iskars 750220-1001 IsoCore 20 oz General Use Hammer,
made by Fiskars|
(You can print this review in landscape mode, if you
want a hardcopy)
The first thing I noticed is the consumer-friendly packaging. It seems the folks
at Fiskars think that skilled tradespeople have better things to do than spend
an hour trying to open the package their product comes in. Kudos!
Far too many
manufacturers won't hire a packaging engineer unless that person is a certified
sadist. I have taken (or shipped) products back for a full refund when faced
with such contempt for those buying it. At Fiskars, the policy is obviously to
make the customer happy and that extends to the packaging. I didn't need a
chainsaw to open the packaging, how refreshing.
The second thing I noticed is how high-tech and "cool" this thing looks. It's
almost work of art. So I picked it up and held it as if striking a nail. It felt
balanced, which is important. When I strike a nail, I use three blows. The first
is to set the nail. The second is to drive it hard, almost all the way down
(unless the nail is meant to stick out, as for a picture then this is the final
blow). The third is to drive it home (e.g., past the surface of the wood,
drywall, etc.). Without a good balanced feel to the hammer, this isn't possible.
Setting a nail becomes iffy, and when you do set it maybe it's crooked so you
need two or three blows just to straighten it and in total you more than double
the number of blows to drive the nail.
If a hammer doesn't have this balanced feel, I will take it back for a refund.
If a hammer loses this feel for some reason, I will toss it rather than try to
This hammer has a really nice claw on it. The claw has a nice "approach" so that
you can get it under a nail head. And it's really stout, meaning you aren't
going to get flexion when trying to pull a nail. Maybe it would be nice to have
more curve to it to permit rolling the hammer to pull the nail, but I have a
small pulling bar for just that purpose anyhow. I use a claw hammer to start the
nail pulling or to get easy ones. I don't use it where a pulling bar is really
This hammer is designed to reduce shock to the user. When I bought my first
steel-handled hammer, I didn't like it because the steel handle didn't dampen
the shock the way a wooden one does. That's why I still have a couple of
wooden-handled hammers. I tried this hammer to test out the shock dampening
claim, and it seems to dampen even better than a wooden handled one.
This hammer also has a lifetime warranty. To me, this is superfluous because I
don't abuse my tools. My oldest hammer is about 50 years old and still in good
shape. What the warranty really does for me is give me confirmation that Fiskars
was serious about making one heck of a good hammer. My power tools wear out, but
my hand tools don't. You might buy half a dozen electric screwdrivers during
your "I still do projects" days if you're a DIY person (far more if you're a
skilled tradesman who needs to drive screws), but you'll buy this hammer once.
If you take care of it, it should outlast you.
Hammer care tips include: Store in a proper tool chest or other safe, dry place;
use to drive nails, not to bludgeon other things that could mushroom its head;
never throw it or drop it; never leave it out (I pick up all of my tools at the
end of a "shift" even if resuming the project the next day); wipe it with a dry
cloth and put it away when done; and be mindful when using it.
Is a hammer worth buying, these days? I think so, and not just because it's
basically a lifetime purchase. Fifty years ago, about the time I first used a
hammer, we didn't have electric screwdrivers. If you built a fence or deck, you
didn't screw it together with power tools. You nailed it together. The same
thing for putting on a roof, building a wall (constructing the frame with 2x4s
then attaching the drywall), and pretty much everything else.
It's been a very long time since I bought a new hammer because I already have
several and the need for driving nails is greatly diminished in favor of driving
screws with power screwdrivers or even power drills. I have high-end versions of
both, with plenty of batter power.
But still, there are legacy applications such as the drywall nail that has
popped out or the picture I want to hang (and the hanger is nail-based) or the
kitchen cabinetry or other fixture with a nail that's migrated outward. With the
drywall, I will try to pull the nail and replace it with a screw.
Your work is only as good as the tools you use to perform it. Don't mess around
with a cheap, poorly-made hammer. You will not regret adding this Fiskars hammer
to your collection.