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We wrote about Craftsman’s Hammerhead “Auto-Hammer” way back in 2008. Our initial take: It was an interesting solution to a pretty rare problem. When came in possession of one a good bit later, we were surprised to discover that it worked as advertised. (For those of you not familiar, a small anvil inside the hole you see on the head drives a nail with hundreds of short but powerful blows. It feels a little like a pneumatic palm nailer, but it’s battery powered and — as we mentioned back in ’08 — features a much different shape.) But we just couldn’t see it as a serious solution for driving thousands of nails. Rather, we suspected it would find a home more as a specialty tool for tasks like, say, driving a nail in between studs or in other tight spaces.

Enter now the updated version, the Hammerhead G2, pictured above. What, you ask, might they add? Try a light. And a rotating head.

Which actually makes a lot of sense, right? The whole point of this thing, at least as we see it, is for driving nails in hard-to-reach places. So anything they can do to make it more space-flexible seems like a good idea to us. If anything, the rotating head would seem to indicate that Craftsman has finally dropped their vision of a guy in a flannel shirt building a deck with the damn thing and instead accepted the tool’s clear role as problem-solver. Check out the pic they include on the Craftsman site (link below), which shows a guy reaching above his head to drive a nail in what looks like a basement ceiling.

So the bad news: It’s still waaaaay too expensive. $90 seems like too big an ask for a specialty tool that’ll only exit the toolbox on rare occasions. Of course, it’s those specialty tools that (as we’ve pointed out many times) save your ass. Or arm.

What do you think?

NEXTEC 12V G2 Hammerhead [Craftsman]
Street Pricing [Google]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]


14 Responses to Hammerhead, Part Deux

  1. Barks says:

    $90 and no laser?

  2. Tetsubo says:

    I actually have a use for this item. But not for $90.

    • Chuck Cage says:

      My thoughts exactly. I wanted to dump on this because it just seems absurd. But I learned my lesson with the AutoWrench. (Google it for the post/test here.) Like the AutoWrench, it does actually drive nails. Unlike the AutoWrench, I can see situations where it’d actually be handy. But it feels to me like buying a $90 backscratcher. Sure, it scratches your back, and does it well and effectively. But couldn’t you just rub against the door frame and keep the $90.

      Or in my case, buy groceries with it?

  3. BJN says:

    Why not just use a screw? You can drive one in a lot tighter spot than this shake-weight crapgadget can.

  4. Gary Z says:

    Seems like Craftsman is putting all of their creative energy into developing these “cutesy” tools instead of reinforcing their brand by improving the quality of the basic tools like their table saws, lathes, and other woodworking tools that made them THE place to go. Bring back equipment that is as good as Jet, Delta, and DeWalt and the Craftsman name will mean “quality” just like it used to.

  5. DoItRite says:

    This may actually have a place in the construction (house building) trade. I have had numerous occasions when I couldn’t drive a nail in a joist hanger because of tight clearances. Previously, I had to get out the compressor, hose and my palm nailer, find an outlet somewhere and a large enough extension cord, etc, etc.

    Even if there is only a couple of times on each job like this, it might save the day.

  6. browndog77 says:

    Th joist hanger idea is the best reason I’ve heard to own one of these. Since I use paslode guns for framing, the air driven palm nailer isn’t such a great option. I wish Bosch would add this to their 12v line.

    • fred says:

      Milwaukee has their 12Volt palm nailer – but it has its own issues and isn’t exactly compact. The newer compact palm nailers (we use Senco – but there are others) work well – but as someone pointed out – they come with an air-hose attached to a compressor – as does our Bostitch Strapshot hanger nailers. Maybe ITW is listening and will produce a cordless version of the strapshot

      • browndog77 says:

        Paslode did at one time have a framer which was designed to install hanger nails, as well as common framing nails. Not sure if it is still available. Even with that gun, there are always some unreachable nails in tight spots that will not really matter and will never be seen by anyone….except the inspector, LOL!

  7. Dave Wittmann says:

    I am beginning to think that these engineers are designing tools with infomercials in mind, not solutions for tradesmen.

    As far as “gadgety” tools go, I am much more likely to buy something like the Gorilla Ladder which can be used as normal ladder and still solve those few and far between problems that pop up.

    I think these guys should be required to spend a couple of weeks in the field with a tradesman before they are given an engineering degree.

  8. Brian says:

    pulse nailers make a lot of sense. I have done some yoga-esque installs in some impossible locations with a Bostich palm nailer, but I can imagine cordless to be good too (as long as the battery is reliable).

    What I would like to see are some driver head options, so that various nail heads are properly guided on the driver. I once tried to drive a thin-headed siding nail and got it jammed between the piston and the neck. Not fun disassembling the nailer.

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