Strict Deconstructionism: Stanley FatMax Xtreme FuBar III

Nancy Anderson
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Why, yes, I do like to occasionally open with a terrible pun. It's nice that you care. The reason I went to such trouble is because this is easily the single most versatile demolition tool I've ever had the chance to use -- a bold statement, certainly, but this is a bold tool.

This week, I had the opportunity to help a friend start a home renovation project on the master bathroom in their new home. He's contracting out the reno job, but the demolition of the existing bathroom simply didn't justify the contractors' estimates. So, the two of us removed the fixtures, cabinetry, flooring, and drywall. The FuBar performed admirably in all these areas.

The 30-inch FuBar weighs 8.5 pounds overall, and its center of mass is located in the upper handle, allowing for excellent control when it comes to swinging the hammer end. Also, it's not unreasonably heavy to use for long stretches, and the non-slip handles ensure a good grip with leather or synthetic work gloves. Since the hammer is so easy to handle, we had no problems ripping out the drywall without puncturing the other side of the interior walls.

The back side of the hammer head is a two-level jaw for grabbing 1- and 2-inch boards and bending hem into place. It also makes for an excellent hook, and lets you get some excellent leverage for prying or tearing without overly stressing your arms and back.

The FuBar made short work of the ceramic tile flooring; where the brute force of the hammer head alone couldn't get the tile moving, a few solid blows with the back of the head would certainly get things started. Stanley's done an excellent job with the heat treatment of the forged steel, and at no point did it seem like the striking surfaces were in any danger of chipping.

The nail puller and pry bar were indispensable when it came to prying up the sub-flooring, and easily removed all of the remaining nails and screws when we'd removed the bulk of the material, though it can be difficult to get the large nail puller to hold onto smaller nails at times. Luckily, we had the FuBar's little brother on hand to take care of some of the more delicate tasks.

The price tag may seem a little steep -- MSRP is $100 -- but if you can find it on sale, it's definitely worth the expense. This tool was good for everything but the cleanup; during the job, I barely put it down. Stanley also makes a version of this tool with emergency responders in mind -- the Forcible Entry tool -- which also incorporates gas and water shutoff wrenches, and mounting points for a carrying strap.

Stanley FatMax Xtreme FuBar Utility Bar - 30" - approx. $100 online or in store

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Mike Wrightly is mostly diesel fumes and duct tape; he grew up around heavy equipment, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.

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