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Which sledgehammers are best?

A sledgehammer is a must-have tool, whether you have a professional demolition job, a small home renovation project or just want to smash something for stress relief. The last thing you want to do is find yourself empty-handed in a situation where a good sledgehammer would easily get the job done.  

While a sledgehammer appears to be a straightforward tool, there are many options on the market. There are differences in head shape and weight, as well as handle material, length and design. All these factors may make choosing the right sledgehammer a project all on its own. If you’ve got a big budget and are in the market for a top-quality sledgehammer that will get the job done every time, the Wilton B.A.S.H sledgehammer is the top choice. 

What to know before you buy a sledgehammer

Handle length

Although the standard sledgehammer is 36 inches long, manufacturers and replacement handle companies offer smaller alternatives. If you’re in a confined space or looking for a woodworking sledgehammer, opt for one with a shorter handle. 

Head design

What you intend to use your sledgehammer for will determine which head design is best. If you’re looking to do concrete demolition, choose a wedge shape that maximizes destructive force. If you want to knock in a fence post, consider a flat-face head design. If you’re going to do both, there are dual-faced hammers on the market as well. 

Head weight

Sledgehammers come in a variety of weights. The standards are 3 pounds for small jobs in tight spaces, 8 to 10 pounds for home projects and 20 pounds or more for professional demolition. 

What to look for in a quality sledgehammer

Handle material

Top-tier, durable sledgehammers will have handles made from steel or high-quality fiberglass. While wood handles feel nice in hand, they are prone to splintering under moderate stress. Steel and fiberglass offer superior durability, shock absorption and grip, which allows you to swing harder for longer. 

Head material 

Quality hammers use a press or dropped forged steel rather than cast steel. The process of forging the steel makes it almost ⅓ harder than cast steel. Premium hammers will offer safety features on the head, such as a urethane coating to prevent sparking and contrasting paint for greater visibility. 

Handle Design

Good sledgehammers have sculpted handles to increase grip, efficiency and safety. Wooden handles tend to be straight, maximizing the chances of losing your grip. Steel and fiberglass handles are usually wrapped in rubber and nylon and feature an ergonomic design for ease of use. 

How much you can expect to spend on a sledgehammer

An affordable good quality sledgehammer for your home will cost around $50, while professional heavy-duty hammers can cost as much as $180. 

Sledgehammer FAQ

What safety gear should I get for my sledgehammer?

A. Safety always comes first, and when it comes to sledgehammers, you want to stay especially protected. Always wear gloves and eye protection, and if you’re doing an extended demolition, you may want to wear earplugs. If you’re working in a dusty environment, make sure to grab a mask. 

How do I keep my sledgehammer clean?

A. If you’re using the sledgehammer properly, chances are it’s been in some pretty dirty places. Avoid rust and other debris from building up by rubbing it with soap and water and thoroughly drying it after every few uses. If you can, keep your hammer on a shelf so that moisture from the ground doesn’t cause it to rust in storage. 

What are the best sledgehammers to buy?

Top sledgehammer

Wilton B.A.S.H sledgehammer

Wilton B.A.S.H sledgehammer

What you need to know: The B.A.S.H by Wilton is heavy, durable and designed for maximum efficiency in the most demanding conditions. 

What you’ll love: With a 20-pound drop-forged hi-visibility steelhead, the B.A.S.H can break whatever you put in front of it with ease. The B.A.S.H also has a steel core handle that reduces vibration and adds critical strength in case of an overswing. Plus, Wilton didn’t skimp on safety adding a lanyard hole and vulcanized rubber grip. 

What you should consider: With a 20-pound head and an equally hefty price tag, the B.A.S.H is for serious users only. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top sledgehammer for the money

Fiskars PRO IsoCore sledgehammer

Fiskars PRO IsoCore sledgehammer

What you need to know: Packed with patented technology and designed for versatility, the Fiskars PRO IsoCore sledgehammer allows you to smash through your project list. 

What you’ll love: Don’t let the lower weight fool you, this hammer’s ergonomic design and patented IsoCore shock absorption system are optimized for maximum performance at minimum effort. With both a flat driving and wedge demolition face, this hammer’s versatility is unmatched. Fiskars has been designing affordable tools for more than 300 years, and it’s no surprise that their PRO IsoCore sledgehammer offers premium features at a fraction of the price.

What you should consider: This sledgehammer lacks a lanyard hole even though it’s 2 pounds heavier than standard home-use sledgehammers. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Truper 30923 sledgehammer

Truper 30923 sledgehammer

What you need to know: If you’re looking to do some serious demolition work on a budget, the 20 pound sledgehammer from Truper is your best friend. 

What you’ll love: Featuring a classic head design and a 36-inch handle, this is a simple sledge that packs a big punch. Whether you’re looking to demolish a concrete foundation or get an intense workout in, you can count on the Truper to get it done. The large flat face is great for hammering stakes, setting posts or splitting logs with a wedge. 

What you should consider: This sledgehammer has a wooden handle that doesn’t absorb vibrations well and may break under heavy use. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Will Briskin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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