View Full Version : Dead Blow Hammers

09-02-2008, 12:30 PM
I've got a Stanley 52 oz combo cast DB hammer, that is literally falling apart! The plastic or whatever it is is fracturing like an eggshell. Granted I've had it for about 6 years, but I would have thought it's life would have been a bit longer. So, I seeking suggestions for a replacement and I don't want to have to drop $60 to $70 dollars on a new on, UNLESS it's one that will provide a good service life.

09-02-2008, 12:33 PM
I bought a cheap one from HF over 15 years ago. It's still going strong.


09-02-2008, 12:51 PM
I remember reading about that before. I would try contacting Stanley and see if they will give you a replacement. I have a couple of Estwing deadblow hammers that are at least that old and very abused but they are holding up fine. The HF ones are OK if you look at them as disposable (the one you leave out and don't get too mad when it walks off) but the Estwing is just nicer to use.

09-02-2008, 12:54 PM
My old orange HF has been used and abused nearly daily for at least 15 years and it shows no signs of giving up so far. Guess that batch of recycled soda bottles and condoms the Chinese used for that production run must have been a good one.

09-02-2008, 12:54 PM
I bought a cheap one from HF also. They dont work really well in -20F temps. But HF did exchange it free for a new one after it cracked and was leaking bbs upon each blow. Well worth the $6 or $8 sale price

09-02-2008, 12:59 PM
I bought a cheap one from HF also. They don't work really well in -20F temps. But HF did exchange it free for a new one after it cracked and was leaking bb's upon each blow. Well worth the $6 or $8 sale price
I don't work well at -20 either. If you smacked me hard at that temperature I'd probably crack and let my balls run all over too!

09-02-2008, 02:23 PM
I looked at the Stanley website and they indicated the warranty was only good up to one year after the date of purchase. I think I'll email them and voice my disappointment and see what happens.

Mike of the North
09-02-2008, 02:33 PM
What you want to get is one of these, I have had mine over 20 years with no problems.


09-02-2008, 03:25 PM
On the home page it says "todays special" unk if thats just a ploy,
dead blow hammers 1 LB. $ 2.99, you could get 4 or 5, might last you the rest of you life or 2 months.


09-02-2008, 03:51 PM

Dang, that's specialized! A site that only sells hammers. :)

09-02-2008, 05:51 PM
I've had the same problem with a Snap-on. I'm told that it's caused by washing in solvent.

09-03-2008, 08:12 AM
I dont wash mine. They make too much noise in the dryer :)

Peter S
09-03-2008, 08:34 PM
In my brief experience with plastic deadblow hammers they are a horrible tool - compared to a Thor copper/rawhide, great tools! Only my opinion though - anyone else compared the two?

09-03-2008, 08:48 PM
I've got the plastic lead-shot dead-blow set from Enco, and I agree, they're not nearly as nice as a brass, copper, or lead dead-blow.

A 3lb lead dead-blow is great, but it mushrooms really fast. My brass dead-blow isn't as nice as a Thor, but it's a name-brand (I can't remember which), and it's a great compromise between solid lead, and lead-shot, and it doesn't mar cast iron.

Rookie machinist
09-03-2008, 11:46 PM
Yeah the hammer material reacts with some solvents, my snap-on did the same thing.

09-03-2008, 11:48 PM
lazlo and the group,
I cast two heavy lead hammers, wow these are real hammers. I used Mountain Dew cans for forms. I left the cans on them to contain the mushrooming. If you need to swing the hammer for very long you are in for a workout. But I tell you they move what ever you hit. No need to worry about damaging threads, splines or any steel features.

I can't remember the mix for the alloy but I bet a good hard bullet casting alloy would make your hammers mushroom less. Or at least maybe a copper band around near the edge of the hammer. Not at the edge copper will work harden.


doctor demo
09-04-2008, 12:19 AM
I've had the same problem with a Snap-on. I'm told that it's caused by washing in solvent.
I just turned in an orange snap on hammer that was falling apart that has never been exposed to solvent, got a new red one no charge.


09-04-2008, 01:55 AM
What you want to get is one of these, I have had mine over 20 years with no problems.


Over 20 yrs with no problems, eh ?

Well you just aint using it for hittin' somethin' then, them boogers just fall apart after a couple of years of good whackin'. My opinion of them is total crud.

Go get yourself one of these, it'll take all the poundin you can give it.

09-04-2008, 03:19 AM
Read something about this somewhere else. Have a bad Stanley deadblow, e-mailed Stanley.

You can try to return it to the place of purchase, but it is really up to the store if they can exchange it for you or not. If the store can't help you, p lease send the tool(s) to: Stanley Tools, 1000 Stanley Dr. Concord, NC 28027 Attn: Quality Assurance. If found to be defective, a replacement will be sent to you.

In case this email does not fully answer your question, or you would like to contact us for any reason, simply reply to this email.

Thank you

Stanley Tools Customer Care
Visit us online at http://www.stanleytools.com

Mine is a 6 pound, literally falling apart as it sits, not being smashed into anything.

Best is the poster above, cast your own in a beer/popcan from soft lead. That is a true "deadblow". All we were allowed to use in a turbine and compressor plant. Couldn't dent the diaphraghms. Mushroom, remelt and recast. Propane torch can handle that.



09-04-2008, 03:50 AM
I have a couple of dead-blow hammers - the copper/raw-hide insert and the lead-shot inside a plastic head types - both are OK in their place.

I have always preferred a "short" (say 4">6" long) piece of round phosphor-bronze. I have several from 1/2">1 1/2". I use them as "dollies" with a normal shop hammer. Used properly, neither the "dollie" nor the hammer will "bounce". I've had those dollies down/into some awkward holes and places. I've had most of them for anywhere between 40 and 55 years, and they are still going strong. I just turn the "mushrooms" on the heads off on the lathe when required.

09-04-2008, 04:04 PM
The best dead blow hammer made is a Lixie, period. I have 1 at work that I have been using since 1982, I have bought 3 black replacement heads and 1 green one over the years. I have never found any chemical that affects them. Lixie has been making there hammers the exact same way for more than 65 years.
I have roofed 2 garages with it and you can drive 16 penny nails with it all day long. I have done body work and eveything else with the darn things and they just keep on taking it.
My father passed away a few years ago and I have his that he bought when working at GM back in 1951 in there die shop, its still in decent shape after all these years and abuse. I have 2 model 150H-MH's that I use at work and home. Since I started working there 8 years ago all of the guys in the mold shop have replaced there worn out Stanley and Vaughn dead blows with Lixies and sware they will never buy another brand. There is no telling how many molds I have fit and assembled or how many 1000's of inserts and blocks of steel have been beat down in a mill vise with my hammer over the years.