FatMax Graphite Hammer - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

A good quality nail hammer that provides excellent bang for the buck

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FatMax Graphite Hammer



For the person who only uses one a few times a year, a nail hammer might seem like nothing more than a rock on a stick. But for carpenters, trades people and serious DIYers, a good hammer can be a thing of beauty. A hammer with good balance seems to swing itself, puts less stress on forearm muscles and tendons, and helps reduce the risk of a repetitive stress injury. The weight of the head in relation to the length and curvature of the handle contribute to the overall balance.
 
Over a four week period I put the FatMax Graphite Hammer (model 51-505) to nail and board. Apart from the bright yellow handle, what I first noticed on the FatMax51-505 was the oversized head. It's a full 1-1/4" in diameter, and has a slight crown ground across the face. With a crowned face you can more easily drive nails flush without marring the wood surface. In addition, a crowned face minimizes nail deflection and bending by helping to center hammer blows. The FatMax 51-505 also features a beveled edge around the face, which helps reduce the chance of chipping the face of the hammer with an off-center strike. The dual tempered rim also contributes to the overall integrity of the head.


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Nicely crowned head and beveled edge
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Double bevel on the claws
Another very nice feature on this hammer is the double bevel on the claws. A beveled claw makes it easier to get under nail heads, particularly if they are close to the surface. I found it just as easy pulling out a small 6d nail as it was to remove a 16d. I would have preferred the claw points with a slightly lower angle, which makes getting under embedded nail heads easier (but then again, that's where the flat bar shines).
 
The head-to-handle assembly looks to be well done. There isn't any visible wedge; Stanley uses a patented assembly design. Let's hope that the design gives long-life performance.


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Stanley has a patented head-to-handle assembly
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Graphite core, rubber grip flared handle
 
I've always preferred a wooden handle on a hammer, but this graphite core, rubber coated handle does a good job of minimizing vibration. I like the gentle flare on the end of the handle; it makes the hammer somewhat easier to hold onto, especially if I loosen my grip at the end of a swing. For general purpose work, a 16 oz curved claw hammer is a good choice. If you're looking for a good quality nail hammer that will give you excellent bang for the buck, then you really can't go wrong with the FatMax 51-505.

KEY FEATURES:

  • 16 oz curved claw
  • 1-1/4" diameter smooth strike face with dual tempered strike rim
  • Graphite core, rubber grip flared handle
  • 13" overall length

Manufacturer:Stanley
Available From:Tool and equipment suppliers nationwide
Retail Price:$19.99
Model #:51-505
Made In:China
Carl Duguay, September 2010
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