Quite some time ago I wrote in a Toolbox Tuesday about the pliers I like to use to remove nails. This has been a great solution for my purposes, and something that I picked up when working for a contractor in college, but it hasn't been without its problems.

Occasional broken nails, nail heads too low to grab, and minor damage to the board's surface left me wondering if there was a better tool out there? Perhaps something more specifically created for pulling nails?

Way back when I wrote about my solution, a commenter from a company that makes a purpose built nail removing tool called the Nail Nippers left a comment. I looked into the tool and thought it looked interesting, but I didn't have an immediate need for it, so I just filed the idea away.

Well, I knew I'd need something better as I approached last weekend's window restoration, so a few weeks ago I went ahead and ordered an 11" Nail Jack nail puller from Amazon. You know, all in the name of research and good Toolbox Tuesday material.

Today, on this Bully Pulpit of Toolbox Tuesday, I stand before you, an absolutely and unequivocally converted man!

Before I go any further, if you're looking for that perfect stocking stuffer or small gift for the DIYer or craftsman in your life, drop what you're doing and buy this tool. You just might win the holidays if you do.

The idea of the tool is simple. A purpose built and ergonomic tool to easily perform the sometimes very difficult/tricky task of old nail removal. Whether you're dealing with old molding, flooring, or just about any reused material, you need a good and effective way to remove old nails from the material. Well, this tool is your guy.

The head is shaped like a massive pair of snips with a pincher like base and flat bottom that can get right down to work. But unlike the nippers, the tool has multiple surfaces based on whether you're trying to get down under the nail head or securely grab the sides of a protruding nail.

The previous tool I used has the tendency to allow too much pressure when removing something brittle (like an old cut nail) and shear off the nail, leaving you with a piece of metal you can do nothing more than stare at with general disdain. This tool doesn't allow that extreme amount of pressure and instead allows you to gently remove the nail from its seat, easing it out a little at a time.

The use of the tool is straight forward. You simple drop the tool down on the work, work the edges under or against the nail head, squeeze tightly, and rock the tool back using the work surface as a base, lifting the nail as you rock. With little effort and no time, even the most stubborn nails are free from their bonds.

The surface area of the bottom of the tool is large and flat to reduce the risk of damaging the material surface. This is ideal in a situation where you don't want any sort of dents or dings. Previously, I had to use a flat piece of metal under the tool, which was just a pain. This resolves that issue.

The various areas of the head, from the slightly separated tip, to the large flat interior, allow for all different kinds of nails, from the small finish type nails to the large gauge. I've owned this tool for about two weeks and have already successfully removed about 100 nails from various projects, all with wonderful results.

The only issue I've had with the use of the tool has to do with the length of the handles and position they take in certain tight quarters situations where I can't get a good angle on the nail head. For this reason alone I'll keep the old nippers nearby, just in case I need them.

All in all, this tool is a winner, and an inexpensive and wonderful addition to my toolbox, and I'll be surely using it for years to come. The company that makes it actually makes a smaller version too, and now I'm contemplating buying one of those tools too.

What do you think? Will you add this to your toolbox/bucket? Perhaps you have an alternate solution that you're quite happy with that I don't know about. If so, let us know.

Did you enjoy reading this post? Want to learn more about our first-hand experiences with other tools, devices or items used throughout our renovation? If so, check out our complete list of product reviews in our Toolbox Tuesday section. 

Note: We weren't compensated for this review. We simply want to share good products when we see them, and hope that learning from our mistakes can help save you time, money and frustration.

Comments 4


11/11/2013 at 11:11 PM

In addition to working on an old house, I paint theatrical scenery. I'm always having to pull brads out of my studio floor. This looks wonderful!


I just used the tool to pull a bunch of staples and brads out of something today, and it worked amazingly. So glad I decided to buy one.

12/19/2013 at 3:26 AM

I'm definitely in the market for one of these! But I also have a question about the great close-up photos you take. What type of camera do you use? Love your site and the restoration work you do!

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