Solving the Basic Hammer Design Flaw

Hammers have suffered the same fundamental design flaw for thousands of years, namely that using one puts tremendous stress on the arm. When swinging a hammer, the head stops very quickly on the nail. Because conventional hammers have heavy handles, the weight is distributed between both the head and the handle. This causes the handle to jerk away from the user at impact. Unfortunately, the only thing stopping the movement of the handle are the muscles and tendons in the user’s hand, wrist, and elbow.
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This repeated shock can contribute to a devastating condition called lateral epicondylitis (sometimes called tennis elbow or carpenter’s elbow). Rehabilitating an overuse injury is difficult and expensive. A recent study estimated that in the US alone, medical costs and lost work time associated with lateral and medial epicondylitis have been estimated to total more than $22 billion.  Worse yet, once the arm is injured it becomes more susceptible to future injuries.

Unfortunately, most popular hammers use heavy steel handles or handles with heavy rubber grips. That means MORE weight in the handle, and MORE shock on the user’s arm with every strike. Some manufacturers use exotic metals or fancy dampening technologies with magic properties to address the problem. Unfortunately, even though these marketing claims are appealing, the hammers still obey the laws of physics: heavy handles cause shock on the arm, regardless of what they are made out of.

Science in the American Garage

As it turns out, the fundamental problem with the hammer can be solved using basic physics. Simply put the weight where it’s needed - behind the striking face. Unlike most hammers that have a lot of weight in the handle, Tool Driven hammers use a phenomenally lightweight handle made from advanced composite materials including carbon fiber and Kevlar®. In fact, the total weight of the handle is the same as a Bic® lighter and a few coins.
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Because it uses proprietary carbon fiber material and a carefully engineered and patented shape, it can withstand the rigors of a construction site.

Ethan Bickford, from Tool Box Buzz tried this:
"Wanting to see just how strong the Tool Driven Builder Hammer is I tried an experiment. I put the head of the hammer and the bottom of the handle onto 2×4 blocks, and stood one-footed on the handle mid-span. Weighing about 260 lbs. this would have bent or broken many hammers on the market today, but on the Tool Driven Builder there was no ill-effect." (See his full review here.)

The head — made with a box design — also allows for impact (nail driving) on the side of the head as well as the traditional striking face.
My elbow gave me so much pain at the end of the day, I was looking at getting out of the business. Thankfully Dave let me use an early prototype of his new Tool Driven hammer, and it has extended my years out on the job site. You really won't believe it until you see for yourself how different it feels to swing.
Mike K., Residential Framer, Edwardsville, Illinois

The Tool Driven User Experience

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Users are always surprised when they first swing the hammer. No jolt, no thump.

Ethan Bickford, at Tool Box Buzz, described it this way, "I found that even after extended use I had little fatigue… In the Tool Driven Builder the vibration damping characteristics of the carbon fiber combined with the incredibly light weight of the handle and optimal grip make for little to no soreness or tingling in my arms and forearms."

After using a Tool Driven hammer for a day or so, our users tend to swing faster and hit harder because there's no impending shock. In other hammers, users involuntarily tense their arm in a power-robbing move to avoid the thump at impact.

Because the user swings with more confidence, they rarely need to switch to a heavier hammer or dead blow mallet. As Ethan said in his review, "With the Tool Driven Builder, I was able to move framing around with relative ease. Even when choked up on the handle."

Though the Tool Driven hammers are the most technologically advanced hammer in the world, they still feel familiar. With a conventional head weight of 16oz (Framer) or 19oz (Builder), and a 17 3/8 inch handle, they feel like an old friend in the hand.

The Tool Driven hammer will be a welcome addition to your tool box. Even though the hammer has more impact authority than other framing hammers, because the handle is so much lighter, the whole thing weighs 30% less on your tool belt. You'll notice it by the end of a long day!

Features of Tool Driven Hammers: The Builder & The Framer

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