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Nail pullers are sometimes called nail removers, and they’re available in many sizes and shapes, depending on what job you need to complete. It’s often hard to find the right one for a project, especially when you’re dealing with small nails. Some of them are ideal for tackling narrow spaces, while others are designed specifically for projects where you’ve got some clearance area available.
Some versions are called cat paws and have additional features that might be useful. Regardless, the right nail puller is designed to remove nails, and most feature a comfortable rubber grip for ergonomics.
It’s easy to find the best nail pullers with this guide. The top 10 products are listed below. You can also read the buyer’s guide to help you understand more about nail heads and why a nail puller matters. Let’s get started:
Crescent 56 Nail Puller
Bates Nail Puller
Estwing Nail Puller
Crescent 11″ Nail Puller Pliers (NP11 Red/Black)
Dead On Tools EX9CL Nail Puller
Stanley FatMax Pry Bar Nail Puller
Shark Nail Puller
Vaughan & Bushnell Dalluge da Bar Nail Puller
Air Locker AP700 Nail Puller
Best Nail Pullers on the Market
Crescent 56 Nail Puller
- Black enamel finish for more durability
- Ideal for people who renovate or remodel
- Works great on hard-to-grip and flush nails
- Made with a forged alloy box joint
- Deformed jaws possible with steel nail removal
If you need to pull out your nails without damaging your wooden surface, the Crescent 56 brand is the best nail puller for you. It has a more traditional design than some of the others, and the tool works effortlessly by driving the smaller head under the nail head and into the wood. Then, it uses force to pull your nail free.
The advantage of this nail remover model is that you don’t have to remove a lot of wood while you’re pulling out the nail. Overall, the jaws of this puller let you drive it straight into the wood and back out again.
With that, this tool doesn’t bend the nails when you go to pull them out. That means you can use the fasteners again, saving money and resources. The Crescent puller can also remove nails of the headless variety because the jaws form a tighter grip on the nail’s body.
This product is also available in long and short jaw designs and works well with flush nails. Overall, the product is manufactured using the box-joint design, so the jaw is tempered and hardened. That means you have a smoother nail extraction and do minimal damage to the workpiece, even in tough conditions.
- Comfortable to use and hold
- Less recoil compared to steel bars
- Made using lightweight titanium
- Could bend with excess force
- More expensive than other models
This lightweight nail remover can handle any embedded or flush nail, and it doesn’t weigh you down while you work. Since the Stiletto brand is made of titanium, it retains its durability and strength within the metal body without adding weight to it. With that, it’s stronger and lighter than nail pullers with a full cast aluminum body.
Overall, the Stiletto brand’s pry bar features excellent corrosion and heat resistance. It also absorbs shocks, so you can feel the difference when you pull out or hammer with the nail puller. Overall, the force impact isn’t felt on the hands as much.
Plus, this nail puller features a nail exposure option, too. That means you can get the teeth of the puller around your nail effortlessly. It does that by hammering around your nail to carve a divot in the wood around it. Still, there’s minimal damage from these pulling pliers.
However, this nail puller does have one drawback: it’s expensive, especially when you compare it to other nail pullers on the market. If you’re not a professional woodworker or don’t use a nail exposer daily, this investment might not be worth it to you.
- Soft plastic and rubberized grip
- Forged in carbon steel
- Hard to pry open the jaws
Those who require a nail puller for various DIY projects might like the Bates Nail Puller. It’s the ideal option because it’s 11 inches long and is made of high-carbon spring steel. Therefore, it’s supposed to last a long time without getting damaged.
Overall, high-carbon steel is a durable material and resistant to rusting. The handle of this nail puller features a plastic coating, so you can get a grip on the tool when you are removing nails.
With that, it prevents the tool from slipping out of your hand or off of the work material. The plastic coating on the nail puller also reduces damage to the wood underneath while using it. Overall, the claw design of this nail puller makes it easy for you to remove nails, both long nails, and short ones, with ease.
It’s also possible to get out nails that feature a damaged head with less strain to the underlying wood. Plus, it’s long enough to put out the right amount of torque without creating stress on the hands because of the ergonomic grip.
Though it looks like some throwback to the Jurassic Era, it grips nails and pulls them out quickly. The jaws don’t open very far, so no chance of ever using this as regular pliers, but it seems to get the job done. Great for extracting nails where the heads have been compromised by using a claw hammer…
It would help if you got a good grip on the nail you’re trying to pull. The leverage head is not all that wide, so it may leave a mark unless you use a scrap of wood to aid in the extraction. If this tool were made more like pliers and acted as vice-grips, I would give it five stars; as it is now, though, this pair of pliers only gets four stars from me.
- Can remove headless nails
- Rounded head for more torque and leverage
- Forged from one piece
- Handles smaller nails easily
- Gets hard-to-reach nails
- Inconsistent grinding possible
Those who want a dedicated nail puller that’s inexpensive enough to use occasionally should consider the Estwing Nail Puller. It combines longevity and strength with excellent performance and an affordable price. The whole body of this nail puller is forged as a single piece, meaning there aren’t any weak spots where it could break.
In a sense, this product can last for decades because of its solid manufacturing and sturdy design. Plus, the pry bar has rounded heads on each side to increase the torque and provide more force for precision nail removal of the toughest nails.
This nail puller features a narrow body, so it’s great to get into tight spaces. The precision thin claw ensures that you can get into confined places or hard-to-access areas. Its claw is also designed to get out headless nails without doing damage to the wood. Still, the one downside here is that it doesn’t handle large nails very easily.
- Rubber grips for more control
- Features a forged steel head with handles
- Ergonomically designed nose
- Ideal for various purposes
- Quality issues
- Must use more force
When you want to easily extract nails, you need the right tool, and the puller plier from Crescent has you covered. When you’re concerned about spacing in your tool bag or workshop, the Crescent 11″ Nail Puller Pliers (NP11 Red/Black) is the perfect option for you because it’s more compact than others. Even though it has a smaller profile, it’s still quite powerful. The nail remover works similarly to others on the list.
Just grip the body of your exposed nail or its head, rotate the pliers, and remove it from the wood. While you might see some tear-out with this pincer plier, the method doesn’t damage the wood below too much.
Still, the main drawback here is the small stature of the tool. You can’t get as much leverage, even on exposed nails. Plus, the handles are small (even though they have a comfortable grip), so you must use more force to get small nails and larger nails out.
This is a big problem for those who have wrist issues. Plus, the pliers tend to bend your nails when it removes them. That might not be an issue for some people, but it may not be ideal if you want to use the nails again for another project.
- Easy to operate
- Comfortable rubber handle
- Suitable for some heavy-duty jobs
- Can’t handle delicate projects
The Dead On Tools brand features a traditional nail puller, but it still maintains the simplicity of the pry bar. With that, it’s one of the most affordable options for nail pullers available. This tool features a circular saw wrench, so if you like using a circular saw regularly, you can get even more usage from this product.
Plus, it’s quite thin and long and is relatively compact. Therefore, it handles tight areas well.
However, there are some flaws you must understand before you consider them. One is that the claw bar is oddly sized. That means it could be hard to get out standard nails if they don’t fit into the claws well. You may also have trouble getting a decent grip on smaller nails here, and that could be a struggle. With that, you can’t pull headless nails at all. If your goal is to use it for small brads, staples, and pins, it’s best to go with a different brand of nail exposer.
- Heat treated to increase durability
- Faster operation compared to other tools
- Tempered for more safety
- Easy grip
- Lower build quality
The Stanley brand is known for having the longest-lasting striking tools, and its nail puller doesn’t compromise on performance, even though it’s small. You can pull out all types of nails with its flat pry bar and don’t have to worry about a thing. Plus, the body of this nail remover is forged of high-carbon steel, so it should last a long time.
Overall, this tool is very strong and can handle heavy-duty needs. Since the body is heat treated and tempered, you can rest easy knowing that it does its job well for longer periods.
The edges of this puller are polished, which offers more precise penetration for pulling nails. On the other side (striking surface of the bar,) you have a flat surface. That means you can use those claws to drive deeper into the wood to get embedded nails. With that, this tool features an ergonomic handle that’s comfortable to hold with prolonged use.
You’re sure to appreciate that the grip works as a shock absorber and insulates the force you feel when pulling nails!
Shark Nail Puller
- Well-made design
- Can get out rusty nails and more
- Quality concerns
The Shark Nail Puller uses hardened steel alloy to help it function accurately and precisely in harsh environments. With that, it lasts a long time. Since the steel is tempered, the claw bar of the puller doesn’t chip or bend, even if you’re pulling tough nails or deeply embedded nails. With that, the tool is 11 inches long and just large enough to give you plenty of leverage without using more force or effort.
Overall, you can pull nails without any problems. Medium-sized nails are no problem for this nail remover, and the head of it is rounded to reduce the work needed for pulling tougher nails. Plus, that gives you more torque. If that weren’t enough, the claws are sharpened to get out old, rusted nails with ease.
You’re sure to appreciate that this nail remover is compact, so it fits into the tool bag without taking up much space. The one issue here is that there’s no rubber grip, so it’s not easy to use for long periods.
- Forged steel and tempered head
- Thin and light design
- Build quality for heavy usage
- Bending possible with excess pressure
Every DIY enthusiast needs a durable and precise nail puller, and the Vaughan & Bushnell brand has you covered. It has a tempered and forged steel construction, so it’s reliable, solid, and sturdy. In fact, it can tackle heavy-duty projects with ease and is light enough to be carried without weighing down the tool bag. Overall, this nail puller is 14 inches long and gives you plenty of leverage.
When you want precision nail pulling, this nail puller can help, as it gets out long nails with no challenges. The edges are rounded off, which boosts comfort and reduces the pressure on your hands. It also has slender claws, making it perfect for embedded nails, and doesn’t damage your wooden pieces that much.
Overall, this is a great tool for handling recycling projects where you need to reuse wood. The chrome finish of this bar is corrosion-resistant, and it doesn’t chip. Overall, this is an excellent nail puller for professional use.
- Removes all types of nails
- Best in class for build quality
- Motor damage possible
Most people don’t think about a nail-pulling tool that’s also a powerful tool. However, the Air Locker AP700 isn’t a traditional option because it can push nails out without damaging the wood. Plus, this is a pneumatic nail remover, so it uses air pressure from an air compressor to push out the nails from one side. With that, it gets out 10- and 20-gauge nails with ease.
You’re sure to appreciate the die-cast aluminum body of the Air Locker AP700 because it lasts for a long time and can handle even the toughest workplace conditions. The handle of the pneumatic nail puller is rubberized, so you get an easy and firm grip while using it. There’s also an ergonomically designed nose that’s elongated and thin to fit into narrow spaces and push out nails with no challenge.
You can use the Air Locker power tool to get nails out of hard and softwood because it’s powerful enough and offers precise penetration. However, it does use pressurized air, which means you must have a compressor in your workshop or be prepared to buy one to utilize the tool. Sometimes, the nails may get stuck inside the nail puller’s plunger, too.
Many things go into having the best nail pullers. Therefore, it’s crucial to know the important factors that you need when buying any type of nail puller. These include:
Power for Headless Nails
Power is the most important factor to think about for nail removers. That way, you know what it can do and how it can handle itself when under pressure. Most other nail pullers featured here can remove embedded nails and tackle headless nail removal from any type of wood. However, others might only work in easy-to-reach areas where there’s plenty of space between the wood and nailhead.
With that, you should think about the length of the handle. A longer one means that you must apply less force on the tool to get your nail out. Therefore, you want something that is ergonomically correct and designed to handle various nail sizes and tighter spaces with ease.
Depending on where you’re working, you should determine how large or big of a nail puller you require. If you’re tackling areas with plenty of clearance, nail pulling with a longer handle is the best option. That way, you don’t need as much force to get the job done.
However, if you’re working in a tight area, you need something smaller that fits into the space easily. Many construction projects have different areas to work in, so you may want two or more tools to handle the job easily, no matter where it’s located.
It’s best to choose a nail puller with a long and strong metal handle with rubber over it. That way, it’s not likely to bend with excess force, and you can use it for longer periods without hurting your hands or causing fatigue.
With that, a rubberized handle also ensures that you can grip tightly and more strongly, so it’s easier and safer for you to apply the right amount of force to pull out the nail.
Working Surface Considerations
When working with manual nail pullers, you must be able to get your nail out without doing damage to the underpart of the wood. However, that’s not always possible. In fact, most nail pullers don’t give you a fully clean surface when you’re done.
Still, you can minimize the damage you do to the wood by picking a nail puller with smooth and round under-diggers. There are also pullers that use a cutting plier style to remove nails and cut wires at the same time.
If you want, you can choose pneumatic pullers, which use pressurized air to get the nails out. These can work well and get a good grip on the nails, but they also require extra tools, such as an air compressor. Workshops equipped with one already should have no problems with this type of tool!
Types of Diggers
It’s important to understand that each type of nail puller has a specific digger at one end. When you’re pulling out a nail head, the board must reach to the head of the nail and then clamp under it with the digger’s tip.
Overall, you must choose a nail puller with narrow tips that can reach farther under the head to pull it out. That way, you get the best results with less damage to the underpart of the wood. At the same time, though, the puller must be resistant to chipping to maintain functionality and for preventing rust from accumulating on the digger with time.
Questions and Answers
What are the 3 types of nail pullers?
A) Claw, Bull Nose, and Beading.
B) Pneumatic, Air Hammer, and Hand.
C) Metal, Wood, and Electric.
D) Bar, Double Bar, and Multi-Bar.
The answer is D) Bar, Double Bar, and Multi-Bar. Nail Pullers Don’t just depend on the name to do their job anymore! There are several different nail pullers for your convenience, so you can choose which one will work best for your need! They include: – A single bar with a point on both ends – For pulling laminates and flooring boards with nails left embedded in it.
What is the best tool to remove nails?
If you do not use a nail puller / Cat’s paw (probably the best tool for removing nails), then – A claw hammer is the best tool to remove nails. It has a serrated edge on one side of the head that can pry nails out of wood. The claw opposite the serrated edge can also be used to pull nails out of boards or studs.
The best nail pullers are those that help you get the job done. That depends heavily on the requirements of the task and everything else. However, the goal is to have a durable tool, and the many nail pullers on this list are a great start.
Overall, the best nail puller is the Crescent 56 Nail Puller. It’s made of forged alloy and can tackle hard-to-grip and flush nails. With that, it’s ideal for DIYers who enjoy doing renovations because it’s not very expensive and can get the job done right.