Q: Which is better? Does curved hammers have advantages over the straight-claw hammer?
A: Curved-claw hammers do have some advantages over straight-claw hammers. Curved-claw finish hammers weigh less: typically 16 ounces as opposed to 20 ounces or more. A curved claw lets you pull a nail with minimum damage to the board—GREAT for finishing tasks. They also don’t have the “accidental scar” potential when removing nails.
A straight-claw hammer is still the “go-to” for framing and demolition tasks because it has more leverage and “More Power” for driving the bigger nails. If you keep the claw sharp, you can chunk away material or “spear” the end of a joist to lift.
In the end, curved claws should be considered just for finished interior work, and straight-claw hammers for the rest. If I had a pick it would be the straight claw.