With the recent camera releases (or maybe Spring fever) I've been rather amazed watching various photography forums have major melt downs during the last few weeks. I said something about cameras and lenses just being tools, not life and death, and got immediately annihilated. They aren't just tools, I was told, they are the means to make a living for some people, and the passionate hobby of others. That got me thinking, though: I have friends who make their living as carpenters, and others for whom woodworking is a passionate hobby. I got to thinking how silly their forums would seem if they acted like we do:
So, here's a thread from Hammeruser.com
Thread Title: Nails for Stiletto TB15?
Hammeruser: I’ve saved up for months and just got my Stiletto TB15SS titanium hammer. At $220 they’re pricey but with the replaceable stainless steel face, ultra light weight handle, and excellent balance I can see myself using this for many years. I’ve had it 3 days now and it’s just wonderful. Does anyone have any suggestions for a good framing nail to use with this hammer?
Hammergeek: You say it’s wonderful but I don’t see any photos of nails you’ve driven. I think it’s just overpriced crap.
Hammerfiend: You know, Ken Rockbuster said the Stiletto is really overpriced and he wouldn’t have one. For $14 you can get a Tekton rubber mallet set. It’s not any good for driving nails, but it is great for body work on your car. That’s what Ken recommends.
MC: If you really were a professional, you’d be using a Graintex SH 1660 sledgehammer. It’s got a 36 inch handle and 20 lb head and can tear through walls in a heartbeat. Your Stiletto can't touch this.
Hammeruser: I do framing work and carpentry, so tearing through walls really doesn’t apply to my work.
M.C.: That’s because you have absolutely no skills. A good hammer user can drive nails with a 20 pound sledghammer with no problem. You’re one of those rich doctors, aren’t you, that thinks upgrading your hammer is going to make you a better carpenter?
Hammeruser: Here’s a picture of some framing I did with the hammer yesterday in about 2 hours. I really think it's going to make me more productive.
Hammertime: I blew up those pictures 200%, ran them through Photoshop and measured the arctan radius of the depth of the nailheads. It’s obvious that you were torquing the hammer from right to left when using it, which makes all of the framing you did inconsequenctial and of no use to anyone. A better hammer doesn’t make up for poor technique.
Banger: A real carpenter could have done that with rusty wire and a rock. It’s not about the equipment, it’s about the carpenter.
Hammerangel2: User, don’t pay any attention to M.C., he’s an absolute Graintex fanboy and has lost all perspective.
M.C.: How would you know what I am? I’ve made hundreds of dollars every year with my Graintex tearing down walls, which makes me a full-time professional. You amateurs make me sick.
Newhammerer: I’ve got an order in for mine through Amazon, but I’m concerned about getting a bad copy. How do I test the hammer when I first get it to make sure I have a good copy?
Thor: You guys are all wrong. I do all my work with an SE 11” rock pick. M. C., haven’t you watched Shawshank Redemtion? That guy hammered through a prison with an SE 11. Sure it took a few years, but anything you really love doing you’ll be doing for years. Just because something is newer, doesn’t make it better.
Hammeruser: Could anyone make some suggestions about good nails?
WhammerHammer: Why don’t you read the manual, do a Google search, and stop wasting our time with inane questions? Besides which, if you were a really good hammerer it wouldn’t matter what type of nails you used.
Whacker: H2O just released their latest Impact Index and the Stilleto rated 92.745, the highest impact per oblique force applied they’ve measured (except for jackhammers).
BigBanger: I don’t trust anything H20 measures, they’re numbers are all crap and don’t reflect real-world hammering. Besides, they down score everything to be equivalent to a 6 ounce jewelers hammer, which makes no sense. I prefer a 'hand's on' review. Maxwell's reviews over at SilverHammer.com really let you know how a hammer does in the real world.
Nailguru2: Hammeruser, while others will stick with the mainstream manufacturers, I’d take a real hard look at Grip Rite galvanized zinc coated sinkers. They’re a classic design, the sharpest nails made, and have amazing microcontact. Plus they’re hand assembled in Germany, not mass-produced in Taiwan.
Hammergeek: All I can say is after reading this thread I’ve cancelled my order for the Stilletto TB15. I’ll wait until the price drops. In the meantime I’m thinking about buying a used TB10 on the Buy and Sell forum.
Banger: Why don’t you rent one for a few days and see how you like it? Hammerrentals.com has them for $29 for 4 days. You could build a nice shed in that amount of time and really get a feel for how it works for you.
WhammerHammer: I agree with Hammergeek. The price is insane. I’ve started a petition to boycott Stilletto until they make their prices more reasonable. They think just because there’s a 4 month waiting list for their new hammers they can charge whatever they want. They’d sell twice as many if they just charged $25.
Euronailer: You guys think you’ve got it bad? Over here the Stilleto is 300 Euros and we’ve got 17% VAT. You guys in the U. S. need to stop complaining. I may fly over to the U. S. and pick one up, the money I save would pay for 1/162 of my air fare.
Justgotmine. I just finished using my brand new Stilleto. Here’s some shots of nails I’ve driven. Do you guys think I have a good copy of the hammer? The nails seem a little crooked to me, but that might just be technique.
Hammerguru: Justgotmine – looking at your images those are pretty long nails. Were you using good technique with a nail stabilizer? It also seems the hammer wasn't lined up square to the target. It’s impossible for us to help you if you don’t eliminate all the other variables. It could be the hammer, could be the nails, could be technique.
Nailed'em: Nailguru, you’re always over here spouting about 'microcontact' and the way the nails 'render'. That’s all BS put out by you Grip Right elitists. I can get 4 boxes of Smegma nails for what just one box of Grip Right costs and they work just fine.
Banger: I had to try 4 boxes of Smegma nails to get just one that was sharp.
Nailguru2: I’m not a Smegma fan by any means, but if you get soft nails you can send them back to the factory to be resharpened under warranty. I had them resharpen a box of mine and they were incredible!
Nailer: Did you guys see that Hammerrumors.com says that Big Blu hammers is coming out with an X-2 in time for Hammerkina? It’s going to have a synthetic rubber grip, fiberglass shock absorbing, and a semi-square rocker face. I’m holding off any new purchases till I see some nails driven with that baby.
Roger: In this case, it truly is the user, not the hammer: Hammertime
Author's note: This little post got a lot more attention than I had expected. The most interesting thing to me is that it's now been reposted to forums involving gun collecting, coffee tasting, audiophiles, automobiles, computer programming, videography, racing bicycles, and (I should have known) various tools. All of whom identified with it. So I guess I learned today that it isn't just photographers who act like we act. Apparently it's people.
And from the "OMG are we sick or what?" department, Amazon is now nearly sold out of Stilletto TB15SS. Seriously. You guys just had to try it out, didn't you?
Finally, don't stop reading here. The reader's comments are much funnier than the blog post. As always, I thank everyone who took the time to post comments. Once again the reader's comments are better than the author's blog.
PS - for the several people who suggested nail guns should be included in the discussion, that wouldn't work because . . . .
. . . . wait for it . . .
this forum doesn't discuss point and shoots.