Back in February, I saw Fiskars hammers featured in the Tools newsletter. I was intrigued by the IsoCore grip design, so I asked to test out a couple of hammers. I also requested a 3lb club hammer, which we use for driving stakes when we are working on foundations.IsoCore. What attracted me to these hammers is their supposed shock control system. One of the major reasons I use the StilettoTiBone hammer is that it transmits almost no vibration - in fact, I can’t feel any when I strike a nail.
Fiskars claims 4x less shock than traditional wood-handled hammers. The company claims that the IsoCore, which consists of an insulation sleeve in the handle, absorbs the shock.
In addition to this feature, the striking tools also have an orange rubbery grip and the hammers have a slot and magnet to hold a nail. Fiskars says that the dimples on the handles reduce blisters. I can’t attest to that, as we just don’t drive that many nails and during the time of year we tested the tools we were wearing gloves.
I did notice, however, that these hammers don’t ring, and after looking at the product literature, this is because of the insert in the handle.
First off I have to say that I love the grip on these tools, which is very comfortable and slightly soft. I feel like I get a really good grip, even in the rain. The IsoCore does dampen vibration compared to a wood handled hammer, but I did still feel some vibration. Compared with the TiBone I normally use that has virtually no vibration, I noticed a difference.
To be fair, as framers, we don’t drive near as many nails as the old days; nail guns take care of the brunt of the work. So vibration control may not be as important as it was in the day when we used 28oz hammers and went through buckets of hand nails on a job. I feel that everything we can do in the trades to save our body is worth it. So all of that is a prelude to my opinion that while these new Fiskars hammers do help reduce vibration, they don’t do so as well as the TiBone. The Fiskars is $150 cheaper, though, so that might be a good trade off for some. If you care about vibration and shock, and want a hammer that helps dampen it, Fiskars is worth considering.
The two of us that used the IsoCore hammers both really liked them a lot. They are very comfortable to use and the magnetic nail holder is so handy.
If you want a hammer that the handle won’t break (I originally switched to the TiBone because I was sick of breaking handles - and the TiBone was a present), a super comfortable grip and less vibration, then I highly recommend the Fiskars IsoCore hammer. They run about $60 and won’t break the bank.
3lb Club Maul
I wanted to try this out because we always keep a mini sledge around for moving walls or setting large beams and especially when we are driving stakes when forming foundations. Well, we have done plenty of both lately and I can say that this is my favorite maul I’ve ever used. It has the perfect length handle for the 3lb head. I can’t say anything negative.
Because it was so well balanced I found that I used it more than I’ve used a maul before. For example we had 9’ walls to form and I used this guy to tighten all the shoes (wedge ties) on the wall. Just a tap tightened them up, whereas I would have to hit the shoes a few times with my hammer. I also used it to tighten up the forms because it doesn’t damage them like it would if I used my hammer and really wailed on the form.
At $40, every tradesman should have one of these.