Monday, January 23, 2012

Review: Stanley FatMax FUBAR

A couple of years ago I received a catalog in the mailbox from a local hardware store, and whilst flipping through it, came across something that immediately stopped me in my tracks. I've had a few hammers over the years, from ones I inherited from my father, to the bastard leftovers of shared-house shed tool boxes but I'd never before bought my own. I've even reviewed a multi-tool hammer I bought as a gift last Giftmas, but this is something different. This is the Stanley FatMax range FUBAR and it is a real beast. At 1.13kg it's a pretty heft piece if steel to be swinging, but this is no tack-driver. This is a breaker.
Made from a single piece of forged steel, with no fitting joins to weaken the tool, just a rubberised and textured grip covering the middle of the bar, this is a piece designed for some serious durability. It's design incorporates 4 tools in one, which as I've previously mentioned is always a draw-card for me. I appreciate extra functionality that doesn't compromise the efficacy of the tool. The head-end features a large striking face, positioned and balanced fairly well for rough work; pounding big nails, and bashing things into shape. As I said, it's not a tool for delicate fittings.

The back of the head features my favorite part, the toothed jaws are designed to fit and grab common lumber sizes (2x4 and decking boards). This is great, and I've demolished a packing crate in less than a minute with this, salvaging almost every piece for handy-work, where a regular hammer would have taken a lot more effort, time and risk of injury. Right tool, right job. I've also made bricks go away with it, not only popping one brick out of a wall, but also shattering them into gravel when the need arose.

The tail end is made up an angled pry-bar, with a nice broad chisel edge for getting a good "bite" into whatever you have slated for forceful opening, without being a snapable knife-edge. It also features a nail slot, beveled into the body of the tail, so as not to reduce the structural integrity of the edge. I've also used it as a lanyard loop. As you can see, the tool is coated in a protective coating, but has flaked off revealing the tempered steel underneath on the areas of hard wear. The hardened steel has taken pretty much all the beating I have dished out with only some light scratching, and I am fully satisfied with this as a demolition tool.

There has been some debate I've read about this as a post-Apocalyptic hand-weapon, and whilst heafty, and oddly shaped, I'd suggest that with practice, it would be a valuable addition to your arsenal. By practice, I mean using it as intended without mangling yourself or those around you. Whether tearing down improvised barricades, or putting them up, I'm glad to know I have a FUBAR in my car, to FUBAR anything that blocks my path. Just like Stanley the Honey Badger would. FTW.

Video demonstration anyone? 


  1. I had one of these for work, they are good when pulling something down but, I found the beamgrip is little more than a novelty and the while hammer is very heavy to carry around. It weighs twice as much as the biggest framing hammer I've seen. That being said you can get an almighty swing out of it, bricks and cinder blocks give way.

    A perfect model would feet rid of there grip and replace it with either a straight bar for demo work or a flat fork off a framing hammer for timber.

    The prybar tail is great and becoming common on other hammers.

  2. Thanks Andrew, in fact, the good folks at ITS posted a modification demo that makes the beam-grip into more of a pick, as seen here. I love those guys!


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