Claw hammers are the most common type of hammer and can be used for a wide variety of tasks - for example putting up a picture, building a new fence or pulling nails out of an old one.
A good hammer is the tool you want hanging from your toolbelt, so in September 2021 our team of researchers tested nine 16oz claw hammers from brands including Stanley, DeWalt and Draper, which were bought from retailers such as B&Q, Homebase, Screwfix and Toolstation.
Find out which of the hammers in our selection was the most comfortable to use and had the best design for both hammering in and pulling out nails.
Pricing and availability last checked 8th November 2021.
This 16oz claw hammer from Bluespot has a contoured handle, which the manufacturer says is designed to give you a more secure grip.
During our tests, our researchers used each hammer to knock three nails into a plank of wood and then pull them out.
This 16oz claw hammer from B&Q is easily the cheapest hammer in our selection.
So do you need to spend more to get a better hammer, or is this hammer perfectly adequate for every task you need to tackle?
This 16oz claw hammer from CK Hi-Vis is made from drop-forged high-carbon steel, which the manufacturer claims has been hardened and tempered for strength and durability.
To test the durability of the hammers, our researchers assessed them after they'd been used for a week in our tests and compared them with their original condition.
This DeWalt hammer is made from a single piece of steel. The manufacturer claims it has a gravity-balanced design for optimal weight distribution and controlled swing.
To test the comfort of the handle, our researchers used each hammer to hammer in and pull out three nails.
This claw hammer from Draper Redline sports a traditional design with a hardwood handle.
What did our researchers think about this traditional claw hammer compared with the more advanced hammers with their rubber and plastic grips?
This hammer from Estwing has a drop-forged steel head and a single-piece ergonomic soft-grip handle.
This was the most expensive claw hammer in our line-up, so did we think it was worth the price?
Magnusson says this hammer has a 'fibreglass shaft with an ergonomic soft-grip handle. Heat-treated and rim-tempered high-carbon steel head for durability.’
Did our researchers find it as durable as claimed?
This claw hammer from Olympia Tools has a fibreglass handle, soft grip and polished head.
During our investigation, our researchers thoroughly examined the build quality of each tool.
Stanley claims the fibreglass handle of this claw hammer absorbs shock and reduces vibrations.
What did we think of this 16oz claw hammer in terms of ease of use?
To start with, you want to get the nail in place.
Hold the hammer in the middle of the handle and hold the bottom of the nail with your finger and thumb to keep it in place.
Then gently tap the hammer on the top of the nail.
Once the nail stands up on its own, move your hand away from the nail.
Grip the handle closer to the bottom end and swing the hammer from the elbow, not the wrist.
Swinging from the elbow and holding close to the bottom allows the weight of the hammer to do the bulk of the work and directs more force to the nail head to drive it in faster.
As you swing, focus your eyes on the nail head to improve your aim.
Keep your arm bent to ensure your hammer strikes the nail flat.
If you find yourself bending the nails, then you're coming in at too much of an angle.
The claw part of a claw hammer is designed to pull out nails and slip under the edges of objects.
To protect the surface when you're prying out nails slip a small wedge or scrap of wood under the hammer.
If the nail is too long to get the right angle, try using a larger wedge underneath the hammer.
If you want to get the most out of your tools, it's best to prevent rust from developing. If you spot rust on your tools, you'll need to treat it quickly to stop it from spreading.
One simple thing you can do to prevent rust from forming is to keep your tools in a climate-controlled area.
If your workshop, shed or garage often fluctuates between cold and hot, your tools are likely to attract moisture and begin to rust.
If this is the case, you may wish to consider placing a heater, as well as a dehumidifier, in your garage or workshop.
Another option is to place silica gel packs in your toolbox, drawers or tool cabinets. This will help to reduce moisture.
Apart from controlling the climate, you can also help to prevent rust from forming on your tools by keeping them dust-free, because dust attracts moisture.
When cleaning your tools, make sure you always dry them completely.
You can protect the metal areas with an application of a rust inhibitor, such as WD-40, spread evenly with a microfibre cloth.
If you spot rust forming on your tools, here's how to quickly remove it:
To find out which of the nine 10oz claw hammers were the best, we put each of the hammers through the following tests over the course of a week.
While not in use or being tested, all the hammers were stored in the same shed and subject to the same conditions.
To start the testing process, a pair of researchers examined the build quality of each of the claw hammers.
We considered the finish of each hammer, including any rough edges, signs of joining marks, mould lines and dents or other types of flaws or damage.
Each hammer was used to hammer three nails into a timber board and then used to pull them out.
For this test, our researchers worked in pairs. While one did the test, the other recorded their findings and observations.
The best hammers had a comfortable grip, were well-balanced and felt secure in our hands.
The worst hammers, in contrast, were uncomfortable to hold or slipped in our grip.
To test the durability of the hammers, we first examined them after they had been used to complete the other tests by all the researchers.
We took photos of any signs of wear and tear, then we took an extra hammer to the handle and head of each of our test hammers to feel how strong they were.
It's worth noting that none of the hammer's heads were damaged, but there were a few cases of broken or slightly damaged handles.
To be considered for this ,the claw hammers had to meet the following criteria:
We paid for all the products we tested.