Best Sledgehammer in 2020 ( May Reviews)

To determine the best sledgehammer, we looked at a range of features and prioritized the following — handle and head construction, weight, and handle length. The right materials for your handle, as well as the right design for your sledgehammer head will determine how effective this tool will be for the task at hand, as well as how comfortably you’ll be able to grip and consistently use a sledgehammer over prolonged periods of time. Likewise, picking the right weight, and handle length will also impact how easily you can complete tasks.

Because of the above, we selected the Estwing Sure 3-Pound Sledge with Fiberglass Handle and No-Slip Cushion Grip as our Top Pick because we believe it’s the right option for occasional DIYers or crafters and won’t break the bank. The light weight is paired with a manageable 11-inch fiberglass handle that’s cushioned to improve grip and reduce hand fatigue. Keep reading to learn more about our top picks.

Top 6 Best Sledgehammer

 #1  Estwing Sure 3-Pound Sledge with Fiberglass Handle & No-Slip Cushion Grip

Award: Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: A sturdy yet affordable sledgehammer that’s perfect for precision applications, featuring a three-pound head and a non-slip fiberglass handle with a cushion grip.

Pros
  • Best budget
  • Cushion-design fiberglass handle
  • 3lb head, 11-inch handle
Cons
  • Poor vibration control

Sledgehammers come in a range of sizes. But if you always thought that a sledgehammer would be too unwieldy for you to manage, this compact option from Estwing will make you change your mind. This three pound option is perfect for working on smaller projects where you need more control such as striking at an awl or punch.

We also liked that this model is budget-friendly — which is why we’ve also nominated it as our Best Budget choice. You’ll like the 11-inch handle that makes it easy to find a comfortable grip and gives you more control as you strike. And the non-slip fiberglass handle also helps to better absorb shock and maintain the overall lightweight handfeel. I’ve found that a sledgehammer is one of the essential tools that you need, being every bit as practical as the screwdriver or the best corded drill.

 #2  STANLEY FATMAX 6-Pound Sledge Hammer

Award: Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: A balanced, dual-head, six pound sledgehammer with a 33-inch handle for when you need more power, that’s ideal for tackling a wider range of projects around the house.

Pros
  • Great for heavy duty work
  • Shatterproof, anti vibration fiberglass handle
  • Dual head — bullet nose/standard strike
Cons
  • Uncomfortable handle grip

There are all kinds of projects that might call for a sledgehammer, such as major home renovations. If you need to knock out cabinetry or other large surfaces, you’ll like this larger six pound sledgehammer from Stanley. In addition to this being from a trusted tool brand, you’ll like that it features a dual-head with a bullet nose on one end and standard strike on the other side.

We also like that our Honorable Mention features a shatterproof fiberglass handle that measures 33 inches to help you achieve the right amount of leverage to deliver force. However, while the handle does feature particle dampening and anti-vibration, many people found that the grip could be uncomfortable with extended use — leading to blisters over time. Speaking of tools and blisters, here’s a pro-tip from a tool guy: Have the best magnifying glass in your arsenal, since it comes in handy for seeing any wood splinters in your skin, and helping you to remove them.

 #3  Neiko 3.3lb Fiberglass Sledge Hammer

Award: Best Rubberized Grip

WHY WE LIKE IT: A lightweight yet effective sledgehammer that’s budget-friendly and features a secure rubber grip for added stability while at work.

Pros
  • Comfortable 12” handle & 3.3lbs
  • Shatterproof fiberglass handle
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Not ideal for heavy duty work

If you’re working on smaller tasks like breaking up bathroom tiles, you don’t need an oversized sledgehammer. But you still want to be sure that you have a secure handle grip to improve your workflow. We’ve selected the Neiko 3.3lb Fiberglass Sledge Hammer because it’s the only model in our roundup with a ribbed rubber fiberglass handle.

The 3.3-pound head is paired with a one-foot shatterproof fiberglass handle that features ribbed rubber for a no-slip hold. We also like that the handle is chip-resistant. And you’ll like that the head is corrosion resistant and heat-hardened with a mirror polish to improve the life of this tool. This is a useful tool and some of us use a sledgehammer as often as we use the best power scrubber. They can perform many tasks.

 #4  Truper 20-Pound Sledge Hammer

Award: Best Pro-Quality

WHY WE LIKE IT: A heavy-duty professional quality 20-pound sledgehammer with a hickory wood handle and a shock absorbent poly-guard to improve accuracy and minimize vibrations.

Pros
  • Best for construction (20lb head & 36” handle)
  • Hickory handle for comfort
  • Poly-guard shock absorbency
Cons
  • Prolonged use causes fatigue

In the world of sledgehammers, if you’re looking for a professional level option, you have to limit your search to at least a 20-pound head or better. The Truper 20-Pound Sledge Hammer is a great option with a classic composition for those who need a heavy duty sledgehammer that can make quick work of demolition and other intensive tasks.

We liked that the 20-pound head is paired with a classic hickory wood handle that features a shock absorbent poly guard to minimize the risk of damage to your sledgehammer if you happen to overstrike your target. Plus the handle measures 36-inches, giving you plenty of space to grip it as comfortably as possible. While sledgehammers take more strength to use than say a pair of pliers or the best wire strippers, they come in very handy for odd jobs like breaking up concrete slabs and tough walls.

 #5  STANLEY FATMAX 10-Pound Sledge Hammer

Award: Best for Home Improvement

WHY WE LIKE IT: A solid 10-pound sledgehammer for more labor intensive home improvement projects with a shatterproof fiberglass 33-inch handle from an industry leader in tools.

Pros
  • 10lb head, 33-inch handle
  • Dual-head Bullet nose & standard strike faces
  • Shatterproof fiberglass handle
Cons
  • Pricier

Stanley makes it onto our list of top sledgehammers again with a size that’s perfect for larger scale home improvement projects. Homeowners and DIYers who need to knock out cabinetry or even countertops will like that this 10-pound head is paired with a shatterproof 33-inch fiberglass handle. We like that the handle features particle dampening and even comes with an anti-vibration grip to help minimize shock and fatigue.

You’ll also like that this sledgehammer model features a dual-head with bullet nose strike face on one side and a standard strike face on the opposite side. Plus, this tool is backed by Stanley’s Limited Lifetime Warranty.

 #6  KSEIBI 271450 Blacksmith Machinist Cross Pein Hammer Soft Grip handle 2.2LB

Award: Best for Metalwork

WHY WE LIKE IT: A lightweight hammer that’s perfect for metal work with a fiberglass handle and enhanced grip for precision work that won’t mar the surface of your materials.

Pros
  • Lightweight and nimble at 2.2lbs
  • Round and wedge-peen face
  • Fiberglass handle with shock absorption
Cons
  • Long handle impedes swing

If you need to work with metal materials, then you need a specialized sledgehammer. Specifically, if you’re working in smaller areas, an oversized sledgehammer just won’t make sense. We’re rounding out our roundup with a top rated sledgehammer for metalwork. The KSEIBI 271450 Blacksmith Machinist Cross Pein Hammer Soft Grip Handle is a lightweight 2.2-pound solution that promises not to damage the surface of any material you’re working on.

The 13-inch handle features a fiberglass construction with a reinforced rubber grip for improved control. But the grip also helps to absorb shock, reducing the amount of vibrations you feel while using it. You’ll also like that this cross peen hammer has a round face as well as a wedge-peen face.

How We Decided

Sledgehammers can seem like a fairly straight forward tool when you head to the hardware store to buy one, but there’s a lot that you need to consider. To narrow down our selections, we prioritized the following features — handle and head construction, weight, and handle length.

The handle is one of the most important features as it will impact how easily you’re able to use this tool, especially for extended periods of time. With the exception of our #4 choice which features a wooden hickory handle, the rest of our recommendations offer a shatterproof fiberglass handle which helps to better absorb shock.

You’ll also note that many of the sledgehammers in our roundup feature a range of head designs. In some cases, you’ll find dual-head options (usually bullet nose and standard strike face combinations), as is the case with our Honorable Mention and #5 choices.

You’ll also find that sledgehammers can be found with variable length handles. We’ve highlighted options that range from 11 to as much as 36 inches. As a general rule, if you’re working on precision tasks or need to work in tight spaces, opt for shorter handles. Whereas demolition projects should use sledgehammers with longer handles.

Likewise, you’ll see that weight and handle length tend to correspond with each other. Sledgehammers that weigh less than five pounds usually have shorter handles as compared to those that weigh six pounds or more.

Sledgehammer Buying Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Handle
    Sledgehammers are meant to create large amounts of force when you strike it on an object. And that can mean that the shock created can be absorbed by your hand. Traditionally, most sledgehammer handles are designed from wood, fiberglass, or steel. Wood can be ideal as it can help to absorb some of that impact force but can also splinter after extended use. Fiberglass can make handling a sledgehammer easier and lighter, but if it’s made of poor quality it can shatter after repeated use. And steel is great for consistent use, but is usually the most expensive option.
  2. Head Coating
    While most sledgehammer heads are designed from steel, you should also consider if it also features a coating which can help to prolong the life of your sledgehammer. Common coating options include urethane or even plastic coatings that can help to prevent the risk of creating sparks — an important feature if you’re going to work in areas exposed to open flames or flammable materials.
  3. Head Weight
    You can find sledgehammers in a range of weights. In addition to considering whether you can comfortably lift a sledgehammer, you should also consider your project and whether specific weights are compatible. Since sledgehammers are available with heads that weigh as little as three pounds to as much as 20 pounds or more, always be mindful of this factor.
  4. Head Shape
    Unsurprisingly, sledgehammer heads are designed in a variety of styles to make specific tasks easier to complete. Flat headed sledgehammers are perfect for setting posts. But you can also find rounded or domed heads which are more multipurpose as well as dual-headed sledgehammers too.
  5. Handle Length
    Likewise, sledgehammer handles come in a range of lengths. While the most common option is 36 inches (or three feet), you can find shorter handles as small as 12 inches. These shorter options are ideal for working in tighter spaces where a traditional-length model would be impossible to efficiently use.

Sledgehammer FAQs

Why is it important to match the weight of a sledgehammer to your project?

When in use, a sledgehammer can create a large amount of force. If you’re working on a project with lightweight materials, but you’re using the heaviest sledgehammer you could buy, you might end up damaging surrounding areas and creating more work for yourself. Likewise, using a lightweight sledgehammer to break concrete will require much more effort on your part and take significantly longer to complete.

How much should I expect to spend on a sledgehammer?

Sledgehammers come in a wide range of prices. It shouldn’t be shocking that lightweight sledgehammers are significantly cheaper than one that weighs more than 20 pounds. In general, depending on your needs, you should be able to find a quality lightweight sledgehammer for around $15. But if you want a heavier professional-grade sledgehammer, or one that features enhanced coatings and handle materials, it is possible to spend as much as $150 or more.

I want a sledgehammer for a home remodel project, what weight should I get?

For most home users, sledgehammers that weigh between three to 10 pounds should be sufficient for DIY projects around the house. At the lower end of this weight spectrum, you can easily knock out old tile without damaging surrounding areas using a three to five-pound sledgehammer with a one to two-foot handle. But if you’re attempting a more intensive demolition project such as knocking out cabinets, consider an eight to 10-pound sledgehammer with a three-foot handle.

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Dorian Smith-Garcia

Dorian Smith-Garcia is a bridal and beauty expert/influencer and the creative director behind The Anti Bridezilla. She is a diverse writer across beauty, fashion, travel, consumer goods, and tech. She also writes for Inverse, Glowsly, and The Drive along with a variety of other publications. When Dorian's not writing she's collecting stamps in her passport, learning new languages, or spending time with her husband and daughter.

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