Powerstrike Hammer Review
Powerstrike Is Not Just Any Hammer
As much as I am a power tool guy and try to avoid tools that don’t have a motor, even I know you can’t work in the trades for very long and not have a good hammer. And of course, like everything else in life, not all hammers are created equal. To get an overall view of what is going on with hammers on today’s jobsite, take a look at Todd Fratzel’s Head-to-Head Hammer Time article. For the purposes of this review, I’m going to focus on Powerstrike hammers.
I am a fan of the little guy, well, as long as they make a good product. Inventor, engineer, and manufacturer Gary Pimental founded Powerstrike in 2013, and he keeps finding new ways to improve the tool. I’ve been swinging on of the first generation versions since they came out, and it’s become my go-to hammer. I can explain why by taking a look at the design of the tool.
The single wall or “monocoque” design of the handle is one of the things that makes this hammer so strong. “What does monocoque mean?”, you ask. So did I, so I looked it up and here is the definition according to Merriam-Webster: “a type of construction (as of a fuselage) in which the outer skin carries all or a major part of the stresses”. Because all of the stress from the impact is on the external shell, the handle can be made far lighter, but still pack a punch. Basically, the lightweight aluminum handle is comfortable to the hand, but powerful on impact.
The idea of interchangeable heads is not a new one, but Powerstrike put a lot of time and effort into making it efficient and functional for their hammers. Different jobs require different heads, and you get a couple of options with Powerstrike. You can order your hammer with either the 17-4 Stainless Steel head with the anti-slip bulls eye face or with the smooth-face titanium head. Just as an aside, 17-4 stainless steel is stronger than titanium, and will not chip like titanium can. It’s easy to change the head. An allen bolt holds it in place, and you just loosen, replace, and tighten.
What is new is Powerstrike’s philosophy on other interchangeable parts. They want you to create the hammer that is right for your specific situation, but beyond that, they want you to be able to refurbish your hammer with whatever parts you choose at anytime. So in addition to interchangeable heads, any component of the hammer can be replaced.
Nail Starter: Here I go with big words again… Powerstrike hammers use a niobium magnet to hold the nail in place. This allows for one-handed driving.
The hammer is equipped with a side-puller, which makes pulling stubborn nails a little less exhausting.
The design of the claw is pretty standard, but this one is made from 17-4 stainless steel, which again, is strong, but also resists corrosion. The leverage you get from the claw is good.
You can choose your handle color. There are high visibility colors like bright green, bright yellow, and pink. Gary first created the pink one for his wife, but it became pretty popular because of the visibility and because it keeps guys on the jobsite from stealing your pink hammer! 🙂
I’m impressed with the quality of construction with the hammer as well as the performance. The head choices, ease of changing the parts, and the comfort of use make this a hammer to hang onto. I have used Stiletto hammers in the past, and they are good, no doubt, but I’d say because of the features, this hammer is on par with Stiletto.
In the studio where I am the Facilities Manager, I have to hide this hammer as it’s a favorite for people to use and not return. A few months ago, we were creating an art project where we had to drive about 180,000 nails. While the nails were going into drywall, so not a heavy swing, this hammer was still the favorite because of the lack of fatigue.
Powerstrike Hammers are priced at $149.00. Oh and one more good thing… they are made in Vista, CA. So you are helping the American Economy by purchasing one!
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