Best Wood for Hammer Handles – 5 Choices Are Here!

Hammers are generally the most common tool being used in the construction industry. We almost tend to see most carpenters using the hammer with a wooden handle. But, the question lies behind what is the best wood for hammer handles? 

As we go along, we will discuss the different wood available for use for hammer handles, Aside from that, we also have here the various types of hammer handles that being used within the construction industry. Check them out below!

Different Types of Hammer Handle

Typically, when we talk of the hammer, we think of a tool made of steelhead with wooden handle. Well, it is the most common type of hammer that most people used for over the years. But, people are not really aware that there are other varieties of the hammer and its handle. Aside from the wooden handle, the other hammer handles may also come in the form of fiberglass, steel, and titanium. 

Fiberglass Handle

Fiberglass handle is generally a new-comer in the hardware industry. In terms of price, the fiberglass hammer handle is actually costly compared to the wood handle. However, the fiberglass hammers last longer. Moreover, this type of hammer handle has a head that does not loose easily after specific periods of time.

Best wood for hammer handles
Image courtesy of Fire Supply Depot

It is basically durable but some people experienced that this hammer handles type tend to be brittle after sun exposure for long periods. But, storing this tool inside the toolbox may prevent that problem. Yet, if this hammer handle breaks, the replacement of it is usually difficult. 

This is due to the toughness feature of the fiberglass which may result in difficulty in unwedging the remaining parts of the handle. Additionally, in case you want to modify the hammer’s handle to fit it closely for easy grip, you may find it difficult to do this over the fiberglass type. It needs more recoil.

Steel Handle

The steel type hammer handles are given more priority in the market because of the value for money. This has an extremely durable feature in which both the head and the handle of the hammer are forged together. With this concept, the danger of experiencing flying off while swinging may be prevented.

Basically, the cost of the steel hammer handle is almost the same as that of the wooden hammer handle. However, one disadvantage of this hammer handle type is then recoiling. There are vibrations resulting from a twelve-hour swinging using the steel hammer handle. These vibrations from the hammer may move into the arm, elbow, up to the shoulder after each swing.

Moreover, because of these vibrations, you may find that your arms are too painful after a day of swinging. This issue has already been attempted to resolve through the development of new cushions for handles. The candidates for cushion materials under the steel hammer handle are the leather, rubber, and polys.

Generally, this cushion development is for the purpose of reducing the shock being produced during every swing. Aside from that, the cover should also give the benefit of lessening the impact of every strike.

Titanium Handle

One best example of a titanium hammer handle is the Stiletto TB15MC TiBone 15-Ounce Titanium Milled-Face Hammer. It is generally manufactured in California in which the material comes from a solid piece of titanium. Basically, this type of hammer handle will lasts for several decades.  

Best wood for hammer handles
Image courtesy of Performance Line Tool Center

Moreover, the titanium has a weight of 45% lesser than the steel. This simply means that you can generally exert both the driving power and force of the steel with just a lesser heavy construction. You can actually swing without getting extremely tired. Aside from that, using a titanium hammer handle in driving the nails can only be done with just one to two swings.

Another good thing about the titanium hammer handle is that the recoil is actually ten times lesser compared to the steel hammer. On the other hand, this titanium handle comes with a price. Basically, the hammers cost usually ranges from $10 up to $50, yet this one can be purchased at around $200. 

Wooden Handle

The last type of hammer handle is actually the most classic and most common handle for hammers. But, generally, for over some time, the wooden hammer handle may rot, warp, and break. With just proper care in storing and using the wooden hammer handle, you can get through it over decades. But, the issue about this is that you may end up changing the handles on a regular basis.

Aside from that, there is two-piece construction which made this wooden hammer handle compared to the steel hammer handle that usually comes in one-piece construction. Because of the two-piece construction, the head of the hammer comes in a separate unit from the handle. This will actually give the potential for the head to lose over time and will need to wedge. Moreover, you will also find it risky because of the possibility of the handle to snap in half over a long period of use.

On the other hand, here are the advantages of using the wooden hammer handle. First, are the absorbance of recoil and the impact of striking which seems to be much better compared to the steel and fiberglass handles. The most preferred hammer handles by most carpenters is generally the wooden handle due to the better balance that it gives compared to the steel and fiberglass type. Because of this, the balance leads to a smoother swing plus incorporate this balance with shock absorption property.

Best Wood for Hammer Handles

Now that we know the different types of hammer handles and that we are already aware that wood handles are the most common among them, it is time to know what is the best wood for hammer handles. Below is a quick rundown for each wood type:

Best wood for hammer handles #1: HICKORY

Generally, hickory belongs to the most common domestic wood type in America. Along with this is that hickory becomes the best wood for hammer handles for decades of years. This wood is actually a hardwood that offers lots of strength. Additionally, hickory absorbs almost all the shocks that contribute to the arm’s fatigue. 

Best wood for hammer handles #2: OAK WOOD

The next candidate for the best wood for hammer handles is the oak wood. The reason behind this is that it has a higher tree density which makes the hardest and most durable woods. Aside from that, it can excellently absorb few contact shocks.

However, the one downside that you can observe with this best wood for hammer handles is that it splinter and does not produce oils regularly. Meanwhile, it resists any insects and funguses which can eat your wood. The best thing to do about this is to keep it with oil so that you can’t experience any oak handle issue.

Best wood for hammer handles #3: ASH

Because of the wide availability of ash all over the world, it is one of the best wood for hammer handles. Yet, its popularity is generally common around European countries. The ash becomes the best wood for hammer handles due to its long fibers which tend to absorb shocks really well. However, compared to hickory and oak, the ash is highly strong and flexible but do not last that long.

Best wood for hammer handles #4: SUGAR MAPLE WOOD

Another best wood for hammer handles is the sugar maple wood. The other term for this wood is Hard Maple which is indigenous within the Northern part of America. This best wood for hammer handles is also used in making baseball bats many years ago due to its hardness.

Sugar Maple is generally harder compared to hickory and ash. However, in terms of the additional strength, it is comparably brittle and easy to shatter. Moreover, it does not have any effect on the shock over the handle of the hammer.  

Best wood for hammer handles #5: YELLOW BIRCH WOOD

This last choice of the best wood for hammer handles is also the wood pick in Scandinavia. The Yellow Birch Wood is also widely available within the United States. Why it becomes as the solid pick for the best wood for hammer handles? It is primarily due to its hardness which is harder than hickory and ash. 

What is the best wood for hammer handles?

Actually, the available types of wood generally make a great handle for a hammer. It just highly depends on the availability of the wood in your place and also basically depends on your preference. However, always consider that they are just wood which can eventually splinter and break.

Moreover, if you are looking for the best wood for hammer handles in terms of its strength, the hickory, oak, sugar maple, and the birch tree are the best choices. But, you can select under ash, oak, hickory, and yellow birch if you want the best wood for hammer handles that can give a good vibration upon impact. 

Generally, your choice would highly depend on what feature you prefer. Are you looking for the best wood for hammer handles with great strength of with excellent absorption? Well, it’s all up to you!

Final Thoughts

The hammer has different types of handles and the most common of it is the wooden one. Moreover, in terms of the wooden hammer handle, there are actually various types of the best wood for hammer handles. Yet, determining which is really the best one highly depends on the hammer feature that you prefer the most. So, the choice of looking for the excellent wood hammer handle is all in your hands.