When to Use a Wrecking Bar and How to Use It Safely

A wrecking bar is a useful tool when it comes to removing nails and demolition. Although hobbyists and DIYers may forget about wrecking bars, professional contractors and DIYers use wrecking bars to handle a range of demolition tasks quickly and efficiently.

But what exactly is a wrecking bar? Read on to find out what a wrecking bar is, learn how to use it, and discover some suggestions of wrecking bars that you should add to your toolbox.

What is a Wrecking Bar?

A wrecking bar is a heavy metal device with a flattened end split to create a V-shape. This end can pull nails from objects and is curved for use during demolition. The other end of the wrecking bar can be a straight claw, chisel edge, blunt end, or handle. You can use this end for prying items apart.

Depending on where you live, wrecking bars go by many different names, including crowbars, pry bars, and pinch bars, although these types of bars may also have different functions from the wrecking bar in certain circumstances.

Wrecking bars come in several shapes and sizes, with some designs being more suited to a job than others. Wrecking bars range in size from 12 inches to 48 inches. Longer wrecking bars are suitable for levering heavier objects than shorter ones are, so make sure you know what you will be using the wrecking bar to demolish beforehand.

How to Use a Wrecking Bar

Using a wrecking bar depends on the task at hand, whether it be removing nails or prying objects apart. You may need to use your wrecking bar in conjunction with other tools, such as a hammer, or use a more specialized tool such as a pallet buster or lifting bar. A smaller prying bar may also be beneficial to use before using the longer wrecking bar.

Removing Nails

Removing nails using a wrecking bar is usually straightforward, as the V end is similar to the V that most people are familiar with on most hammers. To start, slide the bent end bar forward around the nail until it sits inside the V. Then, apply downward pressure to the straight end of the bar until it lifts the nail.

Removing Floorboards

One of the most common uses of wrecking bars is prying up floorboards. In this case, you will want to insert the straight or chiseled side of the wrecking bar into the gap between the floorboards, then pull the other end of the bar down to lift the board. You may need a hammer to assist you if you struggle to insert the bar deep enough below the floorboard.

Loosen Objects

You can also use the wrecking bar to loosen stubborn objects. In this case, start with the bent end on one side and then move to the opposite side, gently rocking the bar from each side to gradually loosen the item.

After using the bent end, flip the bar around to the straight end. Pulling the bar up instead of down may give you the final burst of power needed to release the object.

Best Wrecking Bars

When purchasing a wrecking bar, be aware that the cheaper bars may not be of the best quality as they tend to use cheaper carbon/alloy steel. The more expensive bars usually use strong forged steel that is sometimes tempered to make the bar last longer.

Estwing Gooseneck Wrecking Bar PRO

Estwing has been at the forefront of striking tools technology for nearly 100 years, and many professional contractors trust the company for all of their tool-related needs. Estwing offers several types of wrecking bars in multiple lengths, but the Gooseneck Wrecking Bar PRO is the one that you should be considering.

This 36-inch wrecking bar is forged in one piece, making it more durable and long-lasting. It is engineered to produce maximum torque when pulling nails and prying boards, with both the chisel end and the slotted nail puller boasting high leverage designs. The Estwing Gooseneck Wrecking Bar may end up being the only demolition tool you need.

TEKTON 3324 18-Inch Wrecking Bar

Although the TEKTON 3324 Wrecking Bar is one of the most affordable options, it has great reviews applauding its sturdy build, solid design, and perfect shape. It can handle most tough jobs, such as pulling out stubborn deck boards or yanking out nails from any material.

This 18-inch wrecking bar is made from forged and heat-treated hex bar stock, making it durable and long-lasting. When used properly, the lever-action will increase your applied strength over five times. Priced at just under $10, this TEKTON wrecking bar provides unbelievable value.

Spec Ops SPEC-D30PRY Tools 30″ Wrecking Crowbar

Spec Ops designs tools for elite performance, and this wrecking bar is no different. This 30-inch wrecking bar is made from heat-treated steel to provide maximum prying power without worrying about the bar breaking.

What makes this wrecking bar unique from any others is that it has nail pullers on both ends for added versatility. The precision-honed, sharp beveled end is designed for maximum destruction. The bar also has a shock-absorbing extreme weather grip for ultimate control and less sting as you use it, making it easier on your hands.

3% of all Spec Ops tools purchases are donated to veterans and first responders, so you can feel good about both purchasing and using this wrecking bar.

Final Thoughts

Wrecking bars are often not the first tool that people think of contractors using, but it is one of the most important tools when it comes to demolition and getting ready to start a new project. Having the right wrecking bar is important to help ensure durability and prevent it from breaking while you complete the job.

Do not opt to cheap out on a wrecking bar–they are generally inexpensive compared to other tools, so be sure to choose a quality bar!

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