Humor and sarcasm

Published March 30, 2012

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



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 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? 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 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

</Satire off>

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.

Author: Roger Cicala

I’m Roger and I am the founder of Hailed as one of the optic nerds here, I enjoy shooting collimated light through 30X microscope objectives in my spare time. When I do take real pictures I like using something different: a Medium format, or Pentax K1, or a Sony RX1R.

Posted in Humor and sarcasm
  • That is all fine and good but the Stiletto TB15SS2 just came out and it is 1/2 the size, folds into a shirt pocket, and can drive 1000 more nails before wearing out. I have one on backorder from Amazon.

  • Aaron

    Look, hammers are really important to some of us here. Would the gawkers leaving comments not directly related to the original poster’s question please just sod off so we can get back to discussing nails for the Stilletto.

  • oi

    super post!!!

  • JAson

    lmao smegma nails

  • You’ve evidently seen the target clearly and really pounded it into the ground.

    This is a brilliant bit of satire that’s a square and fatal hit on the narrow-minded, rude stupidity of too many sites and threads. Thanks for what was obviously a time-consuming but worthwhile effort.

  • Neil

    Ken will show you dints he has removed and suggest he was using the rubber mallet when all the time he was using the TB15ss.
    He gets a kick back from the rubber mallet manufactures for making you suckers believe he was using them.

  • MikriMan

    Well, you really nailed this one 🙂

  • I think this is a guy thing. Obviously women are more caring and it doesn’t matter to us what hammer is used. We just want to be sure that the nails are not mistreated. I may start an on-line support group for nails abused by the Stiletto TB15.


  • Lex

    LOL, “BigBanger” sounds like me.


  • Haa! Hit the nail on the head !

  • Declan

    Hits the nail on the head!

  • Thank you for writing this – I love it! As an author of articles for a major photo forum , I can say that you have “hit the nail on the head” … Sorry for the pun but after roughly 140 such comments on one of my recent articles, it was wonderful to read this!

  • Stevie Z

    Hysterical! A photographer friend sent me the link to this, and the saddest part is that I gave up reading/commenting on audio recording gear blogs because they have the EXACT same arguments..
    Well written!

  • sandwedge

    You may want to upgrade to the hammer with the thin red line around the head. It’s obviously better quality, and you’ll get a lot more respect from the other carpenters.

  • Hornbugger

    Mine is 12″.

  • Hilarious! And you know, while these hammer enthusiasts spend all their time in forums like this, I’m out there hammering stuff. And if I’m not hammering for money, I’m doing personal hammering projects to better my skills at nailing and pounding everything in sight!

  • Roger K

    Right on!! I mean “write on”! More.

  • Matthew

    Love it, especially the Beatles reference!

    (Find via TOP.)

  • Pure genius. I laughed embarrassingly loud in this coffee shop. And Ken Rockbuster is such an appropriate name!

  • Thank You! I am still looking for the piece of my posterior anatomy I laughed off! I love how you worked in the Beetles reference!

  • Bravo, sir! Spot on!

  • Brad

    Well done!

    If you had chosen to do this with woodworkers hand planes then it wouldn’t have been much of a parody. Those people have a thing or two to teach photographers how to navel gaze WRT their gear.

    Restored Stanley Bedrocks vs modern Lie-Nielsen equivalents. Japanese vs western tools. The merits of spending $5000.00 on a Holtey hand plane. Flow charts to determine the date range that your plane was made (that kidney shaped hole for the lever cap screw is worth much more than the key hole shape). Hours spent fine tuning the $500 tool you just bought just right.

    A smattering of true masters turning out absolutely stunning furniture. Meanwhile the unwashed masses (including me) use these gorgeous, amazing tools to turn out foot stools and medicine cabinets while dreaming of greatness.

  • Robert

    Best parody I’ve read in a long time. Thanks for the laugh.

  • Dicko

    Great stuff, between this article and fake Chuck there is some sanity in a crazy world.

  • ??


  • Ken Palmer

    I couldn’t stop laughing after seeing the framing picture. He got a lot done in 2 hours! Your point is well illustrated with parody. Thanks for the laughs.

  • Superbly done, and so very true.

  • Kevin

    I do not read photography forums, but I read a LOT of forums and this represents the spirit of so many of them.

    Plus, this was funny as heck. I read it twice.

  • Roger Cicala

    Thank you, Doug! Shem was my role model for most of my life, of course. That’s the highest praise possible!

  • Adam

    Hilarious stuff!

    I Love the Maxwell’s Silver Hammer reference.

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