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While the two faces of the hammer seem to be high quality, well made, and durable, the handle is what shines for me. I will only buy wooden handled tools these days. As soon as they arrive I strip off the thin varnish they use on most wooden handles and give them a few coats of boiled linseed oil. This makes the handles feel and look 10 times better than the varnish. The handle on this hammer is fantastic! One of the best I've seen. Big and thick, beautifully shaped, the best palm swell ever, this handle is comfortable as well as good looking. Even if you just leave the varnish on, you will love it.
When I pulled the first one out of the Amazon shipping envelope, I got a splinter in my hand. The handle wasn't sanded and was full of splinters! I returned it for a replacement and while the handle is smoother, it still needs some fine sanding, especially on the bottom. Looking at the photo, you can see that the wedges in the eye are not centered, which could cause the handle to crack in the future.
I purchased this to use with leather stamps and punches. Leather tools are expensive and I'd rather not pound on them with a metal hammer. Like other reviewers, the handle is the standout to me. It's solid hickory, designed and executed about as well as you're going to find on a tool. The palm swell is comfortable in the hand and the entire handle is finished satin smooth. The head is double wedged to the handle without a hint of wiggle. The weight of the hammer is exactly what I need and I imagine this hammer will find many uses outside of leather working. There are cheaper versions out there, but I'm happy to spend a couple bucks more for a tool I know will last.
This is a good, well made tool, considering it is mass produced.
If I needed another tool like this, I would definitely buy another one.
My only complaint is that the different heads are supposed to be "soft" and "hard" but I honestly can't tell which is the hard side and which is the soft side because both sides are pretty hard though they haven't dented or marred what I have used the hammer on. I got the hammer to use on Metro Shelves, so I can loosen the shelves, reposition and then re-set the shelves and this does that job perfectly!!! The weight of the hammer is nice as well because it only takes a few blows and the shelf releases and then a couple of whacks and the shelf is locked back into place.
I bought this was a gift for a friend moving into his first "nice" apartment. Honestly everyone needs one of these. If you build Ikea furniture, you need this. If you hammer things into walls, you need this. It works just like a regular hammer but because its rubber instead of metal, it is much less damaging. So you can hammer into wallboard and if you miss you won't go through to the next side. Same thing for DIY flat pack furniture. I have one of these and its one of the oldest tools I own, going on 27 years. Its one of the tools that gets packed in the car when we move because a) I dont want to have to root through boxes to find it and b) I dont want the movers to steal it! Im not kidding, I had to retrieve it once when the movers "accidentally" put in in their bag. Get one, Give one.
I purchased this item on my own with no compensation for this review. Please click on Helpful at the bottom of this review if what I wrote is useful to you.
I got this to replace one I had last year that I accidentally left on the beach. I like that it has two sides -- one a bit harder; one a bit softer. (Later I found that my "lost" hammer was simply buried deep in my beach bag, so I now have two.)
I've always had good feelings about Estwing striking tools. I was very disappointed to receive this mallet with a loose head. It was wedged beautifully, but the handle was just too small to fit the eye of the head. So, the head was loose. Luckily, it is fairly easy to return with Amazon for a replacement, which should arrive in a week or so. Hopefully the next one will be correct, but I'm a bit worried if the handles are mass produced they may have a large batch that are just too small for the heads. Certainly if you buy at a hardware store you should select a mallet where the head is fitted to a properly sized handle. I'm really wanting to have a well-made mallet made in the USA.