Craftsman 1231.3817 Power Hammer: Fire in the Hole!

For reasons that aren’t relevant here, I had to reinforce some old basement stairs. Rather than drilling holes, sinking anchors, and installing screws, I just nailed painted 2×4 strips to the foundation using this Craftsman 1231.3817 Power Hammer, which is not available in a Sears / Kmart near you:

Sears Craftsman Power Hammer

Sears Craftsman Power Hammer

It’s a handheld gun that drives two inches of hardened steel nail into solid concrete by firing what looks like an overstuffed 0.22 Short blank cartridge: load a nail, fit a cartridge, press the muzzle firmly against the target, and whack the butt end with a hammer.

Worked like a champ. Scary as you’d imagine.

If the nail stands proud of the surface, you can hit it again with a low(er) power load to drive it the rest of the way. Sometimes that sinks it below the surface, leaving a cylindrical pit. In the situations where I use this thing, nobody will ever notice.

It’s similar to the Remington Model 476 Powder Actuated Fastening Tool (manual), which you can get from Amazon and surely other vendors; fancier versions also exist. Equally surely, they’re illegal in some jurisdictions.

I have reason to use it every few decades, which is entirely enough for me…

Wear goggles, earplugs, gloves, and don’t get stupid.


  1. #1 by Mick on 2015-09-05 - 10:48

    Saw the title and got a little excited…..hoping it was a version of the Porter Cable Bammer Hammer, which I have, but fuel cartridges are not available for any longer. Quite annoying.

    • #2 by Ed on 2015-09-05 - 11:05

      fuel cartridges are not available

      Now, if that’s not a great excuse for a shop project, I’ve never heard one… [evil grin]

    • #3 by Mike on 2015-09-06 - 14:25

      If you google “porter cable” “bammer hammer” fuel cell replacement you will find several hits, including a couple of youtube videos.