A sledgehammer is an important part of any professional or DIYer’s tool arsenal. Although most sledgehammers consist of a steel head attached to a handle, many characteristics distinguish a quality sledgehammer from a run-of-the-mill product. Handle material, length, and arrangement all play an important role in a sledgehammer’s quality and designed use.
To help you weed out second-rate products, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the best sledgehammers on Amazon to help you find the product that’s right for you. Here are our top recommendations for sledgehammers.
Best for Heavy-Duty Projects: Wilton B.A.S.H. 20-Pound Sledge Hammer (22036)
The Wilton 22036 sledgehammer features a durable, steel-core handle and a reinforced striking head that’s fit for professionals or homeowners in need of a heavy-duty demolition tool. The sledgehammer comes with a standard, 36-inch handle coated in a non-slip rubber grip to maximize control and reduce shock during impact.
The sledgehammer is protected from manufacturer’s defects by a lifetime warranty and is backed by a Wilton $1,000 guarantee, which will award you $1,000 if your sledgehammer’s handle breaks within two years of purchase.
- Green sledgehammer head that weighs 20 pounds
- Steel-core handle
- Anti-vibration neck
- Non-slip rubberized grip
- Lifetime warranty for manufacturer’s defects
What Customers Are Saying
The Wilton B.A.S.H. 20-Pound Sledge Hammer received an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 from about 70 customer reviews, right around the average rating of 4.72 stars across all five recommended products in this review. At the time of review, 87% of reviewers rated the product 5 stars, with only 8% of customers rating the product 3 stars or lower.
Positive reviews raved about the power delivered by this sledgehammer, commenting on its sturdy, yet comfortable frame. Many customers wrote about this product’s 20-pound head weight, with many arguing that the weight was necessary to deliver a crushing blow to dense stone, brick, and concrete. The negative reviews focused on the strong, chemical-like smell emitted from the product, as well as the handle’s fragility, as one reviewer experienced a broken handle.
Best Multi-Purpose: Fiskars IsoCore 10-Pound Sledge Hammer
This dual-faced sledgehammer from Fiskars is ideal for construction workers who want a sledgehammer for both demolition and building purposes. This sledgehammer’s head is equipped with a wedged end for crushing masonry and a flat end for driving stakes or securing other reinforcements. While this high-quality sledgehammer is ideal for construction workers, it can also serve as a powerful demolition tool for homeowners and professionals of various trades.
- Patented IsoCore Shock Control System
- Extra-large diameter driving face
- Double-sided head
- Insulated handle sleeve
- Lifetime warranty
What Customers Are Saying
This sledgehammer received an average score of 4.8 out of 5 stars from over 290 Amazon customer ratings, slightly higher than the average rating of 4.72 across all recommended sledgehammers in this review. Ninety-seven percent of all customers rated this Fiskars sledgehammer 4 or more stars.
Positive reviewers praised the low-shock impact of the sledgehammer, along with the power delivered by its beveled demolition edge. Additionally, many reviewers commented on the security provided by the non-slip handle. Most negative reviews centered around experiences with the product breaking over time or customers receiving wrong or damaged products.
Best Fiberglass Handle: Jackson 16-Pound Sledgehammer
The Jackson 16-Pound Sledge Hammer is a heavy sledge that prioritizes quality over style. The sledgehammer has a basic design that consists of a 16-pound drop-forged steel head and a 36-inch fiberglass handle to minimize impact vibrations. This minimalistic sledgehammer is a heavy-duty tool that’s made for striking wood, driving fence posts, or breaking up concrete.
- Made of double-face forged steel
- Blue, 36-inch fiberglass handle
- 16-pound head
- Weighs around 18 pounds
- Limited lifetime warranty
What Customers Are Saying
The Jackson 16-Pound Sledge Hammer received an average rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 after about 70 Amazon customers reviewed it, a slightly higher rating than the average of 4.72 across all recommended products. Of the over 70 ratings, 84% are 5 stars and 100% are above 3 stars.
Many positive reviews centered around the stability and balance of the sledgehammer. Additionally, many customers commented on the power generated with each swing and the sledge’s overall power. One critical review highlighted the product’s lack of grip on the handle which resulted in a decrease in control.
Best Handheld: Estwing Sure Strike Three-Pound Sledge
Constructed with a forged steel head and a fiberglass handle, this three-pound sledge is useful for small demolition jobs or can be used in conjunction with chisels, star drills, or other demolition tools. The versatile and compact sledge is great for work within tight spaces, as it delivers a controlled, yet powerful blow. To increase grip and minimize vibrations, this cracking hammer is also equipped with a fiberglass handle wrapped in a ribbed grip.
- Jacketed fiberglass
- Balanced, three-pound head
- Forged steel head
- 3 pounds
- Smooth face
What Customers Are Saying
The Estwing Sure Strike Three-Pound Sledge received an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars from over 1,500 Amazon reviews and is a best-selling sledgehammer on Amazon. Ninety-eight percent of reviewers rated the product 4 stars or higher, with just 1% of reviewers rating the product 1 star.
Many reviews commented on the convenience of the three-pound sledgehammer’s light, but powerful frame. Other reviewers praised the hammer for its ability to be used outside of demolition projects, with many customers using the product for splitting wood or chiseling. The limited number of negative reviews centered around Estwing manufacturing this sledge overseas, with some customers disappointed that the product wasn’t manufactured in the United States.
Best for Household Use: Craftsman Eight-Pound Sledge Hammer
This lightweight sledgehammer from Craftsman is an affordable heavy-duty tool that could be a good option for DIYers. At just under 10 pounds, this sledgehammer allows users to deliver a controlled blow with its bullet-nosed head. Additionally, the sledgehammer is equipped with a fiberglass core wrapped in an absorbing collar to reduce the shock felt during impact.
- Bullet nose design
- Shatterproof fiberglass handle
- Textured handle grip
- Concentrated striking through the bullet-nose head
- Full lifetime warranty
What Customers Are Saying
The eight-pound sledgehammer from Craftsman received an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars from just over 30 Amazon reviewers, a slightly lower rating than the average of 4.72 stars across all recommended products. Although this sledgehammer has only received about 32 reviews, 79% of reviewers rated the product 5 stars, and it has a single 1-star review.
Some of the positive reviews centered around the sledgehammer’s quality and sturdy build. Some reviewers even used the sledgehammer for exercise and commented on its perfect size for working out. The only 1-star review this Craftsman sledgehammer received came from a customer who received their tool in a damaged condition.
When purchasing a sledgehammer, customers tend to look for a product that can deliver the most force and break through sheetrock, tile, brick, and concrete with ease. While sledgehammers are intended for demolition, it’s important to select the right make and model for your specific job.
In this buying guide, we aim to help you select the right sledgehammer by explaining how a sledgehammer’s handle, weight, cost, and intended use impact the user experience.
Sledgehammer handles are usually constructed using wood, fiberglass, or steel wrapped in a rubber grip. In general, most sledgehammers are equipped with fiberglass handles because of their lightweight and tough composition. Fiberglass provides a sledgehammer with a durable handle that’s shock-absorbent and able to maintain its condition blow after blow. However, some sledgehammers are outfitted with low-quality fiberglass, which causes them to be heavy and fragile.
Wood is a traditional choice for a sledgehammer handle because of its flexibility and feel. Unlike fiberglass, wood handles can’t sustain their shape over time and are prone to cracking, splintering, and cosmetic damage.
Steel is the most durable of all handle materials and is crack-resistant. While sledgehammers outfitted with steel handles are effective, they can be more expensive and heavier than their wood and fiberglass counterparts.
Our top recommendation for a steel-handled sledgehammer is the Wilton B.A.S.H 20-Pound Sledge Hammer, whose durable, rubber-coated steel handle minimizes vibrations while increasing control.
The majority of a sledgehammer’s weight comes from its head, which can range from three to over 20 pounds. A sledgehammer’s head weight is important because it usually determines the head design and handle’s length. Take a look at the features of the following sledgehammer head sizes:
- 3–6 pounds: Sledgehammers with 3–6-pound heads are characterized by their small handle length. These sledgehammers resemble hammers and are used for small demolition projects like cracking floor tile or tub surrounds.
- 8–12 pounds: Sledgehammer heads that are between eight and 12 pounds take on a more traditional sledgehammer look that includes a long handle and large head. These sledgehammers are useful for heavy-duty household projects like removing walls or breaking up concrete. Our top recommendation for a lightweight, traditional-sized sledgehammer is the Craftsman Eight-Pound Sledge Hammer.
- 20+ pounds: Heads that are 20 or more pounds are designed for heavy-duty and professional use. These sledgehammers can be identified by their large head and long handle and are effective in driving rebar and shattering stone or concrete.
Each sledgehammer is designed for a specific purpose, so you’ll want to ensure that a sledgehammer’s intended use matches your needs before purchase. If you need a sledgehammer for small projects around the home, a three-pound hammer might be a good choice. However, if you’re knocking down a wall or breaking up concrete, you may need a 10-pound model.
Like many items, price isn’t necessarily an indicator of quality, though it may be helpful to understand the average cost of a sledgehammer, especially if you’re on a budget. If you’re looking for a 3- or 6-pound sledgehammer, you can expect to pay between $15–$20. For heavier models, like a 10-pound sledgehammer, prices range from $40 to $50.
How To Use a Sledgehammer
Before using a sledgehammer, you must be comfortable with the weight and feel of the tool. If the sledgehammer feels too heavy, or you feel out-of-control while using it, stop immediately. If you’re new to using a sledgehammer, follow these steps on how to swing your heavy-duty tool the right way.
- Grip the sledgehammer at the bottom of its handle with your non-dominant hand.
- Grip the handle again with your dominant hand near the base of the sledgehammer’s head.
- Position your feet based on the type of swing you need. If you’re going to swing the hammer vertically, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart directly in front of the target. For a diagonal swing, stagger your feet with your non-dominant foot in front and a dominant foot behind you.
- To begin your swing, bring the sledgehammer up and level with your head before driving it into the center of the target. During the swing, your dominant hand should control the blow and meet the non-dominant hand at the bottom of the handle. Repeat the steps to swing again.
Note: These tips are specific to sledgehammers with a 36-inch handle.
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes a sledgehammer so expensive?
The handle material and head size usually influence the price of a sledgehammer. For example, sledgehammers with a wide head made of steel and a reinforced steel handle are more expensive than a small sledgehammer with a wooden handle.
What is the most common size for a sledgehammer?
Most sledgehammers have a 36-inch handle and weigh about 10 pounds. This size is great for heavy-duty household jobs and small, professional projects.
Should I wear safety equipment while using a sledgehammer?
Yes. It’s important to protect your hands and eyes while using a sledgehammer. To protect your eyes from flying debris and dust, consider wearing impact goggles or glasses. You should also wear work gloves with a cut-resistant design to protect against blisters and lacerations.
Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team
This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.
We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.
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