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When I heard about Stanley’s newest 16 oz Fat Max hammer, I immediately wondered two things: where did they put the weight with the hammerhead 70 percent larger, and does it feel weird when you swing it? To answer that I compared it to another 16 oz Stanley hammer I had lying around the shop.

The first thing you notice when getting the pair next to each other is the strike face on the Fat Max really is huge. Both are 16 oz fiberglass claw hammers and the new one definitely has the advantage over the other with regards to near-misses.

A side view tells you that much of the weight looks like it has been moved forward. The head is much stouter and built up with a smaller side profile on the claw than the old style. Also, the neck of the handle on the Fat Max is built up to help protect against overstrikes where the other actually tapers going into the head.

The top view reveals the Fat Max to be shorter and wider, with much of the weight packed into a smaller area.

So to answer the question “does it help with near misses?” — of course it does. You’ve got close to and extra half-inch diameter swinging down on whatever you’re aiming at. That goes without saying. What we wanted to know is whether or not a hammer like the Fat Max felt good in the shop. As it turns out, it does. Normal activity for us involves smacking around chisels or nail sets on a day-to-day basis and a nail or two if the fence manages to pop one loose.

The Fat Max feels comfortable and correct in your hand and doesn’t miss all that often. Then again, how often you hit or miss the target, be it chisel or nail head, largely depends on you. We know guys that can take a full 4-foot swing 100 times and never miss with a regular hammer, and some folks with that same hammer couldn’t hit the mark if they had a gun trained on them. If you’re one of the latter, this is most likely a better hammer for you. What would be even better is a large head and a check pattern on the face for less slippage.

Fat Max 16oz Hammer [Stanley]
Street Pricing [Google Products]


8 Responses to Hands-On: Stanley Fat Max 16oz Hammer

  1. Jim K. says:

    All the better to hit my thumb with!

  2. Ozzie says:

    Made in China, I assume?

  3. ShopMonger says:

    Hows the vibration versus the AVX

  4. mr. man says:

    wow..another fantastic 16oz hammer.. I’ll consider it as soon as my other 5 go south.

  5. Melvin says:

    My concern would be hitting nails at the left or right edge of that huge face it going to apply the force pretty far from the axis of the handle. Not hard to imagine the head twisting and either striking the wood or bending the nail. I’ve had this problem when driving spikes with a 4lb sledge.

  6. Bill Clay says:

    What? No laser?

  7. John Martens says:

    I have yet to figure out what a 16 oz hammer is good for. Every time I use some one’s I just feel . . . impotent.

    20 oz’s or nothing, dammit!

  8. dom says:

    Good one Jim K.!

    I love my Stanley AntiVibe 20 oz. brick hammer. But this Stanley product is a swing and a miss. Looks like the designer used to work for a golf club company. Next someone else will make one with a head 90% bigger. Year after that Stanley will up it to 110% bigger …

    Don’t like the shortened ‘front porch’ of the new hammer (distance from striking face to beginning of handle. I’m thinking about knuckle clearance when pounding a nail in a flat or recessed plane. That’s gotta change the angle the head comes into the nail at from what you’re used to.

    As for missing a nail or whatever with a hammer, think you’d be better off choking down on the handle a bit. Works in baseball.

    Seems we’re in the era where if you really like a hammer, better buy a back up in case they change the design to make it ‘new and improved.’ And maybe that’s the point of the redesign anyways. What evil geniuses.

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