Some awards groups seem to think Vaughan’s S2 hammer is the pinnacle of hammer design; too bad it never materialized. Now Douglas Tool is stepping up to the plate with a 23oz framing hammer including their patented head-handle interface technology (H2IT) – a polished steel alloy shank that slides into the 16” slotted hickory handle.
In addition to adding stiffness and strength, the leading edges of the shank protect the wood from mis-strikes, which are the biggest contributor to broken handles. But the ergonomic and functional improvements over traditional older hammer designs don’t end there.
Douglas claims that this head design gives you the vibration dampening of wood with the strength of steel. The handle shape, which Douglas calls a “CrossOver” design, purports to deliver the best elements of both a straight handle and an axe-style curved handle. And it also incorporates late model design concepts like a magnetized nail set to hold the nail as you start it, a waffle pattern on the strike face (on framing hammers), a side nail pull, and a side strike surface. The back end of the head features a rip claw that’s chisel sharp to tear up blocks and dig out stubborn nails.
H2IT heads come with a limited two-year warranty (read: don’t go hitting concrete or hardened bolts with it, ‘cause they won’t cover it). Broken handles are excluded from the warranty, but replacement handles are available directly from Douglas Tool.
All of this “tool imitating art” doesn’t come cheap though. Expect to pay about $65 on the street. (And steer clear of Woodcraft. They carry most of the product line, but our research showed their prices to be $15 to $20 higher than other vendors.