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If you’re preparing to take on a DIY project around the home or need a tool that can make fast work of tasks on the job site, a sledgehammer should be in your arsenal. Sledgehammers are a basic tool that can help to quickly and efficiently demo walls, flooring, counters and vanities, but picking the right sledgehammer for your task isn’t as easy as opting for the heaviest model you can find.
What To Consider Before Buying a Sledgehammer
Why are you using the sledgehammer? This is the biggest question to consider when deciding what model to purchase. The more intense the job, for example, breaking up concrete, the heavier the sledgehammer. In contrast, if you’re tearing out drywall, a 20-pound sledgehammer will quickly become tiring and cumbersome, and a three-pound sledgehammer will be sufficient.
What is the shape of the sledgehammer? A flat sledgehammer face will deliver a solid blow, but a wedge face can deliver even more force and could be the best option for customers who want a tool that can handle multiple projects.
Where will you be using the sledgehammer? If you’re working in a tight space, sledgehammers with a shorter shaft are more appropriate than sledgehammers with a long shaft that require ample swing-room.
How often will you be using the sledgehammer? If this is a one-and-done project, there are several inexpensive models, typically made with wood handles, that can get the demo work done. For a sledgehammer that will last through several years and projects, you may want to spend more and choose a style with a fiberglass or steel handle.
How To Choose the Best Sledgehammer
We chose a variety of sledgehammers for our list to represent different price points and sizes that are appropriate for various projects. Each sledgehammer had to include a high rating and come from a recognizable brand name that backs up its product since safety is a major issue with all tools. We included sledgehammers for small spaces and ones that require a wide swing. We also looked for hammers that were designed for infrequent DIYers and options that could handle weekly use and last for years.
1. Estwing Sure Strike Drilling/Crack Hammer
If you have a small space but still need ample force, we like the Estwing Sure Strike Drilling/Crack Hammer. The sledgehammer shown here is 3 pounds, making it a versatile option for small to medium jobs, but Estwing also offers the same model in 2 pounds as well. The durable and long-lasting sledgehammer has a steel forged head that is perfectly balanced to deliver a massive amount of striking power. The handle is crafted of fiberglass, creating a lightweight feel that is comfortable to use for extended periods. A rubber cover around the handle makes it easy for users to secure their grip and exert an ample amount of force even when swinging in a small space. The double-sided beveled face can be used to strike cold chisels, brick chisels, punches, star drills, spikes, and hardened nails.
Pros: Excellent for small spaces, long-lasting fiberglass handle, can be used for striking a variety of materials.
Cons: Some users may find the handle slightly too short to get a firm grip.
2. Fiskars PRO IsoCore 10 lb Sledge Hammer
If you’ve got a big demolition job in your future, you need a big sledgehammer that can deliver some serious power. The Fiskars PRO IsoCore 10 lb Sledge Hammer is all that and more thanks to its wedged face that delivers five times the striking power compared to traditional flat-faced sledgehammers. The wedge also helps to redirect debris to the side and away from the user. Fiskars designed their Pro sledgehammer with an extra-large face to help increase accuracy and the strike zone, making it easier to quickly break up tough materials like concrete. A sledgehammer of this size can be difficult to wield, but Fiskars designed the Pro with their patented IsoCore Shock Control System, which absorbs shock and vibration and reduces the amount of punishment your body takes with each swing by two times compared to a traditional wood handle sledgehammer. Fiskars has also placed texturized markings on the handle in areas that were specifically chosen to improve grip and reduce blisters. Customers can take a big swing with confidence knowing that the Fiskars sledgehammer will stay in place thanks to its inseparable riveted head that won’t move even with force.
Pros: Designed for large jobs, absorbs shock from swing, firm grip that helps reduce blisters.
Cons: Because of the weight and length of the Fiskars, it does require ample muscle power to swing.
3. REAL STEEL Rubber Grip Forged Jacketed Graphite Drilling Sledge Hammer
Small doesn’t mean weak and that’s definitely true for the REAL STEEL Rubber Grip Forged Jacketed Graphite Drilling Sledge Hammer. The 3-pound sledgehammer is made with innovative forging technology and a graphite core that produces a durable and long-lasting sledgehammer at an affordable price. The double-faced mallet-style sledgehammer is strong enough to be used on concrete, making it ideal for big jobs in a tight space. The Real Steel features a textured rubber grip to help users keep a firm grasp on the handle and focus on accuracy and force. The balanced design makes it easy for users to deliver a controlled swing when working with a variety of objects, including hardened nails, star drills, chisels and punches.
Pros: Affordable, can handle concrete, balanced design.
Cons: The Real Steel doesn’t absorb impact as well as other options on our list.
4. Wilton B.A.S.H Sledge Hammer
The Wilton B.A.S.H Sledge Hammer is designed to make fast work out of massive jobs. The 20-pound sledgehammer has a 36” handle that allows users to get a full range of motion swing to deliver the most force possible. Ideal for concrete and other heavy-duty demolition jobs, the Wilton has a safety plate that holds the drop-forged steelhead to the handle, ensuring the head stays on at all times and protects the user. The Wilton boasts a steel core that the company claims to be unbreakable and is designed for heavy use over several projects. A rubber handle provides a non-slip grip and an anti-vibration neck helps to absorb the impact of each swing, making tough jobs more comfortable for users.
Pros: Heaviest model on our list, durable steelhead, unbreakable handle.
Cons: High price tag, heavy weight is difficult to swing.
5. CRAFTSMAN Sledge Hammer
For mid to large-size projects, you need a dependable sledgehammer from a brand you can trust. Enter, the Craftsman Sledge Hammer. The 10-pound model has a bullet nose design that delivers twice the striking power for a more concentrated force. The fiberglass handle is filled with particles to help reduce vibrations on impact. We also like that the sledgehammer has a shock-absorbing collar to provide a more comfortable experience for the user. The shatterproof handle is built to last through tough jobs and the double-sided head means twice the striking coverage. A trusted name in home and professional tools, the Craftsman also boasts a shatterproof handle that will last for years. A great option for breaking up cement, cinder block, and wood, the Craftsman can handle major DIY jobs and mid-sized professional projects.
Pros: Mid-size provides versatility for projects, shatterproof fiberglass handle, the shock-absorbing collar is more comfortable for the user.
Cons: The length of the Craftsman handle is not as long as the Wilton which may improve or limit a customer’s swing depending on their grip preference.