When we picked up the Stiletto TI12SC 12 oz titanium hammer we immediately compared it to some other hammers we use regularly. Also, these other hammers share some common qualities like hickory handles and straight rip claws.
Editor’s Note: Check out the best framing hammer article we wrote for our top picks!
Stiletto 12 oz Titanium Remodeler Hammer Features
The particular hammer we ordered from the guys at Stiletto came with a 16” curved hickory handle and a smooth face. There were other choices, but we chose this particular one because we wanted a good, all-around hammer to do light framing with and use for our finish carpentry projects. To us, it looked like this hammer would be a good compromise between size, weight, and the use we had in mind.
Smooth Face for Less Surface Damage
The finish of our hammer was great, with the titanium having both semi-polished edges and faces along with dull gray as-cast finishes. The smooth face (vs. milled) features a groove on the top that houses a strong magnet. It holds a nail in place to give you one-handed nail starts.
We found this to be very effective for framing-type projects where the perfect placement of the nails is not critical. The other feature we liked was the straight claw on the back side with chisel-like sharp ends. This was particularly handy when we needed to pry apart two pieces of wood. It also helped us during several demolition projects.
The most interesting thing about this type of hammer is not its overall design, which is rather traditional, but the material used for the head. Titanium has many useful features, but the two that are most important for the hammer are its corrosion resistance and the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal. In its unalloyed condition, titanium is as strong as some types of steel but weighs 45% lighter. For hammer users, this means that you get a bigger striking surface. At the same time, you get less weight with the same amount of striking force. Think of it as using a titanium driver versus a wood driver for your golf game. You can actually hit the ball further with less energy when using titanium.
Editor’s Note: See our article on titanium hammers vs steel hammers for construction professionals.
Stiletto 12 oz Titanium Remodeler Hammer Comparison Testing
Since we have had these two other hammers in our tool arsenal for a long time, it was easy to see the similarities and differences between them. Let’s start with the Douglas 20 oz Framer. This hammer has a slightly longer handler than the Stiletto, but when swinging the Stiletto to drive nails this was not very noticeable. Both handles are similar in shape so that helped make the Stiletto feel familiar. While driving 16d common framing nails, it quickly become evident how much different it was than the Douglas.
Titanium Weight Reduction and Effects on All-Day Use
The biggest difference was in how much effort we put into swinging the hammer and also how much less feedback we had from striking the nail. With the Stiletto, there was less felt shock or recoil from the impact with the nail or the wood when we were setting the nail. Also, since the stiletto weighs less, overhead nailing was a breeze.
Even after swinging the Stiletto all day, it was not fatiguing as opposed to the Douglas where we would get tired after a while. We think that the oversize stinking face on the stiletto helped to hit the nails with fewer misses negating the need for a waffle face. If we were not looking for such a universal hammer in our test Stiletto, the milled face would have made this an even more amazing framing hammer.
For trim work, we have been using a Dalluge 16 oz with a curved hickory handle. Side by side the Stiletto and the Dalluge are nearly the same size. The Dalluge just weighs more. We found that when doing trim work, the lighter weight of the Stiletto head made it very comfortable to drive small finish nails and then set them to the proper depth with a nail set. The only thing that was a slight negative in using the stiletto for trim work was that when working in sight spaces, the oversized striking face was a little too big.
Stiletto for the Win
All in all, we were able to pretty much swap out both our framing and finish hammers for the Stiletto hammer. The whole time we had this hammer on job sites, everyone always wanted to give it a try and it was funny that in almost all cases, the initial reaction to the hammer was, “We can really drive framing nails with it?” or “That will never work!” In the end most would come back later saying they wanted to keep it. Over the last three months that we have had this hammer on our tool belt, we have yet to find someone that did not like it or that did not understand the concept of why titanium hammers are the way to go.
Personalization Service (Discontinued)
As an added benefit, Stiletto offers a personalization service which is a $15.00 additional fee. It is a pretty easy process; you pick out your hammer, then pick out a font, what you want it to say, and chose from several locations on the tool where you want it. On the screen, they give you an approximate idea of what the final product will look like.
We tested this out as well and found that in our case what the web showed versus what we received was slightly different. We wished our font would have looked more like what we saw on our preview on the web. In any case, personalizing your tools is a way to help make sure they don’t grow some legs and walk away when you are not looking.
The Stiletto 12oz Titanium Remodeler Hammer is a good all-around hammer to do pretty much anything from framing to finish carpentry. With an easy-to-manage weight, yet the power to handle bigger tasks, almost all carpenters should do themselves a favor and pick up one of these. Sure it might cost a little bit more than other hammers out there, but it was easily able to handle the tasks of both our standard steel framing and finish hammers.
Pick it up for less than $100 online or at your local retailer.