Monday, August 23, 2010

Scutch on the rocks.

It's curious how often the newer hammer handles break, compared to the older ones. I have swung sledge hammers and clump hammers of all sorts and sizes for years and I am seeing a remarkable difference in the quality of masonry tools being sold today. In the past these tools have lasted well and I have rarely known the handles to break with normal usage. However a new hammer these days doesn't even begin to go the same distance. I have more than once or twice in the last 6 months had a newly purchased hammer (with supposedly 'proper' hickory wood handle) break on the same day that it was bought.

This new scutch hammer, purchased last Thursday, was swung only five times before the handle broke. Now it goes to join a growing pile of recently purchased tools which have sadly ended up 'on the rocks'.

Is the quality of hickory not the same any more. Is it hickory at all?

I don't know.

All I know is I need a good stiff drink and tomorrow Im going to take this new scutch back. The older (aged) stuff is much better.


  1. I think with the old hammers the makers were very careful to only use wood where the grain ran down the full length of the tool. This is so important even with genuine hickory.

  2. I agree Norman. Also. the wood handles dont seem very heavy. They feel more brittle and look lighter in colour than the older manufactured hickory handles.