Craftsman let us try out their 12V lithium-ion Hammerhead Auto Hammer. Yes, it’s a cordless hammer. If you’ve ever pounded a nail into oblivion, you know that a magical tool that did it for you would be a god-send. Well, the auto-hammer is the first of its kind in the marketplace and aims to change the way consumers hammer nails. The hammerhead is hose- and cord free and uses the power of a 12 Volt Lithium-ion battery to pound nails up to 3.5-in. in length with the press of a trigger. It’s a different form factor than the Milwaukee cordless palm nailer, for example, but it’s designed to more closely maintain the form of a traditional hammer. Coming in at just under 30 ounces, the Hammerhead Auto Hammer is a bit heavier than your typical 20-22 ounce framing hammer, but it didn’t feel terribly heavy during use.
Editor’s Note: Check out our Craftsman Nextec Hammerhead Auto Hammer review and a side by side Ryobi Auto Hammer vs Craftsman Nextec Hammerhead Comparison.
Craftsman Hammerhead 12V Auto Hammer Design
The Hammerhead Auto Hammer was designed particularly for nailing in tight areas where swinging is restricted and overhead applications where it’s tough to get a good, consistent strike. The product managers at Craftsman told us that the hammer nails at a swift 3600 impacts/minute (that’s 60 impacts per second for those of you who don’t like math) and features a retractable nail sleeve that covers the impact mechanism and retracts during use to ensure flush finishes. We were indeed able to get 8d nails completely flush into a pine 2×4. A magnetic head holds nails up to 7/16-in wide, making it easier to place and prep nails prior to driving them in. It won’t drive a 16d nail into the center of a knot, but it’s a pretty nifty tool nonetheless when used appropriately.
The other convenient feature we liked (and which is becoming almost standard on all cordless tools these days) was the LED work light which illuminated the work area during use. The Auto Hammer is just one of the new compact line of Craftsman tools they are dubbing “NEXTEC”. These tools are powered by a vertically-oriented compact 12 Volt Lithium-Ion battery for enhanced performance and longer shelf life. The Hammerhead Auto Hammer Kit includes: Hammerhead Auto Hammer, a 12 Volt lithium-ion battery, 30 minute quick charge charger with LED charge indicator, nail remover and a carry/storage case.