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Best Hammer Bowling Balls

Best Storm Bowling Balls

In recent years, Hammer bowling balls have become a true bowling powerhouse. A standout example is the game-changing Purple Hammer bowling ball, leaving a lasting impact and even leading the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour to adjust the minimum hardness requirement for competition.

Top 5 BowlingLife Hammer bowling ball picks

If you're not up for reading the entire review, take a look at our top 5 recommendations for the finest Hammer bowling balls to purchase in 2024.

Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane - the best Hammer bowling ball overall

Hammer Black Widow 3.0 - the best Hammer bowling ball for heavy oil

NU Blue Hammer - the best Hammer bowling ball for house shot

Hammer Scorpion Low Flare - the best Hammer bowling ball for predictable reaction

Hammer Black Widow Viz-A-Ball - the best Hammer bowling ball for spares

Looking for something new?

Hammer Effect - the best new Hammer bowling ball release


This time, BowlingLife testers have selected the best Hammer bowling balls they have tested over the years and following the game-changing innovations that Hammer brings to the bowling alley.

This collection goes beyond a standard list of bowling balls. Drawing on our personal experience as avid bowlers, we offer firsthand insights, authentic viewpoints, and key details about the strengths and distinctive characteristics of each bowling ball. Our aim is to streamline the decision-making process for you, tailoring it to meet your specific needs.

Remember that the list was created by assessing each tester's unique playing style, the typical lane conditions they encounter, and the individual opinions of our testers. Additionally, note that certain links provided in this article may be affiliate links.

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Choosing the best Hammer bowling ball for you

Selecting the right bowling ball is super important for boosting your game. It's about discovering the ideal ball that complements your style and performs well across diverse lane conditions. Remember, it's not just about getting the fanciest ball; it's about creating a bowling arsenal strategy to make your bowling experience awesome, turning every roll into a win on the lanes.

When in the process of buying a bowling ball, keep the following factors in consideration:

Coverstock - the outer surface of the ball that interacts with the lane. Bowling balls can be categorized into three primary groups based on their coverstock: plastic, urethane, and reactive resin. Each type serves distinct purposes, enabling players to easily adjust to varying lane conditions. Dive deeper into the characteristics of these surface types by exploring our comprehensive article.

Core - it determines how a bowling ball spins as it travels down the lane. Imagine slicing a ball in half, like you would with a chocolate egg; inside, you'll find a hidden element - the core. Composed of denser materials like iron or calcium oxides, the core represents the heaviest section of a bowling ball. Cores can take on symmetrical or asymmetrical shapes. For a deeper exploration of these core differences and a better grasp of how they impact the motion of a bowling ball, refer to our specialized article on the topic.

Radius of Gyration (RG) - functions as an indicator of how mass is spread within a bowling ball. A higher RG results in heightened back-end motion, as a ball with a higher RG tends to slide more and retains more energy for the latter part of the lane. While it might sound a bit like rocket science, we suggest exploring our article on the impact of RG on your game for a more comprehensive understanding.

Differential (Diff) - it comes in two types: total and intermediate. The total differential is the gap between low RG (X axis) and high RG (Y axis). As for the intermediate differential, it is exclusive to asymmetrical balls and represents the difference between high RG (Y axis) and intermediate RG (Z axis). Increased differentials result in a more powerful hook potential, injecting additional flare into your shots.

Best Hammer bowling balls - detailed list

Now that we've covered the key aspects of choosing a bowling ball, let's dive into the exciting part – a detailed list of the best Hammer bowling balls on the market. Explore the specifics of each ball, discover their unique features, and find the perfect match to boost your performance on the bowling lanes.

Best Hammer bowling ball overall

(Release date: July 16th, 2021)

Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane Bowling Ball

Key advantages:

  • A real game-changer: Revolutionized play at elite level.

  • Versatile Across Patterns: Excels on various oil patterns, adapting to diverse conditions.

  • Super responsive to cover changes: Don't forget to grab some sanding pads, as the Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane works with all kinds of grit.

It would be a mistake not to place the Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane bowling ball at the pinnacle of Hammer's bowling ball offerings. This particular ball has been a prevalent topic of conversation, with those who possess one (or many) sharing their experiences, and even those without it discussing the Purple Hammer. Ultimately, it revolutionized the game at the highest echelons of bowling, gaining a status as a pila non grata on the PBA Tour.

The Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane utilizes the same traditional high RG/low diff light bulb-shaped LED core but adds a urethane pearl coverstock for enhanced control. This combination creates a more rounded shape compared to conventional urethanes, facilitating smoother delivery to the pocket.

The Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane has seen remarkable success on medium-dry sport oil patterns as well as on THS. Over the years, we've witnessed numerous league players who have literally transformed their perception of bowling because of this ball. They've used it on dry, medium, and even heavy oil patterns, Like no other reactive bowling ball ever existed. Surprisingly, Purple Hammer consistently deliversed phenomenal bowling ball reaction and impressive scores.

Moreover, the Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane bowling ball is highly adaptable to cover changes; you can use it with the factory box finish at 2000 grit or even dull it to 180 grit and still utilize it efficiently. If you doubt our testers, just take a look at the game of numerous bowlers at the Men or Youth World Championships in the past few years.

It is undoubtedly one of the best bowling balls ever produced. If you're looking to upgrade your bowling ball arsenal, this Hammer masterpiece is an excellent choice.

Best Hammer bowling ball for heavy oil

(Release date: January 25rd, 2024)

Hammer Black Widow 3.0 Bowling Ball

Key advantages:

  • Proven Excellence: Black Widow 3.0 excels in ball reaction, continuing its lineage.

  • Enhanced Traction: Improved surface and oil tractions for heavy oil conditions.

  • Versatile Performance: Ideal for heavy to medium oil, ensuring superior gameplay.

The original Hammer Black Widow bowling ball was released in June 2006 and has since become one of the most popular bowling balls. The Hammer Black Widow 3.0 takes the exceptional lineage of its predecessors to new heights. This revolutionary bowling ball, designed as the perfect companion to the Widow 2.0 Hybrid, continues the trend of excellence in ball reaction. With enhanced surface and oil tractions, it's your go-to Hammer bowling ball for heavy oil conditions in 2024. Equipped with the iconic Gas Mask core, known for its significant flare potential, versatility, and dynamic backend motion, and featuring the aggressive HK22 coverstock, the Hammer Black Widow 3.0 stands out as one of the best bowling balls to invest in for medium to heavy oil setups – and rest assured, it won't let you down. Plus, it looks even better in reality than in pictures.

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 Best Hammer bowling ball for house shot

(Release date: August 5th, 2022)

Hammer NU Blue Hammer Bowling Ball

Key advantages:

  • Urethane-Like Reproduction: NU Blue Hammer replicates urethane performance seamlessly.

  • Versatile Competitor: Suited for challenging lanes, excelling in various competitions.

  • Timeless Motion: Captures the classic Purple Hammer ball motion for effective play.

The only thing better than this bowling ball on THS might be the marketing story Hammer crafted when releasing it in November 2023. Purposefully designed in response to PBA rule adjustments affecting traditional urethane, the NU Blue Hammer doesn't classify as urethane but flawlessly replicates the smooth, consistent, and predictable motion typical of urethane balls. Tailored for versatility and well-suited to challenging lane conditions, this ball offers bowlers the advantages of a reactive ball fit for any competition, all while capturing the timeless motion of the Purple Hammer – a lane dominator (and a challenge for some) for years. The NU Blue Hammer is perfect when you need a reliable ball on typical house shot (THS) oil patterns.

 Best Hammer bowling ball for predictable reaction

(Release date: January 25th, 2024)

Storm Pitch Black Bowling Ball

Key advantages:

  • Consistent Motion: Predictable and reliable performance.

  • Versatility: Adaptable for high and low-rev players.

  • Smooth Ride: Core and Semtex Hybrid offer a comfortable, controlled experience.

Scorpion Low Flare promises a seamlessly predictable motion on the lanes. Fuelled by the core numbers and embraced by the Semtex Hybrid cover, finely finished at 2000 grit, this ball guarantees a smooth ride. Whether you're a high-rev player using it across the lanes or a lower-rev enthusiast relying on it for tricky conditions and lane transitions, the Scorpion Low Flare is another Hammer "must-have" for 2024. Don't step onto the bowling scene without this game-changer in your arsenal.

Best Hammer bowling ball for spares

(Release date: May 6th, 2022)

Hammer Black Widow Viz-A-Ball Bowling Ball

Key advantages:

  • Great predictability: The time-tested 3-piece Core ensures predictability for anyone who rolls it.

  • Unmatched Durability: urethane coverstock provides durability compared to other materials and makes it a reliable choice for first ball.

  • Versatility for All Ages: Available in various colors and starting from 8 pounds, the Mix series offers versatile options suitable for bowlers of all ages.

Hammer Black Widow Viz-A-Ball is a fantastic option not only for any player in need of a plastic spare shooting choice, but also for beginners trying out bowling, or straight-style bowlers. the Black Widow Viz-A-Ball features the renowned Gas Mask core to become an option for extreme dry lane conditions as well. In addition, it looks amazing!

Some other great Hammer bowling ball choices

(Release date: March 21st, 2024)

Hammer Effect Bowling Ball

Key advantages:

  • New Core: the best elements of both the Gas Mask core and the Vibe core.

  • Controllable Performance: continuous ball motion and predictable ball shape.

  • Versatile for All Conditions: Superior performance on oily lanes compared with other pearl bowling balls.

Hammer Effect bowling ball is designed to become a real game-changer that's about to shake up everyone's bowling experience in the best possible way. With the new Huntsman core, inspired by Hammer's legendary Gas Mask and Vibe designs, Effect grips the lane like never before, giving you the control and power you need to knock down those pins with confidence. This pearl bowling ball hits different form other perals, offering more versatile bowling ball motion, especialy on heavier oil. Hammer Effect promisses to be another great bowling ball from Hammer. Go ahead and grab one for yourself!

(Release date: February 23th, 2023)

Hammer Black Widow 2.0 Bowling Ball

Key advantages:

  • Versatile Performance: Suited for various play styles, rev rates, and speeds.

  • Transition Dominance: Excels on typical house patterns and during oil transitions.

  • Backend Brilliance: As a skid-flip ball, its backend performance stands out.

The Hammer Black Widow 2.0 Hybrid is your classic skid-flip bowling ball. If it had a second name, it would be "Backend." Featuring an HK22 Aggression Hybrid coverstock, finished with 1500 grit polish and equipped with the Gas Mask asymmetric core, our testers found the Black Widow 2.0 Hybrid to perform best on the typical house shot pattern, as well as on higher volume oil patterns during the transition. As all prior Black Widow bowling balls, this one will suit many different play styles, rev rates and speeds.

History of Hammer bowling balls

The story of Hammer bowling balls began in 1981 with the introduction of the Black Hammer by Faball Enterprises – the second-ever urethane bowling ball in the market. The lineup grew over time with various colored Hammer balls, establishing a solid presence in the bowling community.

Founded in 1978 by Johnny Wonders and Earl Widman, Faball Enterprises held its ground until Hammer products were acquired by Ebonite International in 2002. After the sale, the Faball team ventured into creating a new line called Visionary Bowling Products.

Despite Ebonite International and its brands being acquired by Brunswick Bowling Products, LLC in 2019, Hammer continues to produce not only its classic bowling ball lines but also bowling shoes, bags, and accessories.

How do we choose the best bowling ball?

To guide our readers in making well-informed choices regarding bowling balls, BowlingLife relies on extensive testing for all our recommendations. We firmly believe that an impartial opinion about each ball can only be developed after our team has personally put it to the test.

Our testing team comprises three individuals – one with dominant speed, one with dominant revs, and a two-handed player. The goal is to give each ball the chance to demonstrate its strengths across various lane conditions.

We aim for our ball reviews to strike a balance between being casual and informative. We regularly update the links in the article for easy access to the reviewed bowling balls. Please be aware that certain links provided might be affiliate links. It's essential to underline that, irrespective of the review's tone, it remains a subjective opinion. Success with specific bowling balls for us doesn't guarantee the same for you. However, be assured that our reviews are conducted with fairness, consistency, objectivity, and honesty, guided by bowlers for bowlers.


Who makes the hammer bowling balls?

Hammer bowling balls are currently manufactured by Brunswick Bowling Products, LLC. Founded in 1978 by Johnny Wonders and Earl Widman, Faball Enterprises initially produced Hammer products until Ebonite International acquired them in 2002. Despite Ebonite International being acquired by Brunswick Bowling Products, LLC in 2019, Hammer continues to produce its classic bowling ball lines, as well as bowling shoes, bags, and accessories.

How much does a hammer bowling ball cost?

The cost of a Hammer bowling ball can vary widely depending on the specific model, features, and where it is purchased. On average, prices for Hammer bowling balls typically range from $100 to $200.

What is the best hammer bowling ball?

The best Hammer bowling ball is subjective and depends on your playing style, lane conditions, and personal preferences. However, our testers named the Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane the best Hammer bowling ball for its game-changing performance, versatility across various oil patterns, and its ability to deliver a smooth and predictable motion.