holder which allows the user to pop a nail on either side and get the nail started with one hand. We like the fact that a user has two different options. Sometimes when you are working overhead, you need that bottom magnetic hold so you can see where you are driving the nail. On the backside of the hammer is a straight claw which is great for pulling nails and ripping boards. As we move down the hammer there is an oversized handle sleeve to help protect against overstrike. The hammer is comprised of a US grown 18” Hickory handle which comes in straight or curved.
Now let’s talk about the meat and potatoes of this hammer, the patent pending head. If you look at the head, you might wonder what is going on, is it a smooth head or is it a waffle head. Like we said it is a hybrid head. The smooth outer rim has a couple different functions. First, when you drive a nail home or flush with a smooth head, you will not be left with waffle marks on your wood, which is great for finished wood. This also prevents you from having to carry around two hammers. The second feature of the smooth head is that when you are framing sometimes you mess up or need to pull a nail or something. You grab your pry bar or nail puller and beat on it. With a waffle head, your hitting milled metal surface on a steel bar, naturally the milled face will lose its shape. With the Hardcore hammer design, your milled face is protected by the smooth outer ring. As we stated with a smooth finish you don’t get good gripping power with a smooth face. With the Hardcore hammer you still have the waffle insert to provide the gripping power you need to drive home nails. So as you can see this is a very cool concept and is truly a hybrid hammer. You get all the benefits of a smooth hammer head along with all the benefits of a waffle head. How can you lose?
As we noted above, we convinced Steve to come to our shop and give us an overview. While he was there we also convinced him to get on camera and talk about the Hardcore Hammer. He is a little shy, so we would like to thank him for his time. He did a great job explaining the hammer. As you can see in the video, we really tried to give a nice overview of the hammer. There is a lot in the video below, but the thing we really want to focus on is the head of the hammer and two key things. The first is when Steve hits the 2×4 with the hammer head using a waffle head, you truly can see a huge difference from the waffle head to a Hardcore Hammer head. This makes a world of difference for certain applications. When we first saw the hammer, we thought it was a cool idea, but had our concerns with the indented part of the waffle head. We thought that it might leave the nails sticking out of the surface a little. As you can see with a couple good blows to the nail head, that was not an issue, even when taking the last swing and hitting the nail with the waffle part of the hammer. As Steve pointed out any person can pretty much sink a nail by making the last blow using the smooth part of the head.
Overall, we really like the concept behind this hammer. The head is unique and the hammer offers many advantages over the competitors hammers. We feel the name stays true to the hammer, Hardcore Hammers. We know some people will complain about the price of the hammer and that’s OK. If you are a homeowner hitting a couple nails here and there, then price should be an issue. If you’re a contractor, well if you’re a contractor you probably understand the price thing and don’t need us to tell you about it. The fact that everything on this hammer is 100% American, well it doesn’t get any better than that. We like seeing the fact that a small company can come up with a truly cool concept and compete in the marketplace, well that’s America. A guy who has been out in the field for over 10 years, saw a need and created a hardcore hammer.