To obtain your electrician’s license, you’ll typically need to complete a specific number of training hours in the classroom and the field. When you’re on the job, both as an apprentice and ultimately as a professional, you’ll need the right tools for success, and an electricians’ hammer is near the top of the list.
While you might not think electricians would use a hammer frequently, the reality is that it’s a vital tool that deserves a permanent spot in your belt.
An electrician’s hammer looks similar to a standard hammer. However, the best models feature different design aspects tailored to the needs of electricians.
Examples include a claw that extends straight (versus curved) from the head, Romex staple remover, safety tether hole, extended neck for reaching into tight areas, and a fiberglass handle that doesn’t conduct electricity.
In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the best hammer brands and models for electricians to help you make a more informed buying decision.
Our Picks for the Best Overall Electricians’ Hammers of 2021
Things to Look For
Ordinary carpentry hammers typically feature lighter heads than electricians’ hammers since you’ll often work in tighter spaces where you need the most momentum possible to drive in nails and staples. However, an electricians’ hammer also has a longer, narrower striking face than a regular model for maximum maneuverability in cramped spots.
Most electricians’ hammers also come with fiberglass handles that allow you to mark measurements in pencil directly and easily remove them once the job’s complete – not to mention the material doesn’t conduct electricity.
Size, Shape, and Weight
With their straight claws, fiberglass handles, lighter heads, the ability to fit in one of your toolbelt’s loops, and long, narrow striking faces, electricians’ hammers are designed more alike than not.
With this said, one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a hammer as an electrician is weight. In many instances, these models come in three different weights:
- 16-oz. head – Lighter hammer heads allow you to swing faster and more frequently, producing less hand and arm fatigue. As such, you’ll exert less force with each strike than heavier models.
- 18-oz. head – These models are ideal if you want to strike a middle-ground between efficiency and force.
- 20-oz. head – Heavier hammer heads deliver more force to the striking surface, thereby providing an extra punch for driving in unyielding staples and nails. However, this excess weight also contributes to the faster onset of hand and arm fatigue, not to mention less maneuverability in confined spaces.
Utility and Versatility
Whereas general contractors and other trades professionals likely carry multiple hammers for different jobs, electricians typically prefer fewer, more versatile options, depending on the range of applications for which they’re used.
Below, we’ve pulled together a list of five adaptable hammers for electricians. Keep reading, and you’re sure to find one that meets your unique combination of needs and preferences.
Best Grip Control: Stanley FatMax Xtreme 51-163
If you’re in the market for comfort, Stanley’s Fat Max Xtreme (Model # 51-163) could be just what you need.
This 13.5-inch, precision-balanced electricians’ hammer features a patented torsion control grip that promises to maximize control, along with the company’s patented AntiVibe® technology that minimizes vibration and shock while reducing wrist and elbow torque. You’ll also find a handy magnetic nail start feature and a smooth face on its striking surface.
Despite its name, at a svelte 16 ounces, the FatMax comes in on the lighter side compared to other hammers for electricians. While it might deliver less force, this also means less hand fatigue and greater maneuverability in tight areas.
Most customers leave very high marks for the FatMax Xtreme (4.5 stars and above), frequently complimenting its functionality, comfort, and competitive price.
Best Construction: Estwing Straight Claw Rip Hammer E3-16S
While it’s not expressly a hammer for electricians, we think there’s a lot to like about the 12.5-inch E3-16S Straight Claw Rip Hammer from Estwing, including:
- Forged steel construction for long-lasting durability.
- A one-piece head that’s permanently molded and bonded to the handle.
- A rip claw that makes pulling nails a breeze.
- Availability in 12-oz., 16-oz., and 20-oz. weights.
- A nylon-vinyl grip that helps reduce impact vibration and shock up to 50%.
- Light-to-medium duty, general-purpose functionality.
You’ll pay a slightly higher price for the Estwing Straight Claw Hammer than some of the other models because of these features.
Largest Striking Face: Vaughn & Bushnell Stealth Model Milled Face Steel Rip Hammer
The most striking feature (no pun intended) about the solid steel, made-in-the-USA Vaughn & Bushnell Stealth Model Milled Face Steel Rip Hammer is its oversized strike face, which is meaningfully broader than many hammers for electricians. The face is milled for more grip and is also available in a plain, smooth version.
At just 17 ounces (the only weight available), the manufacturer claims the Stealth Models’ oversized head is so powerful that it delivers the same driving power as a 32-oz. framing hammer.
Additional handy features include a magnetic nail starter, a side nail puller, and a 13.5-inch handle.
Vaughn & Bushnell’s Stealth Model hammer comes with mostly positive online customer feedback and overall ratings greater than four stars. Most compliments relate to its striking efficiency and balanced comfort, while common – although infrequent – complaints reference its finicky side nail puller.
Best for Tight Quarters: Greenlee Hammer 0156-11
With its elongated neck, narrow striking face, straight claws for removing electrical fixtures, 12.5-inch length, and flared handle end to reduce slippage, the Greenlee Hammer (model # 0156-11) is our top choice for maneuvering in tight spaces.
The Greenlee electrical hammer also features a lightweight, shock-resistant fiberglass handle, cushioned grip, and it even comes with a limited lifetime warranty. Additionally, at 18 ounces, this hammer splits the difference between heavy striking and lightweight speeds.
Keep in mind that although Greenlee’s hammer is designed for electricians and exceeds ASME/ANSI specifications, it’s important to emphasize that the tool isn’t insulated to protect against electric shock.
The Greenlee hammer also isn’t the least-expensive model on this list. Still, if you value quality condensed into a compact package, it could be precisely what you need.
Most Lightweight: Ideal Drop-Forged Hammer 35-210
With a total weight of 1.9lbs, Ideal’s Drop-Forged Hammer (model # 35-210) earns our badge as the lightest electricians’ hammer among our lineup.
Ideal’s 18-ounce head is constructed from drop-forged, tempered steel, and its narrow strike plate is vapor-blasted to prevent chipping the polished finish. Behind the strike plate are the electrical hammer’s long, straight claws, which are designed to help you quickly remove fixtures.
At the base of the Ideal Hammer’s shock-absorbent fiberglass handle, you’ll also find perforated neoprene grips for enhanced comfort — and if anything goes wrong, you can rest assured that Ideal’s lifetime guarantee covers you.