Scaffolding in an important part of any new or existing construction project, and it is important to have the right tools for the job. One of the many tools used in the erection and dismantling of scaffolding is a hammer.
The hammer is used to drive large sets of steel or other materials into place. This could be the planks, or the locking wedges. It is rare that these parts can be put into place using just the force of your hands, and thus a hammer is required to firmly drive the pieces into place.
Picking out the right hammer is an important part when purchasing your tools that you will use for setting up your scaffolding system. When considering the type of hammer, many factors need to be taken into consideration including safety and materials.
Considerations when Buying a Hammer
When you purchase a hammer for yourself and your employees, there are many things you will take into consideration.
Firstly will be the cost. There are many different hammers available on the market and the price range varies significantly. It is important to find the right balance between your requirements and the cost. You also need to consider the longevity of the hammer. You may find a cheap hammer, but if you need to purchase a new hammer every couple weeks, then you are better off investing in a better hammer.
Knowing the employees and the work environment is also important. If the employees are likely to lose the hammer, or the hammer might get stolen, you need to find the balance between finding a hammer that lasts, but also that fits the budget.
Safety is a crucial thing to consider. You need to think of yourself or the workers using the hammer. You need to remember that they will be using the hammer throughout the day. Some hammers have better shock absorption, which can reduce the risk of injury. All it takes is one injury and the money you have saved from buying a cheaper hammer disappears in medical bills and increased insurance premiums.
When thinking about safety, it is also important to remember how the hammer is used. In the scaffolding world, the hammer is swung in many directions. This ranges from below the knees, to above the head, to across the body. Therefore, the hammer must be light enough that it can be swung from many positions, but also heavy enough that the worker does not need to swing multiple times to drive the same piece into place.
Hammers come in many materials. Many are also made of mixed materials. The head may be one material, and the handle may be another material.
One of the common comparisons is titanium vs steel. Both are very strong materials. Titanium is much more expensive than steel, but has certain benefits.
When a steel hammer hits something, about 30% of the energy comes back. When a titanium hits the same item, only about 3% of the energy comes back. This means that you can use a much lighter titanium hammer and get the same impact as a heavier steel hammer.
Using a lighter hammer that is made of titanium instead of steel can also be safer for the employees, especially if the employees are swinging above their heads (which will be the case when installing scaffolding). Therefore it may be worthwhile spending the extra money on a lighter titanium hammer.
Having a non-spark hammer may not be a primary concern for a scaffolder, but it is good to consider if your scaffolding will be enclosed in confined spaces. Non-sparking means non-ferrous (non-steel), which means it will not spark. When working in confined spaces, this is an important factor and is one of the advantages of titanium.
Along with the hammer head, there is also the handle which needs to be taken into consideration. There are various materials that are used to make the handles. This can include fiberglass, metal, and wood.
Many people who work around electricity prefer fiberglass because they are non-conductive.
Although it may not be as relevant in the scaffolding business, having a non-conductive hammer can be something to consider. On the odd chance that something happens and you hit a live wire or electricity runs through the scaffolding, the non-conductive fiberglass handle can prevent electrocution.
Wood, as a material transmits slightly less vibrations than fiberglass, and significantly less vibrations than steel. Wood is lighter than steel, but are also more fragile. However for demolition work, or in situations where the hammer is swung with full force (such as scaffolding), it may not be the best option.
Best Scaffolding Hammers
1. Stiletto TB15MC TiBone 15-Ounce Titanium Milled-Face Hammer
From the many Scaffolding hammers available on Amazon, we recommend the Stiletto TB15MC. Although this is a bit more expensive than many other hammers available on amazon, we recommend it for various reasons:
Material: As mentioned earlier in the article, different materials have different weights and different energy losses. This hammer is made of Titanium, which means it is significantly lighter than steel hammers. It also has less recoil than its steel counterparts. So for every swing, it will require less effort, and there will be less energy loss. This will also significantly decrease the risk of elbow pain or elbow injury, such as Tennis Elbow. The lighter material also means that it is easier to wear around the belt.
Changeable Parts: In some industries, you may only be using a hammer to drive in nails. However, in the scaffolding business, you will be hitting steel and other metals. You are going to wear down your hammerhead much quicker, and therefore being able to change the head is a huge benefit.
2. Estwing Ultra Series Hammer – 19 oz Rip Claw Framer with Smooth Face & Shock Reduction Grip – EB-19S
This hammer is another good choice. It is cheaper than the Stiletto TB15MC, but still has many benefits:
Solid Piece: This is forged in one piece of steel, which means it can withstand the heavy impacts that it needs to withstand during the scaffold erection process.
Shock Reduction Grip: The grip is designed to reduce impact by 70%, which will lower the risk of hand and elbow injuries.
3. Overpeak 22 Ounce Claw Hammer, Hammer with Magnetic Nail Holder and Shock Reduction Grip
This hammer has many benefits:
Solid Piece: Similarly to the Estwing Hammer, this is also one solid piece of steel, and can withstand the heavy swings it experiences during the scaffolding erection process.
Shock Reduction Grip: Similar to the Estwing, this hammer also has a shock reducing grip.
4. Stiletto TI14MC Stiletto Tools Titan 14-Ounce Titanium Framing Hammer With Curved Handle
This is another hammer manufactured by Stiletto. Some of the benefits include the following:
Material: Similar to the TB15MC which was mentioned above and is also made of titanium, which is lighter and more shock absorbent.
Lightweight Handle: This handle is made of wood, which is a very lightweight material, and is more shock absorbent than other materials.
5. IRWIN Tools 1954889 Fiberglass General Purpose Claw Hammer, 16 oz
This hammer is different than many of the others listed above. Advantages include the following:
Material: The handle of this hammer is made of fiberglass, which has better shock absorption than steel.
Price: This hammer is significantly cheaper than many of the other Scaffolding hammers listed above.
Amongst the hammers listed above, there are several major differences. One of them being the price. The Stiletto TB15MC is in the range of $200, whereas the Irwin 1954889 is in the range of $20. The other hammers are somewhere in between this.
Another difference is the material. For example, the Stiletto TB15MC is made of titanium, and some of the others are made of steel. Titanium is significantly more expensive than steel, so it would make sense that a hammer made of Titanium would be significantly more expensive than steel.
For this additional cost, you get the advantages of titanium that were mentioned above. This includes less energy loss, and a lighter hammer.
Some of the other hammers have handles that are made of wood or fiberglass. These are good materials, but there is nothing as good as a solid piece of metal. Also, wood or fiberglass are more likely to break from the heavy impacts of setting up scaffolding.
So, with these examples, we recommend the Stiletto TB15MC. It is significantly more expensive than the other hammers, but you get titanium, which is lighter than steel, and loses less energy with every swing compared to steel.
The interchangeable heads also mean that you can easily change the head once it gets worn out.
Because the titanium hammer it is lighter than the other hammers, it also means it is easier to carry around the waist belt. If you or the employee are carrying around the hammer all day, having a lighter weight around your belt will make the job much easier.
What is the best material for a Scaffolding hammer?
Titanium is generally the best material. It is lighter than steel, and more shock absorbant.
Is wood a good material for the handle?
In some hammers, wood is a good choice for the handle’s material. However, in the scaffolding world, the hammer will experience many blows, and the wood is likely to break.