Like Sears says, the flex claw hammer is two tools in one: hammer and pry bar. It is not quite the same as having two separate tools (I will explain in a bit) but it is a helpful combination. It also works like a small crowbar, so think of the flex claw hammer as three tools. And not to be overlooked: the magnetic nail holder/starter. This is the first hammer I have owned with one of these. It is a useful feature for framing and other rough work. It extends your reach. No need for your second hand to hold the nail. This is particularly helpful for working from a ladder and other over-your-head work. With a bit of practice I could get the nail where I wanted it – or close enough. Regarding being 18oz vs. 16oz: I did not notice much difference. The handle is almost an inch longer than my 16oz hammer’s. It is about an inch shorter than my 22oz framing hammer. Balance is fine. The rubber grip is fine. Very little impact shock gets from the hammer face, down the one-piece steel handle to the grip. That’s nice. The face of the hammer is a bit wider than that of my 16oz hammer - approaching the size face of a framing hammer. I found this helpful too. Changing the claw’s position is simple: Push and hold in the button on the side of the head, move the claw to the position you want, then let go of the button. There are four positions: The lowest position makes the head compact from front to back. This is good for swinging in some tight quarters. Next is the standard position with the claw straight back. Then come two raised positions that allow the hammer to act like a small crowbar or as a wedge. I found these positions more useful than I expected. There is no sloppiness with the claw. It does not move, vibrate or rattle when you are nailing. It feels like a single piece hammerhead. So, here is my take on this flex claw hammer: I don’t think it will replace a flat pry bar (or crowbar) because the separate tools have an advantage over the combined tool: You can use your hammer to tap a pry bar into a thin crack to separate two items such as baseboard or door moldings from a wall. This is harder to do well with this single tool. Yet this hammer is certainly more versatile than a standard claw hammer. Nails can be pulled more easily and it’s also a good lever or wedge – like a small crowbar - when the claw is in its two upper positions. So do I recommend this tool? I do. Why? I found myself reaching for my pry bar and crowbar less often. And the magnetic nail starter is a definite plus – especially for work up on a ladder. This hammer speeds up work just a bit. Not lots, but definitely some. Importantly, I don’t find any downside to this tool. Some tools that combine functions are unsatisfactory compromises. Not this one. The flex claw and magnetic nail starter are pluses to the old design. So, the next time you are in the market for a hammer, wrap your hand around one of these and see how it feels.
I though this was a good buy, but the quality is not what it should be. It does hold the nail to start, but it is not straight and falls off the hammer. It may be ok for taking things apart?
This hammer is well designed and really good quality. I love the adjustable flex-claw and the ability to attach a nail to the hammer.
It is great for pulling nails. It does not feel as balanced when driving them. Get a good regular craftsman and a nail puller.
The position changing prybar/nail puller is something I’ve wondered why no one had made for years. In short fewer runs to the tool box to get a different angle to pull a nail or pry back material