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They say when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. When all you have is a $250 hammer, does everything look like a gold-plated nail? Seriously, folks, you don’t have to look far to find some seriously spendy hammers out there. The Stilleto TiBones pictured above run a whopping $200+. Hell, just scoring the replaceable face for one’ll set you back a Hamilton (or two).

Estwing offers a number of $100+ models, too, though some check in under $30. Even that’s a pretty big swing from the $15 store-brand special.

So what will you spend on a hammer? $20? $50? $100? More? And why? What do you look for in a hammer, and why is it worth your hard-earned cash?


Stiletto made their name with titanium hammers, and now they’re expanding into the utility bar market with contenders like the 15oz TiBAR12.  The design looks cool enough to appear in the upcoming Terminator movie — but is this really a good idea?

If you need a hammer, the tool’s 15oz heft could be more a deterrent than a boon.  The 12″ bar also features a Japanese-style nail puller and lower jaw to straighten studs and joists.

Debate still rages as to whether solid Ti tools are a good idea or not. Those in favor speak of less elbow pain and less weight in the tool belt — those against chime in with structural integrity issues.  We must admit, both sound pretty reasonable.

We’d like to hear from anyone who’s used both types of construction, steel and titanium.  Is the TiBAR worth the $135 price tag — or is this lure aimed at catching fishermen, not fish?

TiBAR12 Titanium Utility Bar [Stiletto]
Street Pricing [Google Products]

Stiletto TiBone Solid Titanium Straight Handle Hammer

Looking for some hammer bling to really impress the guys at the jobsite? Tool Authority currently offers this Stiletto TiBone solid titanium straight handle hammer for $199.  Stiletto hammers are on the pricey side, but they’re lightweight, made of solid titanium, and made in America.  The Stiletto TB15MS features a 15 oz head with a replaceable steel or milled waffle face, contoured handle, ergonomic grip, and magnetic nail starter. And all Stiletto tools come with a one year Warranty against defective workmanship and materials.

Titanium Hammers [Stiletto Tools]
Stiletto TB15MS Hammer [Tool Authority]
Street Pricing [Google Products]


AirGrip Cold-shrink Handle WrapDo you have an older hammer that you love and can’t part with but wish it had a more modern, comfortable grip?  Stilletto thought you might, and they’ve created the AirGrip for you.

The cold-shrink Handle Wrap is Easier to apply than heat-shrink or normal soft foam as it requires no heat gun or adhesive.  Just slide and position the grip over the handle then remove the lining tube. The grip will conform to any handle 1 7/8″ to 3/4″ in diameter.

The AirGrip Handle Wrap makes that older, less comfortable tool, a better fit for modern use with little hassle.

List price from Stiletto tools is $12.95.

AirGrip Cold-shrink Handle Wrap [Stiletto Tools]


TiBone: Mini-14The new TiBone Mini-14 is the latest in what TiBone calls “The Next Generation of Hammers.” It’s a smaller “from-the-ground-up” version of their larger TiBone hammer, and TiBone claims you’ll experience 10 times less recoil shock than with a steel hammer.

Made entirely of titanium (!) except for the steel striking face and with the head weighing in at only 14 oz., TiBone says it drives like 24 oz. of steel. Its striking face is also interchangeable, so a milled or smooth head can be switched out either with wear or preference. The Mini-14 comes with your choice of a curved or straight handle, and it also features a side nail puller and magnetic nail starter.

It does seem to be a great leap forward in hammer design — at least in the way of materials.  All this power and excitement does not come cheap, however; at around $225 it would be by far the most expensive framing hammer we’ve ever slid into a tool belt.

TiBone Mini-14 [Stiletto Tools]
Sample Selction/Street Pricing [Froogle]