The difference between a good hammer and a great hammer is significant. Most hammers at the hardware store are but one step above a rock tied to a stick. As a result, I’ve always bought vintage hammers with wooden handles, which are cheaper, better made and have the right details for a furniture maker.
Now Gramercy Tools, the brand of Tools for Working Wood, in Brooklyn, New York, have come out with two new American-made hammers that have many of the right details that I like. While they are more expensive than your typical vintage hammer, I bought a pair of the Gramercys to give them a try and a close look.
First, some background on the form. There have always been hundreds of different patterns of hammers for different trades. Check out my visit to the Fulton’s hammer museum here for an eyeful. Sometimes a hammer is named for its job – framing hammer, slater’s hammer etc.